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Failsauce GameWorks

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A member registered Feb 26, 2018 · View creator page →

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Thank you for the comprehensive review.  I do believe you hit the nail on the head, as combat (and polish, really) was where the clock had finally got ahead of my making capacity.  Work is definitely continuing in the background, a good portion of which is towards the weaknesses you've found. Again, thank you for listing out things the way you did.


(PS: the combat area is getting some serious attention, starting with battle cut-ins, to break up the monotony of it.)

A Review of Dark Slayers by Rose Guardian

 By your friendly neighborhood Secret Santa!

This is another IGMC 2018 entry that looks like it’ll be pretty decent from the onset, and the initial impression given is about on-point. While there may be some things that could be improved upon, the base of this game isn’t bad at all. This title has the hallmarks of a game that could grow into something special, custom imagery, a reasonable story, and workable progression/combat. There are a few flaws, of course, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from trying this title out. All said, a game at it’s core is supposed to entertain the player, and this title does just that.

 

What struck me first was the characters that are obviously hand drawn. Little did I know that the custom artwork wasn’t going to stop at that. No, no, no, the maker included custom images to help drive the story by using custom images to tell the story through imagery. Due to RPGMaker games being so text driven, it was a breath of fresh air to see a little emotion carry through from images. The text boxes, the battlers, and even the side-view battlers are all given a sprinkling of the custom artwork too. In every game, there is usually a little of the maker’s soul; here, it’s in the artwork. I truly enjoyed this part.

 

The story is fairly well told; though it does have a smattering of grammatical errors and a couple of logic jumps. Still, for a game that on the surface is reminiscent of the Devil Hunter series, it’s done well with the short time allowed for the story to play out. What I liked most about the story is it doesn’t feel like an epic; rather, it feels like a novella, or maybe a pilot episode for a television series. This is far from a bad thing, as it allows the player to enjoy the story for what it is. This is not to say that there aren’t any issues. The issues, however, are not big enough to overshadow the story itself. P.S.: I also really liked that some side-quests were included.

 

The combat is well done, and time was spent to get the balance to work. Now, it’s not perfect, as I never felt that I was having to overcome a massive obstacle when fighting. For those not used to turn based combat, the difficulty would likely feel a bit more aggressive. The combat was made especially fun when a boss was the hand-drawn battler. I cannot emphasize that enough, I loved those.

 

In closing, the game was enjoyable. I can nitpick away at the mapping (too much negative space, particularly with interior zones), grammar (commas are “frenemies”), and the like. Those improvements will come with time, and I hope the maker does spend the time to make adjustments. I really feel this entry has potential to be really fun for quite a few people-myself included. Bravo Rose Guardian, bravo.

Thank you so much for doing a video review. The game is incomplete, as mentioned, uh somewhere?, I come down with a nasty flu in the middle of it.  It was close to a give up due to the illness.  I have many bugs to fix, and some more player notifications to add. (example: if you see footprints on the ground then there are random encounters, if player is solo there are on-map enemies instead.)

I will look and see if there is anything I can do about stability.  If I had to guess it's a memory issue, and I'll just see what I can do (there is optimization already used, so maybe there is something that I can do from that angle to address that).


Anyway, thank you for the review, and I will continue to work on the title.

The Last Journey

 

How do I begin with this entry? I know, I’ll start with the conclusion. This short title is better than some triple ‘A’ releases that I’ve played. While it is missing some polish, The Last Journey, has an ample amount of refinement for the short amount of time given. From the graphical details, a well paced story, and balanced combat “The Last Journey” delivers.

 

As someone who is in the RPGMaker community, I knew immediately who PVGames was. Personally, I would have dreaded to be in their shoes, since there is a certain amount of expectation when you’re a known quantity. I’m pleased to say, that this entry does not disappoint. There is detail on every map, use of diagonal movement, and a few animations in the background (running water, etc). Graphically, this game stands tall among indie games.

