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Life under the rule of the winged Skyborn race isn't so bad for Claret Spencer, the star mechanic of an independent repair shop. She can patch up just about anything...but when a certain cravat-wearing customer turns her life upside-down, she finds herself pulled into an epic, city-wide conflict that's going to take a lot more than elbow...
Release Date: Feb 21, 2014
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About the Game

Life under the rule of the winged Skyborn race isn't so bad for Claret Spencer, the star mechanic of an independent repair shop. She can patch up just about anything...but when a certain cravat-wearing customer turns her life upside-down, she finds herself pulled into an epic, city-wide conflict that's going to take a lot more than elbow grease to fix! Join Claret on her journey through a tale of magic, metal and mystery as she unravels the secrets of the Skyborn!

This game features:
  • Lovable, addicting characters
  • Trendy and exciting Steampunk setting
  • Classic look, modern feel
  • Unique story-driven adventure
  • Multiple character classes
  • Breathtaking orchestral soundtrack

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / 7 (32-bit/64-bit)
    • Processor: PC with 800MHz Intel® Pentium® III equivalent or higher processor
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 1024x768 or better video resolution in High Color mode
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectSound-compatible sound card
Helpful customer reviews
13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.7 hrs on record
This title manages to overcome many of the issues that it could have faced and really raises the bar for what I'll be coming to expect from indie JRPGs and titles using the RPGMaker engine. Of the indie old-school RPGs I've played thusfar, it is the best title of that sub-category that is available on Steam right now and excels in every area, exceeding all my expectations. Though this is going to be quite a glowing review, I'll get into some of the downsides toward the end.

There are largely original assets in terms of graphics- an original, rarely-explored Steampunk setting to explore, well done full-screen character designs, and a bunch of animations and effects that add more immersion and personality to the cut-scenes. It all ends up comparing favorably to retail classics. This is one of those titles where you can just look at the screenshots to see if it will be pleasing aesthetically, the actual game does not deviate far from that though unfortunately many of the dungeon areas fall into the typical types of rainforests, caves, mines, etc. Battle graphics are quite simplistic. I greatly enjoy the character designs which seem like a curious blend of Eastern and Western ideas.

As for gameplay, there are enough nooks and crannies to the systems that it better resembles early PS1 RPGs like Grandia or Wild Arms rather than NES/SNES RPGs. The battle system is reminiscent of Grandia with multiple gauges and turn order being dictated by a character's speed stat and also by a weight stat, based on how many items they have equipped. There are some unusual ideas here, such as physical offensive characters having an "energy" gauge that fills up and makes more of their abilities accessible and a "threat" gauge that affects which character will face the brunt of attacks. Buffs, debuffs, and status effects are also available very early on and relevant quickly during battles. The most noteworthy thing about character management is about halfway through the game and again 3/4 of the way through, you receive special items that allow non-linear character classes. For example, a character can choose to learn high level healing OR offensive magic so your choices can accommodate your play style.

There is a weapons and armor crafting and customization system along with the option to use multiple weapon types such as guns, dual-wielding swords, etc. In addition to seeking out treasure from dungeons you also seek out resources to create much stronger versions of the weapons and gear you'd buy from the shops in town. There is a battle coliseum and super tough optional enemies that add a few hours of gameplay.

Dungeons are well-designed areas rife with very simple puzzles to work out. Towns are attractively intricate in design but have little to do beyond speaking to some NPCs, perhaps accepting a quest, and checking out the shops. This is perhaps an overly relaxed game in terms of complexity, but also a fast-paced one, which is a huge factor in its enjoyability. I would recommend choosing hard difficulty though my first playthrough (clocking in at almost 9 hours) was on medium.

The menus are polished and a handy quest log can keep track of where you're at and what you're to do next (this could have been useful for so many old-school RPGs..) lack of cursor memory is my only complaint with the menus.

Music is excellent, the original soundtrack sounds very reminiscent of earlier JRPGs but with enough technical merit to avoid sounding generic. The story is similarly exceptional- usually I expect these homages to old RPGs to come across more as fanfiction than an original story but Skyborn's writing may even exceed (or at least manage to bypass) limitations of both its peers and forebears. There are no issues with translation here, since the story is originally drawn up in English. Didn't catch any grammatical errors, it just seems also at a high standard of quality and the first hour alone is brimming with excitement. The characters are lively, amusing, and mature in their actions. Those who dislike the slapstick that is common in more lighthearted RPGs will likely find this title appreciable.

The story takes place in an alternate, very steampunk-inspired universe where there are three races- humans, the winged Skyborn, and the unfortunate half-breeds that are at the bottom of the hierarchy and face violent discrimination from both groups. There is another race to speak of, but I'll get on with things. The heroine, Claret, works at a mechanic shop until she finds herself caught between an escalating conflict between humans and the very powerful Skyborn who are seeking to enslave and decimate the other races. She's a plucky but strong and capable heroine who isn't over-the-top; rather, she reacts very relateably to the unfolding story and does what she can to help. From there the conflict becomes more chaotic and both allies and enemies are not as they may seem. Some entertaining twists along the way.

Flashbacks with gameplay portions and specialized artwork to match add an extra bit of attention to detail in the story and help flesh out the characters. It's not the most original storyline in the world and I wish there were just a bit more character interactions since quite a likeable group is assembled, but it is one of the high points of Skyborn overall.

