(Updated on 07/13/04
Well, I finally finished it. Raymond's Ravine, version 2, which feature lots of sidequests, enemies, and 3 different endings. New features include:
||Role Playing Strategy
-A great boat racing system
-A totally new area, full of fun, sidequests, and enemies
-A completely redone map, which is now absolutely amazing
-More jokes between the main characters
-Respawning bad guys
I put a lot of effort into this new version, which is far better then the last one, (even though the last one scored a 4.2) so please, enjoy!
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[i]Disclaimer: This critique has all intentions of fairness and every reason for anything will be backed up with justification. I realise that some people will disagree, in hich case I would advise you to submit your own review.[/i]
Raymond's Ravine has certainly improved since the last spawning.
The scenario has five in-game difficulties, which ensures a challenge for any level of gamer (even zyxomma100 :p j/k)
Because of this, the game does have some excellent replayability content. For some reason however, there are times when the gamer becomes bored of the scenario: this was more often in the earlier incarnation. Some of this is possibly due to map design. The game has an excellent plot, which makes the game more fun to play. I award a 4 for this: ****
Although the player may become bored, I do not think that it is because of the balance in the game. There is a good balance between fighting and walking, the latter could be improved with a few small adjustments. There are five difficulties, which ensures that one will be suited for the player, which leaves a balanced game. Balance: *****
Watchwood has a creative scenario, I feel. The difficulty level system, although not invented by the author, is still creative, and credit must be given to what has been borrowed as well as what as has been newly discovered (it also says this in the reviewing guide). The game is presented well and neatly, with only a single spelling mistake in the victory message (most likely accidental) It is presented well, it is creative by many extents. In fact, the creativity is not too far off perfect. This campaign is original, if slightly plain in a few small areas. Triggering is done well, so the category deserves 4.5, which of course rounds to ***** (five)
Without a doubt, the achille's heel of Raymond's Ravine. Although improved from the last map, the scenario still lacks some eye candy from the more basic elements. Forests are predominantly thick areas, with no gaps. My advice is to leave a few gaps, although not enough to let the player cut through the forests. Some forest areas ar eone type of tree. Always mix 2 types of tree in where you haven't already done. It's a small thing, but really adds professionalism. The mountains and rocks on the cliff tops were good definitely.
The cliff faces do tend to look slightly boring. This could perhaps be improved by placing a few trees down before the cliffs (perhaps use dead trees before the witch?)
Adding this will add realism. Ravines have some forestation on them, or at least they do on google images, and even if they don't, it would look nicer. The map as it stands deserves a 3: ***
Story: The scanrio has fine instructions, the player know what they are doing. No problem there. The story was quite good as well. A few weak points: when you are introduced to Mark, there could be more background to that. It is a short conversation, and people don/t just become friends like that... maybe if you offered him something.. like say, some meat or a bit of gold, even though Brian clearly is the stingy type. The names and a few story aspects was a bit simplistic and plain... so I award a four ****.
“Raymonds Ravine VII” is a campaign based on a couple of friends Mark, Brian and Jake who are mercenaries fighting for King William and must kill an opposing king, King George. I played through the campaign the Hard Setting.
Playability: - The playability factor is above average, with a potential 3 different endings, multiple options as to gain units from talking or fighting and the betting competition with the dock all make this campaign worth a look over definitely more than once. Optional choices are around to keep you interested.
Balance: - Playing through on Hard gave me a reasonable challenge, I tended to find that I could quite easily deal with the units in the ravines as it were. Fighting the units at the enemies castle and freeing some troops proved to be costly unit-wise but numbers were reinforced when I freed the units which shows a good level of balance overall. There are 5 different difficulty levels in this scenario, with ‘Insane’ being the most challenging and hard being second to that. This is done by selecting a choice of pavilion tent at the beginning of the game.
Creativity: - The betting on the run through to the flags was as far as I aware new, although AoK Casino was similar in that you were betting on things as well as horse racing in BerserkerJerkers Sabato series. Freeing troops, a witch, missionaries under attack, mercenaries and an old man giving you a cart to drop off all kept the creativity at a high level.
Map Design: - The map design was for the most part ok, it could have been bettered in parts. There main points I noticed were there wasn’t any elevation at all so I was seeing lots of cliffs but no elevation which seems a little unrealistic. The map could also do with perhaps a few more of the gaia units such as flowers, cracks, crevices and such to make battered paths and forests look that bit more realistic.
Story/Instructions: - The story/instructions were reasonable, but could have done with slightly more depth in terms of emotions and explanation. If you don’t talk to the witch then there is a large amount of information you do not find out. Instructions wise the text was clear and readable although some conversations began before I saw the unit (e.g at the enemies castle) and there was a couple of small spelling errors. Talking to everyone is essential and can help you make struggle a lot less in the canyons. There is a little sarcastic humour thrown in for good measure, which breaks up the fighting on occasions.
The bitmap is ok and the Story/Instructions section at the load screen contains a fair amount of story to help bolster the in-game story.
Overall: A good campaign the highlights of this map include 5 difficulty level dynamics, a betting feature to win gold and multiple endings depending upon some in-game choices.