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I Didn't Know What To Name This Review, Piano Took My Idea

  • Muffle
  • 04/22/2018 08:27 PM

Karma Goes In Two Directions, Vengeance and Pleasure

This game is made by OldPat, the game had looked rather interesting and I had promised OldPat I would play it. I originally was going to let's play it but I'm glad I didn't due to reasons of constantly getting stuck. The review I’m writing below will be an experience from a person who has never played a stealth game, I’m not sure if this is supposed to be beginner-friendly but I probably didn’t enjoy it for this reason. Some of the below will be pointing its problems that a beginner would have with this game, but I won't be docking points for it. This review has spoilers.

Alright, so let's get started!

I don’t know about you, but this was hard for me to get used to.


Gameplay is very interesting and well done for a stealth game, it's exactly what I'd think of when I think of a game where you rely on stealth instead of fighting. It was done very well and with a lot of thought on how to do it, especially when Karma actually comes into play, which has to be the most interesting part of the entire idea. Basically, if you kill someone directly you'll lose a Karma Point, which is just another way of saying health. If you kill someone indirectly, you are perfectly fine.

Karma can be tricked in interesting ways, including shooting barrels that cause an explosion or using mirrors as a reflection, or landmines. I'll be perfectly honest, the mirrors are pretty useless in this case and I never figured out how to use it to my advantage. There’s also a strange amount of mirrors in a random place in the street, I know it's trying to give you options on how to kill people but even in a game where anything's possible... what the heck is a mirror doing in the middle of a road? The only reason I’m mentioning this is that the game seems to try and focus on a more realistic approach. But I just like to think that Chris had them set up for Flo.

Flo: Why are there mirrors in random places around town?
Chris: I put them there for you.
Flo: You put random mirrors around town?
Marty: I did and I almost got shot.

Just imagine Chris or Marty putting mirrors up in town, how confused would you be as a patrol… patrolling and seeing a guy randomly placing a mirror in the middle of the road.

My main issue with gameplay was the damn controls, though it’s not OldPat’s fault since it seems to be the limited use of RPGMAKER 2k3. Pressing shift too open the status screen (aka map) instead of running often got me killed x.x I was rather frustrated that I couldn’t pause while I was on the map screen, but I understand why this was done since it’s a realistic approach and patrols are not going to wait on you while you’re looking at your map XD

Patrol: Found you!
Flo: Hold on bud, gotta check my map.
Patrol: *waits patiently*

I would recommend some way too pause it though, like maybe ESC key that leads to a menu that gives options like “Exit the game” in case I have to go and can come back to that mission upon logging back on instead of wasting my laptop battery keeping it up and running (Thank God I have no life and wasted 8 hours in a row playing this game with no trouble)

The target ID picture is good, and the map is decent despite it being confusing for me but I guess mostly because everything looks the same to me. I'm aware OldPat knows how the controls used in the game were not a good choice so again, not docking points for 2k3, but it still rendered my gameplay enjoyment quite a lot. I kept pressing enter instead of Z and while it still has the same reaction I constantly thought it would inspect instead of shooting or knifing. There was actually a funny story that I was trying to go through a door and pressed enter and heard a noise and thought she was trying to break the door down until I heard a clicking noise and realized I wasted every single one of my bullets XD

The last thing I'm going to mention is torments and patrols. God, these guys are annoying. They're basically NPCs you have to ignore. The thing with torments is that they respawn way too soon, it's like they immediately come back right after I kill them, so it's literally for nothing. I talked too OldPat about this and there was a confusion with the timing coded in the game, go figure right? (Don’t worry OldPat I’ve done the same thing with some of my codings)

I would give some advice about the modes. I didn’t play anything above easy, and I started with easy because I’m a wimp I’ve never played a stealth game before. Even on easy, it wasn’t kind to me as a beginner, my problems were the torments respawn time and the number of patrols around which I think should be lessened just a bit (not a lot, though. It is a stealth game after all). Other than that it was nice and not impossible to get through.

The subquests seemed a bit hard to find, I just wish there were more hints then looking around for twenty minutes hoping to randomly find an NPC that isn’t a patrol. The subquests I played were pretty nice, I think. It fits into the story and gave me an enjoyment of playing with more than just the main story.

Another nice addition is the rating system and that's how you earn money. I think it’d be interesting too also add a time to the rating sheet, so if you complete it in under 2 minutes it adds too you're rating, it’d be a fun challenge for those who can handle the gameplay better then me. I’m a bit frustrated with myself because I had so much trouble I can’t bother myself too 100% the game XD I have a respect for those who have been able to.

Alright, so let's move on.

