Thank you. The Heart and Diamond was hard to see as being max increases as the cost made it risky to try them.
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I managed to give this game a try after finding it on my itchi.io dashboard and I've been experimenting with as much as I could. There are quite a lot of potential aspects with these sorts of puzzles such as finding pieces to create or unlock a door, or maybe having obstacles that only appear to eat at your limited time such as tentacles that make them creep up faster.
One of my major suggestions if there won't be any hud elements is a bit of a simpler tell that time is starting to tick down. The first time I saw the tentacles I was spooked by them given how sudden they appeared, but after getting used to it I realized the lack of tells can be a little difficult
I think the smoke / haze that begins to creepy up from the edges would be a much more subtle tell that could lead to it getting thicker and tentacles appearing from it. This is just a small suggestion though.
Due to flash player soon to be biting the dust, I decided to give this game a try after coming across it once again. The most experience I had back then was up to the first boss before I clicked around for other games. Going through the game again I soon found why it seemed a little difficult at first glance. I do intend to give comments of the problems I've experience with my 3 playthroughts of the game so except everything to be laid out.
- First Area
Playing through the first parts of the game were pretty fun outside of a particular enemy that taught me the importance of jumping and swinging with the whip. When you swing on the ground you're locked in place, but you can mitigate it by jumping before each swing. This is especially useful for the gator enemies as they're able to tank an attack and hit you thanks to their speed. Jumping out of the way of the attack and getting the necessary hit to kill them with the next strike is helpful.
- First Boss
Upon entering the arena for the first boss it seems quite promising with the health and armor they give you before the fight. However, the amount of HP and Armor you regain from these pickups can only really help with 2 hits if the player had trouble before entering. I am glad these items were placed where they were as even if the player respawns due to dying to the boss, the items will be there right as the battle picks up the net time. But as mentioned the lack of recovery from the items are only a slight help.
My biggest problem with the first boss is an extreme focus on aggression as being the bosses's weakness. The boss has 3 particular attacks with a fast poke that leads to a grab with no armor, an axe swing that will leave the boss vulnerable after he does it, and a breath attack that disables attacks for a few seconds. The axe swing and poke are fine for the boss to do when you get close, but the breath attack is rather annoying and is most likely a game over seeing as how easy the boss can pin lock you once he begins spamming the axe poke.. One thing I recommend doing when fighting the boss is intentionally dying to ensure a full health bar coming into the fight. Dying to the first boss isn't so bad either as sub weapons are weak against bosses outside of one case and your basic whip can do fine.
- Second Area & Platforming Trouble
The second area happens to be heavily platforming based near the beginning of it with pits that wrap around to the top screen and take a bit of health or armor away when you fall. This isn't exactly a problem until the medusa heads come into play during jumps. Should you go through the area without armor, as one would likely when dealing with the enemies, the medusa heads will cause you to move back during the pin animation which leads to taking a damage from the pin and from the pit. If you barely make it past it all, you will most likely die to one of the various enemies blocking your path to the next check point and have to try again from the start of the second area.
Most of the platforming trouble feels alleviated when playing as Bunker while female as the speed makes platforming a breeze. During my replays of the itch.io download of this game I found myself running through areas with the female form and avoiding damage. Though the platforming is still rather annoying thanks to the falling platforms which combined with the medusa head's pin can lead to lots of damage.
- Rest of the bosses & Whip Distance
Most of the bosses in the game are pretty easy so long as you have either a decently long whip, jump before each and every attack, and can avoid some of the more annoying quirks the boss might have. The only bosses I particularly dislike are the first one and the final boss. Though all the bosses outside of the first one share one issue, a lack of item drops before or during the fight. This is mostly an issue as when you die you respawn inside the boss room with all your upgrades and sub weapons gone. Since losing your upgrades means your whip deals little damage and has a small range and the fight can often times become harder.
An example I like to point to is the dragon boss which has a Molotov sub weapon before the room you fight her in. If you bring this sub weapon into the fight it can be beaten in less than a minute, but can take more without it. Considering the longer a fight goes the more difficult it is to avoid getting hit means fights should have some leeway with the basic weapon.
