Celestian Tales: Old North is a refreshing take on the classic turn-based Japanese style RPG. Scrapping away the cliché of a destined person or a boy/girl-saving-the-world, the story is tailored for a mature audience and questions the bare morals of a human being.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (20 reviews) - 70% of the 20 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (224 reviews) - 70% of the 224 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 10, 2015

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Recent updates View all (7)

June 14

v1.1.2 Patch Notes

A small update has been released:

Bug Fixes
- Fixed Core Game and DLC files not being built on the same Unity version
- Added collision marker for Emerald Forest Night

Other Improvements
- Reduced number of enemies in Summerlight Gardens
- Reduced number of enemies in Emerlad Forest Night
- Reduced difficulty for the Summerlight Gardens maze

- Added camera smoothness function to reduce jitters in the screen

4 comments Read more

June 6

Howl of the Ravager DLC brings along v1.1.1 !

Hi everyone,

We're happy to inform you that the Howl of the Ravager DLC is now available!

This DLC tells the story of young Severin Leroux and his first steps to become the renowned hero that he is in the core game. Not only is it a precursor to Old North, Howl of the Ravager also connects several story threads to Realms Beyond and therefore a great companion to play in between the two.

Also, along with the DLC the core game itself receives several quality of life updates, some have been popularly requested by players.

Patch v1.1.1 Notes:
- Several events can now be skipped (default button is V for Keyboard)
- Combat difficulty can now be set from the Options Menu (try Nightmare for more challenge)

- Increased movement speed in cities and dungeons
- Fixed screen appearing for a brief millisecond before an event starts
- Fixed several object collisions
- Remastered several music tracks

We hope these features will help you enjoy the game even more :)

2 comments Read more

Reviews

“With a fantastic atmosphere far beyond most indie RPG titles, and a large amount of replay value Celestian Tales is a game that JRPG fans should not miss... I would wager that it is one of the most well crafted Indie JRPG’s that I’ve played in recent years.”
99/100 – ModVive

“Ekuator Games have gone above and beyond to bring an interesting, dramatic, and most importantly believable story to the table... Perhaps some of the bigger names in the genre should take a page from indie Ekuator Games’ book and focus on making believable characters and intriguing storylines, and worry less about the ancient prophecies and all-powerful weapons.”
Yay! – PopZara

About This Game


Celestian Tales: Old North is a refreshing take on the classic turn-based Japanese style RPG. Scrapping away the cliché of a destined person or a boy/girl-saving-the-world, the story is tailored for a mature audience and questions the bare morals of a human being. Will you do anything to survive? Will you be steadfast in defending your faith and beliefs? Or will you let yourself be corrupted, little by little, in the name of greater good?

The First of the Celestian Tales 3 Part Series, Old North is full of lush hand-painted environments, emotive portraits, memorable characters and a sprawling engaging moralistic storyline that is told through the eyes of six protagonists. The actions you perform and the decisions you make in Celestian Tales: Old North will carry over to the next installment of the series.

Experience what it's truly like to bear the responsibilities of a hero in the beautifully hand-drawn Old North. Take on the role of one among six young nobles, learning your way of knighthood and assisting the lords you serve. When an external force threatens the land, you find yourself swept in the tides of war where the deadliest enemies are those among your own ranks.

Featuring a turn-based combat system with plenty of character and party customization options, Celestian Tales allows you to play the game at your own pace in your own style. Enter the first decade of this epic three-game series and see for yourself what sets it apart.

Features

  • Moral Confrontations - Situations are presented to the player throughout the game that force players to face moral questions and beliefs.
  • Unique Story – By avoiding genre cliches, the story brings a fresh approach to RPG storytelling by allowing players feel the weight of their character’s actions.
  • Multiple Story Arcs - 6 Selectable Characters allow you to play the game from 6 different perspectives. Play through the game as all 6 characters for a full experience.
  • Traditional RPG Gameplay - Inspired by classic JRPGs with a turn-based RPG battle system, players can develop a personal combat style.
  • Beautiful Art - Lush hand-painted background visuals and environments with detailed emotive character portraits and animated pixel-art characters create a full and complete world experience.
  • Epic Music - A sweeping score that captures the pace and emotion of the story as it unfolds.
  • More to Come - Old North is the First episode of a planned trilogy of games and your actions in this game will have impact in the next episode of the series.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows® 7 and Windows® 8
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 2.1 GHz or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • Sound Card: DirectX9.0c Compatible Audio
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.9.5 and above
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 2.1 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 5000
    • Sound Card: DirectX9.0c Compatible Audio
    Minimum:
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 2.1 GHz
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • Sound Card: DirectX9.0c Compatible Audio
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mostly Positive (20 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (224 reviews)
Recently Posted
nakano
( 20.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Just finished "Celestian Tales: Old North - Howl of the Ravager" (duration about 5-6 hours) and have previously played the main entry (duration about 14-16 hours) with Ylianne as a main character. It doesn't matter in which order you play the games through even though they're somewhat linked. For example, Ravager gives nice background information for Alain, Sophie and Ylianne. Both entries are good and worthplaying!

