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Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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Author Topic: Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled for DS. Anyone have updates?  (Read 19320 times)
Aeolus
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« Reply #60 on: June 14, 2009, 09:43:27 PM »

Story and Music alone make a game worth trudging through.

Man do I disagree with that. If the gameplay is terrible, there is absolutely no way I am playing through a game no matter what. The game not being a graphical mess (meaning the technical aspects, not the graphics being pretty) is also way more important than the music.

And yet there are games like the early BoFs and Lufias that would be otherwise completely forgettable if it weren't for the presentation (or at least the music).

Gen, funny you should mention that!

Despite what the status menu said, you didn't have any stats in Secret of Mana. You had attack power that reflected your current weapon and defense which reflected your current armor, but nothing like strength, speed, etc. And the game worked fine without it (well, except for the shoddy hit detection and bad AI and, and, and...). It also made grinding fairly useless, since only HP and MP would increase, and these things weren't hugely advantageous.

Here's something interesting, you know. In a lot of Square RPGs, what your stats do is fairly mystifying. Well, JRPGs in general. Maybe it's just because half the time they do odd things like "Name magic defense charisma!" but I swear that the SGF, Usaga, and the chrono games are the only square games where all those little numbers are meaningful to me.

I do think there were stats involved in SoM since a two level difference in the Haunted Woods could mean the difference between breezing through everything like a gust of hot death and getting laid out flat by any given Werewolf in the dungeon. Another good example of level difference is the test up in the Lofty Mountains where you're fighting enemies that'll soon become regulars but unless you grounded the living shit out of your levels you aren't going to do squat to them in damage. Stuff like agility determined hit% and evade% (granted much of those stats came from equipment than anything else) and strength + the weapon's power determined the character's attack rating (in fact the game's most powerful axe isn't since the previous axe provided either a 5 point or 10 point boost to the wielder's strength rating which was more than the upgrade to level 9 provided).

Although to be honest character's stat progression was fixed and most of the stat gains came from weapon upgrades, spell levels, and armor.
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Animage
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« Reply #61 on: June 15, 2009, 06:34:08 PM »

Finally got the game today, but have yet to start it.  Absolutly no time so far here at work to sit down to start it.

Plan to get some time in further on tonight when I'm allowed.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #62 on: June 16, 2009, 04:58:35 PM »

It appears that Graffiti has issued a statement saying that only pirated copies of Black Sigil freeze up and that retail copies do not.  I hope that's the case, though people elsewhere are saying otherwise.  http://gonintendo.com/viewstory.php?id=85840

12 hours or so, and my game hasn't frozen or locked up yet.

Of course, the retail copy is not without a few errant glitches.  I've encountered a couple, one that's completely inconsequential and one that's a mild annoyance. 

The inconsequential one is when Aurora hits level 9, the top screen says level 9 and the bottom screen says level 19.  Typo in the number string.  No big deal. 

The other one has to do with a gameplay-plot integration.  Early on in the game, main hero Kairu
Code:
gets branded with a curse
and sometimes enters battle with random status ailments.  But if you select a different character to be the lead, that character sometimes gets saddled with Kairu's stat ailment burden. 
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« Reply #63 on: June 16, 2009, 11:09:07 PM »

Jeremy Parish really didn't like it.

I'll rent it sometime, but I'm pretty glad I didn't bother to preorder when Amazon had it for $22 (or was that really $23?).
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blackthirteen
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« Reply #64 on: June 17, 2009, 03:36:56 AM »

I can't wait to read the review :)

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Aeolus
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« Reply #65 on: June 17, 2009, 03:46:15 AM »

Jeremy Parish really didn't like it.

I'll rent it sometime, but I'm pretty glad I didn't bother to preorder when Amazon had it for $22 (or was that really $23?).

Damn. I was worried that this might turn into another Sword of Mana. :(((((( (I may still pick this up but only after it hits the bargain bins for $5. I'm all for supporting Indie developers, but only when they make good games.)

Also a word to the wise developers: NEVER throw a bunch of cool sounding systems into the same game and hit frappe!


I can't wait to read the review :)



Quote from: Jeremy Parish
This article was written with the intent of publishing it as a review (with our EIC's blessing), but after thinking over it a while my conscience wouldn't let me post such a scathing review -- I had settled on a D+ score -- without finishing the game. But man, there's no way I'm going to slog through another 10-15 hours of this. I could be doing so many more productive things with that time. So, please enjoy my review in unofficial blog form.

P.S.: D+. Believe it.

That WAS the review.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #66 on: June 17, 2009, 09:39:53 AM »

Man, all the critics have been harsh on Black Sigil.  Lemme tell you, Black Sigil is not a bad game.  It's not super-great-awesome-ultra-sexy-fantastic, but it certainly doesn't suck.  I'm about 15 hours in and the story's progressively gotten better.  My opinion of the game is improving as I play it more. 

