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 PostWed Jan 11, 2012 2:42 am
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #8 Ė Don't Push the Button 2011 by Gomey

Once upon a contest dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten games,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a ticking,

OK Just kidding

Don't Push the Button 2011 was the first game Gizmog released after declaring semi-retirement from making games. Appropriately, it is one of his most maligned efforts and itís not hard to see why. This remake is akin to George Lucasís nightmarish overhauling of the original Star Wars trilogy, and lacks nearly all charm that the original game possessed.

The tick tock sound, stripped of its BAM sound quality is too fresh on the ears to truly pester the player. As a result, while the game taunts me with its flashier graphics and less pure ďmake a gameĒ message, I just get bored rather than feel tempted to push that holy red devil. Itís a case of overabundance perverting what should be a base desire, and I wonít stand for it.

This game is not what the Donít Push the Button canon represents, and should be banned from all public OHR forums. Iíve already submitted a bill to Bob the Hamster and am waiting to hear back when heís done playing Minecraft. I can only hope that the children never experience the horrible treatment an OHR classic has received from its own creator.

Rating: .5 Buttons Pressed out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostWed Jan 11, 2012 3:06 am
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #9 Ė Armored Devil by BlastedEarth

Armored Devil is the first game Iíve played by best username title holder, BlastedEarth. I wasnít expecting much from this and was pleasantly surprised when I started playing and saw how cool the game looked. Itís a little overly red, but other than that far above 90% of OHR games in terms of visuals. The battle animations and sound effects are phenomenal, and a perfect case study for anyone struggling on implementing them in the engine. I also very much enjoyed the setting, controlling mechs that apparently harvest souls. It reminded me of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. I wish I could say Armored Devil is a good game, but itís got some real problems.

I didnít mind the opening scene too much, but starting off with an anal rape joke is probably going to turn some folks off, just saying. That isnít really one of the bigger issues. No, the worst thing about this demo is the sky-high encounter rate. The enemies are easy to plow through with your awesome mechs, but when you have a battle every couple of steps in Armored Devilís gigantic map, it gets tiresome in a hurry. While this might be me being an idiot, I couldnít seem to progress too far in this game anyway. I hit a point where there was only a wall and couldnít find a path forward. Thatís a shame, because I really wanted to see what this had in store.

All in all, I hope that Armored Devil isnít just a one-demo wonder. BlastedEarth could spruce this up and make it something to remember, and just a few minor changes could improve the game significantly. If youíre in to sci-fi/demon RPGs, give this one a shot, but be prepared to debug key your way through it.

Rating: 5.5 Lost Souls out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostWed Jan 11, 2012 3:27 am
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #10 Ė Escape From the Zombie Horde by Spoonweaver

When I was in elementary school, about the only thing I looked forward to during my day was Computer Lab. This happened one or two days a week. We'd be sent off to a room with some old, crappy Macs from the 80s and allowed to play educational games. I don't remember all of them, but I do remember a math platformer called Path Tactics and, of course, everyone's favorite: The Oregon Trail. In the third grade, my teacher decided that I was too good at math and should be attending math with the fourth graders. Unfortunately for me, I was placed in a math class overlapping Computer Lab. The only enjoyable part of my day was gone. You can imagine how crushed I was.

That's how I felt when I played Spoonweaver's Oregon Trail clone, Escape From the Zombie Horde. This is a lazy, pointless variation of the original, and it kind of hurts to sit through. See, that's just it: you sit through this. There's no interactivity beyond the initial set up of the game. It's BORING. I wanna shoot zombies down for rotten meat! I wanna ford the river! What the heck was Spoonweaver thinking.

I'll give the guy some credit for throwing this together in 48 hours, but when you update a game beloved by as many people as The Oregon Trail, you really need to do it better justice. Simply making a game that plays itself does not cut it; this ain't the movie contest. I spit upon Spoonweaver's first born.

Rating: 2 Brains out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostWed Jan 11, 2012 4:12 pm
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #11 Ė Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JSH357

Since I made this game, I suppose I'll elaborate some on what the heck I was thinking with this series. I'll try and split it in to three parts since there are three games. The first one, I chose to name it Philosopher's Stone over Sorcerer's Stone even though the latter is more familiar to Americans simply because I'm a purist and the Sorcerer's Stone is not a legit magical object like the Philosopher's Stone is.

