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Roleplaying fun, little twist

  • Kylaila
  • 02/21/2016 01:53 PM
Wednesday Knights is a short RPG starring a group of people sitting down fro an roleplaying evening. It works with a great and interesting concept, fun and funny dialogue, and is a very enjoyable ride with a lot of flaws.

There is a lot of hit and miss in this game - and I would say I enjoyed the part before heading out to the cave most.
So you start by introducing a first time roleplaying gamer newcomer, letting them explore their room and the surroundings before you meet the other people's characters.

The most enjoyable portion of the game are its lovely graphics and descriptions (and fridge jokes, because the lack of safety is always appreciated) accompanying your actions. You are constantly commentated - out of character, of often - in how you would play good ol' D&D and similar. You need to roll the dice to see if you can make out something looking out the window, and you can fail picking up a little harmless creature. Maybe.

Just a little longer!

Each player has a distinct personality, and they are all bickering and having fun amongst each other, starting from their choice of race and class to how to play the game in the first place. They have no names, no appearances and are only distinguished by their different style of language and their text color. I personally really enjoyed this approach as it focuses clearly on simply who the characters are, and what they are like - and also makes it easier to tie them to the appearance and ways of their played character.
I find this concept works really well and could easily be expanded on to create a great comedy game.

Yet at the same time there are a couple of jarring elements to this which do not fit as well. The game ends on a rather twisted situation, where a tragedy is hinted at, but never explored or explained. It is a rather sudden change and could not be anticipated or foreshadowed in any way, making it far less impactful than it could actually be. I like that characters show themselves with differenct facettes of themselves, making them feel much more natural.
However, this topic could be explored much better by a few more story/gameplay segments to actually turn a little annoyance into a real issue. The way it calmed down, too, is strangely symbolic and fitting, but ultimately too bare-bones to give us a real clue about what is going on. I did like that the situation did not completely escalate for no reason. A little more patience and time would have done this twist really well.

The other two jarring elements are first sound and music choices - the music, like the graphics, are full custom, but a fairly wide spread. I loved the shop theme, but it quickly grew to be jarring and hard on the ears. The battle themes have a few almost dissonant passages and feel a little bit exhausting, while other themes were okay - I particularily enjoyed the boss theme.
Another portion of this is that any action in battle is accompanied by the sound of a dice roll - this by itself is a little bit strange, but okay, sadly it delays the actions taking place by quite a bit, slowing battles down and disrupting their flow slightly.
I suggest skipping longer battles since the last boss is fairly easy to beat.

I uh.. will just end this battle then.

The other part are the battles themselves - starting by the purposefully roughly sketched background, the slight sound/music annoyances, they are not particularily fun to go through as the luck factor is the main factor in how well you fare, as the range of your and enemy attack damage is very high. Misses are fairly frequent and with attacks ranging from seemingly 1-10 damage, it can prolong fights needlessly. They are overall decently balanced as that they are no push-over, and you can use items if you are running low on health.
Special attacks are only slightly more useful than standard attacks, but take longer to execute. I quite liked the supportive spells and the tank-slime's kit, however.
However, it plays too little a role in the game, and it is nowhere near as enjoyable as the story portion. I would rather have had more dialogue and exploration than battles. I believe in roleplaying you have more freedom in how you approach battles, how you interact with them and the environment, and this cannot easily be emulated by the standard battle system. As such, it adds little to the overall theme and atmosphere, bare the sound of dice rolling.

The one time you shop for equipment and items beforehand is also a little misleading in the lack of equipment comparison and details. Your party is armed with daggers before heading out, but you do not know this and may buy additional daggers for the characters left out of stronger weapons - your budget is very tight if you shop for armor, potions and weapons all at once for every character.
As different weapons have a range of attack tied to an attribute, no set attack damage can be displayed and thus every piece of equipment is seen as "+0" stat-wise making it impossible to make out which armor you may or may not be wearing already.
A character also speaks of being able to dual-wield weapons and asking you to pack different kinds, but you can only wield one weapon at a time, instead of two you may suspect.
This could all more easily be bypassed by simple having the option to interact with the shopkeeper by talking to him, allowing you to bring your menu up beforehand and checking for what you actually need. (also, please do sell daggers when every single character has them equipped)

All that said, even while I did not enjoy the battle-filled exploration, this part was short enough to still enjoy the game greatly as a whole.
I think it builds a solid foundation for a fun concepts and lovely writing.