Melrose is trapped in a life of hardship. She can find no one who understands her. To cope with her sorrow, Melrose turns to her imagination. Sadly, dreams must end... But not today. Melrose is about to meet her godmother and discover that the land in her dreams is real and in trouble.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (66 reviews) - 50% of the 66 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 14, 2014

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Reviews

“Grab Whisper of a Rose for a haunting and raw adventure that offers hours of solid, compelling gameplay.”
87/100 – RPGFan

“Very intricate and detailed, Whisper of a Rose is a wonderful game worth playing.”
92/100 – TechnologyTell

About This Game

Melrose is trapped in a life of hardship. Her parents are mean to her and she gets bullied at school. She can find no one who understands her. To cope with her sorrow, Melrose turns to her imagination. She dreams up a world of unimaginable beauty and happiness, but sadly -- like all dreams -- it ends, and Melrose must return to real life.

Today is different, however. Melrose is about to meet her godmother and discover that the land in her dreams is real and in trouble.

On her journey with the sparky ladybug Diamond, a warmhearted witch and a sassy secret agent, Melrose becomes the main player in an escalating battle between light and darkness that stretches beyond the world of dreams.

This game features:
  • Over 40 magical lands in an open world
  • 25+ hours of story-driven adventure
  • Summon dream creatures and craft items
  • 45 beautiful original music tracks
  • Numerous side-quests, secrets and puzzles
  • Loveable, unique characters
  • Customizable skills
  • Supports mouse, controller / gamepad and keyboard controls

Whisper of a Rose features a wondrous, intricately detailed world. Take your time to explore, relax and have fun!

The 2014 Version of Whisper of a Rose with Steam Achievements and Trading Cards.

Other Games by RosePortal Games on Steam:

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (32 bit or 64 bit)
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium® 4 2.0 GHz equivalent or faster processor
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 1024x768 or better video resolution in High Color mode
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectSound-compatible sound card
    • Additional Notes: 1024 x 768 pixels or higher desktop resolution
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (66 reviews)
Recently Posted
Matute Remus
2.1 hrs
Posted: June 12
This game represents an absolute first for me: It's the first Steam game, out of my 200+ game library, not to work straight out of the box.

Full-screen mode doesn't work for me, the resolution doesn't scale, and I can't find any configuration settings to fix it. I can hit Alt-Enter to make it work in windowed mode, but the window size is too small to be playable or readany text.

I can't even play this game.

Terrible. 0/10.
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Zee Zaa Zo
2.1 hrs
Posted: May 10
Only so much crap that I can take and STEAM is overrunning with it.
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Jargonaut
157.5 hrs
Posted: March 29
I love this game and has been playing it for 100+ hours.
I would like to recommend this game to those that love good RPG Maker games with an excellent storyline.

You can play this game as a Warrior, Paladin or Summoner. In this game the Summoner is the most interesting character which also enables you to unlock a lot more achievements. The combat mechanics is interesting as you play with different form of elemental damages (fire, water, air, earth) which are resisted by different degrees by different monsters. You also alternate between real and dream worlds.

Unlike most other RPGs, you do not gain skill points as you gain more experiences and levels. You need to explore every nook and cranny to look for skill upgrade points. You also need to talk to every character and do every quests to get skill upgrade and unlock points as well as better gears. As a summoner, you can also unlock different creatures to summon through various quests as well.

There is also an excellent crafting mechanism in this game as well. The best armors in this game, called Relic Armors cannot be bought or received as drops from monsters. They need to be crafted using various crafting items, as well as some very difficult to get monsters drop. Furthermore you need to keep your very first set of armor for all 4 characters as well, because you need to use them to craft Relic armors at the very end.

You can buy better weapons from differnet vendors in this game, but the very best weapons, called Ultimate Weapons can only be receive through quests too. Hence this elevate the importance of doing all quests.

To get all achievements, you will need to play this game twice, and hence giving it more replay value. This is because there is a New Journey+ mode which can only be unlocked when you finished the game. Furthermore there are quest that are started during your first game which can only be completed during the New Journey+ as well. So the achievements associated with these quests can only be received if you play the game twice.

The second time you play this game, you get a lot of benefits, including new skill sets which can only be unlocked in New Journey+ You can also get better creatures to summon and start of with certain crafting recipes which are not present in the first game. I have started on my New Journey+ and this game is still sustaining my interests even though I am playing it a second time.

This is a great game. The only shortcoming I can think of is that the graphics are OK, but not top-notched. However, considering that I got the game on sale at about $10, this game is defintely worth its weight in gold, in terms of the enjoyment value and the time played.

-------------------Review Update after Finishing New Journey+ ---------------------------
I am finally done with this game, after 156 hours
I played the game twice, and finished New Journey+ with allthe steam achievements.