+ A game of characters with personalities.
+ Lore book contributing towards personality.
+ Excellently written dialog.
+ Story that keeps you playing.
+ People in town seems lively. For example, I talked to a person earlier who had borrowed a book. When I later talked with her, she had read it.
+ Nice and tactical combat system.
+ Battles can be avoided. When I played in normal difficulty, balance wise it worked mostly nicely that I tried to avoid fights and never purchased anything from shops. I'd recommend to try playing that way if playing on normal!
+ Difficulty can be changed on the fly.
+ Hand-painted graphical style.
+ Atmospheric music.
+ The game has its occasional light & fun moments.
+ There are multiple choices (at least two) to find a solution to some puzzles. However, mostly both games are quite linear, I think. It's not a major issue for me.
+ There are dialog choices to determine some NPC's fate. (Don't know if those have any effect on sequels or are those just there momentarily)
+ Unique scenes depending on the character you chose at the beginning so replaying the game with other main character may be worth it!
+ Cut scenes can be skipped (this option was added after the release; would contribute playing the game multiple times to avoid watching same scenes multiple times).
+ Works great with my generic usb Logitech Dual Action controller.
+ [Ravager] Includes at least one hidden boss!

---

- Game could have some tutorial how to equip items and skills. Originally I was pondering a little how to do this. The released manual on Steam does answer to this so that's ok.
- Music is good, but the soundtrack needs more songs. Sequel requires a new soundtrack for variety.
- Some may not like that the world/story isn't very open in the end.
- [Ravager] When meeting the main boss first time, the battle could take a little bit longer. Ends too soon.
- [Ravager] The end labyrinth puzzle feels a bit too long.

The following issues may have changed on/after release (I'm Kickstarter backer so started playing before official release):

- Balance: The beginning area bosses are a little too easy. When I played alpha they gave more challenge. Then the world ender boss is just a little too tough for level 15 characters (I think I first tried on level 13). I was able to beat it once on level 15, but don't ask me to beat it twice without letting me save first! So the game may require some grinding. I must add that even if losing the follow-up battle was a little frustrating on the first time, it wasn't that unfair and contributed greatly towards the story. When trying again, I was able to better prepare to it by switching skills and team members. So in the end, I kind of liked the challenge :)
- Balance: On level 21, the chapter 6 boss is quite tough, but with right members and luck, I did beat it.
- Balance again: Chapter 7 soldier are way too tough at level 23. But I did win them with a clever strategy (Reynard immorality + bleed prevention ring). What was coming after, the same trick didn't work again (Reynard could be killed with Omnilash or other ability attack even though immorality) - but in theory I think I could have beaten it. I probably need to grind a little for next time.
- Some scene transitions could be prettier. For example when Marienne comes to save you from the world enders, the black screen flash takes care of them. With further animations, Marianne could have charged towards them and cut them down that way (enemies would fade away after charge). Same would go to the Arcane scene to follow. Some lighting animation to defeat the world enders would be better. Also a scene where a certain person is slayed by sword, it again uses the black screen flash. So more animated scenes instead of black screen transition would improve the experience.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lucibunny
( 13.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
It's pretty solid for what it is. The story is a little short, but I was expecting that. I'm interested to see how it will continue.

The gameplay is solid, You shouldn't have any issues at anytime in the fights.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Swiskon
( 13.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 21
This is one of those games I just barely can't recommend. The biggest flaw is the fact that it's part 1 of a bigger game. I'm fine with games being in parts but you need every part to stand by itself. This feels more like a prologue to the actual game.

The positives are the characters. They are varied, funny and have some depth (but the game is too short for any real character building). The only problem with them is that you have to replay the game 6 times, once for every character, to actually get there story.

This is as the developer say, a story focused JRPG with interesting and intriguing choices. But the choices are way to few. Several times I waited to make a choice and the story did it for me. I think that if you got to play all characters stories at the same time (you play with all of them any way) this feeling might not have occurred.

Now for game play. The mechanics I felt were good but the variety of enemies where low... really low. And most of it where cosmetic ones. Only the fairies felt like they where different and even the secret boss wasn't unique, just bigger and stronger.

