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Crescent Valley

Mac/Windows

 

Author: Michael Slack

Rating:

Difficulty:

Version:

 

[composite=eyJ0aXRsZSI6IkNyZXNjZW50IFZhbGxleSIsInRpZCI6IjE1NjU2IiwidGFncyI6W10sImJnYXNwIjp7IjUiOjAsIjQiOjIsIjMiOjgsIjIiOjUsIjEiOjB9fQ==]

Composite Score: 2.8/5.0

 

Best: 0.00% (0/15)

Good: 13.33% (2/15)

Average: 53.33% (8/15)

Substandard: 33.33% (5/15)

Poor: 0.00% (0/15)

[encouragenecro]

 

[/composite]

 

Keywords:

Edited by SylaeBot
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium

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From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

 

This scenario reminded me of an early BoE scenario: rough around the edges, not too technically advanced, with normal combat the whole way. It has a lot of mis-spellings in the dialogue, but I didn't see any bugs. (For instance, the scenario's title is actually "Cresent Valley," although I'm sure the author meant "Crescent Valley."

 

The plotline was fairly basic and not strikingly interesting. There were basically no surprises throughout. I didn't like the coding on the ending -- it took me several tries doing the same thing to get the ending that I wanted, which felt contrived.

 

The combat was easy enough that some folks around here could probably beat it with a level 1 party. I used a level 30 party, but I found all but one fight (the one against the lich) quite easy.

 

The outdoors was big and kind of empty. Several towns seemed to serve very little purpose. Several outdoor sections had basically nothing in them. On the other hand, this is the first third-party BoA scenario I've played with substantial outdoors, so it didn't bother me much; I just don't want to see this happen again repeatedly.

 

Sex was omnipresent in this scenario, which I guess was sort of the point, but the worldview that it seemed to present (men are mostly unhinged by their lustful impulses, and women do not lust but neither resist) was rather distasteful. I hired the prostitute hoping that she would attack me or teleport me into a town full of demons or something, hoping that she would do anything but the most obvious thing, and she ended up doing the most obvious thing. *reload and smack head*

 

Now, here's the problem that I'm running into: despite all of these fairly sizable drawbacks that keep this from being a quality scenario, I kind of enjoyed it. I'm not sick of doing obvious quests, and I don't get hysterical and scream "BORING COMBAT" whenever someone makes a simple dungeon -- maybe I'll be like this in three years, but not yet -- and wandering around was more or less enjoyable.

 

And all the problems are erring on the better side to err on: I'd rather that combat be too easy than too hard, I'd rather that outdoors be slightly too big than significantly too small, and I'd rather that the plot be too basic than try too hard. In other words, I enjoyed this scenario more than Canopy, the one I played just prior to this. But Canopy tries to do so much more... so I'm conflicted.

 

[rating]AVERAGE[/rating]. It was somewhat fun but not good.

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From TM on the CSR:

 

Too much outdoors. Boring battles. Overwrought sexual references. Too much outdoors. Cliched plot.

 

[rating]SUBSTANDARD[/rating]

 

Mediocre and easy to forget.

 

I'm taking away points for including Avernum, the candlestick mission, and a Demonslayer worth 0 gold. Although I must admit that this points-taking-away business is experiencing the law of diminishing returns- the more I play this piece of crap, the closer I come to raising its score based on humor- this whole thing is so bad that it's almost good.

 

But it isn't.

 

EDIT: I'll give it +.5 for the towns. They're...

...

They're almost as good as JV's, and towns is something Jeff *doesn't* suck at.

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From Burnt Toast on the CSR:

 

There are some interesting things in this scenario which make it in some betters than others. It is much more laid back than the rest of the scenarios.

 

You get to have sex. Something which none of the other scenarios so much as mention. I thought this was kind of interesting. Pretty much everywhere else you don't get none. Makes me wanna pick up a sword and bash someone in the head if it isn't available. Of course if you messed with the demon lady you had to kill her. No fun. But then she was a succubus-- sex with her killed you.

 

There are also some very nice touches. I liked a lot of the dialog graphics. To put it simply some of them had the illusion of depth in them. The beggar, the salesman, a few of the women had an almost three dimensional effect. I really liked the graphic of the mayor. The lady graphics looked oversexy.

 

I liked Stinky Pete the fish monger. If you tried to steal from his locker you got stunk and lost strength. Good trap.

 

Another thing was giving the coin to the beggar who turned out to be the guy with the portal to the demon lady was very cool. Again a funky touch. Not to mention jock...

 

Another detail I liked was the herb garden next to the herb shop. This was cool.

