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Backwater Calls


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Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:06 AM #1 Backwater Calls

Backwater Calls
Mac/Windows

Author: Smoo
Difficulty:
Version: 1.0.2


Composite Score: 3.9/5.0

Best: 8.33% (1/12)
Good: 75.00% (9/12)
Average: 16.67% (2/12)
Substandard: 0.00% (0/12)
Poor: 0.00% (0/12)




Keywords:

Edited by SylaeBot, 04 August 2014 - 10:46 PM.
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium

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Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:08 AM #2 Backwater Calls

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

I thoroughly enjoyed Backwater Calls. There is a lot to like about this scenario. It is a nonlinear scenario in some ways.

The best part of this scenario is the sidequests. These add a huge amount to the scenario. Each of the three towns has at least one side quest. The quests are to help people with specific problems, a memento from a lost loved one, cure a sick person, guess a number, find a beast, etc.

Another nice feature about the scenario is the NPC's. They have different character traits, one of the shopkeepers hates another shopkeeper, the rebel wizard is insane, etc. There are numerous humorous bits throughout the game which are worth a laugh.

This scenario is not overly serious, there is no history to tell, and no grand philosophy.

The plot is well done. You are sent to take care of a problem. The cause of the problem is not what you expect. The opening splash screens set the storyline well. The characters who give you the quests to complete clearly cannot handle the problems by themselves and need your help.

The scenario is divided into three minor quests and a major baddy to overcome. They all tie together well.

There is also a large outdoor section to search. There are a couple of nice monster encounters in the outdoors sections. There are also two single level dungeons to go through which are interesting.

There are two nonplayer characters which can be added to the party. One is a monster which is kind of interesting.

There are a number of items which you can acquire. The graphics are interesting for the items. One of the items can be a bit imbalancing if used right. They are worth getting. You also will find a couple of nice bonuses to your spells. There are two encounters which give bonus points in specific skills.

The monsters are all standard monster fights. There is an ambush and a few other tricks but nothing extraordinary. However, there are a few interesting things about them. Some are modified a bit. I liked the graphic for one of the demons-- the infernal trooper.

There are not a lot of cut scenes, nor technical trickery in this scenario. However, this does not detract from the scenario in any way.

I thought this was very well put together. Although it is not epic, it is far better at characterization, sidequests, and pathos than the other scenarios released to date.

BEST

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:08 AM #3 Backwater Calls

From TM on the CSR:

There are many things in this scenario. Like sliths, demons, undead, goblins and a book of clichs.

It's clear that Smoo meant little else other than to make a decent scenario with some mildly entertaining fights and somewhat painless dungeons. Well, he succeeded.

What this means, though, is that the scenario will be under the curve technologically, tactically deficient, and bereft of a plot with gravity. But that's okay, because it's not very ambitious anyway.

It's indicative of Smoo's potential, and it's not bad. Certainly better than some of the other third-party scenarios, even if it gets monotonous from time to time. Definitely worth a look.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:09 AM #4 Backwater Calls

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

I really wanted to like this scenario and I guess I do, but let's face it...this scenarior is chock FULL of bad grammer and dialogue bugs. There are spelling errors from the intro-text to the last twon.

HUNDREDS of them!

Worst is the dialogue bugs in the twon of Sattle. Teh various NPCs are supposed to have different greetings adn responses based on whether you have members of certain species(sliths and nephils) or not. The problem is that they respond with BOTH(or ALL) of the potential responses rather than one or the other.

For example:

When talking to the mayor for the first time, teh following pops up in the dialogue box if there is a slith in your party:

QUOTE

Quote:"_Mm... looks like we got visitors Bobby. Greetings and welcome to our village, although currently not as peaceful as it used to be._ She gestures at the maps and parchments on the desk.";

"_Mm... looks like we got... By the gods! Bobby look!_ She points at a slith in your group. _What are you doing here? How did you get in here._ The captain speaks. _Calm down Evelyn. I'm sure this is not our enemy._";




It is clear that only ONE of the above is supposed to appear in the dialogue. There are at least two or three otehr NPCs with similar errors in their dialogues.


