Playing RPG Maker games for some time, I have become fiercely disillusioned about some titles that I have found on Steam. Considering the spoon-fed nature of RPG Maker itself, you would assume that it leaves so much free for the developer that can instead be spent creating a great story to play, but hitherto I have been fiercely disappointed. Certainly, when I saw Millennium: A New Hope on Steam, I thought that it sounded like a cheesy title that just appropriated the subtitle of the first Star Wars. This game, however, is actually a very respectable title, if you are into the style.
When you start off in Millennium: A New Hope, you take the role of Marine, an idealistic young woman with a strong sense of self and a purple dress. Most notably, despite whatever armor or clothing she wears, Marine always walks around in a purple dress barefoot, but this is to be expected in RPG Maker games. From the start, you get a sense of the superior skill that went behind this game with the story being well established and cutscenes directed well. And it is easy to see where Marine gets her strong will, as her father decides to entreat the rich of the city of Mystrock to invoke the Martial Rule. This rule would allow them to forego elections and battle to the death with the winner ruling the city. Of course, the people of Mystrock are understandably resistant to this idea.
So Marine has to go on her grand adventure to gather together a group of warriors to initiate the martial rule. The characters that Marine meets along the way are fun, but they can be a little odd at times. Some of the characters include a sexist fairy that seems to spend much of her time in the main character’s earring talking about how men ruin the world. I mean, seriously, how the fuck did feminazis make it into fantasy? If she hates them that much, why doesn’t she just use her magical powers to kill all the men in the world? I call that a lack of conviction. Then there is the martial artist, Benoit, who has a suspiciously french name. His discipline is one known as Jun Tsu Kah and seems awfully close to the actual martial art Jeet Kune Do, but who’s counting? Marine meets plenty of other characters, these are just some of the earliest ones you enlist. Each of them seem to have their own personality in conversation and strategy in battle, and they all contribute something to the story. It’s a lot like the old-fashioned JRPG’s like Final Fantasy, so if you were a fan of those games, you will like this one.
The style of this game is a fantastic feminine version of the JRPG, and it can be a little sugary at times. But there is plenty to enjoy for anyone that likes the old JRPG style. It also utilizes the standard RPG Maker system and menus, so the feel is a little generic, but it is user-friendly and accessible. There are also some unique elements that set this game apart from others, such as the stat orbs that can be collected throughout the world. When you get enough of these, they can be used to raise the stats that the orbs are related to. In order to do so, you have to take the orbs to a related guild that collects the orbs and uses them to raise stats.
Another really well performed element of this game is the music. Personally, if a game has good music, then much of the rest of the game can be subpar, but Millenium: A New Hope will have none of that. Often the music can be described as new-age funk-tastic gypsy bop, and is a new spin on fantasy RPG music. Boss music is also very enjoyable with just the right amount of badassery woven into the fabric.
Achievements look nice, and have a custom design and the world itself is well designed. Enemies are also very tough with each fight leaving you on your toes. I found myself frequently visiting town to get more food and potions. Not every type of potion or item can be used in battle, either, so pay close attention to what you are buying! Enemies also look appropriately intimidating with a sufficient enough variation that it stays fun and fresh. Turn-based RPG combat might be phasing out, but Millennium: A New Hope makes good strides toward taking it back.
Much of this game is well orchestrated with few things that could be improved. The story-telling is well done, but it has an almost-too-sweet way about itself that can make it difficult for some people to get along with. If you’ve played a lot of RPG Maker titles, this will be a welcome respite from the usual drivel that somehow makes it through to Steam. Not to mention seeing a truly female protagonist is always a plus in games since it is not all too common. If you want to check out more titles by Aldorlea Games or one of their many partners, check out their website. This group has managed to surround itself with a number of games that all follow the same style and seem to have a similar amount of care put into them. Millennium: A New Hope is also available on Steam for 5.99$.