Game: Antagonist by Nivlac
Summary: Antagonist is a fast-paced romp filled with fantastic art, which may have come at the expense of some overall polish.
Let’s be honest – an RPG Maker game poking fun at the clichés of classic RPGs is hardly breaking new ground these days. However, Antagonist is a distinctive twist on this concept, blending its parody of games with an amusing satire of contemporary filmmaking as well.
The lead character is an up and coming actor named D’Vil, who is psyched to have landed the role of end boss for the latest feature from Evil Productions, which films cutscenes to include in RPGs. However, a dangerous shoot on top of a volcano goes awry and D’Vil and Ralph, the actor playing the hero, separated from the crew. The problem is that Ralph is still determined to vanquish D’Vil for the good of the world even though the cameras are gone. Forming an uncomfortable alliance, the two begin to learn the truth about what’s going on.
Of course, the plot isn’t the only unique thing about Antagonist. The most striking feature of the game is that the player never sets foot on a traditional map – the entire game is depicted through wonderful backgrounds, character illustrations and battlers. The game has a large cast and a lot of locations, all of which are beautifully rendered. With no exploration involved, the game is a fast-paced experience that keeps your attention.
I have huge respect for the amount of work that went into this art, especially when only a month of time was allotted for contest entries. While playing the game, however, I began to wonder if the game’s overall polish suffered as a result. During my playthrough, I encountered a handful of typos and instances of text being cut off, I learned a skill I wasn’t supposed to learn, and the final attack, used solely for purposes of the story, supposedly “failed” according to the battle interface, although the ensuing cutscene obviously said otherwise. None of this is game breaking, or even any sort of inconvenience, but I was surprised to see it in a game that placed so high.
Battles have some element of strategy involved, mostly in regard to which spells you choose to learn. It’s rarely challenging, but the striking backdrops and colorful opponents make it a good deal of fun. Most adversaries are direct parodies of other RPG characters. Personally, I thought “Chefiroth” had most of the best lines.
There are a lot of battles to fight in Antagonist, but it still felt like it was over quickly. That’s a good sign that the fun factor is pretty high on this one. That and the unique presentation are more than enough of a reason to recommend it. What did you think of this game? What was your favorite character design? Are you fine with the lack of exploration when the art is this good? Tell us in the comments!