In the end, all my characters were at level 47, and I had 31 DRAGON TEETH.
I just love grinding that green dragon for lots of XP and orbs.
That dragon also got me a lot of levels too!!!!

All my characters were equipped with Relic Armors and Ultimate Weapons.
I also made 4 of those awesome Tanzanite Rings with game my characters +9 magic attack and +3 magic defense. In the end, Helenna's Tornado was so overpowering that she can wiped out all the enemies in a single turn (equipped with Relic Armor, Ultimate Weapon and Tanzanite Ring).

I simply fell in love with this game, and that is why I spend 156 hours on it.

I put the prequel, "Sweet Lily Dreams" on my wishlist and will buy it when it is on sale. I am sure I will enjoy the prequel very much too.

Once again, thank you for the wonderful game, developer Lucia Silvermoon !!
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jasminflower69
1.1 hrs
Posted: March 3
I started playing this when I got it in a humblebundle set.
Seemed like a lot of fun, was getting it with everything else, so why not?

I am glad it was the RPGMaker bundle.
I could make a better game, better storyline, ect.
Very generic. Tried to make me pity and be sad with the main character,
who instead came off as whiny and made me grit my teeth.
It was so cliche, I stopped playing, walked away, and everytime I see it when I'm looking for a game to play I just think, 'should I?' Then I remember it a little and almost vomit in my mouth.
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Nekotora (Mari1)
9.4 hrs
Posted: January 1
I really tried to like this game, but I've given up on it.

Battles are pretty unavoidable and very monotonous (I am no stranger to RPGs, but with only 2 kinds of enemies per map, this gets old). Leveling up also doesn't seem to do much for your character except increase HP.
Maps are very mazelike and there will be a LOT of backtracking (especially since there is no map). They can also be hard to maneuver around (a stick in the road that I can't walk over or around? yeah ok, guess I'll go back and look for another way to get over there -.-; ).
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gamerguru99
3.0 hrs
Posted: December 12, 2015
Here's what I liked:
-Great art direction
-Good music and sound
-The turn-based combat was fun and streamlined

Here's what I didn't like:
-Battles could get repetitive
-The crafting system isn't very well-explained and the skill tree doesn't let you look ahead to plan
-Some design pitfalls like making some objects impassible even though it's not clear why + invisible walls
-Characters are flat, with attempts at nuanced backgrounds but...
-the writing is all over the place, and it felt like it was written by somebody very young.

That being said, if this game was the result of somebody's first effort or that of somebody young, this is great work.

I would recommend it for those who are interested in game design, as a good case study, but only if deeply discounted
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cooLdealio
2.1 hrs
Posted: December 7, 2015
good way to torture your friends
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okimpala
33.1 hrs
Posted: November 27, 2015
If you know that Whisper of a Rose was made by one person, it's a remarkable achievement. You can't expect triple A quality here, but what you will find is a love-letter to RPGs of the old days.

The Good:
- Graphics are top notch and have a lot of personality
- Great environments, with a lot to explore
- Well balanced (as of version 1.08) with enough challenge
- Several music tracks
- The world with interesting lore

The Bad
- The story means well but is a bit messy. All over the place at times. Could've used a bit more focus.
- The dialogues are of average quality. It's really hard to write compelling dialogue. So, with that in mind, the game still holds up pretty well.
- Some strange bugs like selecting "fast" for battle speed makes the battles slower and selecting "slow" makes the battles faster (try it!) or being able to walk on place where you shouldn't be able to walk. (even on the final beach this happens).

Overall I would recommend this game to players who really like 16-bit RPGs. This is not Final Fantasy VI quality, but there is enough to like here. Give it a try with an open mind!
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dzx
0.1 hrs
Posted: November 26, 2015
Well, that was a waste of money. This game will not display properly on a 1920x1200 (24inch) monitor. You have the option to play in window mode, but you won't be able to read anything unless you're 6 inches from the screen. sigh.

Also attempted to steam stream this to my MAC, it also does not display properly. What a waste.

Don't buy, unless your machine is a 486 MX with 2MB graphics card. I think thats the MAX this game will allow.
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CasualCheetah
3.5 hrs
Posted: November 13, 2015
Kinda a generic RPG. It's really just your typical spam "A" when it's not a boss later.
Intriguing plot at first, I was pretty interested in where it was gonna go. However, it things slowly get worse and worse; the use of a couple real cringe-worthy moments and then the protagonist turns starts to feel like, “Look at all the bad stuff happening to me! That makes me a relatable and good protagonist, right?”.

For an RPG maker game, not the worst I've seen. But without the excuse of the limitations of RPG maker though, it’s really not the most engaging game or best game to spend your time with. Definitely not a buy for $10.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
55 of 60 people (92%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
23.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 18, 2015
I was going to write a full review of this game after I finished playing all the way through, but considering that I've been stuck for a couple of months, I figured I might as well write it now.