I chose to make the characters Duck and MJ ones because they're probably the most memorable of the characters in my games not counting Motrya. This is partially due to the cartoony, simple nature of the graphics. I'll get more in to why I didn't draw actual Harry Potter characters next time, as it's a pretty funny story.

The voice acting was accomplished with a text to voice service Spoonweaver linked me to. I would have it speak the line, then I'd slow it down in Audacity to get the weird intonation you hear in the actual game. Originally I had planned to make a game out of all seven books, each one with increasingly ridiculous accents. The last one would be entirely in Hindi. Sadly, this did not come to fruition because I was visiting home when the contest was running and couldn't be arsed to make more OHR games that I knew wouldn't win the contest.

Rating: 2 Strands of Hagrid's Beard out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostWed Jan 11, 2012 4:35 pm
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #12 Ė Quest Game by Sh4dows

Quest Game is a 5 minute (if that) demo that probably shouldn't have been uploaded yet. However, as long as we're gonna review it, we're gonna review what's there. Sadly, there isn't much working in the game's favor in this stage.

Quest Game looks to be a humorous take on the traditional JRPG. The plot given is straight-up Dragon Quest: talk to the king, get a mission, go do it. Nothing wrong with that, and the best thing about Quest Game is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. We can't say too much else about the game at this point, but I do fear that it isn't doing anything especially unique with its approach. The humor isn't approaching RPGs from an angle you couldn't find on TVTropes or something. It needs a twist to make it memorable.

The graphics in the game are a pretty big mixed bag. I like the actual style and the way the NPCs animate as they walk, but everything looks like it was drawn at 2.5 times the size and then compressed. This is very jarring, and does not benefit the game. It's made worse by the battle graphics, which look like they were drawn at a smaller size than the walkabouts. The perspective on the backdrops is also sort of confusing and almost spherical. All in all, I can't say I'm too impressed with much here.

Quest Game might have been abandoned, and hey, that could be for the best. Sh4dows clearly has some talent, and the more he makes, the better his stuff will get. If he is continuing to make this, it really needs some feature or plot element to make it stick out right from the beginning.

Rating: 1 But Thou Must out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostWed Jan 11, 2012 7:28 pm
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #13 Ė Doom: Evil Unleashed by The Spazztik One

I must preface this by saying Iíve never played Doom or any of its sequels. Thankfully this didnít matter too much as it was pretty easy to tell what was going on in Evil Unleashed. The dialogue is clear enough (and not written by the creator of the game, if Iím remembering right?). In fact, the dialogue was actually probably the best part of the 15 minutes I played hereóit did a good job establishing the present characters.

I canít figure out what Iím supposed to do in this game. Itís possible Iím just an idiot, but I explored all of the rooms, found a switch that didnít seem to do anything, and deemed it impossible to continue. Itís kind of a shame because I thought that otherwise the game was put together better than anticipated. I also found a lot of ammo lying around, but no guns to use said ammo with. Perhaps they are to be found later on.

Evil Unleashed makes several steps toward looking polished that I appreciated. The face in the UI indicating your health status is a nice touch, I assume taken from the original Doom. The sound effects are well done, though the menu noises could be lowered in volume a tad. I appreciate the creatorís attempt to make corpses appear when you kill enemies, but this is sadly quite buggy through no fault of his own. The OHR just doesnít handle such things well. Iím afraid that to an outsider, corpses appearing in the corner of the screen would just look silly.

Overall Iím surprised that a first-person shooter makes such a neat transition to the RPG genre, but since I havenít played many games like this I could just be behind the times. Iím sure thereís a way to move forward in the game, so Iím going to give Evil Unleashed the benefit of a doubt. Itís probably decent for what it is.

Rating: 5.5 Mutilated Corpses out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostThu Jan 12, 2012 1:21 am
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #14 Ė NO EAT by Nathan Karr

NO EAT is, oddly enough, probably Mr. Karr's best game to date. It was an entry in the Say It Ain't So contest, and focuses on the vore fetish in an asexual manner, which every player was grateful for. The game stands tall among its creator's other works by nature of its design, but that isn't saying a whole lot.

The worst thing that NO EAT does is that it introduces a fantastic gameplay mechanic (filling a bucket with various fluids and using them as you go) that at first appears to be the crux of the battle system. To my disappointment, this is never really used to its full potential in-game. I think that Mr. Karr could make a serious title based around mechanics like this and really get somewhere. Another case of my initial excitement for the game falling flat lies in the battles: the first boss is well-crafted, but the enemies afterward are more like encounters in the creator's previous games: tedious or lifeless.