 

We got sex, we got begging, we got smelly people, we got jokes about jocks.

 

This is a shaggy dog story in scenario form. It is clearly marked as a mature scenario in the download section, so I don't object to this one.

 

The combat sucked, the traps sucked, the plot was threadbare (but it was a shaggy dog story) so I expected as much. The lich fight was a good fight. The other fights were not that hard.

 

I think the problem was that there wasn't a lot of betatesting. You couldn't exactly betatest this without some of the more prudish spiderwebbers jumping up and down and saying this should have never been produced.

 

A bad scenario with a lot of interesting innovations that I liked. Plus sexy baby. Yay.

 

[rating]GOOD[/rating]

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From Lilith on the CSR:

 

Nodework is mostly competent but unexceptional, apart from a few bugs and wonky things. Combat and treasure balance were reasonable, although as mentioned in other reviews the combat was a little on the easy side most of the time. It was nice to see a scenario that gives a bit of a reward to players who bother to invest points in Tool Use and Potion Making, by putting treasure in locked chests and including a fair number of places where herbs can be found.

 

Bad spelling drags the quality down a bit, and the sexual content goes beyond what's really necessary in order for the plot to work, but at least it's better than it was in the designer's BoE scenarios. The size of the outdoors really is excessive; there are entire outdoor sections with nothing noteworthy in them, but at least most of the important places can be reached by following roads. Town design is a little off; using a large number of different floor types randomly in a single town can be distracting and make it hard to tell important buildings from unimportant ones. Dialogue is rather perfunctory; in most towns, you have pretty much the same small list of questions available in dialogue with every single person in town.

 

The scenario is fairly short, and the plot's on the thin side; as far as I can tell it's never really explained what the she-devil needs the doll for, how it came to be in Jock's possession, or how he knows that she needs it. Still, it was refreshing to be able to deal with the threat in some way other than by killing her.

 

This scenario has a couple of neat things and quite a few flaws, but on the whole, it's not bad.

 

[rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

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From Dallerdin on the CSR:

 

This scenario has a large outdoors, quite a bit of filler, and constant sexual themes.

 

Let me repeat that.

 

This scenario has a large outdoors, quite a bit of filler, and constant sexual themes.

 

Those two features are, as far as I can tell, the only things that actually stand out in this scenario. Everything else is just slightly below average, boring gameplay.

 

 

The Large Outdoors:

 

The scenario is about a she-devil that's killing people and destroying stuff and... yeah. That's pretty much it. You are drawn into the scenario because someone called Ben asks you for help, and so you go to a remote valley just for the sake of helping him.

 

The entire scenario takes place in ten outdoor sections and fifteen towns. Of these fifteen towns, most of which are friendly cities or villages, only seven are really nessecary to visit. And I'm fairly sure I couldn't be stuffed to go looking for most of the rest, because there just wasn't any point. Each friendly town was pretty much the same, the only difference being the position of the buildings and the minor, unimportant quest that you'll recieve. I didn't even bother visiting most of them the first time round.

 

 

The quite a bit of filler:

 

Most of the quests in the scenario are filler. Rather than recieving information on the she-devil's evil wherabouts, you have to go and kill some undead in a lighthouse first, and then it's suggested that you go explore Avernum to get an overpowered weapon, but before you get it you have to do some spontaneous fetch-the-item quests, and then you finally get to come close to finishing the scenario.

 

The side quests are all along the lines of "bring back a candlestick I lost" or "find this bracelet" rather than anything to do with the story itself, and the justification for the combat is incongrous at best "Hi, we're the undead! We are in this lighthouse for no reason!" and utterly random at worst "Hi, we're the sliths, who attack humans for no reason and have built a cave with secret passages in order to guard some parsley!"

 

 

The constant sexual themes:

 

Almost every major NPC in the scenario is female. Most of them have a dialogue picture that's intended to say "I am a really hot woman" because... well, no real reason. Often they make passes at the PCs or vice versa (even if all the PCs are sliths). There is a prostitue in the scenario for the sole reason of having a prostitute in the scenario. Every character is one dimensional, and it's not even a particularly interesting dimension.

 

[rating]SUBSTANDARD[/rating]. Play it once, then put it on a floppy and throw it into the sea.

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From VCH on the CSR:

 

Cresent Valley well I don't have much to say about it. But it does hold the distinction of being the first BOA scenario I couldn't force myself to finish. The outdoors are far too huge. Now I know big being from Canada, but at least the outdoors could have been interesting.

 

The towns, are a point I must disagree with most people. I thought the towns were very realistic. Most towns were designed well and were a treat to walk through. I would say designers should take note of Cresent Valley's towns as they are a cut above all else to date in BOA.

