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Deadly Sin
Platform: PC
Publisher: Deadly Sin Studios
Developer: Deadly Sin Studios
Genre: Traditional RPG
Format: Download
Released: US 06/30/09
Official Site: English Site



Scorecard
Graphics: 85%
Sound: 85%
Gameplay: 83%
Control: 90%
Story: 70%
Overall: 79%
Reviews Grading Scale
 
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Deadly Sin uses a skill tree system for character growth.
 
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That dark knight boss is almost as impressive to look at as the ladies' butts.
 
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Towns look good on the overland.
 
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She's walking on water like a basilisk!
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Neal Chandran
Deadly Sin
08/06/09
Neal Chandran

Deadly Sin is the debut RPG Maker RPG from another aspiring developer. It is very clear that a lot of effort was put into this game, and though some of that effort paid off, some aspects of the game do not quite hit the mark. For example, the battle sprites for the heroes and advanced enemies were excellent, and the music and overall game design were above average, but the story and characters could have been better. Read on for more details.

Story

The plot stars a young girl named Lorelai who was raised by the hermit wizard Winchester. One day, Winchester disappears, leaving behind only a note with some vague instructions for Lorelai to deliver a letter to an old friend of his. This simple delivery very quickly (perhaps too quickly) turns into a "save the world" plot where Lorelai finds out about her hidden past, faces off against an evil empire alongside a small band of rebels, is privy to world-shattering revelations and ancient prophecies, opposes ancient gods, and all of the good stuff we expect from JRPG plots.

Deadly Sin's storytelling is not as strong as that of its contemporaries. Important events are often resolved rather quickly with only a superficial level of development. For example, within the first hour, Lorelai's past is revealed to her and the gravity of her situation becomes clear, and she reacts in a very nonplussed fashion and comes to grips with everything almost immediately. The lack of any sort of emotional meltdown is not believable at all, and adds nothing to her already blah personality. I am always excited to play an RPG with a female protagonist, but Lorelai is rather dull. The other characters supporting her have more personality than she does, but are textbook examples of their intended archetypes, even though some have personality quirks that seem really out of left field (and not necessarily in a good way). Characters are not this developer's strong suit, and that is a big downer for me. I can usually forgive standard plots if the characters are cool, but in this case, the plot and characters are the two weakest aspects of the game.

Gameplay

Deadly Sin's gameplay follows the traditional JRPG town-overland-dungeon structure, but with a few twists. For example, the turn-based battle engine has a stat called "threat," which shows how much chance a particular character has of being hit. The more a character pounds on an enemy, the higher the threat on the attacker's life becomes. This cool system must have taken a lot of effort to program into RPG Maker, and it adds an additional dimension of strategy and planning to battles.

Another demonstration of the effort put into the game design is the individual skill trees for each character. As battles are won, skill points are accumulated and each character can invest skill points into various class-specific skills. Skill trees are nothing new in most JRPGs, but I have not seen extensive use of them in RPG Maker games, so I applaud the effort required to incorporate one here.

One gameplay element that I feel is a double-edged sword is the encounter nodes in dungeons. In dungeons, there are crystalline nodes that, if touched, will eliminate the random encounters in that area/floor of the dungeon, and they cannot be turned back on. There is a "yay!" factor in there, because some players find battles tedious, and the nodes are great when concentrating on the puzzle elements of dungeons. The "nay" factor is that if players get too proactive about shutting off the nodes, boss battles can become difficult or lengthy. Some grinding is definitely necessary to get through the middle and end portions of the game, since even normal enemies become pretty resilient and hit hard. Thankfully the encounter rate is not very high, so I usually kept the nodes on.

Graphics and Sound

The graphics and sound are the areas where the majority of the developer's effort is shown off. The environments use tilesets from both RPG Maker XP and RPG Maker VX, stock sprites from XP, and custom sprites for hero and villain characters. Everything looks very clean. I like the color palette of the overland and how some towns appear very large on it. Some dungeons utilize tricks like parallax scrolling and lens flare to good effect, giving them a dynamic look. Some of these visual tricks are used in the first part of the ending, which looks stunning. All that said, the best graphics are reserved for battle. The hero sprites are large and animate nicely. And I'm not going to lie, the female characters, especially Dori (the one in the green outfit), have sweet behinds that Sir Mix-A-Lot would approve of. Normal enemies look somewhat bland early in the game, but they look much better later on, and bosses always look large and intimidating.

The MP3-quality music in the game is quite good. It is mostly the orchestral fare commonly associated with JRPGs, but there are pieces that utilize modern rock aspects such as guitar. My initial impression of the music after the first hour of play was that it was good, if a bit unoriginal. However, the music steadily improves throughout the game, and pieces like the final dungeon theme are worth sticking around for.

Conclusion

As said in the first paragraph, Deadly Sin is an RPG that is good in some areas but middling in other areas. The battle sprites for the heroes are excellent and the music is very good. The overall game design is above average, even if the balance is not 100% refined. The story and characters, though, are not as strong as the game's other components. In short, Deadly Sin was a decent game that I wanted to really like, but that did not leave a strong lasting impression. Deadly Sin is a decent old-school style RPG that can keep players busy for 20-25 hours, but those 20-25 hours will not take gamers to places they have never been before.



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© 2009 Deadly Sin Studios. All rights reserved.


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