The game is also blatantly disgusting, which is to be expected but naturally makes it less enjoyable. NO EAT makes me think Nathan Karr could have a good game in him, but he either doesn't want to be taken seriously or is just trolling us. Time will tell.

Rating: 2.5 Vials of Stomach Acid out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostThu Jan 12, 2012 2:10 am
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #15 Ė Spellshard: The Black Crown of Horgoth by Harlock and Shizuma

Spellshard is obviously ahead of the game when it comes to traditional RPG releases this year. The OHR has never had an NES-style game with the same scope or long development time, and the results show. If you enjoy these kinds of games, you'll love it and you should check it out right now if you haven't.

I like how the game has a few modern touches, like the save fairies, the faster combat speed, and (typos aside) quality writing. These help differentiate Spellshard from Dragon Quest 3 and its like. You can tell it's an old school game made in the 2000s that has the best of both worlds. I also think that the dungeon design is very classy for the most part; the maps don't feel too big but have a lot of meat to chew. The class system probably adds replayability and of course some intrigue when you start the game up.

My only complaint about the game is that in some instances it doesn't modernize enough--I hate stuff like the desert section, and the encounter rates are, if pressed, a bit too high at times. For most players, that criticism would fall on deaf ears though.

I have not finished Spellshard, and I probably won't. It isn't really my type of game (The SNES era was my childhood, not the NES). I do think it's one of the best games produced for the engine, though, and it's a strong contender for OHR Game of 2011.

(There's only one other game I'd rank above it so far, though I'll get to all of them soon enough in these entries.)

Rating: 9 Nefarious Traps out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostThu Jan 12, 2012 2:50 am
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #16 Ė The Labyrinth by Master K

Master K's The Labyrinth is a most roguelike of roguelikes. The roguelike elements of this game, sadly, are often clunky and hurt by the roguelike nature of touch NPCs in the OHR's code. You can often get killed, most roguelike, by an enemy despite being separated by a totally reasonable distance, adding a roguelike displeasure to the experience.

But the game's biggest gaping flaw is one that stands most roguelike to the touch NPCs. Simply enough, the tedium involved in playing this game will drive one's mind to roguelike thoughts. Gigantic maps designed by a roguelike sadist and a slow walking speed that does not help to compensate the distance will grind your gears throughout the entirety of The Labyrinth.

In short, The Labyrinth will do nothing to sell the roguelike genre to an uninitiated person. The game has some potential; some of the puzzles are cute, but it is roguelike at best. I think it would behoove Master K to look past this project and continue making new games, perhaps with more finely tuned roguelike mechanics.

Rating: 2.5 Rogues out of Like, 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostThu Jan 12, 2012 3:09 am
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #17 Ė Metal Gear Duck by JSH357

This was my initial entry in the OHR Film Festival Contest. I was partially screwing around, complaining about the contest rules, but it was also a game idea I had been talking about for months and was afraid I'd never make. You see, initially Fenrir-Lunaris said that 2011's Terrible Games Contest would have a theme of removing an element entirely from a game. I had the idea of choosing "Conflict" and making a stealth title, which seemed appropriate. However, as it looked like that contest would never happen, I opted to enter Metal Gear Duck in the Film Festival instead.

It was appropriate enough, as the MGS games are very cinematic. Originally I had planned to do all the voice acting myself, but Mistah_J volunteered, and as crappy as the VA is here, it's better than I could have done. I was told that my impression of Otacon was spot-on, but it didn't come through as well as I would have liked in the movie.

My favorite joke in this is the opening, where you think something is going to change with the wagon and nothing ever does. This scene mirrors the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 4, where Snake arrived on the battlefield in a vehicle with the rest of the army.

I was not aware of the long history of MGS parodies and humor when I made this game. As it turns out, a lot of the jokes I told in this are old as dirt, and I apologize if they offended anyone tired of hearing them. By the way, Danae reads two poems by the Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu in this movie; I recommend checking him out.

Overall, I was happy enough with this movie, but it could have been a lot better. I'd say it's pretty average.

