Metascore
tbd

No score yet - based on 1 Critic

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 6, 2014
    80
    Overall, Chronicles of a Dark Lord is an exceptional game that is certainly worthy of much more attention.
User Score
6.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 12
  2. Negative: 3 out of 12
  1. Feb 16, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Having just bought the game a week ago off of Gamersgate, I truthfully wasn't expecting much considering that I only had to spend $5.95 for the game's Enhanced Edition. Let me first say that I'm a Japanese role-playing game aficionado of a sorts, and that to this day, my favorite games of all-time are still the classics like Final Fantasy 6 and Star Ocean for the SNES. So, I went into this thinking I'd get a Cthulhu Saves the World-type deal just with maybe slightly better graphics (judging from the screenshots I saw). What I found instead, was a hidden gem lying midst the wreckage of Indie role-playing games that truthfully, never held my attention for longer than fifteen minutes (that includes Cthulhu). Let me tell you my experience now, and then maybe that'll help you with a decision about this game. On boot-up, I was greeted with a choice between full-screen and windowed, something that I found refreshing to see. It's not often I get a choice like that unless I'm in the configuration mode of a game, or I have to wait until all the opening credits have past. Anyway, that was a good sign of things to come. Next, came the Kisareth Studios logo with an intro sound that was pretty cool for the company, and then...the title screen. Nice and simple, presented with a classic feel to it, but it was the music that played here that really told me I had just downloaded a quality title. The music from the title screen and onward, is just tremendous. The fact that it's entirely done by indie artists is just insane considering the level of commercial-quality music that was being presented to me. So, after selecting 'New Game', I get my mind ready to delve into the world of Chronicles of a Dark Lord, and wow what a world indeed. My next screens are like from an early PS1 FMV sequence, and I mean that in the best of ways. Mode-7 is definitely present, as you're given a slowly-scrolling look at the continent of Shenandor'ah, which apparently was destroyed by a cataclysmic battle between flesh-bound Dark Gods and a unified army of both Darkness and Light. I imagined that battle in my head, and what I got was Lord of the Rings meets Harry Potter and they had a child that tore them both to shreds. If the developer ever were to do a prequel, I'd definitely suggest depicting that conflict in all its brutal glory. So, the story basically is that this calamity happened in ancient times, and Shenandor'ah, similar to our Pangaea I'm guessing, broke apart because of it into two distinct landmasses, the Myri Territories and the Rim Kingdoms. Then the intro goes on to tell us that millenia have past, and the war is all but forgotten. Now here, I thought that the tired cliche' of "but it's going to return isn't it?" was going to happen, but thankfully, I was proven wrong. Instead, we get a prophecy that a Dark Lord will be born under the Black Eclipse, and that this particular Dark Lord will cause war and strife for awhile before saving everyone in a war that goes beyond anyone's imagination. This was where I really started becoming interested in the game's story. A Dark Lord, both a villain AND a savior? I was intrigued, so I continued of course, and found that throughout the course of the game's myriad twists that the overall story was about a different kind of morality and values. I understood that my main character, Magus Drakhen Lee, is a Dark Lord and can kill people on a whim (and does several times in the game). I also understood, by the end of the game, that my character may be very Dark, but that he's not truly evil and even fights against it. Darkness versus pure evil, if you will. There are also quite a few interesting concepts introduced within the game's rich story, like parallel dimensions for one. I hope to see the developer expand on that as the series progresses. The game looks great in terms of what it was going for. The Mode-7 view for Overworld maps was done very well, albeit with some minor lag, and the classic style of jRPG graphics were omnipresent except that there was definitely some upgrades to the resolution. We're talking early PS1 graphics, and not 16-bit textures, especially the battle backdrops which are frankly gorgeous to look at. The gameplay itself was smooth, and the battles were presented in classic ala Final Fantasy side-view with a very solid ATB system in place. I experienced no weird hiccups or glitches whatsoever, a testament to the developer's knack of the classic design formula. All in all, I have to say that Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate is a must-buy for any gamer into RPGs, and I don't just mean retro gamers. Considering the low price for such a gem as this, how can you not want to experience it for yourself? Full Review »
  2. Feb 15, 2012
    9
    Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate is the game that brought me back to the classic, old-school role-playing games of my youthChronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate is the game that brought me back to the classic, old-school role-playing games of my youth like Final Fantasy IV or Chrono Trigger. Except, there was something definitely different about this nostalgic title...it was better. I'm going to break it down, and tell you why I think Chronicles of a Dark Lord is going to be the doom of Final Fantasy.

