Jump to content

Spears


Recommended Posts

Spears is a good scenario, but I have found this one somewhat less fun than other scenarios. It has many special features such as special spells, NPCs, counterspells (I liked this especially), and other things.

 

The plot is that Sliths and Undine are at war, and in order to settle some territory, you must choose a side. What is interesting is that playing one side does not mean you fight the other blindly, i.e. if you play the Sliths there are Slith enemies and vice versa. The dialogue is very well written and it has good custom graphics.

 

I found that the scenario seemed very confusing and I could never figure it out without the walkthrough.

 

That being said, still very worth playing

 

I rate this scenario Good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

THE CREATOR

 

Spears is a mixed bag in some respects. The gameplay is, for the most part, wonderful. The Special Spells are fantastic, easily the best in any scenario yet.

 

On the other hand, logic in the plot occasionally goes completely out to lunch. I couldn't understand the motives of my own party at points. A prime offender can be found in the Slith path. I won't spoil it, but to find the 'win' ending, the party has to act in an extremely counterintuitive way.

 

If you don't need your plots to pass muster on any more than face value, you'll adore Spears. It has a wealth of good dungeons and sequences. If you're like me and need a plot that would run in reality without bugs (so to speak), your playing experience will be diminished. All the same, it's a good scenario and I recommend playing it. Good

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TERROR'S MARTYR

 

I cannot say enough about this scenario.

 

This is, in a word, a masterpiece. I mean, for chrissake, the noding on this thing is beautiful. It has the most excellent graphical work I've seen to date. My gripe... Figuring out what to do. At first (and first for me is the first beta), I spent my first three hours of gameplay looking for a secret passage in a river I had no idea was there. This repeated itself in various incarnations (talk to Zaevess and charm the Troglo in Seablaze!), each being crucial to victory (search Enulene's bookshelves!), some not so. But on the other hand, everything else is there. While flow might suffer a bit, this scenario truly has the most imaginative use of sounds and nodes I've seen to date, with the exception of Shadow of the Stranger. And while many things are at par with SotS in Spears, Spears has so many more benefits, and it is so much longer! I don't think I've seen a better scenario to date. Best

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BRUCE MITCHELL

 

Good one.

 

Difficult to find the winning lines without being "counterintuitive". Enjoyable. Epic. Great special spells, such as the unpredictable Chaos, Featherwalk, Charge Crystal (cheaply giving you nearly endless spell points in a dungeon). Was confused at parts. Felt the special spell Recharge Wands was a plot weakness as it meant the one plot's search for a metawand with the same ability seemed pointless; the designer did explain but I still felt it stood out. Good one. Good

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SHYGUY

 

This one is difficult to review due to the fact that there are several paths you can follow. My game playing time being limited, I played this game once. What I found was an excellent scenario. It had a good plot that moved at a fast pace. It had plenty of cool innovations...npcs who could join your party, special spells, and custom recipes.

 

The problem with a multi-pathed scenario, at least for me, is that you won't see the whole thing in one playing. And I know I missed a lot. But I don't have the time to play it 2 or 3 times, which is what you would need to do to see everything the author has created here. So I can only review this on what I did see.

 

The path I chose was relatively easy. In fact, combat became much too easy towards the end. At on point in the game,I had no problem mowing through an army of giant insects that I was told would be near suicide to attempt. And all the combat thereafter was a piece of cake. I only found one npc to join my party, and he was helpful in early combat, but I never found anyone else. I didn't find the special spells to be particularly useful (the ones that I found, anyway). I liked the new alchemy recipes. and they were actually useful to solving some of the game's puzzles. The last half of the scenario became an extended game of cat and mouse (or lizard and rat, as the main villain quotes), but was designed quite well. I became annoyed a couple times when I needed to search a huge area for a secret passage for the plot to continue, and on several occasions finding the right word to ask an npc about was much harder than it should have been. There were a few bugs and some spelling errors, but the scenario was quite stable and well designed for the most part. The towns could have been a little more interesting, as the majority of them were there just to offer services and shopping.

