There seems to be a problem with the ads
It's understandable to put ads in a flash game, but this just makes the game unplayable. First before I can even touch the menu a movie preview for the new saw movie blocks the entire screen and makes you sit though it. Then once it's done, that same preview plays again on a small window in the left side of the menu. Than once you actually start the game you get hear that same movie preview playing again. You don't see it mind just the grayed box where it should be obscure the game and making it overall unplayable.
Maybe it just this particular add or something about the configuration of my browser, but if anyone else is having this problem please mark this review as helpful so I know it's not just me. 7/10 for appearances alone since I can't really get to the actual game part.
Something to admired more than enjoyed
Flash games are simple things in comparison to mainstream video games. Your average flash only provides about 5 minutes of innovative game play before you either beat the game or just find yourself doing the same stuff over and over. Because of this most flash games don't even bother including things like plots or story lines. Neverending Light is among the few that do.
The game takes place in cave, when the lights go out and a bunch of creatures start killing people. It's then set upon you the player to navigate and escape the cave while picking up fairy droppings that serve no purpose what-so-ever in the game itself. The game essentially just consists of navigating the cave with you flashlight, and to it's credit the flash light mechanics are really well done. The light bounces off objects the way you would expect it to in real life and creates really realistic looking shadows.
Other than that the game pretty much just consists of go here get that type objectives, with the really focus being on the plot and storytelling. The problem is, that with the exception to the first and last, scene the plot of this already short game doesn't really advance. It also doesn't help that the creator tried to mix corny humor with an otherwise serious survival plot which is sort of like mixing vinegar and chihuahuas. Combine that with overall poor and annoying voice acting, and the plot has been officially flushed down the toilet along with the games integrity.
On the other hand the graphics are pretty well polished, and the environments are well done, but as far the actually game part of this game goes it's mediocre at best. It's also occurs to me that with all the time I spent radding on the plot that not everyone 'gives a shit' and as far as game play goes it's still pretty cool. But me being the arrogant douche bag that I am still give it a 6 out of 10 for the above issues but it's still worth playing if only to admire the spectacle and detail in the artwork.
A story to put Stephen King to shame
Horror games have a huge advantage over horror movies when it comes to trying to scare someone because a game can actually give the player the illusion that it's actually their life that is at stake, as opposed to a movie where the viewer is completely isolated from the main character. It's just a shame that most horror games don't uses this their advantage. Considering some of the best horror game titles (Condemned, Silent Hill 2, and Resident Evil Outbreak to name a few), your always playing as some one else who is often complete unrelatable to you the player. That said here's Exmortis, a point and click adventure game of all things, that puts most main stream horror games to shame.
I like to think I'm the type of the person who doesn't scare easy, and so it comes as something of an embarrassment to admit that the night after I played this game I was unable to sleep and found myself jumping out of my bed frantically searching for the nearest weapon when my radiators started acting up. Not only does Exmortis make you the player the main character, but photo quality images and incredibly atmospheric sound effects make you truly feel like you are in the game. Exmortis never relies on cheap jump out scares, instead building this claustrophobic feeling of being trapped in a house with something that hates you.
The plot itself is surrounded in mystery and this is probably the part I like most about the game. All you know is that your stuck in house filled with weird things that seem to be toying with you and there this other things that's been killing people and your probably going to be it's next victim. The unpredictability of the plot make the story balls tighteningly fantastic, despite and possibly because of the unreasonable amount of text your called on to read. I often criticized games for having to much emphasis on reading (and yes I'm aware this is an ironic bit of criticism considering how lengthy my reviews are), but in Exmortis it actually contributes to the atmosphere. Because the game has left us so much in the dark (both literally and figuratively), we are eager for any bit of information we can get our hands on, and it raises tension having to read all these different books and journals when there's a murderer on the loose.