 

The game play is also extremely boring. Nothing drives the plot forward there basically is no story. Nothing is compelling or as it seems even relevant to the party. Several quests I could not complete simply because I couldn't find were they start.This was mainly because of the large outdoors. "Help me I'm lost was it past that tree or that one over there, that looks exactly the same?"

 

Who will like this scenario? People with copious amounts of free time will at least enjoy this scenario for its time-eating nature. The designer is obviously capable of making excellent scenarios. So let this be his first attempt. I expect there will be more and better scenarios to come.

G Out RESpeK Rating iz [rating]GOOD[/rating]

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From Imban on the CSR:

 

Mike Slack has some good town design skills... sometimes. He's quite capable of designing nicely planned towns in the Vogelian tradition.

 

Problem is, the Vogelian tradition also calls for dungeons to hack through, and Cresent Valley is entirely missing satisfying dungeons. Interestingly enough, it's also missing real set-piece combat, leaving a scenario which looks at first to be Vogelian but does not actually have that much in it that needs to be killed.

 

The Arena is neat until you realize what a ripoff it is, at least. No points gained or lost there.

 

The level recommendation might be a little low, and there were some buggy spellbooks in the only known release version which gave you unreasonably high spell levels. I hope Mike Slack has updated it since then, but do not believe he has.

 

[rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

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From Andrew on the CSR:

 

Not terribly compelling. Land spaces were entirely too large, and adding a jaunt to Avernum seemingly for the sole purpose of including a landscape forming the author's initials is gratuitous. Considering you didn't have to slay the demon at all, the Demonslayer sidequest was pretty pointless.

 

The lighthouse was definitely the most compelling area in the scenario. Meh, the sexual theme didn't really bug me too much.

 

Drab. [rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

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From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

 

I'll list cons first, because I feel like being contrary.

 

The constant sexual theme bothered me a bit, most probably because I've had this particular party for a while and I've sort of already got a vague outline of their personalities. My human priestess is a scary and very "get in, kill the monster, take monster's stuff, go back to town to collect reward, then get out as soon as physically possible" type of person, and I can't imagine any of my three male characters(2 nephils, 1 slith) acting in such a way in front of her. (I had a simular gripe about Roses of Reckoning forcing me to choose goodie-goodie responses. My characters aren't goodie-goodies. They lie. They cheat. They steal. Especially that third one.) [/rant]

 

I found the Demonslayer quest rather pointless as well since, although it might be partially because I already had that other sword from some other scenario with a really long name that I can't remember, which gave me 100 damage to demons as opposed to Demonslayer's 40.

 

Despite the annoying lack of flashy new equipment, there were lots of ability-increasing specials, lots of herbs, and lots of gold to steal that more than made up for it(and now both my fighters each have a point in Magery that they're never going to use! ), so I'm not going to penalize you for it.

 

I actually liked the large, open outdoor area. It was a lot different from the cramped, sometimes overwhelming outdoors areas of some other scenarios(I'm claustrophobic), and it wasn't barren wasteland, either. Rather interesting what Michael did with the roads changing from dirt to paved. Gives the sense that the area is still under development. The towns are also very nice despite the lack of good dialog and sometimes being a bit too closed-in for my tastes.

 

The doll was an interesting twist (I was expecting her to be trying to exact vengeance on someone or some other cliche like that), the parsley thing was weird, and the candlestick quest was the kind of generic "my ~insert object of sentimental value here~ got stolen by bandits, can you please get it back for me?" thing that gives the scenario a touch of familiarity that makes me feel comfortable.

 

But most importantly, This scenario kept me from dying of boredom.

 

[rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

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From Smoo on the CSR:

 

The sexual themes wouldn't have bothered me as much if there would be a call to check the gender of the PC.

While I'm fine with the fact that my female character can visit a hooker, it just seems stupid that the succubus

has such power over her.

 

General: Towns were nice and I especially liked the layout of the main town. The outdoors are a completely

different story; they are large, too freaking large considering there's absolutely nothing in them! The side

quests were also uninteresting following the pattern: Fetch me a random item of personal value.

 

Combat: Not hard at all. I believe one fight got me killed and that is the lighthouse finale. I must say that I

too am beginning to despise undead... and I never liked them to begin with.

 

Plot/Characters: The plot is really just an excuse to roam through Cresent Valley and visit Avernum, though that

is optional. The only positive thing I can come up with about the plot is the fact that killing the succubus is

not necessary. All of the women in Cresent valley are sexy babes without personality. The men on the other hand

are without personality. The dialog was tediously repetitive.

