Total Games Played
Played in 2023
Recently Played See More
Recently Reviewed See More
an excellent debut that not only is a fun, unique platform-challenge platformer, but also captures a lot of the wonder of why i like making games. the platforming switches between all kinds of modes of gameplay - constantly changing up your expectations. It's free, and do stick it out past the first hour if you check it out!
I think it's admirable how this team managed to pull off such a large-scale JRPG, which in some ways feels like 3 games (The straightforward Headspace adventure, the more story-driven Faraway Town arc, then the horror bits and that Bad Ending yume-nikki esque stuff). Music is really nice as is the character portrait art.
Realizing that you're simultaneously playing an idealized past and a melancholy present-day was neat. The stories being told in each half are nice, and it's sad to see the party experiencing joy in Headspace but sort of struggling with reconcilation/etc in Faraway Town. For various reasons, the traumatic backstory underlying the game's events doesn't work as well for me as it does for most (maybe bc it's signposted too much, even predictable?), but I don't think it detracts from where the game does shine - the at-times unresolvable distance between nostalgic childhood and the ways we drift apart as we progress into adulthood.
But, like in many other long JRPGs - the 'rpg' part drags on longer than it probably should? I think this game could have been just as strong if it had reduced its RPG stuff maybe in half or something, sped up the battle tempo and UI a bit, even tightened up the dialogue's length. I feel like a lot of the emotional/thematic beats being so far apart kind of dilutes things for me, as does juggling various side quests.
As a dragon quest fan this is a pretty fun game from a fan service standpoint, all the treasures are throwbacks to various things in the games, some very small!
The treasure hunting is... sort of fun, but there's not much to the 'hunting' other than following an arrow and then doing a (admittedly fun now and then) hidden object game. It is fun to run around the maps and explore, the way the enemies are laid out and their levels are balanced reminds me of early Korean MMORPGs. It's still fun, though, just a bit slow at times.
Quests are also just ok, like most open world games you end up getting 100 quests in a matter of hours, and then sort of ignore them all.
On the downside, this kinda plays like a reskinned gacha. There's a lot of systems all pulling at your attention, each which have the end result of increasing your max treasure amount. Monsters have 10,000,000 different stats, but nothing matters as much as their level.
Most of these systems are just not that interesting - sending monsters out on a dispatch quest amounts to a very typically gacha-esque level of party-making tedium (to optimize what treasure you get). The menu UI is incredibly slow, and not well-designed for what you want to use it for, which is trying to pick the right team compositions, etc.
Another 'scent of gacha' is the randomly generated 10-floor dungeons - hello, Genshin's Spiral Abyss! These play out like Gacha dungeons, where you either struggle to survive, or with a proper team setup, bulldoze the enemies with little trouble. Since it's not a True Gacha, there is a level of skill you can use to finesse your way out of poor preparation, but the game doesn't have much in the way of intriguing action RPG design.
Well, that being said, it is fun you hear your monsters speak out loud (even if the slime puns get repetitive), watching the monsters' special abilities is fun...
Overall, it's fun in bursts and if you're into collecting I think you could probably enjoy finishing this one. Especially if you're a dragon quest fan. The treasure hunting concept is cool, but I think it was executed with the wrong base (typical open world and gacha system design).
Music choices are nice, but not orchestrated - which wouldn't be an issue if these clearly weren't songs that basically are Written For Orchestra - and there's not particularly much thought placed into the MIDI arrangements so sometimes it can sound grating (the MIDI version of the DQ8 overworld theme is particularly disturbing!).