Let's get the positive aspects out of the way. Every single map, dungeon, and town has its own unique look, with what I think is an original soundtrack to back it up. The battles work well, with quite a bit of strategy involved. The pixel art is good, and the custom face graphics add a nice touch.

However, I still rate this game negatively. Why? For several reasons...

First off, this game's plot can't decide what it wants to be: a psychological exploration into dreams (which is what the trailer made me think this was), a government conspiracy (which comes out of nowhere after a few hours in), a horror story (which they really lay on in the first section of the game), or a girl-gets-sucked-into-another-world story (present almost throughout). It took four good ideas and put them together into one game. In theory, this sounds really good, but what results is a very bipolar story that doesn't focus on any of these points long enough to develop any of them. I don't even know what genre this game fits into.

Second, Melrose is a Mary Sue. Not the worst I've come across, but all the symptoms are there. It starts off with her being bullied in school by 2 dimensional bullies (who bully her like elementary schoolers would, even though they're supposed to be older than that), then goes home to abusive, 2 dimensional parents, who beat her up for coming home late from school, and then she cries and wishes that her life was better. The writers are trying too hard to make us pity her, it makes it downright impossible to. Even if you disagree with me on that sentiment, Mary-Rose is a character just as bipolar as the story she stars in. They want to write her as the tortured girl who has distanced herself from others because she either doesn't wanna get hurt or just doesn't know how to interact with others. But then they need her to be a clueless outsider who's curious about everything at the same time. Have one or the other--you can't have both. Also, she's kind of a terrible person too. She tricks the one person who gives her sympathy so she can steal something extremely expensive, and treats arguably her only friend like dirt. Melrose...Melthorn is more like it.

Third...the dungeons... While they all look unique and have a different score, there are just too many of them. I found myself on more than one occasion wading through three consecutive dungeons to get the plot to advance. However, whenever I DID get through them, I was rewarded with only a sliver of plot before I had to go back and wade through three more. And while there are no random encounters, most of the enemies run towards you in corridors that are only one square thick, making 95% of the battles mandatory. This really doesn't help when you find yourself low on health and supplies and need to make a quick run back to the nearest town (which I would find myself doing a LOT, since I would have to go through three dungeons in a row). The result was me hating every dungeon, despite how atomspheric and beautiful it looked.

(The main reason I'm hopelessly stuck right now is because I did do what the game required me to do, but nothing happened. I thought this was a glitch, but then I recalled that the characters mentioned prior that there would be one part of the game that would require me to go into the heart of a dungeon, and then backtrack outside again. Considering that getting INTO the heart of the dungeon drained me of all my resources, going back would certainly kill me. So, yeah. I'm not continuing, because that is just ridiculous.)

Fourth...the characters were disappointments. (I'm excluding Mary Rose, since I already dedicated a paragraph to her.) The first party member you get was described as a "girl with black and green hair". Naturally, I assumed she was a cool, no nonsense Goth chick. Instead, she's mild mannered and demure, who Melrose pushes around most of the time (Melrose is bullied all the time, yet she so readily bullies others...?). Later, not-goth-girl's mom shows up out of the blue and puts a curse on the main character for no reason other than to drag out the plot some more. Then there's this lady bug guy who I seriously thought was a part-time party member until he refused to leave after several hours. The only two characters I liked were this mysterious blonde dude (who I hoped would join the party, but turned out to be evil), and this redheaded secret agent chick that doesn't show up until much later on (she almost makes it worth it, though). Apart from those two, I was sitting through a story about an unlikable girl and her bland "friends", bored out of my skull.

Fifth, which kinda ties into the fourth, none of the townsfolk are interesting. I get it, it's an RPG and programming all of these individuals to be unique is challenging, and I know this is a nitpick... But, like, 95% of the dialogue from the people I talked to was generic town stuff. Do none of these people have lives? The only town I liked was a town called Valentown (I think; it's been a while), because the entire town is powered by a love device, and somebody shut it off, making everyone really crabby. It was mildly hilarious and a good change of pace. I expected the townsfolk's dialogue to shift to ultra-lovey-dovey sap when I turned the machine back on, but it made the dialogue turn back to just the same old generic stuff. Kinda wish I didn't have to turn the machine on...

Lastly, how the game discouraged and didn't account for exploration drove me CRAZY! Example, there was this one time where I encountered a fork in the road and thought "sweet! Optional areas to explore", only to find out much later that the areas I thought were optional were all mandatory. I seriously spent hours looking for a key item in one area only to find it was in Valentown. Why? Why can't the world have extra areas optional to explore that aren't directly linked to the plot in any way? It would, you know, make it feel more like an actual WORLD. Another example I want to mention is that early on in the game, an Inn Mary Rose was staying in caught fire. When I backtracked there, days or weeks later in game, I found the Inn still in the process of burning to the ground. Really? I just...GAH!

