Posted by Pip
Evil or not, Chastity is a bit of a thinker. Heck, compared to the Sins, the girl is a bit of a thinker. This wasn't really their grand "planning" or "forethought" stage of existence. And Chast's plans are all kind of "how can I screw over my enemies" so they're not the GOOD kind of evil plans.
Friend of the show and ally, Spiral, of Ascension is going to be taking some time off so his comic will be on hiatus. If you want to help out with some content, pictures, or fan work that Monte and Spiral can post, swing by Ascension and give them a ring!
And on our end, things are going to update a bit weird next week. I'm going to be sans an Internet connection/unavailable for a bit so I won't be able to update on the regular schedule. I'm trying not to miss any pages, so what I'm going to do is post three pages on Friday and change the TWC image then as well. I'll pop up during the week and comment when I can, then hopefully be able to post more pages. So it's lots of content up front and then a bit quiet at the end of the week.
Since I'll be unavailable, we won't have an art contest this month. I'll try to make it up by having some extra prizes next month, but why not use that extra free time to help Ascension. Eh? Ehhh?
Long, Nostalgia crush Review: Monster World 4- My first experience with MW4 was a mixture of "Man, this game has awesome music" and then having a near nostalgia-seizure upon hearing the same coin drop noise from Wonder Boy in Monster World. Almost 20 years of nostlagia came flooding back HARD. I know it came out towards the end of the Genesis-era, but they do some really nice stuff graphically in the game. There are some huge sprites, impressive parallax, and even some distortion and transparency effects. Then came the crash to the nosalgia-high. They really draw out animations for Asha like entering certain doors, opening chests, etc. that once you've seen them for the tenth time, they're just annoying. The save animations hit extra hard. Why do you have to watch the Genesis save animation and THEN have the game come to a standstill while the PS3 saves? To double jump, you have to hold down the button to call your partner first. On its own, that's not too annoying, but the game will put several tall obstacles in your path for no reason and they're in places you have to go through several times. So you have to get over to the obstacle, call your partner, wait for it to fly to you, double jump over the obstacle, and then repeat that process two, three, or four times in a row. There's no challenge to it, it's just an annoyance to slow you down.
The old school, maze-style dungeons feel that same way. The pyramid has some truly godawful level design. It's a giant maze so it's hard to tell where you have to go and where you've been, doors loop back on themselves so you think you haven't explored an area so you backtrack several minutes only to find out you'd actually been through that area already because you came from a different route, there are times that if you miss a jump or enter a one-way door you have to backtrack for several minutes and fight all the respawned enemies, you have to guess passwords to doors with little to no guidance and if you get it wrong you get hurt, the floors are made of ice so the controls are terrible, and there are invisible doors only your partner can find so you have to stop and call your partner to check for them every few steps. The final dungeon isn't a boss rush, no, it's pretty much an "every single enemy in the game" rush. You walk through a linear cave and have to face practically every enemy and non-major boss again, with no save spots or places to heal before you reach the final boss. Even little stuff that should be obvious isn't implemented well. The game doesn't explain what the equipment does until after you buy it. So you can go into a shop and see a sword that's +2, beat a dungeon, come back, and now the shopkeeper has a new, expensive sword but it's only +2 as well. Unless you buy it, you won't know that the new, expensive sword has a magical property. At the point in the game the best armor goes up for sale, you can't even remotely afford it. So I beat the next dungeon and had a bit more money, but then the guy that sells you the armor leaves town and you can no longer buy the item. Even the trophies are dumb. One makes you collect every life boost in the game, but one of them you can only get by walking through a false wall and there's no indication that you can do this and you've never had to do it in the game before and once you leave that screen, you can't return to it. So I have all the trophies except that one and one for falling into the first pit in the game. That's not even a "so bad it's funny" trophy, it's just dumb.
There are glimpses of an amazing game hidden away here. It's a genre I adore, the music and art are fantastic, and the writing is cute, but it's all hampered by some atrocious levels and design decisions. It's like nobody sat down and did any play testing or just looked at it and said "is this fun?". Part of this is totally on me for giving in to hype of a game not released in the US that's a sequel that a game I grew up with, but Monster World 4 had the potential to be the game I wanted it to be, but it's brought down by such bad design.