Attack Fish Chronicles Volume I: The Omega
A Review by Only One in All
Oops, sorry. Wrong game.
…Attack Fish Chronicles! Volume One. The Omega.
This is a 50% demo release, and spans one hour. Unfortunately, it is riddled with problems which should make this more of a playtesting version than an official demo release.
Let us start with the story. The titles and whatnot give the impression this may be a humorous/joke game. A game about attacking… fish? Surlaw gone mad perhaps? However, so far the title and cornbread juice have nothing to do with the game at all, so it may possibly be a filler title.
We begin with scenes of a peaceful town and castle, only to be interrupted by an earthquake that makes some very deep fissures in the earth. If the earth was a tooth and the fissures were cavities, that would be one messed up tooth. The cause of it all seems to be a lone bacteria, resembling a human figure with amputee legs. It can be seen laughing up on a mountain after the destruction, then walking towards… a giant beast of some sort. Cracks and its size indicate perhaps it is the cause of the earthquakes.
We then pan to an ocean with debris floating, and the unconscious hero at the shore. When a friend living by the beach finds him, he has lost his memory, and doesn’t even remember his own name.
The game’s story development is few and far between. Not much is developed, as conversations are minimal, and most of the time is spent going through dungeons and fighting bosses while meeting traveling monks and random people. We know that our protagonists are searching for the cause of the earthquakes. However, these storylines are so minimally defined, it feels like a game where you only travel from point A to point B because you’re told to do so.
You have your main hero, ????, your half naked fighting friend Alan, and your J-E-L-L-O, it’s aliiiivvee! friend, Gluep. ???? seeks to find out more about himself, since he can’t remember much of anything. Alan is searching for his brother. Gluep’s Jello town has been attacked, so it assists you.
As mentioned before, the problem is that these stories are not very defined or given much emphasis. We are given a quick taste of it, and then pushed on to continue traveling the land. ???? doesn’t remember anything, but he only mentions his problem once to his allies. Alan seeks his brother (whose photo can be found in everyone else’s house. He must be a popular guy), which is always a good reason for a person to go everywhere. Gluep’s town has been attacked, and while it can only say it’s own name like a Pokemon, ???? has the Meowth-like ability to speak human and understand Gluep.
These characters all embody what drives typical and traditional role playing games. Amnesia. Lost but not found. Destroyed my happy place. While these can be woven into a deep story when done correctly, Attack Fish Chronicles barely scratches the surface. Your characters don’t nearly interact or talk enough to make it anything more than the shallow literal piece it is. Was this how it was supposed to be?
Either way, your heroes lack personality. ???? is your typical hero with a volcanic haircut like Guile. Alan is the tough man with an attitude who has a soft spot for his bro. Gluep is… a blob with no defined shape or personality. In more than one way.
Is this game really as bad as it is sounding? Since it is more in a development stage than a demo stage, no. For those who really seek a good story, this is most likely not the game for you. If there were more story scenes and details for each character, their story and the main earthquake problem, there would be more motive. As of now, it’s like playing an old school classic RPG.
Graphics are sub-par. That is all I really have to say because if the graphic level is at this point, usually the author doesn’t need any feedback that has not been said countless times. Improvement little by little and studying other games with better graphics is all I can offer.
Music is good. Most of the selection is well done, and the tunes are catchy. The only one that threw me off was the final boss battle (for this demo), which happened to be a Mega Man song. And as we all know, Mega Man songs are very short and loop often, and the song faded out at the end everytime in the selection. Other than that, the main battle theme and forest theme were my favorites. Good choices.
Now, gameplay. The gameplay is much like the story. There is not much that is interesting enough or varied in the gameplay. As opposed to the plot, which there was not enough of, the gameplay was… too much.
What I mean by this is mainly the battles.
When you’re not battling, you’re usually traveling through a dungeon. These dungeons are one long path with several branches that almost always lead to treasure. In mountain and mines, you can use a pickaxe which lets you mine for ore at several locations. Nice feature, but not very useful at this point and time. In fact if the game is only going to be about two hours, and items and stats won’t be carried over to the next chapter of the chronicle, investing time into the feature is not worth it. However, this could be compensated for if mining had more use and more abundance points, but at this point it only lets you get some new weapons at about the 40%-45% mark.
By the end of each dungeon, you fight a boss. Now, the normal battles aren’t too bad. They’re not difficult and you can usually get through them by button mashing. They are not really required except to level up once before a boss to ensure victory, and their length is decent enough that they’re not a hassle.
As for boss battles, the same cannot be said. They were simply too long, and the first two bosses are the same; A handful of damage but not enough to be a challenge, plus a ton of hit points. This is reminiscent of Final Fantasy X, where you were more or less just beating away at bosses for a while until they died. The boss has too much HP and not enough challenge, which makes you wish the battles were over with sooner. The third boss does more damage to everyone, but if you’re well stocked in items, it eventually ends up just like the other two.
The problem is in the length. Keeping the intensity of battle would be difficult for the length of time it goes (the third boss had to be attacked for seven minutes before it finally died!). If bosses had less HP, more attack strength and skills that made it so you would have to use different strategy and tactics to defeat it, it would be short and sweet, like the proposed game length.
What I did not expect and was surprised to see was that after beating the third boss, I had to travel the rest of the distance to the end of the dungeon only to be told the demo was over and left to sit there for a moment before quitting. So a word of warning, after you beat the third boss, save and quit. There’s nothing more waiting for you.
Again, this is not a bad game. It just simply isn’t ready to be released as a public demo. I commend Divine Bovine for coming back to the community after many years and making progress on a game to the halfway point.
What DB could do is finish the game, then go back to fix everything after.Or, he could work on everything up to the current point, then continue onward. This would mean the game would not progress, but be improved before it goes on further. It depends on the game’s state and the author’s preference, but the game is at least fleshed out well enough that the basic backbone is there. If he were to finish it and then give it the rest of its muscle, organs and skin, it could turn out very good.