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Evil Dawns completely misses the mark even after so many revisions

  • Dragnfly
  • 11/15/2015 02:42 AM
I guess I'm late to the party here but this is apparently version 6.6 of the game. You'd think after so many revisions it would be a fine-tuned machine but it's pretty terrible right from the very start.

The lack of menu controls threw me for a loop so I came here to read the description just in case it has a non-standard control scheme. As of the date of this review the game's description says Mouse buttons for accept and cancel and WASD for movement. WASD? ooooooooooook. That's weird for RM games but I'll give it a chance.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand that doesn't work either. So after hammering random buttons I learned E is accept and Q is cancel, not the mouse buttons. I can't understand why somebody would want to enable WASD movement in an RM game.

So now that I can actually play I started exploring the house. I got the map and lantern, which says it has limited fuel so I turned it off right away. Then upon entering the 2nd room two spirits cornered me, locked me in and killed me. I didn't notice a way to save before then so it's all the way back to New Game. At least the intro is super short. Also, there's no quick way to see your HP but I'll elaborate on that problem later.

On my 2nd try, I left the lantern on. Cool, so having light means no ghosts. I explored another 2 rooms, got lots of items... and then my lantern ran out and none of those items were lantern fuel. It was easy to evade the ghost in here but when I left the room I was cornered by a ghost in a doorway. It doing damage was canceling my action button so I couldn't escape back into the room and I couldn't open the menu to heal up. http://i.imgur.com/wXZ71Ag.png I died. Back to New Game. Also noteworthy is that getting hit by a ghost triggers one of the default VXA Restore animations which are just long enough to get really annoying when you're trapped.

My patience had been worn very thin by this point but I was thinking "version 6.6? I must be missing something."

On the 3rd try, I found a save point in a room I missed (why the first room didn't have one is beyond me) and was able to experiment some more. I learned more about the way the ghost-dodging works and that's another face-palming revelation. The ghosts can hit you from any adjacent tile so if you meet one head-on you will likely take at least 2 hits (the direction you were hit at plus the direction diagonal to the ghost as you run away).

There's no on-screen indicator for your HP. It's only visible when saving or using a medkit so if you have no medkits and aren't near a save then you have no clue how much HP you have left. While having no HUD does improve your immersion (far less so in a game that's not first-person like most RM games) having no idea how much HP you have is a horrible idea. It affects how willing the player is to take risks and replaces the tension and excitement with annoyance.

Also, I noticed some odd things. While I picked up on the Silent Hill sounds right away, that sci-fi game loading sound is just out of place when the setting is 1827. Also, some of the (seemingly random) loading screen text seemed out of place. Why is there a loading screen anyway?

So turns out you can flick your lantern on and off even when it's empty. Spamming this is no different from leaving it on except for being annoying and sometimes causing the game to slow down. You can also check an object and since the ghosts don't stop moving when the dialogue box is showing you can wait for them to move away and then proceed. Additionally opening and closing the map lights up the room. While these tricks increase your survival they're abusing the developer's many oversights whereas a properly designed solution would have still improved survival but the developer would have been able to keep the egg off his face.

I progressed further and found my first bit of story, which of course had a word cut off by the edge of the text box. I also found my first combat enemy. So for combat (I guess the ghosts were to be treated like traps?) you use a menu-driven system, all the while the events are still active in the room. I have no idea why the developer decided on this when the earlier ghost-dodging mechanic was so cemented and the inclusion of weapons made it seem like combat would be real-time like A Punishment for Mai or some of Headless Prison. Since I'd been gooned by ghosts earlier I was no match for the enemy.

Endless levels of shortsightedness and poor design seep out from every corner of this game. I strongly discourage anyone from even downloading it.


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All I can say about the "revisions" part is I do versions much differently than most people, especially back then, and I don't even remember how I did it back then. Keep in mind, I only spent a month working on the game, more or less. I was actually inspired by One Night 2, with the combat being slightly different than most games I've seen. But for a first game, it's much better than a lot I have played.

Also, I knew about all the "oversights", but at the time couldn't figure out how to fix them. The weapons were there cause I did once have a real-time battle, but it kept messing with other needed scripts, so I omitted it. I kept the weapons in their just for the bosses.

I actually, as odd as it may sound, have had an easier time making a 3D version of this game, and also have moved it over to MV where things are much easier. I might upload one last time for this game. Not sure. Thanks for the review, though.
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