A series of mysterious murders are taking place and you’ve been tasked with finding out why. Will you be able to find out what is really happening?
Arevan: The Bitter Truth, or as it’s just known as on Steam, Arevan is an RPGMaker game. So if these aren’t your kinds of games just stop reading now. You play as Maurean, the prince of Arevan. Despite being the second son of the king, he’s the heir to the crown. When the game starts, you’re sent to see your father after finishing your lessons in school. It seems that a series of murders have started taking place throughout the world and you need to go and speak with the other nations to start an investigation into why it’s happening.
Arevan will send you through a lot of twists and turns. Unfortunately, they’re fairly predictable. The game is also not overly long for an RPG, with my playthrough clocking in at 14 hours. A good chunk of that 14 hours turned into unneeded grinding and some idling time while I did other things. So really, for your money you’re getting an around 10 hour adventure.
Despite the length and predictability, I did enjoy the story of Arevan. When I was faced unknowingly with the choice of either letting a party member be killed or not, I purposely went back and reloaded so that they wouldn’t die. Hey, I’d put some work into them, I didn’t want to lose them! Then they came back from that little party split at level 62 while the rest of my party was still in the mid-30’s. Um, okay. That’s a bit random but let’s go with it!
Leveling in Arevan is a bit of a hit-or-miss thing. On one hand, a system exists so that you never actually have to FIGHT any bosses in the game. On the other hand, leveling up enough to be able to pull through these bosses offers some great rewards. And yes, you read that right – you don’t actually have to fight the bosses in this game. Should you die, you can choose to just continue on or try again. Choosing to continue on will automatically kill the boss, and in the cases of storyline ones, continue on in the story. While I always made the choice to try again – though I rarely actually died to bosses – I’m definitely starting to get some ideas for going through on a speedrun path…
Enemies on the field appear as little fairies. This allows you to just avoid them all, should you choose to want to do so. Almost every area has a boss-like monster that you can defeat, and should you do so you can find a different coloured fairy who will either give you a reward or eliminate all the enemies in the area. I personally always chose the reward as I didn’t really want to eliminate all of the enemies, especially if I wanted to go and grind some stat boosters.
Arevan provides no in-game world map, and you’ll likely also end up hard pressed to try and find one online. And, of course, it ends up becoming very easy to get lost on said world map. Luckily, the game has a system of usable runes that let you quick travel to cities. While you have to actually find the NPCs that sell them, these prove to be a very handy to have around.
Skills in the game aren’t learned through leveling. Instead, you’ll be able to buy, find, receive as drops, and steal items called skill pills that you can use to learn these abilities. I didn’t use a large majority of the skills I actually learned, as a select few abilities just turned out to be vastly more useful than others. It does help provide some good strategies though, and knowing how to abuse status effects on bosses can really help you succeed where you otherwise may not.
Arevan’s combat is a turn-based system. You’ll input everyone’s commands, and then based on the speed of you and the enemies, actions will happen in that order. If you know which character will go first (PS: It’s probably Pascal), you can manipulate to do certain actions at certain times. This can prove useful for landing those status effects as well. And luckily, you can scan every enemy in-battle by use of the shift key (or on controllers, at least on mine, the A button). It will be a bit confusing at first what each symbol means and what the colours mean, but you’ll eventually get the hang of it. If you see red though, use that and try and land the statuses that show as red. Just do it.
So this all sounds great I’m sure, so what’s the drawback in this game? Well, there’s a few. As mentioned before, it can be very easy to get lost on the map. I don’t know how many times I flew around the entire map just trying to find one place… and then did it again a bit later to try and find that same place again.
The biggest issue in Arevan is, by far, the sheer amount of spelling and grammar mistakes. From simple things such as words missing a letter to flat out spelling mistakes. I don’t know about you, but knowing I have a ]man and he’s being hemself heading intodungeons doesn’t leave that great of an impression. Sometimes the issues will be in every other line, sometimes they’ll just vanish completely for a bit. The game could use a good, thorough proof reading by a few people to try and clean up some of these mistakes.
I also had issue with how the quest log was handled. Sometimes it was really clear on what I should do, other times not so much. Near the end, I got extremely lost on where to go until I finally stumbled upon something after over an hour of searching. In that time, I had done practically everything else I could do then. I’d done all the little side dungeons to make the last boss easier, I’d rescued a mermaid, and I’d helped some selfish treasure hunter find his secret dungeon. Of course, little did I know what doing all those side dungeons to make the last boss “easier” actually meant. I won’t spoil it, but needless to say I was left extremely unsatisfied at the end.
So, like most RPGMaker games, Arevan is not for everyone. You’ll need to deal with a gigantic amount of spelling issues and general getting lost. Luckily, I found the combat system and general story – minus the spelling/grammar issues – quite good. I also enjoyed the music and sound effects, even if some of them were things that were stock with RPGMaker instead of original. Overall, I would suggest the game, but only to folks who are fans of RPGMaker titles. If you’re looking for some big, fancy, 3D title, you’d best look elsewhere.
Arevan: The Bitter Truth Review Score
I’d like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of the game to use for review.
The game is available now on Steam.