Now for some of the downsides- this game's standard price is $15 and is about 8 hours long. Almost $2 per hour. Give or take a few hours if you wish to thoroughly explore each of the minor quests and grind out levels for a tough optional boss. That is still a lot to ask for a short title, and especially for a short title with as many old-school sensibilities as this one has. Absolutely worth the time if it's on sale. Even though I loved it, I can really only recommend this title at its full price wholeheartedly to someone who is looking for an old-school indie JRPG that performs exceptionally in its class.
Posted: March 22
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15 of 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
8.5 hrs on record
This is my number 1 favorite RPG maker game of all time :)
I have the non steam version of the game,played there,but when i soo this game on steam i just hade bo buy it again.
This game is just amazing ,top action/comedy,amazing caracters,just a great game.
11/10
Posted: May 31
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Skyborn is a great game. Has a very good story with unexpecting ending for main boss. The combat is good if you ever play Deadly Sins 2 you will pick up on it espically the health items are mostly the same and some of the abilities characters has. There is no random encounters so you can pick and choose your fights, rewards exploring with decent loot and small stars that give extra exp. Biggest plus for me it is a fantasy world cross with machines really enjoy it a lot. Game is shorter then 8 hrs I spent on it but I like exploring. Would highly reccommend this game to anyone.
Posted: June 23
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
I would love to give a detailed review of this game about every its aspect individually, but you can really only do that when there is something to point out.

The game is amazing, from the details, the sounds, the visual tricks it uses to the story and gameplay. The final boss battle is somewhat cliche in my opinion but everything else is spot on. It took me 9 hours to complete the game and I did that in one sitting, meaning I couldn't separate myself from it until I finished it.

I was very sceptic about the game and I got it for virtually free. I didn't expect much from it even from the start because of prejustices toward the genre that I had but once I started it up, and realized how much work actually went into this game and how it does its best to push the genre to its limits, I was blown away.

Recommendations to this game.
It is truly...
SKYBORN *dun dun dun*
Posted: June 5
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Good classic-style RPG. Reminds me of PSX several titles. It also has great musics, and nice story.
But, I think the developer can tweak and polish the battle system and battle interface better than this.
Posted: May 30
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367 of 385 people (95%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
2/22/14 Edit: Game cleared/fully experienced/explored. Took about 7 hrs if you're diligent about it, maybe a little faster if you're good at this genre.

This game is pretty legit. I'll be brief and quickly summarize my first impressions from playing this game.

Pros:
Entralling Story - Having finished my first playthrough I can safely say that Skyborn offers an entertaining tale with various twists and turns that'll keep the player on their toes. I found the closure at the end to be very satisfying as well (not really a spoiler, I'm primarily trying to convey that the end wasn't half ♥♥♥♥♥).

Avoidable combat - Unlike most RPGs where you run around and trigger random events that can't be seen, Skyborn has a system where players are able to physically see monsters on the screen. This allows a player to circumvent an unwanted encounter while providing the option of easy EXP as well if they find themselves underleveled. Edit: I'll say this now - avoidable mobs are all OPTIONAL. Under no circumstances was I ever pressed to level/grind on a normal clear. I'm currently working on a hard clear to see if this is the same case. Don't let this discourage you though, boss fights are still pretty difficult depending on your composition.

Battle Arena - Later on in the game there's an arena that offers a substantial challenge if you find the fights to be too easy. It poses a significant challenge compared to typical encounters.

Crafting system - I haven't tried it too thoroughly yet, however there is a system in place for harvesting minerals etc and for creating weapons and armor. It hasn't been too impactful in my playthrough since I've been finding gear frequently enough as is, but it's a nice side touch to have.

Consistency/Persistent Story - The game feels very consistent throughout, and when I say that I mean so with regards to the story alawys being present. Unlike other RPGs where you get a 30 second snippet of dialog followed by 2 hours of grinding mobs through a tower in order to reach an objective, Skyborn does a decent job of adding in short excerpts of character interaction to alleviate the grind. While progressing through dungeons characters will talk and continue to give the player story while dungeon crawling.

The Music - The music in this game is by far satisfying and enjoyable to listen to. This of course is my own personal preference, however if something like this appeals to you then by all means consider this when making your decision as well.


Cons:
Lack of Backtracking - There are a couple of areas where I realized some chests were left unlooted due to not understanding certain trigger mechanics until later in the game. From what I can tell, I'm unable to revisit these places for the time being since map movement is very story driven. This is important because certain items come from said chests... and one of the initial lines implies that you want to collect all of a particular set for extraordinary rewards. Edit: At some point in the game it does allow for freedom of movement/control of your ship/destination - just don't expect it too soon.

Options/Settings - I found this panel to be very lacking. Not only do audio settings not save (I found myself having to lower game volume manually through the audio manager my OS provides) but there's very little customization available. You can change the color of the major panels, however keybindings cannot be changed. On top of that, the tutorial isn't very extensive, so figuring out what binds to what is a bit difficult at first. They do bring up the least obvious binding (X has uses apparently), but they fail to mention that other buttons such as spacebar and enter can function as an "a" button if you were to play a hand held.

Stat Values - This is the min/maxer speaking at the moment. With regards to stats in this game, their effects are very helterskelter as far as values go. I'm not talking specific number crunching for damage per turn etc but rather lack of clarity. It's not exactly clear what +1 agility will do as opposed to +1 strength which was a bit frustrating.

As for now, I'm a very satisfied customer considering the price I paid for this. I'd strongly recommend it to anyone that was a fan of the old FFs (1-2 etc) who have a strong desire for pretty driven plot. Overall, I'd give this game an 7.5/10 with everything above in mind. As far as buying goes, I'd be a bit hesitant in recommending full price for this game. With the current half off sale though, it's very much so a buy that gives you your bang for your buck.
Posted: February 21
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