Be warned that there is a bug in the clock and bomb levels.
Clock Level: When you turn on the buzz saw and click off of the cutting path, the saw will shut off and cannot be turned back on.
Work-around: Restart and don't click off of the path.
Bomb Level: You cannot cut the orange wire that the bomb reports once you weld the wires together.
Work-around: I welded the orange components first, and then the rest. After I did that, I went ahead and cut the orange wire and it worked (after a restart from a "failed" first attempt).
Creator's gotta fix these bugs, but beyond that, cute, short game.
Not bad, man. I've been trying to figure out how exactly to get the Golden Ship, and I haven't figured it out just yet. I thought it may have had something to do with beating the game without using a continue. Perhaps it's doing it without dying? Or even killing absolutely every enemy? One interesting thing I did notice, which I'm not sure is or isn't a bug (outside of the obvious ones) is selecting the boss rush instead of the next level selection for every level. Even beating the whole game like that didn't yield the gold ship for me, however.
Anyway, somethings I want to point out:
Bullets versus Explosions:
Because there are so many particles flying all over the screen from killing enemies from large packs, you literally stop being able to see the bullets. It's like a kind of sensory overload, and that's likely what the other complaints are regarding. Something a little more low-key for explosions or something a bit louder for the bullets would be the best bet here. I know you said you never played Touhou, and you should. You'd learn a lot about Danmaku and get some ideas on what will and will not work visually.
Enemies on the Rear:
Some of your waves with these things are just annoying. There are circumstances, even on the aggressive route, where I just can't kill the buggers because they actually take more than three or four shots to kill. When they're coming from two directions, or are meshed with one or two frontal waves, It gets downright silly trying to kill everything - and then my bonus multiplier goes down the toilet because of it. Worse still, these are the situations that are the most frantic, as well, blinding me entirely from what's going on.
And that's about it. I'll just kick back and enjoy my 1, 106, 230 point score now ;)
You understand the curtain fire (bullet hell) mechanic really well, I'll give you that, but you're missing a lot that actually drives the platformer genre. This game is very well built, the atmosphere is nice, but the mechanics are way off. Enemy timings and behaviors are awful for both regular enemies and bosses. While it may seem like the enemies have a touch of randomness to them, this is not the case. The problem is that you telegraph what the enemies are going to do very poorly or not at all. This is pivotal to appropriate reaction time on the part of the player, otherwise they spend more time cautiously approaching enemies than actually playing the game - unless, of course, you've memorized every enemy's pattern in the game (This is what game developers do if they test they're own game and what testers do if you don't rotate your testing groups).
The platforming is overplayed. I honestly started to ask myself when I'd reach contiguous ground. I became more irate still when I found that the running trend was going to be a monster that took more than one hit on a platform large enough only for it and nothing else. Magic didn't terribly help this either, since it made sense to shoot the enemy with a fireball and have them walk off of the platform. The problem with that is that you run out of magic quickly and then in turn have no support skills.
My honest recommendation to you is to play the classics again, man. Mario, Sonic, and Mega Man. Since your gameplay style most closely resembles Mega Man Zero, I recommend playing Mega Man Zero 3 on the Gameboy Advance. Focus hard on what really makes these games work and work well.
I don't completely disagree.
I played the real version of this game
And thank God that it was at someone else's place, because the real game isn't much better than this. The forced restart after death is a real killer for this game. The frustrating gameplay mechanics and enemies make the game so irritating that it is not worth a repeated play through, no matter how many times you play it.
Also, don't get me wrong, I beat it. There are times where the game is a breeze, and others where it is so hard that you might as well just reset since you won't make it far anyway. The real thing that these guys are trying to do is sell the game through shock value. They do not innovate. They do not break ground. Cheap graphics and a satirical storyline is what they use to carry this otherwise lackluster title.
Seriously everyone, spare yourelves the 5 dollar investment and your time.
Not exactly hard, but some spots are sloppy...
Which makes the gameplay troublesome rather than difficult.
I enjoy the simple gameplay, I really do, but the levels themselves have poor structure. What I can tell, is that your enemy waves are completely randomized for their spawn points, which is not the way even retro shooters worked. Enemies should be generated on timelines. The enemies' patterns themselves are simple and memorable, which is fine. Regarding the upgrade loss, the mechanic itself is fine, but if your upgrade levels are too low, it becomes near impossible to play the game beyond Chapter 3, and this is what past reviews are likely gunning at in whining about the death downgrades.
