Just finished the game...

 
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Katios' Underpants
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject: Just finished the game... Reply with quote
... and I have to say I found it a thoroughly enjoyable, and hugely impressive, 18 hours.

The artwork and detail with which the world of Medea is evoked is nothing short of stunning. Likewise the soundtrack, which is amongst the best I've heard in any game, let alone an indie production from a two-man team.

The mechanics of the game deserve special mention too, as going in I'd expected a fairly standard JRPG-style experience. What I found instead was a quiet revolution of the entire sub-genre, with battles that forced you to play beyond the humdrum of progress by attrition and to exploit the party's full range of skills for maximum tactical effect.

(I should confess that I found it bastard-hard even on normal difficulty, and was tempted on several occasions to lower it to easy - or, in the case of those Deep Mass things, walk away from the game entirely! - but each time knowing that the impasse probably stemmed not from the game, but my approach to that particular battle or enemy, kept me coming back - and in fact made those tough victories all the sweeter. But constantly changing - some would say disguising! - the appearance of save points led to some teeth-gnashing moments of despair.)

The story made an earnest fist of escaping from the tropes and cliches of the fantasy RPG. I'm not sure it succeeded entirely, and having mentioned somewhere on your site a desire to take on extra help for future projects this is probably the area I would recommend finding a specialist to bring on board. It wasn't awful by any stretch. I really thought the composite party idea completely fantastic, giving as it does a sophisticated balance between customisation and replay-ability on the player's part, and a solid framework to keep the narrative manageable for the writer (you'd always given reliable points for the party's designated gruff antihero and naive optimist to deliver their lines, etc).

However, the interaction between the party members often seemed a little flat. While the essence of the characters did come through, dialogue wasn't really very convincing, usually felt awkward rather than natural, and generally seemed 'under-punctuated' (there may be a technical term for this; I'm not a writer!) with the result being it scanned too quickly in the reader's (or at least, my) mind - like an amateur dramatist blurting out lines, with no regard for cadence or intonation. The diaries also seemed like a missed opportunity: a nice idea, but too often simply repeating the exposition we'd learned through cut-scenes in the character's voice (that said, Charlotte's semi-literacy was a really nice touch).

Kaitos' final soliloquy was really well done, too. Poignant, and yet still I laughed out loud at the punchline.

Looking at the package as a whole, then, the Spirit Engine 2 stands proud amongst its peers a very good game, generous in length even for a single play-through, and all this only heightens the shame I feel for having acquired it as freeware. Whatever your next project may be, if you choose to charge for it, I will be buying a copy, no questions asked.

Until then, I can only offer my thanks and praise as compensation for yours efforts in bringing this excellent game into being.
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Katios' Underpants
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Addenda:

1) Okay, so I just realised you're still accepting donations. So I can also offer some cash on top of the thanks and the praise. Bonus!

2) Apparently his name is Kaltos, not Kaitos. Definitely not Katios at any rate, but if that's true, then whose on Earth are these underpants?

3) It amuses me that I seem to have picked exactly the same party that everyone else on this forum had for the first play-through. It does rather choose itself, though. Really, the psyche just picks Cool-Robes McPriesterson and you work backwards from there.
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Mark Pay
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Joined: 09 Aug 2006
Posts: 623
Location: Margate, UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the support. Very Happy I appreciate the honest critique as well. Writing is a difficult art, and I have a long way to go with it. The diaries were hamstrung by the need to recap plot points for players and on-screen space(!) I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the game as a whole and grateful for your thoughts. Even I hated Deep Masses a bit by the end of development, despite the constant nerfs they received.

Cheers!

-Mark
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DesertDweller
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Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 22
Location: Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Haha, EVERYONE seems to pick Kaltos + Charlotte + Enshadu. Smile
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TwiTerror
Musical Maestro


Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Naturally, seeing as Enshadu is the only character with his own musical theme! I guess crazy Ionae is a close second though for that reason.
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