I have to point out the fact that it was one of the few non-sexist games I ever played. All characters were of different sexes and it only mattered for sexual preferences. That's all to rare to see even in this day and age.

Visually it was mostly really nice. I did think some of the things stuck out a bit. Most of the time I enjoyed it though but wish for bigger areas in the future.

To sum this up. Hopefully I can recommend a bundle when all parts of this game is out. It has huge potential and I will definitely give the second part a chance. I enjoyed my first play through almost entirely so if you really miss a JRPG, pick it up. I can however, as thumbs down shows, not recommend it as a standalone game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ariesta.wa
( 6.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 16
I know it's hard to brew a game into something awesome that people can play.
To be honest, the tilesets are great! Also the overall graphic design! Drawn carefully and is artistically great. But you can do more than that! And the musical score, you can do more by creating emotional dynamics at a specific BGM, like at the wood theme (I think the BGM is too short and the looping didn't smooth enough)

But I enjoy the overall story and emotions through the game. 8 out of 10
Keep the good work!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Smoker
( 22.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 15
Probably the closest you're going to get to a new Suikoden game since Exit Fate. Also has some Game of Thrones influence.

The Ravager DLC is pretty good too.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
rene.perron
( 8.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 14
End really REALLY fast and weird... like the story just done and there should be much more to it then that... game play simple ok overall game but expect the story to finish all of a sudden on you leaving you with more question then anything else
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Thielvaz Aur
( 4.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 14
Rather bland story and the dialogue is not much for celebrating. Dropped
Helpful? Yes No Funny
meh.
( 10.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 12
>You are not special.
Every character is literally royalty.

Combat system copied from Bravely Default. Prologues stolen from Secret of Mana 3. One of the writers left. The plot is terrible the writing is cliche and the ending is a character completely changing his personality for no reason. Also, nice copy paste job on Lucca from Chrono Trigger. You know which character.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Farbor med Pump
( 41.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 11
Exellent rpg..good story and nice difficulty after the patch.

Cant have too many of these
Helpful? Yes No Funny
『lucernae』
( 31.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 11
Look, I know Ekuator Games, I know how they struggle to create this franchise. So, at first, I was reluctant to give a review because I'm afraid I will be heavily biased. But then, after I played the DLC, I realized this game has certain charms and depite it flaws, it also has many plus points.

So, here goes my review:

Summary
Despite its genre being JRPG, the contents of the game actually tried to simulate real world
political and social (even racial) issues using midieval knight fantasy settings. The story follows
6 protagonist set in the realm of knighthood and nobles. This game particularly, highlighted their
teenage phase trying to reach knighthood. Celestian Tales was supposed to be a trilogy, with each game highlighting a specific event through their age. As I said before, Old North here highlighted their teenage phase. The later 2 games will highlight their adult and old age phase.

This concept become interesting when this one game tries to tell the story each protagonist experienced during the same event. So, for example different character you chose will feel slightly different, since they all come from different background and have different motivation for knighthood. You will see their character progressions in the event that will define them for the next game. Interesting right?

Story
I have to tell you this aspect is the most mindblowing feature I have. I haven't seen this in a long time, since maybe Suikoden games era. The story was seen differently by each character. For the next game, it was supposed to be developing, meaning each character will undergo change (physically and mentally). As fas as Old North can tell, the plot is amazingly deep and coherent! I really like it. The writer, or whoever who wrote the script put a great attention to detail on how the event would feel for each particular character, and how the story unfolds after you have seen all the aspect of the story from each character. Investing in other character provides impact on how you perceived the whole event. It was such an amazing experience, like you are reading experienced novel writers.

However, there seems to be some misspelling here and there and some grammatical error, but that might be forgiven since the plot it self still consistents.

The Lore and background of the world in Celestian Tales is so diverse. So much things can be explored by its writer. Mystery is hidden to be found. Stories waiting to be told. All tickling your curiousity to wanting to know the next story. I even have to admit, Howl of the Ravager DLC can also be seen as a prologue of Old North. It revealed interesting background stories surrounding Old North chapters, and provides more insight on how Old North have that kind of ending (I won't spoil you). In fact, it was to the extent that I think it is not fair to call it a DLC, since the game length is fairly the same like playing one of the character in Old North chapter, also the stories were closely related. They should have included it in the main game :p. Anyway the DLC is worth to buy too if you are curious and enjoyed the stories like myself.

Given a potentially great storylines and possibility to expand it into a huge franchise. I can give a solid:

9/10

point is missing because sometimes, there were spelling bug. But that can be fixed.

Animation

I will just be blatant about this. As much as I love it, well I found some flaw in the art.

