CRITICAL HIT! (NOW PLAYING THE CEREBRAL SYMPHONY)

Posts

Bring on Steel Spirit SaGa!

(Bring on The Cerebral Symphony!)
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
12464
Soon enough! Since I've finished blitzing through Touhou Fantasy, we're back on my normal schedule of just 5 hours a week. I'll try to have the review done today, but if not, I should have it ready on Saturday. Remember, I need to draw a little picture too (but I already know how I want it to look).
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5146
Hali, I have a new game for you to play. It's an RPG Maker 2003 game called Final Gensokyo: The Spirits Within and it's only 230 hours long.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
12464
from LockeZ
Hali, I have a new game for you to play. It's an RPG Maker 2003 game called Final Gensokyo: The Spirits Within and it's only 230 hours long.
Get in line.

Heh, I did things the opposite of how I was in the past. I wrote the review before I made the pic. I didn't have time for both, so expect the result on Saturday I guess!

In the meantime, I'd like to ask...would anyone be interested in me streaming these games? My setup is utterly inadequate, and they would not be quality productions by any stretch, but it's kinda sorta possible I could maybe stream them if I really tried.
If a sort of "highlight reel" of the best/most memorable moments were created after the fact, I might be interested in watching that. Don't think I'd care to watch the entire process except maybe for very short games.
This is awesome, been following this post since you started Touhou Fantasy! that's some dedication you got, I can appreciate it. I myself do like to check out streams from time to time, pretty cool and engaging to see how other people go about these games and their comments on them.

I know there is a long queue, but I'd like to also suggest a previous game that I made, Lakria Legends. It is quite a hefty game though and there is an available walkthrough for it on the page if anything :) thanks!

https://rpgmaker.net/games/5562/

halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
12464


Touhou Fantasy Review: At least it delivers on its title...

And that's that! I'm starting the next game on Tuesday. I'll tinker with the possibility of streaming, even if there isn't a ton of interest. The recordings would go on YouTube, so it's not like they'd be lost. We'll see what happens.
Yeah, that's about what I was expecting...
author=Xenomic
Yeah, that's about what I was expecting...


Even though it's not my game, I think I'd like to say a huge thank you and well done halibabica!

You started playing this on the 5th of March, that's over 8 months you spent on this game. The amount of time, effort and dedication you put into this review is staggering! This topic is full of constant updates, constructive criticism, bug fixes and suggestions which in itself could easily be considered a review for the game - let alone the actual formal typed review!

Yes, a 2 star review isn't what anyone wants to have, but I don't want people to just focus on that low score or undermine the huge effort you put in. Brilliant stuff.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
12464
from Xenomic
Yeah, that's about what I was expecting...

To be honest, I probably could've added up to an entire additional star if the skill system were handled more elegantly. It's that big of a deal. I know you said you don't know how to make a custom menu, but it would definitely be worthwhile to learn. You already have the common events in place, so you'd just need a good structure to house them in.

But apart from that, I'd also like to thank you for being as involved in this play-through as you were. It was always nice to see your responsiveness and that you were following my progress, even through the difficult times. I'm glad you could show that level of engagement, and I hope you found plenty to take away from it.

from Little Wing Guy
Even though it's not my game, I think I'd like to say a huge thank you and well done halibabica!

Thanks dude, it's good to feel acknowledged. Maybe I can fit in more than seven games next year. -.-
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
12464
All right, it's a new week, and a new game for once! My playthrough of Steel Spirit SaGa is off to a roaring good start.



In the meantime, I configured a gamepad I can use to play PC games, so if I ever decide to stream for real, you won't have to listen to my extremely clacky keyboard.

Hopefully, I can get this sorted out sooner than later.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
12464
How can they say Zach is ungifted? The man can fly!



So, I got my little issue sorted and started playing this game for real. It's mostly okay so far. My only real complaint is the snail's pace walk speed. Even with as small as the maps are kept, it's like a disincentive to explore.

I started with Zach and got as far as clearing the ruins with Reina. It's always nice to see a less refined princess as a character. However, I gathered a bunch of tablets and have no idea what to do with them. It didn't seem there were any places in the dungeon I could interact to use them, regardless of the cryptic clues provided. I might be more willing to try other possibilities if Zach wasn't so miserably slow.

I saw that this is a demo, and I'm curious how much content is in each path, but I'll probably do the other characters if it isn't too much. I'm still considering streaming, but I want to look into a PC upgrade first. I'm pretty sure mine is over a decade old now...
author=halibabica
How can they say Zach is ungifted? The man can fly!





