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LONG BLOG

Traveller In Playtime - The Amber Throne

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The Amber Throne is a JRPG made by Joshua Missile and released for the PC in 2015. The game centers around a girl named Arra and the companions she finds on the way to the titular throne, which holds great importance for the fate of the world.

A Wanderer's Tale

I think the storytelling of the game hits the exact aimless feeling it aims for. Arra is mute and all the exposition you get throughout is very concise, banking more on visuals and the player's ability to digest things quickly. They really throw too many new words at you too fast. Even when your party members speak up, they don't talk for long and it's quite difficult to get a read on their characters.

The overarching story took a while before it revealed itself as what you would expect out of a JRPG. By waiting to play the idealism VS world-destruction card, the game made it feel more poignant. But since I had so little knowledge of the characters, the ending didn't reach its full potential.

I'm sure there aren't any plot holes of note, but I can't say I completely enjoyed the confusing nature of the game. For most of my playtime, I felt unsure of my place in this world and just walked around. It feels very unique though, which might be of interest to those tired of what JRPGs are usually like.

The aesthetics and music play a great part in this feeling. Important cutscenes are usually punctuated by half a dozen pictures of respectable quality that look like oil paintings. The whole game is like an eastern european animated adaptation of a fairy tale. The music is simple, opting for a minstral sort of style with drums and strings.

Combat

The fighting you have to do in the Amber Throne is really just a formality. It's very simple turn-based combat fought in relatively short battles that are very easy. Enemies deal little damage and there isn't much complexity to be had in most battles. Just attacking takes you quite far. And even when things get more complicated, it's often just a matter of using Arra to disable an enemy's shield.

Skills cost nothing to use, but some of them have charge time and cooldowns to consider. Frankly, most of them are pretty bad. It's a bit of a bother to figure out which skills are worth investing in, since the UI sometimes leaves out information and judging the usefulness of certain skill properties is difficult due to the lack of advanced tutorials.

Enemies only respawn in certain areas after you've let them do so. For much of the game, you only get the exp alloted. This, combined with the short battles keeps the pace very high, matching the plot. The game manages to be a mere fraction of the length of a standard JRPG.

You're incentivized to explore side areas for more enemies to fight, which ties in pretty well with the game's ”wandering” atmosphere.

Final Judgement

MEH

- Welcome to my world, Enjoy your stay, But always remember, There is no return.


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About Kerrik52one of us since 3:12 AM on 02.28.2016

Greetings, one and all. I'm known as Kerrik52 around these parts and I'm Swedish dude with a bachelor's degree in computer science.

I play a lot of games, even the bad ones if they have something interesting to offer. I then write about them on this site for you all to read. I've written stuff about about a lot of genres, but if you need recommendations, I suggest my From Software Retrospective and my "Let's Bitch" series about the Souls-games. At present, I am mostly writing reviews, which is a fun exercise.

I also have a little Youtube channel bearing my name that mostly contains videos related to my blogs.

I'm mostly a character action game and JRPG player, but I try to keep my gaming diet varied. Here are some games/series I love:

Souls Games
God Hand
Resident Evil 4
Tales of
Ratchet & Clank
King's Field
Devil May Cry
Legacy of Kain
Spyro the Dragon
Ys
Shin Megami Tensei
Patapon
Legend of Heroes
Yakuza
Locoroco
Ape Escape

I have a very low standard for movies, but I have some favorites. These include:

Coraline
Tintin
The Secret Life of Walter Witty
Pooh's Grand Adventure
Scott Pilgrim VS the World

The last TV shows I watched were House, Mythbusters and Fringe.

Anime on the other hand, is something I watch a decent amount of. I like:

Symphogear
Jojo
Nichijou
WIXOSS
Black Rock Shooter
Nobunagun
Airmaster
Fist of the Northstar

I don't read very much anymore, but I like Asimov and Lovecraft.

Music-wise I'm an apostle of Dio and the German power metal scene. Other favorites include:

Gamma Ray
Iron Savior
Freedom Call
Dreamtale
Axel Rudi Pell
Edguy
Avantasia

Go ahead and share a piece of your world with me and I'll pay back in kind. Don't be deterred if I answer you in a wall of text though. I just can't help it sometimes.