Finished the Game - Gratitude and Impressions

 
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Heresiarch Without A Hope



Joined: 02 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:48 am    Post subject: Finished the Game - Gratitude and Impressions Reply with quote
I destroyed precious time on a soon to be due school essay and presentation from Monday to Thursday early morning this week playing this game. I will inevitably regret not possessing the self-control to wait after the school semester was over before starting, but nevertheless Spirit Engine 2 is a great game.

Gameplay
The combat system is one of the best I've ever seen in forcing me to think about how to take on a specific battle, instead of repeating the same actions over and over again. I didn't make use of creating party chains, but I used the pause button a lot to synchronize attacks. If I get the chance to replay the game again however, there are certain spells I need to better learn. I was too worried about using up refund points when I would need them most, so I didn't specialize my skills for a new environment, except for the last battle. That left me with a lot time spent waiting for enemy HP to whittle away because cutting through armor seemed too daunting.

Probably the most amusing ham-fisted victory battle I had was against the imaginations (reminded me of the Castlevania: SOTN battle where you fight the three incarnations of former protagonists). I believe my characters were level 71 at the time, and I needed my priest to heal my party to get them to win their fights, while still finding time to dish damage for his own. My solution: Heal until priest's buddies have their imaginations under control. After they were done though, the priest was too weak to even move an inch for his melee attacks before getting KOed, so I switched to Wrath only, it was just a matter of time and suffering a lot of concussions before the priest could finally wrath off his fight.

Setting and Story
The Medea universe is really well put together - I like how the seemingly separate high fantasy and sci-fi worlds are woven - it was definitely a new experience seeing creatures looking like it belonged in Metroid floating around in 19th Century Europe. The change of the environment in Chapter 5 into what looked like a Nuclear Winter was great. I really enjoyed the in-game humour and pop references as well (Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Patriot Act, Emo-Cultists)

The characters have great depth and dialogue as well I used the game default of PyanPau, Ionae, Denever.

I was REALLY hoping that Ionae's history and her former fellow denizens had a more substantial decisive role in Rakari-Human history. If nothing else, I was expecting a playable bass bottle against one of her former acquaintances who was unhappy at how she disposed of the initial messenger (her 'crazed' face portrait was awesome).

As cheerful as the artwork is, the game has quite a strong sense of pathos, which in some ways made me think of the game Iji (I realize these games have very little in common, but it comes to mind for me for both being ridiculously awesome freeware). The theme of loss is well presented.

Ending
I didn't expect to make this a subsection on its own, but I have a couple of cents to add.

The ending was good, but I was expecting something a bit more visual (like the cutscene of the Aulder history, and the confrontation with the Rakari), as opposed to Jaques explicating a sort of epilogue.

Isabelle's role seemed a bit underwhelming. I kind of expected a sort of messianic path for her, what with a whole bunch people sharing a bit of her DNA make-up being slaughtered. [Not a criticism, except maybe against humanity's paranoia, but the Keepers plan for keeping the balance rather ticks me off. Maybe there are fewer descendants to Dr. Miles that I imagine, but I would think concentrating your energy on assassinating the one megalomaniac who knows about and wants to exploit the World Eye would be better than doing a genocidal sweep across the four corners of Medea]. For all the drama, it came down to her being to key to turn on power, which she has no agency over, after which she could be easily ignored.

I understand that the ending was made to leave questions and possibilities open for an uncertain future, but I wished there was Rakari present that could elaborate their side of the story as well. Along with the Tasen in Iji, there's something about full species extinction without closure that sits unsettingly with me. But that's life.

Final Words
Fantastic game. So much so that I want to ask this: Is there any special features included from the package version of TSE2 from BMT-Micro (cover-art, extras)? I will gladly pay, but if everything's the same except for just the CD and title screen that doesn't say freeware on the corner, I'll use PayPal instead.

I enjoyed the journey.
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Mark Pay
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Joined: 09 Aug 2006
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Location: Margate, UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks Heresiarch Without A Hope! I'm thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the game!
Fantasy RPG story mechanics are strange things, and the elegant, logical construction of plot is a difficult skill, one which I'm still learning. The tone of the ending was quite difficult to balance. I was relieved that Josh wrote such an especially great score for the last few scenes. I think that helped.

The CD version of the BMT-Micro version has generic packaging, I'm afraid. Josh's full soundtrack does include covers and disc art. The purchasable versions are essentially the same version of the game.

