Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:30 AM
A Perfect Forest
From TM on the CSR:
Well, it's not bad. It's probably the best BoA scenario out thusfar. I'll save the better aspects for later, and attack what I feel are some core problems of the scenario. (SPOILERS are ahead, read at your own peril.)
Well, the "philosophizing" here is basically done in a fashion that makes Two Strands appear both subtle and applicable (FYI- it ain't). Every character who you stumble upon will give you their life's philosophy at the drop of a pin, and for much of the scenario, you'll think you're in a student union of a pampered, upper-middle-class campus. Well, the scenario's better than that.
Still, the device for juxtaposing these abstractions on the forested island is just that- a device. So essentially, the violent, philisophical debate between limousine liberals is one that isn't even "real," and the excuse for the philosophy that is essentially labeled as being "wrong," and the motive for the villains in this scenario becomes "the Devil made me do it!" Well, the plot isn't very courageous in that aspect. There went its chances of being a TM scenario- but most people view that as an inimitable bonus, so take that as you will.
Another complaint is the end dungeon- it kills the plot both narratively and game-play wise in its own unique ways. Nobody likes mirrors, and this scenario is sadly no exception. The final dungeon is definitely a work of genius in terms of monster AI, but after the fights are done, we find two problems- Mirrors and lethal HP drain. I don't like the wandering, and would have preferred less. (Although admittedly, the suggestions I made to Stareye to replace mirrors were also sorta lame. Not sure how else one could fix this problem.)
Well, there went my major complaints. The plot moves rapidly enough through most of the scenario that you'll be too busy with it to bother with thinking about the philosophy inside. Essentially, you run from one place to another in a one-way path with "reprieves" along the way where you can scan for dungeons and pick up a few nifty-but-not-unbalancing artifacts. There are a few Stareye "secrets" laid into the plot here and there, but overall, gameplay is written to the book of Vogel in many ways, except for a few instances of competent boss AI.
Why, then, is this scenario receiving scores of 9.0 and above? The same reason that rap music is popular- clicks and whistles, and the desire to follow a strict paradigm that might have been avant garde twenty years ago. (In fact, when trying to think about what I remembered most about this work, my initial response was "That part in the cave where stuff blew up.") This work ain't ambitious, neither is it extraordinary. But don't misunderstand me- It's not bad, but it's not nearly as good as people are making it out to be. It's still the best BoA scenario of its time, but honestly- that just doesn't say much.
A Perfect Forest it ain't.