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Game Info:

Falsus Chronicle: Ancient Treasure
Developed By: HorngYeuan Digital
Published By: HorngYeuan Digital
Release Date: December 19, 2017
Available On: Windows
Genre: Action RPG
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: N/A
MSRP: $9.99

Thank you HorngYeuan Digital for sending us this game to review!

Given how many games we are sent to review, it’s not uncommon for us to wait for a final release before spending time on a particular game. But what if it’s abandonware? In that case, we evaluate it on a case-by-case basis; sometimes we just don’t bother (especially for multiplayer only games) and sometimes we go ahead with a preview anyway. I decided to go for it here because it’s really close to complete (it’s missing just a few dungeons at the end) and because it could be the basis for a good game.

Falsus Chronicle: Ancient Treasure is a top-down, 3D rendered action role-playing game (RPG) where you take the role of Emil, a gung-ho archaeologist and explorer who is commissioned by the Grand Duchy to explore a nearby ruin, along with three other mercenaries who help you out. You can choose three of the four explorers to take with you.

The action combat is a bit unique; unlike most action RPGs where you press a button to attack, you actually hold the right analog stick in a direction and you automatically attack. This works really well for ranged fighters, but is also how you fend off bad guys as a melee character as well. You can assign up to four skills to various buttons, including potions to heal and three other custom skills. Unfortunately, you can’t customize the button configuration, so I hope you like their choices. (In my opinion they are okay, but I would have probably moved a few around.)

Falsus Chronicle: Ancient Treasure
Highlights:

Strong Points: Nice art style, and graphics look sharp; can be fun
Weak Points: No resolutions above 1920x1080; deaths can be sudden and feel cheap; dungeons can feel a bit repetitive despite being short; abandoned just before 1.0 release
Moral Warnings: Fantasy violence; magic use by players and enemies; some enemies are magical or undead in nature, like dragons and skeletons

There are six dungeons with five levels each. Each area is semi-randomly generated; they are based on a general layout, with some variation each time you enter. Thankfully, you get to keep whatever you earn while in there, even if you die; the game can kill you sometimes out of nowhere, so it’s good to know that it’s not all for nothing. That is, unless you are attempting the Tower of Trials.

The Tower of Trials is probably the least enjoyable part of the game for me. I understand that in games like this, you want to make something difficult with a good reward. The problem is that you can’t improve yourself and grind to get better; if you gain levels, so do your enemies. This is one aspect of game design I will always hate until the day I die: if you can’t overcome an obstacle by getting more powerful, but instead you make the game more difficult instead, you better have an awfully compelling reason for me to play, because I’m going to be biased against you by default. That is the case with the Tower of Trials. Thankfully, the main story levels do not appear to have this problem.

Each story level is fairly short, with some taking just a few minutes. One problem though is that certain enemy attacks seem to do massively more damage than anything else, and can kill you in a moment with little warning. For example, if you see circles on the floor, you better get out of the way – they might be lightning, which can kill you from full health in seconds. It can be very frustrating when you can go to full health to dead with seemingly little warning.

Falsus Chronicle: Ancient Treasure
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 76%
Gameplay - 12/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 87%
Violence – 6.5/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Another source of frustration is that sometimes when you are melee attacking someone, you might expect that pushing the right stick in another direction might target someone else. However, that might not be the case. Depending on your luck, you may end up wailing on the wrong enemy, which can prove deadly. While the general gameplay can be pretty fun, it’s little inconsistencies like these that keep the game from being so much better.

As you go deeper into dungeons, you gain gold, experience, and loot. This loot can contain weapons, armor, shields, or gems. The gems can be equipped, and are a nice way to customize your characters. The higher your character’s level, the more gems you can hold. There is also a gem merchant where you can buy and sell gems, though the cost is very high. It may end up being worth it though, since it’s such an important part of customizing your character. Sadly, you can only change equipment between dungeon runs – If you think you’ll be able to equip that sweet new sword right after picking it up, think again. Dying will allow you to use it in a future run, and I haven’t noticed any penalties for death at this point.

Morally, it’s really not too bad. Each character has a chibi art style, and looks really cute. They swing their sword, shoot their bow, or cast spells at their opponents. Enemies fade away when they die. Some enemies include golems, dragons, skeletons, and other mystical creatures like giant bats. I didn’t notice any other major moral issues in my time playing, but I didn’t play to the end of an unfinished game.

Falsus Chronicles: Ancient Treasure could be a decent framework for a decent game. The graphics, despite not supporting the native resolution of my 4k monitor, look nice, with good lighting and shading effects. Sadly, it requires a bit more horsepower than my GPD Win 2 could provide, even at the lowest resolution. On the plus side, it plays perfectly in Steam Proton on Linux. The music is actually really good, and the translation is serviceable (I believe the developers are Taiwanese). With some tweaking, this could be a pretty decent game. It appears to be a sequel to a mobile game, also called Falsus Chronicle. It’s a real shame that the developers haven’t updated it since 2018. If they did, I can’t imagine it would be too difficult to push that 0.9.8 version number up to 1.0 and get it across the finish line, to finally remove it from Steam’s Early Access.

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Jason Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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