Enelysion: Vol I+II released.

Discussion in 'Completed Games' started by PixelLuchi, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Carillon Nightmares

    Carillon Nightmares One-Man Operation Veteran

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    I-I-I never entered the bar....FACEPALM

    No one read a thing...I WAS NEVER STUCK

    Yeah, I did check all the barrels, but I'm sure there are some other wood lying around somewhere.
     
  2. Ocedic

    Ocedic Dog Veteran

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    [​IMG]

    Title: Enelysion: Halcyon Days - Vol I

    Author: Luchino

    Version: 1.1


    Enelysion is a game that took years to make, and this is immediately obvious on first impression. From screen shots alone one can surmise the pulchritude and love of craft that went into this title. Starting with the opening scene, the game showcases expertly-constructed environments and ambiance. Unfortunately, for all of its aesthetic accomplishment, it falls short in a number of key areas; it's quite a shame that such a gorgeous cake tastes so stale and unsatisfying.

    [​IMG]

    The warning bells sound at the long-winded intro, which gives the player backstory and history regarding the setting. On first viewing, it was difficult to retain any information due to the plethora of name dropping. In addition, much of the lore explained in the intro is referenced throughout the game anyway. It's a microcosm of the game as a whole - a rich, deeply fleshed-out universe that feels like an exercise in world-building rather than a story. If you're the type of reader who wants to explore the nuances and idiosyncrasies of an original world, Enelysion has a lot of offer in that regard.

    On the other hand, Enelysion's plot struggles to hook the player. This is due to two key flaws - the more forgivable one being a lack of action early on; the nail in the coffin coming in the form of an unpersonable and uninteresting protagonist. In the case of the former, the game starts the player off on a lot of menial point-A-to-point-B errands and no sense of urgency or tension to speak of, with the exception of a mysterious orb (more on that later). This wouldn't be fatal to the game's narrative if it weren't for the latter issue: Laine is about as dull a character as one could imagine, with little depth and even fewer imperfections. She's well-liked by almost every NPC you encounter, excels at combat and has a mild temperament, which would make for a great friend but leaves little room for character growth or study.

    [​IMG]

    The game does attempt to remedy some of these issues with a strange, iridescent orb that has a darkly alluring quality to Laine. While it does offer some much needed mystery and drama to the game, it feels like a Tolkien-esque plot device that serves as an external threat to the protagonist's struggle as opposed to genuine internal strife.

    Enelysion doesn't fare much better in terms of gameplay. When one finally gets through the errand quests and into battles and dungeon crawling, the player is met with an unforgiving and obtuse battle system that favors hard counters rather than allowing for natural strategy and tactics to take place. It feels constricting, as if given a riddle with multiple answers in which only one is correct. The player will either destroy enemies in 1-2 hits or do no damage at all. Likewise, incoming damage feels unpredictable and single blows from the lowliest of foes can take off 60-75% of a character's health. It feels poorly balanced and at times mystifying.

    [​IMG]

    While Enelysion is flawed, it does have its merits beyond the well-drawn surface. The writing is solid and dialogue flows together well, though at times it does get repetitious. There's also a significant amount of content to explore; most objects are interactive and offer insightful information about the setting and characters. It's also a testament to the game's strengths that I am so disappointed with its shortcomings; in many ways this feels like a game that many players would love if the core issues were addressed. I feel that the author has a lot of talent; with practice and refinement she can produce a game that strikes emotional chords not just through visuals.


    The Good: Mesmerizing, vivid maps that are beautiful to behold

    The Bad: Uninteresting story and underdeveloped characters, unbalanced battles

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Nosleinad

    Nosleinad Storyteller Veteran

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    Very well written Ocedic, i always like to read your reviews.
     
  4. The Stranger

    The Stranger The Faceless Friend Veteran

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    The battles really ruined my experience with Enelysion. I fought those bandits in the opening sequence with relative ease, only to have my ass handed to me by a couple of wasps and wisps a little later on. I greatly enjoyed the whole Celtic inspired game-world, however, and the music was wonderful.

    I look forward to your future reviews, Ocedic.
     
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  5. SLEEP

    SLEEP grunge rock cloud strife Veteran

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    A review shouldn't be just a report of what happened in the game, but this is what it reads like. Your gaffs with storytelling lack substance without y'know, actual examples. And critique of Laine's character is limp, as "She's well-liked by almost every NPC you encounter, excels at combat and has a mild temperament" is a description that could suit a lot of RPG heroes, and a lot of good ones too, so the problems you have, have to be something else. If there's a problem there, you're looking at it's symptoms, and not its cause. You also say the combat was hard and you died a lot, but don't give examples, and again are reporting what you did while you played and looking at symptoms and not a cause. I'm not defending the game - I haven't played it, so I don't know - but a review like this tells me nothing I could use to decide if I wanted to play it or not.
     
