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Inspired in parts, Shallow in others


Shooty and the Catfish is a commercial game demo for RPG Maker MV. It is a game heavily inspired by the golden years of the original game boy. The tiles and mapping are very well done, but does that mean the rest of the game has the same quality... Not really.



(Use the game boy to heal and save your game.)


I can only guess that this game doesn't focus a lot on its story based on what happens at the start of the demo. You just sort of sail up to an island and the game starts. Awkwardly enough the ship's captain puts a chest on the ground with all the gear you'll need, instead of just automatically equipping it to your character when you start the game.



(If you cared about what the story is about.)


Dungeons seem to be pretty straight forward with enemies walking around the map, which is preferable to random encounters. While everything is presented nicely, the first couple of dungeons I cleared were linear and had little going for them. It also doesn't help that the dungeons opt to use a dripping water sound effect with no background music. In sum I started to get a little bored.

The sprites and battles are animated. A lot of the animation looks very nice actually. But when combined with a lackluster engine, like RPG Maker MV, you know that's a recipe for frame rate issues. There were quite a few instances where the game would freeze up for about 5 seconds. And when you're paying money for a game, technical issues like this just aren't okay. Being less than convinced to buy a game that is linear, dull, and laggy I give this game a 2 / 5.

Posts

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Hey Kory, thanks for taking the time to review my demo. :)

Thought it would be good to respond to some of your comments and critiques!

author=kory_toombs
I can only guess that this game doesn't focus a lot on its story based on what happens at the start of the demo.


This is correct in a sense, the game wont have a focus on its core narrative. It is as strait forward as its described in the opening. The game will however have a focus on several micro-narratives. Each of the games 5 worlds will have an NPC that you encounter and will continue to run into during your travels through those specific worlds as you help them through there own distinct character arcs(the character narrative started in the demo being that of Captain Alpaca). Its a personal preference but just having an RPGs core story being a back drop with the real focus on characters is far more interesting and important to me.

author=kory_toombs
Awkwardly enough the ship's captain puts a chest on the ground with all the gear you'll need, instead of just automatically equipping it to your character when you start the game.


This was done quite deliberately as most of the people who play tested the demo were unfamiliar with the RPG Maker engine, and as such had no idea about how the engines menu system worked. This was put in as a tutorial for those people but I think it could definitely be handled better in the full game release.

author=kory_toombs
The first couple of dungeons I cleared were linear and had little going for them.

Not all dungeons will be linear but a large number of the ones I have designed so far are, although I am trying to keep them varied in size and scope as well as mechanics with some being more focused on puzzles and others on combat. I hope having them all function differently keeps things varied for players but I guess I wont know until the game is completed. I can say with confidence that there is far fewer enemy encounters in the full game.

author=kory_toombs
It also doesn't help that the dungeons opt to use a dripping water sound effect with no background music.

This is something the composer of the game also brought up and has been changed for the full game.

author=kory_toombs
When combined with a lackluster engine, like RPG Maker MV, you know that's a recipe for frame rate issues. There were quite a few instances where the game would freeze up for about 5 seconds

This demo was played through by myself and several others on around 15 different PCs of differing power as well as 4 different macs and none had any issues with lock ups or framerate. I'm sorry that this is something you encountered and I hope I can optimise things further in the full release.

author=kory_toombs
Being less than convinced to buy a game that is linear, dull, and laggy I give this game a 2 / 5.


That's more than fair enough result. Its not a game that I thought would appeal to everyone when I started it. Thanks for being upfront and taking the time to play through. Here's hoping a new demo closer to the games full release can change your mind. :)
kory_toombs
I finally changed my avatar, but that doesn't mean I have a meaningful user title.
12533

+.5 for you level headed response and maturity.

I would try to demonstrate the FR issue with a recording, but running Camtasia Studio in the background could in itself suck enough CPU power to cause more issues (so wouldn't organically prove my point.)


JosephSeraph
奇跡なゲイパワー♡
6847
Regarding MV's frame rate issues: My computer was one of those absolutely unable to run MV games, and every game I tried to run was atrocious, while Ace games run super super smoothly, and even league of legends at 60fps.

Figured it's because my onboard graphics card was really deplorable even though my CPU is great, buying a very outdated GT420 for the equivalent of 25 USD now has my PC running MV on consistent 60fps. So yeah, it's kind of annoyiong, RPG Maker MV is the first one that relies prertty much entirely on the GPU, according to (my maybe innacurate memory of) Archeia.
author=JosephSeraph
Regarding MV's frame rate issues: My computer was one of those absolutely unable to run MV games, and every game I tried to run was atrocious, while Ace games run super super smoothly, and even league of legends at 60fps.

Figured it's because my onboard graphics card was really deplorable even though my CPU is great, buying a very outdated GT420 for the equivalent of 25 USD now has my PC running MV on consistent 60fps. So yeah, it's kind of annoyiong, RPG Maker MV is the first one that relies prertty much entirely on the GPU, according to (my maybe innacurate memory of) Archeia.


Yeah, its weird the way MV works. I test my games on quite a few systems, like my games still run at 60fps on my 8 year old Mac Book pro which only has a 256mb video card so its really hard to work out what exactly causes it.
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