Hi all! :)
In preparation for the imminent release of Adventurer Manager I thought I would add this review based on my experience with the game as an active Alpha Tester - some may call my review biased given my tester status so I should point out that I'm just a normal guy who stumbled upon Adventurer Manager a few months ago and leapt at the opportunity to get a hands on look at this great game. If you find my review a little one sided, then just put it down to me loving AM! :)
Firstly what is Adventurer Manager?
To sum it up in a nutshell AM is a retro style RPG with a traditional 80's / 90's feel JRPG combat system with a heavy emphasis on humor, customisation and dungeon grinding, loot finding goodness.
The game is still in it's alpha stage so a large quantity of what the developers still have planned has yet to make it to release, but it is clear that when it's all in AM will lack for nothing and will be in my opinion one of the most content rich and fun to play games of it's genre.
Dont believe me? Want to check out what the developers has in store? Head on over to the VA Studios forum and have a look - I think you'll agree...it's gonna be large! ;) http://va-studios.com/forums/
Dialogue, NPC's and Story:
There has been a large amount of effort into scripting and designing some of the most hilarious NPC's and random quests and I take my hat off to the devs for still making me chuckle every time I get smited with a paperclip upon completeing a quest. Seriously...The Baker anyone? :D
Graphics and Sound:
Whilst the 8-Bit retro feel isn't to everyones liking I personally find the design of the game to be top class - The amount of detail and effort into making each piece of gear, each mob (be it standard or boss) and each dungeon unique and well crafted is extraordinary. In so many other games of it's type you end up seeing a large number of 'pallet swaps', but not so in AM. Every element has a vibrant and chunky feel to it. There are still missing pieces to some of the art (mostly with regards to skills/spells), but these will be upcoming and I'm confident they'll be just as good as what is currently completed.
The same with the sound and music - There are some missing sound effects in the game, and one or two of the tracks are a little short before they loop to beginning however, the music itself is addicting, well composed and well implemented. A few of the tracks have that 'sticks in your head' side to them so all in all I'd definately rate the audio.
So far lvl range 1-21 is unlocked, 3 races and 5 classes to choose from and a host of skills for each class to play around with. The customisation at the moment is limited as the developers primary focus was to get the UI and dungeon, loot and combat mechanics in place however considering the alpha status of the game it will still take many, many, many hours of grinding and getting slaughtered by boss's to 'finish' the current content and with the amount of things on the cards I couldn't want for more! Each update and new feature that gets added is exciting and I constantly look forward to seeing what is round the corner.
Whilst in a lot of games grinding can be repetative and dull I think this game has captured well that diabloesque feel to it. Each time I go through a dungeon and find that legendary or unique class piece of loot I get that 'OOOoooo shiny!' feel and I still don't get tired of slaughtering pixelated bats by the thousand lol.
Production and the development team:
It's not often a reviewer would add something about the guys making the game, but my alpha testing has given me the opportunity to speak to the developers via chat/forums and I can say unreservedly that the team itself is one of the friendliest, open, and passionate about their game teams I have encountered. I strongly recommend any who like the idea of being part of Early Access to head over to the VA Studios website, sign up to their forums and get involved with the AM community :)