One of the games cookiemonger and I looked at while we were on the cruise was an older RPGMaker game she found on her netbook’s hard drive called Deadly Sin. We futzed around with the game a bit while she remembered pieces of the story and gameplay before we started playing it in earnest. The graphics look good but they might be standard-issue ones from that version of RPGMaker.

It’s difficult to assemble proper criticism for the gameplay because it slows CM’s netbook down tremendously. With that in mind, it could be that most of the maps are too large. The game runs incredibly fast when it only displays the interior of an inn, for example, while city maps are painfully slow to navigate and explore.

Battles also slow down the netbook, so it’s hard to say if they’re fast-paced. There are some elements of strategy, but if you grind through an area long enough (read: gain a level or three), the round-by-round tactics become significantly less important. Still, I will readily admit that it’s better than most RPGMaker games in this area of gameplay.

Now, the real problems have to do with the character designs (personality) and interactions. The viewpoints, attitudes, and even the particulars of speech (the literary equivalent of an accent) change radically between conversations, and sometimes even within a single conversation. The characters’ vocabulary (both individually and collectively) is … bizarre, like the writer picked words at random from a thesaurus.

Honestly, stuff like this is part of everyday speech and could be forgiven … if it didn’t start before personalities were ever established for the characters. The thief, for example, rapidly and erratically changes between wisecracking, schmoozing like a secret agent, and stumbling over his words, sometimes in the same line of dialogue.

All of the characters have this problem. The end result is that the entire cast sounds like a bunch of idiots who don’t know the different between a dictatorship, a republic, and a parliamentary monarchy, and are just trying to impress each other. While the graphics might be smooth, it feels like playing through the Star Wars prequels.