Loren the Amazon Princess


  • Currently 4.6/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 4.6/5 (45 votes)
| Comments (9) | Views (8,908)

Loren the Amazon Princess

DoraSometimes heroes aren't made, they're born. But what happens when the person suddenly responsible for the destiny of a world doesn't want anything to do with it? Loren is the beautiful, powerful, and extremely sheltered princess of the Amazons. Her prowess as a warrior may be staggering, but she has a lot to learn about the world... though she isn't really interested in doing so. But when her mother the queen vanishes, Loren is determined to track her down, and her first foray into the world beyond the castle walls might wind up being both legendary... and eye opening as she changes to become the heroine the land needs. Loren the Amazon Princess, a deep and involving tactical RPG clothed in a visual-novel style fantasy adventure.

Loren the Amazon PrincessAs either the human male Saren or the female elf Elenor, you begin the game as little more than a glorified servant to Loren, having spent your entire life a slave to the Amazon empire. At the start of the game, you'll be given a series of choices that determine your class and starting abilities before you and your taciturn princess set off to rescue the queen. Of course, in short order you quickly discover there's more going on in the world than Loren's mother disappearing, not that Loren cares about it. But whether she likes it or not, she's about to be thrust into the role of hero against an ancient, vicious enemy. Her decisions will unite and decide the fate of the entire world... and maybe even remove her own blinders and make her realise what matters and what doesn't in the grand scheme of things.

Loren is, for the most part, played like a visual novel. You'll click to travel to locations, watch events unfold, and select your choice of response from a list whenever you're given one. For the most part, this comes down to deciding your character's overall tone when talking to people, and it goes without saying that not everyone likes a smug, smarmy jerk. Loren herself tends to make most of the big decisions, however, so as the player your most important job is keeping everyone alive. This doesn't just include buying and equipping everyone's armor, weapons, and accessories like a fussy toddler pageant mom, but also handling the distribution of stat and skill points as your party levels up.

The combat is, by and large, a big portion of the meat wrapped around Loren's bones, and depending on the difficulty setting you choose can either be a walk in the corpse-strewn park, or satisfyingly challenging. It's turn based, and you can see the order in which characters and enemies will attack, allowing you to carefully plan out your actions. This is a bit more important than you might think, since many character abilities depend on others being activated first by someone else, or by a particular status effect being active on whatever enemy you're targeting. Since you can adjust the difficulty whenever you want, you'll never get stuck, and the ability to just pass on any fight that isn't plot-required means random battles are only a factor when you want to grind some levels.

Loren the Amazon PrincessAnalysis: Despite the lengthy cutscenes and dialogue, a hefty chunk of the enjoyment you'll get out of it comes down to the game's satisfyingly complex combat and the freedom to make it as challenging or simple as you like at any time. This isn't to say the story and writing aren't good, because they actually are more than competent. The plot falls into standard "big evil with destined hero" territory, but the huge and likable cast combined with the thought put into the plotting and progression to make this one to sink into. Provided you have nothing against an exceptional amount of T-and-A, that is. Even turning the censor option on doesn't make the characters look as if they're wearing anything approaching sensible armor, which, yes, is somewhat of an issue when they're otherwise presented as completely serious and competent warriors... who apparently don't feel the need to protect their soft, squishy torsos from blades or arrows. Surprisingly, the romantic and sexual scenes you'll see late in character romances are, by contrast, extremely tasteful and both tenderly and coyly written that imply rather than reveal for a more meaningful experience.

Jokes aside, Loren is actually a very lovely game if the ridiculous clothing and proportions aren't a killer for you. Characters are beautifully drawn and designed, and enemies in particular can have some great artwork representing them. Unfortunately, the visual novel style presentation means you lose out on a lot of the impact of some very important scenes. It's somewhat disappointing to read about a frantic, pitched battle or an emotional moment when all you get to see is the same character portraits stuck in the same positions staring at you like puppets against a bland background. I would dearly love to have seen a few more hand-drawn pictures depicting all those important events, and it certainly seems like stunning artwork would have been more than up to the task and delivered a more cinematic experience.

Loren the Amazon PrincessAdditionally, Loren has a rather surprising amount of romance options for the character to choose from, and for different sexual orientations as well which is a welcome addition. These courtships play out surprisingly realistically and with some real feeling and emotion that means it's easy to get wrapped up in the people your character is coming to care about. The problem is that apart from Loren, the only characters who get any real development or expression are the ones you're actively trying to romance. The rest simply wind up feeling like they're just there to drive the plot along, which is a little disappointing since there's so much rich backstory and characterisation behind each that could have added a lot to the overall story if it weren't locked away behind the romance. Fortunately, the announced expansion promises to add more quests and background story for the cast, which should go a long way towards rendering that complaint moot. In the meantime, however, I'm left feeling like Dora and I never got the chance to really connect, and somehow I think she and I could have been the bro-est of bros.