This is the part of the review where make I make a few nit picks to make myself feel more like a critic but for once I can't find anything wrong this game. I was expecting the plot to fall apart near the end, but that ended up being the scariest part of the game, with the most ingenious plot twist I've ever seen. The game keeps up it suburb level of quality and horror throughout and is so immersive that you'll forget your really just at your computer. The puzzles are genuinely challenging, the visuals spectacular, and it has some the most horrifically realistic looking murder scenes I've ever seen. Despite having been most likely permanently scared from this game I'd still hold it as the best flash game I've ever played. It truly sets a new standard for horror that does not wear off after you've finished playing.
A decent P&C adventure game if nothing else
It seems that at this point in time Afro-Ninja stands as the NG god of P&C adventure games (P&C stands for point and click in case your wondering), what with the escape series, nightmare house and now this. Certainly over time the quality of the illustrations have improved vastly, but it seems that the set pieces are starting repeat themselves. There wasn't a single puzzle or trick in this game that hasn't been used in a previous escape game, and if you've played previous Afro-Ninja games than the puzzles presented in this one will be second nature to you by now. Then again that's a piece of criticism that could be leveled with most P&C adventure games so lets move on to the whole horror aspect.
Escape from Crystal lake is a game that's really trying to be a horror game, but all the horror elements are let down by game play issues. One of the biggest problems with the horror is how pathetically easy your fights with Jason are. A serial Killer ceases to scary when they are unarmed and remain in your sight at all times. Every time you fight him your armed and he's not and there a little text box and flashing indicators telling you exactly how to beat him, and it's hard to be scared when all Jason ever does is dance around on the screen and throw a really slow punch ever now and then. It's a shame really because there was so much potential for a great horror game, things like the letter drop mini game and the murder scene in the bathroom really set up the atmosphere for great horror game, and I'm not kidding when I say this game has one of the best soundtracks of any horror game out there, but in the end it's all let down by a pathetic villein.
Another major issues plaguing Escape from Crystal lake that was also a problem in nightmare house is the linearity. The free roaming environment the map implies is an illusion, the game is essentially linear, all locations are locked initially and you will find each key in order as the game progress. You the player never really make any decisions which kinda takes away the whole adventure element.
The shame of it is that Escape from Crystal lake truly had the potential to be a great horror game where it not for some truly bad design choices that failed to make it scary. There was so much the designers could have learned if they just took some time to look at some good horror games and what makes them scary. Take Exmortis for example another P&C game here on Newgrounds. Exmortis keeps the player in the dark about the plot and whats going to happen. All you know is that there are these weird things that occupy this house and are evil, and there's this other thing that's been killing people, and your probably going to be it's next victim. This game on the other hand is depressingly predictable, you can see every event coming if you watched any Jason movie, there's no plot twist, and the game always tells you exactly whats going on at all times. Afro-Ninja certainly could have taken a number of pointers from games like Condemned and Resident Evil Outbreak as well, such as villains that jump out at you rather than staying in your sight at all times, and why Afro-ninja do you give the player control of the lights, in a good horror game the lights turn off at the worst possible time, a murderer is alot scarier when you can't see him half the time, Condemned proved that, and yet whenever I'm fighting Jason there's plenty of light and I can always see where he is. In Outbreak the player is often forced to run away from fights and complete objectives with zombies in hot pursuit. Your always being chased by something which makes the game alot scarier. In this game we're allowed to take our dear sweet time and Jason patiently waits until we have a new weapon to attack us, your never forced to run and once you figure this out, he ceases to be scary.
All these aspect just whittle away the whole horror aspect of the game. It's still a decent point and click adventure if nothing else, but it could have been so much better, and as far horror goes it's not nearly as scary as Kelly Osbourne's face.
Thanks for the in-depth review. I suppose one thing to keep in mind though is that this game wasn't exactly meant to be a fright-fest. Think of the original Friday the 13th movies- did they ever REALLY scare you? aside from a few cheap moments, if that? Now compare those to more modern scary movies. The Freddy and Jason flicks have always been about being scary and cheesy, but with a bit more emphasis on cheesy. That being said, you're right about puzzle replication- it's hard not to re-use ideas that worked well previously =)
Can't match up to it's predeseesor
I mention in one of my previous reviews that MMM2 is about as good as an arcade game is going to get. Well I am happy to say that Momentum Missile Mayhem 3 caused that opinion of mine to stay exactly the same. Momentum Missile Mayhem 3 is worse than it's predecessors in many ways. Dz seems to have pulled the old stunt of trying to change a game that isn't broken by adding a bunch unnecessary gadgets to it or in this case game mode.
