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Old 01-19-2007, 11:29 PM   #2
Valkysas
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Re: Extravaganzicon Contest Results

Obright's Extravaganzicon Contest Reviews - RPG Maker 3

Duder and the Mage - Winner for RPG Maker 3

After playing this game for only a short time, I realised that it was most decidedly NOT a 'serious' game...and yet the battles were treated very seriously, and it showed. Likewise for the maps, although the BIGGEST hit that this game took (no pun intended) was in 'polish'...there are things all over the place that should be...tucked in, if a higher 'polish' score is to be achieved. However...it's not supposed to be a slick, polished game. It wouldn't be as amusing if it were. If the polish score is meant to be a measure of how 'professional' the game looks, then Duder & the Mage, HAS to take a big shotgun hit (pun intended) in the polish department. That's fine, that's not what the game is about anyway...it's the OPPOSITE of that on purpose. That wound up being both a blessing and a curse for me.
LAYOUT:
Initial Layout Score:
05**********
+1 * The first town is set up very well. It had a nice eerie mood to it, and I liked the way it looked overall.
+1 * One of the dungeons in particular has an awesome layout. All of the battles are scripted, and this one had a 3-way choice to get to the other side. All 3 dungeon paths had a battle, and you needed to fight all 3, but there was a strategy to which one you fought first, second, and third that went beyond the 'hard-medium-easy' scheme. It was more in tune with individual player's playing style, and which choices they had made earlier (particularly one where you customize a certain character)...I liked that a lot.
+1 * One town has the most unique feel to it imaginable to me. I love the idea of urban decay, and places that look like they've been abandoned for hundreds of years have a dream-like quality to them for me. This one town is only 1 ranshackle building, a save point, some NPC's, and a lot of weeds...but I almost had a 'Logan's Run' moment. You know the scene I'm talking about.
Final Layout Score:
08**********

PLOT or CONCEPT:
Initial Plot Score:
05**********
+1 * The biggest mistake people might make when they play this game is to take it seriously...the game doesn't even take itself seriously. Once you stop doing that, the game is actually pretty funny.
+1 * The game has a dream-like, stream-of-conscoiusness feel to it that I liked a lot.
-1 * ENOUGH WITH THE **** JOKES!! The game revolves around three things: sex, drugs, and FECES. It would be different if one of the characters or enemies was...idunno...a 'brown mage' or something...where all of his attacks centered on 101 violent uses for poo...but... I'll put it this way: about 1/2 of the skills in the game (both enemy and ally) have the word '****' in them. I grew tired of it quickly...to the point that I started calling it 'doo-doo and the mage'. It was only a term of endearment...of course.
Final Concept Score:
06**********

CREATIVITY:
Inital Creativity Score:
06**********
+1 * There's lots of genre-breaking/stereotype-breaking in the game. Some of it left a rather bad taste in my mouth...like Duder's crassness...but ultimately I can't deduct from creativity for that.
+1 * There were many maps, and all were handled EXTREMELY creatively...once again with the 'rule-breaking'.
+1 * The overall gameplay was improved by the creative use of several 'devices', like the NPC which will customize one of the characters for you, and other key decisions in the game.
Final Creativity Score:
09**********

POLISH:
Initial Polish Score:
05**********
+1 * The battles all seemed well-balanced, for the most part.
-1 * There were about 100 game messages that needed to have the empty name window disabled.
-1 * There were certain important story events that were not water-tight. No spoilers, but for instance...one event causes NPC's to leave town to look for you after a battle...but if you go and look for those NPC's (instead of going into the house in front of you), you'll find that they've already come after you...but you never left the front of their house...things like that.
-1 * LOTS of typos...not so much spelling errors, or gramatical errors, but just simple typos. 'Bequiet' was used at least twice, for instance.
-1 * A lot of the maps...while really cool...were pretty rough around the edges.
Final Polish Score:
02**********

FUN:
Initial Fun Score:
06**********
+1 * At one point, you can decide which type of magic you want one of the characters to have (offensive or restorative). I liked that touch a LOT.
+1 * I'm a big fan of epic exploration...I love to feel like I've actually been around the world...some world, anyway. The game had many maps, and they were all totally different.
+1 * In this scoring scheme, there really was not a seperate category for 'battles'. This wasn't even an issue until I got to Duder, as the first 2 games had no battles anyway. Since this game DID have them, and I wound up enjoying them, I have to give a star for that.
-1 * Crassness in the main character may be amusing if not taken seriously, but I would've laughed even harder if the gorilla suddenly just picked Duder up and ate him. I kinda stopped caring about him after a while, and was even cheering for the enemies to eviscerate him eventually. At one point, there was a 'token stereotypical RPG dwarf' NPC that you have to fight if you talk to him. Call me sentimental, but that dwarf could have knocked Duder over with a fart. I facilitated that, and actually let Duder die just to see that happen. It was to the point that having to play as him started to not be fun any more.

Final Fun Score:
08**********

FINAL SCORE: 33

Final Thoughts:
While there were things that bothered me a bit about Duder and the Mage, there were many more things that I liked, like the maps, the epicness, the battles, and a lot of the otherworldly moods.

Suggestions:
The game just is what it is. I may not agree with it 100%, but I'm not going to suggest that you change anything...because then it would lose all of its character. I would perhaps suggest taking the strong points of Duder and the Mage and making a more serious game for your next game project, but that's up to you.

Last edited by Valkysas; 01-19-2007 at 11:58 PM.
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