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Posted on 11/27/03 @ 12:00 AM (updated 12/01/08
(Sorry if this is the second time I've submitted this, but I had to change my e-mail address and register again on the AOK Forum, so I wanted to make sure)
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Changes to this long put-off Vlad The Impaler v2.0 include:
- pro-and epilogues complete with music
- new scenes and additions to the various scenarios
- completely rewritten story dialogue on the scen. instruction screen (don't worry, I didn't ruin it. I know the story was the best thing about the original)
- TOTALLY overhauled sixth scenario.
Have fun and experience the nightmare all over again!!
To increase the experience, you may want to download my Impaled Bodies Mod Pack that turns the Gaia Heads into Impaled Bodies!
|Author||Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Great scenario! I think this is up there with The Quest and the Sabato series! The only thing i can think of to make it better is to make some levels more open, with less forest pathes. Keep on designing, if I see any more of your work, I'll download it immediatly.
"Vlad the Impaler: Reborn" is a very nice historical depiction of the life of Vlad Dracula, the king of vampires.
PLAYABILITY: The author gives the player and opportunity to struggle through some of the actions taken by the real man behind the legend of Dracula. The campaign is quite long, and it encompasses the entire life of Vlad, the hero of the story and an heir to the throne of Wallachia, which draws him into several wars.
There where some very nice points: the prologue for example sets the campaign up very well, having a great impact on the player (but since the entire music piece did not play out, the author could have cut it with a sound-editing program; that way the player is not forced to download large files). The author has shown some other creative signs too, expecially towards the end of the campaign.
But overall it seems the campaign lacks total professionalism (although I must add that it was well playtested), with language, battles, and the map especially.
SUGGESTIONS: Sharpen map design, improve difficulty, give the player more freedom around the map - add more side quests, and less forced paths. Also make a better use of AI, do not just use Standard AI. Your work gets better in the last scenarios, but strive to improve them all (first one especially).
I noticed no outright bugs, but you have always used "Vlad in area" for your triggers, while the player would probably like to scout ahead with other units most of the time. Also in scenario "Battle of the Brothers" you assume that the player has 500 gold when he converses with Bathory, while the player could have skipped the villages and has no money on him.
BALANCE: It was too easy overall. I was never stuck and quick movements brought victory about fast. I had more upgrades than the enemy, and my towns were larger, also I was fed by reinforcements along the road sometimes.
In the middle and the end of the campaign I was sometimes faced with good challenges, but it never seemed hard enough. 3+
SUGGESTIONS: Give the player less reinforcements and dump the town completely in some scenarios. In the 3rd mission I was able to defeat all my opponents without creating extra units. The player wants to be faced with a challenge.
CREATIVITY: Some aspects, such as the music, added a lot to the score. The prologue and the epilogue seemed very strong ((only the epilogue was too short and you should have showed him staking someone)). The cutscenes were very nice as well. More aspects are wanted though, this is not enough. 5- nonetheless.
MAP DESIGN: The overall map was usually consistent of forced paths through a forested area, not very interesting. Cities and some eye-candy have brought it up a little though. 4-
SUGGESTIONS: You must put more creativity into the maps. More eyecandy, more realism, more choices of the correct path for the player.
STORY / INSTRUCTIONS: The story was gathered together well (great bitmap image!), but the presentation lacked something. Sometimes it was overwhelming and a bit unorganized, confusing the player. You should also tell the player what happened after it happens in the game to add suspense.
The language needs improvement sometimes. 5-
I keep getting a bug. When the scout comes to inform you that the Sultan is coming, the whole game switches off. This doesn't happen on any other game I have. Also when you meet Stephen Bathory, his cannons block you from getting out. I had to switch to neutral to fight my way out of there, but that shouldn't happen. Other than that it was fun up till where the bug is.
Cool campaign, but I detected some serious bugs, you can improve it a little if you download the modpack ''impaled bodies'' horror show ! would you like to be buried or impaled ?!
Update, the submission includes prologue and epilogue music now, which were in separate downloads.
I think you have done very good job in this scenario and I hope to do many other campaigns like this!
[Edited on 02/27/11 @ 04:20 PM]
"Vlad the Impaler reborn" is a historical campaign depicting the life and deeds of Vlad the Impaler, better known as Dracula. Before starting my review, I should make some things clear. First of all, it seems that the general consensus of our community is to rate older blacksmith submissions less harshly than the new ones. Even though on e personal note I don't agree with this, because I think rating's main purpose should be to provide potential downloaders with objective info about the games, I will try to be less harsh in this case, since the game I'm currently reviewing is almost 10 years old.
The game has very little going for it as far as playability is concerned. The campaign is made of 7 scenarios, out of which 2 are non-playable cutscenes, which are very short. The other 5 scenarios are mostly fixed-force/b&d. The thing that affects playability the most, in a negative way, is the way the maps are designed...the only things you see in-game are long winding roads through the forest, through which you are faced with no opposition, or any kind of side-quests to make things more interesting. YOu get bored to death travelling from one objective to the other in the fixed force parts of the game. The b&d is not necessarily bad, except that the way the map is designed is not really fit for this kind of game, because the huge patches of forest that cover 80% of just about all the maps basically force the computer players, which usually start with small bases, to extend their buildings along the small forest roads, which looks very weird and doesn't make for good gameplay either.
As said in previous review, the game is very easy. There is barely any challenge most of the time,except for the b&d parts, and it is not difficulty-level dynamic.
I have not seen anything particularly creative during this campaign, but since it is almost 10 years old, people might have felt differently about it then, so I will not downgrade it further.
MAP DESIGN: 2-
I feel that the map design is the main flaw of this campaign, and improving it could improve basically all the other scores. There is no terrain mixing, the map is comprised mostly of huge patches of pine tree forest, with dirt2 or road terrain used for paths, and some patches of leaves terrain. The "cities" are not pleasant to look at, being mostly patches of grass/road with few buildings here and there. If the scenario were a new release to the blacksmith, I would probably be inclined to give it a 1.
This is the strong point of the campaign. Firstly, the story of Vlad the Impaler is a very good topic choice for a campaign, and the designer certainly researched before starting his work. And this shows.Next, the instructions are clear and spot-on most of the time, and there are no language or grammar problems. Most of the time,the campaign gave me the feeling that the author enjoys telling a story, and it makes me a little sad that the rest of the campaign doesn't quite live up to the expectations that the storytelling gave me.
IN CLOSING: Despite the 4.2 rating that convinced me to download this, I cannot say that this is a campaign deserving of an over 4 rating. The general intention and the outline of the story are good, but sadly it doesn't go beyond that and the poor map design really ruins the experience. I don't recommend this download.