You are a convicted hacker that returns on Earth after a very long unplanned journey, only to find everything changed.
Seems someone pushed the nuke button, then everyone else got frenzy pushing the same button. The Earth crumbled under the thermonuclear apocalypse and life under the good old Sun became suddenly complicated.
Everyone caring about his own life took a leap of faith and started to live in underground cities, where filtering systems provided clean air, constant temperatures and potable water.
Most people don't leave their underground cities, going outside is only for military, scientists, adventures or thrill seekers.
Notes about issues and bugs people might stumble into.
We are trying hard, like realy hard to move away from default RPG Maker MV behaviour. So we invested a lot of time in customized interface, menus, isometric tiles and camera.
The camera is not following the player, because we decided to quit this default behaviour and offer free camera movement across all scene. Right click and drag.
The game will be based on a custom battle system (nothing new under Sun, but new to MV world). But we are not there yet. So usual MV battles for now as a surrogate.
One of the main activity will be hacking, it should be implemented as a custom mini game. We already have a proof of concept working, but not happy with the visual impacts so we postponed it a little.
Now for the Walkthrough.
1. Talk with Nurse.
2. Visit Police Commander and get SIN Card.
3. Get Out of Purgatory Underground Area.
4. Go East and meet Madison.
5. Do Madison tasks.
1. Take the baseball bat from the garage.
2. Equip it in the menu! Maybe this is not obvious, but this is how things works in RPG Maker. (We got an idea here... maybe we should implement auto equip an weapon once is obtained.)
3. In the Junk Area, in the top right corner there are 3 rats. Beat them, search for scrap, you should find some barbwire.
4. Upgrade your Baseball bat with the Barbwire for extra damage.
5. Top Junk Area gives better success ratio to drop scrap. Run around, kill all the rats on the map, fight only the encounters system and you should be able to get your items. Don't leave the map to prevent rats spawning again.
6. Once life is under 100, you could in theory (if not buggy) try and escape the rats if you Evade the battles.
7. Nurse should restore health and give a small medical kit.
The camera is not following the character when using the keyboard directional keys. [bug-fix]
Scorpion stridulating sound fixed. [bug-fix]
Adult video should play. [bug-fix]
Scrap Scanner works faster.
Two new maps added
New monster: Desert Scorpion
New character introduced: Alia "CherryBomb" Blackwell
Quests difficulty adjusted: Only 5 items for mech scraps and scorpion venom required to be found.
Fights menus simplified a little, less repeating actions.
Adult scenes added.
The character could lag badly on some maps when using mouse (solution: wait a little to clear the pathfinding queue or use the keyboard).
The character could get stuck in some objects/corners etc. As a temporary solution use keyboard directional keys to "escape".
The camera is not following the character when using the keyboard directional keys.
Scorpion stridulating sound almost can't be heard.
Adult video not playing.
In order to unlock the adult scenes, the separate dlc file (extra_dlc.asar) and must be copied inside the EtherealDemo_0.6.3\resources folder near the other asar files.
0.6.1 : bug fixes
- Added some splashscreens with extra info.
- Improved collision maps to reduce lag.
- Increased the drop chance when looking for scraps.
- other bug fixed (fire animation)
The cheated pseudo-isometric view and faux mid-90's pre-rendered style graphics do make this game look unique and distinct from any other game i've ever seen use any iteration of the RPGMaker Engine. It evokes pre.rendered PC RPG Games like Fallout rather than 16bit Nintendo RPGs regular RPGMaker tries to go for, if that's your thing or not is up to everyone individually i guess.
The Combat System (currently) is still the bog standard RPGMaker 1st Person combat, which is quite jarring and for me broke the flow of trying to make the player forget he is actually playing an RPGMaker Game, but from what i've read that is planned to be replaced (or masked) further down the road.
UNCANNY VALLEY MISSTEPS:
The game goes for a Visual Novel type Full Body representation in addition to the lower third text boxes whenever you go through an NPCs Dialog Tree, this can happen either overlayed over the normal game world, or fully rendered "Cut-Scene" interactions with them. Either way, those Full Body representations all seem to stand in the same "I-AM-A-ROBOT!" still pose, staring straight ahead into the distance out of cold, dead eyes. The rendered scenes seem to be posed well enough, but those Avatars are just the stuff of nightmares, especially since they have animated mouth movements while text is advanced via Spacebar, but that only disturbingly enhances the "I-AM-A-ROBOT!" vibe instead of making them seem more alive, which i think the developers were going for. No matter how good the models are, their posing and mouth movement just kills any hope of establishing a mood other than "disturbing".
GAME MECHANICS THAT WILL MAKE YOU QUIT BEFORE EXPERIANCING MORE THAN 5 MINS OF CONTENT:
People who read older reviews will be glad to hear the annoying RNG fetch quests seem to have been reduced from 10 *random bullshit component* to 5 per quest. Doesn't really matter though, because it is still so tedious and ever increasing cooldowns at ever decreasing chances of finding items that necessitate running and waiting around and then still being subjected to RNG just kill any enjoyment and this entire game right then and there.
