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Old 07-09-2009, 02:42 AM   #1
Ωbright
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Daniel's Quest III Review... 2 :(

Daniel's Quest III Review
Written by Obright

Produced by Pagerron
System: RM3
Genre: Fantasy RPG


Overview:

The main focus of Daniel's Quest III is not the battles, though battles are present in the game. The main focus is on the story, exploration, and puzzle-solving. If you go into it looking for a battle-rich game, you'll be disappointed because there are very few enemies, skills, weapons, etc. However, if what you want is a rich world filled with interesting people and places, with lots of puzzles to solve along the way, then you'll be very happy that you played Daniel's Quest III. Games that aren't about the battles shouldn't have reviews that are all about the battles, so instead I focused more on what's really important.

The entire game is a puzzle, and I loved that aspect of it. You're rewarded for exploring everywhere fully, and for talking to everyone. Things that you discover at the beginning of the game become useful at other parts, and vice-versa. I also loved the logic behind the puzzles, which require players to think outside the box a bit. That's not to say that the solutions to the puzzles are counter-intuitive, on the contrary. Some of the solutions are a bit convoluted, but in interesting ways that keep players thinking constantly.


Graphics - 5/5

Since this is RM3 we're dealing with, the main thrust of the graphics score is on the world maps and town design, which Pagerron handled adeptly. The world maps are naturalistic and intricate, and each little nook and cranny was used to full effect in the game. Little surprises are hidden everywhere, and the game rewards players who go off the beaten path. The towns were organized very well, and great lengths were gone to by Pagerron to ensure that the towns actually felt like towns. In many cases areas are blocked off in order to maximize on space. That's a tough thing to do, to limit players' movement within towns without making them feel like they're missing out on anything, but he did just that. The towns feel small very often, but rich, and realistic.


Gameplay - 4/5

As stated earlier, the battles are not the main idea. However, since the game DOES have them, it's important to discuss them, at least a little bit. The battles are well-balanced and increasingly fun, but lacking in enemy variety, but this didn't bother me enough to count off very much for it. Encounters on the world maps can be avoided if you stick to the main trail, so you train when you want to for the most part. The main area of gameplay though, is the puzzle-solving and exploration. Since the world maps are rather large, pagerron introduced warping mechanisms that send players where they want to go in a flash. This feature helped immensely in the puzzle-solving, which requires players to traverse multiple worlds often.


Story - 5/5

Here is another aspect in which DQIII really shines. While I have to say that the majority of main storyline elements happen within the first half of the game, and some spreading out of the main plot events might have contributed to a more cohesive flow, there were things that made up for it in part 2. I never felt like "Wow the game is dragging during this part."

While the story is relatively simple, I would prefer to call it 'purified', or boiled down to its bare, essential parts. To me this actually accentuated the story, rather than detracting from it. The story is simple, sweet, and powerful.


Technical - 4/5

There were only 1 or 2 small technical issues, but most probably would not even notice them. Since I'm a completionist though, I spotted them. There was nothing game-breaking, I don't think. Rather, the vast network of connections was tied up nicely, with very, very few loose ends in the game. I also saw a blissfully small amount of typos, grammar & spelling errors, and sloppy programming. In fact, there were a couple of instances where I saw text boxes with no portraits attached (that type of thing), but I really don't remember seeing even one typo.


Originality - 4/5

Pagerron had some great and innovative ideas for the game, and used them to good effect. For instance there was a cinematic sequence that had players pushing X to gradually move a character closer to another. It amounted to just a series of button-pressings, but the effect was interactive, original, and really cool. There were also 2 ascii maps in the game that made me kick myself for not thinking of doing that myself. These things don't make the entire game, though, and there were definitely aspects of the story that didn't really try to break the mold. That doesn't make them bad, per se, just not wholly original.


Overall score - 22/25

All told, Daniel's Quest III was definitely worth a play, and even more than one! There are a huge amount of sub-quests and hidden things that can give players one of 3 endings if found, so you can play again to try and find them all! The game has humor, drama, excitement, and fun, all wrapped up in a nice package. There is a definite religious bent to the game, but at no time did I feel preached-to, and that's saying a lot.

Last edited by Ωbright; 07-09-2009 at 03:33 AM.
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