Ragged, tired, and worn out, Zeiss the Locksmith becomes lost on his way home from work. Traveling the endless void, Zeiss soon finds a door next to a talking sign, known as the Icono. He learns that the three senses (Sight, Taste, and Sound) have been outlawed by the King and Queens. With no other way to go, Zeiss enters the first door and enters a world of nightmarish surrealism. Citizens walked blind, their eyes caved in and Zeiss can't help but feel he is being watched. Luckily a greedy merchant, named Volmero, decides to keep Zeiss in tact as he travels across the three senses in hopes of returning home. *****This game was created as part of Becker College's 24Hour GameJam*** *Features Gamepad Support *Recommended to be played with Headphones for best experience.
I'm basically copyposting this from my tumblr post on the game, so.
Paracentric is a short game, can be reasonably completed in ~30 minutes. If you liked OFF, you’ll either like this game a lot for being similar, or hate it for being TOO similar.
- Really cool surreal horror vibe in the vein of other excellent RPG Maker games.
- The original graphics are nicely done and really capture the best of Yume Nikki’s aesthetics.
- There’s a seed of a really interesting story in there, and I think there’s loads of potential for making a good game from this grain of plot.
I’ll get to the negatives in just a moment, but first I think it’s only fair to point out that a lot of Paracentric’s problems stem from being made in only 24 hours for a game jam. You can hardly expect someone to make a quality RPG in only a day.
- Weird difficulty curve. The first boss was decently challenging, the second was a test of luck and endurance (and my patience), and the third and fourth both died in only two hits. There are very few opportunities for leveling between the first two bosses as well, unless you really love grinding. And the random encounter rate is low.
- As I had feared from the get-go, the game remained too similar to OFF instead of exploring its own ideas further. Concepts such as zone guardians and purified zones were copied almost exactly.
- Uses some default assets from RPG Maker. It’s understandable considering the time restraints, but they clash horribly with the rest of the graphics.
- The readme contained an epilepsy warning, and it was not kidding. Battle screens are the worst. You know the constantly warping and wavering battle backgrounds that the Mother series sometimes used? Picture that, but with the warping turned up two notches and some really intense colors. It was almost too much for me to take.
- The sound was really irritating too, but aside from some intentional use of harsh noise, I’m unsure whether or not that just came from my personal sensory issues.
- After the final boss, there’s a super sudden twist that seems to make the preceding story meaningless. And the final boss himself didn’t do any favors to the plot.
- The ending I chose contained a jumpscare, which is just not cool. I'm not sure whether the other ending also had it, and I don't really wanna go back and see.
Despite that whole wall of complaints, I’d say Paracentric uses its few strengths very well, and I really think a more reasonable development time could have resulted in an amazing game. I hope someone does try to make a full game from its concept someday, because it deserves better than what it ended up as. And even with its flaws, I wouldn't say it's NOT worth checking out. If you like surreal horror RPGs, it isn't a bad way to pass a half hour.
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