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Crippling controls

I wouldn't review this under normal conditions. But, well, a review challenge is a review challenge, and this is what I got.

Blizz ABS Arcade is a... testbed I suppose by gameguy27 using Blizzard's well-known XP ABS system. Well, I hear about it a lot at least. It uses rips from old games(And from looking in the thread, less legitimate sources such as Ocean's tiles). It has two modes, Gauntlet and Space Invader.

Well, this is by far the most important part of the review, isn't it?

The controls in this game are horrible. To move you have to use WASD, to confirm press H, to attack use K, and to open the menu use F. Now I have my gripes with these controls, such as having a confirm and an attack button as two separate things on a keyboard seems excessive, the keys are spread out, they’re all in the one row of keys, <^v> isn’t an option for moving, enter does nothing, no joystick option, etcetera etcetera, but there is one other massive flaw in this control set. There is a tutorial in gauntlet on the controls(and maybe Space Invaders too?), but to get to it, you have to get through the start screen. Who in the world would think to press H to choose New Game? First I thought my keyboard wasn’t working, then I checked the control configuror that came with it, worked out the arrows were WASD(I also made my own control set but for whatever reason it didn’t work), went back to the game, then started pressing keys until the title screen went away. This is obviously a horrendous design flaw.

So, now we’ve defeated the hardest part of the game(starting it up), let’s get down to business!

Gauntlet gives you 4 character choices right from the get-go. I tried them all, and the warrior is indisputably the best. The mage and thief act exactly the same as each other in combat, except hit 2’s instead of 3’s. The archer also hits 2’s, and is let down by 4 directional walking.

So it’s time to play! You get to the tutorial, but once you complete it, it goes back to the start of the game, after character selection… So it asks if you want the tutorial again, and since you’ve already read the story once, you just jam enter. BAM! You’re back in the tutorial.

Now you’ve defeated the hardest enemy in the game’s true form, you can finally play the damn thing!

Well, it’s all pretty plain after that. You just go around killing stuff, really. Combat is bland, and just comes down to being the first to attack. It’s really let down by the controls, which make it awkward, and the 4 directional movement, which makes positioning yourself correctly hard. Also where your attack can and can’t hit is kind of strange. Also you often get gang bashed by mice.

Well, that’s enough Gauntleting for now, (WHAT THE HELL GAUNTLETING IS A WORD!) lets play us some Space Invaders!

No tutorial this time, or if there is one I missed it. This would really mess up people that skip Gauntlet.

Okay, so basically this Space Invaders is just normal Space Invaders… with three fairly big changes.

#1 The enemies move really, really quickly. Unlike in the normal version, every single enemy moves down a row every 2-3 seconds. It’s very fast. This would normally make it too hard, but POINT #2 comes into effect.

#2 The enemy formations aren’t the same as in the original. They’re much smaller, and less dense. I think one of the levels was meant to be in the shape of one of the invaders which was cute. But it makes it all WAY too easy.

Now, for the greatest of the three points… Point #3!

#3 It’s tile based! That’s right, you heard me! This has a tile based Space Invaders. Actually, it doesn’t handle as badly as it could, but it is still pretty bad.


So yes, the second(and final) minigame in this collection is a tile-based, very, very short Space Invader clone with fewer than normal enemies, all of which move like they’re on speed, with a last level which is much easier than the first level of normal Space Invaders.


There really is no story, except the one tacked at the start of Gauntlet. So I suppose…



These are all rips from retro games and apparently a few uncredited Ocean tiles. I’m not big on the whole retro thing to be honest, I like graphics with low colour palettes but I don’t like how badly old RPG chip sets tile. This game has big, relatively empty maps that only serve to worsen the problem.


This game has no music, which just makes for an even less interesting experience. The few sound effects are RTP, and the game over music is the sweeping RTP piece, which completely clashes with the mood.

Also, there is an un-used song in the Audio file. Weird.

This was clearly made to show off the capabilities of RPG Maker and the Blizzard ABS. Sadly, it instead highlights the flaws.



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Resident foodmonster
rofl, I didn't even know that someone took them. For Paradise Blue, part of the graphics were modified (since I originally just used FF1 graphics before I got to work on my own stuff) so I don't really mind. It's just that they're obviously taken from PB.

But yeah it's sad to see it being used in a project like this. Maybe next time they'll find someone else to test the project first and see how the control scheme is and all, and for general feedback.
who am i and how did i get in here
The only reason i like this game is it was that it showed me blizz abs...
And i could tell the abs was good even tho this game isnt.
Too bad the blizz abs also sucks.
Too bad the blizz abs also sucks.
I agree. A few games recently have piqued my interest, but I saw "Blizz ABS" and ran away. The controls are horrible, and the battles are always so plain. (And from my general experience, pretty unreasonable! But I suck at these things so what would I know?)
I've tried using Blizz ABS before. Basically it's an easy-man's ABS so you pretty much get what you payed for (which is nothing.) I played another game that featured it that also used the awkward ASDW controls, showing that both of these developers were to lazy to see that they could very easily changed the key configuration in the script. Blizz even gives you an application that makes it even easier.
*sigh* people these days :(
The only people that can make good games with ABSes in RPG Maker are the people making the ABSes.
who am i and how did i get in here
Its pretty stupid to say that since the controls suck its the ABSes fault, as Xanedil said: its easy to change the controls (even with out the config tool... i dont use that cause i like doing it myself).
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