  6. Ocedic

    Ocedic Dog Veteran

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    I fail to see how your criticism matches the content of the review. You paradoxically say that a review shouldn't be a report of what happens in a game, yet demand specific examples from the game. To refute you point by point:

    • The point about the main character is that she has no flaws and thus no depth; if you can't understand why that's an issue it is a sign that you aren't well-versed in good writing. This isn't meant to be an insult, it's just what's evident and I can't really say much more without pointing you to some good fiction like Shakespeare's works (particularly his tragedies), Flannery O'Connor, or if you aren't a fan of reading: Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Last of Us, and I could go on. The most celebrated RPG heroes are actually ones who are heavily flawed and often not very liked within the setting of the game such as Cloud, Squall, Cecil, Morrigan from DA:o, etc.
    • I actually did not say that I died a lot, nor do I consider your expectation of a specific battle example to be of any use. How I described battles is how they go - things do a lot of damage (or they deal none). It's all very obtuse, and more or less universal battle to battle. If I thought there was a particular battle that stood out, I would have singled it out but I didn't feel the need to.
    Finally, whether you decide to play the game or not based on the review isn't my concern. My reviews have always been written for the sake of developers to improve their game. In fact, I want people to play the games I review (unless they're completely nonredeemable, which isn't the case here) so that they can learn from them using my reviews as guides. Whether you'll have fun with the game as a player - hell if I know. I don't play RM games from that lens, but rather I try to learn from them (and I have learned a lot from playing a wide variety of RM games).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2013
  7. kerbonklin

    kerbonklin Hiatus King Veteran

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    Ocedic you should look up a person by the name of TotalBiscuit on Youtube for tips on giving reviews + first impressions.
     
  8. Ocedic

    Ocedic Dog Veteran

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    If you can articulate criticism or issues with the review, I'm all ears. But otherwise, name dropping someone who does something completely different is rather moot. If you want a run through of a game, then look for a LP on Youtube. That isn't what I do, and there's plenty of other people who do that kind of thing. Here you guys go.
     
  9. kerbonklin

    kerbonklin Hiatus King Veteran

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    That review with 8 replies that you linked to was 10x better, and the creator even helped the player with the issue he faced, because he was fighting the troop wrong and not using the "Vitas Scroll".  Also poisoning them works as well if you ran out of scrolls. (which shouldn't have been a problem in the first place but the player intended on grinding there and wasting them)

    There's one thing I dislike about game reviewers, and that's when they're not decent gamers. =/    It's like an anthropologist trying to tell a mathematician s/he isn't doing their calculations right.

    Constructive criticism about constructive criticism.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2013
  10. Ocedic

    Ocedic Dog Veteran

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    Again, you bring up someone else's work and don't mention anything specific regarding mine. It's 10x better in what regard? An arbitrary metric apparently. Yes, I used quite a few scrolls throughout the forest dungeon, and I don't see how it's relevant to anything in the review. I did mention that the game was about hard counters, after all. Do you think it's good game design to base things around buying specific items to win fights? Did you even read my review or are you just making assumptions that me saying the game is hard means I struggled endlessly?

    And yeah, you really want to bring up my credentials as a gamer? Let's not even talk about singleplayer games, here's a partial list of competitive multiplayer games:

    - Was platinum ranked in StarCraft 2 when it first came out as a random player (back then Diamond was the highest rank). You watch Totalbiscuit's reviews? That's cute. I used to play in games where he spectated me, along with other famous SC2 personalities like JP.

    - Multi-season gladiator in World of WarCraft, including season 2 doing Paladin/Warlock in a plethora of Druid/Lock and Druid/Warrior

    - I'm currently Diamond ranked in League of Legends with only 150 ranked games this season

    - Very proficient at Street Fighter 4 and UMVC3. Not pro level, but I'm pretty confident you are nowhere near my level in fighting games
    Also, I test games for a living. So let's keep the assumptions about my skill level in games out of this, and again, I'm still waiting on any specific criticisms regarding the content of the review. I'm glad that you think the author telling someone to use a Vita scroll in battles constitutes an informative and well-written review. I'm still confused how that relates to my own review.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2013
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  11. Dalph

    Dalph Nega Ralph™ Veteran

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    The review is spot on, although I would've given the game an almost B (or a B- if you prefer) more than a C+, the only things that bothers me are the bugs and the hard battles, I've really enjoyed everything else.

