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All Your Quotes Are Belong To Us!

  • Sated
  • 05/04/2011 10:29 PM
Griever plays Zero Base:

Zero Base is a shoot'em up made in the mould of the arcade classic Gradius, as it shares both its side-scrolling gameplay and a large amount of its graphics with the legendary series. I guess there's only so much a developer can do when their game is intended for a contest that only lasted a month, so when we consider that this is a pixel-movement based side-scrolling shooter made in a system optimised for grid-based movement (RPGMaker 2003) then we come to understand why the developer didn't waste too much time coming up with custom graphics. For those of us that don't understand, RPGMaker 2003 is a notoriously bad platform for pixel-based movement (and for action-based games in general), so making a competent pixel-based game using it is no easy feat. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that people looking to make games like this shouldn't even be looking at using the ancient Enterbrain program in the first place, but that's a completely different story; this developer did and they got it to work so that's all that matters!


Zero Base borrows a lot of its graphics from other side-scrolling shooters... but that's not necessarily a bad thing!


So why exactly does the game engine work? The main reason is because the hit-detection works pretty well. Hit detection in a game like this is of paramount importance as it lets the player get as close to platforms, enemies and projectiles as they can, allowing them free movement around the playing area without worrying about the game engine screwing them over when they're already worrying about bullets doing very much the same. The hit-detection is only let down by the occasional glitch when you move too close to a platform, but since this only really happens if you move backwards into a platform it isn't as infuriating as you might think. Moving up, down and into platforms never poses the same problem, at least not in my experience, so as far as I'm concerned the developer has done a brilliant job in optimising RPGMaker 2003 for this kind of detection.


Accurate hit detection is important with so many enemies, turrets and bullets on-screen.


The gameplay the engine hosts is also competently put together, the main reason being that it manages to evoke the same sense of desperation and fear that its arcade brethren did. As kids, we'd always be worried about losing our last life (and our last bit of change) playing a game like this, especially if we knew we were getting close to the end, so in an era of gaming obsessed with checkpoints, save-files and "catering to the casual gamer", Zero Base makes for a refreshing change*. This refreshing sense of challenge, coupled with faithfully reproduced gameplay features that any shoot'em up aficionado will recognise (power ups that change the bullets you shoot, increasingly difficult enemies, bosses that seem to have more health than the world) make this a decent shoot'em up, even though the gameplay isn't going to set the world on fire in terms of originality.


Zero Base features a range of power-ups... but you won't see anything "new".


From an artistic point-of-view, the game does exactly what we'd expect. As we've seen, the graphics aren't anything we haven't seen before as anyone who's played other side-scrolling shooters (and perhaps a handful of futuristic RPGMaker games) will recognise 99% of the graphics in this game. The music has exactly the same familiar feeling as it is also sourced from the Gradius games that Zero Base seeks to emulate. I guess highlighting the similarities leads nicely into my closing words:

Zero Base is a decent reproduction of its source material, a game that old shoot'em up fans and newcomers alike should enjoy. Original it isn't, but is it fun for the couple of hours you'll get out of it? Yes! 7/10.

*I feel I should emphasise that what I'm not saying here is that its okay to make a ridiculously difficult game for the sake of making a ridiculously difficult game, as most players aren't going to find getting roflstomped over and over again fun - challenges are welcome, the computer cheating isn't.

Posts

Pages: 1
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
13639
I don't disagree with this review so much as I think it is weird that you constantly seem to be upholding the "this game is well-made for an RM2k3 game" as a significant factor, when I feel such matters should be irrelevant. Seems like you enjoyed the game so I'm not disputing your score at all, but I really don't think the engine a program is made in should matter.
kentona
weaponizing mild annoyance into military-grade indignant outrage
17414
I only wish that people around here were "engine-blind"...
Sated
puking up frothing vitriolic sarcastic spittle
7254
author=Solitayre
I don't disagree with this review so much as I think it is weird that you constantly seem to be upholding the "this game is well-made for an RM2k3 game" as a significant factor, when I feel such matters should be irrelevant. Seems like you enjoyed the game so I'm not disputing your score at all, but I really don't think the engine a program is made in should matter.

Erm, what?

The last 4 games I reviewed weren't even RPGMaker games.

The two before those were Fire God Saga and Legendary Legend, neither of which are "well-made for an RM2K3 game".

Before that was Eyes Without A Face, the review of which doesn't mention the maker because why would it?

That came after my Metal Gear: Lunacy of Legion review, which doesn't mention the maker either.

Then we get to my Alter AILA Genesis review. Perhaps this is where you are getting your "well-made for an RM2K3 game" bullshit from because I remember a debate with someone about a similar thing in the comments of that review. Suffice to say, I didn't rate AAG highly because it was "well-made for an RM2K3 game", I rated it highly because it's better than most commercial RPGs. Literally. Besides, even if my AAG review did lean heavily on "well-made for an RM2K3 game", that'd only be 1 review in 9 that did so.

Basically, fuck you. You're wrong. Stop talking out of your arse.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Dude. You completely missed the point of what Soli was saying, FG.
Sated
puking up frothing vitriolic sarcastic spittle
7254
you constantly seem to be upholding the "this game is well-made for an RM2k3 game" as a significant factor

I don't constantly do this. I've done it in a single review (this one). Hence it is bullshit.

EDIT: Even in this review, I only mention it twice, and once is in the introduction when I'm just setting the scene. As for the second time I mention it, I'd have said the same things about how accurate/important the collisions are (especially now the game has been updated and that backwards-movement glitch removed) no matter what maker this was made in. I've made mention of such things before (e.g. my reviews of Jack and Rework The Dead)

Soli is talking out of his arse.

