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Author Topic: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!  (Read 897 times)

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Offline FlorenceTopic starter

Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« on: January 16, 2014, 02:41:36 AM »
http://store.steampowered.com/app/257970

I'm not sure who here might be interested in this game, but its a huge favorite of mine. It just came out on Steam and I figured I'd post it up here in case anyone's interested! It's currently 10% off until the 22nd.

Loren: The Amazon Princess is a visual novel/rpg hybrid game where you pick to either play as the male human Saren or the female elf Elenor, and pick a few things about them. You can pick their class, from Warrior or Thief, and you can chose a little bit of their back-story; although the general gist of it remains the same. You've been a slave for the Amazons for a long time; and their Queen has just gone missing. Her daughter, the Princess Loren goes off to find her, and you're sent with her.

From there you find yourself caught up in a conflict with the fate of the world on the line. Its kind of your standard RPG fare, and I won't claim that the story is anything groundbreaking, but it is enjoyable, clever and well written. The characters are all very memorable, and enjoyable, as well; in my opinion, they're one of the best things about the game.

There's also a series of romance sub-plots to go down if you wish. Its sort of handled similarly to a Bioware Game, especially Dragon Age: Origins. That's either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about Bioware games and their handling of romance, but I think that personally, the developers made the romances very engaging in this game regardless.

Also like Bioware, there's a little something for just about everyone. The titular character Loren is available for romance by other Saren or Elenor; as are several other characters of both genders. Other characters are gender-specific, however. Myrth and Draco can only be romanced by Saren, for instance, while Karen and Rei are only available as romances to Elenor.

You'll get some measure of choice, though it isn't quite like Dragon Age, in that you only get a few major plot decisions, but they do feel important, and it works for this game. The combat is pretty graphically simple, but its still enjoyable and tactical; though as I said, the story and the characters are more the focus; the combat being solid is just icing on the cake. How you level, equip and position your party matters, and knowing what skills to use when is pretty important, especially when you get several battles with no recovery between them. This is more applicable in the medium and hard difficulty levels, though, and if you just want to breeze through the combat for the sake of the story, easy mode is just what you want. You can also change the difficulty at any time if you so desire.

Now, for my dear friends on E, I have two recommendations.

1) Get the DLC, its cheap and easily worth it.

2) Buy the game off Steam, then download the demo off their main website. It'll recognize that you have purchased the base game from Steam, and will give you access to the full game. The Steam version had some 'risque' content cut out of it. Namely the characters will wear skimpier outfits and you'll get some steamy romance scenes near the end of the game. The version on their website will have an option to toggle that content on or off, depending on what you want, while the Steam version doesn't have the option and its automatically disabled. The creator has said doing this will work, and I have verified it on my own.

ANYWAY. Have you heard of the game? If so... discuss it! If not... go play it now! Then discuss it! :D I hope you guys will enjoy this game as much as me. I'm sure this game won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I think this community might be just the sort to like it. I think most of us have two things in common. We appreciate good writing, and some smexiness. This game has both.

EDIT: Oh yeah, just to be clear. The skimpier outfits work both ways; there's hot man-abs galore just as much as there's scantily clad ladies.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 02:54:12 AM by Finn MacKenna »

Offline alextaylor

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 12:50:25 AM »
Hmm... $20 for an indie game is a bit pricey. And generally not fond of VN style storytelling and Amazonian themes. It looks good though. Will check it out once I get my paycheck. Nice that they have fanservice for girls too :P

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 10:05:54 AM »
Picked up the demo for iOS it's cute.  Disappointed the guy can't romance the Queen, mind you.  Nor the elf the mage.

Offline FlorenceTopic starter

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 05:37:09 PM »
Picked up the demo for iOS it's cute.  Disappointed the guy can't romance the Queen, mind you.  Nor the elf the mage.

Well, it makes sense in the context to the story that Karen wouldn't be interested in getting involved with Saren.

As for the mage... well there's a few, Apolimesho's a bit on the old side. Myrth is straight, Draco is gay, and Chambara's bi :D

I've romanced Draco as Saren and Karen as Elenor so far, I think I might try romancing Chambara next... probably as Elenor xD

So far, both of the romances I've tried are ridiculously adorable.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 12:11:05 AM »
Draco being gay is a little odd, especially since he tries hitting on Loren in the first five minutes.  Bi OK, gay?  But he was really into trying to charm Loren...

As for Karen, yeah, I know.  But I still want Saren to bang the Queen, durnit!  ;D

Offline Shjade

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 12:49:07 AM »
Well, it makes sense in the context to the story that Karen wouldn't be interested in getting involved with Saren.

Of course not.

I mean, they're only one letter apart! That's, like, practically incest.

