OFF review


alright so lets get everyone up to speed on what OFF actually is for all the bros and grandmas in the audience thatre in the dark or just dont care about rpgs. OFF is a game by this french dude named mortis ghost, which is unironically the most badass name ive ever heard in my life, and music composed by alias conrad coldwood. a considerably less cool name, but still a cool ass name. it was made in rpg maker 2003 and released on may 14 2008. shits been sitting in my backlog for the past several years and yeah, i guess you could say it was pretty good. basically you play as this stoic douche named the batter. hes the shit and doesnt care about anything besides beating the fuck out of spectral invaders with a baseball bat and yeah thats actually pretty much it actually. the whole time these timid worker dudes thatre literally everywhere are constantly telling you to not go here or not do that and the batter kinda just says something along the lines of "no." its this black and white bastards sacred mission to "purify" whats left of the world and he really doesnt let anyone or anything get in the way of that, including you, the one playing the game, which reminds me that this game gets kinda meta sometimes. i think all the main characters at some point acknowledge the fact that youre a guy who actually exists and that youre the one guiding the batter around on his quest. sometimes characters like the judge straight up talk to you and tell you the business whenever he finds it necessary. other times zacharie will be all "oh yeah this is a video game. hee hee." not really ground-breakingly meta and genius or anything but its a pretty cool way to tell the story when it kinda dawns on you that you and the batter are quite literally fucking shit up together. imagine the ending of earthbound but more narratively relevant or whatever. funnily enough mortis never actually played earthbound before making OFF. im not really here to talk at length about the crude trash that ive been cooking up on and off in rpg maker for the past 2 years but while playing i noticed that a load of concepts in OFF were hella similar to a load of concepts ive already worked into my project to a point where it was a little jarring. obviously theyre presented differently but it was pretty cool to see, all things considered. its a pretty short and linear game for the most part, which isnt a bad thing at all. linearity = bad is probably one of the most rancid gamer takes thats ever existed when it comes to gamer takes actually relating to video games. that being said, a lot of gear towards the end of the game is super missable so i need to recommend that you revisit the zones again once youre all done with enoch. heres the basic gist though. you go from zone to zone solving puzzles, talking to people, getting some badass lore dumps about the work everyones slaving away at, purifying shit like its water, and trashing the big bad boss guardian of each zone at the end. between the zones you get some seemingly unrelated cutscenes of another thing with this goofy looking kid going on that kind of vaguely piece together a story, but honestly even by the end its still pretty vague and a lot is still left up to interpretation. cool as fuck if you ask me. as much as i want to get into detail about purification and everything that goes on in the last act of the game, this shitass review is already getting too long and its best to just go in blind, shocker. in terms of difficulty it really wasnt too bad, its rpg maker 2003. rpg maker 2003 has this kind of wackyass ff7ish timing-based battle system that nobody really knows how to make feel natural or make fun but it works well enough. for basically every fight including a few bosses, i was actually able to beat almost everything using the auto-fight function with health to spare. it doesnt really help that the save points littered around each zone revive your entire party and also completely fill your health and competence points. didnt find myself using items in battles much either. by far the hardest time i had was when i was revisiting an zone near the end and these assholes that poisoned me and put me to sleep were fucking everywhere, but even then i was able to bail from them almost every single time. the difficulty in general didnt really bother me but that junk is probably worth mentioning. oh yeah. i forgot to also mention that the batters only friends are floating circles. i dont know how i got this far in the review without mentioning the art. christ this motherfucker can draw. mortis ghosts art is so fucking good. besides for most of the assets in the blocky and colorful overworld, all the battlesprites and character portraits were ripped straight from ghosts sketchbook and shrunk down with nearest neighbor to fit rpg maker 2003s iconic 320x240 canvas. it makes for a ridiculously distinct style. you can find a bunch of the uncompressed assets online with minimal effort and compare them to how they look in game, its neat as hell. my favorite example of this is probably the batters battle sprite, which is a full body render of him shrunk down to a borderline comical extent. later on you go from enemies that are cool and fucked up to enemies that just look straight up wrong. really hard to describe them in detail but its some freaky deaky shit. this dude just doesnt miss the weird thing is that if you look at the concept art youll see that these weirdos are actually supposed to be wearing luchador masks, but when theyre shrunk down like this they just look viscerally fucked up. its sick the music in off doesnt miss either, coldwood did a damn good job here. a lot of the overworld music is so chill and ambient until bam. youre hit with fuckin peppersteak. what a sweet track. really gets you in the mood to fuck some specters up. its totally the song this game is known for, but later on youll also find yourself fighting to whats pretty much the screams of the damned, and the atmosphere is like. woah . theres a whole handful of great tracks to just vibe with, and it compliments the punchy ass sound design which hits so hard so well. avatar beat is probably one of my favorite boss themes in any game ive ever played, its fantastic and im not being hyperbolic when i say that shit rocks you to your core. like. hell yeah. OFF is short, sweet, and free. youre doing yourself a disservice by not playing through the entire thing. OFF gets 4.5 out of 5 sludges. luke out.