Sister [ENG]

RPG games created in RPG Maker have always been associated to me with epic stories, heroes saving the world and villains who want to destroy it. Despite the occasional loosening of the mood, they are dominated by pathos, solemnity and – in general – a heavy atmosphere. On the other hand, we have humorous productions that are parodies from beginning to end, often crossing the boundaries of absurdity. However, I miss games that do not fit into this pattern. For this reason, I liked Sister by Goburinbro so much. It’s a pleasant, warm RPG that, while referring to the Mother series, doesn’t go into psychedelic climates and leaves the player with a warmed heart and a sense of time pleasantly spent.

The game originates from the VIPRPG scene and was prepared for one of the game jams. We play as Linux – the younger sister of Alex, the main character of RPG Maker 2000. Together with our older brother, we went on vacation to the seaside. We stay overnight in a hotel, but we can move around the surrounding beaches and town without any problems. While Alex is dating his girlfriend, we engage in a treasure hunt organized by the king. The whole area is densely populated with VIPRPG characters, and I found conversations with them a genuine pleasure. Everything is maintained in a cheerful, idyllic atmosphere free of any pathos.

The audiovisual setting is one of the best elements of Sister. The font, message display style and other smaller elements refer directly or indirectly to the Mother series. To a limited extent, we can also modify the message display style. In addition to the solidly prepared maps, my greatest praise went to the excellent manipulation of color saturation on the screen. Depending on whether we are outside or indoors, as well as what time of day it is at the moment, the game’s color scheme changes accordingly. This creates a great impression, and an afternoon in this style with Garakuta’s tileset looks simply beautiful. However, I encountered bugs here – sometimes it takes a little too long to return to the correct saturation after a fight and we see this change. Also, once after a fight in the town, the saturation did not return to the right level at all and only entering and leaving the building fixed it. Of the other capitally done things, it is worth noting the well-chosen music, the beautiful title screen and the transitions between maps, which are unusual but well suited to the atmosphere.

The project is exceptionally polished in terms of mechanics. Sister has its own extensive menu, where we can view our items, set up our inventory and use the spells we’ve acquired. Goburinbro has also introduced the aforementioned message system and an original way to choose names for characters. The combat system is strongly reminiscent of the Mother series – it is created in the first person, and the enemies behind the back have somewhat psychedelic backgrounds. After losing a fight, we have several options to choose from, including the ability to get advice from Alex about the opponent who just defeated us. The fights themselves, by the way, are very enjoyable – they rarely involve mindlessly pressing the action key, instead we have to adapt our behavior to the simple but well thought-out tactics of our opponents. Running, which is activated by holding down the action key, also works great. Aside from the aforementioned problems with color saturation, the only bug I found was that sometimes immediately after finishing a run, the menu doesn’t launch after pressing the appropriate key and we have to press it again.

It took me (not counting saves loaded after losing a battle) exactly an hour and a half to get through Sister. It’s a well-thought-out and superbly executed gem that has a lot of potential. Our unfamiliarity with the lore of the VIPRPG characters doesn’t hinder us in the slightest, and the Linux story is engaging and likable in its own right. I don’t think I’ll venture much by saying that Sister is an example of a trend described as cozy fantasy – cheerful, charming fantasy in which we don’t have to chase big ideas, and can focus on everyday, ordinary things. I definitely recommend this project and hope that the author will develop it further!


Author: Goburinbro
RPG Maker: 2003
Genre: RPG
Status: Demo
Year: 2023

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