Labyrinth of Blue

December 26th, 2014

Review – Spirited Heart (Deluxe)

I had trouble with the game back when I first played it and was rudely told by the creator that “It was playtested and not broken/unbalanced!”
So, I found out I could get a Steam key and tried it again.
The game is still essentially still broken/unbalanced because the stat system is terrible.

There is really no plot to speak of and the only world building you get are little snippets here and there.

The stat raising itself is garbage. You have the option to choose random dice to add up to a number without going over OR Auto Job, which just gives you a random outcome. Honestly, you’ll just want to pick Auto Job everytime as it’ll give you more favorable results.

Speaking of! Of you do poor you get nothing, if you do average you get half and if you do Good you get the amount you are supposed to. Perfect I think nets you 1/3 more or something. Considering how bad the dice fail is, Average should net you the full amount with Poor netting you half as you’ll be seeing POOR more often than not.

STATS! It seems stats go up randomly if you get Average-Perfect and even then it seems that the stat gains are random as well, I’ve gotten perfects and have had 0 stat gain.

ALSO BTW! You can have multiple events that steal your money, lower your health AND lower your stats. Stats you worked hard to raise through the crappy dice system or the meager wages you scraped up. So I’d often find myself taking 6 weeks or more just to recover from everything to Work/Train again.

ROMANCE! SO the romance is based on random chance. As other’s have said, you’ll randomly encounter your love and then have to pick the right choice to make the meter go up. Fail to do so and you didn’t pick the right choice.. I hope you can get that character to show up again. So really you’ll be switching off the boys and girls in the options to increase your chance of an encounter, or at least eliminate choices you don’t want to appear.

In the end, the game where everything is made up and points don’t matter. No really the points just seem to be there to get you a second tier job and I don’t think there is a third tier despite the graphics looking as if there are more tiers.

Comparing this to Princess Maker 2 and Prince Maker Braveness (MSN2), it fails to do stat sim and romance decently.
Using PM2 as an example, the marriage options were strewn throughout the game and the points were more or less used to get them. Want to marry the prince, talk to him every January and raise the Decorum, Social and such stats. Want to marry a dragon? Become a warrior and go on an adventure in the dragon ruins, thus all the combat stats go up. The prince is in the no time advancement Social menu, the dragon is on an adventure and there is yet even MORE people you can meet. There were things like talking to the character, going to town, talking to the palace people. Stuff that gave you a goal to focus on.
Spirited Heart? There is no point to the stats. At least in Long Live the Queen the stats were useful to try and maybe stay alive (though that game has issues). You could try and focus on combat to war your way through the game or dancing and such to try and socialite your way through the game. Magical Diary? Mandatory to get through the game (Even though a lot of spells were useless). The three character stats affected if you were going to romance anyone.

There seems to be a sequel in the make, hopefully it will be better than this and actually try and emulate the games it seeks to copy from. It just seems here the person didn’t ‘get’ what was fun about those games and thought kludging stats + romances without meshing them with a story in some way was going to work.