 

The yarn told is well paced, with enough action in between to keep interest in the game itself. Some of the transitions between scenes takes a little too much time, but that is due to the attention given to the graphical elements. ( Much like the in-game characters state about their situation, transitions are between a rock and a hard-place. ) This is not to say that there is zero narrative issues, just that, overall, the prose given is greater than the sum of it’s parts. That, my friends, is about as much of a compliment as anyone writing anything can ever get. I’m not saying PVGames should get the fantasy version of a HUGO, but the writing is solid.

 

The combat is what I was dreading about The Last Journey, as this art style just doesn’t “click” with turn based battles. This art style is more in line with point and click, or maybe action. However, PVGames made it work. With the clever use of buffs and debuffs as a core mechanic, the combat is interesting. Then there is itemization, an integral part to combat, which has the groundwork set into place. This is where I was really the most pleasantly surprised. I really was not expecting turn based combat with this art style to come across so cleanly. Well done.

 

The graphics are great, the story is well paced, and the combat works. One would think there is nothing to complain about. That would be a fair assessment too. The only issue, I’ve found in the game is that there is also nothing that jumps out and grabs the player and pulls them in from the start. That could easily be added as a final bit of polish after the fact. In a song, it’s called a “hook,” and that is the only thing this game is missing. The music is fitting, the sound effects are well done, the graphics are spectacular, the mechanics are there, and the story is good and well paced. I’ve not run into any bugs either. Seriously, even without a “hook,” The Last Journey is a title that is setting the bar for this years IGMC. It’s good enough that I feel comfortable stating what I did at the start, I’ve played lesser games from AAA titles.

 

In the words of Stan Lee, ‘nuff said.

Thank you!!

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Another day, and another review for the IGMC GameJam, and I have the chance to post a review of l8rose’s title “River Lord,” a game set in a classic fantasy setting.  Overall, “River Lord” is rough around the edges, but manages to fit some promise into the demo/prototype.  So what is there to say about “River Lord?”

Immediately, the art does jump out, since all of the busts are custom made. This really helps to project the maker’s effort, and not all makers can make their own art. With that, kudos to the maker from the start. The mapping was acceptable, with a few things that could have been done a little better; however, those were offset by other aspects of the map. For example, a little too much map-edge is used, but the clever use of stairs was really nice. (Oh, and I see you custom drawn battler image!)

The story is a little bit of a slow starter. With some patience by the player, it does pick up as playing through. Some folks might be put off by the slow start, but I rather like a slow start with the story when the game allows me to just start playing it. Your mileage may vary, but a slow starting story indicates to me that there might be more story to uncover later. The story is well served by the custom images mentioned earlier. It may start out with a few threads, but I look forward to seeing the story weave itself together.

In the game-play department, there are a few more hiccups. Somewhere this game has a process running in the background that causes an occasional “hiccup” when maneuvering around the maps. By hiccup, I mean the movement freezes, and the the sprite catches up to where the player should be. Considering that I’m running a system that handles most modern games at 60 fps, this shouldn’t happen. If the player re-enters the area at the back of the initial caves, after the scene, the event will re-execute (and hang). I didn’t go looking for this, I wandered in while looking for a particular NPC. This is only game ending if you forget to save, so it is not a deal breaker by any means. With some of the fog effects there are visible seams as well. However, even with these minor issues, this was a fun little romp.

As I mentioned in my other review, I don’t do numerical or “star” ratings when I review. Those cute little stars are for “feedback ratings.” So, in conclusion, this is a game prototype that has a few issues, but is otherwise worth looking at if you don’t mind a slow start (and remembering to save).

A bonus section for l8rose:
I saw you mention something about the file-size and how you had an issue. Over on the forums at RPGMakerWeb, someone put up a tool called “MV StripperWin” that I swear by. It is much better at preserving the actual used materials in a game build. I have limited bandwidth (up), so that tool saves me a lot of upload time. (It’s not perfect, as some files will still have to be located by hand -- but it’s far better than the default option for skipping unused files.)

Also, GRATS!!!  It was awesome to see this game, and I’m glad you were able to get it submitted!

Nekomimi Mode!