Rating: 5.5 Games that have Changed out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostThu Jan 12, 2012 3:40 am
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #18 Ė Cardians of Lore by Master K

Master K, take a seat over there. Are you ready? Good. It's time for some tough love. I've played three of your games so far for this review contest, and I'm starting to notice some common themes. They're beginning to get troublesome, and they're pitfalls you could just as easily avoid.

First, I love the idea of this game. Pokemon-type journey using cards as the medium? Genius! Excellent! Gameboy aesthetics? Wonderful! I can't get enough! This game should be awesome. It's friendly, it's charming, it's got tons of elements I love. So what went wrong?

Your game is impossible to enjoy without heavily abusing debug keys. I know you think your gigantic maps are impressive, but trust me: they aren't impressing anyone. Let's take a look at the primary influence on this game.



This is Pallet Town, the first town in Pokťmon Blue. Notice anything? Everything's in easy walking distance. If you play through all of the towns in the game, you'll notice they never get that much bigger. There's more space in future cities, but there's also more to see in them. Now, Pokťmon is not exactly the pantheon of map design, but since you seem to want to make a game like it, you'd think you'd work toward imitating things it does well.

Why are the large maps such an issue? Let's look at the beginning of Cardians of Lore. This is clearly going to be a grind-heavy game, which is fair enough. There's no reason it has to be easy. However, if I'm going to have to heal after every battle (which I have to in order to get anywhere in this game) I am not going to spend full minutes walking between the only available rest stop and the area with random battles. Without Ctrl + F1, I never would have made it to the third battle in this game (which gave me a game over, at which point I completely lost interest). Compounding the issue is the fact that the battles give so little experience. This means in order for me to gain a single level, I have to walk to and from the first random encounters and the main character's bed at least three times to make any progress, round trip. As far as I'm concerned, given the size of the maps, that makes this game unplayable.

Something has to give. You either need to script a much higher walking speed, reduce the size of your maps significantly, or both. The huge maps are a problem in Grayscale and The Labyrinth too, by the way. I highly doubt that even 20% of these games' players finished one of the three.

I know you can do some awesome stuff. You have a great visual style and your heart's in the right place. But you need to fix these basic issues. Get some more feedback before releasing your games to the public, and listen to this feedback. They're going to tell you what I'm writing here right now. I wouldn't bother typing all of it if I didn't think Cardians of Lore was worth it. This game has a wonderful concept and I want to see you make something great out of it.

Rating: 3 Misplayed Poker Hands out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostThu Jan 12, 2012 4:06 am
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #19 Ė Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JSH357

So here's the second Harry Potter game I made. This time, I guess I should explain the concept in more detail. After all, I bet everyone who played these wondered what the heck I was smoking and where they could call to report me to the narcs.

I got the idea of doing this from those $1 DVDs you can find at Wal Mart and other similar stores. My wife and I buy these every now and then to laugh at them, because generally they are cheap knock-offs of more popular versions of the same story. For instance, one time we found an anime version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It was bizarre and strangely enjoyable.

So, my version of the Harry Potter series is made as if it has budget actors (Duck and MJ characters) and a bad screenwriter who misinterprets the important parts of the plot. If you have read the books, you may get a kick out of these. Also, since most knock-off movies are made in smaller countries, I ran with that idea and translated all the text from English -> Other Language -> English again so that the subtitles look different from what's being read by the voice program. I think this ended up being the funniest part of the whole thing.

Rating: 2 Secrets from Ginny Weasley's Chamber out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostThu Jan 12, 2012 4:07 am
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Mewmew's Review Of Escape the Wolf OHR

Umm... I'm not sure what the 48 Hour thing means in the description, but I found this game fun! There are 3 different modes to try and multiple endings... Though, I've only managed to get the second best ending and game over ending after multiple attempts.

The game involves around a cute red umm... riding hood/ninja man(?) running away from a scary looking big toothed wolf, while trying to find the cabin. The map (a giant one at that) is randomly generated, so looking for the cabin will take a bit of time!

I love the background music for this game, while it can't really be classified as music, it fits the cute game.... the occasional wolf growling sounds in particular! Even the losing ending was silly and fun to see. XD

Also, I'm not sure if I can post strange map generating bug, but I managed to find this layout a little buggy? Seem some of the generating overlapped some? XD


RATE: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥/10
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 PostThu Jan 12, 2012 1:49 pm
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Gomey's 2011 Year In Review #13 - Fangame Contest

A month and a half after the Fight Battle Contest came to its not-so-thrilling conclusion, Spoonweaver decided the time was right for another contest. Beginning immediately, on March 16th and running till May 1st, the Fangame Contest was born. Immediately setting it apart from its predecessor was the offering of real cash prizes. The winner would receive twenty American dollars and fanart, second place five dollars, and third place would receive all of Spoonweaver's slimebucks.

