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Purgatory100% vs. Shadowiii
Purgatory100% If I remember correctly, Orchard was a former hentai artist. Maybe that's why there is a room full of tentacles, and you are just a lonely wandering school girl...
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Download: 798 KB
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Shadowiii
Play Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Review # 36 for Shadowiii If I remember correctly, Orchard was a former hentai artist. Maybe that's why there is a room full of tentacles, and you are just a lonely wandering school girl...
Them's Fightin' Words
    The OHR is a difficult medium in which to design a horror style game. I should know, I gave it a shot once. The lack of sound effects, as well as the tinny "bam" music is somewhat limiting in ways it can scare you. However, through inginuity one could very easily manage to create a game that is still scary, and still fun to play as well.

Purgatory almost cuts it.

Purgatory is a very entertaining game. A bit of a cross between Silent Hill and Parasite Eve, Purgatory tells the story of a young girl who awakens after an earthquake to find herself...well, you'll see. She is persued by blood-thirsty monsters and her school's appearance seems to have "fused" with that of a nearby hospitals. What is going on? Why can't she remember? Why are her two friends dead? These and many more questions are answered through the course of Purgatory.
Graphics
    Orchard-L is a great pixel artist, to say the least, and he is definatly one of the best (if not THE best) pixel artists in the OHR community. As you might expect, everything is drawn well and looks great, especially the map-tiles. The cutscenes (though there weren't many), were fully pixelated cutscenes, which were downright beautiful. Overall, the graphics look great.

Maptiles
As stated above, maptiles are very very pretty. From real looking rocks, to holes in the floor with jagged ends of steel curving down them, to a creepy forest, to tentacle covered hellish place, they all look fanstic. My only dislike was that a few of the houses looked a bit griddy, but that is just me being way to picky. Also, the animation in the tentacle place was good, except the objects (ie, eyes, etc.) weren't animated with the rest of the tenticles. The edges (tentacled parts --> concrete) also weren't animated, so it looked a little ackward. Other then that, beautiful overall.

NPCs
Hmm, Orchard-L needs to study up on some animations. The NPC are all DRAWN very well, however their walking animations aren't very good. I'll just complain about the main heroine for now, as many comments about her apply to the rest of the npcs as well (they were all done in a similar style). First off, when she walks down, the colors in her face change. I'm sure this is a simple error, easily fixed, but it is VERY noticable and annoying. Also, her feet in her up and down bairly move at all. This isn't THAT bad, but her SIDE TO SIDE WALKING drove me NUTS. Her feet don't seem to move at all, she just sort of shuffles along. This could use some touching up. Other then that, the individual drawings were great, and I really liked the heroine's hair a lot. The animations just needed a little work.

Battle Graphics
As usual, Orchard's battle graphics leave everyone feeling bad about their own. :P Enemies are well drawn and well designed, a great blend of horrible looking as well as detailed. Hero graphics also looked nice. My only grudge was when I shot, it was a similar attack to when I punched. I am used to seing a bullet fly across the screen or SOMETHING when I fire a gun, but...oh well. The backdrops are also very neat, done is a style similar to Horgorth and Tilde, with the backdrop working into the OHR's menu to make it look all smooth and intertwined.

Overall, graphics are downright beautiful. The only thing I have to say to improve them is to study up on animations, as they are a bit choppy.
 
Storyline
    Dialogue
Purgatory has a decent dialogue. In all honesty, it seems a bit...choppy. As if the characters just say stuff to advance the plot, and nothing more. There is a bit of emotions that shows when the heroine argues with various people (and usually a large amount of swearing ensues), but other then that she seems quite static. I'd probably start screaming if some weird earth-zombie attacked me after an earthquake, but she just say something like "What the hell?" and goes on. Also, there was an amazing overuse of the "f word." Now, I can understand someone putting swearing into a game to heighten the emotions. How would that famous scene from Gone with the Wind sound if the hero had so passionatly uttered, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a darn." It wouldn't work. Purgatory uses swearing in a decent way to add emotion, but in all honesty it seems a bit too long. Having a foul-mouthed heroine as the main character certainly is interesting, but in truth, not all that appealing.

