by Allan Curtis
November 24, 2010
OverviewRimelands is an interesting semi turned based RPG from Crescent Moon Games. You play as Rose, a treasure hunter with a mysterious past and a penchant for riches. You set out to find pieces of a map for your grandmother.
FeaturesRimelands features a long involved campaign, many skills to learn and interesting turn based combat. It also has a decent story and can be played several different ways. The heart of the game is the dice combat system. Barbarian skills make Rosa tougher in melee, letting her deliver hits that make her opponents bleed, stun them, or let her rapidly close the distance with a foe, so you aren't peppered with projectiles before you can strike back. Rouge skills allow you to excel in distance weapons letting you paralyze a foe to the spot or stealthily attack them. Shaman skills are magic skills and let you deliver icy blasts of energy or burn enemies up with fire. Since the game lets you pick any branch at each level up you can create a hybrid character, or simply specialize in one branch to create the sort of character you want to use. Combat is about more than stats too, as you can stun enemies and pick them off with projectiles, charge up to mages and cut them down before they blow you away with magic or even use the environment to your advantage, like retreating to a doorframe or bridge, so you can take on multiple enemies on at a time in the doorway. The game also has plenty of dark vaults and towns to explore. While the game is extremely liner and you're always railroaded from place to place the areas are quite large and there is plenty of passages and treasure in vaults and people to talk to in towns to make looking around a satisfying experience. Rimelands also features a rudimentary crafting system. You can obtain materials from having equipment disassembled at a shop and you can use this equipment with blueprints you find in chests to create new items. There are only three materials in the game however and two are very simple to get. The third, Amber is rarer, but you don't need to spend ages killing enemies in the hopes they drop materials or anything; as long as you have to cash to buy equipment to have dissembled into items you can generally make what you like. The game controls very well. A standard dpad sits on either the left or right part of the screen. When you can interact with something, that direction on the dpad changes to an icon so you can attack or talk to people without having to press another button or have the screen cluttered up with other interface elements. This is a great idea and really makes the game snappier. Graphically the game looks pretty good, graphics are functional and animations are nice and smooth, particularity the way you start a swing in combat and the game halts for dice rolls, before following though. Magic could look a lot better, as its just tiny wisps of color, but overall the game looks very nice, and also features full screen illustrations in story scenes.
The BadSoudnwise, the game is average. The music is good enough and there is plenty of environment sounds like machinery in vaults. Voice acting however is limited to just grunts in battle and weapons have no kick. Guns sound extremely weak and the game's feel would benefit greatly if they had a meatier sound rather than a little "puff" when you shoot. Melee similarly has a little "tap" rather than visceral slicing sound effects and magic is about the same, mostly consisting of whooshing sounds. The sounds really add nothing to combat and they should be much better. Another minor problem is text detailing weapon effect is extremely small and difficult to see. It would be nice if there could be an option for a full screen view of the equipment's statistics in a larger font. Rimelands also lacks sidequests and most of the time you will just be completing plotline quests and exploring vaults for more loot. This is compelling enough however that its easy to largely forgive the game's rigidness. The game doesn't invite those who are new or not very experienced to the genre. It feels slow moving to begin with, and the dice combat system takes away most of the action. The game style isn't for everyone, but those who are RPG fans will be right at home.
The VerdictRimelands is a fun RPG with new ideas and a well though out combat system. It encourages you to play it in different ways and it's presented in a nice, easy to play package that's perfect for the platform. At $5 Rimelands is worth every penny, despite its minor problems and you should pick it up if you like RPGs, tactical gameplay or turn based games. Highly recommended!
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