Opening animation is ridiculous quality. It was saved by the amazing soundtrack. It feels like the animator doesn't put full effort on it (perhaps considering the budget). Please, my hand feels itchy just by watching the opening scene.

Walking sprite was surprisingly good quality for JRPG genre in 2D world. Enough said.

Battle sprite was so so. I think you can put more effort for smooth and epic animation, since people will generally do battle everytime. It is not bad, but not wow either like Vanillaware games.

Concept art for the world was smooth and refreshing. However the architecture of town was slightly ridiculous. What kind of Lord who built his castle like a maze for his people??? Shade gradient also sometimes hard to distinguish, which makes you failed to recognize the depth of the tiles as 3D structures.This can be fixed by art director of course.

Character portrait art was also good, had distinct feel to it. Nice. No complaints from me. It's just that it kinds of deviate a little bit from the art of the world itself.

Music is surprisingly good. I can tell the developer tried to put midieval feel on the soundtrack so it becomes like that. Pretty good for this kind of genre. It feels very epic in strong scenes. The use of music element was also well thought of.

Overall, I'd like to give you:

6/10

low point because of opening animation really :p. 8/10 if battle sprites was smoothly animated.

Gameplay

Since this is story-heavy JRPG. I think their main focus is not on the gameplay. I observed such low expectation on gameplay, like the following:

Battle seems kind of repetitive, doesn't get much creative possibility from the player. I mean, at
some point, you will just mashing the button without thinking to skip through battle scene. Very different from JRPG as general. They sometimes add personal feels to the battle so it lasts an impression. Think about Muramasa Rebirth, Valkyrie Profile, Suikoden, Breath of Fire, Persona, even Final Fantasy. They all had defining elements of choice in their battle system. I find it lacking here.

Choice of Weapon and Armor was very limited. But it was saved by upgrade system.

Economy mechanic was not entirely original (selling loot for money, no other way to have money). But not bad either.

Choice mechanic was a standard choose and react. Actually I imagined the choice would have more impact in later games.

No sidequest. Very sad.

No minigame either. Very sad.

For this lack of gameplay element. I can only give:

5/10

Just because I was being generous.

Conclusion
I really support this game and see its potential to become a great game (even franchise).
However, I can't recommend this solely based on potential alone.
For you who really enjoyed deep story. You will not be dissapointed.
For those who played for the sake of playing.... Nah this is not for you.
There were really not much in terms of gameplay this game can offer.
You will spend most of your time reading text, doing boring battle, and exploring limited
worlds. For those people, if you want to support the developer, just buy it while it is on sale.

I know this is harsh, but overall rating from me is

7/10

I will still recommend it for those who enjoyed the stories most! It was a great story!
However, in order for it to become a GREAT GAME, it has to be a game first.

Keep it up Ekuator games, I know you can pull it off. I will keep supporting you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
17 of 25 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 5
It's like a mix of Suikoden and Game of thrones. Even with a big library of games I still didnt play, I chose to play it through 2 times straight and enjoyed every second.

9/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
20.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Just finished "Celestian Tales: Old North - Howl of the Ravager" (duration about 5-6 hours) and have previously played the main entry (duration about 14-16 hours) with Ylianne as a main character. It doesn't matter in which order you play the games through even though they're somewhat linked. For example, Ravager gives nice background information for Alain, Sophie and Ylianne. Both entries are good and worthplaying!

+ A game of characters with personalities.
+ Lore book contributing towards personality.
+ Excellently written dialog.
+ Story that keeps you playing.
+ People in town seems lively. For example, I talked to a person earlier who had borrowed a book. When I later talked with her, she had read it.
+ Nice and tactical combat system.
+ Battles can be avoided. When I played in normal difficulty, balance wise it worked mostly nicely that I tried to avoid fights and never purchased anything from shops. I'd recommend to try playing that way if playing on normal!
+ Difficulty can be changed on the fly.
+ Hand-painted graphical style.
+ Atmospheric music.
+ The game has its occasional light & fun moments.
+ There are multiple choices (at least two) to find a solution to some puzzles. However, mostly both games are quite linear, I think. It's not a major issue for me.
+ There are dialog choices to determine some NPC's fate. (Don't know if those have any effect on sequels or are those just there momentarily)
+ Unique scenes depending on the character you chose at the beginning so replaying the game with other main character may be worth it!
+ Cut scenes can be skipped (this option was added after the release; would contribute playing the game multiple times to avoid watching same scenes multiple times).
+ Works great with my generic usb Logitech Dual Action controller.
+ [Ravager] Includes at least one hidden boss!

