Copyright Adam Schlosser

Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser

Posted by Pip

DF27- Cleaning Up Is Hard To Do

Apologies for how dark this one is. I did it while having computer problems and couldn't grab the “nighttime” colors from the previous page and wound up make it a weeeee bit too dark.
Now that the humans are taken care of, the Virtues are just left on the forces of evil clean up duty. Gluttony may kick all kinds of butt but six versus one is still a bit unfair. Poor Sharing is stuck on Sloth patrol and learns that when trading blows, you don't want an enemy with a mallet. You'd figure he'd be one of the bitter Virtues already.

Long, Long Sword Review: 3D Dot Game Heroes- The From Software design philosophy is to come up with excellent ideas and then execute them horribly. 3DDGH would have been a fantastic game in the hands of a company that could put some basic thought into their design. The game's style is great. It's chock full of references and jokes related to other games and the game industry itself, but even if you don't get the references, it's silly enough to stand on its own or to serve as a genre parody. The character creator isn't all that user friendly because it requires some serious spatial relation skills that I do not posses (damn you, z-axis!), so I wound up just editing a template instead of putting all my grand ideas into motion. While the game's main quest is fantastic, the side quests typically wind up being nothing more than fetch quests involving far too much backtracking. There are a few decent ones, including one that's a knock on the typical item exchanges where all of the people you deliver stuff to hate it and tell you to throw it away, but they don't have the charm of the real levels and some are actually missable/time sensitive to the point that few reasonable people will either complete them or even know they exist. The dungeons are the highlight of any adventure game like this and while they start out great, the last few aren't that hot (sad seeing as how there are only 7 of them anyway) because they're just laid out to be time wasters with tons of backtracking. You go all the way in one direction, find out you need a key, go all the way in the other direction and get said key, go all the way back and get an item, go all the way back again, use the item to get the boss key, and finally go aaallll the way back the other way again, and go fight the boss. The final dungeon took me three days to beat not because it's difficult or long, but because it's extremely boring. It's just a rehash of the six original dungeons with some screens taken directly from what you've already played. So not only is it full of backtracking, but you've done it all before. I could only do a few floors and then I'd have to leave and do another quest or try some mini games to slog through it. It has one of the best Tower Defense games I've ever played and that's just a simple mini game seemingly thrown in just for the heck of it. Unfortunately that's balanced out by a really lousy Breakout clone. Lousy to the point of having to seriously wonder how after all these years you can manage to screw up a game that's been remade no less an almost infinite number of times. So 3DDGH is a game that starts out amazing but only lasts a few hours and yet still manages to have so many minor faults that by the end you're just left an okay to mediocre game rather than the mind blowingly awesome one you should have been given. The standard mode is fairly easy, and all but a complete cake walk if you want to put in the time to max out your best two swords, but little annoyances make it more cheap than hard. Enemies can hide in the corners of the screen where you can't see them unless you have the camera on specific settings. The item descriptions don't make much sense forcing you to waste them or your money (which is never in great supply because the upgrades are super expensive). Your character's hit box is the largest possible one rather than the space you actually take up so you run into many, many cases where an enemy quite obviously did not connect with you but you still get hurt. You can't attack if you're on the edge of some screens or if you're in a doorway, but the game is constantly spawning enemies in those areas or even inside you. Your ability to block seems completely random at times where you're able to stop a shot from an odd angle one minute but then you get damaged by something you tried to block from head on the next. There are rooms that start off dark with enemies that can kill you in one hit that spawn right near the doorway. You can't keep your swords, health, magic, or items in New Game +, which pretty much completely negates the whole reason for having a New Game +. It's an okay game if all you want to do is play the main quest (in which case you're going to get a scant few hours of gameplay out of it), but if you want to do any of the side quests, it's just a pain. No, not just a pain, a needless pain. You can actually shut yourself out of a quest because you didn't backtrack far enough and talk to a character that didn't seem to do anything anything the first time you talked to him but you were somehow supposed to divine that going back was extremely important and if you finish another quest before talking to him, you're screwed. It seems like nothing more than a cheap ploy to sell strategy guides and saps a lot of the fun out of the game. From Software has some great ideas but cripes their designers suck. The game itself isn't even well-made. It will freeze on you a lot. Any time you get a new item, find a key, or do anything of any remote value make sure you save! The only thing that makes half an hour of dull backtracking even worse is having to it again through no fault of your own. I was going through the game a second time on the harder difficulty (where harder means that it's the exact same game only with more enemies so in no real way is it actually any harder) when I had a freeze and realized I hadn't saved in an an hour. I got a new item and was going to check the map and then save, but the game froze when I tried to open the map. After that, I just couldn't muster the strength to go through it again, so I quit and sold the game to another sucker.

Sins Committed: Dick jokes, Bad level design, Bad hit detection, Bad side quests, Short, Unresponsive controls, Buggy
Virtues Acted: Good style, Good graphics, Good writing (mostly), Good music, Grappling hook