*WARNING* Long post!
azureXtwilight wrote:There is a walkthrough at lemmasoft's walkthrough section XD
Yeah, believe it or not, I was using it, LOL, but apparently, to no avail!
However, I think I figured out now what I was failing to do (after about my 5th run-thru of the game, lol), but it didn't seem to change the ending at all (or the epilogues), as I was still able to "Skip" thru the entire ending! O_O I'm thinking maybe I've already seen the best ending since I'm only missing one CG - I'm thinking that might be a bug, though. It's the CG that's on the 1st page, 2nd row, 1st column - or u can go to this link to see it: http://img1.ak.crunchyroll.com/i/spire3 ... 2_full.png
Also, I counted the number of CG slots in the CG gallery and it came to 28. However, in the opening post of this thread, this game is listed as having 30. So was 28 just (sneakily) rounded up to 30 since it's a nice even number
, or are there additional CGs that just don't have any slots for them in the gallery?
I'm also still missing one of the music tracks between Lust Demon's and Mike's Theme - I think this might be a bug as well since I think I saw a post from someone else in this thread mentioning the same thing (unless we've both just coincidentally missed it).
Ok, now to talk about the fun part; the actual gaming experience! I'd say, for the most part of my 1st run-thru of the game, it was pretty decent.
I did kinda like the cast of characters that were introduced in this 1st game of the series
Theory about Gerald:
(and of course, the Doppel characters were nice to see - though they were kinda the least ones I wanted to see, lol - I'd really like to see Clifford and Shuang'er, and Lee and ChunXiang
) Also, u know, every darn time Yours Truly, I mean Coren, said "Milady", I kept thinking about Zhuang'er, lol! To me, that's like Zhuang'er's patented saying, so u shouldn't have anyone else using it, LOL! XP ... It's funny, though, when I first heard Coren say that, I was thinking that maybe he actually was Zhuang'er, but after observing his behavior throughout the game, I'm definitely doubting that! Anyway, I'm just glad there weren't any really annoying characters, and by that, I mean characters that whine and complain over everything, lol; Those to me, make the worst characters, especially if they're one of the main characters.
I can't help but wonder if Gerald is the father of these demons since it seems like he appears when the box is opened, and I'm assuming he disappears once all the demons are re-captured and sealed back into the box. Or maybe he's the one that 1st opened the box, and back when he sealed the last demon back in, he had to seal himself or something inside the box (which would be why he gets out, too, when the demons get out). I don't know, but in any case, I'll just wait for the forthcoming installments to this series. ^^
The story itself, so far, was alright, didn't seem like anything too out of the ordinary (which is fine). I understand, though, that this is just the 1st game, so this is all just introducing us to this world, as well as some of the characters. But I'd imagine that in the future installments, the story will get deeper and more compelling with each successive installment. That said, I still mildly enjoyed the story; Although, it didn't grip me anywhere near like Doppelganger did, and thus, I honestly didn't feel very compelled to play the game again after the 1st run-thru like I did with Doppelganger (not being able to skip the battles either made things a bit tedious as well). The dialogue between the characters, though, was pretty good and interesting enough to keep my attention, and I felt like u could really feel the personality of some of the characters, especially Mike & Gerald.
I think my favorite lines came when Gerald asked Alicia and Antares about himself, and Antares was like, "Nobody knows u better than yourself!" and Gerald's laughable response of "R-Right... Why in the world would I ask them about myself?" LOL! I can just imagine how stupid Gerald must have felt in asking such a ridiculous question!
I think the "voices" of the characters during battles were really great, too! I, for one, am always in favor of giving the characters voices since I believe it gives them more of a human feel. Also, Azure-san, I think I saw in this thread that u mentioned that the voice files were given to u in different qualities? If that's the case, were they given to u in a format that u just couldn't equalize the sounds? There's a great program that I use called Audacity that allows me to edit/equalize/manipulate all kinds of sound/music files. Here's the site if interested (the program is free ^^): http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
As for the music, I thought it did well enough in establishing the proper atmosphere of each scene (I recognized one of the songs actually from Doppelganger as well as one other song from another VN game, lol).
I will say, though, that Lust Demon's theme song! "Ugh" is how it made me feel whenever I heard it. It kinda gave me a really disgusted feeling, I guess, since it seemed like something I would hear in a gay bar or something (or an adult video). @_@;
As for the battle system... hmm, don't worry, I'll be nice
but yeah, it could use a bit of work, lol. I won't mention all the issues I had with it since some of them were mentioned already and I completely understand that you're still learning, so it's cool. However, I will point out some issues and general recommendations that I don't think I saw mentioned, just so u are aware of them:
(1) When u select a character to move, it would be nice to be able to cancel that selection and choose another character to move in case u realize that u should move someone else first. Or if u moved a character already, but u realized that u moved him to the wrong spot, to be able to cancel that move, and have the character brought back to his original starting point.
(2) It would be nice to be able to select an enemy (and for it's name on the enemy list at the top right corner to be highlighted or something) to be able to figure out how much hit points it has since sometimes u can't tell, since there will be some enemies that look the same and have basically the same name. For example, Imp 1, Imp 2 and Imp 3.
