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I really enjoyed the game and was hoping I could leave a review somewhere. Can't seem to find a better place to leave one, so I'll put it here (warning: I tend to leave lengthy reviews).

I must admit, the trailer really drew me in. It was pretty obvious that pictures alone wouldn't do the game justice, so I had to check out the video. Didn't take long for me to already feel endeared to characters I hadn't even met yet. So to whoever made the trailer: oh yeah, gg!

I really wanna start on a high note. The highest. And that is, without a doubt, the expressiveness. The way Halen speaks feels natural and realistic. Her audible panic after picking up Sharp? Very accurate! Just about how panicked I'd be in the situation. And in later cutscenes (I'll hold spoilers for anyone who hasn't played yet), the emotions are clearly presented. Confusion, sympathy, sass... Predictable, but in a good way. A natural way. It's not just the voices, either. Some of the animations feel pretty real.

On to the voice acting. It does tie in closely with the last point, yes, but there's more to it (also, I wanted to keep the previous paragraph from getting too big). I like how there was no restraint. Some try to avoid overlapping voices to avoid confusion, but it works well in that cutscene! It helped convey the panic. Quality-wise, it's cleaner than other games I've played. That said, in the opening cutscene, the engine drowned out the name of the planet as it was said. A bit of work on balancing, perhaps?

One of the tags is 'funny', and I agree with that. Humor everywhere! Even during the boss fight. It's also nicely-paced humor, never lingering too long on a single punchline.  The humor didn't take over the heartfelt scenes, and that's good. It's possible to inject jokes into sad scenes, but it's difficult to pull off. The way Halen and Sharp are presented (jokes and all) really helped me feel that endearment I mentioned before. Not a lot of visual humor, but I'll come back to that.

The enemies were designed clearly. It was easy to tell them apart, even from a distance. The colors, the shapes... It did bother me that the enemies could fire at me from across the map. Perhaps limit the projectile range? The boss was aggravatingly tough, and I died a few times. With no way to use the sword to attack the boss (and the boss's extreme ability to dodge my shots), I was at a loss. At least progression isn't reset when killed. I'd've never beaten the boss without that handicap.

We've reached the part I don't want to write: the criticisms. I want to keep saying more good things about the game, but there's some glaring issues. To start with, the visuals needed a bit of polish. I understand that some games go for a 'stylized' look, but... Well, this one missed the mark. Cell shading isn't bad, nor is poly.  Better lighting would've improved things. In the cutscene where Halen first enters the temple, everything is pretty dark. Afterward, the game was well-lit. Try to be more consistent. Final point here: lighting is a powerful tool, and it can be used to convey concepts to the player (yes, even shadows can be useful).

As for the animations, I know I said earlier that some of them felt pretty real. But the timing... Many of the animations in cutscenes seemed out-of-sync to the dialogue. Lagged behind. It took away some strength from the dialogue. Had the timing been a bit better, the visual humor present would've been stronger. Halen seemed to clip into the ground in some cutscenes, too. I'm guessing Mo Cap was used. Mo Cap is nice, but smoothing it out helps. In the end cutscene, Halen was super jittery (I'll record a clip if I can).  Overall animations were a bit awkward, too. They didn't transition smoothly. The melee animation had no weight behind it and felt weak, even though I could tell it did ample damage to the enemies. I am glad the jumping and dashing were responsive, though. Being able to move so far and so fast felt incredible. That sense of power would benefit other aspects of the game.

My final gripe: the camerawork. In cutscenes, it was too still. In the sword-drawing cutscene, there's lots of emotion that isn't reflected with the camera. The static shot felt disconnected from Halen. Even a simple, loose pan shot to follow Halen after the initial shock would've helped the scene. For comedic effect, a static camera is useful (like when she's checking for security measures), but when the emotion kicks in, shake things up a bit. Outside of cutscenes, the camera occasionally clipped through the wall/floor, and I couldn't see where I was going (not good when your character moves as quickly as this one).

With all that said (I know it was a lot, sorry), I really enjoyed the game. My complaints are surface-deep and could be worked out; they didn't detract from the game much in the long run. I'm already in love with the characters and intrigued by the universe, and I can't wait to see them again (I see in a reply that this game's universe is slated for a comeback). Looking forward to future adventures with Halen and Sharp. Cheers!

~HSL

(+1)

Hello,

Thank you for the review! Glad you enjoyed the game! 

For the issues you mentioned and encountered, I would like to say that we are aware of them and have learned many things since the release of this game. As this was our university final project, we learned a great deal and tried new things. That being said, we very much appreciate the feedback. 

We really love these characters and universe we created and are glad that others do too!

Thank you for playing,

SkyPyre Studios