Posted 20 March 2010 - 10:37 PM
Turn That Frown Upside-Down 2
I'm not surprised that there aren't any reviews yet, considering that the scenario is unplayable. I had to alter a few things to get it to work. (Fixed now)
It's much more polished than the first, but I can't say I enjoyed it too much. There were some funny lines, such as King Smiley's "embrace the happiness" death rattle, and the multiple paths were nice, but I didn't see the incentive to play through all of them.
There isn't a lot of content, and of the little that there is, it doesn't really make a lot of sense. This can be primarily seen by the very nature of King Smiley's initial request. If you lie to the Empire and they send a weak force, and that weak force is subsequently slaughtered, what's to stop the Empire from simply sending a larger force in retaliation?
Another thing I didn't like was the sheer size of the outdoors. While outdoor sections can enhance a scenario (i.e Ephesos scenarios), most designers have learned to do away with them if they don't enhance anything. There's a lot of backtracking in this scenario, and the uninspired outdoor sections you have to traverse don't help. If you do use outdoors, it's a good idea to craft the terrain rather than use the spray paint tool. If your party is going to keep running into patrols, it's usually a good idea to use the print_str() call instead of message_dialog(). I hated getting stopped every five seconds.
I was actually interested in learning about the new Smiley/Frowney relations, but it isn't really ever brought up. Some random NPC might have talked about it, but I never talked to anyone else. There was literally no need to talk to anyone but the King and another random NPC in order to complete the scenario, and they had nothing to say about anything.
Overall, I spent about 30 seconds fighting, and a total of 10 minutes walking back and forth in order to answer single question statements before having to walk back across the globe again. Ugh.
While it's more polished than the first, it doesn't carry the same excuse of being a first scenario. There were a lot of suggestions for improvement in the first that weren't listened to. You can ignore the criticism if you want, but it's still going to reflect on people's opinions.
EDIT: I felt I had been a little harsh, as I didn't think this deserved to be slated in with horrible scenarios like Undead Valley, Crescent Valley, and Foul Hordes. Playing it again, I tried the other path, which was a lot better, so the designer apparently wants you to sympathize with the Smilies. If you do feel like talking to people, the dialogue is cute and decently written. There's not a lot to do in this scenario, but what's there isn't terrible. Some of it is pretty cute.
I don't quite recall, but this may have been a 24-hour scenario. That doesn't change my opinion, but it would make the polish more impressive. You obviously have the tools for making something more notable, so I wish you'd invest more time in your efforts. Also, make sure your scenario can actually be played before releasing it.