There are other things, like the complicated crafting system which I never used, and an overpowered boss or two, but I think anyone who is considering getting this game gets the picture. Even though I got this game for free, I had to force myself to play on several occasions; usually while listening to Game Grumps. Is this game the worst thing ever? No; I've come across much worse, and this game does have its highlights. But I still wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
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67 of 85 people (79%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
Whipser of a Rose is great, until you actually start playing it.

In the opening scenes, I was immediately drawn into the game. Whisper of a Rose has an immersive narrative pulling from the real world into a fantasy one with a played out but fitting transition. Everything in the game is quite symbolic of the paralells between the real world and the dream world you enter. Melrose is a unique character to follow around as far as RPG worlds go, and the cast that was starting to form as I played through seemed at least not totally cheesy (but if the super powerful person who can't control their powers! trope bothers you, red flag). Unfortunately, once the opening scenes end and you actually start existing in the game world, the reality sets in that this not an exciting adventure, it's a typical JPRG grindquest without the tension relievers most of them typically throw in.

I have to state before I get too far into this review, that I only played 5 hours of the gameplay. Maybe after the 5 hours I played, the game would magically become 200% better, but I find it doubtful. It's obvious from the get-go that the game was not very well play tested early on in the development process. If it was, the obvious feedback would have been that The areas within the game are far too large. How often do you hear people complaining about that in an RPG game? Typically when RPGs have large areas, when you go well off the beaten path, you are rewarded. This is something WoaR attempts to do, but fails miserably at.

Let me paint the picture. You are going through the dungeons with your party, spamming the attack button on small groups of enemies because it literally takes less time to do that than to cast a spell that would kill the enemies in one hit (in addition to your turns refilling, your spells have their own cast bar. You also have to wait for every other characters turn to end before your spells go off). So you're going through the area, killing off the exact same enemies over and over and over and over and over again, trying to see if the path you're traveling on is the main one or a little detour. When you get to a dead end, you see a chest. "Ah, this isn't the right way, but maybe I'll get something cool!" you may think. But no, what you'll get is a weapon or armor piece that literally increases a stat by one, or memory orbs. Memory orbs are the currency of the game. So imagine spending literally 30 minutes going through a dead end path (I'm not exaggerating, the game is that poorly planned) only to end up at a chest that gives you more of the same money that you're already frustrated of seeing... and that's it. YOu have to backtrack all the way back to the beginning of that path and find a new one.

This is all the game is in the first 4 real hours of playing it. A mindless treck through bats to find very small upgrades or useless money. That's it. I didn't even encounter a TOWN in the first 4 hours of gameplay. The game is a constant motion forward through dungeons. There was one point where I found an inn, but there was nothing to do or explore there, and there were no NPCs worth talking to (about 3 total anyways). Typically in JRPGs, towns offer a kind of tension relief their repetitive nature can sometimes cause. It gives the player a chance to relax, plan, and become immersed in the world they are exploring. Whisper of a rose ingnoring this convention in an otherwise convetional game becomes one of its greatest flaws.

I'm sad that I quit the game so soon into it. The environments are gorgeous and inventive, the story, while a bit cliche, is rather interesting and makes sense with the surroundings you find yourself in... but the gameplay is just... boring. That's all there is to it. Perhaps at some point, the game does a complete 180 and the paths becomes more linear and the combat becomes more complex, but I personally couldn't force myself to sit through any more of it after the sidequest boss I spent an hour and a half trying to find died in about three turns.... and then I realized I would have to backtrack all the way back to a teleporter just to get back into the story (would probably take at least 20 minutes to do). I didn't want to hate this game, but unfortunately Whisper of a Rose stands as a perfect example of how a great story and world can be hindered by the actual gameplay of a poorly planned JRPG.
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41 of 44 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
Psssht. *facerub* Where to begin with this.

I want to start off by saying that I REALLY like Whisper of a Rose, when it isn't making me tear my hair out, but I have a hard time recommending it to anyone who wants a stroll down memory lane. Especially those that come from generation 4/5/6 Final Fantasy. Realizing this is a debut title and is going to have issues, being a fan of this type of game I plan to throw the book at it. Not out of malice, but because I really hope to see this game and future games improved from constructive criticism, rather than take on a holding pattern as a result of unwarranted praise.

In Whisper of a Rose, you are Melrose, a schoolgirl from a broken home with social issues at school who steals an iDream, an experimental device which allows you to live your dreams, from a museum in which it is to be showcased. In using it, however, she becomes trapped in an inhospitable dream world with no clear way to escape.

