Review of Bonded Realities on XBLIG: Try
Child-like wandering in an alternate reality.
In Bonded Realities you are the silent protagonist leader of four children. I named him Crono. The story is simple. Crono and his friends Liam, Josh, and Maria had just been dropped off at daycare and were playing in the sandbox when their world shook and they were knocked unconcious. They each woke up changed and alone in a strange world and must find each other then figure out how to get home.
If you’re not a fan of menu-based JRPGs you’re not going to like this game. If you hate random encounters you’re going to despise this game. There is a good bit of grinding necessary to get to a point to not fear the encounters. As a seasoned JRPGer I ground just for the sake of grinding while trying to find all the treasure chests in the game. Supposedly, one of the NPCs will give you something good if you do. There is an item given to you at the end of what I’m going to term Chapter 2 (the story is just as linear as in FFXIII even if the world isn’t) that will allow you to walk unmolested by random encounters. I seldom used it because not dealing with random encounters leaves you open to failure at bosses. There is also an optional boss you find just before the final Chapter that has what I believe is supposed to be the last treasure chest you find behind him. It’s not the last in the game, there are some in the castle, just the last you’re likely to find.
The creator of this game seems to be as big a fan of Xanth as I am because most of, if not all of, the enemies a puns or memes. They may be for all I know. I didn’t check. Some, like the green koala Dropbear, I thought were cute. Others, Major Miner – a military miner, are groan inducing.
The graphics are hand drawn in a childish style that I almost found engaging. There were just too many instances of where the artist seemed to try and make a more advanced looking character and fell out of the whimsical style they were going for. Also, the store being a cavernous room with a counter crossing it and a sale sign near the NPC salesperson is lazy. No child on earth would describe a store in that manner. The only non-empty one is much later in the game and is also the inn (cliche).
The simplistic story is OK and has a decent series of “what a twist!” moments at the end. There were only a couple of moments that brought me out of my fantasy of this being four small children going on an adventure. The first was early on when one of the major NPCs called someone a twat. The second was late in the game when Crono commented on having to look at a statue’s ass. It’s probably my own hangups on what a child should be saying and not what reality is nowadays.
All in all I liked the game and give it a Try. It could be better. It could be way worse. It’s a solid game with mostly only cosmetic issues.
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