---

- Game could have some tutorial how to equip items and skills. Originally I was pondering a little how to do this. The released manual on Steam does answer to this so that's ok.
- Music is good, but the soundtrack needs more songs. Sequel requires a new soundtrack for variety.
- Some may not like that the world/story isn't very open in the end.
- [Ravager] When meeting the main boss first time, the battle could take a little bit longer. Ends too soon.
- [Ravager] The end labyrinth puzzle feels a bit too long.

The following issues may have changed on/after release (I'm Kickstarter backer so started playing before official release):

- Balance: The beginning area bosses are a little too easy. When I played alpha they gave more challenge. Then the world ender boss is just a little too tough for level 15 characters (I think I first tried on level 13). I was able to beat it once on level 15, but don't ask me to beat it twice without letting me save first! So the game may require some grinding. I must add that even if losing the follow-up battle was a little frustrating on the first time, it wasn't that unfair and contributed greatly towards the story. When trying again, I was able to better prepare to it by switching skills and team members. So in the end, I kind of liked the challenge :)
- Balance: On level 21, the chapter 6 boss is quite tough, but with right members and luck, I did beat it.
- Balance again: Chapter 7 soldier are way too tough at level 23. But I did win them with a clever strategy (Reynard immorality + bleed prevention ring). What was coming after, the same trick didn't work again (Reynard could be killed with Omnilash or other ability attack even though immorality) - but in theory I think I could have beaten it. I probably need to grind a little for next time.
- Some scene transitions could be prettier. For example when Marienne comes to save you from the world enders, the black screen flash takes care of them. With further animations, Marianne could have charged towards them and cut them down that way (enemies would fade away after charge). Same would go to the Arcane scene to follow. Some lighting animation to defeat the world enders would be better. Also a scene where a certain person is slayed by sword, it again uses the black screen flash. So more animated scenes instead of black screen transition would improve the experience.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
31.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
Look, I know Ekuator Games, I know how they struggle to create this franchise. So, at first, I was reluctant to give a review because I'm afraid I will be heavily biased. But then, after I played the DLC, I realized this game has certain charms and depite it flaws, it also has many plus points.

So, here goes my review:

Summary
Despite its genre being JRPG, the contents of the game actually tried to simulate real world
political and social (even racial) issues using midieval knight fantasy settings. The story follows
6 protagonist set in the realm of knighthood and nobles. This game particularly, highlighted their
teenage phase trying to reach knighthood. Celestian Tales was supposed to be a trilogy, with each game highlighting a specific event through their age. As I said before, Old North here highlighted their teenage phase. The later 2 games will highlight their adult and old age phase.

This concept become interesting when this one game tries to tell the story each protagonist experienced during the same event. So, for example different character you chose will feel slightly different, since they all come from different background and have different motivation for knighthood. You will see their character progressions in the event that will define them for the next game. Interesting right?

Story
I have to tell you this aspect is the most mindblowing feature I have. I haven't seen this in a long time, since maybe Suikoden games era. The story was seen differently by each character. For the next game, it was supposed to be developing, meaning each character will undergo change (physically and mentally). As fas as Old North can tell, the plot is amazingly deep and coherent! I really like it. The writer, or whoever who wrote the script put a great attention to detail on how the event would feel for each particular character, and how the story unfolds after you have seen all the aspect of the story from each character. Investing in other character provides impact on how you perceived the whole event. It was such an amazing experience, like you are reading experienced novel writers.

However, there seems to be some misspelling here and there and some grammatical error, but that might be forgiven since the plot it self still consistents.

The Lore and background of the world in Celestian Tales is so diverse. So much things can be explored by its writer. Mystery is hidden to be found. Stories waiting to be told. All tickling your curiousity to wanting to know the next story. I even have to admit, Howl of the Ravager DLC can also be seen as a prologue of Old North. It revealed interesting background stories surrounding Old North chapters, and provides more insight on how Old North have that kind of ending (I won't spoil you). In fact, it was to the extent that I think it is not fair to call it a DLC, since the game length is fairly the same like playing one of the character in Old North chapter, also the stories were closely related. They should have included it in the main game :p. Anyway the DLC is worth to buy too if you are curious and enjoyed the stories like myself.

Given a potentially great storylines and possibility to expand it into a huge franchise. I can give a solid:

9/10

point is missing because sometimes, there were spelling bug. But that can be fixed.

Animation

I will just be blatant about this. As much as I love it, well I found some flaw in the art.

Opening animation is ridiculous quality. It was saved by the amazing soundtrack. It feels like the animator doesn't put full effort on it (perhaps considering the budget). Please, my hand feels itchy just by watching the opening scene.

Walking sprite was surprisingly good quality for JRPG genre in 2D world. Enough said.