The story itself is well written and functional, and the characters diverse (if archetypal) but I find my relationship with Melrose to be an emotional rollercoaster. I seem to alternate between sympathizing with her plight and wanting to punch her in the face, because there are situations in which she has violent outbursts and behaves like a total b!tch on an irrational level. I mostly settle on indifference to her entirely.

The visuals, taking into account that the game was built in RPG Maker XP are very good, and I have thus far encountered no bugs or glitches that spring to mind, and experienced no crashes. However the way the interface is designed, while functional could definitely use improvement. When it is an allied character's turn, there are two visual prompts to assist in this - their 'wait bar' fills and turns red, and they flash white. Now, this is usually fine in areas with good colour contrast but in bright areas with really low colour saturation it is really difficult to tell whose turn it is, especially if two characters' wait bars fill simulatenously. Similarly, you are notified that an enemy is charging up an ability to use by the same white flash, which again is not readily apparent in low saturation areas with bright colours. I have little knowledge of the limitations of the RPG Maker interface, but in this regard I feel the battle interface could have been built better.

That said, the battle animations and particle effects for spells and abilities play out smoothly and are well done, and the diverse beastiary of enemies encountered are appropriately thematic for where they are found and the more cleverly named of them are aptly so. The game maintains an acceptable framerate, and apart from periodic pauses in isolated instances where the game informs me it is 'loading' there is no graphical stuttering.

Spells are learned inorganically and the screen on which they are learned is better described as a dark cave than a tree. It is needlessly large, and the little amount of the map that is visible on screen gives no clues as to which spells are in which direction until you stumble onto them, wandering aimlessly through it. I honestly would have rather had a cascade menu with each spell, a button press to unlock and branching menus to power up each attribute (Speed, Power, Mana Cost) than this... mess. The way in which Skill Unlock points are obtained makes some semblance of sense, however. Each one is obtained by completing a story segment, usually through defeating a boss. Though gaining Skill Upgrade points is frustrating and nonsensical to say the least, as they are loot objects in dungeons or obtained through talking to NPCs, rather than leveling up. However, the variety of spells and abilities available are fairly vast, each with different effects and power levels, and are unique to each character. I would have preferred a more heuristic approach to learning them, though.

Which brings me to the next point - magic is WAY overvalued in this game, especially during bosses with adds. At my current playtime I have 3 characters unlocked - the main character, Melrose (summoner), a mage and an archer. Melrose and the archer do little damage of any consequence with their basic attacks, and don't have enough mana to reliably use their spells to deal and recover damage. Whereas the mage, while having really high mana costs can usually wipe the field clean in one area of effect cast, and continue to do this reliably for many battles consecutively as long as the archer feeds her mana with his own abilities. A very big contrast to most other RPGs comparable to this.

The puzzles present in this game are generally very good, reaching and even exceeding complexity found in games like The Legend of Zelda. I have scratched my head for a while trying to work out exactly what to do with them, and even had to ask for help on one occasion. In this regard I give the game a very high grade.

The maps are generally well laid out, if sometimes needlessly large and complicated. I felt as if some of the areas were built to have complex routes to navigate through and multiple dead ends for complexity's sake, rather than to actually serve a purpose. Sure, some of them have treasure at the end, but others are just... there. Add to that random collision objects that pepper some of the maps and navigating them can be somewhat frustrating at times, but this is only an issue in very isolated instances and doesn't permeate the entire game. There are also frequently really long distances that need to be travelled through the world map, with no random encounters or treasure to discover to break up the monotony of trekking around the world looking for the next area entrance.

The crafting available in the game is somewhat esoteric. Recipes are found throughout the game in various places, but the materials required are often not that common without grinding and the interface for crafting is clunky at best. It's often easier to grind currency to buy items at shops and ignore crafting altogether until much later in the game, where crafting seems to be required to create relic quality equipment.

The music is okay, and what little voice acting is present is well done. I haven't encountered any audio stuttering, glitches or any other annoyances with it. The game has good KBM and gamepad support, though it seems notably easier to play with a gamepad than KBM, but that may just be me and not a rule.

My understanding is that a playthrough should take 30-40 hours, and with my 9-10 hours into it so far I believe that approximation to be accurate.

Overall, it's a decent little RPG. Though if you came hoping for something to rival titans like Final Fantasy, Legend of Dragoon, Star Ocean or Phantasy Star and take a walk down memory lane, you're probably better off spending the couple of extra dollars and getting an actual Final Fantasy game. If you just want a nice little RPG to get your turn-based fix, Whisper of a Rose is for you.
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56 of 74 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
49.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
I'm excited to see Whisper of a Rose finally arrive on Steam. I remember playing this game way back on the developer's site. (This is why I don't have many hours of this game played yet although I am planning on playing this new, improved version as soon as work doesn't get in the way. XD) It's the first commercial game released from the developer so for those familiar with Sweet Lily Dreams, the developer's other game released on Steam, they may find some interesting details.

