Gamelist Review List Song List Watched Journals Forum IRC Gamelist Song List Review List Forum Articles IRC Log Out Add Game Edit Games Add Reviews Edit Reviews Add Songs Edit Songs Log Out Edit Games Edit Reviews Edit Songs Sign Up Log In My Journal My Game Journals Watched Journals All Journals Journal Settings All Journals About Us Staff FAQ
Castle Paradox
Title Bar
Log In Box
 
______  
[more]
    1) A-
        Deleted Game by JSH357
        Sword of Jade: Parallel Dreams by RPGCreations
        Purgatory100% by Friend
        Trailblazers by Retrogamer
        I Made Dis by Rolling Stone
Nathan's Quick Game Reviews
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stickman's Fight for Freedom
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=88
There are a few OHRRPGCE stickman games and it's only recently I've played any of them (I played this randomly a couple days or weeks before I started my review thread). This one is named "FOCHIZLE.RPG". I always thought it was fo shizzle, not fochizle. My autocorrect somehow respects both...how baffling.

The stickman is ugly, there are ugly trees and mushrooms around, everything is badly drawn, stickman keeps learning attack spells (some of which are just plain worse than others without rhyme or reason).

It's unfunny trash, don't bother with it.

Stick Death RPG
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=87
My first time playing this one. Title screen has one stickman lying prone and bleeding, having a dog pee on his face to add insult and infection to injury. Classy.

"Guess" is spelled "gusse" and the character Blue curses unnecessarily. Had low expectations from the title screen and they go further down with every keypress of this game; it's better on all technical levels than the other stickman game so far but that only makes the ways in which it's bad stand out more.

The first NPCs I talk to sic a giant green bear on me that I can't beat. The game then tells me that I suck when I lose a fight I can't avoid and can't win.

I'm not the one that sucks here.

Star Cops
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=85
Aside from being the source of the mouse policeman from OHRodents, this game isn't very significant. That screenshot? It's your game over; if you get killed by the criminals (which you probably will) the game over script teleports your cop character to the puffy cloud heaven where you do nothing and talk to nobody for all eternity.

There's a character select between four police officers. Three of them are poorly drawn human police officers (one each with fire, water, and plant spells going by their descriptions) and one is a mediocre but not terrible drawing of a police mouse. So of course the mouse is the only one I've ever played; he has a useless attack spell and a healing spell that heals less than most random enemies cause in damage. I don't know if any of the other officers face off against a different criminal, but the mouse goes against a serial murderer cat who leaves graphically bloody corpses behind.

The game was made for a 48 hour contest in 2001 so I'm trying not to be too harsh on it, but they really shouldn't have bothered with the other three player characters, just made sure the one campaign for the only one they seemed to care about had a decent, winnable battle balance.

Just checked. CatBurglar (the bloody murderer) is in fact the villain for the one human male officer. So police mouse is the only one themed to the villain, again underlining that he should've been the ONLY hero.

I really wish I could rate this game higher than 0 just because I think the gray police mouse is cute and having the villain be a pun on "cat burglar" is funny but there's really nothing good here gameplay-wise.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spirit Master
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=84
I have no experience or expectations for this game. It has consistently flown under my radar.

Included readme proclaims that the songs are original.

What little hopes I had are instantly dashed when the game crashes the engine on two attempts. I'm used to compatability issues with 2001 games but not this bad!

Oh well.

South RPG
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=83
MUSIC: Standard parade music (that Monty Python's Flying Circus used for its intro theme)

NARRATION: "SOUTH MIDDLE SCHOOL: Like most schools there are two types of students. Skaters and skater posers make up 93% of the population, normal kids make up 7%"

Not sure how tongue in cheek this is or if Squall was a junior high student who didn't like the skater kids and made this game to vent

One of said "normal kids" immediately begins talking about how to make "poo pie". Yeah sure, your friends are the normal ones while anyone who likes skateboards is the real weirdo...this is the first dialog we get in the game.

Next I'm treated to a character roll call displaying a bunch of low-res photos of kids who look to range from the ages of 8 to 28 and very plain 20th century American names assigned to them. Are these Squall and his real-world friends of the time? Just random photos he found on Internet searches?

One of the students is named Chris, says "Howdy", and wears a blue and red striped shirt. This is half a decade too early to be a Sonichu reference and half a decade too late for it to have been contemporary with Mr. Christian Weston Chandler to have been anything less than a high school senior at the time. Very interesting coincidence though, he's even got the right muddy shade of brown hair.

Looking at the status screen, the main character "Matt" is armed with a dagger version of Squall's gunblade from FF8. Since the title screen says "Made by Matt", this means that Matt is Squall's real name.

90% of Matt's algebra class face away from the teacher.

Just as Matt wishes "something interesting" would happen, everyone in the room panics and someone proclaims that they're under attack. A lot of characters walk into the wall with the blackboard on it because the north side of the classroom has no wallmap assigned, and none of the panicking NPCs interact. Stepping out of the classroom teleports outside with an abrupt scene change.

...the game abruptly cuts to a "minigame" of Chris traveling down the screen around a speed of 50. Colliding him with any other kid smash cuts to a game over screen with no option to retry the sequence. I'm not replaying to see if anything happens after that, I'm sure it's terrible if it's there.

Siv: The Journey of An Egg
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=82
I remember getting a real kick out of this game when I was younger. I didn't have many platformers on the PC and console games cost 60 dollars back then (with a chores-dependent allowance - best I could manage was to mow the lawn for 5 bucks once every two weeks).

Visually, the game mostly uses pale, desaturated tones. It gives a feeling like watercolor drawings almost; normally I prefer deep saturated colors but here low saturation is used in an artful manner. Shading of objects isn't just lazily slapping a gradient onto every single rectangle in existence or airbrushing every shade of green on the palette into one corner of the grass maptile.

Controls are terrible. Arrow keys are the left and right movements, but DELETE is the jump key (rather than space? CTRL? ALT? SHIFT? ASDF or ZXCV?) so even using the number pad my hands are crunched together on the wrong side of the keyboard. The END key is a dash, which causes the egg to move about five spaces forward and then fall like a rock.

Seriously, the dash should be a great platform tool but it kills all your momentum until you land, destroying your momentum. It's also your only means of attack (the level is full of hostile rabbits...is this an easter bunny theme?).

An NPC named Ralfo is shivering near-naked in the field. I bring him a cloak and some sort of jerk bee/wasp comes and steals his hat for no reason. What a jerk.

The game's aesthetics give a serious "bootleg Yoshi's Island" feel, but the walking, jumping, and dashing are all just so stiff. Yoshi's Island was already not the best 2D Mario platformer.

How did I used to tolerate this game's controls? I'm not being flung into pits or anything but every little thing about the game's controls feels wrong. There's a health bar, but it only flashes on the screen for about 0.2 seconds (if that) while you are in the process of being hit - it doesn't remain onscreen to remind you how many hits you have left.

...trying to explore the level in a game that seems oriented around level exploration ends with me being flung into a death pit and lose 15 minutes worth of collectibles and switch pressing. When you make a platformer you should always decide from the start what kind you actually want. Obstacle course/reflex challenge style like Mega Man or Mario? Death pits and check points. Big open exploration zones? No death pits or death spikes or one-hit kill enemy attacks. Puzzle platformer like Celeste or I Wanna Be the Guy? Frequent FREQUENT checkpoints. Mixing styles from level to level within a game can be done (Super Mario 64) but might dilute both playstyles (Sonic Adventure series); mixing styles WITHIN a level is only a disastrophe waiting to happen.

In closing: This game is an interesting tech demo showing platformers can be made in the OHR (not the first, last, best, or only on this site to my knowledge) but actually playing it is a chore and a bore. The music is bouncy and fun, I've always wondered if it's from something or if it was original to this game.

Just go play Tim-Tim The Mighty Gnome or Don't Eat Soap if you want a good OHR platformer.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silver Fury
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=81

A 2002 RPG I'm going into completely blind. It boasts such features in its description as:
- Multiple endings (let's see if I have the nerve to reach even one of them)
- Full hero controls (so...simply NOT pulling any sort of shenanigans to change the OHRRPGCE from its default configuration for battles? That's not a feature, unless you're poorly describing something else)
- Lots of spells and items (even as someone hugely into customization, quality is more important than quantity. Why not count these out and give us concrete numbers?)
- Event Controls (baffling nomenclature)
- Animations (due to the lack of qualifiers I'm sure this one is at least accurate)
- A Stunning story (press F to doubt)
- Levels of power (character tiers? Class changes? Experience levels? This terminology could refer to any of a hundred things, one of which the OHRRPGCE handles easily by default)

The game gives me a bad impression right off the bat by using a custom font. I'm trying to read thin dark blue text on a black background, and also there's random spikes and loopty bits on the letters with inconsistent spacing.

Unlike the screen used on the upload page, the real title screen is the words "Silver Fury" drawn sloppily with MSPaint's round paintbrush tools on a black background and then antialiased to heck and back.

"Stunning" is not the word I'd use to describe a story starring a hero named "Jotin" talking about how certain things are "for shore" and how he dreamed about "giant steel beats". Yet another game that sets quite the impression with its very first dialog textbox. Jotin proclaims he needs to stop listening to "Pa's stories" - bad move, kid. This little bit of dialect indicates why he thought "for sure" was spelled as "for shore" though, which is probably more interesting than the rest of the game is going to be.

Jotin has a sun icon next to his name, probably an indicator of the magic element he'll specialize in once one of this three big, empty spell lists starts to fill up. Jotin looks pretty decent - standard early 2000s OHR fare, armor in a decent shade of dark gray with a blue cape and hair. His pose is clear and readable. Clearly, far more work went into drawing the sprites and ruining the default font than went into checking the spelling and grammar of the text boxes.

MOTHER: "I can't be-
lieve!"

Don't break up individual words with hyphens and spread them across multiple lines of a textbox if that can be at all avoided. This practice was invented for print media where it was crucial to use as little paper as possible to keep overhead down on the manufacture of many copies - on a computer screen it only makes things harder to read and two lines of text on a textbox don't actually contain less information than three lines of text on a textbox; two textboxes barely take up more space than just one. It would also be good practice to avoid run-on sentences, particularly if this would involve having part of a sentence in one textbox and the next sentence run into another; when possible, a textbox should start with a new sentence and end with a completed one for the sake of flow regardless of the number of sentences contained within.

This hyphen did break the word apart correctly, though, and I'll give it credit for that at least.

I step outside and oof...those trees look to be a palette swap of the ones from Wandering Hamster. The grass and cobblestone paths don't look to be.

Jotin's house is right next door to a weapon shop, so naturally I try to go there to no effect. After finding other stores in the town work, I buy a handful of potions. Next what looks like a generic meaningless greeter NPC by the gate joins my party and suggests we go to the weapon shop.

