Tag Archives: Aveyond Kingdom

#amgaming: Review of Aveyond 2: Ean’s Quest

I play a lot of computer games, but I love RPGs more than any other. This is because the storylines and characters are given as much attention as the action and the fighting.  I’m especially fond of the Aveyond series of games, which are produced by Aveyond Studios, a small indie company formerly known as Amaranth Games or Aveyond Kingdom.

Amanda Fitch was the first developer to popularize RPG Maker as a commercial tool in 2006. It looks like she is currently heavily involved in building and promoting HeroKit, a new RPG game making program which is supposed to launch soon.

Ean’s Quest is one of their early games made with RPG Maker, but for whatever reason, I had never played it. As everyone knows, I love nothing better than a good fantasy. This little indie produced game is a great fantasy with a certain amount of snark and romance and some intriguing and difficult puzzles.

The version of Ean’s Quest I am reviewing is version 2—I never bought version 1, so I can’t say how it compares or where it differs.

But first, THE BLURB:

Snow has fallen on a magical vale where it has never snowed before. A beautiful young elf is missing, and no one remembers her existence. That is, no one except for her best friend, Ean.

To solve the mystery of his lost friend, Ean leaves the vale and travels to the dangerous Land of Man. Ean’s adventure takes him through dark forests, arid deserts, and finally to a great mountain of ice where the answers to all of his questions await. And that is just the beginning…

Solve dozens of adventure puzzles and explore an enchanting world. Aveyond 2 is packed with monsters, magic, and humor. Stop an evil queen from turning the world into ice, capture a dragon and ride the winds to ancient lands, unite the kingdoms and discover your destiny.

MY REVIEW:

First of all, this was a fun game. I played it through twice and got two different endings, which kept me entertained and out of trouble. The keyboard instructions are simple, and if you prefer, you can use the mouse for most functions. The story gets going right away, with our elf, Ean, thrown into a strange world with only the knife in his hand and his ingenuity to save him. Soon after landing in the Land of Man he finds Iya, but their escape from the Snow Queen is fraught with danger and unpleasant surprises.

The playable characters besides Ean and his missing girlfriend, Iya, are fun and have solid personalities. Rye is a ranger and a good fighter with no magic. He’s one of the better fighters and his ongoing “courtship” of Emma, the lady’s maid turned sword swinger, is hilarious.

Nicolas Pendragon is a snotty, privileged prince who is a good healer. He is Arrogant with a capitol A and even after he begins to humble up a little, still refuses to be in your party if Gavin,  the warlock, is allowed. Both Nicolas and Gavin have heavy interactions with Ava One Eye, the pirate captain. Both story lines are hilarious, but you only can do one or the other, which is why I played the game straight through twice.

Ava One Eye is surly, a pirate queen who kicks butt and takes no prisoners. Her interactions, once Ean buys the farm, are entertaining.

A holdover from Aveyond 1: Rhen’s Quest is Jack the Thief, who has been turned into a statue for two hundred years. He is absolutely necessary for opening blue chests and other locks, and has some comical quips but is pretty useless in battle, so I didn’t keep him the active party, and never wasted money on equipping him with more than minimal cast off armor.

The quests are all really fun, but my favorite was in Bogwood, where you have the opportunity to really give Nicolas a kick in the pants and also to set Ava up with Gavin. Your choices in Bogwood determine how the rest of the game will go.

The monsters are tough but doable throughout the game. In certain places, you can really build up exp and collect enough gold that you don’t have to worry about keeping enough healing elixirs and aquifoliums for replenishing magic on hand.  This means that choosing to go with Gavin rather than the spoiled prince isn’t an issue. At times, the clues about what you should do next are a little obscure, which is why I went out and found the walk through, but for the most part, you don’t have to follow it.

The graphics are really awesome, which is one reason I love the games produced by Aveyond Studios in all their incarnations. A free walkthough is available on the Aveyond Studios website at this link, so I suggest you bookmark that link if you are a person who prefers to have a guide to follow.

Aaron Walz returned to produce the soundtrack to this game. As always, the music is well orchestrated with deep themes. While the battle music can be repetitious when you get into certain areas where you are fighting enemy after enemy (a hazard in any RPG), generally speaking, the music is beautiful and lyrical, a pleasant and appropriate soundtrack to the adventure.