    For a first game, it's clearly beyond awesome.
     
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  12. PixelLuchi

    PixelLuchi Quiet Pixel Artist Veteran

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    @Ocedic: Thank for the review: You are indeed right about the battles, that area is actually my Achilles heel when it comes to making RPG games ( I really am not very good at it ._. ). But I'm busy nerfing most of the enemies for the first few areas of the game. And fixing those bugs as usual.

    I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the story or the characters itself, but the game does start out pretty slow. Sort of my way of easing the player into the game world, rather than throwing a lot of things at them at once. And I'm still struggling to write a more concise intro... But I've learned from my mistakes over time ( this game is not meant to be a masterpiece where everyone showers praise over it ), but rather, a learning experience to make better games in the future. =)

    @Dalph: Well, Enelysion is actually my second game if we are including my fan game that I made back in 2009 with RMXP, and this version of EHD has gone under so many changes it hardly resembles a serious first project at first glance. But structure-wise, if you were to look at the actual game in the editior, frankly, its a mess, lol.
     
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  13. Ocedic

    Ocedic Dog Veteran

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    Glad to hear it Luchino; I figured as much. Looking back, I really didn't provide enough feedback on gameplay and that seems to be where you wanted some more, so for that I apologize. My one tip with battles would be to err on the side of ease if you aren't sure about balancing when it comes to 'normal' monsters. A player will almost never stop playing the game if it's too easy, but he or she is more likely to stop if the game is too hard or frustrating.

    I look forward to your next title Tristian and wish you the best of luck!
     
  14. PixelLuchi

    PixelLuchi Quiet Pixel Artist Veteran

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    Here's a list of most of the fixes for version 1.2, to be released on the 26th of October. If there is anything below that I may have left out and persists in the current version, please let me know. I'm already aware of the game-crash errors, and that has been fixed.


    - Nerfed most regular enemies. Only the Elemental type and Entite foes remain the real challengers.

    - If, in the instance of the player selling the first Bomb Fragment, another one can be obtained after fighting the same boss after a series of events in Gorain Port.

    - 1-H and 2-H added to weapon descriptions, denoting 1-handed or 2-handed.

    - Wind Spear gives the wielder the Aero skill and not AeroShield.

    - Fixed up a TON of passability errors.

    - Fixed up the majority of the grammatical errors. 

    - Characters now have 5 Skill Slots instead of 4.

    - The event where Laine can give Patrick an Elixir in Gorain Port has been  removed ( since it didn't really do anything. Not to mention a waste of a    perfectly rare item XD ).

    - Elixirs/Full Elixirs can no longer be bought or sold.

    - Toned down the power of some skills ( like Reginleif and Mach Wave ).

    - The RES stat now appears in the Equip menu. I can't get it to appear in the  main status menu, unfortunately. :\

    - More powerful skills require Rage to use, rather than MP.

    - The Item Shop in Lidgetton no longer allows you to 'craft potions'. Rather,  you can just buy them.

      The stat boosting 'liquors' sold in Lidgetton now cost 3000 koruna each,  rather than 1500.

    - Pop-ups will no longer appear asking you if you want to visit an area. Only  after a certain event in the game, will you get an option to either visit the  Lothlorien Valley or Relyt's Abode.

     



     

     
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2013
  15. Cartridge

    Cartridge It's all about the guns, man Veteran

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    A brief review about the first twenty minutes of the game:

    I have downloaded the game yesterday, and already after twenty minutes I decided to quit playing Enelysion. My main reason for doing so is the frustratingly unbalanced battlesystem. Ocedic has already showed you the problems, and I totally agree with him. 

    Story-wise, I do feel that your game has an interesting, unique plotline. However, I do agree with Ocedic that your characters were dull.

    Of course I loved your maps. Great atmosphere and really nice use of mixed tilesets. I find it very interesting that you do not use parallax-mapping, good job!

    I am also fond of the music you used. It grands life to the game.

    Summary of the good and the bad:

    Good:

    + (In my opinion) Unique plot

    + Beautiful, atmosperic maps

    + Dat music :3

    Bad:

    - Unbalanced battlesystem

    - Dull characters

    - Slow

    Please fix the battlesystem, as it will help to motivate people to keep playing till the end. It's not a weakness to call in help from an experienced user regarding this subject! 

    I have been waiting quite some time for your game now and I must say that the current version dissapoints me somewhat. I'm looking forward to coming releases from you!
     
  16. waterman

    waterman Villager Member

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    A few hours into the game make it seem like it's pretty decent, but I'm probably going to stop and wait until the next updates.

