RE: Alistair++

Finished games are posted here, once they've been tested and are ready for wide release.
Message
Author
User avatar
Greeny
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 921
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:15 am
Completed: The Loop, The Madness
Projects: In Orbit, TBA
Organization: Gliese Productions
Location: Cantankerous Castle
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#256 Post by Greeny » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:10 am

Of course. I consider it courtesy to stop talking until anyone expresses interest in listening.

Well, I may have been a bit extra critical because I'm a heterosexual man, and therefore immune the antagonists' "charms", and not generally in the target demographic. Still, here's a number of things that made the game not quite what I could have been:

- The main, and probably most critical fault, was the story. I wasn't motivated to play the game more than once, so I can't say I can speak for any of the routes here - I'm talking about the main story. The revenge plot. That's what the story is all about, isn't it? I understand that it's still a dating sim, but I really felt that after the intro, the whole thing just got swept under the rug. If you're going to make a certain plot point drive the story, you better stay with it. There should have been more investigative efforts out of the protagonist, and there should have been a "get your revenge" ending. (Okay, maybe there is one, and I missed it, but I did focus on trying to get it.) The game was too focused on just romance, when it was most certainly possible to have both. That, or Merui is just has a very short attention span and a high libido. "I'm gonna get this guy and I'm gonna- Oh hey look, a handsome guy! What was I talking about again?"

Then there was the final decision. Travis had called me "Rui", which was my online name, and he made an excuse about Facespace, but there was a time inconsistency with that or something so I conclusively deduced it was him. And then it wasn't. The reason he know my nick? He was a system admin on the game. And that, I can't tell you enough how incredibly forced that felt. We'd never even encountered the character "Oda" in-game before, and it had absolutely no other effect on the story whatsoever. I know this was intented as a way to use Travis as a decoy, but quite honestly, that was way too obvious. I was expecting it to be a double deception or something. It felt more like a cheap trick than a clever way to decieve the player.

- The characters were blatant stereotypes. Sorry to say that, but they just were. I can't sugarcoat this. Travis is a typical unfriendly guy who "turns out to be not such a bad guy after all", Derek is a typical flirtacious uneducated jock, and Shiro is the token "sensitive guy", and to be honest, almost inhumanly insecure.

- Where does the game take place? You've got English names and Japanese names mixed up with no explanation whatsoever. Make excuses about immigration all you want but to me, it's just a blatant inconsistency that just irks me. At some points some of the characters even mixed Japanese expressions into their speech. Inconsistency annoys me to no end.

- The stats system felt incredibly forced and completely unneccessary. You've only got three characters, and the stats aren't used for anything other than getting their attention. It's just needlessly complicating matters. Also, watching tv? Social rep? Really?
If watching tv made you more social, the world would be a better place, trust me. If anything, your intelligence stat should go down. (joke)

- There was a period in the game where nothing happened. At all. Just going to school and then upgrading your pointless stats.
And that period was the whole period between the beginning and the end. I understand that if I'd have gone more actively towards one character I'd have had more happened, but the whole time I was trying to balance the three to figure out who Alistair was. You can't blame me for that, can you?

- There should have been more indication of what items got what results. There's little incentive to buy stuff that costs a lot of money if you can only "hope you get lucky and something happens".

- I admit, it's actually a while ago that I played the game. But I can't even remember if there was any music or not. Needless to say, that means it wasn't a very memorable sountrack. If any. Was there? I honestly can't remember.

In the end, and I'm sorry to say this, the game feels like a well-presented and cleanly polished package with a lot of unneccessary bells and whistles containting a mediocre story and shallow characters.

The concept was so original. It could have done so much better.
In Orbit [WIP] | Gliese is now doing weekly erratic VN reviews! The latest: Halloween Otome!
Gliese Productions | Facebook | Twitter
Image

User avatar
sake-bento
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:58 pm
Completed: http://sakevisual.com/games.html
Projects: Every Sunrise, Shinsei
Organization: sakevisual
Tumblr: sakevisual
Deviantart: sakevisual
itch: sakevisual
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#257 Post by sake-bento » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:28 am

Greeny wrote:Of course. I consider it courtesy to stop talking until anyone expresses interest in listening.

I always appreciate feedback, but I also don't intend to force anyone to say any more than they think the work warrants.

Greeny wrote:There should have been more investigative efforts out of the protagonist, and there should have been a "get your revenge" ending. (Okay, maybe there is one, and I missed it, but I did focus on trying to get it.)

There's a revenge ending. I think it's the easiest one to get, but people don't talk about it much. ^_^;;

Greeny wrote:Then there was the final decision. Travis had called me "Rui", which was my online name, and he made an excuse about Facespace, but there was a time inconsistency with that or something so I conclusively deduced it was him. And then it wasn't. The reason he know my nick? He was a system admin on the game. And that, I can't tell you enough how incredibly forced that felt. We'd never even encountered the character "Oda" in-game before, and it had absolutely no other effect on the story whatsoever. I know this was intented as a way to use Travis as a decoy, but quite honestly, that was way too obvious. I was expecting it to be a double deception or something. It felt more like a cheap trick than a clever way to decieve the player.

