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Game Info:

Lv. 99: Final Fortress
Developed By: Great Potion Games
Published By: Great Potion Games
Released: July 7, 2020
Available On: macOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux
Genre: Turn-based RPG
ESRB Rating: None specified
Number of Players: Singleplayer
Price: $8.99

I'd like to thank Great Potion Games for providing this review key to our Steam Curator group.

Most turn-based role-playing games tend to build in momentum until you reach the final dungeon, which in some way puts all you learned before to use. However, what happens when the game starts with the final dungeon and skips the preliminaries? Lv. 99: Final Fortress attempts to answer this question.

The actual game premise breaks no new ground. You have to stop some evil beings in a foreboding fortress that is a threat to the world. There is the standard top-down perspective exploration mode and turn-based based combat in the RPG Maker MV engine. There are complicated puzzles, boss fights, and secrets to discover, just like any other classic RPG. Even the tongue-in-cheek self-referential humor is somewhat de rigeur for modern-day parodies of classic RPGs.

What makes this game unique is that it's basically aimed at the RPG veteran, one who has beaten tons of games in the genre, and thus skips all the early parts of the game and starts them towards the end, serving a test of said veteran's experiences in similar games. As a result, battles require proper preparation of skills and equipment, puzzles can be quite difficult, and the game is basically a "how many of the tropes of RPG final dungeons can you remember" exercise in disguise.

Lv. 99: Final Fortress
Highlights:

Strong Points: Good nostalgiac parody of final dungeons in RPGs
Weak Points: Very short
Moral Warnings: RPG style violence; minor references to ladies underwear; references to necromancy and evil deities (of a generic origin)

Graphically, it's nothing too remarkable for an RPG Maker game, though, for the price tag, it's clear some effort went into decent map design. The tiles don't vary too much however, leading to some samey looking areas. Characters, animations, and, everything else is pretty stock and generic. Not terrible, but nothing to write home about.

Sound and music harken back to the days of synthesized MIDI from the early SNES days, which fits the theme like a glove. None of the music is overly special, but it does fit the "final dungeon" mood well. Sound effects are stock to the RPG Maker engine in most parts, and a few are a bit on the loud side.

Controls are possible with the keyboard, mouse, or a gamepad of some sort, though I found the keyboard to be the most comfortable option. Overall stability is quite good for an RPG Maker MV game, and while some games can load very poorly due to bad optimization, this one had fast load times, so I had no complaints in this regard.

Lv. 99: Final Fortress
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 76%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 76%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 3/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Morally, it's generally decent but with a few minor red flags.

Violence is the typical RPG style "give orders and watch something happen" type. This is devoid of blood and gore. Strong language seems to be absent, which is fitting given it's based on the era of family-friendly SNES RPGs in terms of dialogue. Sexual content is absent save a few minor references to ladies' undergarments, with a few equippable as items.

There are some undead enemies and at one point you can collect souls defeated for a grim reaper type character, presumably to usher them on to their rewards, but it's left ambiguous as to what allegiances they serve. Necromancy is not endorsed though implied to be used to reanimate certain foes, and the head villains are referred to as "evil gods". That aside, there isn't much to complain about. Culturally and ethically this is a pretty black and white good vs. evil story. You have superiors you report to and your mission is to defeat evil beings that could threaten world peace.

I felt this was a bit overpriced, as a veteran RPG player could beat this in an afternoon, so I'd get it on sale. It's nothing especially spectacular technically, but it does what it set out to do and is fairly well put together, so as a game it's decent at worst. Morally, aside from the few sexual and supernatural references noted, it's nothing a teenager would be unable to handle. If you want a good trip down memory lane as a veteran of RPG games, this is not a bad place to start as well.

About the Author

Daniel Cullen

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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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