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The Moonlight War novel by S.K.S. Perry

Forums > Submission Feedback > overdrive's Emerald Dragon (Import) review

This thread is in response to a review for Emerald Dragon on the SNES. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: January 30, 2009 (11:39 PM)
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This is one of those reviews that, despite its score of 7, convinced me to NEVER play the game. For one, you gave away what seemed to be some of the more salient moments of plot. For two, you describe a broken combat system.

I'm not sure, but I think that makes this a decent review, though definitely not one of your best. I'll say it again... reviewing RPGs is tough.

Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: January 31, 2009 (03:55 AM)
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Thanks for the comments.

Personally, I'm glad I have tomorrow to tinker with it a bit. This has been a messed-up week for me, with a huge snowstorm giving me cabin fever (1.5 days trapped at home before I found someone to plow my driveway). Then, it seemed today like I had constant distractions disrupting my concentration.

As to your more specific things mentioned:

1. Is the combat system broken? I'd say somewhat. Being able to use items indiscriminately without using any part of your turn definitely hurts things. At least the GOOD healing items cost a ton of cash, so you can't load up on Heal Gins (heal all HP) unless you spend a lot of time doing nothing but level-grinding, which isn't necessary by any stretch of the imagination. With my dual Ostracon battle, I just hadn't used any items for much of the game, so I had a ton of them stored up. Overall, I'd compare it to Tales of Legendia (also reviewed by me -- shameless plug alert!) in that it's a quality game with great storytelling that's let down by overly easy gameplay, as it just isn't feasible to have a huge number of quality healing/attack items on hand. Although, now that I think about it, that's another flaw of the SFC version. Other versions only allowed you to hold a tiny number of goods. Here, you have unlimited storage capacity.....which makes unlimited item usage a viable weapon. I thank you for mentioning something that may help me! Hopefully the rest of Team Name will curse you for that help when the judging is released!

2. Re: spoilers. I suppose Zig could best judge how horribly I gave away plot points, but in the grand scheme of things, I don't think I did too bad. Of the things I can think that could be construed of such.....

a. Elm was a really minor character who had only a tiny handful of lines. He was a (fairly) early-game boss who resurfaces during the first part of the Ostracon battle. I just thought it was cool that a minor subordinate sort of boss didn't attack you with the usual "Muahahaha, I'm evil and going to kill you so evil wins!" sort of spiel, but was more mortally offended that you not only opposed his boss, but seriously wounded him and was attacking you solely to let Ostracon safely get away. Back then, it was very rare you'd get a villain whose motive for attacking you was simply (and emphatically) loyalty to his master.

b. Farna leaving due to believing Hathram was dead. I'm still questioning whether I want to keep this in. It is a legit spoiler type kind of thing, but it is the catalyst for their relationship to evolve more beyond the "you know they have a thing for each other, but mask it" kind of thing with her being overly formal and him jokingly telling her to call him by name instead of by respectful title.

c. Constant references to Ostracon fight. The big "O" is one of those RPG archetype enemies. The big evil presence at the beginning of the game who winds up being DOA (or out of the picture in some way as a villain) around 50-67 percent of the way through things --- re: Magus in Chrono Trigger and many others. Besides, if there's one thing I do like about this review and, if anything, want to bring out a bit more if I can, it's how I viewed his fight as head-and-shoulders tougher than anything else......until I found I could exploit item usage to make him easy.

I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle

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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: January 31, 2009 (05:10 AM)
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C sounds spoilerish in the review, but as written, Overdrive is actually tricking the reader. It's pretty obvious that Ostracon is a big villain and that he's going to be a significant battle, so if it sounds like a spoiler then that's a credit to OD for making a totally expected event sound unexpected...... but there's something important that Overdrive doesn't say -- so people who actually play the game will find themselves pleasantly surprised. I support the inclusion of C in the review.

A is pretty much as Overdrive said... it's a great example for a review because it's a small thing that shows off a big strength. That being said, it would have been possible to leave out the name Elm and just say "one of Ostracon's subordinates". That way, people who play the game would wonder who it was. Also, it's easier for people to forget when names are removed. Attach a name and people are more likely to remember "this guy dies". Remove the names, and by the time someone actually plays the game, they may have forgotten that anyone even dies at all.

B is a pretty big spoiler. That whole sequence was a string of surprises. If spoiling was necessary, then it could have been spoiled to greater effect, to show off just how unusual and extraordinary that whole sub-plot was. But I would say this is another case where "no naming" could have accomplished the same goal. "A major character leaves the party when their true love dies"... and leave out the insinuation that the true love really lived.


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: January 31, 2009 (07:02 PM)
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I altered "B" to make it much more vague......only letting it be known that a big event happens that traumatizes a character, essentially. Didn't do anything to "A" or "C". Way I looked at it, the average player is going to know Elm is cannon fodder straight from the second he appears and it wasn't like there was much, if any, lead-in to his appearance. He might have been named as a subordinate earlier by someone or another, but he was essentially a guy put in the game to up the body count.

I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle

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