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Old 01-20-2007, 12:43 AM   #10
Valkysas
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Re: Extravaganzicon Contest Results

thetruecoolness' Extravaganzicon Contest Reviews - RPG Maker 1

Monkey Brothers Demo

LAYOUT - 8/10

This game had really nice layout throughout the two areas you were able to explore for the demo. The towns looked exactly like what you would expect for a monkey village, and none of the places looked like they were the default dungeons included with the game. There is very good attention to detail, as it looks like you're going through a real forest and not just a some open field with some trees. Also the planning on the dungeons was just amazing. Just a great job on capturing that jungle feel.

It doesn't get a perfect though as at times things do just feel like they are just there to be a plot device, but it's pretty open as to where you can go. So this game really shines through in the layout category and you can tell that the creator spent a lot of time planning out each dungeon and town, and worked hard to generate a cohesive theme for each area.

PLOT - 5/10

Being an adventure game there is not a whole lot of plot. What there is, is fairly well written but not very deep. Essentially there is a rich guy named Mr. Doom (yes Mr. Doom), who decides one day he's tired of eating gourmet meals, and decides he wants some monkey brains. So he sends retarded hunters to go kill the monkeys in your village, and the surrounding areas. Then your character decides he wants an adventure and drags his brothers along. Then you goto the Forbidden Temple (what game doesn't have one these days). Of course the main characters are also a bit cliche as you have the smart scrawny monkey Matt, the tough cool monkey Malcolm, and the tough looking guy who's really a wimp Mitch. Better than Thief, Mage, Warrior, but only slightly.

To it's credit though it does have some pretty good use of breaking the fourth wall, by having the character reading a story which is the story of the game, and a couple of other moments like that. So it's pretty obvious that the story is meant to be comedic and is different, but the character names and other things throughout the story are pretty uninspired. So it's pretty good but nothing stellar, and there isn't much story to speak of.

CREATIVITY - 10/10

First off this is an adventure game made with RPG Maker, so definite bonus points there. Plus it's a well made adventure game made with RPGM. His use of the normal stats to keep track of various quests and progress in the game so you can quickly check it, was genius. All of the puzzles are very well thought out and different from a lot of games, from using chimes to make a certain sound, to dodging mines in the ground, this game has a variety of unique puzzles. Not to mention the fact the game features an inventive system for changing characters, and the ability to swim with certain characters.

Since this isn't in any other category the art for this game is amazing. The default character sprites are just great looking. The title screen is one of the best I've seen for any RPG Maker game, definitely the best of the games I judged.

Lots of boundaries broken by this game.

POLISH - 6/10

The fact that it comes with it's own manual is a step up from the other games I got. The manual, though with some grammatical mistakes, is pretty long and includes everything you need to know to get started. From the other categories you can see that this game looks very good and could easily pass as a SNES level game, and is a pretty good adventure game.

But there are quite a few things that also bring down this particular category. One is the constant switching of memory cards, as you always have to have at least 3 handy (sometimes all 4). This planning oversight does start to get annoying since the only place to save is the art card, and I think even it may have some scenario data on it. Also this game does have some bugs in it, one of them requiring a reset of the game.

Perhaps biggest of all, which also ties into fun, is the fact the battles are completely random, since there are no real stats in the game. After getting the power-ups for Mitch and Malcolm they become more bearable, but really even then if you don't have 5 lives one cat could still kill you. So sometimes you kill the enemy without a scratch, sometimes they kill you without you even getting a chance to hit them.

FUN - 7/10

This game is pretty enjoyable, as the puzzles are pretty difficult to figure out, but that becomes fun trying to figure them out. Playing as different characters adds a lot of variance to the game and it's interesting to see what certain NPCs have to say to your character, and using each characters special ability. Plus after you get the first couple of upgrades, battles become bearable and the randomness adds a little excitement to the battles.

However this game can also be really frustrating at times. As I said the battles are really hard because of how random they are. No matter how many upgrades you get you still have to be careful around the cats. Also a lot of puzzles require you to completely start over the dungeon if you get them wrong. So until you get those first upgrades the game really is so hard as to make it really hard to get into for most.

But once you get a little better the pace picks up, and it is an enjoyable adventure, plus some of the dialog is pretty funny.

TOTAL - 36/50

This is a pretty fun game to play, and the amount of polish on the looks and puzzles in this game really shines through. However it still has some shortcomings that really bring the game down, perhaps the biggest being playing memory card shuffle, and the high level of difficulty. But all in all this is a pretty good game, maybe even up there with the best RPG Maker 1 games, but probably just above average. Hopefully all this will be fixed in the full version of the game, and it will become one of the best RPG Maker games, it has the potential.

Last edited by Valkysas; 01-20-2007 at 01:01 AM.
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