Swapping the placements of the inn/weapon shop/potion shop or just putting Jotin's friend near the weapon shop instead of the save point would've been much more effective and flowed better.

The weapon shop activation NPC isn't touch activated like the other stores, but needs to be checked. Ugh. Maybe it'd have worked earlier? Jotin's friend is named Vulcan and I can't tell if the element icon next to him is supposed to be a volcano or a tornado.

The characters' standing poses in battle look fine but their animations don't.

The shops give a choice between weapons that give +4 or +5 to attack and armor pieces that only give +2 to defense. This means it'd take four pieces of armor to be worth as much as one weapon, and there are seemingly only two armor slots in play (and two accessory slots). Most players would value offensive boosts to get through fights faster over defensive boosts to last longer over the course of multiple fights anyway; if you're going to make them this imbalanced you'd might as well just not include armor at all. (This was also true of Wingedmene earlier: Best armor cost about ten times what the only available weapon did and had a mere +3 to DEF).

There's a patch of fenced in grass with random enemies in the town. Probably placed there for test purposes and simply never removed out of laziness, if I were to guess.

Stepping out into the overworld, the tiles look heavily inspired by the overworld tiles of Wandering Hamster, but with dark normal greens instead of light blue-greens for the trees. Solitary overworld trees animate, clumps of trees don't.

Level 3 and neither hero has learned a single spell yet. Both of them can learn 72 distinct spells if their spell slots actually fill up (even presuming some redundancy, like if there are similarities between sword and spear techniques or both have the same list of summons) but neither has any yet at level 3. I have no idea how many slots are actually used on these characters' spell lists.

The characters can stand on some tiles of the ocean but not others.

One of the heroes is killed while I'm trying to grind and so I step back into town. The doomed hometown is already destroyed and I haven't even checked to see if the inn revives dead heroes in this game yet.

Several buildings are replaced completely with dirt tiles, all the grass is gone, the trees are withered, and the two buildings that remain (the house and the weapon shop) now have no wallmap.

The game completely lacks music, so we don't even get a sad/dramatic feeling from badly compressed .BAM versions of random JRPGs' soundtracks.

...and I step onto a seemingly random path tile and am instantly transported back to the original version of the town. Door link on Destroyed Hometown wasn't fixed so Door 0 still leads to Door 0 on Map 0.

Like the weapon shop, the innkeeper needs to be checked instead of activating from touch (or, preferably, an invisible step-on NPC in the doorway). Inn does revive dead heroes.

Interesting...the big 2-tile trees let you walk through them horizontally on either tile, but don't let you walk through them horizontally. This makes decent spatial sense and is different from simply making both the top and bottom solid (or the slightly better option of making the bottom solid and the top overhead).

Town and forest alike are full of paths that reach the edge of the map but don't trigger a door...poor planning/conveyance.

The forest dungeon has a textbox trigger where the heroes say nothing comprehensible to each other (even Jotin seems confused by whatever Vulcan was babbling about)...no random enemies, no treasure, no boss.

Jotin's hair is the same three shades of dark blue as the ocean.

I walk back into the town and THIS TIME it's the normal version instead of the destroyed version.

...I don't think this game has any of the features it was boasting on its description. There's like seven items (five of them equipment), no spells/skills, no upgrades (whatever that meant), no stunning story, no multiple endings. Those are the ambitious things the author WANTED to make in the final version, but this is a tiny, broken demo that doesn't even work.

Summary: Don't lie to me.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shanglers Adventure
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=80
Quote:
Shaglers Advneures is a game were ou can preaty much do anything anytime. Compleat quests when you want to, master the wepons, learn spells, and buy armour to aid you in your journy. Tranportaions include horses and just added ships.


8 misspelled words in the description alone. Pardon me for being cynical, but I don't trust someone with writing this sloppy to have succeeded at making the kind of open world described here.

If it was just a couple hard words that were spelled wrong I could kinda understand (such as Fenrir's consistently misspelling the word sorcerer in every single game he made before Vikings of Midgard) but the very first two words of your game's description, its title, are misspelled.

And yet the correct version of "your" is used immediately before "journey". Weird, that's one that is done wrong super often.

It's using default OHR music (Struggling Ascension as the title screen music specifically, I believe). Unlike many reviewers from the 2003-2009 era of OHR game making, I am not tired of hearing these old songs and maybe I never will be.

The eponymous Shagler begins in the northwest corner of the starting map, presumably because the author couldn't find the new game X/Y/Map settings in the editor or was too lazy to change them (you had a team of two people, that's a 100% increase in the amount of manpower from a typical OHRRPGCE game! How did neither of you bother with this?). Shagler is an archer with swampy brown-green pants and long sleeved undershirt and dark minty hat with feather and matching jacket. Checking his spell list sets off an immediate red flag: The text string "Shagler has no spells" back in the days when this was made absolutely meant he cannot learn (or access, at least) any spells, despite the game's description boasting "learn spells," Shagler himself will forever be unable to make use of his MP and MP~ stats.

I find a horse on the overworld and start riding it. I walk into a forest and the horse vanishes.

Despite Shagler being depicted as an archer, the only weaponsmith I can find (WIlliam) sells only daggers, swords, and magical swords. Am I going to be shooting these with my bow in place of arrows? The table in WIlliam's shop looks like an NES controller and none of his walls impede Shagler's movement, he can pass through them like a ghost.

While the insides of buildings are big empty wastelands that don't even have walls, the town streets are narrow 1 tile wide corridors with NPCs actively standing around to block certain crossroads.

Ale is described as "good wine" and all alcoholic drinks apparently serve as body armor. I want to commend the attention to detail in having waiters drawn holding drinks walking around the bar, but there's no customers other than me and they rudely direct me to only give orders to the bartender (what are you guys even paid for then?)

There is a shield salesman who sells shields...but also gives me a free shield every time I talk to him. This is probably in his NPC "give item" settings rather than his textbox conditionals. I'm easily able to rack up large numbers of shields and sell them back to him. After racking up 25 to sell and one to wear, I head across the street and purchase a magic sword and a mug of ale to shoot from my bow and wear on my torso respectively. I also give some ale to a drunk in the inn in exchange for a key.

Shagler doesn't quite project swords out of his bow, but rather his magic sword floats in place next to his bow and some soundwaves flow out of it saying "AddSpeedAndAttack" as they do damage to the enemy.

I find a man named Oscar lost in the dark forest infested with thousands of packs of exactly three wolves each. I bring him to his wife and she proclaims that she is giving me a key, but doesn't. Oscar apparently can't stand her either because he runs back off to the Dark Woods again as soon as he's returned home, resetting the quest (I could probably repeat it if I wanted to but she doesn't give me the gold or the key she promised).

WIlliam apparently gets around, as he is in two towns simultaneously, saying the same sales pitch and selling the same three blades. The bar and inn in this other town are less complete; the bartender doesn't actually open a shop menu, just the same dialog box as the innkeeper.

The steel shield I get out of a treasure chest turns into a steal shield in my inventory. Or rather, a "StealShield Good"

For returning a man's stolen flame sword I am rewarded with elven chainmail. This armor is only marginally better than wearing ale and definitely less funny. Well, actually in my inventory it's ElVChain with the description "Elvan chainmail".

Finding the fish market on an island, I think the devs of this game got consumable items and body armor mixed up. Yes, the elven chainmail works as intended but it seems that the intention for the fish and booze was for them to make a bunch of modifications to basically all your stats when used, not to be worn as armor. But again, they were a two man team and neither of them seem to have caught or tested this.

After briefly testing out my ship's ability to sail on land but not dismount on coasts, I explore the very final area. Just more boring, woefully incomplete towns that are single tile wide mazes. Half of the door links don't work and the other half teleport me clean to the other side of the world, where another town was located.

Finally I find a weapon shop run by someone new...Geldor. He sells a "StlSword" ("Steal Sword Strong") slightly worse than a standard sword, the same kind of dagger as WIlliam, and flame swords like the type the one guy had as an heirloom (presumably you could just come to this town, buy a flame sword here, and deliver it for the quest reward earlier).

There are no random enemies outside of the wolf packs in the dark woods; no bandits on the highways, no scummy slimes or spooky skeletons, no crabs on the beach, no sea monsters when you're on the ocean. Just wolves, all confined to one very small area.

There are also no spells despite the game's description and while you can complete some quests, others are impossible due to poor conditionals checking.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Secret Milkshake
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=79
The name of this game is a long-running meme.

We start our journey with a man named TIME WALKER equipped with only T^1 as his weapon. He walks through any wall, tree, or other obvious obstruction as though it were not there, and then buys Suit^1 and Boots^1 to protect him before setting off on his adventure.

Good gravy, his speed was already 35 even barefoot, now it's 40...that's way too fast.

A green fish spine with glowing red eyes tells him it is the spirit of time and he is located in the spine of time.

Time Walker easily uses his Time Bomb to kill Time Pirates (who are skeletons, always a bonus) and then takes on the evil Nardius. Nardius wants to do something to time, but we stop him in time.

Nardius has hidden some important time relics inside of milkshakes and scattered those across all of time. Hence the title, Secret Milkshake.

TIME WALKER gets a new weapon (Time Bomb 2) which in an unusual twist doesn't raise his attack power, but simply has a different attack definition. He travels back in time to the age of dinosaurs and enlists the help of a man made of rocks (who is the same color as the floor of the dungeon he's on and thus looks like a pair of disembodied glowing red eyes).

A huge, sprawling "maze" seems to be set before TIME WALKER and his new rock buddy, but the Time Spirit helpfully teleports them right next to Nardius so they can skip the boring part.

Next Time Walker and Helpzor teleport to the sea floor, where they use a flying yellow Volkswagen Beetle to navigate their way around. Because one of the NPCs meant for triggering a battle doesn't delete itself like it's supposed to, I need to use the debugging keys to escape.

I am able to skip the third fight with Nardius and simply walk around him to claim the third Secret Milkshake.

This joke game wasn't very fun or very funny, but between the teleport to skip the maze and the presence of cyan skeletons flailing pink swords at me, I think I'll rate it a 1 out of 5 anyway.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scars of Glory
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=78
This used to be one of my favorite OHR games. I remember being disappointed by it being short, but it was made for a 48 Hour contest.

Battle controls are Enter to confirm and Del to cancel. Why not just use the same Use and Menu keys as the rest of the engine? And why try to crush peoples' hands together like this instead of using keys with a more natural resting place like Z/X or A/S?

Huh, the game is from 2001. A lot of things put on Castle Paradox in 2003 are reposts from 1999-2002 Operation: OHR and the days back when you could get games put directly on the Hamster Republic gamelist.

"Ad'Ra'Stal Beasts" - what is gained by throwing up a pile of apostrophes onto an already made-up word? Same thing with "Lo'K'Liar" in Wingedmene, it just looks obnoxious to have a non-possessive apostrophe in a proper noun or more than one contractive apostrophe in a word in general. And if the word is one you made up, how is it even contractive?