Story

The story itself, however, is very well done. Orchard seems to know the horror story style well, as he has written a fantastic one. The game has a fantastic story, especially for a horror game, filled with emotion, twists, and an ending that will blow your mind. The fact that you never really figured out WHY all those demonic creatures were attacking you until the very end was very well played, and it added to the horror quite a bit. The fact that you didn't know, just that they all wanted to kill you, heightened the tension. Overall, the story was very refreshing, and it is clear to me it was very thought out and planned, which makes me enjoy it even more.

Horror

I added this because Purgatory is, obviously, supossed to scare me. Unfortunatly, it seems to be more of the way modern horror games go...focused more on gameplay or story rather then scaring the living crap out of you (compare Clock Tower: The First Fear with Clock Tower 3. In terms of horror, their really is no comparison. Even though CT:TFF is an old SNES game, it'll still scare the crap out of you. CT3 has an interesting story and gameplay, but it isn't nearly as scary). However, like modern horror games, it still retains an element of scaryness, especially considering the lack of bullets and the fact that you are basically fighting for your life in every battle (explained in gameplay). There were a few parts that really creeped me out, but nothing that made my heart start pounding. The fact that it resolved so nicely also decreased the horror a bit, but it was still a great attempt anyway. It was certainly scarier then "Pitch Black." :P
 
Gameplay
    Here stuff gets interesting. The game's battles were decently done, an interesting twist on the traditional OHR battle system. Using bitsets to alter enemy's "locations" was ingenious (though it still needs a little more polishing). The one thing that really rubbed me the wrong way in this game were the maps. Now, most horror games have a lot of puzzles, that is for sure. But usually the puzzles are a LOT easier, or give hits, or at least you can "logic" your way through them. Many puzzles in Purgatory were simple "push the npc" puzzles, or "flip the switches and see what happens" puzzles, or "wander through a dark place where you can't see anything, not even the wall-map" puzzles. And don't even get me started about that boss in the mines, BUH. Don't get me wrong, some of the puzzles were very well done ("P-&-A" huh ;) ), but overall most of them came off as "tedious waste of time" rather then "great accomplishment."
 
  Battle
    Battles were a treat, to a degree. Basically you have two weapons, your gun (with ammo), and your melee weapon (katana, pocket knife, etc.). Though I'm sure everyone would just like to blast the crap out of the zombie things with your gun, you obviously can't do this in real life (bullets?), so you can't do it here.

Bullets are scarse and hard to find, and you'll want to avoid using them as much as possible. Unfortunatly, monsters can't always just be wacked. They move into different "ranges" (melee, medium, and far I believe). As you can guess, a medium or far enemy can't get punched or stabbed, you'll either have to shoot him or wait for him to move closer. Add the fact that enemies hurt you a lot, paired with the fact that you have little or no health restoring items, and you run out of ammo real quick...and you'll have to think pretty darn hard to survive these battles.

My only complaint here was that the little text that said "The enemy is now in melee range!" only lasted maybe six ticks at most (about half a second), which meant that if I didn't catch it fast enough, I would have no idea where the enemy was (which could be devestating). That was a biiiig problem. It isn't very difficult to increase the length of time a message shows...

Overall, great fun. Bloody hard, but great fun none-the-less. It seemed almost perfectly polished, and I felt like I was always on the verge of either dying or running out of bullets, so it was a thrill trip all the way. Excellent work.
 
  Map Design
    Ugh...here is where things get pretty ugly. Camdog got into a pretty good rant about a few of the maps that were a pain, and I tend to agree with him on all counts (his review is right here: Camdog's Purgatory Review so you may want to check it out).

My biggest frustration was either the hospital maze, the "run from the mine boss without dying on the weird steam pipes", the totally black maze, the random switch puzzle, that really annoying "push the npc puzzle"...yeah, the list is pretty long. A majority of the puzzles seem to be more "dumb luck" rather then actually solving the puzzle (except the "push the npc" puzzles, which are a headache anyway). This resulted in very tedious gameplay.