The final boss also makes this re spawning with no items part rather difficult. The boss fight revolves around dodging attacks, swinging your whip at a specific hitbox, and trying to defeat the boss before she defeats you. With a max upgraded whip and a sub weapon the boss is rather easy and makes the more annoying aspects like the un-telegraphed attacks manageable, but without it the boss can become a nightmare that takes many hits and requires almost flawless play. It took me close to an hour to properly fight the boss and understand her attacks. I also had instances where I made it to the second phase with half armor to spare only for the projectile and the ridiculous attacks to melt the rest.
The problem that I feel makes a number of bosses, and enemies for that matter, more difficult than necessary is the lack of range you have with the basic whip. When there are fast close range attacks that can pin you and are often spammed by the enemy or boss it can make getting close a choice in throwing yourself at the obstacle hoping to best it before you die or trying hard not to get hit and ending up getting hit in the end. This is one of the reasons why the final boss is one I have very strong opinions of and had take me only a few minutes on my 2nd and 3rd run with my 1st reaching close to an hour.
- Other Aspects & Closing Thoughs
While I have been quite critical of the gameplay in some areas, the game is pretty fun to play once you have mastery over the mechanics. I'm sure playing through the game again as Toon Pimp would be quite interesting to consider when it's possible to understand their mechanics. Though I do somewhat wish there was a reward for reaching the end such as a gallery to view the various animations as viewing them through gameplay can somewhat be rather tedious. Reaching the end leads to a continue screen with the continue option respawning you in front of the final boss as if you died which definitely felt sad my first time defeating the final boss.
After having found the itch.io listing of the game sometime after my victory with the game I decided to play the itch.io listing to see if there were any changes. I can't say for certain, but I definitely say playing the Shockwave Flash file is the better option as the optimization for the exe is a little wonky. You can find some shockwave flash players which I do encourage grabbing if at all possible, Just remember that the lowest settings are the most important ones.
If I am to play this game again I would probably play up to the second to last boss as the difficulty being based on whether or not you keep your upgrades can be a little tricky for me. It is also nice seeing some of the animations when the focus is just watching them.
Ah, I see. Just wanted to make sure as most of my time was spent letting the animations play to see if a loss would happen if I spent no time massaging them or if I simply played with the paws.
Ah, nice. Hope to see how the changes towards Eyeball-Delinquents will affect speeding through the game. I did feel some of the placements were a little rude such as some of them waiting in spots where platforming is extremely tight.
I actually did a run where I didn't collect any leaves on the first part of the game, but that flopped when I realized the game expected you to collect 24. Would've been hilarious though if something was hidden for trying to avoid all the leaves.
Considering Z, Space Bar, and Enter advance the text that's sort of what I did to ensure I got through the text fast enough to try again. I may need to see the proper timing for the last jump before you get to the tea as it seems to ruin me due to the fear of getting ping ponged into a pit. Gotta see what's in store for keeping your parts on throughout the whole thing.
I think as an obstacle in a platforming game the eyeballs are fine. Harmless enemies that still cause a problem aren't too bad so long as they don't make it impossible to move. The amount that chase you, as well as the constant bouncing, may often times lead to moments where you can't move due to how many are bouncing into you.
I've been playing this a few times and part of me intends to try a run in which I lose no clothing ( Can be very difficult since one missed jump means replaying the first half again ). I mostly use the Delete Save File feature to immediately start the game again as the lack of a New Game / Continue option select does make things tricky. Though I may see if Delete Save File affects more than just starting the game from scratch.
I think it might help in a later update to tone back on the Eyeball-Delinquents as the amount that chase after you can really be annoying to deal with in some cases. Something I learned to deal with them is that if any attempted to bump into Molly while she's on the ground, they'll be bounced back while Molly stays put. With this in mind you could potentially increase the knockback the Eyeball-Delinquents receive and force them to stop after the bounce. This would avoid being ping ponged around by 7 of them without much to do.
As I've found from playing there is a way to lose in the first two stages with an animation showing your loss, but is there any way to fail the final stage? I'm generally curious to find it for fun.
I actually found this game a few months back as I often look up gameplay of NSFW games on various video sites that allow them. Though upon seeing the price, I sort of forgot to grab, at least until an update was mentioned.
That's very nice to hear about the changes. I think the problem that had me with Employees Only XXX was that the puddle was difficult to jump over due to the low ceiling and puddle. Even in the regular versions of the stage it was difficult to work around the puddle since colliding with a wall while sliding still count as a slip. It was the stage I didn't like much in the beginning, and was the one stage that led to the game crash I found involving the timer acting up.