*nods sagely*

Offline FlorenceTopic starter

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 12:53:59 AM »
Draco being gay is a little odd, especially since he tries hitting on Loren in the first five minutes.  Bi OK, gay?  But he was really into trying to charm Loren...

As for Karen, yeah, I know.  But I still want Saren to bang the Queen, durnit!  ;D

It didn't strike me as odd, I think he's just playful and friendly xD In fact, he does seem a little confused about the reactions he gets, so I wonder if he even realizes how he comes off, or if that's just the way he interacts with people.

Of course not.

I mean, they're only one letter apart! That's, like, practically incest.

*nods sagely*

... Goddamnit, I never realized that before and now I will never be able to unrealize it.

Offline Shjade

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 10:49:25 AM »
My work here is done.

Offline Shjade

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 07:41:59 PM »
Tried out the demo. The combat is...a little simplistic, but not terrible. Balancing things around status effect combo attacks is interesting, and would be even more interesting if it wasn't completely outclassed by mages spamming AE spells over everything faster than my thief can even attack. Seriously, Myrth casts tangled roots 2 twice in the time it takes my 130+ speed thief to recover from her first attack. Seems balanced. >.>

I was on the fence about the writing, giving it the benefit of the doubt that maybe it gets better later, until Rei's introduction. Elenor "felt her skin ripple mysteriously" when he looked at her. That was the breaking point. Nope. No thanks. Not buying an RPG that theoretically puts more emphasis on its character relationships than the combat mechanics when it's narrated in the voice of a high school fanfic writer.

Offline FlorenceTopic starter

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 07:52:48 PM »
From that one line of dialogue?

To each their own, I guess, I personally found the dialogue to be great. Not the best writing in the world, but far, far, far from the worse. The combat, also, I felt like it could be improved, and it will apparently be in the sequel, but I still felt it got the job done enough to make playing the game quite enjoyable.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 09:11:02 PM »
Lines like that are usually indicative of the style of writing.  It won't likely be the last one that will be written.   And that can be off putting for some.

Offline FlorenceTopic starter

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 09:14:16 PM »
Lines like that are usually indicative of the style of writing.  It won't likely be the last one that will be written.   And that can be off putting for some.

Like I said, to each their own. I've played through the entire game twice, and apart from spelling errors, I thought the writing was fine.

Offline Shjade

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2014, 12:16:23 AM »
From that one line of dialogue?

Yes, from that one line of narration*.

One that is near the end of the demo. Meaning I'd already seen all the previous narration and dialogue that led up to it. See also: the straw that broke the camel's back.

Being kind, I'd call the writing "serviceable." It gets the job done. It fills the space between one event and the next event.

That's not what I look for in a recreational experience. I prefer writing that's good enough to actually get me interested in the characters, develop some investment in their setting, maybe start to care about something that's happening in the story. The writing in Loren suffers from a defect that writing instructors would note in the marginalia by saying, "Show, don't tell."

It's constantly telling you what characters are feeling or why they're doing what they're doing instead of, through the strength of the writing, demonstrating those aspects of character and motivation. It won't just let Elenor jump into the middle of a conflict to bail Loren out of bitching at the wrong person, it first has to say something like, "Elenor was extremely concerned about her mistress' behavior! She knew she had to do something." Why? Why are you telling me what is completely obvious, narrator?

It removes possible tension/mystery at the very beginning of the story if you pick the Elenor/Royal Palace background branch by outright telling you, paraphrasing, Elenor couldn't tell Loren that she wasn't really a member of the Queen's harem but is in fact a spy and assassin. There is no reason to do this. You can just show me later in the game that she's clearly a skilled spy and assassin and develop how and why she has those skills later on. Telling me about it up front without any prompting or need is the most amateurish exposition possible, much the way a story might tell you Baron Von Swordguy is the most skilled and feared swordsman in the land without actually showing him fight anyone to prove that claim. He's just the best at it because, well, the narrator told you so. Deal with it.

This is the kind of writing that is always among the hardest to critique in writing classes because you know the student was trying and they meant well, but it's just so flawed in execution from top to bottom that, just, where do you start? (Actually I already pointed out where I'd start with the "show, don't tell," but still.) It's not that the writing is "bad," per se, it's just...not skillful. It lacks craft. It's bricklayer storytelling: put a brick down, slather it with mortar, slap another brick on it, keep on going. It builds a wall, sure, but the result's not pretty.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 12:17:59 AM by Shjade »

Offline FlorenceTopic starter

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2014, 02:39:06 AM »
Well, I personally don't see a problem with telling you what Saren/Elenor is thinking, given that they're the role the player is taking on. It would make sense that you would know the backstory and motivation of the character you're controlling, particularly in this sort of story, where the main character serves as sort of a player-insert.

