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Liquid Metal Slime
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Review: Stop 
 PostMon Jul 28, 2008 11:53 pm
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This is a review of Stop.

Play Time: One hour

Intro: Stop is one of many OHR games that has never been reviewed, but certainly deserves one. Although Shadowii has declared that he will no longer be working on it, I still think that it deserves a few comments.

Graphics: You will immediately notice that the game looks great. The author put a large amount of detail into his work, especially after the End of Time section. Everything is lush and colorful, and the interior of houses are full of lighting effects and shadows. I was somewhat disappointed to find out that the trees were ripped, but nonetheless, they fit the other graphics alright. The walkabouts have a slight hint of a Final Fantasy feel to them, but it fits the rest of the art well. There are only a few battle graphics shown in the demo, but they are just as good as the rest of the graphics.

Storyline: The story is unique and intriguing from the get-go, which is what I really liked about the game. You don’t have to play an hour or two to get into some “meat” of the story, because it is constantly fed to you throughout the demo.

However, that is also its downfall. The game spans about thirty minutes to an hour tops, most of it being scripted. Although the presentation is nice, I felt that the author fed you way too much about the story in such a short period of time. Before the demo was over, I had been fed so much information about the story and backstory of certain characters and events that my head wanted to explode. Honestly, the last few text boxes I could hardly handle because of this. It shames me to say that, because the story really has the potential to be superb in my book. I guess it just would have been nice to have some of the information spread out just a bit in order to prevent a brain meltdown. It would have also been nice if the author would have done a bit of spellchecking, as there are many spelling errors present.

Gameplay: Another thing that the long, scripted introduction affects is the gameplay.

Battle: Unfortunately, you will not encounter many battles in the demo. There are a few fights at the beginning that you really cannot lose, and a few in a forest towards the end, but that is pretty much it. Because of that, I cannot really comment on the battles.

Map Design: There is not much to see in this installment. You will traverse only a couple of maps, most of them being during the scripted introduction.

Balance: Another toughie. The few battles that I encountered were a decent challenge. Enemies could hurt you a decent amount, but you also win the majority of them by holding the “attack” key down.

Music: The score is supposed to be original, and kudos to whoever wrote the pieces. Although none of them, save the forest theme, sound groundbreaking, they are all very nice and fitting songs for the atmosphere of the game.

Enjoyment: I enjoyed this game, although there is not much to do besides watching the well scripted introduction.

Conclusion: This is a nice piece of work. Despite the fact it will never see updates, I think everyone should give it a shot.

Final Thoughts: Stop is a great introduction to a game that could have proved to be one of the better OHR games released in a long time.

Graphics comment: Good stuff, except for the ripped tiles.

Storyline comment: Great story, besides the plot delivery train hitting you like a hurricane towards the end.

Gameplay comment: Not much to see here, unfortunately.

Music comment: Good stuff, and original to boot.

Enjoyment comment: I enjoyed it, and wished that there was more to be had.
Cornbread Juice Games
 
 PostTue Jul 29, 2008 12:09 am
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I just wanted to mention that the grass and trees look like they've been ripped and edited perhaps, and I'm pretty sure back when Shadowiii released this game, he said something to the extent of this being the case.

Just thought I should mention.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostTue Jul 29, 2008 12:19 am
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I'm trying to look into this some. Not that I don't believe you, I just want to make sure that this is indeed true. I will make some minor changes to the review if this turn out to be true.
Cornbread Juice Games
Red Slime
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 PostTue Jul 29, 2008 4:42 am
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Trees are from Seiken Densetsu 3. I recognize them because i've used them to learn how to draw trees.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostTue Jul 29, 2008 4:46 am
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Yep, those are straight out of SD3.
My website, the home of Motrya:
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Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostTue Jul 29, 2008 5:06 am
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You know, I suspected that, but didn't want to think that that was how it was...

