Sunday, November 18, 2018

Asdivine 4's Characters

Oh, Kemco. If I were to liken you to any animal, it surely would be the mother bird, and we the gamers, your hungry chicks. We clamor constantly for a new meal, an RPG to play, and you sally forth in a frantic rush to provide, until you happen across a big, juicy RPG. You devour it, take in this succulent gaming morsel and delight in its many virtues, and then bring it back to we chicks. And then, you force-feed us the half-digested slop crammed in your gut that was once a proper, fully-formed RPG by vomiting it violently down our throats. The easier it goes down, the fewer nuances that we can experience of this basic decomposed matter that was once a distinguishable and perhaps even enjoyable game, the better.

And because your games are a mere $10 or less, we, like the chicks, settle for this method of satisfaction and cry out for more.

Asdivine Cross, the fourth game in the Asdivine series, is, admittedly, 1 of the better Kemco games I’ve played. That’s not much of a badge of pride, of course--it’s basically the same as saying that 1 soggy cracker is preferable over its kin because it happens to have a single grain of salt on it--but it does mean that its cast members are perhaps just close enough to being real characters that I can make a rant out of them, unlike Chronus Arc or Justice Chronicles or Grinsia or--actually, to save time, just find a list of all of Kemco’s games, and assume that at least half of them are so bland that even I can’t think of a witty insult for them. I mean, I haven’t played all of Kemco’s works by a long shot (and I do not intend to), but I’m willing to risk the assumption on this one.

Harvey: Harvey’s a pretty bland and uninteresting hero.

What’s that, you say? You’re tired of hearing me say that about almost every RPG protagonist I come across?

Yeah. Me, too.

Amelia: You know what’s a lot less funny than certain RPG developers think it is? Making the entire basis for your character’s personality and development the fact that they’re a well-meaning but highly ignorant moron. It’s like, yeah, this works for Fry from Futurama, or the eponymous Homestar Runner, but that’s because those guys are the main characters of comedies. But for a straightforward save-the-world fantasy RPG narrative, a perpetual bubblehead like Amelia just isn’t compelling, and her humor value doesn’t last for long, either.

Olivia: Apparently, the character artist for Olivia was so damn proud of that 1 profile pic where she’s glaring that they decided to base the entirety of her personality around it. Well, I want to complain about how empty and forgettable a character that makes her, but even a personality trait so small and meaningless as “Glares pretty well,” standing all by itself, makes her more interesting than Harvey, at least.

You think I should make a list of all the characters in RPGs I’ve come across who have exactly 1 defining trait to their personality, which is so meaningless and/or stupid that it renders them parodically absurd? Because Olivia here is far and away not the first time I’ve been reminded of Final Fantasy 8’s Zell Dincht, whose solitary memorable characteristic of wanting to eat low-quality hot dogs opened my eyes to just how low and lazy RPG writers could go to round out a cast. Maybe I could even make a list of the most utterly idiotic one-notes to base the entirety of your character around. Hey, I’ve made dumber list rants.

Lucile: Frankly, I’m pretty sure that Lucile, the tsundere loli masochist, who derives what can only be described as orgasmic pleasure from the act of receiving extreme harm, offers us way too intimate, way too accurate a window into the personal interests of at least 1 of the individuals on Kemco’s creative team.

Zig: This is not just an anime thing. Look, I know forgiveness is (As)divine and all, and I’m a strong believer in the idea that one should be allowed to seek penance for one’s prior sins, and do what one can to balance the scales against the wrongs that one has caused in the past. But everyone gets chummy with Zig awfully fast once he turns against the main bad guy, considering that Zig has spent the game wiping out half the populations of multiple villages of innocent people. Like, okay, let the guy live and give him the chance to do some good to counter the evil of his past deeds, but maybe hold enough of a grudge about the matter not to immediately hand him a fucking promotion the moment he says “Yeah, I guess random murder is wrong.”

Light Deity: I guess it’s innovative to have the being associated with light, instead of the being associated with darkness, turn out to be the main villain...

Too bad her reason for being evil turns out to be the same tired old “we gotta start over from scratch cuz humans suck” schtick that like 35% of all RPG villains go with, except somehow even more limp and flavorless than usual.

Aria and Nullus: I cannot help but feel like the huge plot twist that the creation deities you have to defeat in New Game+ are actually the Harvey and Lucile of a previous time cycle would have had just a tiny bit more of an impact on the audience if Aria and Nullus had not chosen to look exactly like they did when they were human.

Goddammit, Kemco.

1 comment:

  1. I've never played any Kemco game. Looking at their list of titles on Wikipedia, I don't seem to have missed anything special.