Are those light shafts coming from behind the banners instead of from the windows?
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
12464
No, this is clearly light-resistant carpeting.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
12464
Continuing on with my adventure, the mystery of the ruins shall remain as such for now. I returned Princess Reina to her home and had quite an interesting scene with her dad. At first, I thought it was going to play out pretty typically; the king gets mad, doesn't listen to reason, does something rash, etc. but then the opposite happened, and it was actually quite refreshing to see. I'm no fan of drama for the sake of drama, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Continuing Zach's wayfaring, I journeyed to Wide and got a new job, but not before pushing the limits of my exploration and triggering the tower cutscene without having met someone who was already supposed to be in the party. This game is well presented, but it's coming apart in a few places.

I appreciated this detail until I didn't.


Some things are less minor than others, but I'm glad to say my biggest gripe has found resolution already. I discovered that Shift lets me run. I guess it was just disabled for the opening scene or something. There was also a brief period where my walk speed got bumped up one by accident, and that was a glorious time. In case anyone's wondering where I stand on movement speed, faster is better. Let me hold Shift to walk.

As of now, I just started Ch.2, and I'm wondering how much content is finished for each route. I guess we'll see...
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
12464
More SSS! I missed a session this weekend due to life/holiday stuff, and I forgot to report on the one before that. But here we are again...

It seems a lot of stuff has happened since my previous post (and I forgot things because it's been a minute). Zach's next job took him to a tower that was raided. He was joined by a shady guy and a female monk named Erin. When they got to the root of the trouble, it turned out to be a war general who was breaking the peace treaty. We fought him off, but he survived and departed with a warning. Shady guy left like a true shady guy would, but Erin had to pay Zach to stay on task with her against this wicked general. I guess he's really a mercenary at heart after all.

Their quest then took them to the priestess Iyumei who needed protection while traveling through the (literally) shady town of Night. She doubted Zach's credentials, so he and Erin had to go to a broken-down lighthouse to retrieve a treasure and prove their worth. That was no trouble at all, so Iyumei begrudgingly accepted them as her bodyguards.

That was last session. Now that we're caught up, we journeyed to Night and had an interesting time. Things got weird right off the bat, as this was the start of a new chapter and I found a couple ways to break the game. First, through some feat of menu shenanigans in Night, I triggered an invalid common event and crashed the game. Then, when I got back to the chapter 3 intro screen...


oh oh dear oh no what how

You can pause with the custom menu while the text is scrolling, which causes the hero to appear and the moving pictures to vanish. Thankfully, it doesn't mess up the timing of the events, and the scene still ends after its intended duration has passed. Still, that's rather sloppy.

Once we were in Night proper, things continued being weird. The place's geometry is a little baffling, and the run mechanic has some unfortunate interactions with the stairs that are supposed to automatically move you diagonally. I kept accidentally breaking out of the move sequence and gaining the ability to pass through walls. Now's as good a time as any to mention that running will often cause you to bypass teleport spots on the map, so it can be bothersome traveling between areas.


Some regular tile screw-ups occurred as well.

On our way through town, we met general Verstus who is not a treaty-breaking dick, and he agreed to tag along in case that other General Guy showed up again. We wandered to Hahn Nova, Iyumei's destination, and that's where I called it. But before I go, I just wanted to note...


You can enter some buildings from the side, and that can be rather confusing. You don't enter doors by bumping into them; you have to press enter, and it's a little blind when you can't actually see the entrance. There are also times where you'll enter a map from one direction and be facing another when you get to the other side. It's becoming less of an issue, but it sure was jarring at first.

We'll see if I can't keep this up any better, even with Christmas rapidly encroaching. -.-
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
12464
Continuing my journey through SSS, Zach and co. entered Hahn Nova castle so Iyumei could lead the people in a prayer. She didn't get far into the ceremony before someone showed up to interfere...

Oshea tries to take this legendary sword hilt, and Zach steps in to stop her. She's supposedly a powerful mage, but Zach's lack of anima protects him from her spells, and we beat her down with swords pretty quickly.

Oshea flees the scene and Iyumei finishes the ceremony. Then we met with the marquis of Hahn Nova to talk about what the heck just happened. Gardivere's order to take the hilt was an act of war, and now conflict is inevitable. It seems he wishes to reassemble the sword, presumably to use it in conquest. If we can get the blade first, we'll have the complete thing instead, but there's a problem...

Erin was kidnapped! While we were busy praying and chatting, she was taken away. Chapter 4 begins with the choice of either going to save Erin or searching for the blade, where getting one could mean losing the other. Naturally, I chose to save Erin. She owes Zach money, after all.

However, it's worth noting here that Erin never actually left the party, nor did Oshea leave the castle. Erin is still a member who can fight in the group, and Oshea appears in Hahn Nova's prison, before and after her assault on the prayer. Go figure on that one.