I guess I'll have to change a few things up tomorrow.
Cornbread Juice Games
Slime Knight
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 PostTue Jul 29, 2008 8:53 am
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the house graphics are also shaded the same as fen's were. while i can understand using the same pattern(since it's the most mathematically pleasing one for tiling) he still didn't do anything different.
Stop's battle pose looks like a ripoff + improved version of one by charbile (See http://www.castleparadox.com/rinku/Septa/ohrmonthly/stand.gif )
the font looks like &And's

what's ironic about him taking graphics from charbile is charbile actually said something (that i agree with him on -- although typically i can't see much eye to eye with him) about it at the end of his article for ohrrpgce monthly 6

Quote:
First, forget the common tete-a-tete repartee you read on the O.H.R.RPG.C.E. message boards. From their collective mindset, people who rip graphics are the lowest of lows, people who give honest newbies a bad name, who resemble overweight frogs or kumquats. So what! Let fools label you whatever they wish, as they will always be fools no matter what they call others. Honestly, hero graphics are not the end all in making your own role playing game; characters and story far exceed such trite things like graphics. And that is the core of why you would want to draw your own heroes. Characters and story are what separate the so-so rpgs from the excellent ones. By ripping graphics from other games, you limit yourself greatly. There are only so many other commercial characters you can use and fit in the hero graphic dimensions. When people notice that your graphics are from another game, the fantasy world, all your story's efforts will be shattered in one quick moment. The player will be reminded of the game where the graphics came from, of what the character was like in the other game, of what they themselves thought of the character, which will almost definitely be in conflict to your game's portrayal of the character. Rip graphics if you wish, but do not be surprised if your game feels like an imitation of something greater.


really though the hating of ripped graphics is so ridiculous because people steal music all the time!!!

(i'd feel flattered if people were stealing my graphics.)
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostTue Jul 29, 2008 2:46 pm
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This really bums me out. I just assumed that when I read this...

Quote:
The game has a few nifty features you may notice. One is if you walk in shadows (next to houses or ledges), you'll notice your NPC gets darker as it steps into the shade. Others include original music, some of the best maptiles I've drawn (I'm still proud of the indoors maptiles), and a plethora of NPC actions and emotions.


...that there would not be any question about that kind of thing.
Cornbread Juice Games
Slime Knight
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 PostTue Jul 29, 2008 2:49 pm
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well, referencing is pretty fine as long as you point it out, but there's still the SD3 tree stolen and edited to fit into 20x20.

can't blame him though. sd3 was one of the best looking snes games.
Slime Knight
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 PostTue Jul 29, 2008 6:08 pm
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Think I'd clarify...

The rooftiles ARE similar to Fenrir's, though they aren't copied. You can take that as you will.
When designing the trees I wanted to make them like the SD3 trees, but they ended up being a copy and I got too lazy to change. So that's my own fault. If it's any points to me, I drew them pixel by pixel while studying a printout, but it unfortunately ended up being too similar. Which is unfortunate, it just needed a little tweaking to be different.
All the other tilemaps are original. I am proud of the indoor ones (well, the fireplace anyway). The grass/dirt looks bad because it was originally in another OHR game, and at the time there wasn't any really good exporter/importer so I had to print-screen import. They are mine, however.
The sprites are similar in make to FF6. That should be obvious.

Stop's original battle graphic IS based on that pose, though I had another, revised version in the works it never made it out (unfortunatly). The rest of the graphics were based on Carbile's style, but weren't copied as blatantly as that one.

Music is taken from a huge plethora of free midi sites (with permission, though unfortunatly I've forgotten most of the references). I filtered them down until I got ones that weren't from other OHR-Games. So, in an OHR sense, it's original music.

Carbile himself commented on the graphics at one point (in IRC I believe, right after release) and didn't make mention that Stop's was similar (aka almost a rip). He actually enjoyed the graphics and was flattered I copied his style. Granted that was a small part of the conversation (the conversation was mostly about the philosophical implication of the dialogue that occurs at the End of Time at the beginning of the game).

So you can take that as you will. I'm not trying to be deceptive in any way (which is why I'm making this post), so hopefully you'll see it that way.

And yes, I need a spell checker, badly. And I did try to cram far too much information in that stupid demo. I really needed to learn pacing.

Any other questions, feel free to let me know.

Edit: Forgot to mention the font. It was meant to be similar to &And's (Though it ended up being unreadable) and I'll explain why. &And was my favorite OHR game for a while, and it was at that time I designed Stop's original story. I thought the "cut in half" font was cool, and though a diagonal version would be neat also. Stop's original game design was meant to be similar to &And's (Long dungeons, a boss, grinding, etc), except with more of a plot and set and the End of Time. Over time, the story evolved into the abomination it is now, but the font stayed. Hope that makes sense.
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