Post by Doan the Nado on Nov 23, 2005 10:27:07 GMT -5
The Farm Life, by Doyleman (added 11/10/05) After losing your job and being booted from your city apartment, you are forced to move in with your uncle in the country. As fate would have it, he is about to go on vacation when you arrive, and you are left to care for his farm and his house. Your tasks include growing and selling produce, raising chickens, sheep, and cows, getting the mail, and taking care of (upgrading) the house. Other features include 4 seasons to a year (with unlimited years), 8 festivals to partake in, a dating system, and quite a bit more, including an instruction manual. So try out the game and let Doyleman know what you think in his forum's discussion of the game. Downloads: .xps.max
Post by JimmyPaladin on Dec 1, 2005 12:00:04 GMT -5
My rating system is no rating system, because different people care more about different things than others when it comes to games and thus what one person may like about a game another person may not. I will try to mention all of the possible pros and possible cons of the games I review, explicate why I believe they are possible pros and possible cons, and say who I think will and won’t enjoy the game. Hopefully, those of you reading my reviews will learn a lot about the game being reviewed and gain a better understanding of whether you will enjoy it or not. If I miss something that you feel is valid, please feel free to post a response.
The two main components of all games are story and gameplay, and the graphics and music are there to enhance the two. This is how I will review games:
Story - How well is the story shown and told to the player? How deep are the characters’ backgrounds and emotions? Is there an overall theme to the game, and how well is it presented throughout the plot? Do the characters have proper motive for their actions? Etc.
Gameplay - How well does everything work, and how fun is it to play the game? And, if so, what innovative features does the game have to offer?
Sound - Are the right sounds used at the right times? Does the sound vary enough throughout the game? Is there any time where the sound can become annoying? Are transitions from one sound to the other smooth? How well is sound used to set mood for cutscenes? (I’ll count custom music in here)
Graphics - Does everything look good enough? (I’ll count custom visuals in here)
‘The Farm Life’
Story - The story isn’t anything special here. You play as Tom (name can be changed), a teenager from the city who gets kicked out of his city-home for not paying the rent and goes to his uncle’s farm and runs the farm in his uncle's stead. From there the game is open-ended, but like many open-ended games it completely lacks story after the intro. This may be a problem for some, but it wasn’t for me since I wasn’t expecting much of a story before-hand. The way it’s told to the player is both good and bad: the dialogue is right on the mark, but the visuals during the cutscenes aren’t always sufficient. Basically, there’s only a little plot, the characters are flat and hollow, the game lacks a theme entirely, and the cutscenes don’t always have the proper mood set for them through music.
Gameplay - This is where this game clearly shines. I played for about two-and-a-half hours, and only had done about half of what’s possible. There isn’t really a goal in the game (one drawback), but you’re likely to have fun for hours doing everything available. You can farm plants, raise livestock, flirt with girls, smash rocks for dough, mine for minerals, go fishing, watch TV, cook various dishes, pick flowers and herbs, buy and sell stuff, and much more. This really does show off what RPGM2 is capable of. I have a few things to mention though: look at Doyleman’s manual (found in zip file with game) if you forget anything. There’s so much to do in The Farm Life that it can be overwhelming at first, and that should help ease the process of getting into the game. The only drawback is that there is little to no incentive to continue doing stuff (such as an engrossing story), and that you’ll likely end up quitting at some point because of that.
Sound - The music selection and use of sound in this game are right on the mark almost all the time. The only possible negative here is that the one song playing mid-day everyday will eventually get on your nerves, though it will likely take a while since it’s one of the best songs on RPGM2. Also, the creator doesn't always make good use of music to set proper mood for its cutscenes.
Graphics - Everything looks good for the most part. The only possible negatives are the lack of camera movement during gameplay, and the lack of camera use during cutscenes. This game makes fantastic use of the VFX Editor with an array of good-looking custom graphics seen in few games to date. This game also debuts character portraits for text messages, and even has several for each towns person to show different emotions. Overall, everything visually was quite well-done.
Overall - Definitely check this game out if you want to see what RPGM2's capable of, because this game is loaded with custom features not found in many RPGM2 games. The main drawback is the lack of story and the reptitive music, but if you want to just pick up a game and carelessly do random stuff like smackin' hoes (just kidding!), this is the game for you. You’ll likely have fun with this game for a few hours, at least.
Okay, I have said many times that I will review this game, but I wanted to finish it and do all the things like marriage and children before I wrote my review. But Doyle made such a dedicated game, it took me about 3 hours to get through each season.... Yeah, that long. So here is my review of the game after playing through the first year.
Review system: Besides "The Good and The Bad" everything will be rated on a 1-10, .5 scale, with 5 being average.
The Good: I pretty much explain my favorite parts of the game here.
The Bad: I explain the worst aspects of the game.
Overall!: I review how all of these aspects came together, and give the game a custom title along with a score. The custom title will make my reviews a little fun.
The Bad: Sometimes feels like racing against the clock. Easy to cheat on fishing mini game.
Graphics: (9.0) I remember Doyle saying he has no skills in the Map Editor, this is where I slap him. The maps are put together very well, with good knowledge of texture blending, and making a believable atmosphere. As for VFX, I had a hand in alot of them, including making/animating the cow. When I was playing I won a free cow from Rodak, then I realized how disapointing the animation was. But aside from that Doyle put them in there very well, if I did the cow better I would give it an even higher score.
Story: (6.0) Pretty average for a farm sim, a little more than what you expect from a title like this, which is pretty nice. He had a decent story to back up why "Tom" is running the farm, and it doesn't need to get any deeper than that. Any more it would be more serious than it needs to be.
Sounds: (7.0) All the sound effects were put in very well, like when you put away your produce, etc. But doesn't go very deep in this area, but once again, in a farm sim you don't need to go very far in this department. My only complaint was the music got very tiring, and you couldn't change it, and I wasn't really a particular fan of the limited tracks selected. So I would play hours at a time listening to a tune I didn't like that much. But other than that, the sound was pretty well done.
Custom Elements: (10) Ugh, I couldn't wait to get here! Absolutely impressive, you can get married, have a kid, raise many different animals, water crops, custom menu system where you can hold items, and tools. The list goes on and on! The reason it took me 3 hours each season is because I would plant as many seeds as possible, water each of them daily, take care of my cows, sheep, and chickens, I will go off topic for a second, but you can put a chickens egg it lays into an incubater and it will hatch into another chicken in a few days time, amazing. Its all of these little attentions to detail that make me give this aspect of the game a 10.
Over all! (Not an average): 9.0 Title:"I can't believe its RPG Maker 2!"
Quite the amazing game, and my favorite RPGM2 title, everyone should play this game if not just to check out its custom elements and what can be done on RPGM2. Many probably won't see til the end, but its definitly a blast to play.