Another ToL1 review (few spoilers)

This is where all the old Lemma Soft-specific posts are (i.e. Tales of Lemma 1, Shoujo Attack!, and some Hanafuda Club). They are here for old times sake ^^
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Taleweaver
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Another ToL1 review (few spoilers)

#1 Post by Taleweaver » Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:53 pm

Almost two months after I first heard about "Tales of Lemma 1", I finally found the time to give the game a try. I wasn't expecting much when I heard "about 20 minutes of game time" and read that the policy of Blue Lemma was "to get the game finished, even if playing time is only five minutes". I'm a semi-professional writer, and I've never been good with short stories; I do narrations because I think a good tale needs time to be told.

To my great relief, I found that my preoccupations about "ToL1" were wrong.

"Tales of Lemma" may not be very long and doesn't tell an awfully complicated story, but it DOES take the time to dive into Miko's character to a surprisingly high degree. And since the game is about getting together with her, that's always a good thing. I found her personality rather well-rounded (not unlike her butt... but that's another story) and really likable, lively but without having too many strange quirks.

Technically, the game could be better, but then again, 99% of all visual novels and dating sims could be better. I never expected full voice acting from a free fan-made game, and the graphics were appropriate if maybe a little repetetive... for my taste, Miko sticked out her tongue at me a little too often. The only true technical problem I saw was the "battle sequence" - the mushrooms don't look terrifying but terrible, and the battle is way too easy to win. It was also a weird aspect of the story, but then again, the story is all about Miko, and her part was really satisfying, so not much to grumble about here.

Slight critique, though: I found the transition from a "good ending" (get out of wilderness safely) to "best ending" (get Miko) a little random. For example, I think it matters whether you are into writing or sports - Miko is a very active girl herself, and of course she'd like the athletic type better. But then again, does her love to you depend on what she hears from you the moment she meets you? Shouldn't your experiences on the trip together blot out such a "minor flaw"? As far as I've found out in my test games, answering something else besides "sports" prevents you from getting the "best ending". I totally understand that Miko wouldn't want someone as her friend who pulls down her pants, or always makes sexist remarks, or calls her fat... well, as I said, I found the transition a little random.

Nice little game which gave me one hour of fun and something to rant about. I'll give it a thumbs up and three stars out of possible five.

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#2 Post by Zintar » Tue Nov 11, 2003 5:57 pm

Everyone, hates a critic!!! :evil:

One can only get better after a first effort. 8)
Feb 26, 2004 - Trinity Riot *hands Zintar the 101 Posts Award*
Feb 25, 2004 - Blue Lemma *awards the 2nd-2nd-Place Shoujo Attack Prize to Zintar*
Nov 06, 2003 - Blue Lemma *hands Zintar the Pointless Post Award*

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#3 Post by Taleweaver » Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:42 pm

Er... I'm pretty sure Blue Lemma is more interested in in-depth criticism than in twenty identical "GREAT game I s00000000000 loved it" postings. As a writer, I know that feedback is the most important thing about ALL creative work, so feedback is what I'm giving. Not compliments. And I'm sure Blue Lemma can speak for himself.

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#4 Post by Blue Lemma » Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:49 pm

I like all the comments I get. :) Praise and criticism are both useful in game-making, as long as the comments are honest and sincere.
Miko is a very active girl herself, and of course she'd like the athletic type better. But then again, does her love to you depend on what she hears from you the moment she meets you? Shouldn't your experiences on the trip together blot out such a "minor flaw"? As far as I've found out in my test games, answering something else besides "sports" prevents you from getting the "best ending".
You don't need to say you enjoy sports to get the best ending. It does help, though. I don't remember exactly, but if you say you like checking out girls instead, you might not be able to get the best ending.
I totally understand that Miko wouldn't want someone as her friend who pulls down her pants...
I know! Really! What's up with her?! :P

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#5 Post by Taleweaver » Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:18 am

Blue Lemma wrote:
I totally understand that Miko wouldn't want someone as her friend who pulls down her pants...
I know! Really! What's up with her?! :P
I think I should have written "I totally understand that Miko wouldn't want someone as her friend who pulls down her pants without her consent", but then again, BL couldn't have added a witty remark, could he? :wink:

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#6 Post by Blue Lemma » Wed Nov 12, 2003 4:51 pm

Oops! I forgot this little detail when I was responding to your post about Miko liking you or not from what you say to her when you first meet up:
I'm assuming that the player is telling the truth. If he says he likes sports and working out, I'm assuming he's in good shape. If he says he likes art, I'm assuming he's the artsy/creative type. If he says he likes checking out girls, I'm assuming he's the "perverted" type (because if he's saying that's his hobby...) The personality you define for yourself as the game goes along will affect what choices you have and what you think. (Ex: if player is sweet and not sexually focused, he feels guilty for thinking about Miko's butt, but if he's naughtier, he'll consider giving her jeans nice tug :lol: )

So there's the logic behind all that. I hope that made sense! ^_^

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#7 Post by Miko Aihara » Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:08 pm

Yeah, I prefer athletic guys, but non-athletes can be cool too. 8) It all depends on the person, you know?

