In Search for Dragons is a game currently in development using RPG Maker VX Ace by Indrah, a member of the RPGMakerWeb forums.
Even before gracing this blog (obviously a huge honor), In Search for Dragons had already been the runner up in RMN’s Nugget Crash Course contest, as well as having won RPGMakerWeb’s own Set the Setting Contest.
But enough about the accolades let’s get to my actual impressions from playing the demo!
The story opens with Owen, a rich, rude, and somewhat direct young man barging into the local inn and demanding to know where they are keeping the dragons, somewhat frightening the lady innkeeper.
At first I thought I was seeing the actions of a villain! But a few seconds later, Keith, Owen’s bodyguard, pops in to set things straight. Our two “heroes” are looking for Dragons. Owen for unknown reasons, and Keith because he has apparently been handed an impressive sum of gold to help him out.
After exploring the town, and learning more of Owen’s inability to communicate with normal human beings, they eventually get a guide into the old forest, where the real adventure begins.
Humor abounds in the writing, as well as a few surprise twists that I did not see coming. Dialogue is really one of Indrah’s strong points, and she tries to fit as much in as she can. Luckily she uses a really cool system where the characters can talk in the background while you explore the maps.
Characters consistently act like themselves, and have very defined characteristics. Keith is very exasperated and put upon, Meriel has an almost perpetually bored sound to her dialogue, and Damon seems just a bit uptight. And all of them interact in a very natural manner that doesn’t ever seem forced.
I was told the majority of the gameplay was created by a friend of Indrah, known only to me as Helel Ben.
And I have to give credit to him, for an unfinished demo, this game is surprisingly polished. The character skills are incredibly varied, and the boss fights are genuinely difficult.
There were really only a few “problems” I could really identify with the gameplay. The first is partially my own fault. Remember to save often, because the game won’t remind you! I lost most of my progress and had to start over because of this.
The second is in the strength of Knockdown skills. Keith had an ability that could inflict Knockdown that used very little TP and could lock down an enemy as long as he didn’t miss.
The third turned out to be a slight error. One of the bosses inflicted a status effect, Poison, that an item that was supposed to cure it didn’t work. This was also the source of me dying. Indrah is planning to fix this in the final version.
Graphics wise, In Search For Dragon uses an RTP style, and most of the graphics will be recognizable to RM users. The main characters and monsters use nicely picked graphics from outside the RTP though, and look really good in game.
The music was well placed and blended well into the background. The only problem I had here was that I found the opening splash screen music obnoxious for some reason, but that one may just be me.
In Search for Dragons is definitely a game that I’m looking forward to seeing the full version of. The gameplay is surprisingly solid already, and the writing is great. I’ve also been told that both will be improved in the finished version. The game doesn’t redefine what I thought was capable in RM games, but it does bring a lot to the table.
If you want to go ahead and play the demo, which I really suggest you do, you can find it HERE.