First, allow me to clarify that this is a RPG Maker game. It was made with RPG Maker XP, I believe. However, there are plenty of unique features in Whisper of a Rose (WoaR, for short) that make it unique from other games in the genre. For one, the graphics are absolutely beautiful and from what I've heard, the Steam release has improved on them. I like how the sprites were custom-designed, as it can get boring seeing many games made with RPG Maker use the same sprites over and over, regardless if they're free or commercial. Also, the music tracks are very beautiful. I liked listening to the various tracks and felt that they were placed appropriately in the various scenes or battles, for the most part.

For me, though, the most important aspects of a RPG game are story and gameplay, and both hit the mark for me. I liked the idea of a protagonist living a life that feels like hell, so much so that she wants to find a way to escape. I don't know if everyone has ever felt that way but I'm sure that there are some people who have. There was especially a part of the story near the beginning which I could relate to personally and that made the game more relatable to me. Then the protagonist enters the dreamworld and there, the player can see her journey as she travels to different worlds and meets various friends and allies. Of course, she'll meet enemies, too, and have to battle them to progress. I found the ending to be quite sad although I'm glad that it's unpredictable and is a bit open-ended. Players can make their own conclusions about what happens to Melrose (the protagonist) although for those who have played Sweet Lily Dreams, they'll know that Melrose does make appearances in it so they can figure out what most likely happened to her. ;)

The gameplay is great as well. As it is a RPG, there are the usual battles, side quests, and exploration. However, there are additional features as well. In the beginning of the game, when the player can choose what kind of fighter Melrose can be, there are 3 choices: paladin, warrior, and summoner. Personally, I like summoner the best, as it allows Melrose to make use of all the dream creatures she can capture and use their abilities at her will. Also, what really stood out for me is the skill tree. As Melrose and her party members level up, they earn skill points which can be used to unlock new skills for each of them. (Skill points can also be earned by completing some side quests, I think.) If I remember correctly, even if a player earns the maximum number of skill points, it isn't possible to unlock every skill/spell so the player has to be strategic in what skills/spells to unlock. There's the crafting feature as well, which allows the player to make better consumable items as well as equipment that can't be bought in the shops.

I'll amend this review if I find anything outstanding in this Steam release that wasn't present in the version from the developer's site but as it stands, I'm excited to play WoaR all over again. This game should appeal to more hard-core RPG players but fans of Sweet Lily Dreams should like it as well.

Congrats to the developer for getting WoaR on Steam and I can't wait for more future games. :D
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59 of 91 people (65%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
79.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
<this is only a part of the review since I exceeded the allowed number of chars>

Role Playing fans, rejoice! One of the strongest competitors to immortal classics like Final Fantasy IV for the SNES or the PC indie titles Aveyond and Millennium has been released for your playing pleasure. How does Whisper of a Rose fare in comparison to cult classics of both the ancient generation of consoles and modern indie classics? Please, take a few minutes to read through this text to find out.

Whisper of a Rose, the debut production of RosePortal Games, is perhaps the most often updated title in their catalogue, with each new edition boasting additional content and a myriad of fixes and other updates. It's hard not to see the love for the game and its players in the actions of the developer, who despite working on two completely new titles, never forgot about the fans of the original game from 2009 that can safely be called a cult classic now.

As with most RPG titles, the vital part of Whisper of a Rose's charm and appeal is its storyline and setting. Set several years into the future, the story features a college student by the name of Melrose, who's struggling to keep her life from completely falling apart. Not only she comes from a poor and pathological family (both parents abusive towards her), but she also faces the everyday problems of school bullies targeting her and most of the other students simply not bothering to even notice her. Eventually, when she finds out about a device that would allow her to travel into a happy and colorful Dreamworld, she immediately decides to get it and use it on herself - ignoring the warning that the iDream is a mere prototype and thus there are certain risks involved with using it.

And so she ventures forth into the Dreamworld but quickly discovers that it's not the peaceful, happy place it was supposed to be. As opposed to her wishes, it's more often shaped by her fears, both those she well knows of and those residing in her subconsciousness. She is instructed to find a way out of there... and despite her understandable reservations in the beginning, she eventually realizes that she must do so.

Thus begins her journey, full of sudden twists and mortal dangers.

The synopsis above may have reminded you about The Wizard of Oz, or Carroll's Alice - and while it may be bearing many similarities to those, it's also quite original, especially in comparison to many other indie jRPG titles which feature a destined-to-save-the-world protagonist in a fantasy setting, with most of the events being quite easy to predict. Melrose's role isn't to save everyone in the Dreamworld, she's merely a bypasser who's trying to leave. Whether or not she helps some of the NPCs (there's an extensive array of tasks the player is nowhere near being forced to complete in order to progress further) is entirely up to her... or to you. It's a very interesting spectacle of how a young woman matures, with being a self-centered teenager with multiple personal issues in the beginning and becoming a decent and brave young woman not hesitating to do the right thing in the end.

