* I posted this here because it would not fit into the review submission box, so I just submitted a link to this post. I hoped that all works out ok.
“Quick Quest” Review
Game Title: Quick Quest
Engine: RPG Maker VX
General Comments: Quick Quest markets itself as “the one-hour RPG”. The game is actually two-games-in-one, and each took me more than an hour to beat, but they still offered what they promise: short, simple, and tightly designed good-ole-fashion RPG fun.
-Terrific concept – perfect for the general populations’ dying attention span due to mobile games and 24-hour news. Even though a couple of parts frustrated me, I never wanted to give up because I knew the end was always near. This would make a great mobile game series.
-Small but very detailed maps
-Surprisingly fun puzzles. For example, in an ice-themed dungeon, slippery floors send your character flying in one direction, so you have to use obtrusions in the ice to guide your character to the correct path. Nothing groundbreaking, but well-designed and short (although one puzzle I only figured out by accident – see below)
-A relatively good amount of optional quests for such short games
-The maps, while overall good, unfortunately tend to lag a little bit. I am unsure if an anti-lag script was used, but it could certainly use one. I recommend Fragment of Chaos’s: (scroll to the bottom of this link: http://www.neoseeker.com/forums/37485/t117...ti-lag-script/)
-Sometimes I found myself wandering around trying to figure out where to go. NCPs give hints, but it’s easy to skip over them. This would be acceptable in a regular RPG, but this is Quick Quest! This could perhaps be remedied by condensing the world map and maybe offering more hints.
-While the ability to save anywhere is necessary in this type of game, lack of save points makes me forget to save, so deaths set me back further than they should have. Reminders to save and an option to restart battles after death would have been nice.
-Combat in the first scenario is kind of monotonous. I found myself using the same strategy for most battles.
There are currently two scenarios, one in which you have to save the four elements (fire, earth, wind and water) from evil forces, and one in which you must defend your kingdom against an empire of orcs. I find it impossible not to note the similarities to Final Fantasy I and II, but that’s ok for Quick Quest! In the first quest, you have a generic and silent party of a Knight (a paladin), a Warrior (a tank), a Magic Knight (a black mage) and a Priest (a healer). The second quest has a little more variety, as the two main characters have names and the rest of your party is revolving and has different skills. Though the objectives are simple, the towns, dungeons and NCPs are unique and the designer creates some good tension; for example, halfway through a boss in the first quest, the floating island you are on explodes and your party has to make a quick escape.
All of the mapping and sprites are from the RTP. While some people may see this as a draw-back, I actually think it gives me a better understanding and appreciation for what the designer can do since I know the tile-set and the element of relying on pretty artwork to hide mediocre design is removed (let’s face it, if you can make the RTP look interesting, then you are a good mapper). The majority of the music seems to be RTP and some other RPGs, but no super-recognizable ones (one I think is from FFIIj). As stated before, the maps are very detailed. Towns usually consist of one full screen and each dungeon has a unique theme.
The designer also implements a couple of subtle but very effective strategies to quicken the pace of the game. There is no wait time between transitions between maps, and when you open chests the screen does not freeze when the text box appears that lets you know what item you picked up. Small details, but great for these kind of games.
What stood out to me were the puzzles, which I was not expecting for such short games. The only puzzle I did not like was in the Earth Shrine in the first quest. To progress through the first map, you must follow a specific path to the stairs or else you face an automatic battle and get sent back to the beginning. There are three switches you can pull which highlight the floor tiles in different colors, however only one path is the correct path, and I just had to guess which one was the correct one. I don’t know if that was intentional or if I missed something, but it was slightly frustrating.
The game uses the standard head-on battle system, which drives me nuts. I’ve always thought head-on was boring and think every game should use a side battle system in which the battlers move around at least a little bit, but that could just be a personal preference. I’m a fan of Claimh’s turn-based side-battle system http://www.rmxpunlimited.net/forums/topic/...battle-system/)
. Anywho, battles are pretty repetitive to the point of being boring in the first quest (I found myself doing the same thing for every battle), which could have been helped by adding something like elemental weaknesses and strengths, the ability to change classes and an overall more need for strategy. The second quest is a little better as your party changes throughout the game, and in the end – spoiler - you must choose which party to take to the final battle.
Summarized Version: If someone asked me to show them what they could do with RPG Maker with a good amount of skill and practice, I would tell them to play Quick Quest. Though I often found myself thinking of ways the games could have been better, that is the sign that it is built on a solid foundation. The brevity of the quests makes for high replay-ability, and I’d like to see more short and sweet RPGs.