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Thanksgiving Quest vs. FnrrfYgmSchnish
Thanksgiving Quest It all goes downhill from here. The whole idea of an omnipotent time/dimension-traveling sandwich still kicks ass, though.
Download: 122B
Play Time: 1 hours and 16 minutes
Review # 1 for FnrrfYgmSchnish It all goes downhill from here. The whole idea of an omnipotent time/dimension-traveling sandwich still kicks ass, though.
Them's Fightin' Words
    Based on the other review, I was expecting something amazing. Based on a few random comments I've read about the game, the battles were supposed to be really well-done (something you don't see often).

And the first two characters: Adolf Hitler... and Drew Carey, as a Pilgrim, with a full refridgerator strapped to his back. What could go wrong? Good question.
    "Arfenhouse-style", to put it simply. In other words, the designer is perfectly capable of doing good graphics (as seen in the walkabouts and some of the battle graphics), but chooses not to in most cases--and since a lot of the game takes place in "teh internets," having craptastic graphics makes sense.
Also like Arfenhouse, backdrops are used as enemy graphics in a lot of fights.
    Surpisingly enough, this is the best part of the game. It's just so random and goofy that even when the battles get completely ridiculous, I'd just F4 along after 10 minutes or so and keep going just to see what the heck would happen next.

Hitler, Drew Carey, omnipotent time-traveling sandwiches, and T3H INTERNETZ, pretty much.

The only real problem I had with the storyline was how much it relies on inside jokes from the Castle Paradox community for the "second half" of it. I have a habit of never getting involved in the whole "community" thing online, so the only reason I recognized any of the names is because some of the people mentioned still exist on the boards. Nothing wrong with tossing in a little in-joke here and there, but I wouldn't suggest making your entire storyline based on one.
    Now here's where the problems start to creep in. There's nothing really wrong with the walking-around-and-talking parts of the game (it's made to look like a n00bish game for the most part, but that doesn't mean the NPCs and maps work like one), and the battles for the first part of the game (before entering "OHR Land") are pretty much perfect. But then....  
    This game was supposed to have good battles. The first part seemed to confirm this belief, but almost immediately afterward everything degraded into a mass of in-jokes and ridiculously hard battles.
And I mean RIDICULOUSLY hard--I've played a lot of commercial RPGs, and none of them were ever this hard. I've played through 99% of FF3j (the NES one), and there were only a couple of bosses in there that took more than one or two tries to beat--and FF3j is generally considered one of the hardest in the FF series.

Like I said above, the battles in the first "half" of the game are pretty much perfect. The Pilgrims and Injuns are not hard, but they're not 1-hit-kill enemies like in many games' early halves, and they can actually do more than single-digit damage to you. The chief is tougher (like a boss should be), but still doesn't take a huge amount of effort to take down--you just have to keep them from powering themselves up too much and you'll win.
The Mantis Ant battle (complete with Secret of Mana boss music) is much harder, but it's still beatable--but unfortunately, it's also the beginning of the problem this game has with the battles. For the first half-minute or so of the battle, it's all luck, and that is NOT a good thing. The entire fight is this: Hitler powers his own attack power up for five or six turns while Drew Carey heals. If both are alive at that point, you win. Otherwise, you lose.

And that right there is the #1 biggest problem in the game--whether the battles are winnable or not depends entirely on how fast you can *gasp* mash the spacebar on certain attacks before you get killed off. There is no real strategy involved--just the illusion of strategy. The battles are usually so fast-paced that you think they're complicated, but really they're not--Hitler powers up until his attack power is high enough to actually get through the ridiculously high defenses of the bosses, while the other characters (Drew Carey and... some in-joke girl I don't recognize who's named after a character from Captain N: The Game Master) keep him alive. That is how almost every last one of the battles in this game, starting with the Mantis Ant, goes.

The bosses get progressively stronger as the game goes on (with a few less-ridiculous enemies--Newbies and Ghosts and such--thrown in at a few points), but none of your characters EVER get stronger. You'll occasionally get a new move for one of them, but only if you actually manage to beat the boss that drops it [rather than using F4]. Equipment is borderline-worthless, with only a few items really helping at all [and some being more harmful than good, despite all the crap you have to go through to get them]. Nobody will ever have more than 60 HP, which is not good in a game where some enemies can do 30 or 40 in one hit. Many bosses use Poison, and there is no defense against (or cure for) Poison in this game, so it gets insane pretty fast. There are some battles later on that you can almost lose before they've even started--you get poisoned, somebody hits Hitler for 43 damage, and then if you don't heal immediately, the next hit WILL make the battle unwinnable.
There was (as far as I could tell) no way to revive dead characters, so once Hitler's dead, you lose the game immediately. There are no healing items, so the only way to heal anyone is with Drew Carey, so if he dies you lose the game immediately. Every character is incredibly fragile [most later enemies can kill any one character in no more than four hits, not counting poison damage]. There's no way to boost Defense as far as I could find [except equipment, and I only found one or two items that really give a good Defense boost... most of which have very bad side-effects].
All the enemies are the exact opposite of the heroes--while you have two-digit HP and generally-pitiful stats, every last enemy in the game has obscenely high HP (at some points, I could be putting out enough damage to kill all of my characters at the same time and STILL never kill the enemy) and, usually, defense so high that nobody can scratch them (as if someone other than Hitler could attack, anyway).

