T Review

The popup killed it for me. When I saw that advert popup, I force-closed the game with Alt+F4 and deleted the entire folder. Into the TRASH it goes!
Such a waste with such a poor design decision. :P

Vacant Sky Vol. 1: Contention Review

Holy cow...just wow. >_>
Maybe it is just me, but perhaps those who are impatiently waiting for Act III+ (which I doubt will be out before sometime next year) might wanna give the 'non-plus' edition a whirl. Acts I-III of the 'old' edition before the 'Complete' edition enhancements. Go play those 3 and then do a review.

I'm genuinely surprised by the hefty amounts of flames and negativity being thrown around. I can understand people hating the first Act (whether it is Act I or Act I+ it was still not as good as the latter acts).

The core reason for wanting to play this game should be for the story. As it is, the story is 'incomplete' unless you go and play the original Acts I-III. Many things are better explained in the originals, and my (unofficial) mod of the game may look to reintegrate some of those 'obsolete' or deleted scenes in flashbacks or dream sequences in order to flesh out the story, characters, and world a bit better. I'll also be adding a good 'Chrono' style campfire sequence where the characters can just chit-chat a bit before a big important event the next day.

The stats and battle system could use some work, yes. This was in fact PBC's first real attempt at an RPG back in their high school days, and it does show in some ways more than others. You can only patch old code so many times before you might as well throw in the towel and wait for the funding to remake it. The battle system is greatly improved in later installments, and in the 'Complete' edition some of those changes are then backported to the earlier Acts.

A opening bit was done purposefully to establish the tone and style of the rest of the game (excessive gore, brutal and ruthless enemy, no holds barred 'this ain't no nintendo game' aesthetic). Also the whole 'start with some fun action' to get attention before getting into the more 'mundane' things. The original versions actually started with Auria in East Naven rather than starting off in Banivia, then went from there. Though that story is 'retconned' now in the Complete Edition, some aspects of it still impress me. PBC took the advice of close friends and testers in order to make changes to the story and pacing to appeal to more people who didn't want to deal with tons of exposition all at once.

One of the most important parts of game design is 'you can't please everyone'. Different people have varied tastes.
All that being said, in the future if a remake can be funded, perhaps the entire series can get a proper cross-platform release that will truly shine and help turn Vacant Sky into a household name among the greats like the (old school) Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.

I'm curious why anyone still believes that Auria is 'a whiny angsty teen' since..you know, SHE DIED. Shot and murdered and left for dead, then brought back to life by some guy she barely knew. Knowing all that and dealing with that would mess up nearly anyone, teen or not. I still feel that the later parts of Act II and all of Act III are some of the best story arcs that really should be experienced. Grab em off of ModDB where they have the old downloads still available. Just remember that the 'official' release is the Complete Edition, not those old ones.
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