Eric Kelly On February 18, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Echoes Of Aetheria logoRPG Maker produced games often don’t get much press when it comes to online gaming sites, so maybe it’s time to change that. While the engine has it’s foibles, the toolkit can churn out some great stuff, especially with the implementation of custom scripts. However, Echoes of Aetheria from Dancing Dragon Games is still an RPG Maker game, and it can’t escape the engine’s problems, for better or worse. Thankfully, these issues can be looked passed, as there’s a great game here with some interesting ideas.

The game is about a young man named Lucian, who is at a wedding acting as a bodyguard of Princess Soha, which of course, goes wrong and she gets kidnapped. Of course he gives chase and succeeds in saving her, but is soon involved in a power struggle and has become somewhat of a fugitive. After clearing your name he learns that this conspiracy runs much deeper, and now the world is at stake. Sounds pretty generic on paper, but without spoiling the story, it still makes for decent JRPG styled trappings for a good time. The writing is good, even if it trips on itself at times. Pacing in the game is really well done, as cut-scenes are never too long, and most of the game’s expository lingo is put into a lexicon, for those interested a bit more into the world.

Combat plays a bit like most turn-based JRPG games that have been made with RPG Maker, but there are a few interesting tweaks. There is no MP bar for character, and instead much like Western RPG, have a cool-down period for any skill. Some skills do use TP, which builds up over battle through a variety of means. Skills themselves also can be upgraded with skill points earned through special items, but the interesting thing here is that you can mix and match skills at any point, with spent skill points being freely swapped in and out. The level of customization is pretty great, and even extends to the augmentation of weapons and equipment crafting. Equipment can be forged as well as salvaged, but you only get the augment and base material back. Second and tertiary components are still lost, so you’ll have to be careful when crafting. Actual combat presentation seems to have some inspirations from Breath of Fire III’s isometric perspective; it only pans from the left to the right. But there seems to be more of a tactical twist to the placement of characters. Some of Ingrid’s skills can either make cover or produce turrets to draw enemy attacks or provide additional damage.

There are some issues that do keep the game down a bit though. There isn’t much in the way of resolution settings for the game. There are two windowed and full-screen options each, but no actual resolution settings. So the sprites and environments aren’t in HD visuals, and look pixelated when blown up. But windowed mode makes things to small. There’s also some framerate and screen tearing issues. Lack of proper gamepad support is also present. You can’t use the d-pad for movement unless you use a program like Joytokey. There is keyboard and mouse support, so you could use those if you really wanted to, but it’s an omission nonetheless. The thing is, most of these issues are all caused by the game being made with an engine that hasn’t fixed them. I sincerely hope that Dancing Dragon can one day get big enough to develop their own engine that’s free of such issues, because they do good work. If you can look past the rough edges, Echoes of Aetheria is still a good deal for RPG fans. You get a fun game for $15 USD for an experience that will last around 30 hours, so it’s a steal.


The gameplay is actually very good, with combat that feels very tactical despite its old school turn-based Breath of Fire like appearance.


As an RPG Maker game, the resolution options are mostly non-existent, and the game can’t even remember what setting you used last.


A good score fills in the soundtrack, although it’s still mostly generic fantasy stuff. Audio can sometimes crackle when it’s too loud.


For 15 bucks, it’s a surprisingly competent and lengthy RPG to come out of something made in RPG Maker. The game does have some trip-ups as a result, for better or worse.

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