There's some political shenanigans afoot. Periot's king has been offered help in fighting the monsters by a neighboring king, but refuses it and would rather have numerous undertrained male and female army conscripts tossed at the monsters in the hopes of eventual victory. What awful measures; it seems they need a new ruler.

Periot wisely wishes to abandon this kingdom but is guilted into helping by his friend Dune.

Periot, once fully dressed, seems to be some sort of wolf-pelted berserker.

The grass and trees are pretty good, but the cliff dirt tiles look like they were poorly stretched from another size and some of them look to be lazily mirrord from others without changing any of the shading or what have you. Above average and if they're ripped, it's hidden pretty well.

There doesn't seem to be map music but there's definitely battle music. The fights in this game always reminded me of Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest with a north-facing walkabout of the hero and large south-facing enemy sprites.

Animations seem fluid and competent. Combat has no depth at all though, one of the downsides of programming a custom battle system with plotscripting is you lose access to all the depth the default battle engine provides, usually for no benefit beyond making the animations/sprites presented a little differently and a much more barebones attack/healing system.

Ooof, third map in the game does have music. It's horrible. Sounds like a combination of birds chirping and wet farts.

Some sort of purple napkin called a shopkeeper says "E'lo there" instead of "'Ello there". More abuse of the poor apostrophe? What did the apostrophe ever do to you?

Periot learns an attack called "Mirror Edge" which from its description sounds to be a Defense-piercing counterattack. It's a little humorous for a club-specialist warrior to use attacks with names like "edge" and "blade" in them...now maybe if he was an AXE berserker...

One of the more common enemies is a mage who throws 40-damage fireballs at my max HP 60 character. I can't even walk back to the shop and there was no save option in the menu.

Summary: Impressive tech demo, mildly interesting story, not a fun game.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Relics of Ladon
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=77
Screenshots indlude a large, nice-looking overworld. Is it going to be more deceptive production screenshots that have nothing to do with the game actually playable here?

I remember downloading, playing, and disliking this game about a month ago but not any of the details. For it to leave no impression on me when I played it so recently is not a good sign.

The game boasts that it's used scripting to make heroes' stats grow randomly instead of traditional experience. This could work out well but is probably just going to be inferior/more tedious than normal.

I too wonder what would happen if the balence of the world were to be disrupted. Probably the same thing that happens to the balence of an RPG when you make arbitrary design changes for the sake of showing off your scripting skills rather than basing them on what would be fun or what would make sense.

I joke, but there are a mix of drawings of characters standing around and blank back backdrops during the intro, keeping things relatively visually interesting.

This can't be the game I was thinking of, there's too much work put into the writing and intro. Main character MEGETHOS (a metal name if I've ever heard one!) is dressed in a modern T shirt, jacket, jeans and sneakers combo but has a sword slung on his back by a baldrick. Did you know that while this style of slinging a sword looks really cool and was often done with swords too long to hang from the hip for long-distance travel, you can't actually unsheathe any sword with a blade longer than your forearm from such a hanging? Unless you completely redesign the scabbard specifically to work that way, which no historical swordsmen or fantasy artists are known to do. It does look really cool, so there's no reason to worry, just a bit of sword trivia.

Interesting. "Walk" and "Run" are toggles in the inventory instead of a held keypress.

Megethos has an argument with his boss. Basically, his boss doesn't like his casual tone, but there's nobody else willing to do the delivery boy job at all in town; the boss can threaten to decrease Megethos's pay but Megethos can counter by threatening to quit. This is a fun interaction and also kinda shows why Megethos won't really be missed when he leaves to go on a long-term fantasy adventure.

A random, almost invisible, patch of flowers in the grass serves as a save point. Grass, sand, and dirt tiles are completely square green, yellow, and brown tiles airbrushed with a couple nearby shades of the same respectively; no edge/corner pieces to smooth them out. I don't mind, I think it looks fine. The water sparkles with gray/white dots that just glow at different times, which is a little weird but but I'll allow it.

While there are no corner pieces marking the transition from one terrain type to another, buildings do cast diagonal shadows. Interesting.

Megethos wields a sword and his manager Kyle wields a scythe. I find an item called "Stat Rate +25%" lying around in the town; this considerably raises Megethos's stat gains. Honestly I don't see a reason that this would be just left laying around instead of provided automatically given how it's basically a permanent critical upgrade.

Ooh boy, almost every common item is spelled wrong. "Cotten" clothes, rations "Cure's" HP (it should be heals HP anyway but Dungeons and Dragons named its spells weirdly and Final Fantasy copied them directly with little thought, then lots and lots of other games copied Final Fantasy with even less thought; what can you do aside from making snide remarks now and again?)

For some reason, a "cotten helmet" (cloth cotton hat?) provides considerably more defensive power than body armor. The "cotten" gloves have a completely mismatched description, claiming to raise MP, Magic Attack, and Magic Defense when instead they just raise DEF by 2.

An NPC proclaims that Relics of Ladon's leveling system is "very different" from any other OHR game. When I tell him I know already, he tells me in detail anyway.

Not sure why Accuracy was used for "Stat Rate" instead of Counter. Anyway, monsters are visible on the overworld and give you a dialog choice to determine whether to fight them or run away.

Kyle and Megethos can seemingly both learn the same spells, but the order in which they appear in their spell lists is quite different. Neither keeps the "Cure" spell near the top of the list (a good practice when making an RPG: Put the healing spells in the first few spell slots or consistently along the left side, unless you specifically designed the character to make the healing spells hard to reach).

The "Fin Lizards" are seemingly resistant to fire, so I had no in-game hint that one of the three sets of elemental damage spells would be generally less good than the others. I wasted the purchase and can't undo it. Way to make a game entirely about physical strikes and healing! Completely casually I have ATK power in the 40s and magic power of 7.

If you choose to "run" from a fight, the monster instance vanishes with no consequence. Why even make it a choice?

In the first boss battle (simply a larger version of the blue sewer slime) I can either have Megethos cast the basic fire spell for 50~ damage or do a faster, free melee attack for 40~ with a significant (like 25%+) chance of doing a "critical hit" for an additional 90 above that 40. Gee, I wonder which I should keep doing? Kyle is weaker so he can spend his turns using healing items (which cost 10 Auth and heal 50 HP in a game where you begin with about 5000 Auth; I bought 65 of them in the first town and every random enemy on the overworld has dropped one)

The reason I was in the sewers is because the town Megethos needs to deliver a package to is under lockdown. I sneak into a hotel through the sewers (they've got a manhole in the back room for some reason) and then I'm blocked by invisible progress-blocking NPCs at every possible doorway. I find the right door, but it's locked and the customer won't respond. I'll call this a dead end and quit here.

Summary: Some of the maptiles are drawn pretty nicely and I appreciate how clearly they align to the grid. The overworld map looks pretty good from the minimap view. But none of the work of this game's gameplay design went into the right areas; it's all flash and no substance, as I will be saying many times in future reviews as well.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resident Evils Operation:Rageing Cheeta
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=76
Another game like Shagler's Adventure where there are multiple typographical errors not just within the game or the description, but the title as well.

Resident Evil, not Resident Evils, is the name of the game franchise and if it was meant to be "Resident Evil's Operation" then it's missing an apostrophe. Raging and Cheetah are both spelled incorrectly as well. The words resident and operation are probably only done correctly by chance, not diligence; the game's title has more than half of its words in some way incorrect.

Quote:
devistating


I understand not knowing how to spell a lot of words correctly (especially if you were educated in a public school) but you'd think pivotal terms to your game concept's title and description would at least have been worthy of double-checking a dictionary briefly.

Like To Kill a Mockingbird earlier I have no experience with Resident Evil as a franchise. All I know is the first three were horror games with tank controls and zombies were somehow involved, the fourth game was an action game and Spaniards were somehow involved, and later games got more and more focused on action and less on horror.

The title is misspelled again on the title screen. That's consistent, at least.

Quote:
This game contains scenes of explicit violence and al gore


Okay, that got a chuckle out of me.

Corporation is spelled correctly on the game's description page but spelled "corpiration" within the game. Unlike the title screen, which would have needed to be redrawn, this is not a difficult fix.

Part of the prologue refers to itself as an "epiloge" and Al Gore's face seems to be photoshopped into almost every backdrop.

The bad guy (who has a sword hanging over his shoulder for some reason like he's in a high fantasy game) demands his minions be "retreaving" samples of the new H-virus. G-Virus is apparently the canon zombie plague to the actual games and the H-Virus is an original zombie infection do not steal, who is way more powerful that the regular boring G-Virus from the real games. I think this is the first time I've seen a Mary Sue microbe that wasn't specifically designed to mutate people into wolves and/or women of the exact specifications that the author finds attractive.

I'm given a party of four identical soldiers in gas masks and armed with automatic guns. All but one of them are set to have a max HP of 0, meaning the other three are 100% useless in every regard. Even if they had HP, they have 0 Armor and 0 Dodge so they'd be constantly taking hits for maximum damage, 0 Speed so they'd never even get a turn and serve only as very poor meat shields who absorb experience points and make it harder to level, and their Attack of 10 and Accuracy of 5 compared to the main hero's 31 and 20 respectively means even if they did get turns, they would do crap all for damage and miss most of the time. There are numerous ways in which this is awful design; I'm going to guess they'll all die for story reasons and may or may not be replaced with other characters who actually look different from the first hero.

The disposable soldiers' names are Hunk, Stud, and Hoty (is that supposed to be Hottie?) while the one who is actually capable of not being dead and immobile at all times is named Sin. Hunk, you're the only one whose parents had good taste in naming their children; for the rest of you, shame upon your houses, shame upon your families, shame upon your cows, etc. etc.

I run into a clone of my soldier sprite drawn in the dark half of the top 16 colors on the master palette. It's an ugly, blobby mess (in the original these were probably all-black characters set to palette 32767 - I and many other users used to use that trick back when it was available, new palette options/interpreter have completely broken some old games visually. Not that it ever looked great, just that it had its uses).

There's a typewriter in the bunker where we start and another rainbow barf soldier right next to the helicopter we aren't allowed to use. Both act as save points.

There's just a big empty grassy field, a bunker, and a badly drawn helicopter. There's no way to fly to the mission and three of the four soldiers would be incapable of doing anything even if I did get there. The outside of the bunker only has collision on one wall.

Verdict: This game is trash even by OHRRPGCE-made fan game standards.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"


Last edited by Ronin Catholic on Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quest for Arranong
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=75
Before I start playing, let's rip our claws and fangs into its description, shall we?
Quote:
+13 characters

I've discussed on other forums why I don't think having a lot of heroes is necessarily a good thing in an RPG. Usually there's only 6 or so that are mechanically solid at all unless some are literally clones of each other, and if you're lucky this overlaps with the 3 who are given decent character development and story purposes/meaningful character interactions with the other party members. Actual ideal number of heroes varies, but the one that'll also cause the least logistical headaches in the OHRRPGCE or RPG Maker is to have no more than exactly 4: One for each party slot.

