Some of us play RPGs to play a game of chess against enemies, others play the game for the story, but with Victim of Zen you’ll find neither.
This is a really forgettable RPG made with RPG maker. It feels particularly lazy. Not only are there stock assets that come with RPG maker, but the turn based combat system is shallow and default. The enemies just attack. You just attack. Your only focus skill (special skill) is attack twice. It just seems like far less of a RPG than everything else out there. Sometimes the combat will demand that you lose to progress in the game, but other times it will cause a game over. How do you know? Just waste your time to find out. Such as being given a choice, leave through a door on the east or a door on the west. They both lead to guards, but guard on the east will have a game over after you lose the battle. Guard on the west will take you to prison. Hilariously sometimes there are 2 guards on screen and they fight you 1 at a time. That’s nice of them. Here you kill my comrade him against 2 of you, then I’ll fight the two of you myself. Random battles can seem overpowered, such as level 1 facing 3 enemies that have more HP than you and their attacks do as much damage as you do. So everyone hits 50 HP and you all have 400 HP and they can have critical hits. To top that off, if you get lucky enough for a 1 on 1 battle and you almost get murdered by a critical hit, you can still take your winnings and go to an inn right? Inns cost 17 – 18 gold and the 1 enemy that nearly murders you pays out 10 gold. Games like the first Dragon Quest / Dragon Warrior for the original Nintendo were grind fests, and I was happy for that, because its a great game that spawned a dozen more games with original characters and artwork.
There really isn’t all that much interactivity or story to speak of other than your male character has been transformed into a female. There is no real sense of character progression, other than you’re a girl now. No one seems to care other than ‘you’re a girl. I’m in love! Will you date boys now? You’re cute. You’re cute. You’re cute. That witch is cute. That girl over there is cute.’ If only there was thesaurus for words like cute that weren’t cute. Makes me feel bad for the people of this unnamed land. Tall people must hear about how they’re tall all the time.
Amazingly people comment on the armor you’re wearing being uncomfortable. When you go to the equipment screen I literally have nothing equipped or on. One character says ‘Will is an odd name for a girl.’ Perhaps he should assume that it is short for Willa. Upon breaking out of prison your companion tells you ‘let’s get our stuff and get out of here.’ When I check my inventory, turns out I have all of my items, but I never had any equipment. Whatever.
There are a lot of great character images straight from RPG maker, but what I don’t like is how the game forgets to bring up character images for some of the characters.
The mapping is dull and uninspiring. Everything looks the same and its carpeted the same if not empty. None of the building interiors have windows. The floor textures and shadows have errors and glitches. Such as a shadow not stretching the entire length of the wall. The fact that a lot of rooms you need to touch the side of a space to exit a room or hallway. I wouldn’t mind that if it was marked, but a lot of hallways you just need to touch the end of every hallway to see if its a door or a wall. The prison cells are larger than houses in the game. Those are just visual issues though.
I would take screenshots, but hitting F12 makes the game exit. The first cave is just vacant with no detail at all and some RPG Maker games can be incredibly detailed. It really feels like someone’s first attempt at making a RPG. I hope some of the money goes to putting unique assets into the game to make this game stand out.
The game is really based around doing jobs more than it is about combat or some grand adventure. You’ll have jobs and view job postings then go do them. Along the way you’ll meet people that complain about the work they’re doing. Well this is the perfect time to bring up well I’d be willing to do it for a price. But nope, its just typical RPG banter of people complaining about their job and nothing more. The bland dialog just goes no where. It doesn’t even hint at anything. Like oh monsters to the east killed someone or I hear so and so lost their child. One job that rewards you tells you here’s your reward, but doesn’t give you anything. Everyone else gives you something and it tells you what you get. It just seems like an issue that should have been fixed before the game made it to Steam as a finished product. The chicken hunt job seems pretty glitched. You’ll see chickens run through trees and fences. Some jobs are broken such as building benches ‘grab some wood and get to work.’ Then there is no way to pickup wood. I’m not sure if that’s a dirty joke or a joke at you’re a girl that can’t pickup wood or just a bug. Other jobs you can do over and over again.
There is a quest where grandma sends you to get a bottle of wine, did she mean the bottle of wine next to her or the broken bottle of wine upstairs on the floor? On your quest you’ll meet a girl that tells you to tell your grandma to give her a recipe, but upon returning to grandma, there’s no way to tell her to give the girl the recipe. This is the level of questing this game has to offer. You’ll take jobs and complete them in seconds with no effort.
The game does well enough explaining the controls and menu, but for keyboards and not 360 controllers. The controller does work with the game quite well and some of us prefer using them.
If you buy this game, you’ll be a victim alright.