Sore Losers

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I'm a bit late on catching this one since RPGRevolution (RRR) has its reviews hidden away in a forum that I rarely (if ever) check. I figured someone would post something like this to the Sore Losers forum topic or gamepage but, unfortunately, they did not. Still, no matter, I know about it now and, since its really positive (despite the mistaken assumption that Sore Losers was made in RM2K3), I'm quite happy about it.

You can find the original review here: http://www.rpgrevolution.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=32663

Spoiler for "Click To See The Review":
Quote
When you typically think about a post-apocalyptic RPG, what usually comes to mind?  Well, for me, a lot of things come to mind such as Fallout, Shadowrun, Wild Arms, even Final Fantasy 6.  Often, however, what DOESN'T come to mind is comedy.  Oh sure, these games have their moments, but we're often not treated to constant sarcasm or anything of that nature.

Therefore, Sore Losers is a breath of fresh air for two reasons, really.  For one, Sore Losers is actually a GOOD game made in RPG Maker 2K3, although admittedly, I hadn't played very many RPG Maker games, so I guess I'm not a good determinant thus far on good or bad in comparison to other RPG Maker titles.  That said, reason two is the most important anyway:  here we have a post-apocalypic, cyber punk game that is, in my opinion, hilarious.

So where to begin?  Well, let's start with the mapping.  As much flak as I'd given both Chikita and Chaos Knights, you figure I'd probably find something wrong or out of place here.  Nope.  The mapping is perfect, actually.  And in fact, the overall design is top notch.  Sure, it looks a little "dated" in comparison to XP and VX titles, but I tell ya, it brings an extra grubby/graininess to the game, which makes sense as it's a cyberpunk game anyway.

Next up is gameplay.  Alright, not much is new here when it comes to battles.  I mean, it's possible to have limit breaks, but it feels a little random.  The techniques and comments are hilarious, but really, it's just your standard first person combat.  There are a variety of minigames that occur that are actually pretty well done such as lockpicking, chase scenes, hacking, stealth, learning, and more.

Also included is a "to do list," which I want to figure out for my own game, honestly.  It's nothing too complex, but it's pretty handy since there's a fairly decent amount of side quests in the game.  You can also have items synthesized, but this brings about an issue that I hated in Final Fantasy 8 that fortunately is crafted a little better here and that is this is the only way (besides finding stuff) to get new equipment.

It's also VERY hard to get money.  As an example, you get NO credits for defeating various monsters and very few for defeating human type enemies.  While I guess this makes sense, keeping items in stock and paying to sleep makes this kinda tedious.  Fortunately, you won't have to grind very much as the game is only moderately difficult, so it all works out.

I really wish the author had decided to use MP3s instead of midis, but the midi selection is fairly good for what he's got going on here.  Sounds are nothing special...mostly just RTP stuff with a few additions.  And really, that's about it.  I can't really think of much to complain about.  That said...

Conclusion

The Good

- Good mapping and level design.  Nice tilework and good variety in tilesets.
- Hilarious dialogue and story.  This alone will make you keep playing.
- Gameplay is juuuuuust right.
- A good variety of fun minigames.
- Cool features like the "to do" list and synthesis.
- Lots of side quests.

The Bad

- Music and sounds could be better.  They're not "bad," but they don't feel customized and high quality enough.
- Some may not like the idea of not getting a lot of money and therefore, not really buying new weapons and armor, thus making the game fairly non-traditional.

And The Sorey

What else can I say?  The game reeks style AND substance.  It's fun to play, innovative, well put together and thought out, and hilarious.  Not bad for a 2K3 game, I say.

Verdict:  9.0
My amateur game-development blog is over at this address: http://sorelosersgaming.blogspot.com
Information on my personal game development projects can be found here!
A list of games that I've reviewed can be found here!

My Twitter is here: @Sated86

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Updated the screenshots and added a new download link since RMN might close soon.
My amateur game-development blog is over at this address: http://sorelosersgaming.blogspot.com
Information on my personal game development projects can be found here!
A list of games that I've reviewed can be found here!

My Twitter is here: @Sated86

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I like metal. I'll try this soon.

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So, I posted this in the "What Inspired Your Game" topic over on the RMN forums, but I figure I'll post it here as well since I think it says a lot about both this project and its sequel, Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl.

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Quote from: Sated
I guess I can talk about the two Sore Losers games a bit...

Both Sore Losers and Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl have a setting that is heavily inspired by the movie Escape From New York, in that all criminals have been sent to a locked-down urban area to fend for themselves as opposed to the state maintaining proper prisons. Secondary inspirations for the setting include Final Fantasy 7 and Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter because both of these games have dystopian societies where slums feature prominently, although in those two games the slums aren't there for the sake of criminals. Another inspiration would be the Streets of Rage games, a game that is referenced heavily in the original Sore Losers in homage to how much I love that series*.

That the original Sore Losers has lots of "one-off" minigames (sniping, chase sequences, helicopter flying, a Frogger minigame** and others) is inspired by the three PS1 Final Fantasy games (7, 8 and 9). All of those titles contained plenty of "one-off" minigames that broke up the standard JRPG gameplay. FF7 was especially great at integrating those segments into the storyline (snowboarding, motorcycling, marching, the hypothermia section etc.) and so that's what I sought to emulate with Sore Losers. I think the result was hit-and-miss based on reviews, but I'm going to try to take those criticisms and use them to create better "one-off" minigames for Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl, which will follow in the same tradition.

Both Sore Losers and Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl also focus quite heavily on "recurring" mini-games (lockpicking, hacking, hotwiring, smashing and others***) and this was largely inspired by the minigames seen in Fallout 3, where lockpicking and hacking also feature prominently****. My original concept for the hacking minigame in Sore Losers was actually a complete rip-off of the hacking minigame in Fallout 3, which based on reviews might have been a better choice than the maths-based minigame I ended up with! Fortunately for you guys, the hacking minigame in Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl will be vastly different based on the those same reviews!

Graphically, I'd say that the original Sore Losers was mostly inspired by another RPGMaker game, The Burning Grail. The credits sequence at the end of Sore Losers is an homage to the excellent, excellent opening sequence contained within that game. You could also say that the movement system in Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl is inspired by The Burning Grail, although it probably owes more to multiple point-and-click adventure titles (without the actual point-and-click because RM2K3). The graphics used in Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl aren't inspired by anything other than my wish to make the game look more "cyberpunk" than Sore Losers did; I never really got across the "cyberpunk" stylings I wanted in the original Sore Losers, something deftly pointed out by Darken in his review of the game.

*Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl was originally thought-up as being a cross between a JRPG and a side-scrolling beat 'em up, but it somehow ended up as a cross between a JRPG and a point-and-click adventure game. Probably because I wanted to use RM2K3 and the idea of making a side-scrolling beat 'em up in RM2K3 scares the pants off me. It is still something I'd like to do though!
**The "Frogger" minigame in the original Sore Losers eventually evolved into Frog, The Collector, which is one of my other titles. That game also takes inspiration from Pacman and similar arcade classics.
***Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl is actually going to have loads more "recurring" minigames than Sore Losers.
****Did you know that the Bethesda Fallout games were originally going to have a surgery minigame for healing crippled limbs? Imagine Surgeon Simulator but via a Pipboy. It was cut to help the pacing of battles, which was probably the correct decision.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 08:55:33 AM by Sated »
My amateur game-development blog is over at this address: http://sorelosersgaming.blogspot.com
Information on my personal game development projects can be found here!
A list of games that I've reviewed can be found here!

My Twitter is here: @Sated86