Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Indie Game: Millennium: A New Hope

Where do I even begin raving about this title by Indinera Falls and published by Aldorlea Games? Millennium: A New Hope is yet another RPGMaker game that first appeared in casual game portals like Big Fish Games and then later Greenlighted by Steam. As of this writing, I am patiently awaiting a Steam sale (Halloween?) and the release of the last 3 Millennium titles because right now, only the first two are available on Steam. (It costs $5.99 in Steam, but $9.99 in Desura. Strange.)

Click thumbnails to enlarge images.

Anyway, I was just browsing through Steam and stumbled upon this last week. The story is about a young peasant girl who aims to change her country's leadership. Basically, she goes around looking for strong warriors to champion her cause.

I like that it's not an epic battle. Epic battles are too mainstream. The story is intriguing enough to make me want to know both the heroine and the villain. That's rare, at least for me. And jeez! I can seriously feel how much of a peasant she was. Beasts you kill do not drop gold (this is actually logical), but they drop skins and other things that you can sell. Unfortunately, these other things are also stuff that you can eat. So for me, it was always a struggle between not dying in the middle of a long dungeon (having something to eat/replenish HP with) or buying sturdier armor.

The first thing that I noticed about Millennium 1, though, is how HUUUUUGE its maps are. Good gawd, it took me an hour to get out of the first map. The first! The seemingly never-ending forks in the road can get frustrating at times and I have to honestly admit I was overwhelmed. In fact, I can't count the number of hidden rooms I've missed and quests I skipped because of it.

This title actually received critical acclaim from many credible sources like RPGFan and Gamezebo but the mazes remind me of those 90s RPGs I've cursed and sworn at. Fortunately, the beauty of the fields and dungeons did not fail to take my breath away. Aesthetically speaking, this game is GORGEOUS. Can I just say that I've been truly inspired at how painstakingly designed these maps are?

Since the world is divided into 5 games, I appreciated that you get to work with only 4 party members per game. Don't get me wrong. I like variety in characters. But if they're all going to have similar personalities/skills that I will not remember for a long time, might as well stick to a number that I can remember. Four is a good number.

The job classes are a lot different from the usual JRPG offerings. You even have a crocodile hunter. How cool is that? The difference in each character's specializations allows you to mix and match your strategies.

I also love the high level of customizability in the game. You can adjust difficulty, even the kind of enemy encounter (I picked non-random), and many other options. I admit that there was a point where I wanted to shift to "easy" mode, because of the amount of grinding involved but I just decided to bear it and grin. I had fun grinding anyway, because I picked non-random encounters, so this wasn't a real issue.

Above: Look at those gorgeous trees!!!! It's a swamp, but the trees are so lovely!

I digress. To be honest, apart from the overwhelming map sizes and abnormally numerous forks (I'd like to think the designer really enjoyed himself doing those maps), I have no real issue with Millennium. It's highly polished for an indie game. The details, man! It's the details that made it such an entertaining and satisfying experience.

If you are into indie or JPRG-inspired games, give this one a try. Oh and your saved game can be carried over to the next chapter so, weeee!



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