Thanks again, and good luck with your essay and presentation! Very Happy
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abhifx
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Joined: 22 Apr 2010
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Location: india

PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: best RPG EVER!! Reply with quote
i have been playing lots of games and most of them were RPGs. TSE 2 in my honest opinion was best game i have ever played no matter what genre of games i have played. here are the reasons why..

1. story - the only reason i play games is for story. no matter what the graphic qualities are, the story is the essential part. TSE 2 story sets in one of my favorite genre - fantasy. the story is super deep, with build up in the begging, enough backgrounding at the middle, twist and betrayals, a depth in society functions, peoples psychical and behavior, a deep history of the civilization. man this story is grand, grander then all the best sellers books i have read. 5 starts to story (out of 5 of course)

2. character differentiation - playing with three character was one, each having different thought and abilities. plus a choice in the beginning also starts the internal thoughts.. what if i select different character? yay to choice

3. character development - each character grow as the game progresses, and each have their own strengh and weakness. they develop physical as in all games (DBZ example - its over 9000!!!) but the fun is that the character develop at mentle level. that is what glues the player with the characters. i simply love them

4. character background - the most important and part and the most ignored part in most cases. each character have their own background which shapes them and is revealed as the game progresses. i have made lots of small movies and hence i look forward to this as lots of movies and games misses this important thing.

5. art - i was amazed to see the tools used to create the art. i say its super difficult to use the software. i am "make everything in 3d" man. doing this for more than 5 years. but mark has done wonders. characters are detailed, with well made expressions, NPC's are also in much details. there are small small details in the background, their movements. levels don't repeat, a thing even big game Co. do. but Mark has done absolute hard work and given the variety.

6. animation - woohoo, my favorite part since i have done it and find it tremendously difficult to get it right. TSE 2 has animation in a fluid manner, very appropriate for the game style. idle animation when characters are left idle, when characters win, each have different walk cycle... yeah you get the point

7. music - music could make or break the game. thankfully spirit engine has music which i have now recorded to listen to it while i am on the move. music has enough variety and fits the mood

8. gameplay - i have lost count for how long i have played games, this one is the BEST game with a unique gameplay. i was sick of JRPG ( i am looking at you final fantasy and clones) sick of FPS ( look its moving, kill it!!) sick of adventure game ( where is the walkthrough to solve this now) but this game gave me the fun and enjoyment i was longing for. never seen before fighting system, no purchasing of health, potions and what not, strategy is the most important thing. i had to use all my brain cells ( and look for help at the forum) but it was absolute blast. it sometime got annoying (even on easy level) but the game kept on calling me and i played it till the end. 5 star again

9. one man army - i could not believe it that mark has done this single handily. so i waited for the end credits, and yeah... mark has done it. what king talent is that? only a genius... a good story, a good art, good animation, plus programing. i could have never done this. it requires real skills and patience to do all that stuff

conclusion - i enjoyed it and will play over and over again, plus i am referring this to as many people as i can. a;although i am ashamed to say that i got to know about this game after it was released as freeware ( i was searching for a free game). otherwise i would have bought by any means ( beg, steal, robbery bwahahah)a game fit to challenge and dethrone those big games

sadly mark will not be working on TSE 3, i really cant digest it. i see a powerful talent being wasted. definatly would have bought the TSE 3 no matter what would have been the cost

hey mark if you are reading this, there are lots of people who are ready to help you at TSE 3. i am ready too. i don't want money, i don't want credit, only the joy and satisfaction of playing TSE 3. but yes, its tour decision in the end and we must respect it.

deep respect for Mark pay. i sincerely thank you for releasing this game
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Mark Pay
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for your kind words abhifx! I am very grateful. I haven't given up on TSE-3, and I hope work on it eventually.
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monsoonasiian
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Joined: 28 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
yay Exclamation
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abhifx
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Joined: 22 Apr 2010
Posts: 8
Location: india

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 2:23 am    Post subject: yippie Reply with quote
well if mark is ready to work on TSE 3 then its one of the best news i have heard Surprised Very Happy

i have read the forum and it seems like me, lots of people like the characters from TSE 2. a small sequel would be awesome considering all the assets are ready.Twisted Evil

we are all rooting for you and ready to help

P.S. looks like there are huge grammatical errors in my last post. oh it was 2 am... i was sleepy and excited
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