Posted: March 13, 2014
Exceeded ExpectationsProfessional dialogue, inventive paths, compelling story development, haunting music, and challenging puzzles.
White Giant RPG requested that I share my old RPGMakerVX.net
review of Last Dream, which I am happy to do. I played their early demos and bought an older version from WhiteGiantRPG.com
a year ago. Now, after 100+ hours in the Last Dream world, here is my updated assessment:A+ Mapping
: You made judicious use of surrounding detail everywhere, with beautiful towns (Alfheim), majestic cities (Doria), and pleasant villages (Oakwood). Dry Gulch also feels like the travelers’ caravan that it is. Overall, very scenic and satisfying to explore.B Ease of Play
: At first, the character building felt overwhelming. It took me until my third game to obtain a full command of attribute development (for example, I didn’t initially realize I could acquire/build skills). But this will not be a stumbling block for more proficient gamers, particularly those that start with your in-game Tutorial. Plus, I see that you have since made this feature easier to command.A Variability
: The initial complexity aside, I enjoyed having the freedom to select among the eight characters, and the freedom to build them per my preference, particularly with repeated playthroughs.A+ Dialogue
: Last Dream shines in the dialogue – it feels professional and is at times quite poignant. I remain interested in the story arcs of the many NPCs, who each seem to have around 7 sets of text that change with the main storyline. B+ Features
: Wow, there is a lot packed into this game. I love the Hunter’s Guild, Fishing, Encounter Options, Cutscenes, Bestiary, Achievements… but as with the initial ease of play, there is so much included in this game (Drill, Recipes, Puzzles, Sonar, Skills, Macros, etc!) that I wasn’t initially sure what to pursue. By my third game (and playing at a higher difficulty setting), I appreciated the value derived from more of these options. Still, there is a learning curve on all these features.A- Music
: Excellent. I would listen to this music while jogging or just hanging out. I gave it an A- because, although each piece is really solid, the collective compositions are not unified, which I understand would be difficult/expensive to do. Still, you made beautiful selections and the music remains a significant part of Last Dream’s greatness.A Puzzles
: Very enjoyable. I read on your website that the Chief Designer has a PhD – it shows. I only recently managed to complete all 50… some are strikingly hard!A+ Balancing
: Last Dream is surprisingly well balanced. At first, I expected that one aspect would be better than all the others (e.g. The Hunter's Guild vs. Fishing vs. Experience Building vs. Recipes vs. Side Quests, etc.), because there are MANY things you can do in this game. Yet, each option has its strengths and place within the game. Essentially, I initially recommended breaking up Last Dream into multiple games, yet I now better appreciate what a finely-tuned experience you crafted within Last Dream.A OVERALL
: Your passion for this game is evident in the careful mapping, professional dialogue, countless features, inventive paths, compelling story development, haunting music, and (very) challenging puzzles. I stumbled upon Last Dream in its early development and still find myself enthralled with this well-designed, polished gem of a game. The later parts of Last Dream particularly exceeded my expectations – well done.