Pretty, well polished but mostly bland
I appreciate the 'retro' style so I wont rag too much on the familiar use of battle and level systems we've all seen before. But even so the characters and setting just don't seem that interesting. The enemies are kind of generic as well but are animated enough that they still come off as fresh (the way they have two idle animations one for when they are low on HP is a very nice touch). I enjoy the cartoony style and the menus looks smooth and polished to a professional level. I find it a bit off putting however that (at least to me) the player characters seem the most lifeless and bland of all the animated creatures we see. Three generic looking dudes with unpronounceable names just don't interest me that much and make it very hard for me to put myself in their world (which is a major problem for the 'Role Playing' aspect of the game).
The text based menu system while over done is a classic for a reason, and it works well here and flows easily. The tutorial was kind of annoying given that most of us have already seen these ideas before. I respect your choice to use keyboard controls over mouse and believe it really fits the game a lot better anyway. Perhaps a way to drive the idea home with the audience would be to have a cursor of some kind (like the FF hand with pointing finger) to show selections on the title screen and a few other places. Speaking of, the thin white outline around the characters really isn't enough to show who's turn it is, especially in the lighter backgrounds I had some difficulty telling who I was using and made a few choices by mistake.
Over all my biggest gripe with the game is the lack of a real overworld. I realize that it's uncommon for flash games to include that aspect of RPG's but I really feel that is a shame, it's just too hard to get immersed in a world that I am not able to actually walk around and interact with. You at least step it up a notch above the average by having a map but it really isn't enough. I know it's a big pain to make one, but without an overworld these games really feel like little more then one battle after the next, no true exploration or adventuring spirit endures.
Over all I am very very impressed with the amount of polish and presentation displayed, you clearly did not half ass any part of its production. I just wish you would apply an equal amount of creativity in your characters and setting.
I must say.
"Disgusting pretentious garbage masquerading as art. You should be ashamed of yourself for creating this abomination." that's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever read on Newgrounds, and that's saying something.
There is nothing pretentious about this it's trying to interesting and dreamlike and does that very well. Just because it deals with abstraction doesn't make it pretentious, and calling it that makes one sound like a shallow 13 year old asshole.
I will agree I am surprised to see this on the front page, lets face it most the games there are usually retarded but wrapped in a superficial pretty package.
This is the opposite in my opinion, it's very creative and intelligent but personally I don't like the pixel art-style, given the subject matter I think this could have been much more visually impressive.
That being said the strong points of the game vastly outweigh its appearance. I love the world you've created here, and the unique gravity system does wonders for making a surreal an innovative experience. Using the multiple characters for the various 'game types' was quite creative as well, but I must say it's the dialogue that makes this game what it is. I had way more fun in the levels were all you do is talk to people (or whatever they are) then in the rest of the game. The society you've made feels so authentic and combined with the music wonderfully creates a world I want to spend time in.
It's not fast and it's not action oriented but unlike dipshit down there I realize those aren't faults. This doesn't fail to be an action game any more then Space Invaders fails to be an intellectual journey. It does what it tries to do and does it very well. The characters all feel interesting and likable, despite not even knowing what they even really are I feel a connection with them, and much of the way they speak reminds me of great games like Earthbound which were full of fascinating characters.
You are an excellent writer, and that does much to make this game stand out.
I realize the audience here isn't likely to be most accommodating for this type of work, but all I can say is not all opinions are worth acknowledging.
Take criticisms when it is legitimately given to you but ignore all the hate and simple minded bashing from people who were never going to get it anyway and don't let it discourage you. Your target audience isn't as large as many other games might be but keep true to yourself and to the people who will really enjoy this type of thing. A game like this only comes along once in a great deal of time, and those who appreciate creativity and thought will be grateful for it.
I gave it a 10 but that's not to say it's perfect, there a some areas that could use improvement such as the difficulty on the later collection levels or the over all artstyle, however this game vastly exceeded my expectations of what I normally see on this portal.
Keep at it, you have much to be proud of here. You and I both know this is far from "hollow praise," so who gives a shit what all the Registar's of the world believe. ;)
I love the fusion of turn based with space shooter, it's a nice idea.
The art style is simply amazing, A+ work there, very 'Veiwtiful Joe' esc.
There are a few simple design choices that kind of kill it for me though.
1- Rules: the rule system just feel annoying, for the most part you don't notice it but the few you do are WAY overpowered, "SILENCE" is a horrible idea that just feels like a glitch, never take away someone's power to fight back, it is frustrating and evil.
2- Balance. Some the of, in fact most of, the characters feel useless. The blue guy is wonderful, and as it turns out the only person who ever does anything at all. Really, the pink chick never killed a single foe, she seems to be at a disadvantage in every way imaginable. Make them a little closer in power or better yet all as good as the blue guy and it will be 10 times more fun.
3- Controls. On their own they are great and feel fine, but the issue is switching betting mouse and keys can get very annoying. I would love to just use WASD but the SPACE and SHIFT keys are very awkward to use to shoot then, I would suggest at lest making the mouse invisible while in combat or allowing some other keys (like J and K) for shooting.
A beautiful, beautiful game, I hate to see it fail to reach it's potential because of a few simple fixes.
Everything from the music to the design is absolutely perfect. The way you capture the retro feel of classic games and use it in your little commentary on gaming in general is fantastic.
I am a big fan of gaming as art and this is definitely a masterpiece in that genre.
Man, now I want to make a Black and White platformer...
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