Oh hey, it’s a sequel to one of my favourite Hosted Games ever! What an excellent surprise, especially since I’m off work today and have enough time to actually play and comment.
So, feedback. It’s a fun adventure so far, though I’m braced for a huge perspective-shifting plot twist at some point ahead. Not that a bunch of misfits bringing down the Evil Oppressive Church Guys isn’t a satisfying narrative in its own right, but your works do tend to be more complex! It does feel like this has a lighter tone than A Kiss from Death, even accounting for things like the almost-execution.
The switches in perspective between the demon and MC were well handled, I occasionally had to pause and re-read a line, but not often. And speaking of the demon, it’s nice to see a familiar face from the previous game. When they started changing forms at the waterfall, I went ‘hmm…’, and then the name dropped! They weren’t one of my favourite ROs, but they are the one whose reappearance makes most sense, and I find myself liking them better in the consistent role they have here.
As for the rest of the cast, the female characters are winning me over more than the male ones currently. Dandy is fun, I’d probably be into Sylar if she wasn’t happily married, but Tiana is the one I’m expecting to ultimately romance, because a hot lady pirate captain is a hard concept to beat.
I also like Skye. I feel as if Skye is the sort of character that’s meant to be endearing so I can get sad when they die later on (or…stop existing, or whatever). Please don’t prove me right on that.
On the name selection screen, it was a nostalgic touch that the name possibilities for the old MC were listed.
Congratulations kid, you’re named after the single biggest source of problems this world has ever known, hope you can do better.
A couple of bugs I noticed, in the stats screens. When looking back on past choices, the gates of Peridot outcome was listed as ‘You made it out with your father, having bested Sylar’. This was incorrect, I had no skills with a higher than 35% chance of success against her, so the father was captured.
Later, when choosing who to battle each paladin at the family home, I tried to seek Nyeru’s advice, and they talked about the elderly priest of Bo (who I’d already fought and killed, to rescue the aforementioned father).
As for the combat system, I can’t say I’m a fan, especially paired with randomised outcomes. I chose the Luck Bender ability, letting me see the likelihood of what enemies will do, but I still didn’t understand how to use that information to my advantage. I’m guessing it’s a rock-paper-scissors type deal, between striking, blocking or taunting? But honestly, in the end I just got frustrated and picked strike every time, and whatever happened would happen. Some clarification there would help a lot.
The revival mechanic, and getting bonuses when you die, is a good addition and takes the pressure off - but dying can also inflict storyline penalties, like being unable to rescue your father if you’re killed in the attempt, which adds the pressure back on again. While it’s still a WIP, this is a much smaller problem since the player can reload previous saves, but obviously that option won’t exist on publication, because Choice of Games hates save systems for ??? reasons.
I know the standard approach to combat is just a list of options like ‘I’ll overpower them with my strength’ vs ‘I’ll blast them with my magic’ and then you check to see if your strength or magic stat is higher, and it’s nice to see a fresh approach apart from that. I’m not keen on the possibility that a playthrough could be spoiled by sheer bad luck though, rather than set choices within the player’s own control. Maybe I’ll feel better about this as the story progresses, and the MC presumably gets more skilled and able to handle themselves.
One thing I’d like to see next? Possibly some of that skill improvement, like learning to cast more impressive magic, or getting swordfighting lessons from Ms Hot Pirate?