 

Overall: Play this only if you're bored out of your skull, I'm conflicted about the score. I think I actually

enjoyed Xerch'de more but since there's more of Cresent Valley I'll give this one more points, barely.

 

[rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

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From Ephesos on the CSR:

 

Well, it's playable. Not sure why you'd want to play it, but oh well.

 

There's something to be said about how the omnipresent and degrading sexual content reflects upon the creator. I won't say it, but I think it's understood. The dialogue itself is dull and empty, and I think it's only there so you can hit on the female characters (which isn't worth it).

 

I really don't like the lighthouse full of undead. It's been done.

 

Please, this is for all designers: WHEN YOU HAVE A SLITH AVATAR IN YOUR SCENARIO, FIX ITS GRAPHIC.

 

When you get right down to it, the scenario is freakishly simple. You get the doll, be nice to the beggar, and hope your random die rolls work out. There's the arena, which is interesting but unnecessary to the plot in any way, shape or form.

 

There's the outdoors, which is WAY TOO BIG. Seriously, they don't need to be this huge... there's like a syndrome for this tendency, I swear...

 

Towns are uninspired and dull. There was no need for a side-trip to Avernum, nor was the shameless self-plug of the raised initials in the cave floor needed.

 

And I think this should be the last scenario with a prostitute ever.

 

I was thinking about a 5, but thinking about the prostitute again just got me mad that this scenario was made....

 

[rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

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From Lazarus on the CSR:

 

The plot in this one is pretty poor, plus its so stretched out that you often forget it even exists. There are sidequests, but they aren't very interesting and they are usually irrelevant to the she-devil story. And like any good Slack scenario, any woman in CV is willing to make a pass at your adventureres. :rolleyes

 

I dislike this scenario, but at least it actually works and exists for longer than one town (More than Xerch'de or ALR can say). For this reason I'll give it a rating of [rating]AVERAGE[/rating], as much as it pains me to do so.

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From Nikki on the CSR:

 

So, it's massive, but in a bad way - the outdoors are HUGE, and for no good reason. If they were pretty, I could live with them, but they just serve as a way of stretching the scenario. And the players patience.

 

The overt sexuality, and the fact that most dialogue existed only so that the party could hit on people was pointless.

 

The plot. Oh the plot. It was pretty much none existant and seriously, I couldn't care either way. I mean, how about the succubus seduces the party and gets them to do her bidding - killing townspeople, stealing things, WHATEVER.

 

Yeah. So I didn't particularly like this. But at least it didn't break or whatever.

 

[rating]SUBSTANDARD[/rating]

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From Thralni on the CSR:

 

*sigh*

 

And that's quite a striking summary of the complete scenario: while I didn't think it was bad, it wasn't good either. Town design was pretty now and then, but bad at other places. Outdoor design was hilarious, which is NOT good. The plot was not very good (give a demoness her toy back? yeah...) and I absolutely hated the way Michael Slack made the dialogue with people and dialogboxes. I wouldn't say it hurt my eyes, but it got me irritated.

 

*cough*

 

[rating]SUBSTANDARD[/rating]

 

Agree with most of you: just play it once to see what it is, but after that, leave it. there is better stuff to play.

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Mr.TiC   

What I liked:

- town design; it was interesting to walk trough pretty towns, seeing some contents of houses trough the windows and such.. there were plenty of traps too, so Tool Use was quite useful to have.

- The idea of having an arena was quite interesting.

 

What I disliked:

- Outdoors; why..why so big? It felt like walking trough a green wasteland... I think, for this size of outdoor area, the plot could have been tripple the current size. Walking from town to town felt like a journey.

- No idea why the Succubus wants her toy and, while we learn a bit about her, it still felt like something is missing.

- Plot; except it was too short, weirdness stroke me when for example: I saw a beggar build himself a house and owning a portal to the endboss, with only a few coins I gave him; Some random guy having the most important special item just lying there... just made no sense to me.

- Sexual references: turning my partty into sex maniacs was outrageous, while almost every female character was seen as a potential pornstar was really distasteful, in my opinion.

- I also didn't like the rewards from the arena, probably because I got..none! I mean cmon you can't make me pay to fight and spend my consumable items without compensation at least...

 

Well, I might have become picky from playing better scenarios, but I really did not enjoy this one. I'm sorry I have to rate it so low, though I'll play your other scenarios to see what you actually can do. Seems like I'm not as open-minded as someone playing this scenario should be and I hope it brings more pleasure to others than it brought to me.

 

I'd rate it [rating]SUBSTANDARD[/rating].

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