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Falls into the bad habits it mocks

  • Craze
  • 01/01/2011 03:53 PM
Everlasting Journey by PepsiOtaku seems to be an attempt to make a good-looking, funny and traditional RPG, with the humor stemming from poking fun at the genre's tropes. The problem is that it falls into the worst of them.

I got through a handful of dungeons and towns, up through a... lava place. With undead soldiers that didn't do anything except give vague exposition. By that dungeon, I was so bored with the battle system (you can attack, Phillip can steal, and other characters get the imaginatively named Wind1, Water1, etc. The annoying Floo character that randomly says "flob" also gets a fairly useful boss-killing Poison spell and Petrify, which I got too late to use. Beyond that, there is absolutely nothing to the battle system except enemies that attack you) that I started playing Etrian Odyssey III while recording. I mashed spacebar and healed after every few battles.

The game is fairly good-looking, though! There are some nice custom animations, although it looked odd that Flobo's battle sprite moved when inactive and the other folks just stood still. The drug trip is well-done, even if I don't agree with the rampant drugs in the game (to the point where Berserk is cured by taking a hit of Reefer).

The characters do very little except participate in boring battles and lampshade the annoying RPG tropes that game takes pleasure in participating in. I started to like Floo, but then he decided to start using "flob" like "kupo" and I began growling. No, seriously. I was playing Etrian Odyssey III, recording a Let's Try, playing the game and growling all at the same time. Go me.

The deathblow this game gave was (spoiler warning, but not really) Sparrow and Athesis sharing a kiss after fighting a very weak and pitiful boss that was built up to be some crazy badass. The animation during the romantic interlude was great - Sparrow edging up was even amusing. Then she said "your welcome."

It's a good thing I accidentally screwed up the recording, because I went a little nuts.

I'm giving this game 2.5 stars. It looks good, except for a few odd facesets, and has some nice details and animation. Unfortunately, it's boring - there are a few truly amusing sequences, but there's too much lackluster gameplay and stupidity getting in the way. Honestly, if somebody playing and talking about the game gets so bored that they start using their DS while recording...?


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I don't really know how to reply to your review Craze. I could bitch and moan about how you didn't play enough of the game to really get into the story, and how "your" reviewing an amateur rpg, not the next Final Fantasy or AAA title, but it's not worth it. I've sunk way too much time into this game already to fight and give you pointless excuses for its shortcomings. I'm probably going to quit RPG making and move onto the next thing anyway. If you hated it and didn't have the attention span to finish it, that's fine with me, but in the future you should really try to alienate your fellow community members less by not saying anything at all.
Take it easy PepsiOtaku. It's just a rushed review. It's not supposed to change your life.
Don't get down, PepsiOtaku. Personally, I liked your game.

Perhaps it's time I rolled up my sleeves and show my appreciation in a more positive review.
I can see how this is disheartening for you, PepsiOtaku, but please don't quit RPGmaking. I really enjoyed your game and i played the entirety of it for all it's worth.

I'm kind of disappointed by the review, it isn't a hard game to complete even if you weren't enjoying it massively, Craze. I'd suggest elaborating on the things that bothered you and try and add some useful ideas for the developer as well, but you obviously don't have to. I feel like people shouldn't really write reviews for games when they haven't completed them but then i know that can be countered with the 'well, if it's REALLY bad/boring,' argument.

So, erm, it's just one review, don't give up yet, I'd hate so much to see this game go under the water.
Don't take things so harshly, Pepsi. Considering this is a somewhat comedy focused RPG, there are going to be people who don't really enjoy the humor. Besides, 2.5 isn't a like a mindblowingly awful score or anything, it's perfectly average.

Just wait for some more people to review it, thats all. Don't just give up entirely based off of one review.
Having watched his LT videos, I know where Craze is coming from. It's just frustrating to read a half-assed review like this because it puts me on the spot. What else can I really say? I may or may not continue EJ. It would be nice to make something simpler in game maker or C++.
Frankly I think it's stupid to just up and quit for no reason. You've made is farther than most people in the community ever do, so go ahead and finish it. It's a bad plan to quit when you've done so much, just to start all over again.

Regardless of how good the game is, there will be always people who didn't like it, so don't worry about pleasing absolutely everybody.
can't make a bad game if you don't finish any games
...Half-assed? To-the-point, direct, and unapologetic.
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
I would say half-assed.
He didn't even have his full attention to the game, even if it was slow/boring to him.
His review wasn't half-assed. As Chaos said, Craze is just bluntly honest and straight to the point when he reviews stuff. If he didn't care enough to pay attention then the game obviously didn't appeal to him.

Having played the game I both agree and disagree with Craze's general points. The battles do get a bit boring after a while and once you split up and play as Athesis they become far too hard to beat. I died about three times in a row before stopping. I know Craze didn't get that far but it's still true.

