OFF is a fairly disturbing and horrifying game. It does not fall under the horror genre at all, but is unsettling nonetheless. It was originally French and later translated to English. OFF has a superb and haunting soundtrack that I believe is one of the best I've seen on any game. The beauty of OFF is its enemy art and its forced story line. On the downside, it has somewhat hard puzzles which require keeping notes, and an Active Time Battle system comparable to Final Fantasy IV onwards. It is a very peculiar game all round.
To the Moon
To the Moon is one of the few commercial RPG Maker games, meaning you need to buy the game on Steam to play it. It is said to be one of the more depressing games and has an impressive setting. You go through an old man's memories and watch his emotional train-wreck of a life unfold. I personally didn't like the mouse controls and the unimpressive menu screens; it is still a huge leap considering the RPG Maker engine it was created on. It has no battles unlike a conventional RPG, and is basically an interactive storybook.
This RPG series is brutal. There are three games, The Firs; The Painful; and The Joyful. The First is a Yume Nikki style exploration game. The other two are side scrolling RPGs. Starting from the second game, there is a considerable change in graphics, music and story quality. The post-apocalyptic story is not for the faint hearted and every choice comes with huge sacrifice. Its themes are filled with disgust and moral destruction, topped off with humour.
Free Spirits is an RPG set in 1923, New York and you need to battle and outwit ghosts. It has brilliant hand drawn character portraits and large detailed sprites. Its graphics are a step up from the backdrops already provided by the engine. I'm not too fond of its font. It reminds me Capcom's old font used in Ace Attorney, Breath of Fire and MegaMan Battle Network. The characters are very likeable.
Yume Nikki is a very surreal game. Many have called it as a mix between Silent Hill and Earthbound. This game also has no fighting elements and has a huge open world. You are given very little instructions and all you need to do throughout the game is interact with objects. It seems like a bland game, but it inspired a lot of other games as well. This eerie environment of the unknown is what made Yume Nikki special.
Notes on RPG maker: A lot of games have very different battle systems and graphics, but I found that most games don't have a button that allows you to run. This becomes a significant pain with large maps that require you to go to and fro and solve puzzles and fight enemies stronger than you. There's a bunch of RPG Maker engines, VX being the most common and latest one. RPG Maker is bound to run on any computer unless you still have a PC from the early 90s.
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