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  Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:15 pm
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Mysterious Wizard
Insider Review

Since I was the spriter for Lucid Awakening 2 I won't bother scoring this. But it would be a very poor score if I did, mainly because I see all the things that I wanted to accomplish but didn't. My main contribution was the character sprites and a little work with the battle system. I probably could have contributed to any portion of the game if I asserted myself but I didn't want to usurp Sillypieman's project.

Throughout the 2 years this was being developed I only had a fuzzy idea of the game's story. I wanted to offer improvements to the script but when you don't know where the story is going it's hard to make any judgement on it. Even though I had access to the un-encrypted project file, it was a nightmare to playtest. Game stopping errors everywhere. Ofcourse any changes to the project had to be made by sillypieman, and even though I reported errors it seemed like they were never fixed.

Sillypieman's cutscenes are his greatest use of Rpg maker, in my opinion. He made sure the trio and all the side character's personalities shown through. He also put a great deal of effort into the game-play mechanics, like the mining system and creating the quick time events with rpg maker.
The game's greatest weakness would be the mapping. I wasn't happy with the mostly linear level designs and I had a lot of grand designs that I left on the back burner because of priorities. The maps barely changed through out the game's development. My least favorite map were the unimaginative 1-tile pathways. Granted, you can only do so much with VX's tilesets. When it's an area that's only on screen for a few minutes, with no reason to explore or backtrack, polishing it becomes a low priority; especially when there's the more pressing battle system to work on that's suppose to be the main attraction.

Speaking of the battle system, I feel like the job change system and skill variation was befuddled and shortsighted. The battles basically centered on Pure & Veil attributes with weapon and elemental attributes playing second fiddle. The challenge for us then was to balance the enemy weaknesses with the different skills. While the player could customize the character's attributes, the enemies attributes were always set in stone. It's the same problem Final Fantasy XIII had, you have an illusion of choice but the limited types of enemies are ultimately going to dictate what you use. Examining the usefulness of job skills I once noticed that there was only 1 enemy in the game with a weakness to Earth. And because that enemy had a matching Veil attribute to the only available job class with an earth skill it pretty much meant that anything else would work better.
Only a few bosses had the ability to change their pure/veil attribute in the middle of battle. The idea was to have opposing attributes for offense and matching them for defense.
I think all the enemies should have had attribute changing abilities instead of annoying gimmicks like physical barriers or rapid regeneration that limited battle strategies.

But even if the battle system was perfect and the maps perfect - the game was meant to be a sequel with most of the emotional impact relying on the player to recognize the character's multiple histories and cameo appearances. Meaning this game could never truly stand on it's own. And even if it's able to fill players in on everything, I'm not sure the need to fill the player in is a good thing. It might have been easier to call it a spiritual successor.
But it wasn't a complete failure. It done. It's on Steam. That's got to count for something.

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