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Summer

This has literally been the most agonizingly slow summer of my life.  I can count the number of times I’ve had fun aside from talking to the girlfriend on one hand.  Also, Aniroleplay died while we were talking and I got pulled into an FFXIV raid.  x_x  Today sucks…

In a single moment, time stopped and all that he saw for seemed eternity was her.  Someone whom time’s river had brought him to.  Shared interests converged on a single point:  They care for each other.

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Storm Reviews Indie Games #1: Skyborn

Having just beaten the final boss of SKyborn, I thought I would write my thoughts down and see what others think.

Skyborn is an interesting style of RPG. It’s not quite steampunk and not quite fantasy, but somewhere in between. Skyborn, for all its accomplishments, however does have some areas in which there should have been more emphasis. Spoiler warning begins here. You have been warned.

Skyborn’s use of graphical materials presented me with an interesting conundrum though. For an RPG Maker game, this game looks gorgeous and the use of the Steampunk tileset was stunning. Map designs were absolutely stunning and I enjoyed running through most dungeons. One was a bit bright and stung my eyes after a few hours, but was still manageable. The character portraits were some of the most beautiful I have ever seen, and I fell in love with Dhacian’s design the instant I saw him. However, it is the monster designs that present the counterpoint. I saw very little outside of the base RTP. With some edits to the base VX Ace sprites and only a few mechanical enemies, I really felt that monster design was very very lazed over. This is an especially low point from me as the main antagonist’s second in command was just a winged version of an RTP sprite with no art. The game suffers from a type of lack of identity this way for me. But comparison the mechanical enemies scared the every living poop out of me and one particular boss was my favorite encounter in the entire game.

Now, this section is my interpretation of several prominent characters, so read at your own risk. Again, spoilers.

Claret, the main protagonist, for all of her wonderful one liners (He’s such a tool I could use HIM to fix the airship!) and her quirkiness as a lead character, falls short in one major area for me. I liken her to Yuri Lowell from Tales of Vesperia in that she is already a established character, with no real plot development. A protagonist needs to have some sort of character growth and I feel this is just something Claret does not have. Her banter with Sullivan makes the game though.

Corwin was probably the single player character who has zero relevance to the story. He’s a generic healer who has nothing to define him as a character other than he works at Claret’s shop and he hates Skyborn. Like, REALLY hates them. Other than that, he doesn’t do anything stand out, and as a healer, he doesn’t really do a lot other than defend and cast Cure from time to time.

Now, the biggest issue I have is the balance. Claret, for intent’s and purposes, suffers from something I call “main character curse.” She gets a weapon very early known as the Circuit Breaker that can pretty much cut through standard encounters very quickly with no effort. If this weapon slowed her down significantly, or had a lower critical rate, understandable. It weighs the same as her other weapons, does extreme damage and increases a lot of things for her. This weapon is also a “big chest” reward, which is rather easy to find. This would be less an issue if it were not possible for Claret to cut a boss down in one shot. I used a skill while using his weapon on a boss encounter and the boss took 6000 damage and died instantly. At level 10. It may not be unbalanced to the average game and the game is labeled as a casual RPG, but this is still extremely in the player’s favor, almost excessively so.

The soundtrack was stellar, and I wish boss fights lasted longer than they did to enjoy the music. I can’t say much more than I enjoyed it.

All in all my adventure with Skyborn lasted seven hours. I had gotten this game on sale with the RPG Maker Humble Bundle and while Skyborn is definitely a game I recommend, I feel that 7 hours for $14.99 is a bit much. I’d recommend Skyborn if you can get it for $10 or less or as a gift.

SquallStorm rates Skyborn at an 8.5/10.

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