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Dance of the Immortals - Nice Story and Design, but not without its flaws

  • Metatron
  • 06/23/2012 03:33 AM
I don't really know what caught my eye about this game, but I'm thoroughly impressed. The demo is short, about 30 minutes long.

Gameplay - 3/5
  • The ABS is well-integrated, and there are a number of destructible items in the environment.

  • I wasn't impressed with the boss battles, which consisted of little more than killing respawning mobs and the boss itself, which required little besides simply hitting it and healing yourself (unless you could trap it between some objects, which is ridiculously easy to do, and during one sequence, absolutely necessary).

  • Money is EXTREMELY scarce (there is only a single pile of money in the entire demo), so you have to conserve the healing items, especially in the first segment, where the healing items heal an extremely tiny amount of health.

  • There was a sequence that involved jumping between platforms near the beginning, where it was easy to jump where you're not supposed to due to the pixel movement. The third time it happened to me, I had to quit out of frustration.

  • There was also a stealth sequence that was extremely frustrating. Little explanation was given, and the final stretch of it seemed to need nothing but luck, due to the size of the screen and the fickleness of the guards' turning patterns.

Design - 3/5
  • The mapping is not bad at all. It's clean and interesting, without too much clutter. It's far from perfect, but it's definitely better than mine.

  • The dungeon layout is pretty good from what I've seen, with enemies spaced out rather reasonably and the actual layout of the hostile areas is good, although there is very little variety in the enemies faced.

  • In the game's dialogue, there are what seem to be several glaring spelling errors, such as "Wildness", "SURR", and "CHEEF" (they may be fine for story reasons, but I can't really see it).

  • In the first and last segments of the demo, there are damaging fires scattered around, and it's incredibly easy to get knocked back into them by enemies, which leads to a quick and frustrating death.

  • The last segment of the demo, the lag was painful.

  • There are some secret things scattered around, which will let you take different character models or titles and the like, as well as pages of a book to collect.

Story - 4/5
  • What I've seen so far, I like. It's nothing super-special, but it still struck me. Control switches to different characters as the story progresses. At the beginning of every segment of gameplay, there is a page from a book that your character can walk on, which you can either read at your leisure or jump right into the gameplay.

  • The first section of gameplay follows Kata, a pirate captain and defender of the Freelanders, a group of people who live outside of society, and her escape from an approaching imperial army intent on eliminating her fleet. At the end of this segment, it is revealed that the Emperor thinks that that was a waste of time and that they should focus on the threat of the Goblins.

  • The second section of gameplay follows "The Nobody", the player character. There is a short sequence where the player can customize and name the nobody, as well as choose its class. The Nobody lives among social outcasts in "the Hideout" in sewers underneath the city of Amn-Duth, and is tasked with clearing a large spider nest from the tunnels.

  • Afterwards, play switches to Jezele, who sneaks through the backstreets to find some captured friends. Learning that they are to be hanged the next morning, The Nobody and the others stop the execution and kill the city's sherriff, which is followed by an "omen" telling the governor that he is dying. This scene left me scratching my head.

  • The final segment of gameplay follows Grimaldus, the leader of the Goblin Army that is threatening the Empire. He speaks with what seems to be a heavy Scottish accent, and is at a very high level. The main goal of this segment is to kill all of the opposing army's soldiers, which is INCREDIBLY frustrating due to the lag on this map.

  • It is obvious that we haven't met all of the characters yet, and that we will be playing both sides of the war. I expect the story to get a bit better starting in chapter 2.

Resources - 3.5/5
  • Some of the tiles are absolutely beautiful in my opinion. Others, not so much.

  • The music is mostly RTP, with a few extra tracks which didn't really catch my attention.

  • The characters are primarily RTP, generated characters, and RTP edits (as well as a few rips from XP here and there).

Overall - 3.5/5 not an average
Even though there were some frustrating issues, this game was an enjoyable experience and I plan on playing the full release, if only for the story.


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Was Built From Pixels Up
Thanks for taking the time to review it, glad to hear the critique. :)

The ABS bosses are a bit bland for now mainly due to me being not only new to ABS but new to VXA as a whole and am trying to not do too much at one time; I'd rather the earlier sections be basic and correct than attempt too much and screw it up altogether. The plan is that as I learn more, such things will improve with me.

I can't help but agree about the jumping section, and don't plan on having that again.

The Surr/Cheef are from books I read where such things were shouted with enthusiasm and typically phonetically, which I just loved; saying "surr" feels more like a loud-shouting army private to me, much more so than "sir" which sounds more formal and office-y. Wildness was just down to a "that's what the people call it", but I understand seeing that as an error since it was surrounded by otherwise common english usages.

The lag did get explosive after the ABS was made, which was a shame considering how exciting it feels when it runs fine. I never really accounted for other computers running it and have been planning to keep that considered from now on.

Either way, I'm glad you approve of the story, as that is the most important part of the game. By the scratching head moments, I'm hoping at least it remained interesting, as the story is planned ahead of time, not being made up as I go along :)

If it helps encourage you, the second chapter is looking to be an improvement. The boss battles haven't been set in yet, but the regular areas are; it's more free-roaming and open-ended, letting you choose the order of things to be done, while still having the flavour at the sides. Here's hoping you agree once it's out :)

Well, with the surr/cheef, if that floats your boat. It didn't really affect my scoring, anyway.

I don't know what it is about it, but I very much felt like it was going to get better. That may have affected your score a little.

We'll see if you deserve it once I see the finished project~!
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