(TwinComp) Melancholy Blood

A forum where new and old games can be reviewed - an alternative to the reviews on the Adventures page of the main ADRIFT site. Also the place to ask for any assistance if you are stuck playing a particular game.
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Post by Lumin »

(No offense to the author intended, the following is short and to the point because I'm tired and grumpy.)

A good first effort, but unfortunately very unpolished, with lots of small problems such as punctuation mistakes (one persistent one I noticed was the way commas, etc. were constantly placed outside quotation marks during dialogue...) lack of descriptions and no clear direction at various points that all added up to detract from the final product. Even though I enjoy games with plenty of plot, this one didn't strike a good balance between the 'interactive' and 'fiction' parts - I felt like I was reading a short story that just required me to type things at certain points to progress it, and while I'm not necessarily opposed to that, the specific things you're supposed to type require a bit of mind reading and sent me to the walkthrough very early on. (For one thing, do remember that aliases are your friend...and when the player has to examine and object to trigger an event, you want to make sure more common commands such as 'x' and 'look' are included as well.)

The most 'game-like' element in the entire game was unfortunately the weakest part and a tedious exercise in frustration - I must have died at least a dozen times, having to reload, reenter the PC's name and restore each time before finally giving up and replaying from the beginning to get the 'instant win' object. Note to the author - if you have to provide the player with a way to cheat to get past an obstacle, maybe you should rethink your reasons for including it in the first place? I'm sure there were plenty of ways that scene could have played out without resorting to pure chance with the much-maligned default combat system.

In fact that might be the root of my major criticism of this game - there were lots of scenes where the plot could have been progressed in a more interesting, or at least more efficient way. Things like having to type a specific (and pretty unintuitive) command in order for an NPC to realize that they're at their house now seem pretty unnecessary and shoehorned in, and there are several examples of situations like this throughout the game, where I wouldn't have even been able to progress without the walkthrough.

Anyway, I suspect a rush to meet the deadline may have been the cause of some of the problems, but without that pressure I hope to see an extra coat of polish on the expanded version and really look forward to playing it. Like I said, I do enjoy plot heavy games, and even though I'm not a huge fan of anime-inspired stuff (in the interests of full disclosure I was rolling my eyes a bit at the ending of the Vampire path when SPOILERS! the clueless kid had to step up and defend his two much more experienced friends apparently just because they were cute anime girls END SPOILERS!), I still really do think there's a lot of potential here. I'd especially like to see the branching plotline aspect used more, as other than multiple endings which IMO aren't really the same thing, that's something you still don't see in many games.

Edited By Lumin on 1257087220
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