Beyond Reality Review: An Enjoyable RPG Experience with a Few Quirks
I first picked up Beyond Reality as part of a collection of RPG Maker-style games on Steam. As an aspiring game-maker myself, I wanted to learn from those who had gone before, and thus picked up a variety of similar games. But Beyond Reality is more than just a learning tool; it's a great little diversion that you can easily sink a day into.
If you want a game to which you can devote days or weeks, this isn't the game you're looking for. But if you want an interesting fantasy game that you can finish in about eight hours, you should take a look at this one.
Solid RPG Foundation With a Few Quirks
Some of Beyond Reality's features will be familiar to RPG fans, as a turn-based combat system and visible, on-map enemies are chief among them. Other features include a wide variety of weapons and armor, and more than 50 different enemy types to encounter -- including a number of 'special' enemies that give you Steam achievements when you defeat them. Additionally, you can choose the character naming method you want to use -- fantasy (which includes names like La'lele and Sulada) or modern (which uses Fallon and Asha).
But in terms of actual execution, it feels like a few things were overlooked in this game -- especially early on in the story. The protagonist's initial behavior, for example, raises a few questions. The first time you see Fallon/La'lele, she appears to be shaking her arms around (though to be honest, it kinda looks like she's smacking herself). And when her driver first arrives and calls for her, she refers to him as “the driver” when talking aloud to herself, despite the fact that he calls her by name and their banter indicates that they're acquainted.
These aren't necessarily huge issues in the larger context of the game, but it did cause a few hiccups in the game's immersion, which you don't want to see in an RPG.
Once you get past the initial questions and quirks and really get into the story, though, such issues are easily put aside. You learn more about Fallon's team and the work they do -- and when a normal day at the office gets interrupted by a magic-wielding time-traveler, you're whisked away to the past for a mission you never agreed to!
Tons of Fun to Play
Beyond Reality is an engaging story with music that never feels out of place, and a simple-but-pretty JRPG art style reminiscent of your favorite games of old. Follow the main quest or take on one of the many side quests, most of which are designed to help you strengthen your party.
The battle system is straightforward, with stationary character and enemy images. Simple visual effects and dialogue boxes tell you how the battle is progressing, along with easy-to-read HP bars at the bottom of the screen.
Within a few minutes of gameplay, you're swept out of your world of trains, pollution, and corporations -- and into a world of magic, clean air, and government secrets. You're tasked with discovering why a government would turn on its people, and the only way you'll get back home is by getting to the bottom of things. Of course, such a mission is rarely simple, and soon you'll find there's more going on than anyone expected -- even the people who brought you to their time!
If you like RPGS full of magic, secrets, and family bonding, give Beyond Reality a try. It's currently available for $4.99 on Steam. You'll be glad you picked it up!