Difficulty isn't where it should be
Each and every time I got hit it was because I had reached the end of the level and I had to turn around. You can't see what's behind your character at all, and when you turn around there's no way to tell what's coming. I suppose you can stand in the middle and just turn left and right really fast to try and see both directions, but that's just poor design. The animation and detail in the levels were nice, though.
I died to the cop and only the cop, only because his movements become more and more erratic. He starts moving up, so you move to the side so you can shoot him, and WHOOP HE CHANGED DIRECTION HALFWAY SO NOW YOU'RE DEAD. Dying to randomness isn't fun.
Hard, but for the wrong reasons.
This is a beautiful-looking game. However, the enemy bullets were impossible to see. Sure, you could keep track of them if you were looking directly at them, but when you have to focus on dodging the enemy ships, keeping track of exactly where your ship is, trying to plot pathways between bullets from different locations at different angles to try to get a powerup that's hidden amongst them, you run into bullets that you simply don't notice. They blend in with the background of stars, and when they're in front of a bright part of the background picture, they become nearly impossible to see.
This issue is easy to fix, though. The game seemed to have a lot of blues, whites, and reds. Making the bullets a bright purple or outstanding orange would have made them a lot easier to see, especially compared to the subtle offwhite they are now.
Secondly, why do you have to press a button to shoot when there's no reason to ever NOT shoot? You ought to either make the game have autofire or have mechanics that would require you to stop shooting. As it stands, I have to press a button the entire time I'm playing, which gets old quickly.
Relatively early on, on two occasions, I'd kill a slime while fighting a wolf, only to see the wolf's health bar disappear as the slime's health bar suddenly filled to the point where the wolf's health was, floating over a slime's invisible corpse. Attacking the wolf drained the slime's health bar, and as the slime's health bar hit 0, the wolf died. A minor issue, but it's a lack of polish.
The graphics and sound are decent. Seeing my equipment alter my character's appearance was a VERY nice touch, as it wasn't something I expected.
Where the game completely fails is its design. The whole game is a grindfest with mechanics that don't support grinding. Leveling up takes a good amount of time, and each level you gain replenishes your health and mana. However, potions are the only other way to recover health and mana, and while potions do drop occasionally from monsters, it's exceedingly rare. You'll end up buying potions from shops, but there's no way to tell how many of each potion type you have left without opening the inventory screen and counting. You aren't told how much potions heal, you aren't even told what some potions do, and you're only able to access the lowest-quality potions. To get decent potions, you have to buy multiple little potions (which rapidly eats your wallet) and go to a different woman to combine them.
Gold RARELY drops from enemies, and unless you strictly monitor what you buy, you will quickly run out of money. You're usually given money for completing quests, but after the starting quests, quests take a LOT of time to complete.
Even equipment itself is poorly designed. The shop for armor and weapons randomly has stronger gear. If you see a Long Sword +2 that you're fond of but can't afford, too bad, because it won't be there the next time you visit. Also, at the start of the game, you're told that there are three weapon types (sword, axe, and blade), but you aren't told what the differences are. Does one type hit faster? Does one type have a longer range? The game's certainly not going to tell you. All you can tell from the inventory screen is that the axe does the most damage by a fair degree.
Then there's the combat itself. You press the attack button until things die. For all creatures other than the initial slimes, this takes a REALLY long time. Sometimes getting hit is simply unavoidable due to enemies getting in attacks between your swings. There's no way to dodge or cancel once you've initiated a swing, and unless you feel like letting you enemy just sit and chill for a bit, there's no reason to stop swinging or preparing the next swing. There are special abilities, but since replenishing mana costs potions (and therefore money) to do so, the abilities aren't really worth it. I tried using a fully-upgraded ability and found that while I could only cast it once before needing a potion, it wouldn't even kill the most basic wolf, several levels below me.
There's really not much to be said in favor of this game. There's excessive grinding, very few ways to regain healthy and mana, badly-designed shops, an amazingly tough economy, and awkwardly slow combat. The game is a little addictive, but beyond that, I can't think of anything else positive about this game.
This is a good, simple game. I enjoyed working the timing, patterns, and obstacles to finally get through all of the levels. The last level is incredibly difficult, but the delicious ending made it all worth it!
