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Genesis vs. Uncommon
Genesis From the beautiful animated sequnce.
Download: 3.03 MB
Play Time: 2 hours and minutes
Review # 3 for Uncommon From the beautiful animated sequnce.
Them's Fightin' Words
    Well, let me start by saying that it is difficult to review this game, as it is hard to say anything critical to one who's work you admire. I regard Lucier as one of OHR's greatest artists, and work of that level is certainly something I aspire to reach someday...

Genesis is about a young woman named Yuriko who appears to be an elf, even though her mother, Arianne, does not. When her mother receives a letter stating that Yuriko is in danger, she attempts to inform her, as Yuriko has gone wandering into the forest. Unfortunately, Arianne is killed by a monster before she can reach Yuriko, and Yuriko would be as well, if not for the passing adventurer, Claude. After Yuriko recovers, they decide that it would be best to seek the help of the letter's sender, Princess Musashi. And thus the quest begins...

Genesis is only twenty days old, but it is already considered one of the best OHR games of this year. This is because of balance, most of all. Genesis is strong in almost all areas of gamemaking. So, let's get into the specifics...
    Like I said, Lucier's one of OHR's greatest artists. Accordingly, Genesis is beautiful. I haven't often seen tiles of this level of mastery and originality. The first screen of the Creepy Forest is a wonderful break outside of the normal, boring forest tiles. I was very impressed by the map-work on this game.

The short animated sequence (with the double-height walkabouts) was good. I liked the way it was done. I was, however, disappointed that there were no others throughout the game.

The battle graphics vary, actually. Yuriko was well-done, but I didn't particularly like Claude's graphics. His movements aren't so fluid, and his sword slashes are rather lazy... His head doesn't look like it was made with the same style as Yuriko's at all, but instead reminds me of Moon Pie. My guess then is that he is either a hybrid, or done by Sephy alone. Either way, Claude's graphics are inferior to Yuriko's. Regarding enemies, Batties didn't look nearly as good as the other enemies, almost as if very little effort was put into them. All of the other enemies were decent.

The battle backdrops could use work, they were really just screenhots of the map, it seemed. Oddly enough, the screen had water at the bottom of it, but there was really no water anywhere near the Creepy Forest.

Now, most of the walkabouts were good, but I didn't really like Yuriko's. It looked like she was missing a line of pixels at the top of her head. Most likely is that there wasn't enough room in the sprite editor for it, which means that Yuriko was a pixel to tall. Either way you look at it, there's something wrong with it. I can't really say much about the way the walking animations aren't very smooth, as I don't really remember an example of them ever being really smooth. The arms did look a little odd, though... I was quite impressed by the general animations, though, as you don't often see those in OHR games. If you asked me, I probably wouldn't be able to name two. I could however name one (since I made it), but these animations are a lot further developed. A commendable job on graphics in general.
    Well, I already told you everything that happens in the intro. Basically, monsters are sent after Yuriko for some reason that is never revealed in this demo. I suppose that's mostly because Yuriko herself doesn't really know, as the warning letter Princess Musashi sent was rather torn when you finally get to read it. It probably has something to do with the fact that Yuriko's an elf, or her necklace, even. No real antagonist is introduced, but one is hinted at, one that haunts Yuriko without being seen.

One thing that surprised me, oddly enough, is that the townspeople actually displayed sympathy to Yuriko when Arianne died. It surprised me because, usually in RPGs, when someone close to you dies, either no one knows, or no one cares, 'cos this is the first time I've ever seen any NPC recognize that death. Also, what you say to someone in town may effect what someone else says, and that's pretty neat.

The worst part about this story is that it isn't complete. It leaves so many questions unanswered, and just a general sense that you're missing something... The only real remedy to this would be a newer version, though...

