Ceress and Orea Review
Ceress and Orea is a brief little RPG Maker adventure game centering around a pair of lovers, naturally named Ceress and Orea. With Ceress being a hired hand who, after developing something of a crush on orea became enlisted as her bodyguard, allowing the seeds of romance to gradually grow between the two. However, with this being a typical medieval fantasy setting wherein religious institutions are major authority figures, and Orea being a holy woman herself, things do not bode well when others learn of their romance. With the local priest deciding the most civilized means of disposing Ceress being to throw her down a bottomless pit.
Fortunately, the several hundred foot drop onto stone does not kill Ceress, and instead she is granted a second chance by a deity of this world, if she can make her way through this cavern. What entails is a very straightforward title with a good balance of flashback-based character-centric storytelling and lethargic puzzle solving comparable to that seen in the GBA and DS-era Pokemon titles. All of which is led by a story without much in the way of twists, mythology, or, well, much of anything else before the game concludes after 45 to 60 minutes.
Being so short and, well, plain, there is not a whole lot to say about Ceress and Orea beyond that description. It is a story that knows what it wants to do, does it, and is successful in that regard. The puzzles are fairly simple, but also very intuitive. And there is the fact that, despite the relationship between the two characters is a lesbionic one, the story never highlights or really acknowledges it. With the issue centering more around Orea being a holy woman who is not allowed to take a partner, regardless of their gender, which is a detail that I do appreciate it, after seeing so many stories fixate on the taboo of homosexuality.
Beyond that, the game has a nice presentation, carrying enough familiarly stylized assets to be identified as an RPG Maker title, while still having enough artistry and vision to create a visually appealing cavernous landscape that does occasionally have interesting design concepts. Such as when elements of a townscape are interjected into the caverns. All of which is led by a soothing atmospheric score that combined with the straightforward design and pleasant environments, does make for a pleasant experience. Although, I cannot say that I am too fond of the way human sprites are depicted, which aims to be more detailed and realistic than a lot of classic sprite based RPGs, but it comes off as a low point in an otherwise quality presentation.
Without much more to say, Ceress and Orea is a very quaint little RPG Maker adventure that really does not try to do much, but just about everything it does, it does quite well. It is ultimately good for what it is, but being a fairy unambitious hour long adventure game, it really isn’t much. With so many games on the market, there is an expressed need for products with greater core competencies, and I really can’t say that any stood out to me during my time with this title.