Author Topic: My quintessence review  (Read 1695 times)

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just1witness

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My quintessence review
« on: March 24, 2017, 05:50:04 AM »
Noob here, but not a noob to RPG's. I've been playing them for 23 years. I thought I might offer my 2 cents after playing chapters 1-11.

Pro's;

1. NO GRINDING!!!!!! Oh yesssss, this is definitely on the top of my list of pro's! (seriously, let's make people walk around in circles like drunks for hours just to be able to progress in the game without being obliterated... NO THANKS!)

2. The story is engaging and and compelling. I just recently tried playing ff7 and got so bored halfway through that I could care less to ever finish it. This game on the other hand... I finished in three days regardless of my many other responsibilities and distractions. It does a good job of connecting you to the characters fate, making you want to see their outcome.

3. Music of course. I muted it once and forgot to un-mute, it was barely a few minutes before I was asking myself what was missing, the music makes continuing on even more of a pleasure than it already is.

4. Overall appeal. I would easily play this game over and over, like I have chrono trigger. So far in the countless games I have played only four games hold this distinction. (the only thing that might stop me from playing again is that stupid carnival... aren't carnivals supposed to be fun!?!?)

5. Clear objectives, I never had to question what I had to do next. This is a wonderful thing. (Actually not having clear objectives is part of the reason I won't finish ff7, I'm sick of wondering around wondering where my party is supposed to go next... borrring)

Con's;

1. THE CARNIVAL!!!!! Holy cow, I almost gave up liking this game at this point... I play pretty much only play RPG's precisely due to the fact that I have sub-par fine motor skills, (I suspect I'm not the only one since autistic people tend to like RPG's and most also have sub-par fine motor skills.)  That Wack-a-Mole game requirement was, to say the least, over the top. Not cool.

2. Unnatural lack of dialog at certain points. For instance, when Seria comes back, you would have to be a serious breed of strange not to be eager to explain everything, yet for an agonizing period of time all Reivies has to say is, "it's not what you think!" ???Huh???  (I wouldn't buy the whole "the red pill befuddled him" line either, since he has constantly been able to resist up to that point with less ideal circumstances, why all of a sudden is he too weak with her right in front of his face? Makes no sense)

3. Battle system, again, not so good for those with less than good fine motor skills. Being able to use the terrain against the enemy and heal easily was it's saving grace.  (so kinda a pro and con)

4. It's not finished... Nuff said.  -cuss-


So there you have it my opinion, take it or leave it. :)

 

Dragon Mage

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Re: My quintessence review
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2017, 03:01:05 AM »
You didn't have any trouble with finding the side-quest in Aeria? Or do you enjoy exploration?

Other than that, I do agree with some of these thing. However bear in mind that this was made back in, what, 2008 what it? If you're played TtM and other later games by Kan, you'd know that his story writing, game development, coding and even sprite work have vastly improved.

Another con that someone pointed out is lack of character development Serai got. I ended up disliking her character due to this and may dampen my opinion of her in a possible remake (yes there was talk of a remake for Steam but this is not entirely confirmed yet).

just1witness

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Re: My quintessence review
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2017, 04:19:06 PM »

 I didn't have trouble advancing the plot, although I am usually unusually thorough though. (this sentence makes me happy, haha)

I have played To the Moon, it's very good.


Nyerguds

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Re: My quintessence review
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2018, 09:33:18 AM »
2. Unnatural lack of dialog at certain points. For instance, when Seria comes back, you would have to be a serious breed of strange not to be eager to explain everything, yet for an agonizing period of time all Reivies has to say is, "it's not what you think!" ???Huh???  (I wouldn't buy the whole "the red pill befuddled him" line either, since he has constantly been able to resist up to that point with less ideal circumstances, why all of a sudden is he too weak with her right in front of his face? Makes no sense)
Hmm, I see that differently, actually. Both the earlier trauma of losing Serai, and the way the pill affected him really messed him up. He's stuck in a trauma he doesn't know he has, and the effects of the pill are preventing him from processing it normally. Such traumas don't magically disappear just because it turns out she's not dead. On top of that, it's not about resistance; he doesn't know he's under these effects, and it's pretty clear he has no idea how to act towards Serai besides ingrained daily routine, and is basically stuck in this "she's my wife, but why?" mindset. After all, all most pivotal moments in their relationship were erased by the pill.

So the reason he gives her no further explanation is firstly because he probably sees no need to, and secondly because he's constantly confused about how he feels towards Lunair, and he isn't actually sure Serai isn't right.

On a related note...

Spoiler: show
I lost all respect for Lunair when she threw away that antidote. Seriously. There's quite a difference between "let's keep him infatuated with me because it's helping me out" and "let's condemn him to the same hell that had been put in store for both my mom and me, and never release him". Yeah, I guess she's a bit messed up, and she probably has developed a bit of a crush on Reivier, but still.

What a b- -cuss-
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 09:41:55 AM by Nyerguds »

Leave Me Alone

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Re: My quintessence review
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2018, 10:13:25 AM »
1. THE CARNIVAL!!!!! Holy cow, I almost gave up liking this game at this point... I play pretty much only play RPG's precisely due to the fact that I have sub-par fine motor skills, (I suspect I'm not the only one since autistic people tend to like RPG's and most also have sub-par fine motor skills.)  That Wack-a-Mole game requirement was, to say the least, over the top. Not cool.

This is one of the common criticisms about the game. The Winter Carnival is an aggravated version of the Aeria exploration segment. Both of them have a series of events that you must trigger to progress the story, yet what these triggers are, or that they exist, is not communicated to a first-time player, which can leave them stuck in the relatively large areas for hours pressing the space bar on everything.

