Minato and the Imperial Regalia
Posted on 09/08/17 @ 10:59 AM (updated 09/16/17
||Age of Empires II (2013): The Forgotten
|Required Modpack (if not included with the download):
||Need African Kingdoms
Set in the feudal Japan, a young man called Minato returns to his homeland for the first time. It doesn't take long before he sets of on a journey to find support for the Daimyo;. What he ends up in is a civil war of several clans, the struggle against the current Shogun and the issue of finding a suitable ruler. There is also the rumour of the Imperial Regalia, the royal treasures of Japan. The Kusanagi Sword, the Yata mirror and the Yasakani jewel, no one knows their current location.
- A 7 chapter long main quest, good for about 5 hours of in game time. Featuring cutscenes, battles, classical gameplay as well as various different types like spying and hiding from guards.
- Well over 20 side quest that sometimes tie to the main quest
- Heavy use of dialogue from almost all interactable NPCs, using a taunt AI to give you (sometimes meaningful) choices to make.
- A unique skill system that let's you use 5 different skills to help you in combat
- RPG elements such as item shops, EXP, gold, Level up rewards and perks
- A giant sized map filled with detail utilizing a lot of off-grid placement.
- Well over a 1000 triggers bringing age old tricks back to live such as infinite farms, double negative ID units, meaningful options trough taunts and many more.
Special thanks to Cataphract887 for the initial testing and feedback. And to Great Artiste and chandragupt who helped me as members of Monsoon Studios to playtest and report on bugs.
UPDATE: Fixed alot of bugs that were still in the game.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Minato and the Imperial Regalia is a story of a man returning to the land of his grandfather, where he tries to prove himself as a warrior.
The file is massive and entertains for quite a few hours. The game is mostly in RPG style, but it's spiced up with sneak missions, sieges, duels, B&D water fight and many, many more gameplay features. The replayabillity factor is very high with dozens of optional sidequests and a huge amount of taunt talks, including quite a few shops. Nothing short of 5.
The balance is very good on Hard and Moderate, but slightly too easy on Easy when the game progresses, due to great boosts from the equipment shopped around, as well as skill tree that boosts the five special abilities Minato has. The final battle is also a bit too easy on both Moderate and Standard, but from what I heard, the Authors focus was already set there to fix the difficulty level there. 4+
Outstanding. Only the use of double negative ID units brings the score here to a 5, but the Author doesn't stop there. Dozens of sidequests, where task rarely even repeats, or is similar to another one. Horse lure, searching for husband/cargo/brother, delivering money/letters... A 5 without doubt.
There isn't a single tile of left untouched, the entire map is pure beauty. An archipelago, booming with life on sea and land. Terrain varies from snowy mountain ranges all the way trough the cities and pine forests to sandy beaches and well done sea. The map is laid out very well and the story smoothly flows from one island of beauty to another. Great use of eye candy and speaking of proper terrain mixing here wouldn't make sense as it's done perfectly. I wouldn't dare to score lower than 5 here.
Throughout the gameplay, story is always gently pushed forward by a cutscene or two, but never too long to extinguish a spark of excitement. Instead it works as a flow of oxygen that makes the flame burn stronger. Instructions are explaining the changed gameplay mechanics enough, so that the player isn't confused by anything an the game runs smoothly. The only comment I would add here, and personaly can't help, is English. The author isn't a native speaker and trough the game little mistakes in grammar or spelling appear. Due to the size of the file and playtime, such mistakes are way too minor for me to deduct a point here. Fixing them would be welcomed, but not necessary as they disappear in the amount of words written. 5-
Well worth of a few seconds of download time and six hours of time to play it. Recommended.
[Edited on 09/10/17 @ 03:49 AM]
Minato and the Imperial Regalia is one of the best RPGs made in AOK, HD edition or otherwise. Playing through made me feel like I was in a real RPG game like Sacred 2. The gameplay is innovative, fun and rarely tedious despite lasting for over 6 hours in game time.
The most enjoyable aspect of the gameplay is the new combat mechanics and skill tree. Combat skills are not unusual but the implementation by means of garrisoned icons rather than entering AI chat makes it quite unique. Additionally, the quests and storyline was quite enjoyable. There are hardly repetitive quests which is quite a feat.
Now some downsides. A huge scenario like this has some bugs, and that's to be expected I suppose. There were quite a few occasions where events were triggered out of order, like me finding the stone mine in chapter 3 before the quest was given. Red sank my transport ship during the attack in the final chapter which meant that I couldn't get to the island. Frequent save and reload is a must.
Still, overall the playability is quite amazing. One problem that is overcome by using the HD edition is that you can turn up game speed up to 8x, significantly reducing the irritation with walking around time which can be a big factor in RPG.
In general the scenario is excellently balanced. I played on moderate and had neither a too easy time nor too difficult. The exception is the naval battle, which honestly I don't know how to beat. Only way I could do it was using resource cheats and building a huge galleon army. The hiding from guards in the city bit was kinda annoying rather than difficult.
A solid 5 here. Not just the combat mechanics, but the quests were very innovative. Looting shipwrecks, hunting bears, luring horses, and so on, featured a great deal of original gameplay elements.
Map Design: 5+
This is by far the best map of feudal Japan that I have seen. The author makes fullest use of new HD units and has great detail with terrain mixing and eyecandy utilized in really creative ways. In particular I would like to point out the flooded rice farms which were really well done.
Perhaps the best part of the scenario, the story follows the familiar outline of a hero's journey. Crossing mountains and seas, fighting enemies and nature, our hero brings about a revolution. And of course, the hero gets the girl in the end :) . The instructions are quite clear in general, they only get a bit confusing when the triggering goes wrong. For example, in Chapter 4 I had 4/5 quests completed even after finishing all 5.
Despite a few bugs and problems, this scenario is one of the best submissions to the blacksmith and deserves to be rated as such. It took me about 6 hours in game time ( and probably a lot more with save/reload ) of great enjoyability. The only improvements I would suggest (other than bug fixes) is to have some good background music and maybe custom cinematics.