This backdrop is essentially perfect. The dutch angle. The bloody spot on the wall. The red eyes. I love it.
This would've been a really good joke, had it been broken up into multiple textboxes. Pacing is the key to humor!
This is what you see when you die. Though you're still playing the game, you just can't see shit under the backdrop. Maybe you could sneak back to an inn?
If you've played OHR games for long enough, you've probably played something really bad and deliberately offensive. It might even have been one of my games. Sorry. The beautiful thing about indie games, and especially OHR games because they require so little effort, is that anyone can use them to say whatever they want to. Sometimes, people use indie games to say the worst words they know, just because they can. I'm not sure Blackeagle is that bad. There are occasional hints that maybe there really is some kind of political message hiding under the shock value, but I wasn't able to dig deep enough to find it. I don't want to seem like I'm grasping at straws, or trying to blindly defend a fellow troll, so let's look at just the first 30 seconds. See if there's something there.
The title screen is the title, Blackeagle, written over an MS Paint depiction of a wooden cross. The cross is obvious imagery meant to evoke thoughts of Christianity. The title is a smidge less obvious imagery
relating to Nazi Germany's obsession with the black eagle, drawing from its Prussian and proto-German origins. It's not as directly Nazi as the dreaded swastika, but the black eagle has been used enough as a "nicer" symbol of Nazism in games like Wolfenstein 3D for long enough that I think we can safely assume it's what the author meant. We've instantly got juxtaposition: Good and Bad.
The game proper begins by quoting the famous opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities, calling the author Eurotrash, and declaring that "Times can't be good and bad at the same time." Is that relating to the title? Is that going to be our theme? They say some more crap and then a ninja says something that resonates further: "Our lord and savior, Adolf Hitler." We're now textually comparing Christ with Hitler. There's some more namedropping. Stalin, Marx, guys I don't recognize and mysteriously F.W. Murnau, director of Nosferatu.
A little digging shows that most of these guys weren't German, and that most of them weren't even alive during WW2, making the games assertion that they "held the nation together" a little confusing? Our thirty seconds ends with the arrival of President Christ (who is apparently a separate entity from Hitler) and his subsequent attempted assassination, by a sniper from a nearby hotel. One wonders why it wasn't a book depository, but I digress.
To this point, the game has been nothing but shock value. Hitler! Jesus! Big names being thrown around. We haven't seen a swastika though, which would be the biggest, most direct taboo. We've also had that weird sequence of names that make me feel like there's something deeper going on. And why drag Dickens into it? There's just enough intellectualism to earn some good will.
Of course, if you play thirty seconds longer you'll see the author squander that good will. One of our heroes threatens to rape the hotel clerk for interfering in the investigation, and when that doesn't work, threatens to kill their family and feed 'em to dogs. There's an obnoxious battle with the Hotel staff, who belong to some kind of resistance, and then an unwinnable battle against the sniper who tried to take out President Christ. You wake up in Mexico and from there, I can't even try to explain.
Graphically, the game is about as ugly as the story. The walkabouts are terrible, the maptiles are passable at best, and in one frustrating section, the impassable brick walls on one map are used as walkable brick floors on the next. The battle graphics tend towards weird noodly arms, but some of the enemies have a kind of charm to 'em, I love two of the battle backdrops and the portraits have very unique, personable eyes that make me giggle.
The battles show a decent amount of effort. The author tries to do gun battles in the default battle engine, where MP is ammo and you'll have to periodically reload. It's a good try that's bogged down by having *WAY* too many techniques for each character, having attacks that miss more often than they hit, attacks that do an annoying number of extra hits (or extra misses, as the case usually is). It's also a frustrating system, because you can die very very quickly. In fact, I died four times to the first random encounter before I got one I could beat. And then I gained 4 levels! And a million techniques! And every subsequent battle was still pretty dicey, with no possibility to flee.
It's getting more popular to have random encounters that can't be fled, and it's usually a bad decision in my book. If you're trying to make your final dungeon way more dangerous than the last? Sure! Go for it! Make the player earn their encounter with the final boss. But any time before that, restricting retreat means too often that a battle is a foregone conclusion: There's no way to win, and all you can do is waste your time until the enemy kills you to try again.
Generally, it's better to allow the player at the very least a chance to run away, so that they aren't in a constant gamble of will the next step kill me? It's hard to go through hours of an RPG when you might die at any second and have to start over. Seems like a good time to mention: I didn't beat this game. I gave up in a prison where there were like 6 guys in every battle and they could kill my games in one hit and I couldn't easily put their guys down. Was too much walking with too many battles and even if I won, the battles were too damn long, mostly due to missed shots.
No matter what the author is trying to say, it probably isn't worth the time to wade through the deliberate offensiveness, the constant AIDS references, and the sluggish battles to find out. The battle system is interesting, but it's not worth the price of admission and doesn't even work all that well besides. There is one group of people I'd suggest this game to, and that's anyone who is nostalgic for an old school bad OHR Game. It's all there, just like it used to be. Debug key through the battles, maybe do some frameskip if you're impatient, and see just how awful this thing can get. Hell, maybe it turns around and gets good. I feel weird reviewing a game I'm debug keying through, so I'm callin it quits here. I don't hate it, but I'd sure like to see something better from this author next time out. I really don't know what they were trying to say.