To be brutally honest, I loaded this game up today thinking that I would just play around for a few minutes and then put it away, unlikely to ever play it again. In reality, from the point the story began to unfold I decided that I wouldn't ... or couldn't stop until it was completed.
It's amazing what Freebird Games managed to do with the RPG Maker tool. With some subtle animations, lighting, and movement, it didn't take long for me to forget the 'low budget' visuals and imagine as the game and story elements unfolded in whatever resolution my mind can create.
I will admit that this isn't what a person could call a gameplay heavy experience. However, the way that the elements are woven into the story are creative and even add to the story. I think as a medium we hurt ourselves by calling our games 'games' at all... however, I was able to complete the journey through my own interaction with enough perceived freedom that I didn't feel corralled into a corner. Mostly the story itself made me want to push to the next story element or conclusion... it was simply that good.
It's sad, really, that a small time developer like Freebird can craft something with such a small budget that is so moving, yet all the big AAA developers can hardly bring me to laugh let alone shed a tear. Speaking of laughter, the pacing of the story is impressive with some comic relief to mix up the joy and sadness. Although I will admit, a few times I thought one of the main characters was a little over-the-top silly... but that may just well be who he is.
When I was in college I took a movie class where the instructor said it was a travesty to ever watch a movie in pieces... and in this case, if you can free up a few hours, I think that this dish is best served in one sitting. Just keep a box of tissue next to your monitor.
Posted: January 4th, 2014