OK so now we've got those cards on the table lets start by looking at whats new in MMM3. There are 4 new game modes added, as priorly mentioned, which all looked great in the teasers dz posted on his news blog, but it seems in all the excitement of these new game modes the beloved old gravity launcher from the first two games was give the shaft and forced to sit on the side lines while 4 new weapons failingly tried to imitate it's awesomeness, and on that note, lets start with the first weapon, the gravity manipulator.
So this first weapon looks kinda cool, an energy ball similar to those used in the last two games only this time it fallows your mouse around. Looks cool, but actually using the damn thing is about as intuitive as learning quantum physics while piss drunk. Your not really given any hint or useful instructions on how to use the damn thing either. Alot of jargon and ambiguous terms make the brief description of the controls useless and so the briefing at the beginning of the first mission left me more confused than anything, and even once you master the controls though you'll find the gravity manipulator behaves somewhat unpredictably, sure it's fun to swing around but actually trying to hit something with it is more frustrating than it is challenging, and considering how much harder this game seems to have gotten that's saying alot.
Next is the artillery, a game mode where you pick different kinda bombs off a menu and try to time where you drop them with the enemy's movement. You can expect that most any time you hit with a shell it will kill it's target and even if it doesn't you won't be able to predict where it launches the tanks it didn't kill taking the momentum aspect out of the game. It sorta feels like something added just for the sake of having another game mode. This type of game play has been tried before and has been proven to be wildly unsuccessful. I thought modern arcade games were moving away for the whole bomberman style of play, it adds nothing to the game and just adds frustration.
Next is the Singularity cannon, which was probably the only game mode I actually liked. A gun that rapid fires projectiles like the ones from MMM2, that's Awesome! There are still plenty of nitpicks I could pick at it though like how it only has two types of the projectiles and the alternate fire, while fun to use, is completely useless for actually killing anything, but a least I was having fun with this one.
The next game mode killed my enjoyment however by giving me a little disk and telling me I had to kill things with it. The biggest problem with this game mode is that it's impossible to predict where the bloody things is going to go and this becomes especially problematic when you upgrade it more allowing to bonce around longer, often forcing you to wait around while it bonces uselessly on the wrong side of the screen, and since explosions slow the damn thing down upgrading speed isn't much help either.
I think it's fair to say that just about everything that was added to the game since MMM3 made it less fun to play. The terrain is glitchy often slingshoting tanks to their destination, the teleporter often cuts the distance the tanks have to go in half, and when tanks are coming from all directions setting up massive chain reactions like you could in MMM2 becomes near impossible. MMM2 had the right level of difficulty, MMM3 is just plain frustrating.
To summarize this ridiculously long review, if something isn't broke don't try to fix it. It's still a cool game which why I gave it 7/10 in weak justification, but MMM2 was fine on it's own, and didn't need a sequel.
>Dz seems to have pulled the old stunt of trying to change a game that isn't broken
I was not going to release the same game again. There is nothing to improve or add to MMM2 concept.
>if something isn't broke don't try to fix it.
thats why I made a new game instead of milking the old concept.
WARNING! Dangorusly Addictive
Amorphous is one of those games that can be played for hours on end without getting boring, which can a be a bit of a problem when I have actual work to do. The game itself is pretty simple; swing a unreasonably large sword at little blobs of goo un-ironically named "gooples". There's more to it than that obviously, any idiot with a drawing program can draw blobs, but Amorphous+ mixes it up a little by having 18 different kinds of blob. It's actually pretty innovative, each blob has its own unique and distinct appearance, it's own behavior patterns, and its own unique way to kill you (or distract you so something else can).
