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Metal King Slime
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2014 In Review: The Pumpkin Warriors 
 PostThu Jan 15, 2015 9:11 am
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Note how Earthbound handles the "name people you haven't met" thing. You see what they look like and know their gender. I would've guessed Sunny was a girl's name.
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Bug Report: Drake's Advice shows up UNDER the menu
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Bug Report: This pops up if you get near water before you find the fourth party member.

Spoilers: There's a fourth party member

Spoilers: There's frogsuits.
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That's good advice.
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There's a few narration kinda things like this, which are pretty cool.
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Hey, it's those frogsuits we heard about in the bug report! Worth the wait!
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I guess this is the end of the Alpha?
This is a review of The Pumpkin Warriors.

This game describes itself as an alpha, and I'm going to try to keep that in mind in my review. The Pumpkin Warriors is Froginator's first game and so far it's quite ambitious. He's trying to channel that Earthbound kind of.. "four young dudes who take on some kinda supernatural bad guy" thing. Some parts of it work, I thought his usage of touch-npc enemies was interesting, (All of the tags worked, I never got stuck. That's rare!) especially when he combined them with a maze of treasure chests.. you get the treasure, you open the way to advance.. but also open the way for the monster to get to you! It was fun dungeon design.

On the downside, some of the other Earthbound touches are a bit off. His interior maptiles try to emulate the semi-isometric style that Earthbound used, but some of his floors have more of a top-down perspective that clash with it. There's a bathroom in your house, but the hero can't get into it and doesn't even align right with the door, which is distracting. The music is mostly ripped from Earthbound and doesn't always feel appropriate to what's going on in the game. I don't know why he added random enemy encounters on top of the NPC-touch ones.

Another ambitious touch is the Drake character, your pet frog who you discover at the conclusion of the first dungeon. After saving him, you'll gain an option on the main menu to ask him advice about areas you've visited. So far it doesn't quite work, but eventually that kind of thing can be quite useful as hints to go in the right direction. Right now you can mostly "guess" your way to the next objective, thanks to the small maps and picking a direction. The narrative feels somewhat underdeveloped... I started off looking for my frog, found my frog.. and then kept on questing for reasons that I don't remember or understand. People join your party for essentially no reason, and are underdeveloped as characters. One glasses-wearing character seems to be our equivalent to Earthbound's "Jeff".. until he starts beating the hell out of the badguys with a baseball bat like "Ness". The best of both worlds, I guess.

In addition to your petfrog, you'll also be awarded frogsuits at a certain point in the game which lets you explore the various bodies of water. It's a really cool touch, but spoiled a little by the "Error: No character in hero slot (3)!" stuff that pops up when you get near water before you've found the robot.

There's some blank options on the menu which could be removed. I picked up a "Frat" hat which described itself as "equppable by frogs" but there's no longer a playable frog character. Battle balance is all over the place. I died in the very first encounter of the game, before I could even talk to the first NPC! You should cut back on the "Extra hit" stat. My guys were landing between 1 and 5 blows for every attack, which made it hard to guesstimate how long a battle would last. It might take one turn, it might take five. The robot's attack was especially long when it might trigger 5 times for every use, even though it was awesome looking. The enemies seemed to be a little less overpowered once everyone found/bought equipment, but Jannik still spent more than half of the game dead. The game might actually have gotten too easy once I had equipment and levelled up, but it's hard to tell.

It seems as though Froginator is trying to get a straight shot done, from beginning to end, before going back to flesh things out. Every town has a ton of NPCs who don't say anything, a ton of buildings that don't do anything, and a shop that may or may not work. Once you find the building that does work, you can generally figure out where you're supposed to be going next. I'm not sure where this version officially ends, but I gave up after finding a shovel, digging some stuff up, and ending in a big green field outside of the jungle.

It's pretty much what you'd expect from an Alpha, and it's hard to tell which way this one'll bounce. If it leans towards the frogsuits, cutscenes and shovels, it's going to be a cool RPG with a lot of good polish and neat effects. If it leans towards the extra-hit heavy battles, the glitchy advice and the silent npcs, then it'll be an annoying game with some wasted good ideas. It's not un-fun, but it's still clearly unfinished and unless Froginator is dying for feedback, you should probably wait till it's further along before trying it.
Slime Knight
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 PostSat Jan 17, 2015 10:19 pm
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Thanks for the review! And with that I mean actually thanks. Because there are the people who just say "it's good. Because graphics", the peolpe who say "kinda good game, but too short" and the ones like you "good graphics, it's an alpha so I can't review completly but I can say what it could be in the future and what it shouldn't be." I like this kind of review, and it's something I can work with. Also I totally agree with you here:
Quote:
If it leans towards the frogsuits, cutscenes and shovels, it's going to be a cool RPG with a lot of good polish and neat effects. If it leans towards the extra-hit heavy battles, the glitchy advice and the silent npcs, then it'll be an annoying game with some wasted good ideas.

I'm doing my best to make the game just like that.
And yeah that blank green field over there sir, is the end of the alpha
Metal King Slime
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 PostSun Jan 18, 2015 4:54 am
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Sure, glad to help. I've never actually made an RPG before, so feel free to take all my suggestions with a grain of salt. Might not actually know what I'm talking about.
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