Quote:
+Beautiful graphics

You can look at the screenshot on the description page and see this is a blatant lie or self-delusion. The main character looks to be a badly airbrush-recolored version of the Fighter from Final Fantasy 1 and the map tiles on display don't fare much better.

Quote:
+Suspence and Mystery

Suspense is misspelled and neither of these are actually likely to be present in the in-game story.

Quote:
+Tons of spells and weapons

"Tons" is not a concrete number here, so unless you've got 4+ weapons and spells that each weigh 500 lbs in-universe I have my doubts you actually live up to this. Also, quantity of options mean nothing if their quality varies too much (choosing between the Lame Axe of debuffing enemy evasion and Dumb Axe of debuffing enemy intelligence is a meaningful customization option; choosing between the Bronze Axe of ATK+16 and the Steel Axe of ATK+32 is not).

Quote:
+Huge world map

Subjective. Is it "huge" in that it's larger than 64x64 tiles and thus takes a long time to navigate? Is it "huge" simply for not being confined to a single screen 16x10? Is it "huge" because each tile represents a full day's travel instead of a mile?

Quote:
+Unique spells such as the \"Touch of Death\" and summoning spells

Here we go, something actually qualified in some way.

"Touch of Death" is not a "unique" spell - "Make your saving throw or die regardless of HP total" is a classic D&D effect (curse, poison, spell) and very common RPG spell archetype. The Dragon Warrior series had the spells Beat and Defeat (nowadays renamed Whack and Thwack). Final Fantasy 1 had RUB, QAKE, XXXX, BANE, ZAP!, etc. and when used by heroes, BRAK while its sequels continued to add even more instant-death spells with different flashy animations..

"Summoning spells" in games inspired by Final Fantasy generally just mean "Attack spells but the attack sprite is a drawing of a character instead of a drawing of an icicle/tornado/fiery explosion". Or is this a type of spell that triggers monster spawning when used? Less likely, but that wouldn't be unique (it'd at least be less common).

Quote:
+HEAPS and HEAPS of secrets.

I have my doubts. I remember this "demo" being really, really short.

Old Castle.BAM as the title music? I can dig it. All the characters' walkabotus have dark gray outlines of exactly the same dark gray as the title screen itself for some reason.

Oof, stretched, airbrushed character sprite and a castle using Victory3 as its background music. That's good music for a victory screen but not good looping background music for a map.

If by "SECRETS" this game means places where you can walk through the walls but there's nothing at the end of them...I've found one? Also the castle guards appear to simply be painted onto the walls (tiles) rather than actual NPCs.

King Arranong sends Jin on a poorly defined mission. There's a black charred out husk standing in front of his throne; Jin says "He can't hear me" after trying to talk to him.

(EDIT: Actually, this was supposed to be a spirit vision with Jin seeing the king send the dark guy on a mission to kill Jin, but it's presented in such poor English that it's difficult to follow)

Upon leaving the king's castle, Jin finds herself in her bedroom and proclaims she dreamed the whole thing, despite now knowing a fire spell she found on the floor of the king's castle.

She has a bright red book (begging to be taken to learn a fire spell) on her bedroom table, but it's non-interactive. Likewise she has a non-interactive hatchet lying on her kitchen counter.

Outside, her hometown has a tiny horse-drawn carriage (the cart is about the size of her torso and the horse is the size of one of her legs). Its driver simply shouts "MOVE!" when she tries to strike up a conversation with the gnome or fairy or rat or whoever is driving it.

There's a girl with a mix of blue and transparent hair (probably just poorly ripped) who says "I couldn't help but feel disappointed with the magic store." Way to hype up your "tons of spells", game!

The weapon shop has five items for sale, only one of which can be worn by Jin. This would have been extra frustrating back before the engine added an automatic indicator for which active party members can use equipment in a shop; buying an axe or a bow only to find Jin is exclusively a sword wielder would've been beyond frustrating.

The tiles for the airbrushed grass and the trunks of the big trees look alright. The leaves of the trees and the stone pathways do not; pebble paths don't have enough large stones (it's just a grass tile lightly airbrushed in three shades of gray) and the leaves of the big trees are all airbrushed a single shade of green (rather than two shades, like the grass below). The leaves of the smaller trees are two shades of airbrushed green, but don't go all the way to the bottom of the tile and thus don't actually connect to the tree trunks.

Fences are waist high if that, but look to be scaled correctly to the tiny carriage and horse.

A brown blob with a yellow blob on top of itself proclaims to be the wife of the magic store owner in town and laments that business hasn't been doing well. Again, way to hype up your magic system that's allegedly so deep, broad, and unique.

Jin can squeeze herself into a tiny horse wagon like a clown car. She has two options (the stable master lets her ride them for free): A pair of brown horses that move at the same speed she does and a pair of white horses that move considerably slower.

The Magic Shop is indeed as much of a disappointment as the NPCs were hyping it down to be: It sells the spell Jin got for free from the king's castle and a wind spell she probably can't learn because it's labeled as "for a wind mage" when she's seemingly a fire mage. No obligatory "Cure" spell, even.

One house exists entirely for flavor. A woman is running around her house with a broom and mumbling about all the chores she's doing (badly, by the looks of it from her dead houseplants) and screams at Jin if you check the fridge. Upstairs is another girl with blue hair who tells Jin that her mother has instructed her never to talk with strangers.

The overworld looks only marginally worse than the town. Same grass and road tiles, pus some decently drawn wavy water and shoreline edge tiles. The mountain range tiles (but not singular mountain tiles) are also decent enough, passable graphics. Far from "beautiful" though and could easily be touched up into something nicer.

At one point Jin walks through some objects that shouldn't be passable and gets blocked by some grass that should be; checking this space I get something called a "Renna Stone" which doesn't show up in my inventory.

...a spell item called a Fire B is sitting in the water. Why doesn't the magic shop sell Fire B and Wind B? That'd make it a little bit less of a disappointment and give it a possible purpose in case someone missed the obvious free treasure in the overworld and starting castle.

Neither the town nor the overworld play music like the castle did.

Jin is accosted by bees whose attack spell is to project LARGER bees at her. Upon setting the bees ablaze with her FIRE A spell, she levels up and learns something called "Intestinat" - is that supposed to be "Incinerate" or something? "Incendiary?" "Intestines?" "Incense?" Whatever the case, it's just a worse version of Fire A, which she already learned from an item.

She also collects the bees as an item. This will allow a Blue Mage to learn the Bees spell. Jin, not being a Blue Mage, has no use for this.

The only battle backdrop appears to be Sandsea.BMP, even on the grass. Not even a green version of Sandsea.

There's a house that takes up two overworld tiles; inside of it is only four tiles and blob of yellow wobbling around on top of a blob of brown. It says "This will help you live" and sells the same items as the item shop in the town (run by someone named "Puss"). It's the same shop definition with the same name, Puss's Pounce. Man, I could go for pouncing a pussy about now...

Jin wanders into that charred husk from the intro and gets stabbed in a cutscene. She wakes up in a house where people babble and I couldn't be bothered to comprehend the walls of text they threw at me. Someone named "Shermie" who looks like Jin only with green hair instead of orange joins the party, and she can learn the Bees spell to summon bees. I expect she'll prove useless in the upcoming adventure.

I also find the Wind A spell on the ground and teach it to Shermie, showing even more so that the NPCs were right about the first town's magic shop being worthless.

I wander into a town and Jin immediately gets hit by a car. I walk back into the town and pay to rest at the inn, only for the dark figure from the prologue to show up and stab Jin again in another cutscene. There's also a clone of Jin wandering around town.

I find my way to another town and add another party member only for my entire party to get instantly wiped out by the random encounters in the area.

I'm not going to investigate this game any deeper. "Tons of spells" seems to mean about seven or eight, of which five are single-target fire damage and one is fire damage with an optional spread (the easiest one to get, at that) and two are just wind damage. "13 characters" might be true but I doubt you can actually recruit all of them in this game "demo", and even if you could the first three are 100% useless. The enemies difficulty spike considerably, going from bees that can't threaten your lone hero at level 1 to flowers that will kill a party of level 5~ heroes within five seconds in only two areas with no intermediate grinding fodder to get your levels up. "Tons of weapons?" Three swords for Jin, one of which she starts with that I could find, and numerous axes, spears, and bows that couldn't be used by Jin or the second girl. I never got a chance to see what kind of spells or weapons the last kid used.

What a bafflingly bad experience.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"


Last edited by Ronin Catholic on Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Project Ascension: Evolution
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=74
Will this game be as absolutely bogus as Charles Darwin's postulate of evolution? Probably not, it's hard to make that little sense even if you try.

The game warns me ahead of time that it has no music.

There's a custom font, but it's not bad. It's bold, clear, and readable - it's just all rectangular without soft curves. Looks fine.

Huh, there are songs included in the game. Metroid, specifically, in the intro.

First chapter is named "Nifelheim" which is the name of a Swedish metal band; "Niflheim" is probably the intended reference, the generally preferred spelling for the realm of the ice giants. (I'm personally fond of calling it Sniflheim, because it's cold up there; that's not my joke!)

The tiles of the area in the intro cutscene are just huge blobs of bright orange/yellow and dark brown. They're a bit blurry, as if the whole thing was a bad JPEG scan of a big drawing or something. Walkabouts of the characters look alright; it's a fairly realistically proportioned style with proper shading rather than the usual exaggerated head style typical of RPG map sprites. Jack's pants look like a dress, though, because while he's got an outline differentiating his figure from the ground he doesn't have an outline between his legs so they blur together.

Okay, while the characters have tiny heads, they have HUGE feet, like about the size of their heads. Or at least they do when facing left/right; the feet are like two pixels when facing north or south but ten or twelve when facing east or west? It's never going to NOT look goofy. Shading at least seems to stay consistent from one frame to another, something I've found frustratingly uncommon lately.

Spoke too soon...the north-facing sprite animation is a simple flip on a sprite with non-centered shading AGAIN. Also apparently the character who looks like a girl on the overworld is the one named Jack (and judging by battle graphic, seems to be a man and not a woman named Jackelyn or whatever) and the one I thought was named Jack is the one called Daen whose north and south facing sprites also look like a skirt instead of pants.

Battle sprites look pretty competent, if basic, in the status screen; I'll have to see how it goes when they animate in battle. Giant ugly splotch map has completely arbitrary walls, there's no way to tell which splotch of red, orange, yellow, black, and brown you can stand on and which you can't. Daen has about twice as much HP as Jack and both have comparable speed and attack power; neither can learn spells but Jack wasted character points that should've gone towards HP on having mediocre magic stats when he's not even a caster.

After walking through SEVERAL samey splotch rooms, Jack proclaims it's a good place to camp (how? It looks identical to every other room so far!).