Anyway, our quest took us to the northern continent of...Neufelsomething. The Finney prison of Befestigung is where she's being held, so we head far, far north to get there. Along the way, I bump into some invisible objects on the world map, and I cross a gate in the northeast beyond which nothing exists. I understand this is a demo, and I think I may be nearing its limit, but we still have some content to cover.

After some Zelda-esque stealth work (complete with Ocarina of Time's guard whistle), we find our way to Erin, who has proven she didn't really need our help at all. She knocked out her guard before we even got there, but we accompanied her out of the building after that.

She says she needs to go home to prepare, and asks if we'll join her. Zach says he has other plans, so we leave her to it. Oh, but she's still in the party, though.

With Erin safe and sound, we return to our main quest of finding the blade. Ol' Gragmar is our contact for that information, though he doesn't trust us at first.

It seems my desktop companion Natsuki doesn't trust him, either. We convince him we're not the bad guys and he points us in the right direction. By that, I mean he tells us Gardivere already has the blade. Whether that's because I got Erin first, who can say? Point is he already has half of what he's looking for, and getting it back won't be easy.

We report this discovery to the marquis in Hahn Nova, who informs us that it may be wise to enlist a capable thief. We're told of Garshoul, a notorious criminal who's been prowling around Kynoch lately. We journey back to Zach's sort-of home to see if we can find him. When we get there, it turns out he's already been found. The king has him in prison. He's wary of our request to speak with Garshoul, but he's summoned to the throne room anyway.

And what a guy he is. He agrees to help us on some of his own terms, even though he's the prisoner here. He asks to visit his lady in Night before we depart, and everyone seems okay with that for some reason. I don't know if he's supposed to be a party member because Erin's still keeping the group full by existing in two places at once.

-----

That's it for progress, but I also found some interesting bugs along the way. I once got stuck with my character facing the same direction for a while (saving and loading fixed it). I also re-initiated the chapter 2 start sequence by sailing to the wrong town and hiring a boat back to Night. Hopefully, that won't happen again now that I'm supposed to be going there...
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
12464
All right, my progress in SSS has come to a screeching halt. This session started out well enough. We sailed to Night and visited Garshoul's lady...only to find that she'd been mysteriously killed!



We can't very well go on our mission with Garshoul so distressed, so the party decides to find the culprit and make them pay. After chatting all around town, we learn that the crime boss Caldron is behind it. He's probably a huge dick anyway, so it's just as well we're out to kill him. Our search for the mobster leads us into the sewers under Night, where we do some typical sewer stuff like flipping levers, pressing buttons, and fighting whatever crawls up out of the muck at us.

Sadly, it's here that our tale seems to end. Upon exploring the depths of the sewers, I found a bridge piece I could use to reach a chest from earlier on. The only problem here is that there are no exit warps back to the previous area.


"The door was just here, I swear!"

I'll reach out to the dev and see if anything can be done. In the meantime, that's it for Zach's quest. He and the others will forever rot in the sewers, never knowing the fate of the world above.

With nothing else to do, I decided to try the other scenarios from the start and see how far I could get. Well...

Oshea's scenario is completely unplayable. When you select her, you get locked into a loop of the Prologue title screen. Advancing past it just triggers it to start again.

Useph's scenario can't even be selected, so at least Oshea got further than that.

Verstus' scenario seemed playable at first. I saw his introduction scene and he had a little chat with a fellow guard on duty long ago. Then a dragon walked up out of nowhere and beat the ever loving crap out of him.


F

The thing is, you're supposed to be able to win this fight. You grab a legendary sword to use against the beast right before it starts, and it has a special ability that can deal over 2000 damage, but the dragon is so fast and so strong that it kills you before its battle events can kick in. And it's not like I didn't try, either.

In the first fight, I died on its second turn to a fatal shadow bolt.
In the second fight, I saw the battle events trigger, and then the dragon killed me anyway.
In the third fight, I tried defending and it just clawed me to death.
In the fourth fight, it moved twice before I could move once and I was killed again.

All these trigger Game Overs, and you have to rewatch the intro and guard talk cutscene each time you fail, so this is too imbalanced to warrant trying to luck my way through.

As before, I'll ask the dev what's up. If nothing changes, I guess we'll have a new review to read soon.
SSS looks fun. I might try it out. Likin the screenshots.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
12464
Unfortunately, the dev is taking it down for now. I was informed via PM that the demo needs more polish and bug fixes. Since my hero party got all screwed up, they didn't want anyone else playing it for now until they can patch it up.

However, I'm still going to write an unrated review and draw a picture for it.