I understand where you're coming from, I just don't feel like it was all that detrimental in this kind of narrative. There's no reason that the player character should have mystery to their character when you're seeing from their perspective, and ideally should know what's going on in their head.

Again, I'm not going to defend the writing as being perfect, there were certainly a few lines that I think could have been better, or removed entirely. Particularly the repeated mentions of how important Loren is; as I felt like that was emphasized in the writing a little too much.

All the same, I clearly didn't feel that it was as much a detriment to the overall experience as you did, hence my saying to each their own. It still told a story that I found compelling, made the characters interesting enough to care about them, and had me beat the game twice, so far, with the intent to reply a third time now that the steam version is out, with a new soundtrack.

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Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2014, 06:29:00 AM »
Tried out the demo. The combat is...a little simplistic, but not terrible. Balancing things around status effect combo attacks is interesting, and would be even more interesting if it wasn't completely outclassed by mages spamming AE spells over everything faster than my thief can even attack. Seriously, Myrth casts tangled roots 2 twice in the time it takes my 130+ speed thief to recover from her first attack. Seems balanced. >.>

I was on the fence about the writing, giving it the benefit of the doubt that maybe it gets better later, until Rei's introduction. Elenor "felt her skin ripple mysteriously" when he looked at her. That was the breaking point. Nope. No thanks. Not buying an RPG that theoretically puts more emphasis on its character relationships than the combat mechanics when it's narrated in the voice of a high school fanfic writer.
I'm not even going to bother playing it on that alone. :P

I'm having trouble getting through Shadow Runs Returns because they don't know how to use commas properly.

That's messed up woman!

Wrong guys!

That's messed up, woman!

Direct freaking address is separated by commas, ya dig?

Lets eat grandpa.

Lets eat, grandpa.

Commas: They save lives.

Offline FlorenceTopic starter

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2014, 07:24:49 AM »
Shadowrun Returns... there's a game I really want to love. Its got a lot of potential but it just feels incredibly unpolished in almost every aspect. I don't hate it, I just feel like it could have been better.

At any rate, in my opinion at least, I felt the writing in this game was more engaging than in Shadowrun Returns, but to be fair I haven't played that in a while, so my memory of the writing it is sort of fuzzy.

Offline Shjade

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2014, 10:35:19 AM »
I'm not even going to bother playing it on that alone. :P

If you were thinking about it before you might still want to try the free demo. I am a pretty hard sell when it comes to games. It's possible you'd find it more palatable.

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Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2014, 11:08:31 AM »
If you were thinking about it before you might still want to try the free demo. I am a pretty hard sell when it comes to games. It's possible you'd find it more palatable.
Generally, bad grammar is a real turn off.

Offline Shjade

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2014, 02:53:20 PM »
Grammatically I don't recall any glaring issues. More a matter of diction, voice, stylistic decisions.

Offline Ithnuul

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2014, 10:29:42 PM »
I played it a bit ago and was heavily disappointed. It just felt like a severely watered down Dragon age origins, just like planet stronghold was a watered down mass effect. All the romance with none of the game play, and instead of the romance being organic you just talk to them at camp over and over again.

Offline Shjade

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2014, 04:24:12 AM »
I played it a bit ago and was heavily disappointed. It just felt like a severely watered down Dragon age origins, just like planet stronghold was a watered down mass effect. All the romance with none of the game play, and instead of the romance being organic you just talk to them at camp over and over again.

To be fair, that's pretty much how the romance worked in Dragon Age as I recall: just spam through all their conversations at camp and give them a couple gifts and, voila, infatuation.

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Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2014, 04:26:54 AM »
To be fair, that's pretty much how the romance worked in Dragon Age as I recall: just spam through all their conversations at camp and give them a couple gifts and, voila, infatuation.
That's how all Bioware romance plots work. :P

Do a mission-> Do your rounds at the hub/camp/shi-> Get told by Garrus that he's busy calibrating the big guns, and if you could come back later. :\

Offline FlorenceTopic starter

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2014, 12:56:38 PM »

Offline Ithnuul

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2014, 02:21:35 PM »
That is... a fair enough point.. but with DA:O at least you could talk to them at any time, things you did affected how they felt about you and you have a bunch of conversation options, when I played this all i remember Is short random conversations in which you could pick one of two options and one makes them like you more.. actually there was a "serious, friendly, funny" conversation option for certain situations if a recall correctly... just like DA II. And I mean come on the blond haired mage is even gay, just like anders...

Offline FlorenceTopic starter

Re: Loren: The Amazon Princess on Steam!
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2014, 02:27:56 PM »
Anders was gay?

Funny how he kept confessing to my female Hawke, then :P