The characters' portraits in the following cutscene look like they're gazing romantically into each other's eyes by the campfire. If Jack was actually a woman as the walkabout sprite first led me to believe, this would merely be cheesy and unearned so early in the game; however, since it seems unintentional, I find it goofy and laughable. (If I thought the author was seriously trying to push these two as a romantic couple I'd instead be disgusted.)

Daen, who is visually coded as a fire-elemental warrior (bright orange hair, black and red clothes) tries sounding philosophical when he says "I think people are like this fire" about the campfire. Jack is reasonably perplexed. Daen goes on to say that people aren't like the fire itself, but more that the radius of visibility around the campfire is a metaphor for how people stay in their comfort zone instead of exploring what's in the darkness beyond it. Jack and Daen have some lighthearted banter, then Jack also makes a similarly philosophical musing about the ocean.

A lot of work went into making it so that on the overworld, the characters are only 5-6 pixels tall instead of 20. That mountain still looked like trash and the overworld isn't much better, but has like 8x as many ugly colors to be splotches of; some dark greens and browns for a forest up north, some yellow browns for a sewage swamp in the east, some light and dark grays for a different mountain range in the far south, and some towns and a castle in the south that actually have outlines and thus look cartoony in comparison to the rest of the map.

Basically, actual pixel art in this game is decent but nothing special while the maptiles are absolutely hideous and are probably badly colored scans of drawings imported directly into the engine as full tilesets. Remember the old wisdom of "Hide the grid" which wasn't really wisdom but was commonly preached in ye olden days of pixel art? Yeah, the maps here take that to heart.

I enter the forest and its brown on brown hell is only slightly less obnoxious than the red orange and black hell I just escaped. I can at least see ROUGHLY where I'm allowed to step now, but everything is still off kilter in some way. I find a corner of the forest where the characters refuse to walk (even giving dialog) while I see an interactable item with an outline sitting on the other side, so I do the obvious thing and F11 my way through the walls, grabbing the item that turns out to be "Junk". I don't care that it's cheating, YOUR FLOORS ARE CHEATING AND UGLY.

There's an army of men with flails, scythes, and woolly mammoths. The sound of drums ambient in the forest STOPS when the source of the noise shows up; it'd been getting louder and more intense leading up to this, only to go dead silent when the parade goes by.

Jack and Daen are apparently both thieves, judging by their only battle options both being "Attack", "Pilfer", and "Items". The game informs me that holding the R key allows the characters to run faster outside of battle; maybe if you didn't make your maps so needlessly large and congested with junk tiles you wouldn't need a speed higher than 4.

Jack and Daen have decent enough animations in battle, though Daen's weird slouching posture is very awkward to look at. He's stooped over above the waist, head pointed straight down.

The first enemy I face looks like a terrible rip from a console game. He might just be a worse-drawn piece of original art than the main characters' graphics.

The wallmap on the overworld doesn't make any sense either. I can move my characters most of the way off the mountains but they're blocked from actually stepping off; I'll have to go back through the red orange yellow barf maze.

Looking at one of the enemies again in battle, it does look to be original, but has that poorly shaded quality of a sprite drawn in an external program, imported, and then muddled with bad in-engine palette choices.

The characters proclaim they need to find some SECRET pathways. I've had enough of your REGULAR pathways, game! Also both characters are near death after two fights with no healing options to be found, so if they die in the next fight I will completely give up.

...Yes, HIDDEN pathways in a map where you already can't tell what's a wall and what's a floor, and the only normal indicator of where you can go are glowing yellow blocks on the edges, you expect me to start "exploring" and finding doors that are solid black. Screw you!

Speak of the devil, the very next passage forces me to fight three enemies. Two enemies in a row, one at a time, is enough to put both characters below half health; three enemies simultaneously would be unwinnable even if they were at full health! The game then has the audacity to spit bad poetry at me for the game over screen.

In summary: While the game isn't as stupid as trying to proclaim that life was somehow generated spontaneously from non-living chemicals, happened to produce single celled organisms capable of reproducing and mutating, and through a sequence of coincidental mutations managed to diverge into all modern life...it's still pretty stupid and bad. 0/5.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paranoia Star
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=73
Harlock is half of the team behind my all time favorite OHRRPGCE game. I'm curious to see what his earlier solo game is like, since I've never seen it before except scrolling past it while looking at the gamelist.

There's a brief animation of about two seconds of pencil sketches, the main character turning his head slightly. Some effort is put into the cutscene presentation from the outset.

The stills for part of the intro seem to be taken straight from anime VHS rip screenshots or manga scans. It's not hard to tell these from the more original drawings; the former are of higher overall quality while the latter look much crisper and nicer in the OHRRPGCE palette.

Ryunosuke winds up getting trained as a samurai, but as he's jobless he wanders the lands with only a sword and ragged clothes for a while. At one point he murders a beggar to steal that guy's slightly better rags (and in some periods of Japanese history samurai had blanket legal rights to murder any farmer or lower person on the social totem pole for even as petty a reason as "I wanted to see how sharp my sword is"; it was very much evil, but also fully legal, just as certain types of murder are legal in our culture right now).

Shortly after this murder, he passes out and wakes up in somebody's house with completely new clothes, making his murder of the fellow homeless loser even more pathetic and pointless.

And while he's slightly ashamed of murdering the beggar, the guy who just stripped him naked and put him in new clothes while he was unconscious only smiles an evil smile and says what Ryunosuke just did wasn't dishonorable or a miserable waste of human life...yeesh, even a hardened murderer like our protagonist is put off by this. Gao, as the monster is called, already knows Ryunosuke's name without being introduced, which retroactively sets off red flags in adult Ryunosuke's head but he admits that as a teenager it didn't ring alarm bells to him. He lets the creepy older murderer mentor him in further murders and robbery for a while.

Interesting. Ryunosuke's training and life of hardened crime are represented by him starting at level 3 instead of level 0 or level 1. His sprites look fine (at least his standing battle pose and walkabout sprites) but the maptiles are just ugly gray-brown messes or airbrushed pixels and a fence that looks to be ripped from some other game and stretched to the 20x20 size distinct to OHRRPGCE maptiles.

The houses of the two-building village I walk to look like they're bad imports of screenshots of some mediocre JRPG that used 3D models for its environments. The doorway of the building on the left leads to nowhere and isn't obstructed by say, a closed door graphic or an invisible NPC.

Ryunosuke walks into the house on the right. The master of the house is right at the front door and offers him to sleep for the night and some free food; Ryunosuke accepts this and waits until the man's back is turned to draw his sword with intent of murder. Quite the villain protagonist we have on our hands here, one of the most chillingly realistic villains I think I've seen in an OHRRPGCE game before.

Okay, I know it's not meant to be funny, but when her eyes close I imagine such a deadpan and sarcastic tone coming out of the wife when she walks in and sees her husband reduced to a puddle of blood. She immediately recognizes Ryunosuke as her brother.

What a jerk, not only did he murder a friendly dude offering him free food, that was his brother in law! This almost looks like a bit from a cheesy sitcom. "Ryunosuke! Why did you have to go and kill my husband again!? I'm telling mom!"

I shouldn't get off track and have a laugh like this since it's some of the best unironic drama and tension I've seen in this engine, but the textbox pacing and sprite work just make me think of much less serious things.

Ryunosuke's sister faints shortly thereafter and he kidnaps her, bringing her back to his murder boss for as of now unclear reasons.

Walking along the trail Ryunosuke fights against bright red bats and mushrooms that either have big thick mustaches or sad eyes, further undercutting the drama building up thus far. He knows a spell called Bolt I that does less than half as much damage as his standard sword swing to the bats and mushrooms.

Fighting some skeletons, they take only 1 damage from sword and die instantly from a spread lightning attack. Interesting choice but not entirely intuitive, at least this means neither the sword nor the attack magic is innately completely worthless in this first area.

In battle, Ryunosuke's shirt is light gray with a white outline. Outside of battle, it's white with a light gray outline. As shading generally makes things darker on the edges, the latter is probably generally intended; I don't know why it's reversed for him in battle. His animations are all pretty good so far.

Most parts of the mushroom monster intuitively shade from lighter dark red and dark yellow to progressively darker shades on the edges, but the dark gray mustache/eyes are also lighter around the outside...weird and inconsistent.

Every time I kill skeletons, they drop an item called "Resurrex" which claims to raise the dead, but cannot be activated inside or outside of battle. (When I saw I couldn't use it to heal outside of battle, I figured maybe it was an item for using on the undead monsters themselves...a "revive kills zombie" situation if you will).

The overworld is bright and vibrant like a normal RPG, but the town is muddy and dismal just like the first area. I eventually find Gao's house, which looks just like any other. He takes special perverted pleasure in hearing Ryunosuke just killed his brother in law, possibly feigning not knowing that's what he just arranged to have happen (he knew Ryunosuke's name before meeting him, after all). Or am I being the Paranoia Star?

Gao also openly expresses attraction to Ryunosuke's sister. This guy's a Grade A creepshow and probably wants both siblings, just isn't done grooming Ryu yet.

Kyoko is so traumatized that she develops amnesia and begins acting like a child. Eesh, this is a surprisingly heavy story; wish the music wasn't screeching a long high-pitched note in my ear during the cutscene when the volume controls can't be accessed.

The weapon and armor shops' internal structure is reversed what it looks to be on the outside; you walk in the left door labeled with a weapon icon and there's a path to the left, walk in the right door and there's a path to the right. The internal doors lead to likewise reversed external doors. Inside there's a clerk selling armor at what should be the weapon shop counter and nobody running what should be the armor shop.

Ryunosuke decides to go stare at the moon dramatically. He flashes back to three years earlier when he and Gao murdered a man they were hired to assassinate right in front of his young son. It's a pretty hideous affair; Gao encourages reveling in and enjoying the killing and while slightly hesitant, Ryunosuke just goes through with it with very little goading. The rich merchant explodes into a corpse that looks exactly like the dead brother in law despite having been wearing a completely different outfit before dying.

Ryu's flashback is interrupted when he hears his sister scream. He rushes back to Gao's house to find the pervert trying to make the moves on her after acknowledging that she's mentally a child/emotionally broken to the point that she only giggles when she asks where her daddy is and is told "He's rotting in hell." Has Gao done this with actual children and not just adults with the minds of children? I wouldn't put it past him, that's for sure.

Ryunosuke decides to try doing something good for once and draws his blade to kill Gao. Gao takes 1 point of damage from fire or electric attacks and always dodges physical attacks. After about a minute of useless flailing, he kills Ryunosuke (over 500 HP!) in a single swing. Was I supposed to try running away with the escape key or is this the actual canon ending? No cutscenes happen after this, so I'm just going to presume Gao rapes the PTSD-stricken widow and maybe also the corpse of his former apprentice murderer.