I really, really hated this boss

Boss Battles

I hate turn based combat so having a more original approach to battles is always good for me, it's one reason I decided I wouldn't overlook this game. The bosses aren’t bad, but they’re incredibly hard for someone like me. A lot of them bullshitted me with frustration. The first boss was alright and it introduced you to the main idea of the game and how to fight, but after that boss, it got really challenging to the point I was constantly frustrated. Though it’s not like I didn’t enjoy it all, the originality of how to defeat them was nice as well as the great feeling you get after you beat this person who killed you 10 times. I do like a challenge, don’t get me wrong, but it just seemed a bit um, too hard especially for easy.

The hardest boss has to be Pulcinella. You have to run away from the torments or risk being on alert, another nice part of gameplay but used in a really frustrating way in this segment. You can go to the other side of where they are but eventually, at least for me, they'd find me. I had to kill them both twice and hide to beat this because if you're on alert by them Pulcinella will immediately KO you no matter where you are. This probably isn’t a problem for the stealth game, being a beginner it was just a bit frustrating for me.

Each boss battle has its own way of working. Pulcinella you have to hide from for soooo long which turns out to be more frustrating than anything, and you have to hop over and pull a switch when she's down on the stage. BUT WAIT, if you wait on the platform she comes down and KO's you with no warning. I would've quit the game after that bullshit had it not been for an autosave which made it where I didn't have to wait out the pathway to the switch. (Thank you OldPat T.T) But it was a learning experience! I figured out real quick not to do that so it wasn't totally bad (Mostly due too that save, thank you Oldpat T.T)

So you got to do this twice and burn her to shit, and it's a bit repetitive, but upon beating her I ended up with a lot of satisfaction. The waiting so long to be able to flip the switches were really annoying for me, and the way she’d bullshit you if you stayed in one spot for too long, but I’mtoing too guess waiting and hiding is the biggest part of the gameplay so it’s probably a part on my end.

With the last boss my main problem is that I had no idea that landmines were required to have to defeat her without using 2 karma points, I had done perfectly well with just a gun the entire game and then BAM, OldPat mentions that unless I want to use KP I have to go back and get landmines. I wish I had known this beforehand because I hadn’t used landmines the entire game because I had done so well with the gun on the second mission. So like, I wouldn’t have known T.T It took me a good 15 tries to defeat her with just a gun because I did not feel like going through that entire episode again. Thank God I can beat her without the landmines, it just took patience and strategy.

I liked the way the last boss was handled besides that. Dodging the guns by hiding on yellow spaces that pop up when she's shooting is a nice addition to the stealth gameplay.

Alright, so now onto.

I’m here to destroy your life, Flo.

Characters & Art

For people who’ve lived life being criminals and going to war, their personality fits the gist of the game. A lot of the females have the same attributes which at first made me feel they were too similar, but upon remembering the way they grew up it doesn’t seem unlikely. I would like to see a bit more development out of them, I especially believe Flo will have many chances to grow as a person. Also, despite her being a bad guy I really liked Pulcinella XD

Backgrounds are interesting enough and fitting in the story we’re in. I especially liked Flo and Pulcinella’s backstories, it definitely made them who they are today. The fact Flo had tried to protect Ana and ended up wrecking her family for example, and Pulcinella's tragic backstory of being tortured to find "absolution". Not sure if it was important but I kind of forgot Chris’ even though it was explained to me.

I was bothered by how Klerika was only mentioned like twice and halfway through the game so I have no idea who she is to the story and to Flo even by the time you actually meet her. It felt like she was introduced just as a villain to give information, give Flo character development, and die. Also another trope I don't like: villain giving away all information needed just to help the story progress. She was like "Like I'd tell you the truth!" and then proceeded to explain.

As for the art... I'm not going to dock points on the art style because that is completely opinionated, as I really dislike the kind of art style used for this game. But being unbiased, the only thing I have to say is a lot of the portraits are blurry. A few lines could be touched up and some of the hair looks a bit weird (they look big compared to the head of the character) but otherwise, it looks pretty nice.

Alright, so next will be.

Even added the clothes the little old lady put up in the rain.


Not sure what tiles they used but they definitely fit the game. It's obvious just by the mapping it's an urban wasteland, and OldPat even added things like cars which I've never seen in a game before. The buildings are built very well and the interior is just the right size for every house. There are a couple areas that could be improvised such as the big blank space in Mary's house (even a vase would have been nice) but otherwise, it looks great. There are green ladders that are a bit weird due to the coloring but that's just me nitpicking, and for all, I know it could be covered in acid. Even the shadows are done well!

