Reviews by drfaustus14
Weirdly Nostalgic, Semi-Gamebook, JRPG Elements? Great Fusion!drfaustus14 | May 25, 2014 | Review of Dark Scavenger
I bought 'Dark Scavenger', not really expecting too much. I figured it'd be a good way to waste an hour or so, in between more weighty games. However, I was hugely surprised by how good this game actually is.
If you've ever played a 'Lone Wolf' or 'Fighting Fantasy' book, you'll be very familiar with the way the game is played - each "page" (location you visit, chosen by arrows) has an encounter (sometimes multiple) for you to take part in, whether it's a conversation, a fight, or an item to gain via a little puzzle. This harkens back to the early-mid 90s attempts to capture these style of gamebooks on PCs; Dark Scavenger manages to achieve this in a way I've never experienced before.
The game's story follows you, a "Dark Scavenger", a being that can siphon the energy out of planets, and a crew of misfits who find you floating in space. The characters are a wacky bunch, but are also very interesting in spite of their "zany" initial appearances. There are a lot of excellent conversations to be had within the game, and the "dark comedy" tagline it advertises is not a misnomer at all - I've found myself laughing a lot at the various scrapes and events happening to the protagonist.
Graphically, the game is simple yet aesthetically pleasing. There's barely any animation, aside from some flashes when weapons attack and so on. However, this really isn't necessary, as the game manages to get across everything it needs to with the little animation it provides. It still manages to provide exciting combat and fleshed out environments. Likewise, the music and sound effects of the game are apt also. Abandoned areas really feel abandoned due to the subtle sounds, and I defy you to dislike the jaunty battle music!
The battle system is very similar to classic JRPGs like Dragon Warrior or Final Fantasy. You fight alone, but have three options for each attack: 'Weapon' - direct attacks with weapons, 'Item' - use a variety of items with various effects, and 'Ally' - summon one of your many allies to help you out in the combat. Combine this with a huge amount of weapons, items, and allies, each with a limited number of uses, and you have a really varied and interesting battle system, yet one that is simplistic enough to be able to dive right into. Gaining new Weapons/Items/Allies is as simple as finding loot, each piece of which can be crafted into one of the three aforementioned categories. Therefore, you sometimes have to make very crucial decisions - is that one of a kind power-belt better turned into a mega-mace for attacking, an athletics-item, or a strong ally? You only have one, so which will it be?
The bottom line is that this is a very cheap game for what it brings. If you enjoyed the classic adventure/choose-your-own-adventure games from yesteryear, especially Lone-Wolf, then this is the game for you. I planned to play it for an hour or so while I waited for a movie to begin. I never saw that movie - I didn't see why on earth I'd stop playing this game!