Summary: The game is strangely unpolished and silly in its standard RPG mechanics (nothing would be lost if Ryunosuke had no magic spells and the random battles didn't exist, lots of broken doors and ugly tiles) but strangely harrowing and disgusting and interesting in its writing. I'm glad I didn't play this game as a young teenaged Ronin or it'd have been another one I'd have denounced and been angry at instead of one I can strangely respect for depicting a protagonist who is not in any way a hero.

I'm giving it a 2/5 entirely for its good writing and bold storytelling, even if the seriousness is somewhat undermined by its actual RPG qualities.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Motherland
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=72
I recall trying to play this game in like, 2004 or so. I hated it then, but the graphics look pretty. Will my more adult tastes find the gameplay and story more palatable, or will I still find it boring and confusing as I did before? Very large numbers on the example screenshot make me leery - I've always been uncomfortable with 3 and 4 digit numbers in RPGs, and basically the bigger the number, the less relatable and significant I find it.

One thing I always remembered about this game is that it's basically trying to set itself up as a tactics game using the default battle engine. It does this by depicting completely normal-looking heroes and bandits, heroes having defined names and personalities, but declares each hero sprite to represent the leader of a large company of warriors (your HP total is the number of men in that unit strong enough to fight right now, damage taken are casualties inflicted, resting at the inn applies treatment to heal them all). The monster sprites likewise probably represent large numbers of enemies.

And...that's basically all I remember other than not being able to pay attention to the story and the graphics being good? I wonder why it was never this game pointed to as a "pretty looking" OHRRPGCE game rather than Fantasy Under a Blue Moon X or Final Fantasy H (both of which are, to put it nicely, mediocre in the visuals department).

A barbarian walks into a cave and is perplexed by the concept of an invisible, intangible spirit when it speaks to him. Who would ever guess there were atheist barbarians running around with horned helmets? He's definitely no Viking, this barbarian...invisible spirits tripping you up in battle so you die with honor is exactly what a Valkyrie is. She makes sure someone else kills you, then since you died with honor she can take to to Valhalla to add you to the armies of some god or another.

Also the barbarian atheist is named Reuben, a Hebrew name. Weird choice, was he named after the open-faced "sandwich" not knowing its etymological origins? Or named after the creator's IRL name perhaps as he is the main character? I get not everyone likes significant, thematically meaningful names on characters as much as I do, but this feels jarringly unfocused and I'm not even done with the opening cutscene.

Reuben's surname Haelsturm sounds vaguely Scandinavian, the city of Dalaran sounds generic high fantasy, Republic of Norgard sounds like a mix of concepts altogether. So he's an Atheist Republican Jewish Viking Barbarian? His father's name is Gleon, which almost sounds like a Gaelic name. Is all of this secretly American? Is this game America's future?

Interestingly, Reuben's mother was an extra-strong barbarian from the forest. He's stated to be as smart as his father and strong as his mother, but his father was a mage and while he excelled at academic study of magic, Reuben is unable to cast spells himself. Why did I remember none of this?

There are some nice large illustrations of Reuben as the game describes his personality and backstory. I can't find a single thing to fault the game for graphically so far.

Music so far sounds like pleasant sword and sorcery type affair, a good melodic harp piece for Reuben's long conversation with the spirit.

The evil overlord of the game is named Exodus. Or Exodos in one textbox. But now that I know Reuben was trained at a wizard academy his being surprised by the existence of an invisible spirit is only more puzzling, me guessing he's atheist is a little bit of a joke but now the main villain is named after a book of the Bible while the hero has a Biblical name?

Reuben proclaims to the spirit of the war god offering him power and immortality that he and his people worship a different goddess and he thus declines. The spirit retorts by telling him that said goddess doesn't exist and is a work of fiction made up by mortals; Reuben says "It doesn't matter if she's real so long as people believe in her"; what a load of stupid hogwash. You're a fool, Reuben; she might be real and this spirit might be lying, but belief does not make reality and belief in a lie does not make it true. Facts don't care about your feelings and majority opinions can't override objective truth.

And any god or goddess who needs worship, sacrifices, or belief of mortals as sustenance is not a deity worthy of worship, just an emotional parasite with some magic powers. Every single deity in Dungeons and Dragons or Discworld, this applies to you.

Reject all gods made by men and worship the one God who made men!

Back to the game, apparently the gods that actually exist in this setting were created during a big bang. Where did the singularity that exploded into everything come from, guys? Either it somehow transcends existence and time or it was created by someone who pre-dates all you gods by definition; now you're in a hairy situation. Where did the big bang come from? If there was nothingness, how did nothing become something? Hahaha, as if the big bang model didn't also utterly fail to explain the shape of our real universe it fails as a beginning point for this silly fantasy game about one man who is actually thousands of men!

The gods had to spend a billion years figuring out how to make life, which makes more sense than the idea of it coming into existence spontaneously through a chemical reaction (an impossible chemical reaction, I might add; put the "life-generating" chemicals together and add all the energy you want, you'll never get a working DNA molecule and a working amino acid out of it at the same time in the lifespan of the universe from beginning to end millions of times over, much less enough of them spaced just so to each other that you can get even your first microbe; a dozen or so intangible spirits with telekinesis and all the time they need to practice could at least eventually get there through the scientific method).

Once the gods made a planet with life on it, they got bored and made dinosaurs. Once they got bored of dinosaurs they drove them to extinction and made more animals, some of which evolved into mankind. What useless, petty gods that they need to rely on evolution to get to anything interesting.

Oh, showing a field of crosses when talking about false religions and religious wars. Yeah, if I had any good will before reading the game world's "history" it's pretty worn out by now. This is like, the worst combination of r/atheism and the usual tropes of fantasy pantheons combined together; you can't really rise above your own worldview, I guess. (Though if your worldview is really high you can fail to live up to it.)

"Ish' Matar" - once again, throwing a contractive apostrophe into a word you made up to make it look more exotic. What's wrong with calling it Ishmatar? Also that sounds pretty close to Ishtar, who was actually an interesting fictional goddess unlike these bozos.

So Exodus is the name of an evil overlord, the word crusade exists, "false religions and religious wars" are represented with wooden crosses, the Atheist Jew Wizard Barbarian would rather worship a goddess he knows to be false than the real ones talking to him just because she makes him more comfortable, the "real" gods were created by the big bang and had to spend billions of years creating life, and couldn't even do that right. Oh, and Exodus is waging a crusade to spread atheism because he believes all religions to be evil (given the false gods of this setting are just pleasant lies people tell themselves and the real ones are so pitiful, I can't say I blame him). Hahaha, this setting is a terrible mashup of bad and poorly thought out ideas. How did I miss all this when I was a kid? I should have torn this game a new one in review back in 2005!

I walk around on the overworld and some broken textboxes start saying something about Reuben approaching a city. This cuts off mid-sentence and doesn't link to another textbox.

I get in a random battle and Reuben and his 174 men are defeated in a fight with eight random bandits. Thus ends the story of Reuben the Sauerkraut.

Summary: I can't fault the game's visuals or music in any way, but its story is badly written and very, very wordy. The gameplay is terrible and unplayable. I give it a 1/5 purely for the competent graphical and musical work.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"


Last edited by Ronin Catholic on Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neo-Krysta
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=70
I had a long, in-depth analysis of this game but for some reason something ate my session timer.

Long story short:
Half of the enemies heal you, the other half do pitiful damage

The floor tiles are sometimes okay, the other maptiles are ugly

There was an interesting trick of taking screenshots of the game, drawing character portraits onto the screenshots, and then importing those screenshots as textbox backdrops that ultimately adds nothing

There's a plotscript that makes your character, Flint, move slower on staircases. I compared it to the modern diagonal staircase script: A completely pointless flourish which wastes effort that could've gone into something else.

Music seems to be original but sounds absolutely terrible. Should have stuck with sample OHRRPGCE music instead.

A few small touches I appreciated, but each floor of the museum has less flavor text than the one before it (first floor: different flavor text for every exhibit, the lobby computers, security room, and both restrooms; second floor, every exhibit has a generic "This podum describes the exhibit" textbox; third floor, huge library where none of the bookshelves have flavor text).

Once I got the quest item on the top floor of the museum (was completely unable to find the "PLANETARIUM" I was looking for) my boss refused to acknowledge that I had it and so the museum trip never ends.

And in the end, I can see why this family of games was forgotten.

Neo Krysta II
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=71
Unlike the first game (which I remember for the character portrait trick and the slimes that can heal you) and the third game (either the main character or the first boss was a chainsaw wielder I think?), I don't remember Neo Krysta II: Electric Boogaloo at all.

Its description includes in-universe terminology for either races or classes I'm not familiar with; What's a "Dragonspring"? Is it like a wyrmling, a dragoon, a dragonborn, a coiled snake, a springboard, a hot spring that dragons bathe in?

Right off the bat, the map tiles seem to be of generally worse quality than the first game. First game had a custom font that was nice; just the default OHF with extra serifs. This game has an awful font that is terrible and should be made to feel bad. Go home, Neo Krysta 2.OHF! You suck! I want text that's easy to read.

The game plays a victory music sting for every treasure added to the inventory. Which restarts itself for every textbox if you, say, check your dresser in your home and get four pieces of armor and a sack of coins out of it.

Peika's bookcases look like the old fashioned TV/monitor color test screen. The wooden shelves and his wooden floor are very nearly the same three shades of brown so the wooden shelves are basically invisible, showing only some brightly colored blocks of book.

Peika's walkabout poses are weaker than Flint's from the first game and his colors aren't as eye catching; while Flint had badly drawn arms and legs, Peika extends himself in more awkward poses as he walks and while Flint had some pleasant blues, grays, and greens arranged in a nice readable way Peika is a blob of brown clothes with sickly strands of greasy black hair. Both had swords and ponytails, and I somewhat appreciate that Peika is drawn with his outside of battle and not just in it.

Lowercase H is drawn as a lightning bolt. Have I mentioned I hate this font yet? It's one of those skinny fonts; give me something CLEAR AND BOLD any day.

Quality of the portraits is better here, at least. Finally, something improved! Now instead of having a gigantic chin, tiny eyes, and a narrow forehead the character portrait actually looks like a generic anime man. Hahaha, being nondescript is an improvement!

Peika is slammed or slapped by his mother for something in what I presume is supposed to be a slapstick gag, but it wasn't depicted visually. You just get a "Wham" sound effect in a textbox and the same character portrait as before with swirly eyes instead of normal eyes.

This game's definitely a lot less serious out the gate than Neo Krysta 1.

Peika's eyes have huge black pupils if he's facing left or right but are just eerie white dots if he's facing south. Trees have single-color brown stems and five shade green gradient tops. Grass is green airbrushed with two more shades of green a shade of yellow, a shade of brown, and a shade of red. Sand is airbrushed yellow and yellow on yellow with ever darkening yellow gradients at the edges where it's supposed to blend into the grass. Water is airbrushed cyans that randomly jiggle for their animations.

