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Proving Grounds

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Proving Grounds



Author: Michael Slack


Version: 1.0.3



Composite Score: 1.8/5.0


Best: 0.00% (0/10)

Good: 0.00% (0/10)

Average: 20.00% (2/10)

Substandard: 40.00% (4/10)

Poor: 40.00% (4/10)






Edited by SylaeBot
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium
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This was not a pleasant play for me. I lost the will to fight after three rooms of random monsters, and it went downhill from there.


There's just nothing here except monsters. I expect that Wizardry (the game on which this was based) was fine for its time and genre, but I personally expect more from BoA than that. I want more than hack’n’slash. And at the very least, you can make interesting hack’n’slash.


Weird teleportation, excessive use of secret doors (with no visual cues whatsoever), and sad-to-non-existant characterization made this one an unpleasant experience. And I'd personally like to see a female character appear in one of Slack's scenarios who you can't hit on. Just once, you know? Also, some dialogue boxes where each string is more than just one sentence would be nice.


Bottom line: I never played Wizardry, and I never want to. It’s a functional scenario, just not very enjoyable.


Rating: [rating]Substandard.[/rating]

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For the record Ephesos: I don't think you can hit on any of the women in The Staff (Slack's latest scenario). Anyway, on to the review.


First I'd like to mention that if I had played Wizardry 1 I would probably like Proving Grounds more. Since I have not, I can only say that these types of games simply do not work in the BoA engine.


Since I know what kind of game Wizardry is, I will accept the dungeons for what they are: boring and repetitive. Looking for secret doors all the time is not fun either. Since PG is a combat oriented scenario my party gained about ten levels. I think the author should visit the Louvre (Blades Forge?) and at least change the graphics for the weretiger. And the "giant toad" dropped a slith spear. Paying for training was a nice idea.


The thief script was okay. Otherwise I didn't see any flashy tricks.


Combat is boring and repetitive. I'm not really a fan of the BoA-style combat to begin with. The fights were mostly easy. In the end some of the dragons and spell casters blasted my fighters to smithereens, though. If I really want to say something positive, I got plenty lot of healing potions out of all this.


Oh, and the boss fight was too easy. The baddies could not leave the room, so I hasted my fighters and blasted the enemy full of arrows and retreated out of sight. Like shooting fish in a barrel.


I should not even bother talking about plot or characters. If you've played Cresent Valley (sic) you know what kind of characters the author can conjure. He does not reinvent himself in this one.


I don't know why I rambled on this much since the scenario is not worth wasting your breath on. Play it only if you like killing zounds of enemies, I don't so:


Rating: [rating]SUBSTANDARD[/rating]


(Now if this would have been a well made Eye of the Beholder remake I would have praised it like mad.)

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  • 1 year later...

From TM on the CSR:


The combat is tedious. All of the levels after the fourth are superfluous. The "puzzles" are bad and uninspired. Town design is horrible. The plot is almost nonexistant.

It's a remake of an older game (Wizardry I), much like Hunted!. Unfortunately, the original sucks.



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From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:


I've never played Wizardry, but every level, more than once, I was thinking Mordor and Demise. The stupid flirting got annoying (and I only saw the one; only person I talked to besides the king was the innkeeper). The only way I kept sane was to keep the scenario editor open so I could find my way down as quick as I could.



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From Lazarus on the CSR:


I first played this scenario when it was originally released, I vowed to never do so again.


But I didn't want to cut corners when I went back to replay all the BOA scenarios, and felt obligated to finish PG. I took about 2 minutes to read through the sparse dialog in the opening down, then moved on to the 10 level dungeon crawl. The dungeons were as bad as I remembered, the only way I even managed to finish them was by turning on debug mode. Debug solved the problem of hideously boring and uninspired dungeons, but not the poor dialog and plot. Not only is the plot nonsensical, it's not even consistant; the designer routinely contradicts himself. Trebor claims he has managed to only seize the first four floors of the dungeon, yet you arrive to find said floors infested with random monsters. He also says in the opening dialog that I will become Trebor's personal body guard if I suceed, instead I get a sack of coins and Trebor's scorn.


I could go on and on about how this scenario suffers from "the big room syndrome" (in this case big room is subsituted with many unexplained little rooms full of monsters), instead I'll give you a quick idea of how pointless the dungeon is. Its justification for existing is that the villain needed a place to hide. The amulet creates an entire 10 story dungeon beneath the city, just by him thinking of it.......


Its hard to believe it possible to go downhill from CV, its quite a feat when you consider the poorness of CV. But PG is definitely much worse. There is only one redeeming feature in Proving Grounds. Which was pressing shift + k and dispatching all those pointless monsters with a keystroke, sadly this wasn't even a part of the scenario, I had to add the debug call myself.


The closing line of this scenario sums it up quite well, "You hope you never have to return to the land of Llylgamyn." I couldn't agree more.



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From Salmon on the CSR:


Average because it is NOT worse than others.


It bothers me to no end that this scenario is rated so low.


Are there bugs? Is it unfinishable? Not to muck things too badly, but this does NOT deserve to be ranked lower than Nephilim Mystery.



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From Lord Grimm on SV:


It's a port of some abandonware game that I'd never heard of until I was told that this was actually a port. Go figure.


The Party is hired to dungeon crawl and kill a sorcerer.

Run up to stuff and kill it. Find a corner in a secret passage and wait for your health to regenerate. Repeat as necessary until you make it to the next level down. Then begin again.

Frankly, the only redeeming feature in the scenario is Slack's world wrap scripting, which is really just a bunch of fancy teleportation encounters.


Plot: .5/2

Gameplay: .8/2

Presentability: .5/2

Scripting: 1/2

Personal Enjoyment: .7/2


Rating: 3.5/10 ([rating]SUBSTANDARD[/rating])

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