Checks Out Reflection of a Fallen Feather

After I posted about the recent release of Reflection of  Fallen Feather, developer Forepaw Software provided me a copy of the game to check out. As per usual, I recorded video of my first impressions playing the game:

My thoughts?

Despite its jRPG trappings, Reflection of a Fallen Feather is much more of a dungeon crawler than I first expected. It’s all about navigating mazes, figuring out environmental puzzles in order to proceed, and going through frequent turn-based combat and character progression.

As I expected, character progression is the most engaging part of the game (at least from what I played). While it does remind me quite a lot of Final Fantasy Legend, it definitely has its own thing going on. I like that you meld traits of whatever monster you absorb upon level-up into your character; being able to retain two skills of your choice from your prior form is a nice touch that both gives me some extra flexibility in my character’s development and poses some tough choices.

I also like that you have some control over which monster you’re going to absorb next, in that you can choose whom to fight right before you hit 7 BP; that is not a luxury the player ever had in the Final Fantasy Legend series.

The battles RoaFF are well-balanced and tense. I still don’t know what makes certain skills available at some times and not available at others, though I’m starting to suspect that there must be some sort of invisible cool-down mechanic happening there. One way or another, the fact that you can only rely on your more potent skills inconsistently makes your choices concerning when to use them much more consequential.

Exploration is decent enough, with switches, hidden passages, and Metroidvania-style temporarily impassable sections. Even when I was totally lost, it was still fairly satisfying.

The only thing I’m not too enamored of just yet is the story. The intro is a giant text dump, and there isn’t much in the way of plot or character development at the start of the game. The setting is pretty good, with its surreal (and somewhat horrifying) depiction of the afterlife, but the game doesn’t do much with it at the start. That said, I only played for 40 minutes, so maybe this part the story picks up later on.

Overall, I enjoyed my time with the game–even if the end game doesn’t hold up, it’s definitely good for at least an hour or two of entertainment.  On that basis, I’d confidently say that it’s worth the $1 it costs on XBLIG; and given that it’s pay-what-you-want on PC, it’s definitely worth picking up there as well. Links to buy the game are here.

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