    As many others have pointed out earlier, the combat balance is nearly unbearable. It's not so much about difficulty... but when normal encounters have mobs that can one-shot player characters or chunk over 80% of the heroes' health with an AoE ability, it's not really difficulty we're talking about here. There's not much counter-play other than grind a lot or buy very specific items. In fact, I feel the battles do indeed encourage a very specific style of play (perhaps the one testers/designers used), which not all players would adopt.

    Another system that annoyed me is the limit on skills equipped. Usually, I feel like these type of limits should only be used when a character risks of being too versatile, i.e. being able to deal with every situation/mob/boss. This doesn't seem to be the case here, as Laine/Cillian/Siglud are fairly similar in role (melee damage dealers with a few elemental skills), with Patrick belonging in the mage/healer archetype. Even if the characters were allowed to have all of their skills equipped at once, it wouldn't really make the game any easier, but it would give more space for the player to adjust his/her playstyle. The skill equip limit kind of adds fake difficulty, by forcing the player to choose between a select few skills that might be useful for the next fights... and if they aren't useful, it would just be better to reload the game and equip other skills instead. In short, I feel like the limit adds nothing in terms of balance or gameplay, but makes the game more frustrating.

    So, I would like to hear about the designer's thoughts on it...  As far as I know, there was one early reviewer of Enelysion's demo that suggested the limit, but without any justifications.

    On the positive side though, this game's got great mapping and soundtrack. The art's pretty good, too. Good to hear that the terrain errors are being fixed, since there were quite a lot of these. As for the main characters, I feel like they're rather typical RPG heroes; there's not a lot that distinguishes them from other typical protagonists, but they do seem to have noticeable flaws and weaknesses, so it sets up some character development. The plot could be improved, since it's similar to one of those typical 'mysterious object appears, some evil rises and the heroes must save the world' stories in RPGs.

    In summary, I think the game would be much better if the battles were more balanced. Other than that, pretty good game!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2013
  17. PixelLuchi

    PixelLuchi Quiet Pixel Artist Veteran

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    Busy overhauling the entire skill system of the game. I removed the Skill Equip slots, severely toned down the power of most enemies and I am now in the process of giving each character a specific role in battle. All of them learn skills the 'traditional' way, i.o.w, by gaining levels, since I'm quite sure a number of players found the JP system a bit obscure. 

    Laine is the usual damage dealer with some magic skills thrown in, Patrick is a Nuker/Healer, Cillian has now been relegated to a Buffer with 'Cry' skills ( neat ones at that, he can up the party's MaxHP or MaxMP for tough situations, with a severe skill cooldown ) along with some powerful physical attacks and Siglud is now the party debuffer. All of his skills range from bringing down the MaxHP of a foe down by a certain % or just lowering the stat of one enemy in particular.

    I'm almost ready to throw in the towel on this game, since LoTL is taking up a lot of my time, but I hope the new overhaul will make the overall experience of the game better. 
     
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  18. Tarelther

    Tarelther Villager Member

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    Well, honestly, the biggest problem with your battle system is your critical multiplier is way too high. As is, when an enemy scores a lucky critical against you, your characters tend to get one shot from full health. If you lower that down to a 50% damage bonus, or maybe 100% damage bonus instead of 200%, that will fix most of your problems. Redoing the skill system alone won't fix that.
     
  19. PixelLuchi

    PixelLuchi Quiet Pixel Artist Veteran

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    Need to make a little announcement that has been sitting on my chest for a while now.

    I will not be making Vol 2 of the game.

    My interest, after nearly 3 years, is at an all-time low from which I will not recover. I found that I've can only work on the game for half an hour a day ( as opposed to 3-4, if not more ) before I get bored of the project and work on my other game. My interest in the story and the characters itself is dead and gone. I can't even play the game normally anymore because, like some players have said before, it is a drag. It is boring. The plot progresses at a snail's pace. Yes, the mapping is great and so is the music, but that alone won't save the project.

    While I am working on Ver 1.2 ( having severely  nerfed the enemies to the point where Laine can just one-shot the early-game foes ), this will be the end of the project as it stands.

    So, to everyone that has supported Enelysion from the days of VX.net ( and everyone else ), I thank you. Your input was invaluable to my RPG-creation and paved the way for my second project, Lady of the Lion, which I hope will eclipse Enelysion in every single way possible...

    That is all I wanted to say.
     
  20. Dalph

    Dalph Nega Ralph™ Veteran

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    I was right then, Lady of the Lion will literally obliterate Enelysion.

    Despite this, I liked the storyline and the characters in Enelysion, you can always create a web novel if you want (like Ephemereal Prince), mainly to conclude the story (a small volume 2), it would be very cool.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2013
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