And why does everyone like to pull my pants down so much...? :cry: It's embarrassing! :oops: You better not start that, too, Zintar! :(
If you've been sitting there for more than a couple hours, it's time to take a break and play some basketball or volleyball! :-D

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#8 Post by Taleweaver » Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:15 pm

Sure you're making sense, and I noticed that the "naughty option" about pulling down Miko's pants only appears when you (player) have at least once chosen one of the naughty answers. I just couldn't see any difference in gameplay between the "artsy" and the "sporty" answer (why do these two sound like Spice Girls? Artsy Spice, anyone?), except that in one case, Miko likes you better and that can make the difference between good and best ending.

Argh... way too much fuss about one small detail of the game. I'm not saying the game is illogical, I'm just calling the line between best ending and good ending too thin. If the player chose the artsy answer, he should have the chance to impress Miko with these talents. That's my opinion.

By the way, I hate games which have you make choices without even HINTING at what these choices might affect (ToL1 is NOT like that - you KNOW that Miko is an energetic girl)... and then punish you for making the wrong choice. Best (or rather, worst) example appeared in Tokimeki Check-In (oops, hentai!) where you have the choice of "Sweep the floor" or "Mop the floor"... and both choices decide which of two girls you can get. Choose "sweep" and you can forget about one girl, choose "mop" and you can forget about another girl. No matter what you've done before... your way of cleaning the floor decides your fate. (And to make matters worse, if you've only chased after the wrong girl before, NEITHER of both is eligible for a Best Ending now.)

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#9 Post by Miko Aihara » Thu Nov 13, 2003 12:54 am

Aw, don't worry! You can sweep or mop however you want when you're with me :wink: :lol:
If you've been sitting there for more than a couple hours, it's time to take a break and play some basketball or volleyball! :-D

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#10 Post by chronoluminaire » Thu Nov 13, 2003 10:05 am

Heh, yes. Tokimeki Check-In (and Snow Drop) both got a lot of knocking for the complete disconnection (mostly) between actions and consequences. It just turns the game into a memory or note-taking exercise. Which isn't to say it's not fun, and there are subtleties in both cases, but I generally prefer my actions to be actually connected to my consequences, thank you :)

(Critical Point was another offender. If you sleep with one girl, another dies in a shuttle crash, for absolutely no explained reason. :( :x )

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#11 Post by Zintar » Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:42 pm

That's the Miko, we all learnt to love. :wink:
Feb 26, 2004 - Trinity Riot *hands Zintar the 101 Posts Award*
Feb 25, 2004 - Blue Lemma *awards the 2nd-2nd-Place Shoujo Attack Prize to Zintar*
Nov 06, 2003 - Blue Lemma *hands Zintar the Pointless Post Award*

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#12 Post by Blackstream » Tue Feb 17, 2004 2:12 am

I hope you guys don't mind me ressurecting this post as it was only a few posts down. I just wanted to point out that the first time I played through the game, I choose the artsy type (because that's what I am), and I ended up with the good ending anyways. So it's definately possible:)
Woot

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#13 Post by Too_nice » Sun Apr 04, 2004 7:56 pm

I really like the game... I played a few dating sims, (h or non h) and I did see some visual novels as well... When I played this game for the first time I got the best ending, after reading the posts... the only thing I could say that the most to all dating sims, it really depends on the decisions that you make. But then again, don't take the game TOO seriously...

I think that Miko is really cute... I wish I could have a girl like that in real life, but that is wishful thinking.

Anyway, I hope that TOL2 will come out soon...

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#14 Post by mikey » Sat Jan 08, 2005 11:41 am

By total chance I found ToL on a Czech free games page (they also have shoujo attack). The review there is interesting to read, because it comes from someone with obviously no connection to anime/manga. The reviewer most of the time points out there is no gameplay, and (it's cute in a way) lists the basic VN attributes but doesn't know the word for it. All rounded up, a nice thing for the afternoon. So if someone like this gives it a 55%, it's a very good mark.
http://www.hrej.cz/talesoflemma
Oh, check out the gallery. 8 photos, someone really played the game thoroughly.

Yes, not to mention Shoujo Attack, which is "one of the best freeware logical games of recent time" on that very same page, 80%, respect!
http://www.hrej.cz/shoujoattack

Congrats!

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#15 Post by Blue Lemma » Sun Jan 09, 2005 1:00 am

:D :D :D :D :D
Cool!

I have to finish Metro Blues soon :shock:

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