Friday, 29 June 2007

Console Style

Also known as, what annoys me about Aveyond.

It's not a bad game really. It's a cute little anime-themed RPG with a female character and I like that sort of thing. There are some really great touches (the tiny teacup village of talking cats! KAWAII!) and while there really isn't that much story contrary to some opinions, there's enough to keep going.

What bugs me about it are the trappings of ancient console RPGs. Maybe it's just because that's the way RPG Maker works.

I hate party selection. If I've got all these friends with me, why are only a few of them able to fight at a time? Are the rest just standing there yawning while we all die? Why do I have to rotate them around to keep everyone's levels halfway balanced? Gaaah. Either join the party or don't.

I don't really like the endless 'buy a newer stronger weapon in a newer stronger town/area' but that goes with the RPG territory. I really don't like the 'learn a newer stronger skill in a newer stronger town/area'. They don't scale. Learn a magical skill early in the game? Great, it'll help you for a few fights, then it'll be useless and you have to learn a newer stronger skill. The worst part about this is that you can't get rid of the useless skills, so you have to scroll down past them every time you want to select the only halfway-worthwhile skill you have. See, other games have you learn better spells so that you PROBABLY don't want to use the old spells anymore, but they let you adjust your hotkeys and get that ugly old spell out of your way so that you can jump straight to the skills you actually want to use.

Also, the game doesn't tell you anything about what the skills DO... are they elementally based? do some have different effects than others on different kinds of monsters? You'll just have to guess from watching it in combat because even though you're "learned" the skill you don't know anything helpful about it... (or 'Why is this orb not doing anything? Am I the wrong kind of mage? Posts on the forum suggest that some kinds of mages use some kinds of orbs better but HEY WAIT SHOULDN'T THIS INFO BE IN THE GAME SOMEWHERE?')

Stupid monsters. The exact same monsters exist on each screen every single time you enter it. They always respawn, right where they were. And they always come right at you. Even if you are level one hundred and thirty billion, that five hit point spider will make a beeline for you and force you to set all your characters to attack something they could kill by sneezing. HUGE waste of time. Sure, near the very end of the game you finally get a magic item that lets you avoid monsters in these areas - right when you're about to leave those areas for good and head to the endgame. THANKS A LOT.

Oh, and the inability to surrender in combat is a pain when the monsters have put the whole party to sleep and there's nothing you can do but watch them very very slowly kill each of your characters.... an 'I give up, let me reload' button would have been much appreciated.

I don't hate the game, but I find the process of playing just mildly irritating and haven't actually finished it yet. I've gotten up to what I assume is the final stretch of it. I'm just not sure when I'm going to bother trying to complete it.

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