I found the game to be pretty tight lipped about what it was about or even what the point was. I suppose this it to create more of a surprise element when your introduced to a new type of goople as it rips the top half of your body off. That's fine but I would hope it could at least tell me what the game is about before hand. There's no plot (probably for the better), just something of a theme where there are nest of gooples and you have to kill them for some reason, but we're not here for the story so lets get down to the game play. Here I have to admit for a game where you never have to touch the keyboard there is a surprisingly large amount of skill involved. At later points in the game there can be as many as 10 hostile gooples on the screen at once each with a different fate planed for you. Combat involves tactical maneuvering and timing and very little luck, all grounds for good gameplay.
There are still a few nitpicks point out like how difficulty ramps awfully slow which can get annoying when you take on harder challenges, and keep having to restart, and while the sound effects are perfect, the music isn't exactly fitting. When there 7 hostile gooples trying to hunt me down and tare me to shreds Jazz music just doesn't quite cut it. But these are minor flaws really and they can't undermine how much fun the game is to play. If I were to sum it up in one word, 'cleaver' would be the word of choice, it's well made and most importantly it's fun.
Did this game really need a sequel?
I remember wasting a good hour trying to beat Pandemic 1 back when it came out, and as a concept game it was actually kinda interesting. The biggest problem with Pandemic 2 is that while it certainly adds a few new trait and elements, it's still pretty much the same. The idea of creating a disease to wipe out all human kind is certainly the grounds to build a fun and interesting game on. Unfortunately this idea is let down in both games by completely dissociating the player with the genocide process. In both 1 and 2 the entire duration of the game is spent looking at a map watching different regions of the world change color. Never do you actually get to see the destruction your virus causes, or even a picture of what you unique disease looks like. It's like all the action is happening behind a closed door.
It's not just not the interface of lack graphics that make this game bad either, the game play is flawed as well, in fact it's pretty much nonexistent. The only control your actually given over the outcome of the game is how your disease evolves, and even that doesn't seem to have much effect compared to the huge dependency on luck. The real outcome of the game depends on rather or not your disease infects the more remote regions before boarders, airports, and shipyards are closed, I found this depends far more on luck than what traits you choose and it can get really frustrating in that way. After playing it for a certain amount of time the game just stops being fun and feels more like work. I didn't even waste my time trying to beat it this time around because I'm guess all get at the end is a "You wiped out Humanity!" text box like in the first one.
Pandemic in general is an example of great idea for a game that's been poorly executed, it gets boring really fast and even if you do menage to beat it there's really not much satisfaction in accomplishing a total genocide because at that point your probably aware that the game is mostly luck. After reading other reviews it would seem I'm going against the popular opinion here, which makes me wounder if people are really this easily amused.
I may not speak for everyone here but to me, a game that feels like work is not fun. A game where you loose over and over, not because you did something wrong, but because you got unlucky does not qualify as challenging. And a game in which your entire contribution is to click a few buttons is hardly a game at all.
Flawless (and I don't use that word lightly)
Momentum Missile Mayhem can best be classified as an arcade game. There is only one screen in which enemy tank are trying to get from one end to the other and it's your job to destroy them, the only thing that every changes as you progress through the levels is that there are bigger tanks and new ways to blow them up. This may sound like criticism to some but I respect it for that, because that's what an arcade game is supposed to be. Sometimes it's hard for people to get the concept of arcade games what with a dense overpopulation of FPSs and MMOs crowding the game market these days and that's where MMM2 fits in perfectly.
There's not really much to Momentum Missile Mayhem, there's no plot, only one level, and basically all you do is blow up tanks. But what more could you want from a game! There are over 20 different types of unique well draw tanks and countless way to make them explode, and if you don't think launching a tank into another tank and setting off a chain of explosions that takes up the whole screen isn't FUCKING AWESOME than it may be time to reassess your standards. You could only get this much satisfaction by driving over old ladies or setting a younger sibling on fire! Sure there's not much to it but what there is has been polished to a mirror shine; the sound effects are perfect, the animation flawless, the physics engine is amazing, and for a game with this much code in it, there's a surprisingly small number of glitches.