Besides the dialogue and grammer problems, the combat throughout, using a level 30 party that had NOT done Canopy or Bahssikava, was ridiculously easy.

This scenario needs a lot of work and plenty more beta testing. It is not bad though but it could be a lot better.

AVERAGE

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:10 AM #5 Backwater Calls

From VCH on the CSR:

The scenario is very Jeff Voglian if I may use a that term. Basically the plot and game play is so similar to any of Vogels games one may not be able to differentiate. Of course the real draw back of Backwater Call is its somewhat unpolished state.

There are numerous spelling mistakes and certain special encounters are a bit flakey. But I will say the flaws do not make the scenario any less enjoyable. It is totally open ended. Your party has one major quest to complete, which is re-opening iron shipments, but there are a multitude of side quests which tie into the main plot.

You are however not forced to complete all the side quests. One may choose to rush straight into the demon fortress and forego any other adventures. For those of you that appreciate scenarios with less forced movement and direction Backwater Call may be for you. Just think Jeff Vogel but less polished and you'll now what to expect.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:10 AM #6 Backwater Calls

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

Even with all sorts of coding bugs, poor spelling and so forth (seriously, did anyone beta test this?), this scenario still comes out being very enjoyable. The bugs never got anything the stopped the progress of the game, although it's easier when it's working right.

You can pick and choose places to go, and you never get the feeling that the creator of the scenario is forcing you down a path you don't want to take just to suit his ego. There aren't many cut scenes, which is a good thing, and the ones that are there could be removed fairly easily. There were neat little touches that made the people seem real, which helped the immersiveness.

There didn't really seem to be anything revolutionary about the creatures and items, but then that may come with time. It's better that a designer set ones sights on a target they can reach based upon a proven formula that works than try for something revolutionary that turns out unbalanced, stupid and just plain not fun, like some other ones out there.

Enjoyable to play with a variety of things to do equals a great first scenario by its designer.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:11 AM #7 Backwater Calls

From Andrew on the CSR:

It played like a clone/amalgamation of JV's 4 scenarios, with everything good and bad that goes along with that.

I liked the atmosphere of the destroyed city - it seemed ominous. I didn't like that there was seemingly no way to make that this occurred evident to any of the authority figures. Likewise, the "rebel" quest, though providing something of an incentive toward the end, didn't make this incentive at all apparent when initially pursuing it. If my characters were going to join a rebellion, greasing their palms with a little coin earlier on wouldn't have hurt.

The coding for following the wizard out of the town hall to the library didn't work every time. Also, was there any way to return the slith NPC to Avernum?

I guess this sounds rather negative, but in the very least it was a fun romp, with lots of disparate yet strangely congealing elements.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:12 AM #8 Backwater Calls

From S M Adventurer on the CSR:

It had an extremely good plot I have to say. Demons stopping the shipments of supplies. Another interesting bit is that
it uses the heavily armored soldier Kenny from A Small Rebellion.

Also, there was this slug you can heal, but it would follow you around. Well, not sure what it is useful for. There were also some slightly more powerful than normal goblins, but it's good. I liked the town design especially.

This scenario was pretty good.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:12 AM #9 Backwater Calls

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

I really liked this scenario. It is fun and it is not as hard as other scenarios released for BoA. It also does not have a frustrating part that makes you want to stop playing it.

The plot is not very elaborated, but it is interesting enough to keep you playing, the sidequests are good too.

Nevertheless, there are some flaws in this scenario. Most of them have to do with dialogues showing when they were not supposed to, something that could have been corrected with some betatesting.

In short, I think this scenario is more enjoyable than some of those that are regarded as very technical, but lack of fun.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:13 AM #10 Backwater Calls

From Ephesos on the CSR:

Um... it's big. It plays like A3. It's a bunch of random plagues, all instigated by a single ber-boss!