I just hope anyone reading the review gets the main point, which is that your game really has that adventure game feel.  Titles of this nature are few and far between now days, stuff like the old Cinemaware game"It Came from the Desert," are just seldom seen anymore.  I truly hope you continue this project!

The Secret Santa Review of "fading remnants"!

With Hiddenone working on a game in a team with Babrelik, Futrchamp, and Plueschkatze, one would expect an exceptionally nice looking game. Between the four of them, there is years upon years of experience with RPGMaker. It shows, and does not disappoint. This short adventure game definitely has roots tied in with the adventure games produced in the late 1980’s through the mid 1990’s. While the story is all it’s own, someone who liked the SpaceQuest series or Beneath a Steel Sky will have a smile on their face while trying out this prototype. The story is delivered well, the art is fantastic, with very few hiccups in-between. This is a solid entry, and does the most important thing any game can do - it entertains.

 The story, gives the background of a traumatized Earth, where something occurred to create upheaval and a reversion to a slightly less technological state. Zombie apocalypse? Nuclear war? Celestial impact? We don’t know, but what we do know is that Lia’s sister is missing, and peaches are tasty. The story is compressed a bit to just allow the player to play the game, but not big enough to fully explain anything. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as this is a snippet of a game - and this style of game usually has a story and background that is fed to the player in increments. However, in it’s current incarnation, the player does feel that they’re missing something from the narrative.

 The artwork and mechanics are tied together at the hip, this is how things tend to work. This game is no exception to that. Each of the few maps are well drawn, colored, and balances that with clever puzzles and events. Not that there isn’t issues at all, the pipe puzzle could have used a little more work to fit the visual boundaries to the collision ones. All of the art, however, is spectacular, it all matches, and it’s easy to tell that great care was taken to fit all of the pieces together. The stylized choice of fonts, window borders, window backgrounds, etc - they all work together to build an experience that goes beyond what one would expect of an RPGMaker game.

 Before I wrap this review up, I wouldn’t be doing the makers any favors without pointing out some hiccups. None of the following is game-breaking, but I would be amiss to not provide at least some points that could use improvement. Some of the characters, particularly within the party, look too clean for the world in which they live. The colors should be toned down a bit, as I really doubt anyone has time to use fabric softener and color-safe bleach. It doesn’t look bad as is, but the really vibrant colors take away from the world-view. Next, when the protagonist, Lia, has dialogue certain cut-scenes appears “off.” The maker took great care to dim the busts of the non-speaking participants, but Lia does not have a bust. Again, not game breaking, but it takes an extra moment to process who is speaking. I’m not sure how to address this, especially considering that the language and script is very natural otherwise.  

 In conclusion, I consider myself lucky to have drawn this gem from the pool of entries. This was a fun, albeit short, game prototype that was a joy from the moment I ran the executable to the moment it was closed. The music is complimentary, especially in that is provides atmosphere without becoming a detraction. The only real problems could be best described as hiccups rather than full on bugs or design flaws. I really enjoyed this entry, and I, for one, am looking to see this title completed. Bravo!

 As a final note: I do not do numerical ratings when doing a review. If someone wants a one sentence encapsulation of my thoughts, it’s simply “download and play this game if you’ve ever enjoyed any adventure titles ever.” 

Thanks! They were fun to implement too!

Thanks for the detailed write up, I appreciate you taking the time to share you thoughts.  Both the criticism and the kudos are happily accepted as they will help me make better things going forward (and to bug fix this after the "jam" is over). I'm especially appreciative that you took the time to comment on a game that is not cut from the same chord that you would normally play. Thanks.

On another note, I know the battles aren't balanced very well, this is something that I have been struggling with.  I hope to eventually come up with a methodology that works for me, and will provide more of a challenge without hitting the frustration level for a player.  

Anyway, thank you again! I really appreciate the feedback!

Thanks Omni, I appreciate your kind words and advice. Sadly, I see a lot of shortcomings myself, but the deadline was looming :)

I salute your efforts to help those in need. Purchasing a copy right now.

 I wish your people the best of luck and as speedy of a recovery as possible.