~The Pendant of Callhanih~
~The Pendant of Callhanih~
||Role Playing Strategy
|Number of scenarios:
This is a story you've never heard, told in a way you've never seen. In The Pendant of Callhanih you will be able to command Leshya D'Verne, a young man that has rescued a pendant from an ancient shrine and now has to destroy the evil that is after it. The Campaign includes: A beautifuly composed soundtrack, an excellent story, 2 playable scenarios, 3 cutscenes, and a taunt-based system. Enjoy!
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New review (cause that older was quite.... overenthustiathic).
[sorry Ray... but i can't look at that previous review]
You are placed in somewhere in Britain, as young Leshya, who found Pendant in forest. You have to find a mage, and on the way you'll meet William, who'll join you. Then, after you'll find mage, you'll hear the story.
Well, the story is good, impressive and... Ray mailed me, that he made it - so it's his own work. Playability is high. There aren't so many eyecandy's, but there are lot's of tricks, with "rain arrows", earthquakes etc. I enjoyed it... but you should add more comments and instructions to it, mainly in 4th scenario (you are walking in a forest, without some "Display Instructions" triggers). That'll made it... more funny. I haven't found there any serious game bug (eg. the game stops working at some time), the only thing, that pissed me off was that "taunt system" - when you pressed "3" and found item number "3" 5 minutes later, it automatically equipps when you pick it up. Also, in the first scenario, is some trade carts wasn't anything.
Balance: Quite easy... only that 4th scenario was hard. Make more differencies.... between these difficulties.
Creativity: Your own story, which was nice. The taunting system was quite.... buggy, but it runs. Then, remove that note about "experience system" ASAP. That wonder-scene was nice too, and these three cut-scenes were good.
Map Design: That was average. In the 2nd scenario it was good on the start, but then, that forest became boring - if i'll be you, i'll add some pines in the oak woods. And that long passageway to Bandit's camp... was quite monotone. BTW, use there trees as a blockade, no palisade walls.... Better average. These cut scenes were insanely good...
Instructions: Fix that "RED" bug ASAP! It's annoying to read somehing like:
"Blah Blah Blah  <RED>"
And, as i said, make more "chat messages", mainly when attakced in the Woods.
Consclusion: I hope this review is much more objective (well, i needed to sleep...).
So. Story is good, map design is average, but there are three cut-scenes which are nice, story is also creative, with funny parts (like in King's town these "cool looking" guys), and - that <RED> instruction bug is really horrible. Also reedit these bugs i have FeedBacked to you yesterday (change view thing, some spellcheck). Other i have mentioned above.
“The Pendant of Callhanih” is about a young man, named Leshya, who acts on his urge to explore the forest. He finds an attractive pendant, and he decides to wear it. Unfortunately this innocent act unleashes an unspeakable evil. As the scenario progresses, Leshya learns about the pendant’s dark past. Leshya doesn’t know everything, but he dutifully strives to destroy the awakened evil.
Playability: This scenario has modest playability. The taunt system worked perfectly for me, but I didn’t test it to its limit. I found no bugs in the scenario, but it has some unnecessary view changes, which crash the game on occasion. Much of the two playable scenarios consist of walking down a long path, which can become tiresome.
Balance: The balance of this scenario was inconsistent, which made it worse than the sum of its parts. I played on hard, and I found the majority of the scenario too easy. Your character(s) are much stronger than the hell spawn monsters you have to defeat. Furthermore, in a few cases, you are abruptly faced with a situation that is nigh impossible and completely surprising.
Creativity: The creativity of this scenario was adequate. The author crafted a taunt system and invented weapons for the player to arm themselves with. The story, while not particularly riveting, did show some imagination. The final cut scene has a battle with powerful spells. The excellent sound track really sold the scenario’s creativity to me. The author could have made better choices for representing creatures from hell, though.
Map Design: The map was average. The map consisted almost entirely of paths with dense forest on either side. Some areas were completely void of eye candy, while other areas had too many flowers. The author made an attempt to do some terrain mixing. The map would be better, if the author did more terrain and tree mixing.
Story/Instructions: The story seemed to be a bit of a cliché, but the execution was average. The scenario had very few spelling errors, and the author made a few bitmaps. In addition, the author made an attempt to intrigue the player with simple narration at the beginning of the scenarios. Moreover, the text was readable because it was displayed for an adequate amount of time. However sometimes two people would talk in the same display area. Sometimes the lack of instructions was frustrating, even though the main character truly was in a situation where everything was new to him.
While this is not a classic RPG, if the author kept the game from crashing and worked with the balance of the scenario, I would recommend this scenario to new players. New players often need something simple to introduce them to playing a custom RPG in a RTS game.
The campaign contains five scenarios, three cut-scenes and two playable ones; the game style is a RPS with few FF elements. Story, places and people are fiction; the events take place somewhere in Europe, you play Leshya a young man who found a pendant that releases the Hell Spawn.