Oof, spoke too soon about portrait improvement. IN the fullscreen pictures of the characters they've got those laughably low foreheads again. Apparently a "Dragonspring" is a generic anime human, only with blue hair and a pair of wings. However, his south facing walkabout has the wings oddly placed and it looks like he has huge ears instead. Raku the Dragonspring's left and right facing walkabouts are alright.

There are completely arbitrary patches of grass with impassable walls for no clear reason.

Second map has awful bagpipe music blaring in the background. A mix of shitty dirt brown roads and piss yellow brick roads with random marble pillars that support nothing and those weirdly flat tree trunks with gradient-heavy leaves.

Generic town NPCs have the same colors of hair and clothes as Peika, making him even less distinct than he already looks on floors that match his clothes.

Both characters begin knowing how to steal, but neither of the monsters on the overworld have items on them. These monsters are a triangle being referred to as a slime and an ant being referred to by the same name as the scorpions in the last game despite looking like completely different monsters.

Summary: This game is half a step forward, making an abrupt 180 and making a mad dash in the other direction in terms of game quality from the first.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Virtual School
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=69
Game 69. I doubt this was done intentionally, but it's a game that boasts one of its main features being getting a girlfriend.

The game boasts of being "not a boring videogame" because you can go to high school, get a girlfriend, and get suspended. Why would I want to play a simulated version of high school, decidedly the worst chapter of human endeavor? It begs for money even on the promo GIF to get the full version, of which this is a demo.

The game is supposed to be a simulation of high school "real life" but its filename is REELLIFE.RPG and I don't know if this is intentional bad spelling to be more "kewl" and "street" - I don't even know what's fashionable with the cool kids nowadays, much less 20 years ago. I was always a socially avoidant nerd. It could also be that Chappell doesn't know how to spell the word "real", which since 25% of public high school graduates are illiterate wouldn't surprise me any.

The title screen music sounds alright. A little bit of piano, a little bit of fart trumpet, it sounds like late 90s sitcom music set in the inner city.

Chappell on the title screen is pointing at the school, labeled VIRTUAL SCHOOL. His arm isn't entirely flesh colored; there's some grass green inside his lines. The line work is all unrefined and sloppy, no care was taken to smooth out lines that zigzagged unintendedly or overlapped or the like. One of his eyebrows has a pair of eyes (because the line art and coloring were never tidied up).

The game opens with a spinning head of Chappell. He looks like if South Park tried depicting Billy or Tim-Tim the gnomes; he has a pointy red cap and a round face with very little in the way of features. The first text box
"KnoCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!"
Why is the first knock not all caps like the other four? Why is it five instead of three to get the point across? Why isn't it centered or the textbox reduced from its default maximum size?

Chappell's dad is a gingerbread man with a pink shirt, blue pants, and a single horizontal red line of frosting for either his hair or a hat. Chappell himself has completely different bodily proportions while in his pyjamas than he does in his school clothes. Out of his school clothes he has a tiny head with a gray fork for hair, in his clothes he's a slightly darker skinned Eric Cartman.

Chappell's legs don't move when he walks, he keeps both extended in an uncomfortable case of the splits and flails his arms around (or on his north/south poses, simply makes his arms change size and shape but stay in the same positions).

The game's first instance of "humor", as touted by Silverwolf and Pepsi Ranger's reviews, is Chappell being woken up by his dad because he was a disobedient snot who stayed up all night playing videogames instead of going to bed early so he could wake up for school in the morning (dad didn't actually discipline him or take his games away at the time but knew he was doing this and just let it happen with only verbal dissuasion). Chappell gets out of bed, waits for his dad to leave the room, then calls his dad a sucker and gets back into bed. His dad comes into the room again instantly and slaps him, then makes him actually get dressed. Comedy gold, right? No, not really; Chappell's a dickweed and his dad's a total pussy.

The game calls a lot of attention to the sounds of this high schooler unzipping his pants, the hissssssss of him pissing in the toilet, and him sighing with relief. It does not, however, depict him zipping his pants back up, flushing the toilet, or washing his hands (even if I manually walk him over to the sink he instead brushes his teeth again). Unnecessary attention to some details only makes the lack of others more obvious and thus disgusting.

Chappell has a hideous older sister who has already graduated so she doesn't have to go to school. Were I to liken her face to anything I'd say she looks like an ape; not a nice thing to say but I'm not the one who drew my sister that way, Chappell is. The walls and carpets look like they were ripped from an early build of Wandering Hamster (this was a common practice in old OHR games, but Chappell is trying to get you to pay him cash money for this game). It looks too similar to the white walls and blue carpets of numerous other early OHR games to be original, and also too well drawn compared to his sister's pink carpet and the various furniture.

A mom who cooks, but only Pop Tarts. Or "Pop tart" as the inventory incorrectly capitalizes it; it "Cures Hp" instead of healing HP. If it just said it "Cures HP" I'd have let it slide, but for no reason other than laziness the word Tart in the proper noun Pop Tart and the P in the abbreviation Hit Points were lowercase. You want me to pay you for this game when you can't even be bothered to hold down a shift key while typing, Chappell? Or did your teachers discipline you as poorly as your father?

Chappell asks his dad for money for school and he initially says no, then after a little nagging hands him a twenty dollar bill. Do you know how much money $20 was back in the first half of the oughties? It was only barely less than a $20 in the nineties! It was like a $50 in modern money (thanks for constantly robbing us with inflation, Federal Reserve Bank! What would we ever do without you constantly actively making our money worth less each year than the year before?). A five for lunch in an overpriced fast food joint I could see (back when this game was made, there were still fast food places with 0.29 and 0.39 hamburgers even in first world countries like the United States) but how can I take Chappell being casually handed a twenty dollar bill like this seriously?

Chappell's dog (a brown dog) informs us that dogs that are nice are colored brown and dogs that can save your game file are colored blue. Other colors of dog will attack. DAS RAYCIS!

The game teases me with a movie theater that "Will open tomorrow, but this is the demo so you'll never see tomorrow." I'm not paying you for a crappy game about a crappy person using stolen assets and dog racism, Chappell.

The school bus apparently costs a dollar to ride. Hey overpriced public education system, isn't this one of the many things we pay you for with our tax dollars? As soon as he steps onto the yellow short bus, the first NPC I find immediately asks Chappell not to beat him up. So you're the cartoon bully every school has in cartoons? What a jerk! Why would I want to follow your story instead of the algebra nerd's? The cameraman for the school yearbook even says "If I were you I would have punched the nerd." Wow, you're both jerks and I wish fast food jobs upon you.

Chappell doesn't capitalize his own name in his dialog with another kid on the bus. He talks to a kid whose pants have a brown outline the same as his skin rather than a darker shade of blue like their inner color. First girl Chapel talks to immediately gives him her phone number immediately after giving him a fake number and laughing about it. ""Comedy"" ""Humor"" ...wish fulfillment.

There are five identical girls with gray skin, blue hair, and purple dresses sitting in the back of the bus. They're all disgusted by Chappell being a freshman (rather than him being a short, fat, thuggish jerk who thinks the world owes him something just for existing and is racist against any dog with non-brown fur).

The "Bus Driva" talks about "solja rags" while driving the bus to "y'all school" after asking the kids not to "act roudy". This will take "30 quick ones" allegedly. He then calls the hoodlums "hudlums". I think Chappell should've spent more time doing his homework and less time actively getting suspended because he thinks suspension is cool (not that the homework from a government funded school would've helped much).

One of the girls in the school hall has dark blue hair with a bright yellow outline, and when walking left or right she grows a third arm. Chappell's first class of the day takes place in the "autiorum" instead of the auditorium.

I check the lockers for flavor text and Chappell has the audacity, after all this disrespect he's been consistently showing to everyone else in the world thus far, to say "Snooping in someone else's locker? How low can you get?" Chappell, you don't have the high ground to say something like that when your first impulse to the sight of an intelligent or scholarly child is physical violence and you still never zipped up your pants or washed your hands after using the restroom this morning.

Chappell, the freshman bully, encounters a senior bully in the halls. I have the option to pick a fight with the obviously physically superior bully, but I know Chappell is the sort of coward who'd never get into a fair fight, much less one where he's at any sort of disadvantage. Why, this bully even has the same skin color as him so he couldn't accuse him of racism if he lost!

The bully takes Chappell's entire 20 dollars (even though he only had 19 after spending the first one on the bus; the game doesn't check to see if you have enough money).

Some classrooms are empty and some are full of people with no dialogue, some of whom are smoking even though they're teenaged students in a public highschool classroom; I'm pretty sure that's something that's not at all allowed. Started out weak and only gets weaker...this is a pretty bad game.

Chappell is apparently not the only person who doesn't flush. One of the two toilets in the men's room and all six toilets visible in the girl's room have big brown turds floating in them. Chappell falls silent at this, not commenting at how disgusting this is; that or as the game maker, he was too lazy to write a flavor text box for this particular instance and in doing so makes himself look like just slightly less of a hypocrite for once.

The girl's room has one stall with a huge fat boy in it, one with a boy and a girl together, and a second girl who just patrols its carpeted (!) floor looking for boys like Chappell to kick out. Admittedly he's not supposed to be in there, but neither are the other two boys that she's not kicking out.

The AUDITORiuM is all the way at the end of the hall. The "Princable" stands on stage and gives a generic presentation about how learning will be "fun" while the students mock him for being bald. The school is not in fact named VIRTUAL SCHOOL as the title screen depicts, but ChapCo High, after our very own protagonist and game maker man Chappell. It's sometimes capitalized Chapco and sometimes ChapCO.

A timer begins to play as soon as I exit the autismium and Chappell starts announcing that he needs to use the restroom. Even though he's already been twice today, he needs it again immediately and refuses to walk to class, insisting they won't mind him being late if it's his first day (the first day is the most important to make a good impression on, you doorknob).

And...even after making him use the bathroom he just refuses to use the staircase to get to his first class anyway. I give up, the game was terrible on every level and it's also broken.

Chappell, I hope you've outgrown being a stupid worthless thug who picks on the weak and thinks it's okay to steal graphics from other videogames and ask people to pay you for your lazily tossed together excuse for a life sim in the past eighteen years.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"


Last edited by Ronin Catholic on Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ronin Catholic
Deadliest of Fairies




Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 501
Location: My Girlfriend

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Smileys Adventure
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=67
The title should be "Mr Smiley's Adventure". I don't know what it is with these kids and neglecting the apostrophe in possessive game titles and adding extras decoratively to made up words.

I'll be a bit more lenient about "Baby Smileys" because while smilies would be a better plural, it's not always intuitive which words change form between singular and plural. Pulleys doesn't become pullies, for example. Words are learned on a case by case basis, and once you're very well-read you'll generally intuit the art (not science) of English spellings about 99% of the time.

