|Jas the Mace1
Posted on 04/02/06 @ 03:55 PM (updated 04/25/06
Regain your kingdom from your evil twin. This map is lots of fun and should take one a bit to get through. Tons of triggers and new charactors. Play if you dare. Muhahahahaha
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Review edited as file has been updated. The review tutorial says this category is a guage of how much fun the scenario is. It started off fun, but after you get to a certain point it becomes tedious and repetetive, the only saving grace here is that the challenges vary later on. Also at the point when it really becomes fun (converting enemy units to cause chaos) the tutorial asks me to deduct points for completion in a way not intended by the author.
The balance was very challenging (and quite varied at the end), unless you convert really powerful enemy units. This makes the game change from a little boring with lots of healing time to a rampage with almost no major obstacles.
The creativity was reasonable, but not the strong point of the scenario. The names were interesting and now the victory condition has been changed that is no longer a weak aspect. I don't think the author intends to, but adding side-quests would make this higher.
Map Design: 4
Varied, and quite natural looking. From dry lakebeds to snowy mountains to evil, dead forests none of it seemed to angular or regular. There was nothing astounding, but it was still considerably better than a random map.
A bit of an over-used style of story (but who am I to talk about that?) but you are never confused and always know what to do. The only downside is that I found it somewhat difficult to work out who was saying what sometimes. At one point someone says "Traitors!", but who is it? A prince? An enemy soldier? The unit that has just changed to you? I just don't know. Coloured text and the name of the speaker would clear this up.
Additional Comments: In all, I recommend it (this review may seem a bit harsh).
Good things: Map, fortifications, challenging difficulty, story.
Bad things: Healing time, a bit repetetive, confusing messages.
[Edited on 04/23/06 @ 09:20 AM]
A BLOODY MESS (updated review)
This scenario tells the story of Mazeon and his struggle, aided by his brothers, to claim the throne, rightfully his, from his evil twin Mazell by whom he has been imprisoned and tortured on a daily basis. It is a mix of styles - FF, RPG and, latterly, B&D. And it is some struggle!
This may only be a single scenario but once you start playing don't think you'll be getting away from it any time soon. Most likely you will be dragged into it, forced to spend countless hours in front of the screen killing an interminable number of enemies. At least that's what happened to me, even when I found it totally infuriating I still couldn't stop myself, it became strangely compulsive, perhaps because I had invested so much time in it. Since it sums up so well my own thoughts, to quote from Tanneur's unfinished review: "this is a great scenario in many aspects, it is fun to play, entertaining, demanding micromanagement and many reloads, it is challenging, annoying, frustrating, repetitive, surprising, but simply too long for the variety the game play has to offer."
To quote from Tanneur again: "the beginning balance is a question of patience, excursions to the fridge while your heroes heal." Not just going to the fridge, I had time to defrost it and, in total, probably enough time to go to the shops and completely refill it. This was a major drawback, compounded by the fact that I played on hard which was probably not very sensible. I wouldn't recommend it. However, since I played on hard I can hardly complain that it was hard! On other levels it is correspondingly easier. Also, one can take advantage of the Standard's AI's bizarre behaviour such as marching past troops in order to destroy a house which makes life a little easier.
The author demonstrated some nice touches of wit - Mazeon is first-born by 2 minutes and 37 seconds, the sign at the prison and the victory message - and the dialogue, though limited, is generally a little better than usual. The map design is good. The bodies in the river was a good little touch.
MAP DESIGN (4)
The map design is pretty good. It's a large map and the author has not neglected any section of it, even though nowhere is it outstanding. But there is much variety, the terrains are generally blended well and elevation has been used well. Despite the fact that AoK-mountains do look rather naff to my eye, they do at least create the impression of canyons.
There is a good story, the hints are fine (didn’t understand the one about horses though), the objective is clear and there are victory and defeat messages. I spotted a few (what I assume are) typos but no spelling mistakes so well done for that.
There is much to commend this scenario, particularly since it's the designer's first. I hope there are more to come (but it would be good if they were a little shorter).