Battle sprite was so so. I think you can put more effort for smooth and epic animation, since people will generally do battle everytime. It is not bad, but not wow either like Vanillaware games.

Concept art for the world was smooth and refreshing. However the architecture of town was slightly ridiculous. What kind of Lord who built his castle like a maze for his people??? Shade gradient also sometimes hard to distinguish, which makes you failed to recognize the depth of the tiles as 3D structures.This can be fixed by art director of course.

Character portrait art was also good, had distinct feel to it. Nice. No complaints from me. It's just that it kinds of deviate a little bit from the art of the world itself.

Music is surprisingly good. I can tell the developer tried to put midieval feel on the soundtrack so it becomes like that. Pretty good for this kind of genre. It feels very epic in strong scenes. The use of music element was also well thought of.

Overall, I'd like to give you:

6/10

low point because of opening animation really :p. 8/10 if battle sprites was smoothly animated.

Gameplay

Since this is story-heavy JRPG. I think their main focus is not on the gameplay. I observed such low expectation on gameplay, like the following:

Battle seems kind of repetitive, doesn't get much creative possibility from the player. I mean, at
some point, you will just mashing the button without thinking to skip through battle scene. Very different from JRPG as general. They sometimes add personal feels to the battle so it lasts an impression. Think about Muramasa Rebirth, Valkyrie Profile, Suikoden, Breath of Fire, Persona, even Final Fantasy. They all had defining elements of choice in their battle system. I find it lacking here.

Choice of Weapon and Armor was very limited. But it was saved by upgrade system.

Economy mechanic was not entirely original (selling loot for money, no other way to have money). But not bad either.

Choice mechanic was a standard choose and react. Actually I imagined the choice would have more impact in later games.

No sidequest. Very sad.

No minigame either. Very sad.

For this lack of gameplay element. I can only give:

5/10

Just because I was being generous.

Conclusion
I really support this game and see its potential to become a great game (even franchise).
However, I can't recommend this solely based on potential alone.
For you who really enjoyed deep story. You will not be dissapointed.
For those who played for the sake of playing.... Nah this is not for you.
There were really not much in terms of gameplay this game can offer.
You will spend most of your time reading text, doing boring battle, and exploring limited
worlds. For those people, if you want to support the developer, just buy it while it is on sale.

I know this is harsh, but overall rating from me is

7/10

I will still recommend it for those who enjoyed the stories most! It was a great story!
However, in order for it to become a GREAT GAME, it has to be a game first.

Keep it up Ekuator games, I know you can pull it off. I will keep supporting you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
This is a beautifully drawn game with some wonderful music and very memorable characters. Each of the 6 protagonists you can choose as your main character has his or her own storyline and background, although the meat of the game isn't affected by who you play. There is genuine growth in some of the characters, such as the brute warrior who learns that his axe is not always the best solution to every problem. The overall plot is nothing terribly new and there are some inconsitencies, as well as some bad grammar and misspellings in the dialogue, but it is still a good story and the small flaws don't take away from the game.

As far as combat goes, it's very reminiscent of Suikoden. Pairing certain characters together let's them use each others' abilities to their mutual advantage, such as one character being great at causing status effects like poison and another being able to exploit those flaws. Characters heal after battle (unless they die), so no need to worry about healing up after each fight. Strangely enough, I never had to use a single item in combat; no healing, revival, or status ailment curing crystals needed at any point. Not a single one. I maxed out my characters (level 30 is the top) 7 hours in with no grinding or detours. The ability to see your enemies moving around and then run past them is great once you reach that point, as fighting becomes pointless at that stage.

Unfortunately, this game is short. Very short. Like, I beat it in less than eight hours, short. For any kind of RPG to be so short, to have such promise, and then end so abruptly, is more than a little disappointing. I still recommend it, but buy it on sale. I'll pick up the sequels if/when they come out, but I will definitely wait for them to be significantly lower in price. $15 is way too much for an 8 hour game, and playing through as each of the 6 characters doesn't offer enough of change in gameplay or story to warrant it.

Presentation: 9/10
Story: 6.5/10
Score: 8/10
Gameplay: 6/10
Overall: 7/10

It's a fun little game and absolutley beautiful in the classic style of Suikoden with a decent plot, memorable characters, and some good gameplay features, but it is very, VERY short for an RPG, fights become pointless after a certain point, and there is no need to play it through more than once, unless you really want those Steam Achievements ;)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 15
Probably the closest you're going to get to a new Suikoden game since Exit Fate. Also has some Game of Thrones influence.

The Ravager DLC is pretty good too.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
It's pretty solid for what it is. The story is a little short, but I was expecting that. I'm interested to see how it will continue.