A funny idea, but
The idea of REALLY only having one life is a funny concept, but the COMPLETE inability to play again is a wretched, wretched design choice. Disgusting, really. You incorporated multiple death scenes, and only allowed us to view one, unless we have multiple computers. What's wrong with you, seriously?
If I didn't know better, I'd say this game was made by the same guy who made Frantic! It's great that people are finally discovering that there's no reason to have a "shoot" button if there's no reason to ever stop shooting. I like the way you made the direction you're facing trail behind you instead of leading in front of you. Having the mouse button hold the way you're facing was great too; I really like this setup. The upgrades were cheap, so the money grinding was minimal.
The background was minimal, so there was no confusion as to what was happening onscreen. The enemies were many and varied, and were very colorful and animated. The music and sound effects were perfect, although the final boss music was a bit too much, but still great. Really, the only thing that could be considered a fault would be the final boss. I like the fact that there's a final boss, and its art design fits the style of the rest of the enemies, but I feel it could have been a lot more animated. It was blocky and too minimalistic. On top of that, it was too easy; I beat it on my first try. Maybe you could have the boss split up at times, and then fuse back together when the parts have taken enough damage? Or maybe have smaller ships accompanying the final boss? All of the shots were coming from one direction, and they were pretty easy to dodge.
It's incredible that there's so much happening onscreen yet there's no slowdown or lag at all. The bomb/Berserk Time was VERY well done, becoming necessary without being overpowered. The way the money dropped from enemies worked flawlessly, and the fact that you can restart a level when you die instead of having to go all the way back to the beginning of the game was VERY helpful.
Fantastic game, excellent design, it's great to see a shooter FINALLY surpass Frantic. Frantic was the only good shooter on this portal for the LONGEST time.
Starting all the way over?!
I loathe unforgiving save systems. However, this game was pretty okay. Glitches were few, but they WERE noticeable. On the green boss, specifically, holding "A" would sometimes make the bomb instantly appear in your grasp as it was launched at you. Other times, it would make the bomb appear instantly above you, but it wouldn't be in your grasp, and it would just float there. There were even times when the bomb would teleport above your head as it made contact with you, and then it would do the pickup animation and sound before you could move, although it would be in your grasp afterward. The freakiest glitch happened when the bomb would appear in my grasp as it hit me, but when I went to throw it, it would launch itself away at SUPER SPEED far beyond the boss. When it did this, it also hurt me. The multiple glitches on that boss made me die multiple times, leading up to a game over.
Animations and enemies looked good. However, it's blatantly obvious the you spent the most time working on Giuseppe, as his animation and quality were FAR above the others. Running animations on Bruno were blocky and entirely without shading, while Maria's running animation was just widening her dress, bobbing her head, and wiggling her arms.
I had fun with this, but warping ALL the way to the start of the game on a game over made me stop playing; it's a particular thing I dislike. I think it would be better if it warped you back to the beginning of the level instead of the game, honestly.
Excellent work on redoing this game, and shame on anyone who hasn't played the original Mario 2. Seriously, how young ARE you to have never played the original game, and never even looked back at it just to see the classics? It's incredibly immature.
On both of the past two paragraphs, I've been trying to wrap it up, but I seem to like going on tangents. IN CLOSING, excellent work on this game, good remix on the theme, and good luck on any future projects.
A short, happy story.
I recently finished reading a story, and finishing it made me sad, because that meant there wasn't any more. I was frustrated, and I was planning on trying to find a game where you destroy a bunch of stuff to take out my frustration. Instead, your game, with it's simple, happy, and exciting story, let my frustration float away. Thank you for helping me!
This isn't a game, it's a work of art!
The beauty of the noise as the music, the subtle images in the background, and the revealing of the overall plot at the end was incredibly superb. It's abstract, yet solid, and is a true work of art. The lack of a HUD, and the subtlety of it all really sets it apart from everything else. The credits were tastefully done, and the lack of a need for an "Instructions" page was very good design. There was no HUD, no big punishment or worry about dying, and no story or lengthy text being shoved down your throat. There is a mystery about what's truly happening to the main character as you play, but it can be ignored if you really don't want to care. This game didn't call itself a "must play", and the modesty really makes me like this game more. Everything about this game was done perfectly. The puzzles were great, the design and visuals were immaculate, and the sound was spot-on. This is definitely one of the best games I've ever played on NG. Excellent work, to all of the people involved.
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