Review - Lucienne's Quest

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Trev
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Review - Lucienne's Quest

Post by Trev » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:19 am

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Are you jealous of Japanese 3DO player’s? If you’re a fan of role playing games, than you likely are. Titles like Grand Chef and Blue Forest Story look simply stunning, but the language barrier makes them extremely inaccessible without understanding Japanese text. Still, there is some reason for comfort, as this review shows.

Lucienne’s Quest, brought to us by the same team who made the great Guardian War, is a well made rpg that fans of the genre (and even some non-fans) should find quite entertaining. It has everything you would expect in an rpg, plus a few surprises. Of course it has some shortcomings too, but not enough to prevent it from being a fun game.

Pros

Pros in this game include a likeable cast of characters, great music, and fun combat. Lucienne, the lead, isn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, (she is only 15 years old mind you) but she is portrayed genuinely, and can more than hold her own in combat. It is refreshing to see a girl in the starring role of an rpg for a change, and it is pretty amusing (although juvenile) to watch some of the male characters fighting over Lucienne. She gradually has more friends join her in her quest, and they are unique enough in their personalities and attack patterns to compliment her well. True, this game isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with character development, but what is there is done well. I find Lucienne and her crew are tough to dislike.

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The music in this game I think is very enjoyable. It’s varied and catchy, and has never gotten on my nerves … not even the determined combat tune that you hear a lot of during the game. Some of the town tracks do repeat, but they are spaced out well enough ... and again the music is really good so I didn’t mind. The soundtrack in this game is actually quite memorable … I can even whistle certain tunes by heart. The advantages of the cd format were well used in this game. Good stuff! :)

The combat portion of Lucienne’s Quest (usually my least favorite part of an rpg) is surprisingly deep. It does happen too often (at least in the over world) but it didn’t really bug me. I like the clever use of obstacles that can either be a help (if you are trying to lay low) or a hindrance (if they are blocking a foe) I don’t seem to remember too many rpg’s from that era doing anything similar, so I’m pretty sure this was unique.
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Combat in the dungeon sections was even more enjoyable because (unlike the over world) it does not occur at random spots every few seconds. There are pre-determined trigger points that must be reached before a fight takes place. They are not nearly as numerous either, so I took advantage by exploring the dungeon more thoroughly than I might normally have.
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Cons

Remember those few shortcomings I mentioned? I’d have to say they were the limited story, the graphics (to a small extent) and the length. These are all actually quite subjective though, so it is possible some will love Lucienne’s Quest for these very reasons. But I’ll explain why I consider them flaws.

Story wise, don’t expect much in the way of anything epic from this game. It serves its purpose of moving you from location to location, but outside of an occasional joke or two it really is not that memorable. It is clichéd (small magical band saves the world … again! :P ) and doesn’t advance enough to tell us much more than we knew at the beginning. And the ending was lacking … I won’t give it away, but I think you’d expect more. Overall, I was hoping for something meatier and different … Of course it does offer that old school comfort to it, so some may not care.

Graphically this is not a bad game by any means, but is suffers by being compared to the gorgeous Guardian War. Characters fare worse in this head to head, as do the spell effects … and these can appear frequently, as the designers decided to make magic accessible to every character … a mistake I feel. The over world portions don’t seem to display much in the way of 32-bit power, and while the towns and dungeons look nicer (some good textures and effects) it still seems to me that more could have been done. Again, not bad … but not great either. If you’ve only played rpgs on 16-bit machines though, this will probably impress a good amount.

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The biggest flaw that I found in Lucienne’s Quest was the length. I liked the game, and wanted it to keep going, but it ended far too quickly. :( I’m used to rpgs requiring a heavy time commitment … by direct comparison Lucienne’s Quest length really suffers. I think it took me just under 10 hours or so to beat, with a fair portion of it spent leveling up. This is about a quarter of the average rpg length of 40 hours or so. I also didn’t see much in the way of side quests and the like to prolong the game. I was kinda bummed … but if you are a more casual rpg fan you probably either won’t notice, or won’t care. The relative easiness will also be a plus for this crowd.

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Overall

So in the end, we have a title that (in spite of it’s flaws) can stand alongside Guardian War as a solid , good fun rpg… even in the absence of much direct competiton. While I prefer the former more, Lucienne’s Quest offers a much closer traditional rpg style so it’s appeal will likely be higher. Sadly, this game is pretty rare, and is also among the most expensive of 3DO’s domestic releases. But the time and expense to acquire it will pay off in a great 3DO adventure. :D


-Trev
Last edited by Trev on Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by 3DOKid » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:17 pm

I thought LQ was better than Guardians War. I got to the Whale in GW and had to give up.

I personally found the battling pretty repetitive, what I did like was that it didn't seem to be wasting my time. (Like the GFs in FFVII did.)

I played FFVI earlier this year on the PS1, which seems to be a port of the SNES version. And I agree, if you had been used to 16bit RPGs, LQ looked awesome. In some ways I found LQ a half-way house between FFVI and FFVII.

One other thing! There was a Saturn version of Lucienne's Quest called "Sword and Sorcery" and it had a rendered introduction with a catchy tune too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Uj34OdtMCs

It's one of the Japanese games where you have a nagging doubt that out there, somewhere, in Japanese-speaking land, there is a great wealth of knowledge about Luciennes world, and maybe a sequel and some Anime and a book... (but apparently there isn't!)

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Trev
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Post by Trev » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:17 pm

A great game deserves some nice screenshots. Enjoy.
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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:41 pm

I really liked this one but I've never beaten it... because I always delete the save game file not knowing what it is! hahahaha
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Post by sneth » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:54 pm

crashed after beating the end boss. never went through it again to actually see the ending.

Between GW and LQ i would pick LQ every time.

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Post by Austin » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:03 am

I'd love to eventually pick this up, even at its ridiculous price. A nice collectible that looks to be a half-decent game at the same time.

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