The gameplay is solid, You shouldn't have any issues at anytime in the fights.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
212 of 244 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
10.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 10, 2015
Curator Page: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/disastercake#curation

As a fellow Kickstarter JRPG Project creator, I am very proud to see this team follow through with their dreams and ambitions. I decided to take a couple hours off work to play the game and give it a quick and honest review of my first impressions, and it pulled me in enough to get me to dedicate the time to finish it. I went into this game with the knowledge and expectations one should have of an indie RPG, and came out with a pleasurable experience. I can sense the love and care that went into this RPG, and could recommend it to anyone who is interested in an indie JRPG experience.

DURATION PLAYED
I finished the game with one character and grinded to max level (30) in about 15 hours. The average I've seen reported seems to be around the 10 hour mark.

LIKES
  • First off, I was impressed to see that you can play the story from the perspective of 6 different characters. So far, from what I can see, these are not major branching storylines, but instead allow you to choose the "main character". Depending on the main character you've chosen you will get different dialogue scenes at different points in the game.
  • The character spritework is great.
  • You see enemies on the main map, which is something I very much enjoy.
  • The combat in Celestian Tales is very standard JRPG, like Final Fantasy. Each character takes a turn and the player chooses from a menu. Each character has HP and Sta. The combat mode is very tight and polished, with a dynamic camera that seems inspired by Radiant Historia. You will heal to full HP after every battle, but your Sta is regained by defending or attacking.
  • The music is very appropriate and pleasant to listen to.
  • The storytelling and writing is well done. I like the dynamic between the different character personalities, and I can see a lot of character development just within the first few hours of play.
  • The art style is very unique. I can't think of any other JRPGs I've played with this art style.
  • The characters are each given interesting and unique skills that seem to fit their personalities and backgrounds well while maintaining a unique balance.
  • You choose 3 characters to take into combat, and can easily swap out the party whenever you feel like.
  • The leveling system is unique in that your entire party has a single level rather than each individual character.
  • Your characters can each carry 4 active and 2 passive skills into combat and you can equip them as you like in the menu before combat for different strategies.
  • There is a weapon upgrading system a few hours into the game where you can use materials you've gained from combat to upgrade weapons.


DISLIKES
  • I've come across a few obvious, but minor, bugs and 1 critical, but un-reproducing bug. I just had to relaunch my last save and the bug never occurred again. It is surprisingly stable for such a large project with a small team on a tight budget.
  • Usually the environment art looks very nice and polished, but there are some points that seem like they could have been touched up more. These spots are usually the interiors to houses and the towns.
  • The quest log is sometimes not descriptive enough on where to go or do next or doesn't update for some of the small milestones in the chapter quest. This made it a little confusing at times for me.
  • The world map is a bit barebones compared to some traditional RPGs, but is enough to give a feeling for the size and shape of the land.
  • There's a lack of instructions in the game for some of the different features, so it took some experimenting to figure them out (like how to regain Sta), though this could be a positive for many people.
  • Chapters 3-4 were very easy, then there was a sudden jump in difficulty at Chapter 4. The step up in difficulty was very much welcomed by me, but it may come as a surprise to some and could probably use a little smoother by ranking up the difficulty of fights before this point.
  • A difficulty mode that switches between varying HP and Damage output of enemies could have benefited this game for some simple customization to difficulty level.
  • Cutscenes aren't skippable. So if you die on a hard boss fight, you'll have to go through it again.
  • No New Game+. Maintaining character levels and equipment between games would have made it more enticing to play through again and see other character dialogue scenes.
  • No sidequests. Some simple fetch and kill sidequests would have helped add some texture to the main storyline.
  • The game's pitch might lead one to believe that there is a lot of branching story options. However the game is pretty much linear with a few small encapsulated options scattered about. I would approach this game with the idea of it being a linear storyline like the classics and not a modern "choose your own adventure" type of RPG.

SUMMARY
Celestian Tales focuses its energy on delivering an interesting story through smooth and familiar gameplay. I recommend Celestian Tales to any JRPG fan that is acceptive of indie production qualities and is looking for a game that focuses heavily on its storytelling.
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120 of 136 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 10, 2015
I've completed the game with one character, and played the prologue with another. This review is based on that experience.

