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Vikings of Midgard Review 
 PostThu Mar 18, 2021 4:27 am
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YGGDRASIL: The world is alive and breathing, maps change over time, and your strength grows from exploring it.
This is a review of Vikings of Midgard.

This game was entered into the 2020 Heart of the OHR contest, where it tied for 3rd Place.

There is not much I can say about Vikings of Midgard that hasn't already been said over its long history with the OHRRPGCE engine. What started as WELCOME.RPG, intended to draw in newcomers and show them the ropes, evolved into an epic adventure on par with the JRPG classics of old. The title is perhaps more fitting than you would think at first - hours in, I still cannot name a precise "main character." Rather, the player's influence extends to an abstract group - the Vikings of Midgard, the motley bunch of heroes from around this Norse-themed world that want to do their part to make the world a better place. These characters are all styled after RPG class archetypes that we know and love, but they each bring a lot of personality to the table, from the overbearingly preachy Wart Frumpy to the loud and boisterous Olaf. They all have multiple scenes with each other as well, often in between major dungeons, lending the game some much-needed downtime while everyone gets to know each other. It's a huge challenge to balance an ensemble cast like this, but I think this game does it extremely well.

The world covers the RPG setting clich├ęs everyone knows, and while the maps may appear small, give them time and explore them thoroughly and often and you'll be handsomely rewarded. Not just with items, but with NPCs that have unique dialogues with one of your party members, or even self-contained party-conversation skits. And almost every time, one of these scenes will end with either a fun mini-boss fight, a new skill for one of your Vikings, or both! And things just keep changing over time as you change the world, leading to new surprises where you might not expect them. It's the perfect marriage of gameplay and story that I'm surprised I haven't seen more of over the years.

As diverse as this world and its inhabitants are, there are a few patterns players will quickly pick up on. One is furries, no other way around it. The author is a talented furry artist, and the many anthropomorphic characters in this game are also some of the most brilliantly designed, with tremendous roles in the story, no less. Like it or not, the fluffy folk are here to stay; even if you're not into it, you might as well just let it wash over you. The second pattern is cameos from the history of the OHRRPGCE. These make up the majority of the bizarre one-off mini bosses that are spread around each area, and to be frank, I only recognize like 2-3 of them despite following this engine's history since like 2007. While they are well-characterized and impressively illustrated, the fact remains that they are outsiders to this world, and encountering one of them can really disrupt your immersion if you were really getting into the groove of this game's narrative. This is hand-waved as a natural occurrence caused by parallel dimensions or somesuch, but, come on. I'm on my way to fight Cthulhu the Apocalypse-Bringer, right off the heels of hearing Odin's woes about keeping balance in Midgard, and now a 20-foot-tall Richard Nixon robot is blocking my way. I appreciate that the author goes out of his way to spread the love around the entire community, but it's only going to leave newcomers baffled.

Whatever angle you're coming from, though, this is still a damn fine RPG. If you're a furry or an OHR old-schooler, this game was made for you, and you'll love it forever. If not, then you'll merely love it.

Time Invested: 8 Hours, 7 Minutes
Rating: 9/10
Accolade: YGGDRASIL
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