|Re: *SPOILERS* What are your thoughts on the game?|
Subject: Re: *SPOILERS* What are your thoughts on the game?
by LadyMeowlet on 2009/6/10 6:20:17
Well, I finally had a chance to finish LoT and I figured I'd throw my input out there as well. Fair warning, it's a bit long-winded!
Graphics-The graphics in this game are the best of the Aveyond series so far, IMO.
Music-As usual, Aaron Walz has produced some amazing music for the game. In-game music is a big deal to me, and the music in the Aveyond series has never disappointed me.
Initial plot development-I like the initial development of the characters and the plot for the series in general. I don't mind there being hanging plot points for the next chapter - it's like reading book one of a series, you know there's more coming. There are great teasers to get you looking forward to more.
World expansion-The in-game worlds have expanded for every Aveyond game so far, and this one is no exception. Seeing all of the world map places where docks are has gotten me excited to see how big the rest of this game world is!
Galahad and Te'ijal-I'm glad Te'ijal is back and has a more interesting role! I'm also very happy to see the development with Galahad. He was my least favorite character (barring Mad Marge) from AV1 because he seemed to me to be rather cliched and one-dimensional, and the only reason I kept him around was because of the ridiculous boost he gave to Te'ijal (I think I remember someone else saying this too?). Now, he's one of my favorites.
Cutoff point-I understand that the decision was made late in development to split this into chapters, but I still don't think this was a good cutoff point. There are natural cliffhanger points and there are forced cliffhanger points - this was obviously a forced one, IMO. I've read that the next part of the game is longer, and I wonder if a better, later cutoff point could've been found. I guess I'll find out when the next chapter comes out.
Unresolvable quests-I don't like the fact that there are some quests you are unable to go back and resolve in the second chapter if you missed them in the first one. For example, I had no idea that the quest with Gladamere's (I think that's his name) soul *had* to be resolved the first time in the Underworld - from what I saw in the Underworld I knew I'd be back, and had assumed I could resolve the quest then. I know I can go back and play again, but I really don't think that should be necessary.
Linear gameplay-The gameplay in this chapter was very linear, IMO. There wasn't as much freedom to wander, etc., as there was in previous games. I'll chalk that up to the late decision to split into chapters, though, so I won't belabor this point.
Leveling/monsters-I'm of two minds here. I definitely understand the desire not to make the monsters worth too much experience in order to keep the party from being overleveled when starting GoN, but I think that some of the quests that (as far as I can tell) have to be completed in this chapter (or else not be able to complete them) are a bit difficult without more leveling, and that can take a long time with the amount of experience the monsters are worth. The best example I have here is the quest to get Ralph his family memento from the Catacombs. Those critters are tough! I ended up having to use the level goodie (which I am very loath to do on my first go-around of gameplay) in order to be able to make it through, and even then I depended on luck and judicious use of Mel's Trip skill. I know this can be done with a lot of time, patience, and fighting, but I don't remember it being this time-consuming in the first two Aveyond games.
Unhappy BFG customers-I don't blame BFG customers for feeling like the chapter thing was sprung on them and is unwelcome. Many players don't know about this website and forum, and shouldn't be forced to feel like they should. There are a lot of players of games from portals that rarely, if ever, go to the developer's website for anything. I am also a BFG member (although I buy the Aveyond games from this site), and none of the information released by them (until recently) has mentioned that this game was chapter 1. I know that the in-game intro screen mentions that this is chapter 1, but people who are already fans of a series tend to buy the game without using the trial because they already know what to expect (or so they think) and might feel a bit put-out when they start to play their highly anticipated game and see that it's only part 1, and had no prior knowledge of this. That being said, I place any blame for that squarely on BFG, not Amanda. BFG knew that the game was chapter 1, Amanda gave them all of the information they used to advertise and make the game guide, and it was BFG's call not to notify their customers that this game was chapter 1. It looks like BFG is finally publicizing that this is chapter 1 (the most recent BFG email I got mentions it), but it's still their fault that they waited to mention it.
Opinion on chapters- I am cautiously optimistic on the chapter format. I know this game is a tough one to use as a guide because the decision to split it was made very late in development, so it's hard to get a good feel for how Amanda would make specifically chapter-developed games play. I've seen some comparisons of the game chapter idea with chapters within a book, but I don't think that's entirely accurate. I compare it more to paired book series, where there are multiple series telling the same stories or a continuation of the same story (Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series or David Eddings' Belgariad and Malloreon series come to mind, just to name a few). I think that, if well planned and executed correctly, it could be a great addition to the Aveyond series. We have the potential to get game chapters that look to be longer than half of the Aveyond games we're used to (again, I'm not using LoT as a full example because of the late split) and we get the games far more frequently (a chapter every few months as opposed to a new game every year-plus) so people can stay excited. More frequent releases are a way to keep the interest of the casual gamer, so in that respect the chapter idea is a very good one. Also, as Amanda gets more comfortable with developing the Aveyond games and expands them more, the download size will keep getting larger, and the chapter idea is a good way to help keep that under control without forcing people to take many hours or even a day to download a game (which would definitely turn a lot of people off). Making a way to link the chapters later would be fun, but I'm not sure if that's possible.
That's all I have for now, but don't be surprised if I think of more to add. If you've read this far, I'm impressed with your patience and thanks for reading my long-winded opinion.