Posted 04 August 2011 - 04:35 PM
River and Leaf
From Nioca on the CSR:
Overview - Maybe not a top-notch example of scenario design, but a wonderful example of how, with some work, the BoA porting mechanism can bring good BoE scenarios to the BoA medium. Basically, the scenario is the standard fantasy fare, using several common fantasy elements to make a fairly standard story. Still, standard does not mean bland; it was definitely fun to play through, and I might just do it again.
Plot - Good. You get called in by a mysterious faction to aid them in a power-struggle between themselves and two other (small) nations. It played smoothly and cleanly for the most part, but there were a few hiccups along the way. There were a couple spots where it was a little confusing or unclear. Overall, though it was standard fantasy fare, the plot was good enough to pull me through the entire scenario.
Combat - Good. Plenty of fights, with some interesting situations mixed in. I can't comment too much on difficulty, though, because I used a L30 party. It was difficult at times, though, even with my stronger-than-normal party. The final battle was equally troublesome, but more because it was somewhat confusing, rather than overly difficult.
Design - Decent. It worked for the most part, but contained some serious flaws. The one that comes to mind fastest is the final fight (again). If you failed to get the >Ritual of Sanctification in the first town<, the final fight becomes unwinnable. Certain events can be misleading (>the Falcon patrol you have to kill near the caravan camp, for one<), and other plot-important things can be almost impossible to find (unless you have the scripts open and the 3D editor handy). The outdoors were also a bit too large for my tastes. The first sections were excellent, but it looks like the designer either lost interest in making unique outdoor sections or just couldn't handle as many as are used in this scenario. The later ones had a tendency to be rather bland. The same goes for dialogue: Starts great, but loses interest partway through. Certain towns were also rather bland, but some of the others more than make up for it.
Graphics - Great. The overhaul BoE set (namely, the grass) used for this was initially seemed too bright, but was nice once I got used to it. The mountain ranges were wonderfully done, and the whole thing seemed like it had an artistic touch to it.
Balance - Great. Combat balance leaned toward the difficult side, but other than that, I noticed no actual issues.
Puzzles - Good. I thoroughly enjoyed the Mist Realm riddles, once I got used to them. Easy enough that you don't start screaming out in frustration, but hard enough to make you think. The ship puzzle, on the other hand, was a nightmare.
Technical - Decent. There were some great sequences, such as the sinking ship, and a few other tricks here and there. However, it was offset by bugs, the worst of which causes BoA to crash entirely (NEVER use erase_char() to erase the party!).
Gameplay - Great. Overall, a fun scenario to play and burn up some spare time. I recommend it.