On a more positive note, there was a lot of detail put into the maps. Doors are jammed shut, so you can't open them even though they are there. I thought this was a neat touch...Orchard could've easily just had no door be there at all, but having it jammed gave the feeling of being trapped and helpless.

There was one other thing that annoyed me, and that was getting the keys for the doors. First, keys are consumed when you use them on a door. This makes no sense...keys are meant to be used over and over. Not only that, I have a luger, couldn't I just blow the door open? I'm only picking on these details because the game tends to be more "realistic" style then "traditional rpg" style, so locked doors that can only be opened with keys (and the keys are consumed after use) seemed a little...generic.
 
  Balance
    As stated in battles, the balance is excellent, if perhaps too challenging. If you are the kind of person who hates the feeling that they could always die in a battle...well, you'll go nuts here (I did, I'm one of those people. You know, the "level-up" nuts to get to lv insane before fighting the first boss just so they'll feel special when the kill it in one hit). It is "edge of your seat" action, in truth. Really well done "survival" style horror (a lot better then Parasite Eve, which this game reminds me a LOT of).
 
Music
    It's a mixed bag. Overall, Setu did a fantastic job making music that was downright creepy. My main grumble was that the battle music was really boring. Also, Setu seemed to really like that "ocean tide" SFX, because it was in a LOT of his songs. Now, if it were raining or something that effect would make sense, but instead it seemes really out of place, especially because it is in quite a few of the songs.

However, the music is very well placed, especially considering there isn't really a whole ton of different songs. The map music definatly put me in the mood, it was just the battle music that was really dull.
 
Enjoyment
    I had fun. I love a game with a twisted story, and Purgatory filled my appitite for it. I also loved the atmosphere that the game set...it was downright spooky. I just didn't really like those ANNOYING PUZZLES. Running from that boss was definatly the lowest point in the game, though wandering through a pitch-black maze was almost as bad. However, the fact that the game ended so well (and it really tied everything together) left me thinking happy thoughts about this game, which is how most games should end. Though, in retrospect, it probably should have had alternate endings depending on how you played (I mean, this IS a horror game...).
 
Final Blows
    An excellent game. It is games like these that really makes me regain faith in the OHR. Even though some may call the engine "outdated," it is still very possible to make beautifully terrifying games on it. Not to mention the fact it is really fun to play.

Highly recommended. Get your hands on it and give it a shot ASAP. It is certainly among the "higher end" of OHR games.
Yeah, my grades are

Yeah, my grades are "bombinb" too. :P
Final Scores
Graphics: 9.5/10.0
Beautiful, except for those really ugly npc animations. I mean, honestly, the fact that her face changed colors when I walked down drove me NUTS after three hours playing this thing. The side animations also gave me a headache after a while. However, the fact that everything else was downright gorgous made up for this. The graphics were very creepy, so they did their job well.
Storyline: 7.5/10.0
I, for one, really liked the story. The dialogue was a bit bland, but the story was still told decently and I knew what was going on most of the time (well, what Orchard wanted me to know anyway).
Dialogue: 2.5
Story: 5.0
Gameplay: 6.5/10.0
Great, terrifying, edge-of-your-seat battles paired with maps that made you want to kill yourself. Really, frustrating map puzzles really aren't that fun. But the battles were so well designed you get bonus points.
Music: 8.5/10.0
Not perfect, but very well placed and written. And it was all original. Nice work.
Enjoyment: 8.5/10.0
It was great fun, though the map puzzles really bite. It would have been a lot more fun without them being so tedious. Other then that, great battles, music, graphics and story mean Shadow = happy. Not only that, it heven had spooky atmosphere! Keep up the excellent work.
Overall Grade: A
Final Thoughts
    An excellent game, just do your best not to be scared away by the difficult battles and tedious puzzles. I can assure you, though, that it is worth the wait to make it to the end.  


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