The End Lies Beyond Chaos is centered around the Character Lydiaro, and his amigo, Hotu. They are the sole survivors of A place called T'alabama that was I think wiped out by an evil guy named Xenophon. Xenophon is a madman on a quest for some rhunestones that have some kind of power. His enemy, Seiken Revetsu, is very screwed, from the looks of things. The only hope is Lydiaro and his Bully Birgands...
Okay, I would not have explained all that if the game wasn't so complex, and I thought that players would be able to take it all in. But there's a lot going on, so you might want to read this, or even consult Yuri to find out exactly how things are looking for the next chapter. (actually the first chapter) It is supposed to have been slowed down, but In my experience, I still had to hit f3... But if you were at all interested by my recap, then you need to download this and watch it!
I'll go in order of best score to worst, category wise, so you can read what is good about this first.
- CREATIVITY: (5) Yuri definetly has one very shiny imagination here. There is so much going on, and I must say that this is a very unique story, a unique style all together. In short, this is perfectly done. Whether or not that helps or hinders him later, read on...
- STORY/ INSTRUCTIONS: (4) The story here is kind hard to understand, but very good and it is a great setup for the actual campaign. However, instead of "sitting back and getting a bag of chips", I found myself trying to remember everything and even taking notes (for the sake of this review) So, it is rather quick, and hard to take in all at once.
- MAP DESIGN: (4) Yuri has paid a lot of attention to detail here. It is very well laid out, and Yuri's "style" is evident in the heavy use of Gaia others... But it is hard to pick up right away what I'm seeing. In both the ruins of T'alabama and Xenophon's place, I had to take it in, it was kind of jumbled for the sake of knowing what's going on. Very detailed, but it's slipping into "cluttered" Ie, I say "what's this supposed to be?"
- BALANCE: (4) [changed] Thank you TAnneur for letting me know about the new review standards for "balance" in a cutscene. the score was a 3 before, but the average (of the other 4 categories)is a 3.75, so that is a 4. Good job.
- PLAYABITY: (2) Even harder to judge than balance, because theoretically, I'm not actually "playing" But I've graded this depending on the games overall, well, dang. Playability. Let me put it this way. I don't consider something playable, well, let's say "fun to play/watch" if I am confused and have stop, look at the chats, look around, and think about the plot and what is going on in the story. The first and second scenes, mainly, require the player to (unless you have a photographic memory, and you are a speed reader) watch it twice to get it all.
This is the bright side. The score could be raised to above a 4, if these things are done:
Story/ instructions: the history should be given to the player at a little more slower pace, and maybe be a little bit less complicated. There's a bunch of stones, and a bunch of mysterious people, things should be explained in history or instructions maybe. But I know how much I hate to read an essay before or after I play. So my advice would be, less complicated; after all, it's just the beginning...
Map design. Things here should be a little less cluttered. It looks rather like a torched landscape, and that is exactly what Yuri wants, but there are some Gaia others that are just over used or out of place, Ie, rubble
Balance and Playability: Both of these scores could be vastly improved by: 1 gining the player a complete recap of everything in the victory; this sounds unusual, but it is a cutscene, and it should really set a good foundation for the next scen. What I want is to be able to watch it, and instead of playing again cuz I didn't get the whole thing, I wanna play it again cuz I got it the first time and I enjoyed it. The scenario, to my knowledge, dosen't present any new tricks. A beginnner would be blown away by the fireballs etc. while a veteran would be dissapointed in not having it jump out at him.
So, I could wrap up the tips in saying: Slow it down more and make sure things are explained perfectly. This could be so easily improved, and it's the kind of thing that I'd be happy to see it done correctly. (and maybe redo the review)
Sorry this is so long, But I want Yuri to know exactly where he stands with this, in the players eyes. I hope you take all this in, because there is a lot of potential for a high score.
Please email me if you wish, (not just Yuri?)