My problem with the mapping is how hard it is to navigate through it. There were several times I thought I had enough room to walk but I did not, or I thought I could go above a railing but instead, my eyes trick me and I go right into the railing. There are a few annoyances in some mapping such as I went above the stairs and despite not wanting to go up the stairs and obviously not even stepping onto them, the tiles basically read it as me going upstairs... the base at the end where Chris and them get caught is mapped very weird where it's hard to move past some stuff, my main problem was in Pulcinella's boss area with how jagged and small the path was. I constantly got stuck and having to press up-right-up-right-up-right right after another just to head to a certain place or get caught is super annoying.

Now for the best part.

When Karma comes into place, it's time to show who the real bitch is.


The best part of the game and one of the only reasons I continued to play. It had great ideas and sweet plot twists. I can tell OldPat worked really hard on the whole thought of the game, and the plot twist at the end was especially enjoyable and like everyone else, kind of left me wanting more.

My problem with the writing is... it goes on. and on. and on. That's not bad at all unless it's telling you the information you'll forget within a minute or saying the same thing over and over again. I just didn't understand the whole point of the lengthy cutscenes, and a lot of the cutscenes constantly confused me. I'm not sure if it was the way it was worded but I never understood a single thing happening in the game besides how patrols dodged karma and how karma worked. Why did we have to assassinate the first two people again? What was Chris' background? I know I asked him about it. Why are we starting this whole meat hunting business again?

There weren't many spelling errors and I think the proofreaders/translators did a great job not only translating to proper English but keeping the accent that made the character more interesting, for example, Pulcinella saying HELLA all the time, and laughing like hmhmhmhmhmhmhmhm.

One problem I have is that you used a really bad font for a game, it hurts my eyes and I constantly have to reread certain stuff because sometimes the letters will literally combine to where I can't see one letter. Also, with the background being right against it, it makes it ten times harder for me to read, especially the conversations you can eavesdrop on.

The last segment, which I have no picture for except one of my favorite maps.

Now for the best part.

Such a cozy little room.


The music didn’t really stand out too me though it did fit the games atmosphere, which is really all I could ask for. I have nothing else to say about this, except I know I’ve heard some of those pieces before, but where?! really did like the SE sounds that Flo made when she killed someone. I'd recommend when it came to crying or coughing, instead of putting *cries* or *cough* *cough* I'd have an SE for that too, or else it doesn't get the same effect.

Final Score

There are a few problems with the game which I think can be improved on, but all in all, it was pretty good. I enjoyed the game itself, besides the constant raging with the controls and gameplay I was having trouble with. I think it’s especially for considering it was finished in just a month, and for this fact while I originally would give a 3.5 I’m giving a 4/5 dead Flo’s (fitting with how many times I died) because of that time limit.

Gameplay: 3/5
Boss Battles: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Art: 3/5
Story: 4/5
Music: 4/5
Final Score: 4/5 dead Flo's


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OrudoPatto, kisama!
Damn Piano! xD

Thank you for the review, Muffle.^^ You wrote quite a lot!

The game is kinda difficult, especially for newcomers and it wants you to learn from your mistakes. I will certainly try to find a balance in the game's sequel, perhaps working a bit more on the "Easy" difficulty in order to make it as much beginner-friendly as possible.

You're right about the mirrors. They don't fit very well. I should've thought about other kind of elements that could've... blend better with the environment. I will avoid mistakes like this one in KF2.

Pulcinella is indeed a "bitchy boss battle", while the Final Boss battle is designed to make the players go "all out" with everything they learned from their playthroughs and with everything they bought through Machinegun Kingdom. So yeah, land mines had to be used if you wanted to get a S rank there.

Thank you for this thorough review, for highlighting both the pros and cons of the game and for discussing with me about your thoughts, it really helped a lot. :)
I will take notes in order to make Karma Flow 2 way better.

Thank you again, Muffle!
Beta testers!? No, this game needs a goddamn exorcist!
About the mirrors, that got me from day 1 but I forgot to mention it.
Possible options:
-Some countries use mirrors on narrow street corners so that you can see around the corner when driving/biking. So a corner mirror still works. You just need to be careful with placement. IMO this would be restrictive of how you can design your maps and it'd be a huge amount of work.
-A car/truck with an open door. While it's kind of superpowered for people to be able to bank a shot off a car door, the game already has some unrealistic elements so I say why not.
-Any object. Just have an icon or something mark it as a ricochet point. Flo is just that good with a gun.

there's still a way to use the mechanic without breaking
OrudoPatto, kisama!
-A car/truck with an open door. While it's kind of superpowered for people to be able to bank a shot off a car door, the game already has some unrealistic elements so I say why not.
-Any object. Just have an icon or something mark it as a ricochet point. Flo is just that good with a gun.

Yeah, exactly.
I'm not planning to get rid of this mechanic, just going for more fitting objects you can use as ricochet points. They don't have to be absolutely realistic, just more fitting than a random mirror in the middle of the street. xD
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