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The Isle of Boredom


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DRIZZT

 

I started writing something, and quickly realized I had enough to say to put in a full review.

 

Right off the bat I should say this is the worst scenario title ever, one that might actually discourage people from playing it. Perhaps “Valley of no Special Nodes” or “Days of Endless Combat!!” would technically be worse, but they apply to this fine first work as much as the actual title does. Granted, the scenario is initially about bored adventurers, but it’s still an unfortunate choice. The scenario’s title during its development, the Isle of Kurnis, is perhaps bland but waaaaaaaaay better than the unfortunate name it’s saddled with now.

 

Anyway, the story is good (not boring at all, really) and somewhat dark, and the node work is excellent, but the author has shown since this scenario was released that he’s pretty good at that. There are some very clever sequences, the last battle near the end of the scenario comes to mind immediately. The heart of the scenario is a large, puzzle-filled tower filled with some very skillful special node useage, and the skill at which the Editor is used is certainly the strength of this effort.

 

Not everything fits in to the story quite as well, though. The Creator has also admitted that some of the scenario exists simply as a vehicle for some fun node sequences, and at times parts are indeed thinly justified. There is the convienent “Test Of Magic” type gauntlet, including passwords to ascend to the next level, but nothing is that far off base or totally unjustified.

 

The main weakness of this scenario are the impressions that it leaves the player at the critical points, namely the beginning and end. If you fight your way past the discouraging scenario name, the player is confronted, nay assaulted with the MOST maddening dungeon ever created. Now, from a special node perspective this is an elegant method of counting the number of players in the party, but I grew quickly so very tired of the instant death suffered upon my party if I left Combat Mode, because I wasn’t quite clear when I was allowed to do this. The whole first part was boring, frustrating and almost made me quit . . . not quite the way to start a scenario.

 

The end is also questionable, as mentioned in other reviews, because it is abrupt and calls for a sequel when none is required. I was expecting a final battle with the bad guy, but instead I got a message about the next scenario to come. Now if there is more story to be revealed, then that’s fine, but I felt like the scenario would have better been ended after the final battle with the Kujas. It’s a letdown to make the party go through two kind of mostly boring puzzle gauntlets (one simple fight/find the secret doors, the other find the four keys/more secret doors idea, neither the strongest or most justified puzzles of the scenario), then _expect_ a battle but get nothing. A good scenario will reach a crescendo at the end, but Boredom reaches that in the middle, then fizzles out.

 

All in all, this is a decent scenario, and the Creator has since then shown his ability in using the Blades scenario editor. Let’s hope his next scenario shows the polish that was hinted at in his short Goblins scenario, but sadly lacking in (the most important) parts here. Rating: Average

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THURYL

 

There's rather a lot of humour in this scenario, which alleviates what would otherwise be a very dark atmosphere (whether this is a good thing or not is a matter of opinion). While there's some impressive nodework, I often got the feeling that the scenario was flying by the seat of its pants - many nodes don't always work quite as they're supposed to. It's still amazing for a first effort, though.Good

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SHYGUY

 

Yes, most of us hate riddles, and this games uses a lot of them. Luckily, there is a hint file to help get past these. The game's a bit buggy, too. But for a first effort, I was fairly impressed.

 

The nodework at times is quite inspired. As a designer, I found myself scratching my head, wondering how did he do that? Custom graphics added greatly to the atmosphere, but I did tire of being poisoned, diseased, and "cocooned" all the time.

 

All in all, a good first effort. Average

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