I know to you as a developer, this sounds like a lame excuse, but your game is simply unacceptably slow early on, even for a JRPG. I want to like your game, I really do, but you give me nothing besides story early. The random encounters are so frequent, the character's movement speed is so slow, the character's can do nothing besides basic attacks, the enemies take so many hits....this all just conpounds on each other to take the fun out of your game. If you had just one of two of these, it would be forgiveable, but will all of these plaguing your game, at least initially, it makes it a chore to play.
So far I liked the dialogue, and I'm going to guess that the game's strength lies in the story and characters more than the combat system, and while that might be true, story needs good gameplay to keep the player interested. A game needs an almost impossibly good story to keep the player going when gameplay is as boring as it is in this game, and the story isn't that good.
I like most of it except for including Circle Collision instead of Box Collision. That single-handedly ruins any fun I might have had from the game. It's not a bad game at all, but I cannot have fun when I land on a platform and then immediately fall off AFTER I successfully landed on it.
Level 23...Just destroyed me! Loved the game though, really nice example of a game with a smooth difficulty scale. Starting out very, very easy and ending up quite challenging.
You can't make a Mario game where mario dies upon jumping on a turtle shell. It's simply unauthentic. This game could be amazing, but I'll never know.
The gameplay is just meh. By the time I notice there is an 'enemy' near me it is almost always too late to turn away from them and I 'die'. The game becomes frustrating very quickly and without any real payoff. It's not really scary insomuch as annoying.
I just wanted to say that as someone who didn't even think EBF3 was that great of a game, let alone EBF2 and EBF, that EBF4 is a huge improvement overall, both in the charm and personality aspect of the characters and the game mechanics. You have truly outdone yourself this time, I only hope you can continue to improve with each game, because the sky is the limit for you if you can.
I didn't even beat the first real level. The controls are somewhat problematic, but the real problem is that the gameplay simply isn't much fun. The theme and writing is good, it has its quirky nature, but the enemy AI on normal mode is just so bad that there's no challenge whatsoever. The first level is so long that I was bored before I finished it. It's a shame too because I like the idea a lot, but it needs to be more sophisticated.
I liked the game, but I broke it. I checked the playthrough and I lost the piece of glass before I was able to cut the sofa, so I couldn't progress through the game.
As for the preview version you previously exhibited, this game has very solid boss designs. I was honestly confused why the first boss seemed to be so durable until I realized after dying once how he actually took damage. Very, VERY clever detail there. The second boss as well had a clever game mechanic idea that took me a little longer than I would care to admit to figure out.
That said, I found the main game itself a touch boring and stopped a little after getting the grenades. Maybe I have simply player too many games of this genre and have grown a bit tired of it, but the level itself seemed a little empty. Optional houses rarely felt rewarding to enter unless it just happened to hand an extra health point. Everything else was linear, which isn't inherently bad but it just felt a little flat that's all. Hard to exactly say what I mean.
As for the story, I liked absolutely all of what you had so far, but it simply wasn't enough. Perhaps more of this would have alleviated the emptiness I alluded to earlier. And if you are worried not to dump too much of the main character's story right away, explore further mini-stories of other survivors or deceased in optional areas (like the buildings). It actually felt pretty sad to see the dead skeletons of people desperate to get food. What little story you execute, you execute well. It just need to be more fleshed out.
I didn't finish the game so I can't comment further in it. The art was pretty solid, the backgrounds animations all fit in nicely with the themes and mood of the game, as did the music. I'm not really sure how to critique either so I won't go into detail on them, but my lack of comment is not a mark of it being mediocre. I just focus less on it.
Obviously due to the short nature of the game and the fact that it's a prologue, the essentially non-existent story can be excused for a game that seems to want to have a compelling narrative.
In terms of level design, you certainly tried to keep everything fresh, not forcing the player to do one task over and over. However, with the exception of the grenade, you never really tried to make novel uses of the abilities. Everything was typical.
The boss fight was well done with enough of a difficulty to help give the end some closure. I liked how the boss battle changed as his health deteriorated.
The graphics are good pixel art, especially the girl's dialogue box and the boss sprite.
I'm not going to go into the controls, as a million and one people have probably mentioned the floaty jump controls. I don't think it's terrible since semi-floaty platformers feel different, but this is a bit too floaty for my taste.
Overall, it's not terribly memorable at this point. But this was just the prologue to an epic game, so I'm not going to judge the book by it's first chapter. You have all the programming essentially ready to make a great game, now all that is needed is to have more interesting level design and story and this game could make newgrounds history.
At the moment, though, I can't give higher than a 7/10. There's just not enough there to wow me.
We're trying to add in more interesting challenges in the full release. Other than the obvious things like length and proper story, we're hoping it will give off a more polished and interesting impression due to the varied puzzles and environments.
Thanks for the review.
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