Santharian Development

Organization and General Discussions => Active Projects => Topic started by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 29 June 2011, 21:31:35

Title: Santhworld_Review Talia
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 29 June 2011, 21:31:35
I borrow this from Oni the Beautiful, because I can not express it better.

"A fascinating story full of flabby to furious characters, fun puzzles and fierce battle with formidable foes."

Set in the village of Nepris, lying at the easternmost corner of eastern Santharia, the game tells the story of an adventurer, striding through this village and even beyond by puzzling out baffling riddles, killing off from minuscule to mammoth enemies and helping the good ones (or not-so-good ones sometimes) serving their purposes, set out to accomplish a task given by the Ximaxian Academy of magic. And accomplishing so, as in most other games of the same genre, he in his journey finds loot usable in his favour, gains experience, becomes more powerful and skilled to face some formidable foes throughout the game."

As Oni‘s review told the curious gamer already a lot about the puzzles, fights, pictures and music, I will tell you more about my Santhworld Experience:

Of course I‘m biased. I wrote some stuff about the area in which this plays. A few pictures I did are integrated, I‘m a member of the Dream.

On the other side - I was very skeptical because I contributed to those failed attempts of past years and did not really think, that Artimidor would pull it up this time. I play one of these MMORPGs and pay for this, a world of a great design with interesting, partly emotional quests, challenging instances, flying mounts, cool dresses and lore!  Why should a round-based little game with some small pictures, a cumbersome way to move forward draw my interest? Keep me away from my night-elf huntress, gnome warrior or troll shamaness?

Well, it did. This time Artimidor had the help of the mysterious Grinch who balanced the fights so geniously (you can win, but just so..) and Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang, who planned the second part in the swamps. Mr Anfang claims to be a  gobbleswap ( Better don‘t follow the link and read that entry on the site, otherwise you might not dare to enter Santhworld at all. No, I did not encounter one of those, but this ,gobbleswap‘ invented the second part, so be aware!  

First I walked through Nepris on already known paths, looking out for my pictures, entered the underground and finally freed my future companion. (That‘s were Nepris II starts.) I don‘t know, when it happened, that I stopped playing the MMORPG until I had finished Nepris II. Suddenly it didn‘t matter, that there was a lot of reading to do instead of moving forward, my fingers knew without thinking how to find the keys S, W, N, E or I as they do when using them to fight and run as night-elf. The tension in the breast appeared when I feared the next encounter with an enemy - that sensation I had missed for a long time, for it had occurred only when I leveled my very first character years ago. And how proud was I when I had beaten that extra monster down in the depths. The weaknesses of the game some may find I did not perceive anymore.  And I learned once more to read very carefully all texts I came across. I did manage the fights well, though I died some times and I solved the biggest puzzle myself. But there were small things which escaped my attention and where I needed a small hint - and felt a little silly.

This game is very new, so there are still some flaws in it which the creators try to eliminate, e.g. giving some more ingame hints to be able to solve the puzzles a bit easier. Some picture-sequences could be improved, some conversations with Jeremy added, but those are all minor things. I personally would like to be able to use the mouse instead of the keyboard to walk, or to pick up things with the mouse instead of having to type „Take longbow“.

However, if I would give points, these things would never be able to lower the maximal number of points I would give that game, for I would freely give twelve points  for the storyline, the puzzles and the balance and creativity of the fights (each!) instead of a maximum number of ten! :)

That said I will tell you now only how I experienced the main three elements:  Storyline, puzzles, fights.

I know Artimidor now for a long time, read his narrations, creation myths and more. But I did not expect such a deep, exiting and moving story with elements of surprise! It carries the whole game. My knowledge about the places and history of Santharia may have added to my pleasure, so reading some entries on the site may deepen your experience also!
When I finally managed to leave the depths of the dungeons I thought, what else major should now come! That story can‘t be topped. I was wrong! I won‘t tell more though. Only - the end, it was so unexpected!

Now, going a second time through the game with another character (and different weapons) many fights seem easy to me. But that comes from my practise. And because I know, that they are winnable! When I went through the first time, I made screenshots to show the creators, that „this“ fight is impossible to win! How did Oni do that? He must have cheated! But then, suddenly, I did it. With a new strategy, or that unexpected surprise which is so often announced before the fights („Expect the unexpected“). And though I knew it, I went in the last fight again with the thought, that it is impossible to beat this foe. Well I did it.  

Don‘t look for the already published cheats! These puzzles are great, the smaller ones as the bigger ones. I needed two days for the ToD. But I finally did it, out of a sudden flash of insight while reading again some instructions. When you have solved them, they seem so obvious!

 Go and play! This game is so well rounded, puzzles, fights and storyline are so well thought out and balance each other, that you will forget the annoying things like having to type in your commands. They are a mere little irritations in a great world which will open to you, if you have just a little imagination. The pictures, perfect or not, help a great deal to find your way into this world, as does the music.

No, I‘m not biased, this game is just as great as I described it!

Title: Re: Santhworld_Review Talia
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 30 June 2011, 02:10:13
Many thanks for review and praise, Talia!  :thumbup: It's good to see that our work is appreciated!

Don't forget that as far as the story is concerned the final (largest) part of part II is basically all Shabakuk's fantastic work, be it texts, quests, monsters, everything. I only helped with connecting it a bit to the rest and wove it into the main storyline - so I hope even Shab got a little surprised with the turn of events... Anyway, having more developers at the final part I think was the main reason why it worked pretty well all around, has the most animations, most diverse fights and practically every room illustrated differently. Everybody could focus on own aspects and bring in new ideas to make the whole thing more complete.

Review will be added next update to our review collection :)

P.S. Don't forget to add a final overall score for the whole thing (the scale only ends at 10 BTW :)), so that reviews become comparable through these numbers. Oh, and maybe a short summary sentence put on top, like I grabbed one from Oni :)

Title: Re: Santhworld_Review Talia
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 30 June 2011, 02:56:42
Ok, will mention Grinch and Shaba also, thought I had Grinch in it already. And write a summary.

Well, the overall score would be 10, as I tried to get it across - the still existing flaws are erased due to the points above the top I would give!

I thought first about doing the review in a similar way as Oni did it, but what could I have added? I didn't want an outcome of 8 or 9 points of 10, for I think it should have 11! So I wrote it a bit differently.

Title: Re: Santhworld_Review Talia
Post by: Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang on 30 June 2011, 05:03:22
Thanks for the wonderful review, Talia! Arti deserves every word of your praise. And, as you say, so does Grinch, who did an amazing job with the fights, and with much more.

Arti: yes, the ending did take me by surprise indeed!  :D

(Even though I designed much of the area immediately preceding the end of Part II - ie the Baych Wood and the swamp - Arti wisely kept the resolution secret from me until I test-played the whole thing.)

Title: Re: Santhworld_Review Talia
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 01 July 2011, 04:54:55
Thanks Shaba :)

I added a part about Shaba and Grinch, could one of you please have a look at grammar and style and change it while on the way? I'm busy tomorrow and away from Sunday on for a week, so this would help to get it done. (I'm staying in Vienna the weekend after the following!  :grin:)