The rules were simple enough, your game merely had to be a work of fanart to someone else's work and specify that it was an entry. Once again, Baconlabs was immediately enthusiastic. Also expressing interest was Fenrir-Lunaris, who posted a beautiful set of hero graphics. He also noted the overlap between the Fangame Contest and the traditional timeframe of the Ridiculous Games Contest, deciding to delay his own contest for the benefit of Spoonweaver's. This decision was controversial, as Fenrir had been discussing this year's theme for months and several designers were already planning their RGC entries and waiting for April 1st.

The controversy had little effect on Fangame enthusiasts, however. Skullduggery Studios suggested a remake of his earlier "Nightmare on Elmo Street". mjohnson092088 looked to the "Double Dragon" series for inspiration, even posting screenshots. James Paige himself voiced interest, as did RedMaverickZero, Shizuma, TwinHamster, Moogle1, SDHawk, Nathan Karr and countless others. JSH357 would continue to be ahead of the year's trends, posting a teaser of a dating game based on the late 90's animated series "Daria". This would continue to be somewhat of a white whale throughout the year. Writing was apparently the achilles heel and it would never see a public release, though rumors abound of a leaked tech demo.

For the first time in years, April Fools Day came without the threat of Terrible Games. Thread activity flourished, screenshots were posted wildly, and it seemed nothing would stop a massive turnout. The deadline loomed and everyone was focused on the cause. Nathan Karr was the first to pull the trigger, posting "Weegee" a celebration of memes in the afternoon of April 30th. The hours ticked away, and the expected wave of "Me too's!" never materialized. Voltire would eventually respond with "The Tower" based on something called The Enchanted Cave a mere two hours before the contest was due to end.

His plans of an elaborate scoring system thwarted by the lack of contestants, Spoonweaver resorted to a simple poll. Voting ran to May 25th and "The Tower" bested "Weegee" 10 votes to 5. Of the many promised entries it seems only one popped up in the aftermath, SDHawk's "L'sol No Ingles", a parody of Newbie Power's mysterious released-then-unreleased "L'Sol Nocturnal", JSH357's "Query" games and my own "No Ingles" series. A brief demo was showcased by Hachi-Roku in his stream of the contest entries and rumor has it SDHawk still works on it to this day.

Perhaps unfairly remembered for who might've entered rather than who actually did, The Fangame Contest was still a good showing by both contestants. Nathan would use the lessons he learned to create what many consider to be his masterpiece, "No Eat", later on in the Say It Ain't So Contest. Voltire would also stay active, entering the Random Collab Contest which, as of this writing, is still ongoing.

Part of Gomey's 2011 Year In Review
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 PostThu Jan 12, 2012 4:03 pm
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JSHís 2011 OHR Game Blog #20 Ė Final Dragon Legacy by Magic Johnson 4/20

When I first saw the title of this game, I determined that it had to be a newbie game and ignored it for an entire year. This was a mistake, because it turns out that Final Dragon Legacy is definitely in the top 10 for me for 2011. If you like games (heavily) inspired by Dragon Quest, you'll like this.

The introduction sequence gives the impression that FDL will be a game of resource conservation, not unlike Bliss, one of Camdog's earlier games. At first, this put me off. However, after learning that it was actually an introduction sequence akin to Lufia & the Fortress of Doom's, I stuck with it and pushed on to the true beginning of the story. This game is a well-designed, colorful, funny, and very faithful Dragon Quest tribute. It requires some minimal grinding to get started, then becomes all about exploration and questing.

The difficulty level is a bit high and might put less seasoned gamers off, but it isn't ever frustrating once you get past the first area. I was bummed that I ran in to a text box crash in the town of Chatham that effectively ended my run with the game, as everything leading up to it had been great. Even the music choices, though they contain default engine music, are well-made. (I hate the sound effects, but what can you do.)

If you're looking for a traditional RPG for the OHR this year that isn't quite as huge as Spellshard, look no further than Final Dragon Legacy.

Rating: 8.5 Free Throws out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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