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Crusty's Heyday - Gomie v. 2015 
 PostSun Feb 07, 2016 3:09 am
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Cutest Kraken Ever!
Tell me about Bane... why does he wear the mask?
I'm only now realizing the border on the textboxes is coral reef and clams.
This is a review of Crusty's Heyday.

Note to self: ALWAYS review contest games when they happen. I swear I already reviewed these games, I spend forever looking for where I would've reviewed 'em, and this is what I find:

Gonna keep my thoughts brief, reviews are for chumps:

#4.Crusty's Heyday
Kind of a bait and switch with the RPG stuff. Those pirate NPCs who didn't say anything were bad and I don't know what you screwed up distributing this thing. When I unzipped I got some kind of encryption error and then when I ran Crusty.exe and gave me some kind of corruption message that seemed like it was a Windows installer. Runnin the RPG through Game worked just fine and the shooting was pretty nice. Could've used an end-point or some kind of indication.

Then I gotta replay the thing to make sure I was making sense that day. Good news for Crusty's Heyday, I was making sense when I made those comments! It's a game that makes you think it's going to be an RPG about a a pirate named Crusty and then turns into a nautical-themed shooting gallery.

The pirate RPG bits are fun. They establish that Crusty isn't a terribly nice guy, there's a pun and a well animated scene where somebody gets thrown over for making said pun. Afterwards you can wander around the deck, but none of the NPCs have anything to say. They just turn to face you. That's one of my big pet peeves and it's a sure way to make your game feel unfinished.

The shooting is simple but nicely scripted. The waves go back and forth and kinda make me seasick. Targets pop up and down from the sea, you move your cannon left to right to shoot them. There's a few things that make it feel more complex. If you shoot a sailor you lose points. The farther away the target is, the more points it's worth. There's a rare Hans Stinkman who pops up and shooting him gives you 100 points.

There's a few things that make the game feel worse. Your cannon isn't quite fast enough to get from firing position on the left side of the screen to firing position on the right before the target has gone back down. Once you've fired a shot, the cannon can't move till the shot gets off screen. That was pretty common in older games so it isn't too big of a deal. If you're right on top of an enemy, sometimes you can hit him twice before he goes back under.

But the biggest strike against the game is that it never ends. Once the shooting starts, an MP3 of "What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor?" is played. It's a good song, it fits the nautical theme and it makes me giggle. When the song loops, that's a natural place for the game to end. You got a time limit, the potential for high score and all that goofy stuff. Without an ending you just go till you get bored.. and with just three things to shoot at that doesn't take terribly long.

One thing in particular to take from this game is the title screen: Just like a real game, it has functionality to it. You can choose to start a new game or to skip the intro. That takes a little effort and it makes the end product feel that much more polished. It is what it is. Without the context of the contest or high scores or anything like that, there isn't a big reason to play it. That doesn't mean it isn't a good game, it just means it's not memorable or long enough to interrupt your busy day with.
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