Posted 04 August 2011 - 10:11 AM
From Ackrovan on SV:
Ackrovan's review of Frostbite
I was reading the begining of the intro text, and I was getting incredibly excited. Being stuck in the mountains Aizo(a nice change of pace) with nothing but you and your fellow adventures being given vague orders to hunt down a "Strange Beast" really set the mood for a real adventure. When I found out I was to be forced to use a predesigned singleton, however, my heart faded.
When ever I play a scenario that forces me to play a certain type of character, I get seriously annoyed. I feel that after all my hard work and detection to molding my beloved characters, giving them personalities and a history, only to be taken away and be given anything the designer wants. While I regonize and understand the need for some sort of control of what a player has, it seriously cuts down on the fun factor, which is the first and foremost the designer should concentrate on. So for me, it took away from the fun. Now about the singleton. When I try to make a party, I like to have options on how I want to mold and groom my party into something to my tasting. Like forced parties, singletons do not allow for that. I found I have a very narrow choice of playing styles, which is bad. I'm forced to stupefy my way of playing to meet the way the game "should" play. Which is bad. And yes, I am aware I can play with my own singleton, but the way I build my parties is so everyone is useful. No one person can stand on their own. So I was literally forced to use the pre created character.
Now back to the scenario itself; immediately after the plot really started to kick off and your friends started dying, things got very interesting. I was soon intertwined into the plot, which kept the suspense and the drama very, very strong. I was also very glad to see that each of your fellow adventures had their own stories and personalities. This made me wish certain characters would die and other characters would survive. If you have the skills to do that, then you can put a gay smile on your face and start to sing lull-a-byes. Or you can consider it a job very well done. Either or.
The combat was a challenge. Fortunately, it wasn't impossible and left me very satisfied after each trip to hell was completed. While this does scare off otherwise less skilled players, I found it a happy change of pace then the "Kill the goblins. I think there's a bout a 100 of them. Oh, you took some damage after killing three? Just step ouside for a minute and rest" syndrome. Otherwise known as MPAOR. The Banshee fights were a favorite part of the scenario. On the bad side, even with the potions I felt that I was given a much smaller choice of fighting style than I would of liked, because of a pre designed singleton.
Now lets move on to the potions. This was probably the hardest to properly talk about. On one hand, a terribly significant portion of the potions were, well, useless(Fire drought). I found I was forced to throw vile and inhumane insults toward the screen, which scared the neighbors. Other potions(Like Frost grenade) could of been absolutely amazing, but just didn't deliver the punch I would have wished for. What I did love about the potions, however, were the scarcity of the ingredients. It really made me think thrice about which potions to make, and if it would be my last. Which is good.
The graphics were quite pleasing. A snow scenario is one thing, but a well done snow graphic(s) is something different. In fact, your Archon orders Lazarus to plan his next ski trip. Other than that, nothing really stands out. There was also a few grammar and spelling errors. But I could honestly care less about spelling and grammar, so they didn't and never will bother me. Hell, there's probably some spelling errors in this review.
One particular thing of notice was the Hypothermia meter or whatever. This was seriously an incredible idea and only further pushed the player into an already breathtaking rush. Nice one
Finally, lets talk about the ending. Or endgame, rather. When I finally confronted the endgame boss, it felt a good deal anti-climatic. Which is a shame, compared to the hype and suspense that was building throughout the scenario. The ending itself was decent. Not really as interesting as I thought it would be, but an okay ending all on its own. However, it doesn't inspire me to try to play the game again
So all and all this was a very good scenario, good enough that I have no problems with it winning last summers Blades contest. Though focing me to play a certain style with only one character, having next to usless potions, lack of replay value, and the rather anti-climatic ending do bring its score down. However, it is immediately brought back up with a deep, original plot, very well thought out characters, nice graphics, and okay combat. And, oh yes, I this scenario did make me want to watch Predator.
*Note to the Player- If you want to be able to be completely unchallenged and suffer from MPAOR, you will not want to play this scenario. If you also want to be able to play a scenario without using some pre designed stuff, and having to deal with being forced to play a game someone elses way, then skip this one. If you do, however, want a challenge, wish for a heart stomping plot, huge dept in characters, and don't mind playing someone elses playing style, give this a try.
*Note to the Desinger- If your goal was to attract unskilled BoA players, you failed miserably. I would recomend concentraiting on player compatability, and to give the player a little more playing style. Oh yeah, Methinks singletons are no fun, offer no options for gameplay and combat, and should only be used for rare, special encounters. A predesigned one makes this even worse, as I was constantly being forced to play the scenario you wanted me to play, which seriously cuts down on the fun as far as PC's are concerned. Still, the plot is excellent, the graphics steller, characters awsome, and provided a good challenge for seasoned players. I must also say, that Hypothermia meter was one of the best yet simple idea I've yet to come across for BoA. *claps*
A job well done indeed. Be proud, damn you.