‘The Big Knights’ is a single scenario cut-scene, a prologue to the full version yet to be completed, a cut-scene following off from the TV series that was discontinued. The story is fiction, about two knights, Sir Boris, the finest swordsman in the world, his brother, Sir Moris, not the finest swordsman in the world, but the most enthusiastic, and their noble pets, sir Horis the dog and sir Doris the hamster. Together they have the height of two men, the weight of four and the strength of sixteen –they are the big knights. The story begins with word of the king heading to the village of Borodzo, with news for all his people. The cut-scene lasts for no more than five minutes.
This cut-scene was an enjoyable one, with good sound effects, humour-driven scenes and a plot that more or less seems fun. However fun, I simply felt that the cut-scene overall seemed a bit rushed, as if it had not had any final polishes as to make it something ‘complete’ in its own right. Some of the fog of war in scenes could have been better revealed, and the use of map revealers created from the triggers instead of by the units list, changed ownership, to avoid those horrible flashing green lines. On top of that I encountered a few mistakes that are easily perceptible during play and could easily have been fixed. Nevertheless I did enjoy this cut-scene for its humour, and though I do think the scenario overall could be better illustrated, to be less ‘rushed’, I will certainly play the full version.
As a cut-scene, a scenario with no playability elements, and thus with no struggle to survive, no difficulty, the author’s intent merely for the player to sit back and watch, according to the tutorial this gets a perfect rating.
There were some interesting things that factored into creativity, such as the humourous scenes introducing the Big Knights, a good use of sounds, some creative map design, the title of the series being revealed in the mini-map and some unit renaming. All of which brings this category to a nice and snug 3.
MAP DESIGN: (4.0) –
The map design overall was good, though a little messy in some places, lacking time and effort. The town was probably the most poorly designed place, and although the podium and court it sat on was interesting, I felt that the building placement could have been better, and with more to keep my interest, but then, maybe the way the scenes were revealed, which was quite poor, influenced my decision here? Other than that, the countryside was very good with nice terrain mixing, application of elevation and an overall good design of the farmlands with ‘pumpkins’ and flowers.
STORY/ INSTRUCTIONS: (4.0) -
I enjoyed what I saw, but more detail, time and effort would benefit the story greatly. Some dialogue passed by too fast and there were many spelling mistakes that could easily have been fixed, though English is not the author’s mother language. The instructions were ill placed, with the same thing posted in History, Instructions, Hints and Scout alike. I would think the introduction would go best in Instructions, hints for playing the cut-scene in hints and credits left in scout, with History left alone altogether to avoid a blank screen. I was also confused as to what speed the cut-scene is to be played on, because when I played on normal, the cut-scene not telling me otherwise, the chat messages did not match what was happening on the screen. It was after-all the author’s intent for the cut-scene to be played on fast speed. On top of that the story does not work as a full product, but something incomplete, merely a prologue to the full version yet to be completed. Nevertheless things like plenty of chat messages, and at least the beginning of a story including a very nice bitmap push this category up to an about average rating, a weak 4.0.
I encountered a few mistakes, most notably the patrolling (yellow) paladins in the village, and I could see the scout cavalry when the two villagers arrived in the village. I would suggest deactivating the patrolling Paladins once they reach the King’s destination and the scout cavalry on arrival in the village, when the two villagers ‘dismount’ to be removed. Another suggestion is to change the colour of Borodzo, which is red, to something bleaker. In my opinion the red does not go so well for visual effects.
Though this cut-scene could do with an update, I personally find it enjoyable and humourous. I await any update including the full version.
In a word – Humourous.
In closing – Give it a go.
[Edited on 02/03/07 @ 07:21 PM]