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Monday, August 17, 2015

Celestian Tales: Old North PC Review - 8.5/10

Celestian Tales is a turn based RPG available on Steam. It focuses in on a story with six main characters in a fantasy setting.

The Good:
There are a total of six main characters you can choose to play as, all with their own skills, backstory, beginning prologue and such. You choose one of the characters and follow their story that intersects with the other six. I haven't gotten around to playing all of them, but they all seem the same save for the prologue. Each character begins in their own small backstory which then leads into the main game. Its not often you see this level of detail from a kickstarted game or even from most triple A titles and publishers.
The sprites and other visuals all look exceptional. I'm not sure, but I think most, if not all, the artwork was done specifically for this game. While most characters fall back on a similar expression, its a very nice touch.
Combat is fairly decent. Which is to say it isn't broken. There's a fair bit of strategy but nothing insane. You attack, buff, healing item. All the standard stuff. That's not to say the system isn't lacking, it's just choosing to go by a familiar system we've seen and probably played. Point is, its not difficult to get into combat.

The Bad:
As far as I've played, you don't really get to make a whole lot of choices in this game. Sure, you can walk (relatively) where you want and use the skills you want but you can't make any dialogue choices. Apart from small things, the story will do as it pleases. Is your character kind of an elitist dick? Well too bad! You can't change it. I know this is par for the course when it comes to original RPGs like Final Fantasy, but this is 2015. We've made some serious graphical, not to mention mechanical, leaps when its come to games. Even hollow choices, while terrible, would have given me the illusion of choice. Its more like an animated movie I can control sometimes but ultimately I have little agency over. This isn't a terrible thing. Ni No Kuni had pretty much the same thing story wise. You were following Oliver's story and every so often you could just say yes or no, but I, at best, tolerated that.
You choose from six different characters who are all designed a certain way. You can't change this (as far as I've seen), so you're basically stuck as whatever the developer wants you to be. For you guys, you get all of two white characters to choose from. For the ladies, they get four white girls. While (most) of the characters don't look terrible, a token character maker would have been great. Instead, I have to play as a blond haired, slightly tanned guy. It doesn't detract from the game, it just makes me feel like I have less input in the overall game.

I'm not at all disappointed in my purchase. This is a pretty decent game that I might continue playing. I believe its still at a reduced price at the time this will be posted, so if you like the game you should pick it up soon for a fairly cheap price.

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