That Jeremy Parish review sounds like he's merely griping about the fact that the game actually offers a unique challenge and a need for strategy.  That whole "magic user forbidden from using magic" in that one dungeon is actually part of a relevant plot point.  Is it a nuisance?  Yes.  Is it arbitrary? No.

I'm actually enjoying this one more than Crimson Gem Saga now, despite CGS being the far superior game.  The high encounter rate's rough, but it least it does not have those wacky annoying chained fetch quests required to advance the plot... at least not yet. 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 03:13:23 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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blackthirteen
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« Reply #67 on: June 17, 2009, 03:13:51 PM »

Jeremy Parish's review is really ugly...

However I will trust Dincrest's review more than anyone else. We can always feel Neale's passion for old-school games and he doesn’t bother with any stupid prejudices or compare indie games with mainstream games.
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blackthirteen
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« Reply #68 on: June 22, 2009, 05:40:03 PM »

Anything new about your review Dincrest ? :)
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daschrier
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« Reply #69 on: June 22, 2009, 06:06:40 PM »

All the bugs I've been reading about makes this a no buy for me.

There's no excuse, especially for a game that's been in development for as long as this one.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #70 on: June 22, 2009, 08:57:08 PM »

I should have a review by the end of the week.  I'm 32 hours in and I *think* I'm at the 2nd to last dungeon.

I haven't encountered any freezing bugs.  I think that the freeezing just happens in pirated versions.  All I've seen are a few inconsequential slips (i.e. one graphical glitch on a moving platform and one number string glitch where one character's level reads 19 instead of 9.)  And because I didn't pay close enough attention to a plot point, one aspect that seemed like a glitch wasn't one at all.  I've seen more glitching in modern console RPGs, especially those with camera rotations. 

The game's pretty clean.  I think people are just bitching about the game for the sake of bitching and making mountains out of molehills.  The game's actually good.  It's not super-ultra-sexy-great, but it's good.  It's one of those games that starts off slow, but gets better as it progresses. 

EDIT To be honest, my only real complaint with the game is *broken record time* that the encounter rate is way too high, even with an accessory that's supposed to lower it. 
« Last Edit: June 22, 2009, 09:19:49 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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blackthirteen
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« Reply #71 on: June 22, 2009, 09:17:51 PM »

The game's pretty clean.  I think people are just bitching about the game for the sake of bitching. 

Exactly what I thought.
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MonCapitan2002
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« Reply #72 on: June 23, 2009, 03:28:01 AM »

It's not a bad RPG.  The story and music are its strongest aspects.  If you can live with a battle every 3-5 steps, have fun.  I don't know what more I can say about it except that it's a throwback, warts and all.  Sure some of those warts can be construed as charming old-school quirks/foibles, but some of those warts are just warts.  Warts that were bad game design then and are bad game design now.   

I have encountered a few glitches and bugs, though.  I haven't had anything freeze or lock up my game (I've been at it for almost 10 hours), but I have seen a menu glitch here and there and every so often Kairu will enter a battle with multiple stat ailments despite being equipped with an anti-whatever charm. 

In a nutshell, I want to like this game a lot more than I actually do. 
I am not entirely sure if Kairu's multiple stat ailments are a glitch or bug.  I think that has more to do with his curse than anything else.

I have been playing the game for a while now and I happen to enjoy it.  The only complaint I would have about it is the real high encounter rate and the low level of gold received for killing enemies.  I will say that playing the game evokes warm feelings of nostalgia on my part and I'll keep playing just for that.

So far, I have enjoyed the story quite a bit.  I have reached a point where I am exploring this old library.  It seems that this is the next point of the story, so I'll find out what happens next as I explore it.  I will say that as a Western developed RPG, I think they did a fine job in evoking the traditional Japanese RPG template.  Since it is a Western RPG, I have to say that I like the fact that there isn't any real awkward dialogue.  They also did a fine job in keeping certain characters speech patterns consistent throughout.

I haven't encountered any bugs or glitches in the game at all.  I will say that there is one thing that annoyed me.  The poor quality of the instruction manual is horrible and makes it completely useless.  It looks completely low rent and makes me wish a larger publisher picked this game up.

All in all, I think this game was a solid debut title from Studio Archcraft.  Here's hoping it won't be their last.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 03:47:56 AM by MonCapitan2002 » Logged

Dincrest
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« Reply #73 on: June 23, 2009, 08:33:26 AM »

Yes, Kairu's stat ailments are due to his curse, but there is a plot point where
Code:
his curse gets lifted.
  The only reason I thought it was weird was because I didn't pay close enough attention to the plot. 

And with the gold, yeah gold's scarce in the beginning, but toward the middle and end, you'll have more than enough for weapons and items. 
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 05:35:51 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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daschrier
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« Reply #74 on: June 23, 2009, 02:08:56 PM »

There are people on cheapassgamer with retail copies that have said they've experienced freezing and crashing, and there is also a glitch involving changing the message speed which can result in crashes at some point in the game.
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