(3) I know someone mentioned about being able to see the range of the spells and such, but if the coding for all that is too much or difficult, I think what u could do is put the range of the spell, etc. into the name. For example, "Gammatron Punch (35 MP) (R5)" - the "R5" would mean that it has a range of 5 squares. Or similar to how u have a "Clues" button at the top right corner of the screen, u could have a "Character Stats" button that would show the characters' stats/spells/special attacks and the range for all of them. Something simple like this would be just fine, I think.
(4) The enemies can wander off the screen so u can't see them. -_-
(5) The "Skip" terminology isn't good imo, because it implies that the character does nothing (including not moving) for the whole turn. However, u can still move a character and the "Skip" command will still be available. You might want to consider changing it to "End Turn" or something, as it makes more sense.
(6) Sometimes those "Double the Attack" power spells didn't seem to double my attack power, lol. Seemed like the Attack Power stayed the same (sometimes).
(7) It seemed like some of the Special Abilities that attacked 1 enemy and costed the same MP as one that attacked all enemies was sometimes weaker. That's kinda backwards.
(8) You could cheat and have characters gain some easy level ups by having them constantly use "First Aids," or in Valerie's case, u could keep having her use "Blessing" (even when you're characters have full hit points, LOL) and she would gain a lot of experience!
By the end of the 1st or 2nd battle that u have her in, u could literally have her at her highest level with max HP (563) and max MP (685)! I know I did, LOL! I've played a lot of tactical RPGs, and this is one tactic that I used to use a lot! ^^
(9) Computer AI can be pretty dumb sometimes; for example, an "Imp" keeps lowering the defense of characters that already had their defense lowered. -_-
(10) If people die on your team during a battle, and if an enemy casts a magic spell that lowers the defense of all the characters, it'll say it lowered the defense of those already dead as well, lol. This one gave me a good laugh!
Ok, battle system aside now, I'll go ahead and list some things that either were frustrating or other issues that may need to be addressed/corrected:
(1) Someone mentioned this already, about making it easier to cycle thru all the clues. One possibility that would make things easier is after u finish showing a clue to someone, it would go back to the Clue's screen and back to exactly the last "clue" or "person" that u selected last;
Kinda similar to how it is when u have to select a clue for Regina (near the end of the game).
(2) Sometimes there's no "Cancel" or "Return" button on the Clues screen.
I understand it's necessary not to have it, though, in certain scenes where u are obligated to select clues like the scene with Regina, but there are times when Gerald is just exploring/doing side quests and if he "Talks" to someone, then u are obligated to show some kind of clue no matter what - it's these times in particular where a "Cancel" or "Return" option would be nice.
(3) When the characters are in the sewer and u have the option to "change party members" (Jun or Valerie), and if u say "Yes" and choose the character that u didn't use in the prior battle, then that character will not show up in the battle for some reason, lol! So you'll only have 2 characters in the battle! Perhaps that character chickened out and ran! XP
(4) If u save in the middle of a battle, then re-load that same save file, the battle is started from the beginning! O_O I found that out the hard way! T_T
(5) Near the beginning of the game, where u can have Mike talk to Alicia and "Ask about Antares," u can keep adding the missing Antares to the "clues" for as many times as u asked about him O_O; At one point, I added the missing Antares to my clues like 7 times!
(Yes, his picture and everything were all there 7 times
, lol) The same can be said about adding Natalie Evergreen to the clues by just constantly talking about Mike with Coren, lol.
(6) Near the beginning of the game in the abandoned building, when Mike separates from Jun, and Mike chooses to avoid the noise, the next battle has an enemy called "Imp 1" who has the voice and attacks of an "Imp," but has the appearance of a gray slime, LOL! And "Imp 2" doesn't seem to have any attacks, since u can have your characters surround it and all it does is walk around or stand there, lol!
(7) When attempting to overwrite a save file, that mini-character sprite says "Overwriting save, huh? Don't miss it when it's long gone, folks!" IMO, "folks" isn't a good word to use since it makes it seem like the character sprite is talking to many players, and generally, u want to make it feel like the character sprite is talking DIRECTLY to the player, so a singular noun/pronoun would be the better choice, as it truly gives it more of an intimate feel when words are directed solely at the one person playing the game, and not at hundreds, or thousands of potential players. Thus, I think it would be better if "folks" were changed to something like "ya hear!" Just my humble opinion, though.
(8) When u go to the Clues screen and check on Gerald's profile, it'll list his last name as "whoeverlastnameis," lol. That doesn't quite make sense. It should be "whateverlastnameis." Just so u know, u generally use "whatever" when referring to any thing, and "whoever" when referring to an actual person. And in this instance, we are referring to Gerald's last name, and his last name would be classified as a thing, not an actual person. Thus, we would say "whateverlastnameis." ^_^
(9) On the main menu screen, u can go to the "Bonus" section, and in all the areas in there, except the "Music Room," u can actually save your file. Not sure why anyone would want to save their file, though (as it's kinda pointless, lol).
Alright, enough of that!
All-in-all, it was still a pretty enjoyable gaming experience, despite some flaws that aren't too big of a deal and many of which, I believe, can be over-looked. And I do want to mention that I liked that you had the "demons" named after the 7 capital sins. Personally, I don't mind if u borrow ideas from certain religions/cultures, but I just ask that you don't single any of them out by name and make a parody of any of them at their expense, or anything that would cast a dark/controversial/negative light on them. Continue to keep things in good taste
, in other words! Anyway, I wholeheartedly wish u the best in your future installments and projects (and in life)! ^________^