For the Arcade mode you could have it to where you're given misses ( Mostly so you don't have to type lives out, and can use X's for each miss given to read XXX when given your third one ). After reaching a certain point amount, one of your misses is removed or you gain a bonus for having no misses upon receiving the bonus. Too many misses, or you run out of time, and the game is over. That way, the player's focus is on finding out the best way to maximize time and score through serving correct drinks, finding paths to completion, and even getting some last minute drinks to take to the exit.
In my opinion I do think the obstacles being removed is good as the one thing that did bother me about the slip minigame ( which was why I preferred the simplified version ) was that having to take your hands off the arrow keys and enter a set of 3 directions in quick succession isn't so easy. I felt tapping a specific direction was a lot more manageable under the stress of losing all your drinks.
One idea I could share when looking at your idea of "finding an optimal path" through a stage, you could have a small window in the beginning where you get to run about the stage ( At least 5-10 seconds ) before the stage begins proper. Either that or a pan of the stage to get a small rundown of what to expect. This won't be available in the arcade mode, but for casual players it could be nice to study to stages for when things get serious.
( Sorry if I'm pretty much creating lists upon list of my personal ideas and the like. Having played a good amount of the game myself I'm quite excited to see how things go and stuff. As well as wanting to look forward to the rest of the development )
As my review and previous comments show, I really look forward to the final game and just how much things have changed from the previous build to now. More interaction with the stage, more obstacles to worry about, and a bit more flavor to give it that Night Club style is pretty nice. Seeing that stages getting a very nice polish, while being expanded upon, have been making me very excited to see whats in store for Carol.
I will be honest though and say I am curious about a few things with my main concern being how difficult will be handled. This bothers me personally as I felt it was a little concerning to reach the XXX stages and see the biggest change was the removal of recovery commands. While this does make the game more challenging, the ability to recover from a fall which was a big issue in some stages. The stage that this bothered me the most, and led to me finding a bug that had soft locked the game, was the Employees Only stage. The low ceiling and obstacles presented made it easy to slip up, lose all your drinks, lose time, and have to fight against a puddle and one of the waitresses just to make it on time.
I've read this and other stages will be remolded, but if this XXX difficulty will make a return will stages accommodate it?
I honestly look forward to seeing how Club Valentine is further developed. I already wrote a review with my thoughts on the current version and it has me pining for what is in store. Also, congrats on the milestones the game has received. It definitely deserves it.
I think the soft lock is a result of the bonus time after what happened. I made the mistake of delivering the wrong drink while I was pressed for time and was set to a bonus of -0.50 ( Hence why one of the customers is blacked out. ) When I entered the door the game had soft locked which I almost assumed was a game over state until I waited and realized it wasn’t. Though it was like 2 A.M and I needed sleep for college so I shrugged it off, but not before saving my score.
With how Shift XXX basically removes commands to recover from a fall, this made it important for me to finish things quickly. Especially as I hadn’t really found a suitable way to slip past the other waitress. This is also partially why I used simple QTEs during my playthrough. I feel inputting 3 random directions in a row before tripping is difficult compared to pressing the same set of buttons, and much easier on a keyboard.
What if I said that I played the game long enough to where it soft locked on me? I've been having tons of fun with it, and I think it was a good stopping point to go to sleep at that time. Though at least I'm getting better at the game and learning some neat tricks. So far my highest before the lock up was the Employees Only one on Shift XXX with a very good score. I started to realize by Shift XXX you can't afford to trip which definitely upped the challenge
By the way, I will officially say I look forward to seeing the new changes and stuff done for this game. It is really fun to get lost into.
So I spent about an hour playing this and personally my biggest concern at times is the jumping and usually collision. I was able to collect at least 60 out of 65 of the moths before reaching the end by accident.
One of the things I will say that could really help out when is being able to tell when you've received all the moths in an area for completion purposes. I for one was more so fighting with the jumping in order to try and collect them all, but felt there were areas that hid some.
In my opinion there is a lot of potential in store for this game in particular if it's ever fully fleshed out. That being said, if it does get to that part I do look forward to gameplay being developed a little more. Some examples being the ability to control both characters at a similar time as to not have to go back and forth, a method of knowing how many moths are in an area similar to the counter going from 30 to 65 all of a sudden, and potentially a fix towards the jumping.
I felt having played this game for almost an hour now it was worth giving my personal opinion. Good job nevertheless.