If you ask my opinion on this mechanic, it is there because the developers are so proud to show off their timer/rng programming skills that they think this will impress players, when it objectively doesn't do anything besides break players will to go on. There is no challenge involved, there is no immersion happening, there is no lore presented, there is no intricate game mechanics, there isn't even a lot of fights to break the monotony, it's just literally running in circles and have RNG decide if it takes you 10 or 40 minutes a quest.
It doesn't even make any logical sense, because you can come across the exact same scrap pile literally dozens of times with it sometimes having parts you need, then not having any again for 5 times, then once, then not again, then 2 times in a row.
Logically it should either have the parts, or not have the parts. Even if you were gonna go over something you've searched multiple times already without finding anything, the moment you DO find a part you should either be able to find multiples in it at the same time (as many as are in there) or never be able to find any additional ones at later visits.
Best - since all piles look distinct, make the item(s) you need to find fit the artstyle of the pile. CPUs = only ones with Heads, Servos = only ones with hands etc.
OK - make piles searchable ONCE, and if they don't have have what you need, make them unusable till the next quest.
Quick & Dirty - remove the damn cooldowns so you can spam-search 1 pile until the quest is complete.
I don't know, you tell me if you made it past the horrendous RNG Quests.
The Game seems to have real effort put into it evidenced by the "make it not look like any other RPGMaker Game ever" Approach, but absolutely killed by it's "Game Mechanics" after less than 5 Minutes of Content.
My recommendation for prospective players of this title - AVOID AT ALL COST! (until you read a future review that states the Bullshit RNG Quests have been made non-RNG -OR- unless you are a masochist that wants to be accessory to the developers inflicting their "game mechanics" on you). Be aware that there is 0 Transformation or Sexual Content before the RNG-Hell.
RNG is never a good idea in a game...RNG locked behind a timer locked behind a slow wall of text is unplayable. Gave up after completing the second task. This game has an interesting style and potential if tf content is added however requires gameplay adjustments before I waste my time with it again.
Don't know if it is just me, but I ran around in desert vor 30 minutes, trying to get scrap and did not get a single one. I tried about 200 times always with a (1/8)-chance . Either the game is broken, or I really had terrible luck. However I gave up frustrated.
As of this demo version I must say that there's potential to be had here. It's a cut above the usual fare in terms of art and programming, and I'm impressed with the overall quality on display from an aesthetic point of view. The characters are all done in CG which I imagine isn't everyone's cup of tea but I feel it's not overly obnoxious, though maybe I'm a little nostalgic towards a lot of older prerendered RPGs like Fallout.
As far as the combat goes, apparently this is only a placeholder combat system which I'm pleased with because I'm sick of encountering the same RPGMaker combat systems over and over again. That being said, the decision to include both random and non-random encounters strikes me as particularly strange, especially since the random encounters can gain an advantage on you and the on-screen encounters can't? Usually, if both are included, it's the other way around. The major gripe I have with the current gameplay: there's a very tedious stretch of grinding. When I first got the 10 scrap units and went back and was told to get 10 more, I already felt that was excessive. I'm a pretty unlucky guy in general so those 10 had already taken me upwards of 15 minutes. So I figured, whatever, I'll get the other 10 units. So another 20 minutes pass, because I got particularly unlucky and missed on 1/3 rolls like 20 times and the text speed when you're searching the scrap piles takes forever. Even though I had figured out the optimal strategy at that point (staying near the upper part of the map, killing all the rats with a barbed wire bat, and cycling between like 8 or so scrap piles) it still took a sizeable portion of time longer just due to RNG. Immediately, I made the executive decision that if I went back to the NPC and she asked for 10 more scrap pieces I would stop playing. Well, of course, she did want 10 more, so I stopped playing. When you include a tedious task in a game, it's pretty risky because you want to keep your players engaged. When you include RNG in a game it's pretty risky because your players might feel cheated. So, there is a combined tedious task and RNG element here that shouldn't exist. It's not fun, and it's not interesting, so why is it in the game? I imagine this is just a placeholder, though, since it's so early in development. A more minor gripe is that you have to haul your ass all the way back to the beginning of the game to heal, and the maps are huge with very little in them. Again, I assume that these are just symptoms of being in such an early state of development.
But based on this I have to suggest people who are looking to play the 1.0.0 demo version of the game to skip on it entirely. I feel like my time was wasted.
In terms of narrative, there's some decent world building, but the player character being sold into slavery and then expected to traverse the wastes without escort to meet up with his new master is a bit of an oddity at best and a straight up plothole at worst. It's also quite jarring to have a sexy nurse character. The tone is kind of set in a weird way right off the bat with the opening cutscene being you looking up from bed with blurry eyes, blurring and unblurring for an overlong amount of time while the nurse stays perfectly still. But again, this type of thing is a small kink to iron out.
All this being said, I definitely consider this a game to watch. The quality on display here is commendable. It's a bit of a drag that they're going to paywall this game before it's even in alpha stages but I understand it personally, as someone who works freelance art. People gotta eat. When this game has a little more meat to it, I think it might even be worth a buy. I wish the devs the best of luck and eagerly await the more robust builds.
Thankfully, this game is still characterized as a concept. It seems like only a few of the game mechanics work.
One point is that the activity set for the main character does not seem to be easily done. I get it that the game should have challenges at every level of advancement but the first level of a game should also be used to teach the game system and familiarize the player with the game environment. It fails on those counts.