Lost: One magical orb. Last seen: 1991.
I'd like to put forth a theory: Older gamers have a higher tolerance for games with frustrating and outdated mechanics. To put it more scientifically, the number of years (y) that a person has been playing video games is directly proportional to the level of tolerance (t) they have for stale, horribly inferior tripe (shit). Call it a fallacy of our pride, perhaps, but when a modern game throws unnecessarily annoying content at us, its the older gamers who will be the masochists that sit there and tough it out, all the while telling friends, “You think this is hard? It's nothing compared to Battletoads!”
[image1]It's particularly true of the RPG, a genre that stubbornly hangs on to standards and conventions that are now decades old. But you can't really blame the developers, after all — if we keep buying games with contrived fetch quests and tired turn-based combat, what incentive do they have to change it up? (By the way, I say this knowing full well that I'm just as guilty of this behavior as any other RPG addict.)
I'd like to think that my tirade has some kind of meaning that can be applied to Aveyond: The Lost Orb, but some might consider it a stretch. But at least you, the reader, have some food for thought, and I get away with adding some filler to this review.
Why would I need such filler, you may ask? Well, put quite simply, there's almost no criticism nor praise that I feel comfortable giving to this game. When I first started it, I immediately thought that it was something a kid whipped together on RPG Maker in his basement. Lo and behold, after doing some more research, I found out that this game actually was made with RPG Maker. If only I could be this perceptive with the ladies.
The Lost Orb is part three in a series of relatively short episodic games, downloadable for 10 bucks each. There is already a small existing fanbase of casual players who enjoy this series that 99% (if not more) of you have probably never heard of. Let's just say that Aveyond's target demographic and GR's readership have about as much in common as Republicans and hippies.
[image2]If you do want to know more, however, here's the gist: The Lost Orb picks up where its predecessor left off, with the main character, Mel, about to get married. Her wedding day is ruined when her bitchy rival (introduced in the previous games) dresses up like Mel and somehow manages to trick her fiancé into marrying the wrong person. Sounds like a stand-up guy. Mel is understandably pretty pissed about this, so she goes off on her own and learns about an all-powerful orb that her evil ancestor hid away, which she decides to destroy before it can fall into the wrong hands. I could go on, but for the most part the plot stays as lighthearted and baffling as it starts.
Remember how I said I couldn't really praise or criticize this game? I just wouldn't feel right about either one. If it were made by a big name developer, then the gloves would be off and I'd slam it back into the '90s where it belongs. But it's just a small game made with RPG Maker from an indie developer. Criticizing it would be like bullying the kids who ride the short bus. I can't really knock it for what it is.
But there's absolutely nothing about Aveyond: The Lost Orb that would attract any self-respecting gamer who isn't already into the series. So since I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, with nothing I can comfortably say for or against this game... there's only one grade that makes any sense for me to give.