If you make active use of the freedom to save whenever you like and in different slots, the replay value for Loren mostly comes down to chasing the various love interests down. Luckily, there's an expansion on the horizon called The Castle of N'Mar, which will include three new characters (two of which are romanceable by both genders), new locations and plots, and more. As she stands right now, however, Loren the Amazon Princess is still a surprisingly deep experience with tactical combat, memorable characters, and a lengthy adventure you can lose a long time to without realising it. While how much you enjoy the complex combat will be a large factor in how much you enjoy the game, players looking for a high-fantasy adventure with a ton of love and hard work put into it will definitely want to check this one out. Just be careful about cozying up to Loren... there's something about having a girlfriend who could rip your arms off like a Wookie when she's angry that's a little frightening.

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo
Get the full version

LinuxLinux:
Download the demo
Get the full version

9 Comments

Played the demo, and I might buy this. It didn't seem like anything super deep, but it was a fun, silly fantasy game, which I've been on a kick for lately. A lot of the characters were pretty lovable, and that made it for me.

Especially

Draco- I didn't expect to like him the most, but he really grew on me. After the scene that revealed he wasn't actually really a ladies' man, I just wanted to give him a hug.

Maybe I'll play as a guy next time.

Also, does anyone know if there are girl/girl romance options besides Loren? I'm not entirely sure how I feel about her yet XD

Score: -1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
XaonRider Author Profile Page July 29, 2012 2:14 AM

I'm not sure why, but the link to download the Windows ver of the demo does not seem to work for me. It's a bit disappointing, seeing as I'm rather interested in trying the game. ):

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
sonicscrewdriver Author Profile Page September 17, 2012 1:45 PM

I bought the full version of this game, after a demo that seemed to go on indefinitely (a plus in helping me decide).

The writing was good, which was the biggest yes. Also, the multi-gender romance options attracted.

Biggest downside: the combat was s-l-o-w. And I'm a player who doesn't mind repetitive grind.

Waiting for the turn of each player to load in battle made me shut this game down several times, though that was probably the fault of my ancient laptop. At the start of the game, a warning popped up that I don't have shaders on my computer, whatever that means.

It took me a few hours to really get into the combat system, which probably isn't such a bad thing. But the combat still was just only okay.

Second downside, or perhaps upside: the manga porn-esque art. I liked it and thought it pretty funny to have pneumatic druidesses clad in three or four ivy leaves and male slaves with exposed, terrifying abs. But try explaining it to your other half when they suddenly come across you playing it at 2 am. There is a modesty option but I rarely turned it on. Why spoil a good thing?

The game actually revels more in just-under-the-radar implications than out-and-out erotica. It skilfully walks a line. Though even some of the supposedly non-erotic situations were pretty leading and suggestive. Hilariously so. And some of the monsters were... um... retractably skinned.

Or maybe that was just me.

About the romance options: MASSIVE SPOILERS >>>>>

One of the first romances you can choose is with Loren - who owns you as a slave and treats you rather dismissively. Am I the only person who wasn't keen?

I know it's the plot of the game, but no way could I bring myself.

Though this probably also a good thing, that I was genuinely appalled. Right from the start, I was emotionally involved in the plot and writing of this game.

Most of the romanceable characters were actually pretty horrible. I wouldn't give them time of day.

Draco the wizard and Dora the thief were the only ones I liked - oh, and Chambara the witch. And as the reviewer above said, you couldn't have a relationship with Dora. And Chambara will only available later in an expansion.

That would put me off replay.

Oh, yeah. Another romanceable option was Loren's mother. Who had just lost the love of her life. He'd been horribly murdered. So that was tasteful.

Perhaps I was too squeamish for this game.

Even Draco put me off at first. Well, for all of two minutes. He had the blond hair of his namesake Malfoy, but personality-wise I soon realised he was kind of an anti-Malfoy. His story was skilfully unfolded.

I found an error in the writing:

There was one character, an elf (I think Mesphit) who I battled with near the end. There was a whole dialogue about how we'd met before several times and there was obviously supposed to be history between us. But the way I'd played the game, and the choices I'd made, that was the first time we'd ever met him.

It was kind of confusing.

Constructive notes in case the developer ever checks here:
I found the game slightly too long - I know, complaining about a good thing! Although a lot of that could have been my slow computer dragging it out. I'd prefer the game to be shorter, but with more characters I actually wanted to click the 'romance' button to, for better replay value. But you can't please everyone.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Hi sonicscrewdriver! Thanks for commenting, and being so in-depth about it! Regarding the romance options,

I agree with you about Loren, but have to disagree when it comes to her mother Karen. While it does feel like it struggles a bit with the pacing, I felt the relationship actually unfolded in a fairly natural and realistic way and was handled very well. After all, who decides how long someone has to mourn before moving on? I didn't find it particularly distasteful, though I might have if Karen had simply leapt into another relationship. Since, at least as playing as a female character, she does in fact talk about and confront many of these issues with her if you pursue her, I thought it was executed well, though somewhat rushed in its culmination.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
sonicscrewdriver Author Profile Page September 23, 2012 6:56 PM

@Dora Breckinridge

So I'm not alone in finding the whole slave-romancing-the-mistress thing weird? I didn't think I'd have a problem with that, but boy, I did.