In later chapters and Freebird titles you see this alleviated somewhat with greater use of corridor maps and by adding a sparkle to important objects. Personally, I think it'd be best if all the non-plot-critical exploration and gameplay segments be optional. The aforementioned two areas are prime candidates because nothing really important happens in the player-controlled sections, and anything minor can be replaced with a cutscene that directly skips to the meat. Other areas that could use this is the exploration section in Chapter VII where Lunair looks for Reivier, and Chapter IX when Lunair is having her forest friends murderfest. Also, the underwater section in XI.

Quote
2. Unnatural lack of dialog at certain points. For instance, when Seria comes back, you would have to be a serious breed of strange not to be eager to explain everything, yet for an agonizing period of time all Reivies has to say is, "it's not what you think!" ???Huh???  (I wouldn't buy the whole "the red pill befuddled him" line either, since he has constantly been able to resist up to that point with less ideal circumstances, why all of a sudden is he too weak with her right in front of his face? Makes no sense)

A gripe of mine as well. The whole Serai and jealousy thing came out of nowhere and its existence is contrived. Its persistence is only because Reivier forgot how to speak all of a sudden. Considering how Serai was never portrayed as unempathetic or immature at any point in her adulthood, you'd think she'd be more understanding after Reivier explains the circumstances.

In fact, the whole Serai character arc is perhaps the weakest in the game. If a remaster was made, I would definitely push for scrapping the entire snake ruins sequence in Chapter III. That whole segment is nothing but filler, and it could've been used to develop Serai instead. I say this because it becomes a problem later in Chapter V. Reivier is relieved and all to see Serai again, and is devastated to find her missing in VI, but the players have no way to empathise with him because the relationship between Serai and Reivier isn't touched on until Chapter X. No, cliffside scenes about their promise doesn't cut it. I'd love if Serai was more of a character and less of a plot device, because I want to feel Reivier's internal conflict between her and Lunair. I want to be invested in characters and feel torn that at least one of them is doomed. But when Serai is put into the most well developed character in the game, it's much too easy to just invest in one.

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3. Battle system, again, not so good for those with less than good fine motor skills. Being able to use the terrain against the enemy and heal easily was it's saving grace.  (so kinda a pro and con)

It's difficult at first but becomes stupidly easy later. Half shifting is overpowered because most enemies cannot out-DPS the heal. A player can afford to sit still, get hit by every single attack while returning the pain in kind, and so long as they don't panic and conservatively use their heals, the energy recharges faster than the HP drop. There are also certain battle maps with gimmicky spots that allows the player to attack stuck enemies with impunity. And certain enemies like the bees that are nothing short of annoying because the most reliable way to deal with such an evasive target is to AoE spam.

As with the non-critical gameplay segments, I'm for allowing the player to skip non-critical combat segments as well. The only ones that I think should be mandatory are the ones that develop character. For these, there should be a very easy option (as with Dirk's fight) that allows anyone to pass. The only combat that I thought added to the story/characters was when Reivier went into rage mode in VI, and the fight with Dirk in X. The Lunair animal abuse in IX is okay but I don't think it's anything the autokill-critter-on-touch can't do.

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4. It's not finished... Nuff said.  -cuss-

There's that.

@Nyerguds

She's interesting precisely because she's conflicted in many ways. I think she's the most compelling character Reives has ever written in his published works. Lunair is ambiguous, mysterious, and torn between her childhood humanity and the bitterness her upbringing has bestowed upon her. She outwardly, and probably inwardly earlier on as well, despises Reivier, yet right from the beginning she quietly works to save a stranger from suffering what she's been through.

Also, she didn't throw the pill. There's no indication that she did. Also, didn't you see Chapter XII's cover art?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 10:20:14 AM by Leave Me Alone »

Nyerguds

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Re: My quintessence review
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2018, 12:37:36 PM »
Really? Sure looked like she did... there was this whooshing sound... and at the end (in the intro) you see she never gave it to him.

In fact, even his wish to Dasha seemed tainted by it; he basically asked to never notice that his wife is replaced. To believe every lie, to never meet the real Lunair.

I saw the cover art... yea, that sure looks like she still has it. Now I'm just left wondering if that means there will be a deviation in this time loop after all, or if she'll just keep musing over it.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 01:19:47 PM by Nyerguds »

Dragon Mage

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Re: My quintessence review
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2018, 11:33:23 PM »

A gripe of mine as well. The whole Serai and jealousy thing came out of nowhere and its existence is contrived. Its persistence is only because Reivier forgot how to speak all of a sudden. Considering how Serai was never portrayed as unempathetic or immature at any point in her adulthood, you'd think she'd be more understanding after Reivier explains the circumstances.

In fact, the whole Serai character arc is perhaps the weakest in the game. If a remaster was made, I would definitely push for scrapping the entire snake ruins sequence in Chapter III. That whole segment is nothing but filler, and it could've been used to develop Serai instead. I say this because it becomes a problem later in Chapter V. Reivier is relieved and all to see Serai again, and is devastated to find her missing in VI, but the players have no way to empathise with him because the relationship between Serai and Reivier isn't touched on until Chapter X. No, cliffside scenes about their promise doesn't cut it. I'd love if Serai was more of a character and less of a plot device, because I want to feel Reivier's internal conflict between her and Lunair. I want to be invested in characters and feel torn that at least one of them is doomed. But when Serai is put into the most well developed character in the game, it's much too easy to just invest in one.
Hence why I didn't like her for very long if at all. Infact I started hating her for hating Lunair, even though her reasoning was pretty fair (was kidnapped by her, disguised as her and almost killed her when she was stuck as a wolf).

I'm hoping Serai gets more character development in a revamp or even the rest of the story but it seems kinda redundant to bring it up so late in Quintessence :seraisweat:

 


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