PLAYABILITY: ~The Pendant of Callhanih~ was no fun, the plot predictable, a "déja vue", the campaign below average. There were many trigger errors, after you defeat three scouts Leshya realises "bandits" further down the path, when you arrive in D'Korn the king's gate is open, it closes only when you view the east gate (trigger: Damn. Gate's locked), which closes as well, but you can pass through the wall. As a result, you can skip the side quest to kill the leader of the bandits or just take the seven woad raiders with you to upset the weak balance even more. The author tells you that all broken carts contain items, but the triggers for the two broken carts after the city of D'Korn do not exist. 2+
BALANCE: The first scenario is difficulty level dynamic with regard to the HP of Leshya, a bit unusual though. The HPs are 70 for standard, 50 for moderate and 60 for hard. I played the campaign on moderate and found it too easy. The objective to protect the allied commander is superflous, your ally is too strong. I only lost twice at the end of the second playable scenario, after the final battle, defenceless, tasked with a looping trigger. Eleven swordsmen belong to a third player that attacks while your units chat with your ally. You can get lucky and they just follow your units, otherwise use the torpedo cheat, target player 4, to see the end of the scenario. 1+
CREATIVITY: A good music file added to the game play, the raining arrows were knew to me, the author uses beta units, tall walls and sea towers on solid ground. On the down side, the author used too many ideas from other campaigns, which is generally not a bad idea. It can be very creative to quote other campaigns, to implement their features, but here the aspect failed to an extent that one could call parts of it an imitation. To repeat humans release hell spawn, only person to stop them falls in love, fights against a demon, a Teutonic knight to pass a gate, leaves girl behind, is transported through a warp gate and confronts the bad leader is not creative. It is not creative to see the hell spawn arriving in a cut-scene again or to see a similar boss fight. Creative would be to use features in another context, a persiflage, quoted respectful or in a humorous way. 3-
MAP DESIGN: The maps consisted of a huge forest done with a big brush. About 10% were paths with terrain mix, elevations, but repetitive and too much Gaia in certain areas. The maps, designed from scratch, are about average quality. 3-
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: You get easy to follow objectives, some hints, a small story, a bmp and spelling errors. 4-
SUGGESTIONS: Use condition object visible in trigger "Leshya discovers Bandits", have the king's gate closed before Leshya arrives, fix the whole in the tall wall, get rid of the empty broken carts, reduce Leshya's HP for the hard level, as well as the amount of your allied units and add to trigger "Raging Battle" condition 1 player 4 defeated.
IN CLOSING: Recommended for the inexperienced player.
Pendant of Callhanih could have been good, but it obviously needed a lot more time in the oven. It's your classic RPG, with a man named Leshya D'Verne finding a mysterious pendant in the Callhanih forest, and next thing he knows, whoosh, an evil Dark Lord and a hellish army is threatening to destroy the world. Not the most original storyline ever, but it could easily have been redeemed by gameplay. However, PoC is full of bugs and loopholes. The two weapon carts outside the city of D'Korn don't work. There is a hole in the wall just behind Bruce the Robert's courtyard, thus allowing you to access the kind and circumvent the fight with the knight There were large view changes which would often crash my computer. In the fourth scenario, the player can simple bypass the ruined village without going to the cliffs and not find Sabriel. It's things like these that ruined the experience for me. In the part where William joins you, the soldiers by the outpost ask for help. Not they need it, they are far stronger then the Hellspawn. +3
Mediocre. While your enemies are numerous and could pose a serious thread for some, I found the whole thing a bit too easy. Due to some quirk with the triggers, on moderate you get less HP then on hard. Not that ten less HP makes any real difference, as there are many powerups around the map which boost your health by hundreds of HP. That brings me to something else which also unbalances the game -- the powerups themselves. They make you too strong by far. You end up as an overbeefed character with hundreds of HP and tens of attack -- more then a match for the small groups of feudal age units that attack you from time to time. Add to this the spells which regenerate you, and the fact that you end up controlling multiple characters, then it is hard not to win. The battles I fought ended up being less a matter of life and death, but whether I could win them without losing more then 10 HP. That's how easy it gets. I played it a few times without collecting powerups, and found the balance to be perfect then. I suggest that the author give the powerups less of an effect on the character, for balance. -3
A lot of creative and innovative ideas can be found here. A utilitarian taunt and weapons system, a music track, some interesting tricks such as the arrow rain effect (which I noticed was snitched from crasher's Attack At Dawn scenario), and copious use of beta-objects. However, the whole theme is basically second-hand. In this case, PoC uses so many concepts and ideas from The Kestrel's Blacksun campaign, it could be called cloning. The storyline, cinematic sequence showing the Hellspawn arriving, and gameplay in general were all carbon copies of their counterparts in Blacksun. 4
I know that Rayoflightsword is also a designer for StarCraft, and it seems that the design style best for StarCraft has found its way into this campaign as well. In the first couple of scenarios, the design style is crash and burn. The whole map is buried in forest, with tile paths pasted through with a large brush. There is plenty of eye-candy, but it is often used innapropriately -- sea rocks in the middle of the road, for instance, is an absolute eyesore. As the levels progress, the map design becomes progressively better. During the fourth scenario, the map is exquisitely good, with terrain blends and strategic elevation. A two for scenario two and a four for scenario four, which I'll round to 3.
PoC's "hero vs Dark Lord" theme was a bit overdone. However, it was told well, and a lot of humour can be found. There were many parts of the story developement which seemed completely unrealistic. Why would you need to fight a duel to the death with a knight if you want an appointment with the king? How come this William fellow suddenly becomes my partner for life just because I killed a few enemies his troops could easily have taken care of? The intro cutscene was poorly paced, I had to pause the game to catch up on messages. Spelling was good, and a couple of .bmps were included. -4
I enjoyed this campaign, but it doesn’t seem to fulfill its potential.
-- Taunt system and other creative sundries
-- Map design of scenario #4 was extremely good
-- Map design of all other scenarios leaves a lot to be desired
-- Storyline was uninteresting
-- Full of bugs