Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement...
As you may or may not know, I am a brony... I will let that obvious shock sink in considering the mascot of the Basement is a Cybernetic Pegasus inspired by Vinyl Scratch / DJ-Pon ...
Anyway, last week I came across My Little Pony RPG: The Elements Of Harmony, a fan game created using RPG Maker XV by NurseDashie (The game is avaliable for free over at http://gamejolt.com/games/my-little-pony-rpg-the-elements-of-harmony/104325 )
Needless to say when I saw it, I was intrigued and wanted to check it out, and it is your basic RPG, in particular a parody of Final Fantasy I, which I think was a dead give away considering the AWESOME Final Fantasy styled logo which, if I read the screen right, was made by sailormuffin (http://sailormuffin.deviantart.com),
The controls is pretty basic, you have the option of using a keyboard, or a game pad, and if you played an RPG before, it's basically the same controls. On the keyboard, direction keys to move, and use of the left-shift, Z and X keys, but since I play using a gamepad, in particular Logitech F310 Gamepad, the controls were like this: left analog stick to move, X to interact/confirm, B to bring up the menu screens / cancel, and A to sprint / use scroll options.
Game play is typical RPG format, though with a big change, in stead of going through the course of game getting party members, you get the Mane 6 (Twilight, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Fluttershy) right off the bat... well after doing a few mini quests. Don't worry they aren't anything difficult, just kind of typical to help those unfamiliar with My Little Pony get familiar with their personalities straight away. Each pony has their own strengths and weaknesses, for example Rarity is your healer, and loses HP easily in combat, Fluttershy gives enemies the bird... by calling in birds to help attack, while Applejack, thanks to serious apple bucking, can back a whallop to the enemies.
Speaking of the combat system, it is your standard turn base style, you select the commands for your party to attack, defend, use items, etc.... and let me say it's quite awesome to see Fluttershy laying in incredibly high critical hits.
Graphic wise: the MLP sprites look awesome, and the game looks like it would be perfect in that late NES / SNES era of games... the enemies, eh, are basic in design but fit the game nicely... though it's odd to see the Mane 6 battle humanoid skeletons. There are some nice screen effects for attacks.
In regards to the music, there are some great 8-bit renditions of songs from the show itself (At the Gala, Cupcakes), and the sound effects are totally serviceable.
The writing of the in-game dialog is easy a strong point, as when you read it, it perfectly matches the characters speaking patterns from the show (and exposes my horrible voice when reading it out loud... because with how I talk 'Apple Bucking' sounds like something else entirely lol)
Like with most RPGs, grinding and leveling up is the key to try and stay ahead of or at the same level as your enemies... but in this game, that's quite useful, as you can get some weapons, armor, magic and supplies just by walking around outside of town thanks to the enemies dropping the bits games currency. By the time you level up the ponies to level 5 you could easily have them outfitted with the best possible gear you can get in Ponyville, which makes facing the first major boss, the great and powerful Trixie pretty easy... and thanks to being able to save anywhere at any time outside of combat, if you lose you can easily realize what went wrong and change your approach.
The only real negatives of the game are basically the ones I often associate with RPGs in general, particularly some of the early Final Fantasy games in that you sometimes don't get an idea of where the hell you should go. Granted in the game play video I knew where to go to deal with Trixie, but the first time through I was just wandering around aimlessly, knowing that the Ponyville Jewel was stolen, but really had no clue where to go because there were in-game hints.
Still the positives out way the negatives by a wide margin here, and I know that NurseDashie is working on a sequel to this game.
But if you want to check it out for yourself, as I stated earlier you can get the game at http://gamejolt.com/games/my-little-pony-rpg-the-elements-of-harmony/104325