Zephyrus and the Kingdom of Heaven

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Project of the Month winner for May 2009
Title: Zephyrus and the Kingdom of Heaven
Author: rue669
Reviewer: madriel222

Plot (8/10)
"Here I am cruel world. I’ve come to rescue you, can you hear me? Can you feel the utter desolation of the planet’s life force? I can. I can feel it crying out to me. It beckons me to unlock the secrets of its doom, a doom that shall befall all of us one day if not stopped. But now I’m here, at the Tomb of the Messiah. What is it that lurks within these ruins? Is it what I’ve been looking for? Is it Him? You know who I’m talking about, don’t you? The King of Kings, the Holy and Anointed One, our Saviour and Messiah. You still don’t remember? Perhaps you were too young."

So begins the heavy religious overtones that echo throughout Zephyrus and the Kingdom of Heaven. You join Aegis, son of a powerful leader and mage as he witnesses the undermining of current beliefs and standards and the second coming of humanity's savior. Needless to say, this savior is not all that humanity would hope it to be.

If you can get past all of the religious references, put your beliefs aside and just accept the game for just that, a game, then you will enjoy the storyline. The characters have complex motivations and there are certainly enough twists and turns to immerse the player in a dynamic world. Set in the future, rue669 does a masterful job of splicing technology and science with religion and other fantasy elements, much in the same vein as Square Enix has done so successfully with the Final Fantasy series. I would play this game for the plot alone.

So why the lower score? To me at least, the dialogue was where the story weakened some. rue669 is an obvious master of the English language, but I do not think that every character needed to be as well. I sincerely questoin the realism of the dialogue and found myself continuously asking "No one talks like that, do they?" His articulate nature also created a sort of monotony among the characters and made it hard to distinguish personalities through tone.

Visuals (9/10)
Crossfire of Valiturus Cross stated that rue669 was a master mapper, and for the most part I agree. There were no mistakes, and the vast majority of the maps were interesting and realistic. Though disappointed in the lack of outdoor and exploratory maps, the plot does not really lend to it, which legitimizes the fact. All of the chipsets flowed nicely together, and I truly enjoyed his use of the Tales of Phantasia forest chipset; he pieced it together perfectly and tastefully.

The cutscenes were nothing short of beautiful. From the text speed to the character movement to the animations to the poses, rue669 shows why he is one of the best in the business when it comes to this aspect of game creation. Game makers of all experience levels can learn a lot from the way in which he crafts his cutscenes, myself included.

The battle graphics were also solid. The backgrounds were nothing spectacular, but the system graphics, battle sprites, and monsters certainly made up for it. The animations, while nothing elaborate, were done expertly as well. A little more flash and bang would have bumped this score up perfect.

Audio (8/10)
I am not one to pay all the much attention to the audio aspect of a game, but this one caught my ear, so to speak. The background music, for once, was not overbearing and the sound effects added to the scenes. I am not an expert in this field, but I will say that sound was not a detail that rue669 overlooked in the creation of Zephyrus and the Kingdom of Heaven. Nothing really made me say "Wow!" but it was great nonetheless.

Mechanics (9/10)
What can I say? Everything in the game worked smoothly and without any glitches whatsoever. This game proves that you do not need a fancy custom menu system in order to have a functional and aesthetically pleasing menu. This game also establishes the side view battle system as a legitimate tool. rue669 makes great use of all the battle events at his disposal and make the encounters interesting and challenging every time they occur. I especially enjoyed the scan crystals and their importance in battle. The author effectively gets rid of those button mashers by forcing players to actually think about their actions and take the time to select the right skill, not just the most powerful.

I also loved the custom message system with the semitransparent message boxes and excellently colored text. It's truly an underused tactic in rm2k/3, and I am glad that rue669 took the time to include it.

My only concern in this area was just a lack of features. The gaming experience would have been certainly enhanced with a few simple things like a custom skill progression or a dash system or something along those lines. What the game lacks is something that sets it apart outside of its story, a feature that makes it truly unique. The score would have been perfect were it not for this fact.

Conclusion
Do yourself a favor and play this game. Listen to a master storyteller go to work as he immerses his audience in a unique world with unique personalities. There are very few flaws to the game, and I am sure that you, the players, will agree. To top it off, the game file is unencrypted, meaning that all of you designers out there can learn a thing or two.

I give Zephyrus and the Kingdom of Heaven
8.5 out of 10

Game Download: http://www.angel-spire.com/games/zeph.zip
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 03:44:11 PM by madriel222 »




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No Necroposting!!!

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my name is Timothy what's yours
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Hypocrite.

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That wierd vlvn person posted yesterday so it was necroposting, but now its gone xD

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It was a spambot.

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I know but I just wanted to be an ass xD

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3...2...1...
Congratulations, you succeeded.

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my name is Timothy what's yours
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http://rmrk.net/index.php/topic,42792.0.html
You know, we could've avoided this whole mess if you just shut up.

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I've always wondered if anyone actually cared about necroposting, or whether it was just some rule made for bigger forums and imported to smaller forums by people who never had any idea what the rule was for in the first place.

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my name is Timothy what's yours
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I've always wondered if shut up MA. We're trying to intimidate new members.

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I guess if it were actually a big enough problem that it was pushing back legitimate threads, then I could see why it would be enforced, but it isn't really that big of a deal.

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Its a problem when someone joins and resurrects 10 topics.

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*beats dead horse*

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my name is Timothy what's yours
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No, don't do that. Don't try to play along with us as though you wanted all of this to happen. You were trying to be funny or something and we called you on it for being a dick. Accept, apologize, whatever, but don't do that.
People will like you even less. Trust me, over the last six months here I've learned that.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 11:26:16 AM by Pacman »

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Pacman you're too critical of the forums

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my name is Timothy what's yours
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And you're too stupid of the forums.

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Rawr?
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And you all are spamming up the thread with needless banter.