While this game is about a yellow smiling face travelling through grassy fields, it surprisingly doesn't rip the Sample/NPCtag sprites and tileset. The sprites are original and while amateurish, they're simple and easy to read; they certainly look a lot more pleasant than most of the other games I've reviewed so far.

I vaguely recall playing this game a few years ago and being mildly amused by it, going in with low expectations and finding it mostly inoffensive.

Mr. Smiley isn't a happy knight or a happy wizard or a happy martial artist; he's just a happy farmer and when an evil monster abducts the children of the land and plans to destroy it and force people to be miserable briefly before they die, he immediately jumps at the call to heroism.

The grass is two shades of green airbrushed together, the sand is orange with brown airbrushing, and the water is a purple-blue with purple squiggles on it (which animate). There are also giant dancing sunflowers, wooden bridges and houses made of uniform flat brown surfaces, and white doorways.

Mr Smiley enters a house on a small island where a smiley wearing a pink bow wishes him good luck. He finds a treasure chest containing two cross necklaces and puts one on, raising his HP by 40% and DEF by 50% from their initial values. Openly wearing his faith on his chest fills him with life and resolve to resist the forces of evil.

In another corner of the farmstead, he finds a Pringles can with 20 coins stashed away in it for a rainy day and takes these with him; he brings the Pringles can itself so as not to litter.

Next he finds a pleasant looking cave consisting of medium-dark brown floors and medium-light brown walls; it's all clear, readable, and lacking in any discernible details. Thus, without needless visual distractions it's the tile map itself that shines: It's a mediocre cave maze with no treasure or enemies (as the game proclaims in its description, this game has bosses only, no random enemies). The clearly telegraphed white teleporter tiles lead to other teleporter tiles, but after a couple minutes of rudimentary puzzle solving I find my way out of the cave and onto a beach.

On the beach, Mr. Smiley needs to solve some rock-pushing puzzles. These seem to be approximately the correct difficulty for an RPG neophyte, and I commend the game for its accessibility and not wasting my time. It does immediately make a blunder afterward; an unmarked teleporter puts Mr. Smiley on the other side of the beach with all the boulders reset, but the use of my old friend the F11 key fixes that. I step into the other unmarked teleportation space to move on to the next area.

Next I come across a hubworld. An elderly smiley with a thick gray beard informs me that the evil beast is heading for Smiley City. Several women inform me of a certain number of baby smilies lost in certain areas, but all but one of these are locked off. Mr. Smiley heroically climbs on a surfboard and crosses the Sea of Sadness, sadness being the natural weakness of smileys.

Mr. Smiley's surfboard defies the usual rules of the ocean and surfs on grass as well as flashing purple-blue water, but is impeded by moist stones erected into a crude maze. No matter, our heroic farmer perseveres and rescues a lost child!

Saving this one baby manages to destroy the gate blocking the Spooky Mansion. Contrary to popular belief, spookiness is not an opponent to happiness, but part of happiness's balanced diet.

The spooky mansion is full of library books, happy ghosts who cheerfully greet guests, and table lamps that flick themselves on and off, self-pouring pitchers of water, and portraits of Mr. Smiley that blink. One of the ghosts is dismayed that his friendly countenance is unable to spook the farmer, but he resolves to practice more.

One of the ghosts offers to sell me some equipment; I opt for the shield that boosts Speed rather than the one that boosts HP.

A ghost named Spook Kid decides that the evil Big Boo kidnapping a smiley child is too much and joins Mr. Smiley on his quest; he, too, dons a cross necklace, but they don't have enough money to buy him a shield.

Between Spook Kid's superior scariness compared to the Big Boo, and Mr. Smiley's newfound technique of throwing rocks, the two handily kick his boohind and rescue the boohooing baby ball. Boss boo dropped his lucky charm; it is flatly inferior to the crosses Mr. Smiley brought with him from home, as faith in Jesus Christ will always trounce the influence of lucifer.

Heading through the Happy Woods, Mr. Smiley and Spook Kid resume rescuing rascals while navigating nature. After their arboreal adventure, they frolic in the field of flowers, then ride the nimbus in Cloud City where a bird named Boomer joins them in their holy quest.

Steeling themselves, the three heroes enter a miserable dark cave...the dreaded Road to Nowhere, where the walls are black and the floor flashes black and dark brown, making navigation mildly inconvenient! While sadness can directly damage happiness and fear can nourish it to make it stronger, mild inconvenience leads to boredom and boredom is a toxin that eats away at happiness from the inside, binding to the same bodily systems that are supposed to run on restfulness and relaxation instead.

Finding a lost child hidden behind a false wall, the three heroes bravely fumble their way through the Road to Nowhere, only mildly dissuaded and fatigued from their harrowing experience! Mr. Smiley and Boomer Bird learn to projectile spit onto enemies. A giant spider accosts them near the end, but between Mr. Smiley's good slapping glove, Spook Kid's top-tier saying of the word "Boo", and Boomer Bird's spider webs, they are able to rescue the last child lost in the dark maze and escape. To celebrate and recover from the injuries they've sustained, they eat some pies; it's not enough to recover fully, but should hold them over until they can afford some rest at an inn.

Finding that I have completed only one of three hub worlds, I am dissuaded from following these brave souls any further at this point.

Summary: The game is bad, but in an inoffensive and somewhat charming way, rather than a frustrating, insulting, disgusting, or disturbing way. The graphics are all poorly drawn, but most don't hurt the eyes (the animating water in the surfing level being one exception even to that) and are all clear and readable, the only times the wallmap doesn't make sense is when it's intentionally made into a secret passage for the purpose of puzzle solving. A solid 1/5 for effort kind of game.

Mr Pog
http://www.castleparadox.com/gamelist-display.php?game=66
A very similar game at first glance, Mr. Pog follows a red round face, also an original sprite rather than a rip from Sample/NPCtutor as would normally be customary. However, while also originally drawn for this game, its art assets are of an overall slightly inferior quality to Mr Smiley; water doesn't animate, grass is solid green blocks without little dots in it, no happy dancing bushes or sunflowers, and so on. There are absolutely tiny trees on the first map, stems about four pixels tall and bushy diamond-shaped leaf patterns about six to eight pixels tall. Are the pogs giant?

Rather than the immediately friendly and wholesome vibe of Mr. Smiley, one of the first NPCs in Mr. Pog shouts "Piss!" at us. Personally I find this one of the least-offensive "swear words" - along with shit and various animal names (pussy, bitch, ass, cock) I have a hard time imagining how it's supposed to be as offensive to say as, say, shouting damn hell Jesus Christ and various religious oaths. I totally get not wanting to talk about cocks fucking bitches' pussies around children or the overly sensitive, but it's the subject matter more than the words that make these offensive; it's only as recently as 2012 I first discovered there were people who took offense to the classic children's poem I Love Little Pussy and it was back in like 2006 or so I first learned people thought calling a man a "pussy" was referring to female genitalia to insult him (rather than referring to him as a timid and easily frightened cat or as someone who is pusillanimous). And there's no context in which shit and piss can be truly more offensive than various other words for excrement and urine; however, when people casually drop the name of the God I worship and make light of the concept of the unrepentant burning in eternal hellfire? That just pisses me right off.

An NPC walks into Mr Pog and proclaims "This game is great!" which it isn't. Despite being on a grassy field, an actively-uglier-than-usual version of Sandsea pops up with yellow and blue triangles on it. Their attacks fail against Mr Pog due to his elemental resistances and he nonchalantly faces the wrong direction as his Sun Ball attack destroys them.

Mr Pog teleports from one overworld map to another, fighting the same three random enemies: Yellow triangles, blue triangles, and brown boxes. He eventually finds an abandoned air balloon and rides it around a bit. He takes a one way trip across a broken bridge and enters a town named Polo, where shopkeepers refuse to talk to him from across the counter. One shop sells Coca Cola, which he can wield as a weapon to raise his max HP and MP by 100 and Granades, the sun ball grenades he was already wielding.

After this, Mr. Pog steals a bike, but while riding the bike his sprite disappears. He rides the bike all the way down to a beach that plays the Jaws theme. Sharks are cyan right triangles on a cyan ocean, rather than blue or yellow isosceles triangles on a brown sandsea. He need only engage in combat with one and then hold down escape for every shark on the ocean to vanish at once; I guess they got a whiff of that Coca Cola he had on him and lost their appetite.

Sailing across a barren sea, Mr. Pog changes his weapon back from Coke (which would allow himself to heal himself but not attack) and rearms himself with Granades to Sun Ball at enemies. In the cave, we have actually decently drawn tiles; I wonder if he stole them from another OHRRPGCE game or was just really lazy with the tiles in the first five maps and decided to ramp it up for what I hope is the final dungeon?

...I spoke too soon. Mr. Pog emerges from the uneventful cave and enters a town, where he solves an even more basic and rudimentary rock-pushing puzzle than those in Mr. Smiley. You literally just push each rock forward twice and that's literally it, not even unpushable dummy rocks in the way to confuse you or anything, just trees.

Mr. Pog arrives at the end of another cave, a bloodstained battlefield full of charred skeletons, dead pogs bleeding all over the place, and rivers of slightly-purple blood. One of the charred skeletons serves as a hot air balloon like the one from the second overworld and he enters a cave within the cave.

The tense, dramatic music unique to the bloodstained battlefield is immediately replaced with a cheery, upbeat standard OHR song. Green, specifically. This cave terminates in another ocean playing the Jaws theme; this time Mr. Pog instead of merely repelling the sharks with his Coca Cola obliterates them with his Sun Bomb grenades.

There are two seemingly identical caves on the island. The one on the west side has nothing but broken bridges and dead ends; the other has a trail of more bloody pog and box corpses. Mr. Pog doesn't at all mind trampling all over these to get to his destination. The door at the end of this corridor teleports Mr. Pog inside the wall...this would be the absolute end of the journey, but seeing a three space wide tunnel with corpses along its north and south walls, I hope I've found the room of the final boss and use F11 to get him dislodged from his telefrag.

Oxy is a gray octogon with an angry face, completely immune to Mr. Pog's sun grenades but Mr. Pog is mutually immune to Oxy's attacks. They seem to be at an eternal stalemate, neither ever able to harm the other. However, by holding down the Escape key, I am able to have Mr. Pog desist from the senseless fight. Never once having anyone do anything but stand around and let him splatter them into bloody corpses before, Oxy has an existential crisis that completely erases him from existence with no fanfare.

There is no post-battle dialog, no cutscene, no victorious music. Only the hollow sense that nothing was accomplished here.

Verdict: This game is another awful amateur's first-time game, but it lacks the innocent charm of Mr. Smiley's adventure and should simply be avoided.
_________________
"I didn't start the flame war;
I don't know what you thought here
'Twas that way when I got here"

"I didn't start the flame war;
I can't understand a word you're saying
nor the game you're playing~"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 2 of 4

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You can reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


All games, songs, and images © their respective owners.
Terms of Service
©2008 Castle Paradox