Goblins, sliths, demons, and undead. Every imaginable plague... minus points for the lack of creativity. The rebels were hard to get to (with little incentive, as mentioned before), and in the first version I got my hands on, they disappeared once you beat the ur-demon.

Occasional scripts were broken, such as the wizard leaving the library.

Outdoors were huge and empty. Towns ranged from cliche repeats (sliths in a mine? Golddale in A3, anyone?) to the interesting (I liked the clearing with the Alien Beast you were hunting down) to the simply uninspired (the rebel cave).

I liked the slug. It was a welcome addition.

All of that said, it was solid, and it was playable. So it's not a disaster... it just wasn't spectacular. Play MoC instead.

AVERAGE

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:14 AM #11 Backwater Calls

From Nioca on the CSR:

There are a lot of errors and such in this, and I'm not talking about just spelling and grammatical errors. Still, most of them didn't cause much hassle, other than momentary confusion. What did cause me a lot of confusion was how open this scenario was. After playing linear scenario after linear scenario, I really was just not ready for a more open one. Thus, the second I stepped outside, I was nearly lost in a massive sea of grass and... well, not much else. The towns and dungeons were fairly sparse, and the plot was sort of weak at this point. I constantly was wondering what to do next, or how many more enemies I needed to hack to shreds. The sidequests were interesting, though they contributed to the weak plot problem. And, as mentioned several times, this scenario was the encyclopedia of cliches. That said, it was an enjoyable scenario. It just could have been better.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:15 AM #12 Backwater Calls

From Iffy on SV:

Outdoor Design - Good
Really good at points. Several places just set the mood well.

Town Design - Good
Also good at points. Some towns set the mood well too.

Combat - Good
While some parts were interesting, some of the last ones had overpowered enemies.

Plot - Good
It is not bad and it fits the scenario well.

Scripting - Average
There were a few errors, and there weren't that many twists with it. Also, there is a battle that was apparently supposed to happen, yet it didn't.

Final Score - GOOD

Whalecow Whalecow

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 06:30 AM #13 Backwater Calls

Backwater calls. An amazing scenario with appropriate level recommendation. I LOVED the side quests. The story was amazing! It was almost like a Vogel scenario.

P.S: What is it with the Wizard and summoning demons!?!?!?

Vox Vox

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 11:28 PM #14 Backwater Calls

I would agree with most of the reviews. The typos were rampant throughout this scenario, and the bugs and glitches were numerous. However, overall I would recommend playing this scenario as it has some quality aspects.

Aesthetics 7.5/10
outdoors: 8/10
(Outdoors were rather bland at times and a little messy)
towns: 6/10
(Not particularly ergonomic, mayors/commanders were placed in odd parts of the town)
caves: 9/10
(Caves and tunnels were well made. However the goblins hideout was a bit simple)
creatures: 7/10
(overall it wasn't too bad. Glowing goblins were nicely done, infernal troopers were not)

Gameplay 7.5/10
plot: 9/10
(I enjoyed the plot a fair bit. Occasionally it was rushed)
fighting: 8/10
(Nicely balanced for the given levels. Although some outdoor encounters were repetitious)
quests: 7/10
(Good quests but not very well articulated)
dialog: 7/10
(Expansive and detailed, although rattled with mistakes and inconsistencies)

Scripting 6.5/10
special encounters: 6/10
(Too many bugs and typos almost ruined it for me at some stages)
cutscenes: 7/10
(Although few, they were alright. They didn't seem to be buggy, but were still lacking)
custom additions: 6/10
(Added creatures and such were not scripted well)

Overall 7/10
Good

nikki. nikki.

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:18 AM #15 Backwater Calls

Thanks for your reviews, Whalecow, Vox. Reviews here aren't given a numerical score but instead a rating of either best, good, average, substandard, or poor. If possible, please edit your posts so that your review includes such a rating (for example, that 7/10 would translate to a rating of "good", Vox).

Thanks.




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