"VERSUS: The Deathscapes"—The epic conclusion to the VERSUS trilogy!

Don’t recommend, social media is cancer.

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Just try to get him to the forum, might be healthier.

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Is not a COG author who doesn’t show up in the forum a little weird?

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It’s his decision.
On the other hand more and more people say it would be beneficial for him to come here.
so /shrug

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@Rinnegato Not really. CoG authors (as opposed to HG authors) being on the forum, and especially getting forum feedback before beta testing, is a relatively recent thing. There’s a thread about it from a couple years ago

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Skipping this one. Thanks for the honest review

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Is it possible to collect a save file from two games and stuff into one

From what i read on this forum, no.

But its possible to have a game create a password (not via the password function but through plain coding) that can carry over important info.

My thoughts on the series:

I don’t echo the thoughts of a lot of y’all entirely, but I see myself gravitating towards them.

These books are honestly good: the political shenaginings, the MemoryTravels, the absolutely overwhelming circumstances we find ourselves in, etc, etc. Some swathes of these books I lost myself in so much that I can without a doubt say that they’re up there with my favorite fictional experiences. The author does such a great job at making you spectate all that unfolds, things that rightfully make you feel a puny humanoid. Most of the time you have no choice but to be swept up in the whirlwind of realities you had no idea of.

This is also where he loses me. His ideas are so vast and limitless that there’s not a lot to ground them in contrast. He lays it as it is, and doesn’t give time to breathe properly. You get flung from idea to idea, character to character, event to event. It is, from my perspective, a way of storytelling and not necessarily “bad”. I’m sure there are people out there who couldn’t ask for something greater, but I’m not one of them.

His character work loses touch for the sake of immense, groundbreaking changes in the story. The MC feels… how do I say this… too flabbergasted at everything to have much of personality? I know that some parts are meant to define who you are, but I don’t often see this reflected in dialogue, conversations. Rather it is all just in their head, never to be spoken of.

The romance is, uh, not really its strong-point nor its downfall. It’s fine where it is for me. I liked Oli’s route, but it left much to be desired.

The final installation seemed rushed, things were going by so fast that I did not feel like stopping. I’d rather just force myself through it and take in the overall impressions instead, which wasn’t the greatest of feelings. I think at the end of the day, Versus and the books for me meant to take in information (npc stories, events) and give YOUR take on them, to grow from them. I think in that regard, the author was successful and I do not regret starting this series. And from what I know, there might be a continuation so I’m looking forward to that as well.

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I haven’t read the book but based on the reviews here, Zachary is making the same mistakes as HR: Open Season. Too many characters and romance interests, hell I don’t ever remember most of them and who I was supposed to be aiming for. They were so many characters and not enough depth for me to care. (The MC’s random shape shifting powers was a huge turn off)

I think what made the first Hero Projects great was there was only a few romances to focus on. Black Magic was most popular RO because we have so many interactions with him (although at this age, I think the relationship was fake and toxic, I grew up I guess).

In Versus, I think Breeze, Empress, the robot girl and Oli should have remained as the main ROs. Zachary shouldn’t have made new characters, instead, he should have mixed characters together (character soup) so we can get more character development and screen time. As a straight fan, diversity is good and all but he doesn’t need to shove so many characters in my face to show diversity. Heck, just give me one character that embodies many of those diverse qualities.

I romanced Oli (as a male MC) and hearing about what happens to him here doesn’t even make me want to pick up the book. I’ve sent messages to Zachary before and he always responded, getting my hopes up before. Welp, he should have straight up slapped me and told me to not get invested lol. I would have handled that better, now I’m just crying over Oli :sob:

Oli dies and gets replaced??? What a world!

At this point, I don’t think Zachary cares about of his characters, making too many of them and making too many promises. He’s focusing his writing on political/background infos and not on the MC’s own actions and decisions. He’s just juicing his fandom at this point, and I don’t know if it’s a new series he’s promoting or a cross-over cuz I’m done.

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Okay, so, I finally finished this one and got the Alternate Ending. In the Author’s Note to that, Sergei says something about going back to get a canon ending to then be able to ‘save’? Does this mean there are going to be sequels to Versus?

An yes or no there would strongly determine whether or not I actually want to go back and try for another ending.

6 month later and i’m still salty about this.

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I will say that I have not read this entry because of my past bad experience with the writing in Open Season and to an extent the previous Versus books, but everything I’m hearing sounds like the opposite of what would make a good game and just more of the bad direction from Open Season. The biggest detriment to this entry from all the one I read, I think would be the message about the canon ending.

