Review: War of Harmony IV

War of Harmony IV is an RPG created by Marshal Ruffy which has been under development for quite some time now. You may remember Tuxxy reviewing an earlier build of the game, so I'd like to begin by saying I will NOT take into account that review. I will be reviewing this as if it were an entirely new game. As always, check below the break for the review.

Okay, first of all, I'd like to start off with a pretty clear warning:


With that out of the way, let's start with the review. I have a lot of stuff to cover so sit down and get comfy.

Now, about the game's mechanics, it has the standard aspects of an RPG such as Final Fantasy. Outside of battle you move along the map with your first party member, followed by the rest. If you touch an enemy, it starts a battle. Nothing too out of the ordinary. It has a standard equip system, in which you can equip an offense item, a defense item, a magic offense item, a magic defense item, and an accessory(although I did not find any during my playthrough, but I might have missed them).

The battle style is also fairly standard, having your normal attack, Magic abilities, a Guard command which heavily reduces damage taken and the ability to use Items.

Your main character is Rarity, and you are accompanied through most of the game by Pinkie Pie. Trixie is an optional character, and deciding to take her with you or not influences the way the story plays out, as well as activating "Hard Mode" if you decide to add her to your party.

Graphics wise, the game has some strong points and weak points. The backgrounds and general scenario presented look pretty good, the sprites and animations of the ponies are nice as well, but they are quite lacking in amount of animations and the characters and the background don't mix very well together.

Music wise, I liked most of the music presented in the game. It was pretty catchy and pleasant to listen to. Most of the themes in the game have a piano and strings as the main instrument. (Please don't kill me if I said something wrong, I'm not an expert on music.)

But now we get to the main focus of this game...the story. Oh man, this one is long.

The story is very difficult to actually describe, so I will not be explaining it directly, since it is better that you experience it for yourself, and also because, as I mentioned before, it contains some morbid stuff, but I will try to list the good and the bad things I saw in it. First of all, the game is presented in a scenario that, while it's not so common, has been done before in some stories, which is that it starts you off already in the middle of a story. That means two important things: Something already happened, and the characters already know that something happened.

However, here is where I saw the first problem with the story. Most stories that present this scenario usually have the characters themselves do the explaining through either reminiscing or by recounting the events to a character that does not know them. The game did this to an extent, but left too many holes, which makes it hard for the player to be able to properly string together the information they have. As far as I know, this game is the first one of a series of four, which means it should at least give the player something to properly understand instead of scattered bits of information that cannot be connected with each other. It doesn't have to tell the whole story, but at least an understandable part of it that gives the player a clue as to why they are doing what they are doing.

For a good point, those bits of information you gather through the story are quite interesting by themselves, and they have quite a bit of substance each.

As for the pacing of the's not very good. It's quite erratic and tends to break the immersion one can have. Sometimes it jumps too quickly from plot point A to plot point B and doesn't make a smooth transition, and sometimes it takes too much time to close an important point of the story, making it feel too drawn out.

Pinkie Pie, and to a lesser extent Trixie, tend to break the fourth wall regularly.

Now, an interesting thing this game has, is that it gives you "Reputation", which is a value that determines how you(Rarity) stand in the eyes of Pinkie and Trixie(If you chose to take her with you). Of course, as one may expect, this reputation meter is based on the choices you make during conversations and special events within the game, and it determines how certain parts of the story will happen. The bad thing about this, at least for me, is that the game tells you exactly what influence your choice will have on your reputation, removing the possibility of the player having to think a choice carefully due to not wanting to lose(or gain) reputation.

In the end, all the branching paths the story can take give some replay value to the game.

The story itself, as I said, left me with quite a few more questions than I would have liked, and which I know probably won't be answered within the next games in this series. However! At the same time, the parts of the story the game gave me were enough to keep me interested and wanting to seek more information, so in the end, it fulfilled part of its purpose, which is to keep the player interested. Now it's just a matter of seeing if it can fulfill the other part, which is to give satisfaction and closure to the player when the series finally ends.

So, after all this gibberish I've been spouting, I think it's time for the score, don't you think?

I give War of Harmony IV a 6/10.
It had its flaws, I will not lie about that. However, it did manage to capture my attention and hold it, and the gameplay, while not the best, was acceptable.

Side note: I'm sorry if this review seems of lower quality than my previous ones, it was quite difficult for me to review this game, since I am not very good at reviewing storytelling, which was what I had to focus on the most.
- Strate

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