April 23, 2012

Legend of the Ghost Lion - Ranking

Story & World

Initially it seemed like the game world was going to be very flowery but it came back closer to RPG standards in due time.  I know I made fun of the floweriness at the beginning but now I kinda wish it kept on with that.  If I had been getting killed by cotton ball bunnies and butterscotch sunshine smiles, I think it would have pissed me off a lot less.  Either that or way, way more.  Anyway, it would have garnered a few more points for uniqueness if it had kept on being fabulous.

The whole main quest and most of the sides were just plain boring.  Fetch quests that open up the next area just to repeat the same formula.  A few side quests were interesting though.  For example, instead of searching through the nearby dungeon to find the quest item in a chest, the item was hidden within one of the towns.  The only way to know its location was to have spoken to a NPC in a completely different town.  6/20

Character Development

The capped level system is a great idea.  Having to find your levels while exploring dungeons is a great way to discourage grinding your characters into easy street.  The companions also increase in strength as Maria does, not that that mattered too much (fucking companions!).

Maria gets access to a number of weapons throughout game; all of which she sucks with.  She was generally too busy summoning pals to bothering swinging a weapon most times anyhow.  I would have gladly traded her weapons for some kind of armour, even if it was something like a shield made out of happy memories.  There are items that mimic protective spells but those take a round for Maria to activate (much better spent summoning).  The lack of a more powerful healing item other than bread also gives this category a big kidney shot.  6/20

Combat & Monsters

The magic system boasts an impressive number of spells.  Each of the spellcasting companions has access to a different set of spells, usually geared towards offensive or defensive.  It's the combat that really dragged this game down near the end.  A single random encounter could easily leave Maria beaten down enough to make further exploring impractical and requiring a warp back to a healing pool.  The system itself is actually quite good; the variety in the companions leads to many different ways to approach a fight.

Considering that I wanted to join them at one point, the enemies must have something going to them.  Most are of the strictly melee variety; the few with spells can be extremely nasty.  Many seemed to have resistances / weaknesses to certain spells which was fun to figure out (and then forget by the next encounter).  And that final boss fight was très magnifique.  13/20

Graphics & Sound

Pretty crap graphics throughout.  Monster sprites were the biggest disappointment as they all lacked definition and colourfulness.  The overworld tune is one snappy number but is countered by abysmal battle music.  Damn, just listened to that overworld tune again and I'm doubling its net point worth.  8/20

Gameplay

Lots of excess cash money pretty early in the game.  Bread and tears are cheap and the more expensive items are barely worth it.  Had a lot less money near the end due to many deaths (golds divided by 2 for each fatality) but nothing to spend on other than restorative items.

Overall, the game fails on many levels.  It's short, very linear, and boringly difficult near the end.  A replay would yield the exact same experience as the first time.  The only part worth redoing and trying out different things would be in the final fight with the white lion.  4/20

Final Ranking:  37/100