The Spirit Engine 2

I can no longer keep my silence regarding this game.

Some of you may have heard of The Spirit Engine, a freeware RPG that surfaced 5 years ago or so.  It had the interesting feature of choosing your party at the beginning, which significantly changed character interactions and dialogue, as well as a pretty cool battle system and great music.  Personally, I played it for several hours but moved on before completing it.

Now I regret that decision and will certainly be rethinking it.  Its sequel has arrived.  Though there was a brief break, on Sunday night I played it for 5 hours.  I am hooked as I have rarely been to any game; I have only played one other game since I started The Spirit Engine 2 in earnest – and that was a brief bout of Stepmania, in which I created a simfile for a song from TSE2.

The Spirit Engine 2 develops on all the strengths of the original, and adds its own to boot.  All characters have a detailed portrait – including shopkeepers and random one-line townspeople.  Dialogue is excellent, and each character has a unique feel and style of speaking.

Thus far I am more than somewhat impressed; TSE2 was, after all, developed by two people.  Mark Pay is now among my heroes for having not only programmed but also written all dialogue and done all artwork for the game, and Josh Whelchel is a great composer.  I’ve already bought the soundtrack.

It’s really a breath of fresh air.  In a genre that’s often fettered by standard, bland characters, little significant character development and rehashed or simply broken combat systems, TSE2 stands as a beacon of both stability and innovation.

A full review will follow once I’ve completed this game.  Expect very little from me until that point; I fully intend to use most of my free time to continue.

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