While this is by no means a bullet hell game, it would do you well to play Touhou and learn why the game plays as well as it does. I will point out though that red bullets on a red background is huge no-no for visual cues. It makes it bad for shooter players to track all of the bullets on the screen, and heavily impacts reaction time. Second, enemy bullets should be visible over the player's. I should not be dying by something that I literally cannot see.
My last quip comes from the final level. You have traps laid throughout the terrain that leave it to dumb luck to avoid and work through. Now, this too is alright if there was some way for a seasoned player to escape the traps before it was too late. Additionally, continuing and having to replay an entire stage makes a lot of sense to me with the exception of your final level where you need to battle the final boss multiple times. You really should allow players to continue where they left off as opposed to forcing a replay of the whole level - especially when one hit from anything will end your game if you start the chapter with 1 life.
After getting to part two of the level repeatedly, but dying due to walls or walls, rocks, and enemy barrages, and then being forced to replay the whole level killed the entertainment for me. Now, I doubt you're going to alter any of these things in your game, but I do hope this sheds some light on the minor negativity you're getting in your reviews and why your game is a very good but not great.
I look forward to your next endeavor.
It does suck that you were so close but you couldn't beat it. Thanks for the in-depth review, it has some valid points.
Your collisions on the player craft are mucked up
A few things, being a Touhou buff has taught me that these kinds of games need. Bullet Hell or not. Your collision box is off-set. The lasers seem to so much as nick the ship's feet, and you're toast. They touch your propellers, and you're fine. I'm not asking for a 1 pixel collision box, but reshaping it to better fit the head of the ship itself would be the way to go.
Next, we've got your lasers. They drift instead of coming to an absolute stop. It makes it hell to hug them to keep the turret fire on the boss because you can't tell when they've reached they're absolute max and min positions.
Lastly, the giant laser's telegraphing for the shot. It's hard to tell because it's fairly transparent. Make it more pronounced.
That's about it. Cute game.
Alright, this games pretty darn fun. All things considered, I'm not feeling the 'hard' factor to this game like a lot of folks apparently are. I mean, don't get me wrong, I did at first, but eventually it just kinda tapered off. I didn't power all of my weapons up to max or anything, I just kinda got into the swing of a strategy using the dual EMP blades, Hinata and Jukata. Seems that so long as I'm staying in constant motion with those, and doing a lot of aerial combat on some enemies, and the whirly-dash-blades of doom, I'm pretty much golden. Most bosses will block your whirly blades, which usually alerts you to do a dodge roll backwards for the first boss, to keep doing the whirly blades until the spikes fall for the second boss, or just up and jumping in the case of the final boss. My only quip is that whenever I do amazingly good at a stage and get a score 300000 points or higher, the stage will lock up on me in one weird way or another. I kicked the difficulty up on the first stage, cleaned house, and even that locked up. Also, I got myself a few A+'s in a handful of the stages and those medals will not unlock. These bugs are pretty severe, in all honesty, and no game should ever be released with bugs that severe in the code.
I honestly think this game's pretty damned solid, you just have some severe bugs in this one, worse than the previous episode. Do you need someone to play test this bad boy more thoroughly before release? I for one, would be more than happy to do so and offer some serious help to hammer out the kinks in your code. That is, of course, if you're interested *shrugs*
That said, some highlights of my adventures for you:
Early on, I found the game rather challenging until I got back into the swing of the controls. The first glitch I stumbled across was limited functionality of my weapons. I couldn't use certain skills past the demo stage. That is, until I did the first weapon swap. Even after that, I could not use Anima's boomerang-sword throw ability. A minor set back, since that skill looked particularly broken to me.
As I pressed on, I eventually got forced outside of the stage and found myself trapped in no man's land. Nothing I did could push me back into the screen. I believe this occurred on my first attempt at the second difficulty setting.
Once I beat the boss for the first time, I had pretty much fully developed my Hinata and Jukata technique and style. The only problem was, is that every fight after, killing off the last boss seemingly trapped him in an infinite teleport loop, which locked up the stage on me. Something similar happened on the second boss of the game as well, but the boss was laying on the ground dead.
And then of course, I repeated the first stage on a higher difficulty setting and once I cleared all of the enemies, the game did not progress. Even if I go back and play the game's levels on mortal difficulty, the game now incessantly freezes. I can't confidently beat a stage any longer, and so I can't forge my way up to the Immortal difficulty, which upsets me.
Good game, solid effort, just one hell of a crippling bug. It doesn't even bother me that the medals don't reliably unlock. Like how I got an untouchable medal when I had been thoroughly walloped in mission 3. Strange happenings indeed.
