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Castle Paradox
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vs. Uncommon
Download: 22B
Play Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Review # 8 for Uncommon "So much more dismay in empty eyes..."
Them's Fightin' Words
    RedMaverickZeero is infamous for making games that could only be described as infantile and inappropriate, but, with Halloween Quest, he has made an attempt to refine his storytelling and gamemaking skills. Despite setbacks by vague cameos, a predictable plot, iffy characterisation, and too many random battles, it's certainly a start.
    Well, they're certainly not the best I've seen, but, to be fair, they really weren't that bad. The battle graphics were at least decent, and, at points, rather interesting. I was a little put off by just how many of the bosses had angel's wings, though. It's not only a bad cliché, but he used it 2 or 3 times. My biggest gripe about the battle graphics is that none of the human characters had pupils. I understand that it's just Red's style, but something about them disconcerts me. I was particularly impressed by the Pumpkin Spiders. I'm not sure why, but those graphics looked a lot better than any of the others.

Some of the tiles were okay, but a lot of them were airbrushy, and most of the water didn't blend too well. A few trees weren't too bad, and the pumpkins were good, too.

One thing that I'm fairly certain I didn't like is the walkabouts. Again with the blank eyes, but also that some of them just weren't right. Clyde's head, for one, was too big, big like a gourd of some sort, and his hair looked awful. Certainly not a level that I'd aspire to myself...
    Well, it starts off with Josh and his little brother Max going trick-or-treating, only to be caught up in an adventure bigger than anything they could've imagined. On this journey, they learn things about themselves, and about their past that couldn't ever have imagined. To tell the truth, a few of the important plot points were very predictable, and had been guessed about halfway through the game. That was a bit disappointing.

The storytelling, however, wasn't bad. There were actually a few defined characters, which, to tell the truth, was more than I expected. A low of it came off as something one might see in an after-school special about coping with being raised by a single parent, though (or a really bad teen drama). Contrivances aside, I did appreciate the effort, but it needed a little more. It was a little nostalgic to see a hero named Josh with an anger problem, though (heh).
    Not bad, actually. When the battles didn't come too often, they weren't too poorly made. But, aside for battles, there wasn't much else to keep the player involved, except a few basic push-the-boulder puzzles. At least, nothing else comes to mind (which means that it wasn't great enough to be really memorable).  
    While most of Josh's attacks were of little use, Max's spells made him the most utterly useful character in the game. Also, Clyde's stat-altering attacks definitely made the boss battles fun (or funny, if you have enough humor to laugh at a boss whose accuracy is too low to land a hit). A few of the bosses were actually hard, but most of the normal battles were of the hold-the-enter-key type, and came heckuva often, too. I did put the curative items to good use, though, but found that they didn't really heal enough, and, since there weren't any other heal-in-battle attacks (except for Josh's useless "Weak Cure"), this made the battles all the harder.  
  Map Design
    A few interesting maps, but nothing that I really liked all that much. Battles on a few maps, like the one between home and the first mansion, occurred far too often, and were generally not fun. Also, the amount of "scary" mansions in this game is kind of funny. I mean, why so many?

One thing to note. I did, for a second, get lost in the pet "sematery", as the story would lead you to believe that something would happen there, which didn't. As soon as you notice an exit, you'll realise that it there's nothing important there, though. Which reminds me, a lot of the maps were incredibly linear, just going from one to another to another. Not any side-tracking, just very straight-forward and linear...
    So, while a few of the boss battles were of some difficulty, none of the normal battle balancing was anything special. Having to go back for side-quests might have been tedious, but the Map of Maroders made that a lot easier. I'd say it was decently paced, then. Though it did take a bit of time to reveal the plot that had been guessed about an half hour into it...  
    Well, my sound card doesn't work, so I can't really comment on the music. It might've been a bunch of awful ripped pieces, or it might've been some AMAZING original stuff, I just don't know. Sorry.  
    Well, I sort of enjoyed it. It wasn't a bad experience, but there's nothing that really sticks about this game...  
Final Blows
    It's not going on my favorites list, but it was a decent experience. I'd say, if you're inclined to play it anyway, then go ahead and give it a try, but if you're not, then there's nothing incredibly compelling that should make you want to. If you don't think anything good can come from RedMaverickZero, then I would suggest that you play this game, it might change your mind. I know it was certainly better than the one Mr. Triangle game I have played.
Well, cry me a river...

Well, cry me a river...
Final Scores
Graphics: 7/10.0
Some interesting battle graphics, maptiles that could best be described as "quaint", and lackluster walkabouts. Not much else to say, except ADD PUPILS PLEASE.
Storyline: 4.5/10.0
Nice effort, but it could've been better.
Gameplay: 7/10.0
Some interesting boss battles, and a few good chuckles while altering stats. Most annoying boss was Axle, as he had an attack that could stop your characters, and there was no item to relieve that. So, yes, more and better curative items would be appreciated.
Music: 5/10.0
Can't hear it. Sorry.
Enjoyment: 6.5/10.0
Despite my attempts not to, I did enjoy this game, for the most part. I'm almost disappointed that I couldn't find more bad things to say about it...
Overall Grade: C+
Final Thoughts
    A slightly above average game, and prolly RedMaverickZero's best to date.  

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