EDIT2: Besides, even the second paragraph isn't me lauding the game for being made in RM2K3. I don't get why it's so hard to see that the main message isn't about RM2K3, the main message is the importance of accurate hit detection (compare with my review of Jack, where I also I go on about hit-detection). If the maker was RMVX or Gamemaker or whatever I would've put those names there instead. I guess I didn't realise people could be so stupid.
I don't think Soli was referring to your older reviews when he said "constantly seems to be upholding." I think he meant "constantly" within this one single review. Chill, man.
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
13639
Yes, I was referring to the fact that nearly half of the text of this review is about how this game was "well-made for RM2k3." Settle down.

For the record, I played this game and thought it was pretty cool. I am not trying to imply this game is not as good as F-G says it is.
halibabica
the failed sequel to Casa Blanca
9159
This post has words in bold that can be interpreted.
Sated
puking up frothing vitriolic sarcastic spittle
7254
I was referring to the fact that nearly half of the text of this review is about how this game was "well-made for RM2k3." Settle down.

But it's not.

The first paragraph is anecdotal, it is mostly there to explain the difficulty of making a game like this to people who might read the review on another site (i.e. Edge, Gamejolt, Sore Losers Gaming). It has no bearing on my thoughts regarding the quality of the game. I write introductions like this in a lot of my reviews, especially my recent ones.

The second paragraph, like I already said, is about the importance of hit-detection. It is not about how awesome it is that someone made pixel-by-pixel hit detection in RM2K3; only the last sentence even mentions the maker and that is in passing. Hit detection is really, really important in these games, why wouldn't I mention it? In fact, if you remove the words "RPGMaker 2003 for" from that last sentence, what you're saying makes even less sense.

author=halibabica
This post has words in bold that can be interpreted.

This post has letters in bold that you can interpret.
halibabica
the failed sequel to Casa Blanca
9159
Yep, it looks like it was just a misinterpretation likely due to the way you emphasize things.
Sated
puking up frothing vitriolic sarcastic spittle
7254
I usually put game titles, game engines, developers etc. in bold. I used to put them in italics, but I think bold is better. It's not really for emphasis, at least not in the sense you mean.

EDIT: I don't just do this in reviews, I do it in my normal posting too.
Deckiller
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.
15597
how was everyones cinco de mayo
I agree, to a point, that the maker shouldn't have anyting to do with how good or bad a game can be. It'd be like me saying, that's a great game, even for PS3/XBox 360/Wii... The format the game is on really shouldn't matter, because each maker (or game console) will have decent games as well as bad.

That said, I also have to agree with Fallen-Griever. While the format a game is released on shouldn't matter, when it comes to RM games, it does in a way. That's because I've seen way too many piss-poor games using RM, due to the fact that most RM designers are amateurs and can barely scratch the surface of a maker's engine, let alone insert coding to get around it. So when I see the few games that try to go above and beyond, I am floored at how well it was designed.

But that's typically any maker, and to be honest, I'd be just as impressed with this game even if it had been used with the XP or VX. So maybe instead of "This game is well-made for an RM2k3 game" or some similar wording, perhaps its better to say "This game is well-made for an RPG Maker".

In any case, a lot of people seem to lack respect for RM games. Here is a prime example that an RM can make decent games, as it has nothing to do with the maker as it does the designer.

Edit: Oh, btw, my Cinco de Mayo was great. A nice huge nacho bar potluck at work, and some Taco Joes (basically sloppy joes with salsa and taco seasoning).
Sated
puking up frothing vitriolic sarcastic spittle
7254
That said, I also have to agree with Fallen-Griever. While the format a game is released on shouldn't matter, when it comes to RM games, it does in a way.

That's not what I'm saying. I'm not in any way trying to say, "this is good for an RM* game". I couldn't care less about the program used to make a game when it comes to the quality of the final product, which is what a review aims to address. The only reason I mention the program used is because I thought it would be interesting to give a little bit of context regarding RM2K3 and the use of pixel-based movement.

This game would receive the same score from me no matter what program it was produced with. In fact, it would receive pretty much the same review, except the first paragraph would be different.

Context is important, but it doesn't factor into how I rate a game.
kentona
weaponizing mild annoyance into military-grade indignant outrage
17414
I had tacos for supper.
Did you use taco sauce? Or sour cream?
kentona
weaponizing mild annoyance into military-grade indignant outrage
17414
author=Clyve
Did you use taco sauce? Or sour cream?
Both! With a little bit of cheese, lettuce and tomato.
author=Fallen-Griever
That said, I also have to agree with Fallen-Griever. While the format a game is released on shouldn't matter, when it comes to RM games, it does in a way.
That's not what I'm saying. I'm not in any way trying to say, "this is good for an RM* game". I couldn't care less about the program used to make a game when it comes to the quality of the final product, which is what a review aims to address. The only reason I mention the program used is because I thought it would be interesting to give a little bit of context regarding RM2K3 and the use of pixel-based movement.

This game would receive the same score from me no matter what program it was produced with. In fact, it would receive pretty much the same review, except the first paragraph would be different.

Context is important, but it doesn't factor into how I rate a game.


To clarify, I meant I agreed why you brought context of the maker into the review (pointing out why it was impressive), not necessarily that you gave the review a good score because the game was made with a maker. As for "this is good for an RM game", that was more my opinion than anything else, but knowing that this was made using an RM verses a more professional company shows that the designer has a lot of talent. And I would be just as impressed if this was done in XP or VX instead of 2k3.
Thanks for the review, glad you enjoyed it.
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