Comic book visuals and a strong narrative with RPG real-time-pause combat are some of Witching Hour Studios‘ Masquerada: Songs and Shadows.
French comic books and games always have an interesting art style, and this game looks just as amazing in motion as it does in stills. The story is also quite interesting with a diplomat being kidnapped in a time of turmoil when the Contadani are in civil war against the Masquerada, the former living in poverty and the latter being the aristocracy who have magical powers in the form of masks.
Leading a group of people all with their individual skills and background stories is standard RPG fare, and switching between real-time battles and a pause menu in which one can plan each new step with assigning attack and defend patters isn’t new, either. However, it’s the world-building and storytelling that should be reason enough to play it if one isn’t already won over by the beautiful hand-drawn backgrounds and characters. Voice acting and music are also excellent, considering that this is an indie project.
It seems as if this is a much more linear experience than most RPGs or JRPGs with no additional quests to complete or places to visit outside the main storyline, but if the plot and character development is as compelling as the Venetian-like setting, then one should definitely give it a go.
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