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Let's Try Soul Shepherd, by LockeZ, Parts 1-5

  • LockeZ
  • 04/15/2013 03:14 PM
  • 2132 views
Part One: I die on the first battle





Part Two: Extremely unforgiving first dungeon





Part Three: From spikes to abyss





Part Four: Strategy wins the day





Part Five: Journey through the tunnel of status ailments

Posts

Pages: 1
This game kinda sucked.

The battles were entirely too hard (I died on the first battle too), and considering you're the summoner of these things, it could have been done a number of ways to make it much better. Such as, ending the game if you die. Such as, making the main character not a battler. Hell, I'm not totally thrilled with the default battle layout.

There's a difference between challenge and "challenge". A game is considered challenging if a monster can whittle you down to 2/3 before its defeat, or kill you if you're not paying attention. But this is just stupid. I noticed your second battle, you tried to use your healer to keep people alive and it died. That enemies are dealing 2/3 per turn (leading to that situation) is a mark of very poor balance.
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
I would disagree about it being too hard, personally. I'd prefer if the first battle you fought were always just bats instead of being randomized, but once I got my first soul it was about right.

Ending the game if the main character dies WOULD make it too hard, since death of one or two characters is extremely common and unavoidable.

I prefer more plot in my games, but that's an unrelated personal preference. The only thing I actually thought was bad was having to spend about thirty battles grinding gold. The rest of the time I was entertained. (I could probably have lowered that to fifteen battles or so if I'd gone after new souls at the same time, but I wanted to be able to cut some battles out of the video without skipping anything that mattered, so I tried not to venture forward for a while.)
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
author=bulmabriefs144
There's a difference between challenge and "challenge". A game is considered challenging if a monster can whittle you down to 2/3 before its defeat, or kill you if you're not paying attention. But this is just stupid. I noticed your second battle, you tried to use your healer to keep people alive and it died. That enemies are dealing 2/3 per turn (leading to that situation) is a mark of very poor balance.


That's not actually true, though. It's actually balanced excellently, and the designer gives an excrutiating amount of his attention to the balance. For example, you can still win with the healer dead, it's just harder. I mean, you'll notice I won that second battle, and not by dodging attacks and getting lucky crits - the game rolled against me and killed my healer, but I was still able to win, because he wasn't the only character on my team able to perform useful actions (Lai Strike saved the day). The enemies are very difficult, but the game gives you the tools to deal with that level of challenge.

Later, when I started getting half my party confused at a time, then I'd be more inclined to agree with you. I still could have avoided that game over I got while confused, though, if I'd noticed my fairy was poisoned and remembered it was my fastest character, and used someone else's limit break to heal it before it died of poison. But if anything in the videos so far provides the possibility of an unavoidable game over, it's probably confuse.
author=bulmabriefs144
The battles were entirely too hard (I died on the first battle too)

He mentions in the video that he only died in the first battle because he was demonstrating how not to play the game. It is extremely unlikely to die in the first battle while making good decisions. I've played the start of the game many, many times, and I never die in the first battle. So the only barriers to success are knowledge and skill, not the game itself. Since it wasn't clear from your post if you've played this version: do note that the beginning of the game is a bit easier from the version released a few years back.

author=bulmabriefs144
considering you're the summoner of these things, it could have been done a number of ways to make it much better. Such as, ending the game if you die. Such as, making the main character not a battler.

It isn't clear how any of these are better, let alone "much better". The death ailment in this game is called "Knockout", so the main char isn't dead when his HP is brought to 0. The homonculi obey his commands, but that doesn't mean they have to fall flat rather than protect their leader when the main char passes out. Controlling homonculi is not the only power of a Shepherd, they are capable warriors that can infuse themselves with power as well as their dolls, there's no reason they should take the sideline.

author=bulmabriefs144
Hell, I'm not totally thrilled with the default battle layout.

A number of graphical improvements have been made to RMXP's default battle UI in this game. The text displays were moved around and resized/fonted/drawn differently, and meters were added for HP/MP/IP, etc. So I assume you just mean you don't like first person view in battles? I prefer it over side view, myself. Mostly because I'm not personally a fan of the chibi sprites common to JRPGs.

author=bulmabriefs144
There's a difference between challenge and "challenge".

Inane point.

author=bulmabriefs144
A game is considered challenging if a monster can whittle you down to 2/3 before its defeat, or kill you if you're not paying attention.

I wouldn't consider such a game challenging. 2/3 of max HP isn't going to take me anywhere near feeling threatened.

author=bulmabriefs144
I noticed your second battle, you tried to use your healer to keep people alive and it died. That enemies are dealing 2/3 per turn (leading to that situation) is a mark of very poor balance.

He also won that battle. But in any case, this is not a balance issue, it's a personal taste in difficulty issue. Though since you seem to enjoy stating your opinions as facts, I'm not surprised you would make such an error.
@LockeZ
I kept yelling "FLAME! USE FLAME!" when you were fighting Kobold, haha.

@zombero
This looks much better than the first version and I can't wait to play it again. Tried to make it work on Mac last night but it didn't, so I guess I have to switch to Windows to play this.

Watching the videos just make me want to help remake this in Unity more and more. Especially now that Unity support Ouya, this would be totally awesome if I can play it on a console.

@bulmabriefs144
Most of your points are already refuted by both Lockez and zombero so I won't say much. Just keep in mind that you can't really go into this game and expect it to be like other RPG games out there. If you have played Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne before, play this game with the same mindset, but be much more careful.

Observe and study your enemies closely, everything your enemies do give you hints on how to beat them. Don't think of death as punishment in this game. Every time you lose a battle in this game, you really need to think of what went wrong.
author=hima
Watching the videos just make me want to help remake this in Unity more and more. Especially now that Unity support Ouya, this would be totally awesome if I can play it on a console.
Sounds awesome. :D Sorry to hear about the Mac bit, as far as I know RMXP game don't work on Macs, at least not normally. Maybe Wine Bottler can do it?

author=hima
Don't think of death as punishment in this game. Every time you lose a battle in this game, you really need to think of what went wrong.
I am keeping an eye out for the less-fair scenarios of potential death in this playthrough. As the game increases in length, it becomes less essential that the very beginning be extremely brutal, though I'd still want it to be very hard. I'm considering having essentially anything cure confuse (i.e. instead of just damage curing confuse, healing spells and items from allies would also cure it), or perhaps just more simply having an item that cures it. And I'm also considering giving the Homonculi a starting armor with 0-1 defenses, but with a healing Impulse attached, so that theoretically any of the starting characters is capable of fast heals. I did notice the fast-but-not-fast-enough impulse skill in the vid... I think the speed increase from the "fast" trait is appropriate for regular skills, but for impulse skills it could stand to be more of a guarantee.
I did use Wine Bottler, actually. It gave me 'Cannot find Direct Audio' or something along that line of errors :(

Anyway, regarding the fast impulse skill, it would be nice to come up with a new keyword for a first-turn-guarantee attribute. I think it might be confusing if you use fast for both and not explaining anywhere in the game that fast impulse always act first. Maybe 'instant'?
It wouldn't quite be a guaranteed over the course of the entire game, just guaranteed at that point in the game... so maybe I could use "very fast".
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