The rest of the game - story and character-wise - was rather nice. I enjoyed it and found myself laughing at some parts. I found the characters enjoyable and most of the time a lot of fun to play as (though that scene with the kiss, though animated nicely, was a bit strange to me - mainly Athesis' reactions) I wasn't a fan of the drug trip - not because I hate drugs (I do) but because it went on a bit too long in my opinion. I did enjoy the tree and desert - they looked and felt really nice. You've obviously worked very hard to make the visions in your mind come to life and the mapping is really well done.

I was thinking about LTing EJ too, but it may be a while before I do it as there are a few games I need to do as well.
though that scene with the kiss, though animated nicely, was a bit strange to me - mainly Athesis' reactions

I don't disagree. I was trying to portray the fact that Athesis was not connected emotionally yet, and that Sparrow had overstepped his bounds. I'll try to revise it at some point. Dialog is always a struggle.
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
please explain the part where this is half-assed

please explain the part where I'm the bad guy because the game bored me

here's a half-assed review:

your battles are complete shit/boring. you do nothing imaginative in this game except maybe include drugs but well that just shows where your money is being wasted in life. there is no other gameplay besides the battles, except maybe some exceptionally horrible forest traipsing. the characters are dull and your story goes nowhere for hours and DO NOT SAY "IT GETS BETTER" because it's not the player's fucking job to entertain himself for hours to get to the "good part" (heh)

how's that
Pepsi, you should be glad Craze even bothered to review your game. If he thinks your game is not worth improving, he wouldn't even review in the first place.

You seriously can't go emo and say you're quiting just because of 1 person (and 1 review).
can't make a bad game if you don't finish any games
I am pretty sure it would not take that long to go into the database and spice fights up a bit

and it would be instant +1.5 stars
What do you guys want to see done with the battle system? I'll take any and every suggestion.
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
-Improve the elemental spells - make them different and interesting. First off, improve their names! Secondly, add some effects like the cheap 1-MP spells still doing low damage but lowering resistance to that element. Thunder spells could have a chance to stun the target, water spells could hit all enemies for lower damage, wind spells could always lower defense/agility for a short duration (blasted back or something). Elemental armor equips could void these effects, giving you an extra reason to protect your slow character against the wind boss

-Add some physical skills. Unfortunately, 2k3 sucks so skills can't critical and you can't go too crazy, but you could still let Sparrow/Stefan have some free attacks that do a little less damage/are a little less accurate but do additional damage to certain enemy types, can silence a foe, etc. Then give the player a reason to use them - make your spellcaster mooks usually weak to Silence, for example

-Maybe replace Athesis's normal attacks with varied elemental spells in general, albeit weak and somewhat ATK-based. They could be based on her staff (like Magma Staff grants fire and earth, Tsunami Staff grants water and wind) or you could split up elements for these ATK-spells between various spellcasters

-Add more interesting commands! Steal is okay but basic. If you're going to be basic, add other Final Fantasy staples like Pray or Darkness. Look at X-2's commands and XII's Techniques for ideas

-Give each character a reason to defend by adding additional bonuses beyond reduced damage! Stefan could have super defense (that option in the database that gives him 75% damage reduction instead of 50%), Sparrow could get an ATK/AGI buff that lasts until he attacks or casts next (since you can't actually raise his evasion in 2k3 :< ), Athesis could restore a little MP, Floo could cast a free wind spell on all enemies for low damage... it adds +1 minor dimension to battles that spice them up. If you can with 2k3, give enemies similar abilities! At least, make them more varied
(see: http://rpgmaker.net/forums/topics/6844/?post=199821#post199821 )

-Fix up your stat effectiveness
(see: http://rpgmaker.net/articles/371/ )

That enough for now?
I only have a couple counter-arguments to those suggestions, but overall I'll work on them. I started on stat effectiveness yesterday, and this is the direction I'm going to go in with it:

-Agl stat will stay the same for all characters since it only really affects ATB speed/escape %. The only way to raise it is with equipment/"materials." Enemies will have roughly the same agility, since the closer the enemy's Agl stat to the hero's, the less chance you have to escape
-Regular attack damage will equal Atk x 1.3. Phillip's damage will be around 1.6-2. Def stat will need adjustments as well
-HP of all enemies will have to be increased proportionally to the new damage output
-Originally spells were set to relate to both Atk and Int, but now will relate to just Int. Both only if it's a Phys/Mag attack
-I'll improve elemental and add physical spells. The attribute %'s have already been increased, but I'm not sure how that will affect balance yet since I've only tested the first area

Here's my counter-arguments:
-Athesis already gets more advanced Staffs later on. My approach has been to keep battles basic early on, and add in more difficult stuff as you progress (Chrono Trigger did this). This goes for items/equipment as well. I'll adjust how early you get that kind of equipment
-Phillip already gets a new skill later on in the game that counteracts his uselessness. He can also equip "p" swords that give him two different types of attacks (blunt & sword). I wanted to keep him item focused throughout the first few hours. He can also attack via the "bomb" item
-The "Darkness" you referred to is already implemented as simply, "Blind." "Pray" would be easy enough to add. I also have a non-crashing "Reflect" stat that enemies use to reflect spells. A lot of the other stats show up later on in the game. I'll definitely look at adding others, including bonuses like the ones you mentioned
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