This is primarily Melrose's story, and via interactions with two of her Dreamworld-born teammates, the player will soon realize that they both serve to show her character depth, however not for a moment losing any of their own. However, with the appearance of the last party member, things become even darker than before. Christina may seem like a generic tsundere deadpan snarker at first, but she is also just as well developed a character despite not being the main star of the show. Her fears are much darker than Melrose's and when they are revealed, it becomes fully clear how tragic a past she had.

If you are a sensitive person and can invest yourself emotionally into the game, you'll find many scenes genuinely moving. I did shed a tear or two while baring witness to the no holds barred beatdown Melrose's deadbeat dad gave her very early in the game, just as I did when at one point her memories were in large part erased and everything looked hopeless. I genuinely felt bad for Christina when the horror of her past became known... and it's a lot from me because I don't cry a whole lot. In fact, almost not at all.

As far as the visuals go, the game is just as awesome. It takes time (or looking into the game's file structure) to realize that this is RPG Maker XP, due to a variety of reasons: first off, there's barely any stock material left in, mostly limited to spell effects during battles and a few leftover tiles in the areas - the entire remainder of the graphic resources is completely new and fresh. And much more detailed than the RPG Maker stock resources - especially the main characters. For pixel art, this is outstandingly realistic - visible limbs, proper body proportions and vivid animation of movement - something previously unseen in RPG Maker based titles. Here's how this looks from the technical perspective: RPG Maker VX and VX Ace titles usually have their chibi characters with heads doubling the size of the rest of the body on a single tile, whereas their predecessor engine RPG Maker XP has them a bit more realistic, utilizing two tiles - out of which one is usually for the face and another for the body. Whisper of a Rose uses three tiles for a character in total. Go figure. That's not all - the enemies have been given the same treatment as well, being incredibly detailed and fully animated. After this game, I found it hard to readjust to XP standard-size humans, while VX ones became a sight absolutely unbearable for me. That's right: Whisper of a Rose is downright beautiful and will steal your heart... No love you will have! (as would a certain witch say) Not for any other game, not after this.

That's not all in terms of graphics - did I mention, there's barely any stock resource in the game? I think I did. Now imagine the fact that there's so damn many unique locations I've lost count! We have a modern city, a bare, cloudy dreamworld area, a child's dream candy-filled land, a school - both real-life and nightmarishly twisted, mountain hills, a forest, several different cave systems, a valentine-themed town and an actually unsettling marionette factory. I haven't mentioned all the areas in the first act of the game even... there's four times more areas in Whisper and all have original graphics!

There's also character avatars - something not available in the regular RPG Maker XP featureset (it was introduced as a stock feature in VX), and there's a lot of those, with more being promised in a future update. They've gotten a redesign since the original release of the game and both versions are equally beautiful. Each of the main characters has several of these avatars at their disposal, allowing them to fully show you the scope of emotions they're going through.

As for the musical score, it's very extensive and varied. Almost every location has its own main theme and many of the events have special tunes written for them as well. The musical styles are varied, but surprisingly consistent - that includes the new tunes written for this re-release. The music is mostly fresh, with a very small number of tracks being remixes of RPG Maker stocks (I think in the re-release there's just one such track left), or freely available on the internet (of those I think I know two). I've gotten the soundtrack album in the past and every once in a while I give it another whirl because even outside of the game, the enchanting soundtrack stands firm as a smash hit.

<gameplay and technical aspects of the review in another post>
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29 of 39 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 13, 2015
This is a beautiful game that looks pretty promising but 13 hours in I find myself extremely frustrating wanting to quit it, delete it and never play it again. The same enemies OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. The frustration doesn't come from the fact that the game is hard. It's quite easy actually, but it gets so boring. Story is average, design is pretty cute and colorful, but other than that, everything is very annoying.
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22 of 27 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
When I first saw the trailer I was immediately reminded of Alice in Wonderland and had to get it! I haven't played far yet (and apparently the game is over 25 hours so I still have a long way to go) but here are my thoughts so far:

Story: Very interesting and bittersweet. I feel like the story was written by a 17 year old girl, but in a good way, because it makes the story and dialogue believable. You also see the story behind the other characters, and it seems like the villains are heroes in their own way. It's very good, I almost teared up at a certain scene in the beginning (no spoilers).

Graphics: Beautiful! It has a nice old school look. It doesn't look perfect and modern, but that's good, because it fits in with the entire game's "retro" feeling. I've only played a little bit and have already seen SO many different areas with a lot of variation! There's a candy land, sewers, a museum, a dark school, etc.