Oda does appear in game, depending on your path. There are a lot of parts of the story that don't show up in a single playthrough. And he knows her nickname from Spacebook like he said, but he lied about when he looked her up because he didn't want to seem too stalkery.

Greeny wrote:- The characters were blatant stereotypes. Sorry to say that, but they just were. I can't sugarcoat this. Travis is a typical unfriendly guy who "turns out to be not such a bad guy after all", Derek is a typical flirtacious uneducated jock, and Shiro is the token "sensitive guy", and to be honest, almost inhumanly insecure.

They are, but they are also based on guys I actually know IRL, including ones I've dated. A lot of the romantic bits and personalities are lifted directly from my experience or that of my friends. I'll freely admit they're stereotypes, but they're not unreal. A guy I dated for a while really was as insecure as Shiro, and two other girls I knew were totally head over heels for him (and yes, there was drama).

Greeny wrote:- Where does the game take place? You've got English names and Japanese names mixed up with no explanation whatsoever. Make excuses about immigration all you want but to me, it's just a blatant inconsistency that just irks me. At some points some of the characters even mixed Japanese expressions into their speech. Inconsistency annoys me to no end.

It takes place in America. Only Shiro is Japanese, and only Shiro uses Japanese phrases. This is actually something that was pointed out in one of my other games, too. I grew up near the International District in Seattle, so I'm used to seeing a lot of Japanese culture and people mixed in with American things. I've been told that this is not really the case in general America, so I'm working on writing that sort of stuff out in future works. That's just an example of my culture and upbringing being out of the norm and rubbing off in my writing, and I am working to fix this to make a more realistic America.

Greeny wrote:- The stats system felt incredibly forced and completely unneccessary. You've only got three characters, and the stats aren't used for anything other than getting their attention. It's just needlessly complicating matters. Also, watching tv? Social rep? Really?
If watching tv made you more social, the world would be a better place, trust me. If anything, your intelligence stat should go down. (joke)

I'm personally not a huge fan of stat raising either, but it is a genre that some people seem to appreciate.

Greeny wrote:- There was a period in the game where nothing happened. At all. Just going to school and then upgrading your pointless stats.
And that period was the whole period between the beginning and the end. I understand that if I'd have gone more actively towards one character I'd have had more happened, but the whole time I was trying to balance the three to figure out who Alistair was. You can't blame me for that, can you?

I agree that not enough happened. This is mostly due to time constraints on the writing, since the whole thing was on deadline for a contest. Not an excuse here, just a reason. There really is a lot of dead time.

Greeny wrote:- There should have been more indication of what items got what results. There's little incentive to buy stuff that costs a lot of money if you can only "hope you get lucky and something happens".

Another excellent point. Someone mentioned that the game should be beatable without a guidebook.

Greeny wrote:- I admit, it's actually a while ago that I played the game. But I can't even remember if there was any music or not. Needless to say, that means it wasn't a very memorable sountrack. If any. Was there? I honestly can't remember.

All free music downloaded from various places, again due to time constraints because of the contest deadline. Music means a lot to me, so I do feel your pain here. Given more time (or more money), I really would have loved a full on original soundtrack instead of free things.

Thank you for spending more time on this review. It means a lot that you'd take the time to write all of this.

User avatar
papillon
Arbiter of the Internets
Posts: 3919
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:37 am
Completed: lots; see website!
Projects: England Exchange
Organization: Hanako Games
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#258 Post by papillon » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:00 am

I grew up near the International District in Seattle, so I'm used to seeing a lot of Japanese culture and people mixed in with American things. I've been told that this is not really the case in general America, so I'm working on writing that sort of stuff out in future works. That's just an example of my culture and upbringing being out of the norm and rubbing off in my writing, and I am working to fix this to make a more realistic America.


Representing the culture of a specific area instead of Generic America is not a bad thing, so long as it's clear to people that that's what you're doing. Seting games more clearly in Seattle and throwing in strong local cues and references should help overcome the suspicion that you're just Being A Weeaboo. :) (Of course, if you want to write about somewhere other than Seattle...)

User avatar
jack_norton
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 3925
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:41 pm
Completed: Too many! See my homepage
Projects: A lot! See www.winterwolves.com
Tumblr: winterwolvesgames
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#259 Post by jack_norton » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:26 am

Greeny wrote:In the end, and I'm sorry to say this, the game feels like a well-presented and cleanly polished package with a lot of unneccessary bells and whistles containting a mediocre story and shallow characters.

The concept was so original. It could have done so much better.

