게시 일시: 2015년 2월 28일
"I express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Jones, for gifting me this wonderful game."
In an moreorless official review about "Fortune Summoners: Secret of the Elemental Stone", this game was referred to as "Dark Souls Lite". I'd like to add upon that title by giving it one that better redeems the essence of this game: Light Souls.
Alright, enough joking around. Fortune Summoners is a great game although the developing studio behind it, Lizsoft, has only publicly released one game before it. As I played through the game, I couldn't help but think of this as a cheerful 2D rendition of Dark Souls. As I loved playing the original Dark Souls, let me clarify why Fortune Summoners was such an addictive drug to me.
The plot is moreorless alright. You start as a child named Arche who swings a sword the size of herself valliantly against generic JRPG slimes. You're later joined by two other party members (which can be seen in the steam banner) who have their own role to play in both combat and story. Every inch of dialog is seemly spoken, as if this entire game is through the perspective of 8 year old elementary students. It has so much contrast with the dark setting that starts taking place in the prologue of the game. Each main character has a distinctively different personality, keeping each conversations fresh with some comedic moments scattered around. The side that receives the greatest criticism from me is the storyline. Moreorless, the story looked like it was copied from a generic shonen manga. Only having 1-2 somewhat big plot twists, I always saw where the story was going. However, this can be overlooked depending on the age group. This game looks to target all ages, with its flimsy dialog and pleasant environments. To an actual 8 year old, I'd imagine the storyline wouldn't be as obvious to them. All in all, I wouldn't play this game just for the story but it's definitely not a reason to drop the game.
The setting and music of this game is both pleasant and fitting. Like most game worlds, you don't recognize how great these things are until you realize that you've been playing for 6 hours straight. The setting is nicely drawn and clearly shows that a great amount of work has been put into every grassfield, dungeon, and household. Similar to other JRPGs, there are a variety of NPCs that bring depth and immersion into the game world. For the average player however, it seems that they'd skip past all the NPCs and focus only on the storyline. This seems like a poor playstyle, as that player will be less immersed in the world than a player who plays Fortune Summoners thoroughly. In that sense, it forces the player to adopt one playstyle which moreorless determines how immersed you are; directly affecting how much playtime you'll get out of this game. Esentially my point is that if you don't have the time to be playin this game, DON'T. It can be magical adventure with information about the world pouring into your soul every minute of gameplay, or a dull shonen manga with nothing else. The music fits this pleasant magical tale experienced by several 8 year old girls (and later some flying rabbit). The music system dynamically changes songs perfectly in tune with the gameplay, adding more immersion into the entire setting. Overall, the setting and music of Fortune Summoners is something to look forward to.
Now the most controversial but most entertaining portion of the game: The combat. This factor defines why Fortune Summoners can be refferred to as Light Souls. If you live under a pineapple and don't know what I'm referring to, a title namely "Dark Souls" is often seen from a large majority as an insanely hard triple A title that requires a greater amount of concentration than the average modern game. The change in "light" refers to the plot, setting, and music experienced through 8 year old girls in a diverse amount of friendly towns, unlike Dark Souls' apocalyptic setting. The similarity between the two is the difficulty of combat. The controls for our protagonist Arche feel extremely clunky and difficulty to learn, as should be swinging a blunt sword the size of herself. However, it's extremely satisfying to kill your first slime as you learn the basic mechanics of combat (react/counterattack) instead of trying to button mash which can easily get you through other fighting games. Combat controls are in-depth and as you come to use a gallery of combos to fight off new enemies, it feels greatly accomplishing to do so. Each new level has at least one new enemy, which doesn't seem too great in terms of enemy variety, but makes up for it with the hardest AI I've ever experienced. Enemies read your inputs like clairvoyance, yet the combat is still amazing as there is always an optimal way to fight each and everyone one of them by taking only minimal damage. When you progress to the stage of group fights, the AI is usually competent (depending on your command mode) and alot of !!FUN!! pursues as you learn how to fight group as a group instead of solo. And just when you thought you've fought off the hardest enemy archetype there is, a new one appears and it's even worse. The combat is insanely challenging, but extremely satisfying once you've started to master it.
The controversy with the combat comes in when judging how difficult a game should be. Dark Souls enjoys popular acclaim as being "insanely difficult", while multiple negative reviews about Fortune Summoners criticizes the steep learning curve and intense difficulty of the game. Therefore, I say this to any future buyers of Fortune Summoners.
DON'T BUY THIS IF YOU'RE NOT LOOKING FOR A DAMN CHALLENGE.
If you're expecting this game to be as easy as any other modern platformer, it's likely that you'll repeatedly die 20+ times ON THE WAY TO AND FROM SCHOOL. If you're not going to be concentrated in learning the mechanics of this game and learning the enemies' attack patterns, you're going to drop this game before the 1 hour mark. THIS GAME WILL BE CHALLENGING. Dark Souls never told its players how to play its own game, yet is an exceptional game simply because the learning experience of how to approach each enemy is so enticing. And if you're telling me pressing ONE MORE BUTTON than Dark Souls to roll backwards is "too complex", then I have no hope for future games that hope to bring the difficulty of games from the 90s back in a modern fashion.
Yes, this game is hard. Maybe even harder than Dark Souls (for me it was). But please give this game a try. Its negative reviews make Fortune Summoners look underrated with most of its complaints being directed to the difficulty. Personally, I enjoyed all 35 hours of my first playthrough because there was that difficulty factor to it. Without it, this game would be a simple button masher hack and slash. In conclusion, I fully recommend you try this game out (there's even a demo!) as long as you're prepared to suffer a bit of your confidence to play video games. I'll repeat this statement the fifthteenth time in this review: this game will be an insta-drop if you don't challenge yourself to beat it.
Oh, and I recommend choosing the hard difficulty for maximum !!FUN!!.
As it's commonly experienced, Windows 8.1 is a piece of trash when it deals with literally every video game out there. I had to download DXGL which supposedley fixes the DirectDraw issues with Windows 8 and list the executable for Fortune Summoners (sotes.exe) inside DXGL. It still runs (sadly) at around 40 frames per second normally although a game with "this" amount of graphics usually runs at 90 frames for me. I still recommend you make this game compatible for your computer (although it'll be a greater hassel than any other modern game out there) because it's well worth your effort. There's alot of content in this game that I haven't even explored although I've beaten the game, and it's a great challenge to those who look forward to it.