Viola: The Heroine’s Melody – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG, Indie
Developer: Jelle Van Doorne
Publisher: Jelle Van Doorne
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Viola: The Heroine’s Melody – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Pretty hand-drawn artstyle, fun mechanics
Bad: Some bugs present
User Score
9.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)

The RPG genre has always been a popular one, with many great games such as Undertale or Final Fantasy in its ranks. Viola is the newest addition to the roster: a love letter to the aforementioned series featuring a magical world full of music where a young girl will have to find her way back home. Back a few months we did a preview of the Early Access version of the game thanks to a copy provided by the developer Jelle Van Doorne. Now the game has been fully released and we’re ready to dive in once again.

Story

In Viola: The Heroine’s Melody, you follow the main character Viola who got sucked up into a portal and thrown into another world called Vylna. Almost immediately she stands eye to eye with a slime, but luckily, she gets saved by the dogman Fenrys. Viola is now stuck in Vylna and needs to find a way home. Her savior offers to help her which she reluctantly accepts. Fenrys takes her to the magician Niko, in the hope that he could help but when it turns out he can’t help either, they go seek the help of some other famous magicians.

As Viola continues her adventure, she will meet more interesting characters and make new friends. As she chats with each of her party members, she finds out more about their story and what drives them. There are even some personal quests she can unlock to get an even better bond with them.  At first, the story seems a bit mediocre but as you progress in the story and get to know all the characters more, the more you will experience emotional moments and get enthralled by the story.

Graphics

Viola’s graphics are very adorable and have a hand-drawn style to them with a palette of vibrant colors that is pleasing to the eyes. The different environments in the game have also had lots of thought put into them, with backgrounds having similar elements to them, violins being one of the most common elements thanks to their relation to the main character. The sprite work for the different characters is also high quality and filled to the brim with detail, this being true even for the several portraits for each character.

Sound

As one would expect, the game’s music is also quite good, in tune with the other categories. It is comprised of several different songs, each fitting with the environments that you are currently in. Similarly, to this, the sound effects are, as expected, well made, being quite relevant in things such as minigames during combat or just while exploring. The combat track does always stay the same, no matter how far you progress. This, however, isn’t too bothersome since the battles are only little segments.

There are also a couple of songs that Viola will learn along the way, and once you learn them, they can be accessed in the songbook to play whenever you want. Each time you play one of these songs, all your companions appear playing the song along with you on their instruments. Of course, each song has some mechanics linked to them, such as a song to travel to different levels and a song to light the campfire.

Gameplay

Viola: The Heroine’s Melody is an indie action, adventure, RPG where you take on the role of a violinist named Viola. She gets trapped in a monster-filled world named Vylna as mentioned above. Luckily her violin can transform into a bow so she can defend herself. Viola (the game) is very similar to other RPGs where you’ll run around until you encounter a monster which will then transport you to the battle screen. In battle, each character can attack, defend, use a spell, and use a potion.

Unlike other RPGs, you don’t just attack by pressing a button; no, in Viola you will have to press a combination of buttons similar to a rhythm game. The regular attacks only require you to press two buttons, but those buttons are randomized. When you use a spell, you’ll have to use a set combination of buttons and you’ll even have to mash or hold buttons down. Some spells are harder than others and require more difficult combinations. There are two kinds of spells that each character can cast, one kind that requires AP; Ability Points, and the other kind that requires CP; Crescendos Points. CP spells are more powerful, but you only get Crescendos Points when you are in danger, so they are harder to collect.

In Viola, spells also have an element and these elements are stronger against some enemies or weaker against others. You don’t know beforehand which element is effective against an enemy, but you’ll find out once you use a spell and the enemy resists it. Some spells you can use on all enemies or party members while others have just one target. One thing you’ll also notice is that some party members are obvious magic users that are weak with regular attacks. These members often have a higher amount of AP you can use for spells.

There are potions that you can use in and out of combat such as healing potions, mana potions, revive potions, and status potions. These potions can be found in chests around levels and are also available to buy from the shop. It will take a while before you unlock the shop but luckily there are plenty of potions to find in chests.

In the preview, we had mentioned a few bugs such as portraits staying when other characters were talking and the wrong monsters appearing. It seems that these bugs have been mostly fixed, however, Viola isn’t completely bug-free yet. There are springs that allow you to jump up, and if you end up hitting these springs on the wrong angle it’s possible to get stuck in them. There was also one occasion that we got shot from a cannon and got glitched into the wall.

Conclusion

Viola: The Heroine’s Melody is a great indie game where you’ll get more and more invested in the characters you meet along the way. The game has original mechanics that change up the way you play. There are still some bugs present but none that would make the game unplayable. Viola could be enjoyed by all kind of players; those who enjoy a nice story but also those that enjoy RPGs in general. The game is certainly worth its price as it’s longer than the average indie game and really fun as well.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Viola: The Heroine's Melody - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Theotakutem


The one and only slowqueen! -student multimedia-

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