Hmm must be because it sucked so much, that is one of the most popular western-made dating sim EVER on internet? :lol:
Jokes apart remember it was a freegame, and if you played other free games you'll see that this one could have been easily sold as commercial game, and I think I've said enough 8)
follow me on Image Image Image Image
computer games

User avatar
YuukiCrossPudding
Veteran
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:38 pm
Completed: Cerulean, The Photographer
Projects: Cognitive Dissonance, Twinkled Night
Tumblr: yuukipudding
Deviantart: allenwalkerlove
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#260 Post by YuukiCrossPudding » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:09 am

Well whatever people think about this game, I love this personally.
and this game that brings me into the VN world *_*
and how I know ren'py too :)
I thought If people can make VN games then why I can't? :3
Just want to say thank you! I'll never know VN if I didn't found this game on my school computer,
I'll never know how to color and draw on computer if I didn't found it then search for this forum site :D
I'll never meet good people on this forum that helped me a lot xD
Love it! <3

User avatar
SusanTheCat
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 952
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:30 am
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#261 Post by SusanTheCat » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:28 am

@Greeny: That was a very well written and thought out review. It brought up some points that I'll incorporate into my VN. (Since my VN is a dating/stats VN :) )

Susan
" It's not at all important to get it right the first time. It's vitally important to get it right the last time. "
— Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

User avatar
Xizurin
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:28 pm
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#262 Post by Xizurin » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:45 pm

The CGs are well colored. Very pretty. ^o^

User avatar
Snow Blossom
Veteran
Posts: 419
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:30 pm
Location: Right. Behind. You.
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#263 Post by Snow Blossom » Sat May 14, 2011 10:16 pm

I played it and I really like it, especially the art ^^
I loved the main character; it's not often that you get main characters with so much spunk ><
But for me, the stat-raising aspect wasn't very appealing... I wish the effort spent on that could have gone into creating more choices and CGs

User avatar
Snowflower
Bishie Fangirl
Posts: 814
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:24 pm
Completed: Idol Crush
Projects: Shugojin!, RockRobin (openmodewriter), your highness
Soundcloud: jenna-yeon
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#264 Post by Snowflower » Sat May 14, 2011 10:44 pm

The stat raising put this game in a different category than just any VN. I personally found the whole stat raising part refreshing since most of the games I've played revolved purely around choice.


And CG take a lot out of artists. Especially high quality ones like Re:A++, it takes hours to just create one, and her beautiful interface took a lot of effort, I wouldn't take them for granted.
Image
Completed: Idol Crush | WIP: your highness | Hiatus: Shugojin!| Follow Me on Twitter | Subscribe to YouTube
your highness @ 102k as of 2/13

User avatar
Snow Blossom
Veteran
Posts: 419
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:30 pm
Location: Right. Behind. You.
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#265 Post by Snow Blossom » Sun May 15, 2011 12:21 pm

@ Snowflower
I really do appreciate the effort put into making this VN and that despite its high quality, it's not commercial; it's just that I have a preference for more choices and branching of the storyline. :)

Mamihlapinatapai
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:36 am
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#266 Post by Mamihlapinatapai » Sun May 15, 2011 12:58 pm

Oh! I remember playing this game a while back. It is very well made and fun~ :-D
I really like the MMORPG parts, there needed to be more of those! As a former MMORPG addict fan it made me nostalgic.

I would really love to see a VN like 1/2 Prince (manhua). *drools* :Q____________________

User avatar
Snow Blossom
Veteran
Posts: 419
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:30 pm
Location: Right. Behind. You.
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#267 Post by Snow Blossom » Sun May 15, 2011 4:23 pm

Mamihlapinatapai wrote:
I would really love to see a VN like 1/2 Prince (manhua). *drools* :Q____________________


OMG THAT WOULD BE SO GREAT
Wicked, I'm coming after you!! :lol:

cappnpork
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:29 pm
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#268 Post by cappnpork » Mon May 16, 2011 2:08 pm

YuukiCrossPudding wrote:Well whatever people think about this game, I love this personally.
and this game that brings me into the VN world *_*
and how I know ren'py too :)
I thought If people can make VN games then why I can't? :3
Just want to say thank you! I'll never know VN if I didn't found this game on my school computer,
I'll never know how to color and draw on computer if I didn't found it then search for this forum site :D
I'll never meet good people on this forum that helped me a lot xD
Love it! <3

I agree this game sold me on Ren'py

User avatar
OtomeWeekend
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1086
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:29 am
Location: Somewhere seaside
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#269 Post by OtomeWeekend » Sat May 21, 2011 9:09 pm

I hope there would be a sequel XDD
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." ---Mahatma Gandhi

I no longer use this account. Please refer to my new account, enta if you want to contact me. Thank you.

User avatar
sake-bento
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:58 pm
Completed: http://sakevisual.com/games.html
Projects: Every Sunrise, Shinsei
Organization: sakevisual
Tumblr: sakevisual
Deviantart: sakevisual
itch: sakevisual
Contact:

Re: RE: Alistair++

#270 Post by sake-bento » Sat May 21, 2011 9:36 pm

It honors me that people enjoy this game, and I'm always grateful to tooaya and Thee Forsaken One for their fantastic work to bring you such a great game. That said, it's no surprise that some people don't like it. The fact that everyone has different taste is what makes the world interesting. I have to admit, though, it really feels nice to think that we made the "gateway drug" to Ren'py, and I get a big smile on my face every time someone says they like RE:A++.

There are no plans for a direct sequel, but we're in the planning stages of another otome game with the same team set in the same universe.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users