Aveyond (Amaranthgames.com)

A young girl named Rhen is captured from her home and sent into slavery in a far away land.  Fortunately for her, she has the power to draw magic from swords and is sent to the academy to learn how to use it.  Now she has to stop an evil sorcerer from destroying the world.

I know, this sounds like the plot of Ahriman’s Prophecy with the words changed.  That game is actually a prequel to this one.  While this game does more than the previous one does with the side characters, they all remain the same until the end of the game.  The only exception is Lars who somehow stops acting like a royal brat and gains humility with no explanation of how this drastic change occurred in the first place.  I guess you could say that Dameon also changes but even that literally has to be forced by magic. 

The pairings are another issue I have due to the fact that every one of them seems forced, some of them quite literally.  Rhen’s relationship with Dameon seem to have come from nowhere.  They immediately take a liking to each other and he changes his mind about some of his beliefs just from a few words from her, something his own mother couldn’t accomplish.  You might expect me to talk about how I prefer Lars and Rhen as a pairing, like many other fans do but I’m sort of on the fence about that one.  Rhen was a slave to Lars’ mother and spent years under his abuse.  In the beginning, he didn’t seem to care if he accidentally killed her.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could ever hook up with a guy that I associate the worst years of my life with.  On the other hand, if done correctly, it would have been an interesting story arc to see them struggle with feelings for each other while remembering their history together.  Elini and Pirate John is another pairing I have an issue with because the former pours love potion all over the latter.  I always felt that love potion was a form of rape because you’re forcing someone else to have feelings for you instead of respecting their decisions.  What I liked about Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer is that such magic was not portrayed in a favorable light.  Te’ijal and Galahad are also forced but how they end up married is believable and in character, so I will applaud the writers for that.

Speaking of Galahad, he was the character that I found most irritating.  He didn’t believe in magic despite all the evidence around him that it exists in this universe.  He also tags along with Rhen in the belief that a young woman needs a man to protect her despite all evidence that Rhen can protect herself just fine.  Though I did like that when Galahad makes the offer, Rhen is understandably insulted by this but agrees to take him along because his skills would benefit the group as a whole.

Rhen herself is not a believable protagonist.  She has no clue what country she’s in and has to be told where to go.  At the end, you can choose what path she takes and every single one of them seems forced.  If the intention was to give her very little personality so the audience can pretend to be her during the game, it would have been better to use her as a silent protagonist like Link from Legend of Zelda.

The game play is different from the last one in that when you touch a monster, you enter a battle screen. 

You can also change party members as you see fit.  Unfortunately, there’s no escape option so you need to save often.  Sometimes you come across save crystals which I don’t really see the point of having seeing as how you can save the game by going to the main menu.  You can go wherever you want on the world map and enter various cities and wilderness areas.  If you do a thorough search, you can find two goodies, one that can warp you to different locations and another that can give you huge amounts of gold.  You can also find various treasure chests and loot the corpses for more items and gold.  During the game, you’ll also have a choice between four guilds for Lars to join.

This game is simplistic yet addictive.  I give it 7 out of 10; it makes up for its lack of characterization by its fun game play.

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