Pros/Cons
+ The music is great
+ The graphics as well, surprising amount of 8-way sprite variety considering the budget, and they have some neat little touches like weapon drawing/sheathing animations
+ The pacing is very good throughout the game, there's no filler and nothing feels like it wastes your time
+ Equipment is more interesting than most JRPGs so far, quite some trade-offs and unique effects
+ I really like the skill/character advancement system, see below
+ Battles so far have also been fun, I'll describe the system below
+ You have more choices than what you'd expect in a JRPG
+ The characters are pretty interesting, and have a decent party dynamic, however...
- The writing is somewhat let down by a number of grammatical errors
- Bugs: worst one was a wrong trigger which teleported me somewhere, and the game also referred to itself as a "test build" in one instance; edit: Both of these major issues were patched within the first 15 hours and are no longer in the game at this point.
- Minor stuff: the run speed could be a bit higher, and I'd like to be able to use the d-pad rather than joystick with gamepad controls

Character advancement system
First of all, your entire party levels at once, which is very convenient and makes a lot of sense really.
You get 4 slots for active skills and 2 for passive skills per character. Since you level up very often, you soon have to pick and choose the skills for each, and there are some interesting synergies. It has something of Guild Wars almost in that aspect.

Battle system
The game employs the smart mechanic of healing you back up fully after each encounter. In any game which is not about resource management (which most non-dungeon-crawler JRPGs haven't been about in ages) healing up after battle is just meaningless routine, so I really like that choice.

I also really like how they do stamina management, which is really the main battle mechanic.
You start with a set amount of stamina (which can be adjusted by some equipment and passives), and all skills require a number of stamina points. performing a normal attack regenerates 1 stamina, and defending regenerates 2. There are also ways to transfer stamina from one character to another, and attacks which reduce it in the enemy.

Since stamina is per-battle, like everything else, you are never not thinking about using it. This mostly prevents the "trash mob" button-mashing scenario.

Battles are also generally quick, which is something that I always appreciate. Difficulty is pretty well-balanced and what I'd call moderate so far (I consider most modern JRPGs too easy).
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162 of 224 people (72%) found this review helpful
16 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 14, 2015
It's with a great grief that will not recommend this game. i will establish my opinion.

First, i would say that this game deserves a neutral review, not negative and not positive. I'm probably doing a negative review because the game really frustrated my expectations.

The combat is too simple and unexciting...
The choice of choosing a character is probably a mistake, it would be better to play with all of then in the same game. I say this because there is no point in replaying the game...
The bigger issue for me was the story, i felt it was kind weak and really a bad cliche, i dont mean that a cliche can't be good, but it need to better written and make more sense. I was progressing to see if the game would show me something, but nothing happened.....i think they need to hire a good writer, they have something nice, but badly done.

The good thing are the graphics, they are very nice to see. The game has e few bugs but nothing that can stop you.
The battle system is very nice, the skills and everything is good enough, but still the combat is boring and very easy to manage, it would probably be better if they made something like suikoden and let all the 6 character's together in battle, of course balance would be necessary.

The game felt too straight forward, there was no freedom and very little chance to exploration, didn't like that.

This game is only part 1, and i know more will come, but from what i just saw, IDK if i'm going to jump in...

I'm very disappointed....
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65 of 81 people (80%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
16.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 11, 2015
So.. i have played prototype, alpha and beta and now that it has come to Steam ive already played a few hours of the release version to. Hereby my attempt to be objective.

Playthroughs so far:
Reynard: A man of simple needs. Still took me 9 hours.
Cammile: Ongoing

Pro:
- Amazing soundtrack
- Interesting storyline
- Different perspectives/choices for each character/playthrough
- Graphics feel kinda sweet and do fit the game
- Combat isnt to shabby at all and the fact that its mostly avoidable makes it an interesting feature
- OMG MY NPC AND BACKSTORY IS IN THE GAME AND KICKED MY ♥♥♥>>> AMAZING :O

Con:
- Very rarely you encounter a part of the graphics that doesnt fully work well (a small rock for example that seems to be floatingin front of the npc's when standing on it in a very specific way)
- Some small bugs whereby they forgot to remove some restrictions from the testbuild meaning your progress was stopped/altered at that time

SPOILER
The story is about 6 characters ranging from very different families (poor, rich, outcast etc. etc.) to become squires for a certain house. Together with the other houses, these will be in war with World Enders (big demonic vikings that want to destroy everything).
To be able to do this they will have to make choices between things important to them... devotion to their god, their family, their habits, their heritage and more.
How far will you go to protect what you love?

Overall its not a bad turnbased jrpg at all and the overall gameplay feel is very nice.

As i said before... the game doesnt go for over the top futuristic "we got so many unseen gaming features" and "look at these new mechanics" ... instead they simply build an well-made game that is basically "good" ... not "super amazing hypetrain 2060", but still a good distance above "avarage". Yust a good game that can be enjoyed if you like story and this type genre... nothing more, nothing less.
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