The dialogue was generally interesting and at times funny. Seeing the fish get stoned was great, and the dancing gnomes were generally unexpected. I particularly liked the point whn Yuriko and Claude are trying to find their way around the mountain, and Yuriko jokes that they'll need go on a traditional RPG item hunt-fest. I knew it was a joke when I saw it, but it was still fun.
    Genesis has pretty good gameplay in the sense that it will hold your interest until the end of the demo. I was pleased by the fact that it required participation and more than just someone to hold the enter key through moments of dialogue or tedious battles.
    The battles were rather interactive, in the sense that you actually had to think about what you were doing while you were fighting them. Holding the enter key during battle in this game is a very good way to die. The money-earning system was rather interesting as well, as monsters did not drop money when they died. Instead they would drop items which you could sell for money. Speaking of which, you actually need money in this game. You see, you actually need to buy stuff. If you want to survive and play through this game to the end, you'll need to use your herbs, because the enemies are actually a threat. I actually bought as many herbs as I could every time I got money. "Turtles love to heal" and "Ploppers are afraid of snakes" were always fun...

The boss was difficult and interesting enough that I had to try at least three times before I finally beat it. The fighting techniques were useful once you learned them, and helped quite a bit against the boss fight. The only real problem I had with the battles is that they didn't occur in any area aside from the Creepy Forest. Then again, if there were more attles, I'd need more shops to buy herbs from. I also found it a bit annoying that only one death-restoring item was available throughout the entire game. Both of my character died at least once during my play-through, and it would have been nice to be able to restore them...
  Map Design
    The maps are very well designed, except that I had a tendency to get lost, as I rarely had any indcation of the direction I was supposed to go. I actually found the entrance to the forest quite by accident. If I was told that it was to the West, then that would have been helpful. The Creepy Forest was designed in a very interesting, multi-mapped way that I couldn't help but enjoy. Plus, you fough the boss towards the middle of the dungeon instead of at the end. The mountain and town decigns were pretty cool, as well.
    Genesis tended to be rather hard. I you weren't paying attention, then you were going to die. It's that simple. I liked having a game that actually needed curative items for once, and I hope it only gets better as Genesis continues on. THe balance in this game was generally satisfying.
    Well, I'm running Windows XP and don't have the computer long enough to bother with VDMS, so I don't have much to say here...
    I liked Genesis. It never lost my interest throughout the whole two hours (that includes dying a couple of times) I played it. I would probably play it again to see the animated sequence and for the whole mountain sequence. Between the two towns, you must cross the mountain path, but it is blocked by a minig expedition. Solution? Jump down. Ridiculous, perhaps. Funny, definitely. Of course, you're being chased by a crazed owl the whole time, but it makes for a fun mini-game. This game had many moments like that which were thoroughly enjoyable.
Final Blows
    So, yeah. Genesis was great. Another thing I found that I couldn't really put anywhere else, though, is that there was some bug in the credits. Yuriko's walkabout (or a scrambled version of it) kept popping up in places where it obviously wasn't supposed to. I figure you guys can probably figure out what's wrong and rememdy it by the time of the next release. In conclusion, I saw this: To find a flaw in a great work, one must either be pessimistic or critical. I just happen to be both. Genesis is masterful and you should download it.
See how much better Yuriko's graphic looks compared to Claude's?

See how much better Yuriko's graphic looks compared to Claude's?
Final Scores
Graphics: 8/10.0
Generally awesome, but a few need some work. Definitely one of the game's strongest points.
Storyline: 7/10.0
Interesting and enjoyable, but it left me pretty confused with some of the unanswered questions... But, between the hideous Abyss Eater and the celebrity-named frogs, all-around fun.
Gameplay: 8.5/10.0
It kept me involved and never made me bored. A good, hard (but not ridiculously so) fight is also good.
Music: 5/10.0
Can't really say much about this, since I couldn't hear it...
Enjoyment: 9/10.0
I generally liked this game. It had a few problems, but it's greater points definitely outshone them.
Overall Grade: B+
Final Thoughts
    You guys have a quality piece of work here. Heck, you've raised the bar of excellence throughout the community and inspired me to do my best, I'd say you guys (and girl) deserve a pat on the back. This isn't a game that should dissolve into obscurity very easily.  

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