 

All and all, the criticisms I have are fairly minor. This was definately a game designed by an experienced designer and probably one of the best I've played. It just too bad I didn't see it all. Based on what I did see, I give it a Good

 

So will I ever play it again and choose a different path? I just might at that. laugh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BRETT BIXLER

 

Spears is a truly fantastic scenario, and I believe it reflects a growing maturity of the author. Coding is excellent bordering on the best there is. Developing a story this complex with two sides to choose from is also fantastic. The story flows, and you are swept along with it.

 

The main con - and I believe this may just be a personal thing for me - is the characterization of the two races involved. We don't know the Undine, so I suppose anything goes. But they just didn't feel water-based. The Sliths we do know well (or believe we do) and I found them to be entirely too human, from town construction down to the way they talked.

 

The second con for me was the (on the play-for-the-Undine branch) repeated battles when returning the staff. People that like battle-oriented scenarios will love this, however, and you can't please everyone.

 

The bottom line? I'm glad Quint won the contest, but I would have sincerely jumped for joy if Spears had won. It is a masterpiece that deserves to be recognized.

 

Best

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BOOTS

 

Good

 

Like At the Gallows, Spears is an Extra Value Meal epic. There's one of everything on the menu: you've got your choice of a burger or the fish; either one comes with a Coke and fries, and it's all supersized. So the scenario is a decent time if you think that there's no food that isn't improved by being salted, breaded, fried and served by the square-foot. If not, you may find yourself left feeling bloated and listless.

 

The opening stretches accomplish little that a high level party maker couldn't in one-tenth the time. Things pick up after you face your one-and-only Big Decision in the plot, but throughout, the gameplay mostly runs the gamut from "Storm that Castle and Kill all the Undead You Can Find!" to "Storm that Cavern and Kill all the (Insert Monster Here) You Can Find!" to "Storm that Fort -- not to be Confused with that Castle -- and Kill all the (Now Would Noticing What They Were Really Change Anything?) You Can Find!"

 

There are, of course, special spells, NPCs, multiple plot-lines and so on, dutifully doing their thing (it's all done-up after the fashion of Homer Simpson's approach to automobile design). And there are at least two downright brilliant episodes: scenes and places that, in a scenario less padded with anonymous filler, would have had me impossibly engrossed. As it was, by the time I got to them, I was too glazed-over to give them the interest they deserved, and having now finished one of the two plots, I haven't felt the least inclination to go back and play the second.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MILU K

 

Very polished. Technically, this scenario is probably very close to perfect.

 

However, parts of the story and/or some details could have been more original. For example, the wizards seem to be too often just doing research, which is a little bit too often used theme in scenarios. There are other things like this that made the scenario less interesting.

 

Still, I think this is one of the best scenarios there are at the moment.

 

Good

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ROSYCAT

 

Hey, wow. Just finished this. And it's amazing. I've played Stareye's other epics- they really didn't grab me. Although they were impressive technically and size-wize, I didn't consistently have FUN playing them. I did not get immersed in the storyline. I didn't hold my breath a I spoke to everyone I met. Whereas here... Here I played it straight till the very end without getting bored, without going off to look in every nook and cranny for something to do. And replayed it. Although first I sided with the Undine, I wanted to see what the Slith side of the story was like. Either way you play it, it's a breathtaking scenario.

 

Best

Link to comment
Share on other sites

S.M. ADVENTURER

 

Well, I find this scenario to be excellent. It has a great plot, from beginning to end. There was some excellent special node work, excellent dialogue, and very nicely done customized graphics.

 

I played the Sliths' Side, and it was a very amazing story. But of course, to tell the truth, I did have to look at the hint file at times. But as soon as I made progress I got more and more excited while playing this scenario. Stareye really knows how to make a good scenario.

 

I also played some of his other works too, but this one beats them all.

 

So, in conclusion, I have to say that Stareye is a very good scenario designer.