I give Aveyond 2: Ean’s Quest five stars. It is a highly entertaining game and is an excellent way to while away a few hours in the evening when you just want a little “getaway.” I spent about 24 hours over the course of three weeks playing it in the evenings the first time through, and 19 hours over two weeks the second time. The second time through was just as engrossing as the first because the storyline was different, and based on what I already knew, I was able to make better use of my characters individual abilities.

I play a lot of games on my PC, simply because I need to unwind and love solving puzzles, and don’t have time to get lost in a long Final Fantasy-style console game anymore.  Aveyond 2: Ean’s Quest is available from the designers’ website: Aveyond 2: Ean’s Quest. You can also find it at Big Fish Games if you want to use your tokens to lower the cost.

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#amgaming: Review of Aveyond 4, Shadow of the Mist

Aveyond 4Before I get down to the nitty-gritty, let’s just get it out into the open:  I love RPG games as much as I love books. For a long time I was enthralled with the Final Fantasy games, but they lost me after the brilliant FFXII.

FFXIV was a huge failure in my opinion. If I can’t make headway beyond the first 4 hours of play, the game isn’t worth the investment of my time.

And for me, investment of time is a huge factor. I don’t watch television, but when I want entertainment I read or listen to audio books. For relaxation, I play old-school PC RPG games, because they don’t require as much of an investment of time to complete, and are immersive and fun.

Amaranth/Aveyond Kingdom and John Wizard are my 2 favorite game makers, and they frequently collaborate with each other. Their games are reminiscent of the old Square Soft games, for the Super Nintendo with strong stories and fun sidequests. They are as much fun as The Legend of Zelda or any early Final Fantasy game ever was.

Aveyond Kingdom’s Aveyond 4, Shadow of the Mist is in many ways, a more polished production than their earlier work.  The graphics and backgrounds are the best they have produced by far. The storyline is both deep and hilarious, and the characters are, for the most part, engaging.

But first, the Blurb:

boyle wolfbane aveyond 4 by amaranth gamesBoyle Wolfbane wanted to rule the world. He failed. Miserably. Forced into retirement early, Boyle now spends his days arguing with haunted trees and scaring off the occasional knight. At least he still has Fang, his loyal storm wolf. Things could be worse. He could have been born a hero.

My Review:

This game incorporates the traditional elements of puzzle-solving, action, and adventure into a neat and enjoyable package. There are the usual elements of high fantasy, with the characters ruthlessly poking fun at themselves. The enemies are creative and fun to fight.

Because they are failed villains, Boyle and Ingrid are unhappily in love, and that storyline adds ongoing humorous elements. Myst and Robin are naive and make good foils for Boyle and Ingrid. Hi’beru and Rowen arrive later in the game, and Phye arrives so late I did wonder why he was included at all. As a Draghar, Phye does have some power, but I think like a writer, so in my opinion, all the characters should be in place at the midpoint. Because he arrives so close to the end, we don’t get to know him as well as I would have liked.

I purchased the game the day it was released. I have played the game through to the end four times. The first time through, I had Ingrid join Lorelei’s coven and married her off to Boyle. With that scenario the game played smoothly with no glitches. I was in love with the game!

The second time through I had Ingrid join Jinx’s coven, but when I tried to complete the task of selling the craft in Robin’s store, the game froze and I had to take drastic measures to close the game down. No matter what I did,  in this scenario the game froze at that point every time.

So I went to their website and, following the suggestions in their forums, I reinstalled the game. I never got past that point on that particular attempt.

So I started a new game, and that time I had her join the transformations coven. This went well for the most part, but with one major flaw. Ingrid gained the ability to transform into a dragon, but the skill didn’t appear in her menu. When I went out to the forums to see how to solve that, the answer was that it would be resolved in the next build. I was disappointed, as I did want to have the ability to play her as a dragon.

Aveyond 4 ss-enviroment-3

The environments that the games is set in are lush and beautiful, dark and moody. The music is amazing and really contributes to the enjoyment of the game.

Overall, I can only give this game 4 stars at this time. Aveyond Kingdom clearly felt pressured by the fans to get the game out there. They didn’t do as thorough a testing period as they should have. I understand feeling rushed to publish, but that is never a wise thing.

If having to reinstall the game at various points bothers you as it does me, my recommendation is to wait until they come out with build B, and then buy it. The game is fun, hilarious, and when it works properly, it’s a great way to spend 25 or so hours.

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