    Story

    First of all, the story is addictive from the get-go. For one thing, you're not playing as a teen who's out to save the world, or a sacred Paladin who's off to do battle against an ultimate evil. You're playing as a Dark Lord, and to be quite blunt about it, he's a total badass. Without giving away too many plot spoilers, I'll simply say that the story is rich and complex, full of twists and turns, with fully-realized characters and the writing is simply excellent. I will say this about the story, at one point an event happens that I've never experienced in a JRPG before that is just too amazing to be told here. Gameplay

    Ah...classic Active-Time-Battle (ATB) fighting done right. The controls are very simple and easy to use, either on a keyboard or a PC controller (I used both). Throw in a simple, yet intuitive and sleek menu design and you have yourselves a smooth gameplay experience. What I would suggest for anyone who picks this title up, is to do everything and talk to everyone. This is the kind of game made for those of us who live to explore and find items here and there. You can also pick up a few side-quests as you progress through the game, though they don't detract from the main story arc, if anything they actually enhance it. Kudos to Kisareth Studios for knowing how to make side-quests that actually don't suck. There is grinding to be had in this game, but then it's never too much, usually if you grind for at least one more level than you're at then you're good to go. For a lot of titles grinding feels repetitive, but for some reason in this game it actually feels just...right. Speaking of grinding, this game could never be accused of being too easy. It's not uber-difficult either, but it's got a good difficulty balance all the way through to the end. Chronicles of a Dark Lord does not hold your hand at any point, and I have to say, it's refreshing to see, especially in this day and age of tutorials being thrown at you every five seconds. As for bosses, there is no health bar for them, which again, harkens me back to games like Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI. It's not really a critique, more like an observation. For me personally, I would have liked to have seen health bars on the bosses, but that is my own personal opinion. Audio

    Wow. I seriously didn't expect for a gorgeous soundtrack to come out of my speakers when I booted this bad boy up. Instead of a 16-bit soundtrack, I'm graced with a symphony of extraordinary scores. For a moment, I thought Kisareth Studios had Nobuo Uematsu in their back pocket, but I later find out that their entire soundtrack is all indie artists. My favorite two themes, are one of the boss battle themes, and the final battle theme...just amazing. Graphics

    For a game that's an homage to the classic JRPGs the graphics are definitely not 16-bit, but more like mid-PS1 graphics with some great visuals. The overworld is presented in a Mode-7 type setting, while everything else is an overhead-view. The game's presentation definitely holds up, with some great mapping done especially in dungeons (my personal favorite is the underwater cave). The face art is not too bad, not too great, as I felt that the face art was a bit too bland especially for some of the main characters. One gripe I do have was that I experienced a bit of lag while in the Mode-7 view, and while it doesn't deter from the overall experience, it's something that the developers will have to look at for their next title. Conclusion

    Overall, I think that Kisareth Studios has made a gem here. The nostalgic flavor of the game, combined with some innovative features (killing npcs because they're being d*cks is just fun), and an epic story is well worth the time to pick up and play this highly underrated title. If you're looking to pick it up, it's only $5.95 on Gamersgate (go for the Enhanced Edition) or go to the developer's own website at www.kisarethstudios.com and purchase it there. Definitely looking forward to the next in the series!
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 16, 2012
    10
    This game is getting a lot of praise lately, and I was hesitant to try it out until I saw the really low price for it on Gamersgate. So seeingThis game is getting a lot of praise lately, and I was hesitant to try it out until I saw the really low price for it on Gamersgate. So seeing that, it was an easy buy for me, since I'm really into the classics of the SNES era. I'm not going to go in-depth about the game, as I would urge everyone to buy it and play it for themselves, but after trying it out and playing it all day, I feel like I've been playing a jewel that I can't put down. The story and the writing is out of this world awesome! Haven't played an engrossing game like this in a loooong time! The music is so epic, so adrenaline-pumping, you'll be playing this for hours just to listen to the normal battle theme nevermind the boss battle themes! You'll also notice quite a few nods to other RPGs that inspired this game's creation, I caught a few Final Fantasy, Lunar, and Chrono Trigger influences already. Polished, well-written, beautiful scores, great retro graphics, smooth and classic turn-based battle system, this game is a required buy for any rpg gamer out there. Full Review »