So it's simple sweet, it's keeps focused on one well made type of game play rather than trying to do it all and that's something alot of game designers here on NG could learn from. It's innovative and creative and that's something you don't see to often in flash games. Yeah there's not much to it but there doesn't need to be because what is there is done so well. The idea of an arcade is that it's simple and straight forward, and as far as arcade games go I'm fairly certain Momentum Missile Mayhem 2 is as good as their going to get.
An Interesting game, despite it's flaws
On first notice this game seems to be alot like the old final fantasy game or indeed any 3rd generation rpg for that matter. The combat has almost been directly extracted from any final fantasy game, and the graphics are pretty much what you expect to see on a game boy, or one one of those old 3rd generation concles as previously mentioned. OK that's a bit harsh cause cause truth is the graphics are pretty good for a flash game, but it stands to the point that this type of game has already been completely worn down (I mostly blame final fantasy for that).
OK, now I've got that out of the way, lets get to whats good about it. I think the thing that first got me interested in this game and kept me playing it to the end is the plot, and be forewarned that if you didn't play Chapter 1, you'll really be left in the dark. A alien how crash lands in a medieval like human civilization, who posses the body of young boy to survive, hiding on a backwater planet called earth from his pears who hunt him for his betrayal of their own evil motives which were inspired by a strange artifact that came into their possession (that's a synopsis of the first chapter by the way). It 's a new and interesting plot line that hasn't been tried before.
The dialog is a bit annoying at first, it consists of long annoying conversations and weak attempt to characterise unimportant characters with generic personality, and ageing we see the deminative connection to final fantasy. This is particular bad in the beginning where alot the unimportant character feel the need to chime in with their useless opinion at every given opportunity (I'm talking about you in particular Donovan), as well as the annoying generic macho character who might as well wear a shirt that says I gonna die by the end of the first mission as a result of my own short sightedness, but then again his inevitable death is somewhat Ironic so I revoke my original criticism there, and I suppose if the point of his constant antagonising is to give the player more satisfaction when he finally dies than mission accomplished I suppose.
Another thing about the dialog that at first annoyed me was how many of the insignificant characters often try to weakly rationalise as why they never moved from a particular spot, or why they were guarding something that clearly didn't need to be guarded. What I came to suspect more and more as I played through the game though is that Mardek RPG is a spoof, a parody of the game it imitates so closely and that was the point where I intently faved this game because once you take it a spoof it actually becomes genuinely funny. It certainly beats the above mentioned final fantasy concept of having useless characters who act like it normal to stay in the same spot for the entire duration of the game, which is good in my opinion because I feel a game that take after final fantasy should use every opportunity to make fun of it.
Over the dialog is actually very good. I'll even put aside the fact that the character you play is kinda stupid, mainly because he has an alien possessing his body who takes over every time an intelligent response is needed. Overall, I found myself getting genuinely attached to the main characters, and that why the ending came as kind of a slap in the face. It seemed Pseudolonewolf was intent to get rid of all the characters he could at the end, and I pray he plans on bringing at least some of them back in the next chapter. To me the end was were the plot began to faulter, Rohoph practically says that your going to be fighting a new member of his order in each episode to come, which kinda suggests that the remaining chapters will be more of the same. I can't shake the feeling that Pseudolonewolf is digging him self into a hole plot wise that he can't possibly hope to get out of by the time the final episode wraps it all, but I'm not going criticise this game on it's future potential. Overall this is a very good game and if you haven't played it you should. Their is more I could say like how damn easy the ending but I hit the max length so...
A few notes:
There are still six more chapters left, so any characters who seem unimportant now might not necessarily be so later on. All they say might be contributing to a larger plot and hinting towards future events or decisions...
I planned the plot fully before I began, and I'll say that Rohoph's comment at the end there is mainly humourous; yet another stab at conventions and tropes.
Thank you for the long... balanced... review, anyway.
I definately liked the style of the artwork, being a huge fan of Kol-Belov, it definately carries a similar message as his other work. That aside however it really didn't make that great a game, being somewhat repetative and glitchy. Don't mean to over analysis it, I'm sure it was just a small snip-it he put together in his free time.
Overall, great art, bad programming.
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