Oh, very funny
I dig it. This game is pretty freaking sweet, and once you get the boss patterns down, it's flat out easy. For everyone crying about how hard it is, whenever you see the boss' head fly off the screen to the opposite side of the map, he's going to use his eye laser on the top of the screen. After he does this, he will always go to the bottom of the screen and pop off another one. To avoid it, jump to the top-most platform. For his beard attacks, try to stay away from him and don't combo yourself into one.
Now for the juicy bits. The tombstones. There are four in the map and they can raise your experience and be comboed. What does this mean? Cluster them together and WAIL on them. The maximum level knight is friggin' amazing.
No beard can stand against your might at maximum level. :D
Much anticipated and well worth it
Welp, it seems like you managed to get it out. Good work, all in all. Given the immense scale of this flash game, the bugs are to going to be expected. Let me stick the ones I've found so far here. Some of these include boss fights as well as the run of the mill hack n' slashing.
Attack Collisions: When performing Encon's full-fledged sword combo, the spiral sword attack has a tendency to not hit enemies at all unless they get hit by it in juuuust the right spot.
Attack Triggers: If I'm going the defensive/evasive route, with a rising sword slash, accompanied by me hanging in the air for a bit, double jumping, and then letting myself drop back to the ground before performing the downward sword strike, the controls will occasionally choke and the attack won't trigger, but will eventually pop me back up into the air a bit and have me do it the next time I hit the attack button.
Boss SNAFU: There are occasions where the boss will hit me with an attack, bounce me off of a special attack, and spike me into their uber attack. This is most notable when you fight the first boss, ironically enough, mostly due to his damage values being so high (not that that's a problem at all, it kind of makes things interesting). Long story short, I'm dead before I can begin, so to speak.
1st boss laser beam repulsion: Yanno, I found that if you performing an upward slice just as he fires his big laser beam, you sort of repulse the beam, and take no damage at all. Kind of wonky to me, unless of course that was intentional, in which case, disregard this one :P
Faulty frame: Alright, I have two big cases for the window frame. There was one situation on my way through stage 2 where I wall kicked, and got completely stuck outside of the view window. I proceeded to hang in the air, unable to move or force Encon back into the screen. I had to shut off the game and restart it in order to continue. The other big issue is the framing around Encon in general. Most games tend to have the view center, or just have it lock slightly off center of the main character. I kept running into the stomach acid in the giant's intestines as a result of this. Granted, this is more of a quip than a bug. I also know that this particular window behavior isn't exactly easy to code, so I feel your pain in a majority of this.
And that's about all that comes to mind to me now. I dig the Devil May Cry action, and I think it greatly does the Capcom series justice. Despite the bugs, you've done a terrific job here given all of the issues you've had to deal with. Furthermore, I find it somewhat disappointing to see people bashing you for an excellent job, no matter what the content involved may be, when it's quite obvious that there is extensive action scripting in this flash, and that ironing out all of the bugs in any coding language is extraordinarily difficult. In my personal opinion, hit us with Issue #2. I'd personally like to see you carry this flash game all the way through. Bravo.
Looks like you're at it again...
and this time around, you've got a damned sexy game on your hands. I really liked the upgrades you made to the game and took my and many others advice in making this game better. I give you a big thumbs up on the overhaul in all of the stuff I mentioned. Also, switching to mouse control was a pretty good idea for this style of game. more fluidity made dodging those really high or low reaching obstacles more natural, and you didn't have to memorize the level layout to successfully beat the game, quick reflexes and keen eyes all the way. I liked it so much that I went through and beat the entire game this time around.
Something else I liked, was in the bowser castles. The hammer brothers; I absolutely loved the enemies that could try and kill you while you blasted through 'em, it's a nice touch and adds a level of difficulty to the castles that makes 'em unique. The bosses were a pretty nice touch to boot. It gives players a place to vent their frustrations at ;).
If you're thinking of making a sequel to this game, then here's some additional room for possible improvements:
A1: Lives. After getting nuked anywhere from 3-5 times, that should probably end your game, and bring you back to the title, clearing off your score board and the likes (since you have to use a password to go back to the stage you were on).
A2: Score-related extra lives. Every 10k points, you get an extra bill.
B: No Mario-themed game is complete without power ups. For example, similar to the giant bullet, you could have something like super mushrooms to boost your size, and allow you to burrow through obstacles that you couldn't burrow through before.
C(optional): Given the fact that this game was heavily based on the Mario series, I think the level variety is fine. However, if you want to move away from the tried and true classic Mario formula, 3 or 4 new level types would be good.
D: HARD MODE! :D
Like I said, very nice game, and I look forward to more games by you. I tip my hat to you.
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