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Breath of Death VII: The Beginning (PC) artwork

Breath of Death VII: The Beginning (PC) review

"The tongue-in-cheek dialogue and light-heartedness really set the tone for a great game experience."

Dem Bones
Breath of Death VII: The Beginning is a retro-style indie Role-Playing Game (RPG) made with 8-bit fashion graphics and featuring classic turn-based combat. It is a short (4-8 hour), light-hearted romp through a post-apocalyptic world of undeath. The story tells you that in 20XX the world was at war and ended up destroying itself. Life as we know it ceased to fact, life ceased to exist. Humanity was wiped out and, in its place, the undead arose and started “life” anew. You play as Dem, a skeleton knight and silent protagonist (a true hero never speaks!...and Dem also lacks a tongue). Early on Dem sort of stumbles into a party with Sara, a ghost historian who wants to investigate the ruins of the civilization before them...and the adventure begins! Along the journey you’ll also meet two other party members, a techno-vampire and a zombie prince.

Turn-Based MADNESS!!! (okay not madness, but at least with a twist)
Breath of Death features a somewhat unique combat system in that following a battle FULL Hit Points (HP) are restored along with a tad bit of Magic Points (MP). During the battles, the monsters get progressively stronger each round putting a soft timer on the encounter before they get too strong to handle. In order to kill these baddies, you can use a combo-style system where you build up combo points and then use a “Combo Boost” move (that gets stronger with higher combo points) for MEGA damage (or just baby damage if you only have a small combo built). You can also use powerful “Unite” techniques with two party members that perform various things...but usually something really awesome (like double damage for a character). The combat system keeps every fight exciting and is also fast paced enough to not bog the game down like many other, more traditional, turn-based RPG’s. Another thing that deserves mentioning is the fact that there IS randomized combat, however, there is also a cap to the randomized encounters in an area. So, if you explore (or get lost) enough, you won’t be subjected to more annoying encounters every couple of steps.

Breath of Death VII: The Beginning (PC) image

... (Your Serious JRPG is in Another Castle)
The most defining element of this game is the light-hearted approach the developers took towards it. The game goes everywhere from poking fun at the old school RPG’s to poking fun at itself to (perhaps my favorite part) referencing other popular games. You’ll find Dem complaining about the price of the game. You’ll see Sara exclaim “I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was! To explore ruins is my real test, to learn stuff is my cause!” (Pokemon anyone?). You will even have the game advise you to not remove your hard drive while saving, loading, or viewing the save files. Fortunately, a lot of the lines rub off as fun and humorous rather than corny or forced. The tongue-in-cheek dialogue and light-heartedness really set the tone for a great game experience.

Breath of Death VII: The Beginning (PC) image

The Beginning...of The End!
I’m a huge fan of RPG’s and usually go for the long, epic ones that have a great ensemble cast and tell an unforgettable tale. Breath of Death VII: The Beginning is pretty much the opposite of that, but I still had a surprisingly good time playing through it. I loved all the references to games that I knew and loved (or hated). Also, the game is fun and short enough to be pretty refreshing game in the face of so much indie “junk” out there. I enjoyed it so much that I even played through on Hard Mode after beating it on Normal. It certainly isn’t perfect, but considering the absurdly cheap price I’d have a really hard time not recommending this game for everyone...even if they aren’t a fan of RPG’s. I give Breath of Death VII a 7/10 for being an amusing game that doesn’t take itself seriously, has fun doing so, and gives the player a worthwhile experience by doing that.


Never3ndr's avatar
Community review by Never3ndr (July 20, 2014)

Retro-Gaming Enthusiast!

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