I was playing as the male character. I think that made approaching Karen especially tactless: "Hey, heard your last male lover was brutally murdered, I'm a man as well, want to give another one go?"

Next time I'll play as a woman and try Karen again.

Anyway, thanks for reviewing this interesting game.

I forgot to mention my absolute favourite part before.

The druidess, in battle. She's a comedy character enough as it is. Only when she heals in battle, the game plays an extremely distinctive honking whale sound, exactly the same as the one Chris Morris used in The Day Today just before he used to say 'and now over to the Enviro-Desk with Rosie May'. I'm not sure how many other people are getting this, and if it's even deliberate or a random sample lift. But it's sheer nostalgic joy for me every time.

Rosie May was played by Rebecca Front in a beard, as I remember. Just perfect.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Hi, author here! Thanks for the opinions/feedback.
A few things:
- the sequel we're working on will have REAL armors. I posted some images on my twitter or forums if you want to take a look. So the cover version will be really covered this time ;)
- combat: I think you played it in software mode! which means it goes VERY slow. I am amazed that you played it until the end, must have been a torture lol.
A tip you can try pressing shift+G while the game is running and choose another renderer (probably DirectX) and should go better, though if your computer is old probably won't help by that much.
- game length: well on this I cannot really comment since people asked for long games after my first manga games.
By the way the expansion is already out and I should officially announce it very soon (waiting for a friend to finish a promo video). Glad that you enjoyed the game.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

When I saw an advertisement for this game, I was a little shocked. Not only did the advertisement have my name, it was spelled the same way I spelled my name; and it said the girl was an Amazon princess. I love Amazons, and if I could choose to live the life of an Amazon, I would. The moment I realized I wouldn't be playing as Loren, I must admit, I was a little sad. I, however, plan to give this game a try. I hope it lives up to my expectations.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
sonicscrewdriver Author Profile Page March 13, 2014 12:45 PM

To Celso Riva:

Thanks for the reply to my feedback.

- Yes, I had a problem with DivX. Torture is a good description of how slow the battles were. I ended up leaving the game unfinished until I upgraded my computer. That's probably why I found it so unbearably long. I re-played it with the new laptop and it was a lot speedier experience.

- Only now I have a trouble with the text automatically skipping before I've read it. I think my new laptop has sticky keys and I can't get it to stop even though I've turned it off. A facility to see past text would be fantastic.

- I did buy an expansion (the vampire castle one, on a sale) and what I've played so far was good.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

^ Scroll Up | Homepage >

Leave a comment [top of page]

    Please consider creating a Casual Gameplay account if you're a regular visitor here, as it will allow us to create an even better experience for you. Sign-up here!
  • PLEASE UNDERSTAND SITE POLICIES BEFORE POSTING COMMENTS
  • You may use limited HTML tags for style:
    (a href, b, br/, strong, em, ul, ol, li, code, spoiler)
    HTML tags begin with a less-than sign: < and end with a greater-than sign: >. Always. No exceptions.
  • To post spoilers, please use spoiler tags: <spoiler> example </spoiler>
    If you need help understanding spoiler tags, read the spoiler help.
  • Please Preview your comment before posting, especially when using spoilers!
  • No link dropping, no domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! (rel="nofollow" in use)
914 Views
1 Comment
Crossy Road> Dora Endless arcade action meets classic Frogger style gameplay in this free iOS game where you control a series of hapless unlockable creatures trying to cross some very busy and very deadly roads and rapids. With a sense of humor and vibrant voxel graphics, it's both charming and hard to put down.  ...
Find the Escape-Men Part 126: The Special Property> Dora The apartment in this escape game's rent is suspiciously low, and there's a weird smell here too... so it's probably not a good sign your realtor has locked you inside! Experience a whole lot of weirdness (and a jump scare or two) in this very silly game from no1game.  ...
331 Views
1 Comment
Natural Selection 2> Johnny123 Your cute little spider-ball is hungry. Use the mouse to shoot strands of webbing to pull him around each level, catching and ensaring flies and avoiding the angry bees that chase you through each level.  ...
6,632 Views
1 Comment
This War of Mine> Dora In this compelling and grim indie simulation, you control a group of survivors struggling to get by day to day in an increasingly dangerous city that's turned into a war zone. As the days pass, you're forced to push the limits of what you're comfortable with in order to survive, and rather than glorifying war for heroics, This War of Mine humanizes it for its people.  ...

Recent Comments

 

Display 5 more comments
Limit to the last 5 comments

Casual game of the week

Surface: Game of Gods

Your Favorite Games edit

add
Save links to your favorite games here. Use the Favorites editor.

Monthly Archives

Legal notice

All games mentioned or hosted and images appearing on JayIsGames are Copyright their respective owner(s).

All other content is Copyright ©2003-2014 JayIsGames.com. All Rights Reserved.


Visit our great partner: maxcdn!