In my opinion, this is the worst sin you could commit with IF since your basically telling the player that no matter if they got the great ending that they wanted, it’s the “wrong” one. To me that makes it pointless to play then and might as well have been a novel. I get a story needing to be narrowed/guided to a point to an extent, but straight up saying “Ok cool so that didn’t actually happen, so now go do it how I wanted it to be done” is kind of over the line.

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He hasn’t been able to deliver a complete, cohesive experience in over three books that were promised to be the very ending of the story. It would be folly to expect him to do so on another.

But as far as everything indicates, no, it seems he is done with the franchise, at least in the format he’s been spitting them out so far.

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I’m late to the party, but I just finished this for the first time and… I’m honestly incredibly let down. I’m a long-time fan of the author - Heroes Rise has always held a special place in my heart as the first CoG series I got emotionally invested in, and I really enjoyed the first two Versus books, enough to keep up with their development via his other platforms. I’ve defended his writing for years. I also have pretty chill standards for games - I enjoy a lot of things other people dislike because as long as I have fun playing it I don’t really care about technical flaws - but…

Firstly, I agree with the person earlier in this thread who said the Heroes Rise tie-in was essentially false advertising. We were promised a continuation, closure, and answers - instead, we got an unnamed brief cameo in a single optional paragraph right at the end that answered nothing and had them not contributing at all to the main story.

The sheer laziness and rushed feeling of some parts of the book were impossible to ignore. On multiple occasions, entire event-filled days during the lead-up to the climax were skipped over in veins such as “a lot of dangerous and important trials were faced yesterday but honestly it’s just too overwhelming to think about in-depth so let’s move on to the next day” - what? The hyped-up Deathscapes journey is integral to the atmosphere and story. If you’re not going to bother to tell us what we did during it, don’t insert an itemised list of Awesome Things that supposedly occurred but that we’re missing out on. Just say nothing important took place until now. And the sheer arrogance of little asides such as “well, if you really want to know what you all did, maybe you should write the story for yourself” - we’re paying for the story here!

The romances were so empty and thrown-away, and it’s bizarre that Heroes Rise, a years old trilogy, had more in-depth and well-written relationships than this did. I tend to do one playthrough of a game for each romance option because I love experiencing them all and focusing on every character one by one, but after finishing this one, for the first time I honestly feel so unmotivated to do that here. My first playthrough was with Lady Venuma and Breeze, and the ending had my character Reborn to Prisca, Lady Venuma promising to find me and stick with Breeze but then being Reborn to her own area and remaining there without contact, and Breeze remaining stuck on Versus alone for the foreseeable future. I honestly tried to ignore that and told myself after the “we’ll meet again someday” conversation that it was still fulfilling, but it wasn’t.

Even the friendships were hollow - at the end of the game, I was told I was best friends with Pinkuju and that she’d been there every step of the way, but we’d barely interacted all series! It suddenly decided we were close because I happened to pick her for one single “who do you want to talk to?” option right at the end. The choice to brush off all of the major characters from the first two books in one fell swoop and make us play the entire last book with side characters was incomprehensible. It only resulted in the characters we’d bonded with and were interested in (and potentially had romanced) being pushed to the side, while after so long of waiting for this finale we had to experience it with new characters we’d barely spoken to and had far less personality.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve frankly grown out of his writing, but I also tire of the clunky pages of unnatural exposition and childish, made-up names for things and fake swear words. Like someone said earlier, I can’t take things seriously and be emotionally devastated if you’re throwing words at me like “blerg”, “Blots” and “Cadet Gadget”.

The rail-roading, and the fact that many players experienced an ending that outright stated “this wasn’t canon, try again” and sent them all the way back to the beginning of the lengthy book, is awful. If you want to write a set story with set events and a set outcome, write a novel. I truly think it would be a great one. Perhaps that’s what his writing is suited for. But if you’re going to write an interactive, choice-based game, this is not how you do it. You don’t promise choices and consequences, freedom and independence of action, and then throw out retcons and “no that wasn’t the right route”s. His games ultimately don’t let you choose what you do - they tell you what you do, and if you’re really lucky, you can decide how you feel or think about the fact that you did it. Often, though, he’ll just tell you how you feel too.

Sergei’s world-building and lore continues to be amazing, and I’ve never minded the long detailed run-downs because I was truly interested. His concepts and ideas for stories are also amazing. But that’s just not enough to pull me through anymore. I’m a character- and relationship- oriented person, and it seems that with every instalment in his repertoire, those fall more and more by the wayside to service his decided-upon ‘true route’.

I see that he’s continuing the series with a comic book, but sadly I won’t be continuing with him. We’ve been promised closure and answers multiple times now, and honestly it really does feel like we’re borderline being scammed into buying more and more books looking for continuations we’ll never get.

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