This game's battles, after entering "OHR Land" at least, are not mash-the-spacebar-on-the-Attack-command battles. Unfortunately, they're the other end of the scale: "Mash-the-F4-on-the-Attack-command" battles. This is the only game where I have EVER used the F4 key to end a battle. Through the first half of "OHR Land", I at least tried to fight the bosses first (and usually got to a point where it just seemed that they just wouldn't die before slamming down God's Gift to the Keyboard).
  Map Design
    Intentionally bad, in most cases. There were a few funny little things thrown in here and there, though, which makes it better. The smiley face among the line of swastikas on Hitler's wall, for example, or the swastika-shaped pattern in the bushes in the forest area. Also, the entire last area of the game were pulled directly out of the old Pokémon games, and even had the music to match (and of course, by that point in the game, the humor was the only reason I was still playing in the first place, so every little bit helped).

Though the internet areas had maps that were purposely designed in a "n00bish" style, the passability was perfect, so no problems there (unlike what is usually the case in a "real" n00b game). The "Cave of Immense Riches" hidden-passage maze was done very well--it was a bit more complicated than the usual "walk in the part that doesn't look like you can walk in it" maze, but not to the point of ridiculousness.
    It's balanced like a bipolar triangle.

For the first "half," in the forest, the balance is just about perfect--in other words, the triangle is sitting rightside-up and pretty much in a calm mood. About mid-game difficulty for the usual game, but obviously Thanksgiving Quest is supposed to be tougher than the usual game--which I didn't really mind at first. Bosses should be hard, and the Mantis Ant did a good job. It was hard, but not TOO hard.

Then, as soon as you fly through the portal in the... er, sandwich... the triangle flips so that it's standing on its little pointy part that's supposed to be at the top. And rather than staying balanced on the pointy part, it does backflips. Huge-ass backflips that make me use the F4 key for (literally) the first time in my life.

I don't mind difficulty--I prefer a game where you can actually *die* at some point, rather than just zipping through. But this, unfortunately, wasn't "above-average," "too hard for a Playstation game," or even "hard." It was "I'd still use the F4 button even if it was superheated and had a big nasty spike sticking out of it" hard.

The biggest problem was the obscenely high HP totals the enemies had. After a certain point, bosses either heal themselves or kill you in two hits (if not both), so having the high HP levels is COMPLETELY unnecessary.
    As far as I could tell, most (if not all) was ripped--from popular songs [I heard "Hey Ya" in the whorehouse, and several others in various other places] and a mixture of video games [some I could recognize, like Pokémon or Final Fantasy:Mystic Quest; others not as much]. Most of the time, it fit pretty well--bosses taken from games had the music from that game; spoof bosses had random songs that didn't always make sense; and so on.

The music and maptiles in the internet areas pretty much went together to make a very "n00bish"-seeming area--perfect for the internet, pretty much. I didn't recognize much of the music in the forest, but I kinda liked it for some odd reason.
    The humor was easily the most enjoyable part--it's just so silly that it works. This is a game with omnipotent talking sandwiches, Hitler getting a power boost by doing a pose and yelling out "FUHRER!", skinning newbies and using them as armor, Drew Carey as a Pilgrim with a portable refridgerator strapped to his back, and a character whose attacks include telling her allies that she's a girl or flashing her enemies [which are still funny even if for someone who doesn't get the in-jokes that surround that character].

The funny stuff is what holds the game together--if all of that was removed and replaced with the kind of thing you'd find in a serious game, I probably wouldn't play beyond the Mantis Ant fight.

As it is, you need to let the F4 do the fighting after a certain point... but fortunately, the funny stuff stays there all the way through the game, so even if you're F4'ing through every battle, there's still something that makes you want to keep playing.
Final Blows
    This would be funny as hell as a short movie or a miniseries of some sort. Maybe a Flash movie like Arfenhouse had. But as a game... unfortunately it doesn't quite live up to its reputation. Not nearly A+ material, but it certainly has the potential to get there if something is done about the second-"half" battles.

Also, I probably took a bit longer than 1:16 to finish the game; there were some battles that I was able to win (most of which in multiple tries) before I needed to start flinging F4's around, so you could probably add at least another 10-30 minutes in.
Go toward the light, Hitler... the light...

Go toward the light, Hitler... the light...
Final Scores
Graphics: 6/10.0
Intentionally bad in some parts, with a lot of well-done walkabouts and (some) battle graphics. It'd be a 3 if the crappy parts weren't intentional.
Storyline: 10/10.0
It's not complicated, it's not "deep," and it would be terrible if it was attempted in a serious game.

Fortunately, this isn't a serious game. And "deepness"/"complicatedness" is overrated anyway. PERFECT!
Gameplay: 5/10.0
I was expecting a lot better, but unfortunately it went from "good" to "ARRGGGGGGGGGHHH!" with one omnipotent sandwich-portal.
Reviving dead heroes is a necessary part of any RPG.
Music: 8.5/10.0
It's all ripped, but the important thing is that it works. Not everyone can make their own music, and this isn't exactly an "original music" type game anyway, what with the Secret of Mana boss, Pokémon dungeon, and FF4 walkabouts...
Enjoyment: 5/10.0
The storyline was funny, and the first few battles were good. After that, the storyline drifted into a cloud of inside jokes (a few of which I "got," most of which I didn't) and ridiculously-hard boss battles around every corner. Could've had an 8 or 8.5 if reviving was possible, characters had more HP, and bosses had less. Heck, adding in any one of those would bring the score up at least a point.
Overall Grade: C
Final Thoughts
    This would be funny as hell as a short movie or a miniseries of some sort. Maybe a Flash movie like Arfenhouse had. But as a game... you have to let the F4 key do the fighting.  

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