Music: Sounds great. Some songs are just "OK". They fit the mood but are nothing special. Other tracks (like when you fight the first boss) are absolutely amazing. I wish I could fight that boss over and over just to listen to the track!

Gameplay: The most important part! I really like that Melrose can summon a helper. It makes the beginning of the game more fun and strategic before you get the other main characters in your party. The battles are also real time so you can time your actions with the enemy! It's a lot of fun!

Conclusion: It's a really amazing game. It's right up to par with To The Moon and Skyborn for me. Actually, as a game it's WAY better! But I still have to finish it so I can't say for sure yet which of the three is best.
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26 of 35 people (74%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
As far as classic rpg's go, this is like a classic that never happened, almost like a dream (pun completely intended) the story is fresh and interesting like the true twisted face of "wonderland". The art style is impressive and the music is amazing, the gameplay is reminiscent of old school final fantasy with some current day practices. My only problem is not being able to select the resolution, my screen seems to cut off a little, but beside that little fact, I wish modern rpg's would take a step back and see what an indie can do with a little passion and a whole lot of style. I give Whisper of the Rose a 9.5.
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33 of 48 people (69%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
Nice art but quite frustrating. Not in difficulty sense, the game is rather easy. It’s just boring. I thought I was in for a treat as the game went through in beginning phases but it fell flat pretty quickly once it starting moving. Many of the environments are beyond annoying to navigate. Between world objects blocking you such as plants, rocks and the tiresome enemies chasing you endlessly to make you engage in a snooze fest of a battle it really starts to become a chore. Whisper of a Rose attempts at bringing in a skill tree to the genre which works but not as well as it could. You collect skill upgrades in random places or talking to random npcs, many which can be easily missed. You do not earn any skills from just leveling up so It’s nice that they did something different and encourage exploration but this game simple isn’t worth exploring. Its pointless to escape from battles because the enemies simply spawn right next to you only to engage the battle again. If you try running far away hoping you can lose them don’t bother. They can often navigate the annoying terrain better than you. If you do successfully get away you’ll only be met by another horde immediately after or during your escape. Want to find a way to that chest you see on that ledge? Well then be prepared to put 30 minutes at least trying to painstakingly get to it. First JRPG I’ve ever desperately tried not to get into any battles. Not just because they are pointless and boring but because it will cause you to level way to quickly, obliterating any challenges. 5/10
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20 of 26 people (77%) found this review helpful
Recommended
63.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 25, 2015
Whisper of a Rose is a very well done RPG Maker game about a girl named Melrose who has a pretty awful life and very much wants to find some way to escape it. She finds a device called the iDream and uses that to escape into her Dream World.

But she ends up finding out that the Dream World isn't as nice as she thinks it is. After all, not all our dreams are nice and happy, there are plenty of nightmares as well.

Whisper of a Rose takes us on Melrose's trip through the Dream World. Everything in the game is based on things that happened to Melrose and her own fears and wishes. Even her own repressed memories show up at times. The settings range from rolling hills to unpleasant forests and swamps. And all Melrose wants to do is find a way home.

Overall pros:
+Lengthy game, it took me just under 30 hours to beat it, though that included having to redo some stuff when I was defeated.
+Gorgeous settings, you can barely even tell it's RPG Maker
+Wonderful soundtrack. All the music fits great with the scenes and the battle themes are just amazing. You can get the soundtrack for free at the dev's website too.
+Very responsive dev which is always a good thing.

Overall cons:
-Never thought I'd say I wanted random encounters in a game, but this game really would have been better off with them. Visible encounters just don't work here with how difficult it is to avoid enemies and how they immediately respawn with no chance for immunity to avoid the encounter. Monsters also don't stop while you grab treasure which leads to encounters you may not want. (Edit: This has been improved upon as well with a short delay between respawn and an item to avoid encounters. New Game+ mode gets an important item to allow unlimited avoiding of encounters)
-Regular battles can get lengthy and tedious. (Edit: This has been improved upon and they are much shorter as long as you aren't avoiding everything and not upgrading equipment)
-While there is a quick means of travel, it only covers limited areas and you'll be backtracking a bit for sidequests, which makes the encounter annoyances even greater because you'll get stuck fighting some monsters when you just wanted to make a quick run to grab an item.

Achievement wise, it's not an easy 100%. You'll need two full playthroughs to 100% the game and there are a few missables. It's about 30 hours per playthrough from the looks of things if you want to be sure to miss nothing. There is some replay value though since you get some new stuff on a second run and there's one sidequest that can only be finished on the second playthrough and it nets you the best summon in the game.

Still, it's a very good game and I do recommend it. It's not exactly short and sweet, but it's worth playing all the way through.

Also a little tip for anyone playing it: don't sell your initial armor for any characters. You'll need that later if you want to get the best stuff in the game. It's doable to beat the game without it, but more difficult.
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