 

Rating: Good

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ALCRITAS

 

There's a section at the "winning" end of the Undine half where we see the split in Zkal's personality. One half of Zkal is "good", is interested in helping people, in doing what's right. The other half has been corrupted by the superpower crystals, and has become a Mad Mad Genius, only interested in creating more and more elaborate, technically brilliant works, with no concern whether or not he should.

 

Is Stareye trying to tell us something?

 

Spears is a technically brilliant scenario, that spends too much time jumping through hoops, and too little time focusing on its soul. The principal idea behind the storyline is a good one, but lacks adequate characterization, and depth. Both the Sliths and Undine come off not as interesting and unique species, but just-like-the-Empire except with Green/Blue skin respectively. Too often the plot advances in ways that makes your face skrunch; your party is forgiven far too easily and too rapidly for many of their transgressions, and the path to victory leads through many counter-intuative places.

 

The technical brilliance is a bit too scattered. The special spells/counter spells/NPC technology plays too little role in the main storyline, it is easily possible to win both versions without getting a single Special Spell or NPC. Frustrating this further is that while the world isn't At the Gallows big, it still is Awfully Damn Big, to an overwhelming degree, to the extent that most players won't seek these nuggets out.

 

Without them, Spears is forced to rely on its gameplay; which will unfortunately scare too many players away. Early gameplay is rough, your party is put through a lot of "training dungeons" that we've all seen 100 times before, and early "plot dungeons" aren't much better. But if you do manage to stick with it, gameplay picks up radically and dramtically. The "win" version of the Undine side is incredible, though perhaps just a bit familiar.

 

Stareye, like Zkal, is a mad genius. The first half of this scenario makes you pound your head into a wall in frustration. The second half makes you pick your jaw up off the floor, as Stareye reclaims his soul, and takes your breath away. Good

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LAZARUS

 

This scenario reminded me of FS in many ways; both have tons of content, but a large portion of it is tucked away in sidequests and such. If you stick to the main story line you're going to miss a lot, but if you take the time to really explore the world of Spears you realise just how rich and detailed it is.

 

Even with all these side quests though, I never really lost sight of the main story. There are lots of side dungeons that fit right into the atmosphere-- ruined forts and such-- that do a great job of establishing the 'war atmosphere.' Unfortunately as the story goes on you realise that the world is rather stagnant. Occasionally a large event will occur and some cities will get smashed, but the world isn't really responsive like FS was. Hell, once you pick sides you can still return to the other side's cities, and really don't face any repercussions.

 

Speaking of sides, as Al pointed out the two aren't particularly distinctive. We have the magic wielding side vs. the brute force side, but besides their strengths and weaknesses the two aren't very different. Especially the sliths-- the Undine have awesome architecture to mask over this a bit, but the sliths don't really feel special at all. The quests you'll do for each side ARE very different though, which adds a lot of replay value. You aren't going to be fighting the same battles but with different allies, they are truly two entirely different story arcs.

 

Speaking of the main story, I do have a few gripes with it (or them rather.) Neither storyline is very long, especially if you miss the 'win' route (which is pretty easy to do.) The Undine 'finish' ending is VERY abrupt, so if you don't 'win' that side you're going to be quite disappointed. The win path for the Undine is quite good though, and easier to find than the slith one. It does feel a bit distant from the war plot though, and turns into a string of artifact quests (Good artifact quests, with a great side story involved, but really not relevant to the slith-undine conflict.) The slith storyline follows the war more closely, and even if you miss the win ending you'll get to see 90% of the plot there (And you almost certainly WILL miss the win ending, because it's fricking impossible to find.) My gripe with the slith side is that the party is forced to do some very ill-advised things to get to the win ending, and it seems to be mostly dumb luck that all this clicks together at the end to work to my advantage.

 

Awesome scenario all in all though. I probably spent more time on this scenario than any other save FS, and I know I still missed a lot. That's just how much there is to do. One of my new favorites. -Good-

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...