Game of the Month Review: NO!
Published: July 1, 2001
NO! - 12 Resident Evil - 9 The Motivational Speaker - 4
Ahhh... June 2001. Many have viewed this month as thin and disappointing (especially since some popular releases were due this month, such as a new game by Wayward, one by the old and current IF groups, and something by myself), but 25 people cared enough to vote on what became the Top 3 candidates for GotM in June 2001... in third place was Viovis's "The Motivational Speaker", a fun, storytelling game (like usual Viovis style) about... well... a motivational speaker. Somewhat short, but fun enough. Second was bucket's (March 2001 GotM winner, with "New Demo") "Resident Evil", a game that would've made a fantastic demo, but served as a decent complete game. RE takes the virus/zombie aspects of the popular game series and transfers it to ZZT, with great graphics and fairly good gameplay, but was annoying at times (ammo reloading, zombies taking away too much health).
Also, I'd like to point out "The Kane Project 2", which got 2 votes... of course, Master Raze (the author) isn't the most popular of programmers, and there was little hype from anywhere about the game from himself, so he has something to be proud of. A little too much cursing there, m' friend, but it got the votes it deserved anyway... once again proving that if a game is truly good, it will prevail.
... But, hey, enough with that. Let's get on to this month's winner (which I would've picked myself, just like last month's; rock on, community!)... _God_'s "NO!"!
_God_ has had several releases in the past, but the most impressive one was "RPG Demo", which got him into Random Inc. I was pretty happy with what I got, there, but then he sent me a copy of "NO!", with the first few levels done... and I knew I was getting a programmer with the potential of being one of the top 15 around. "NO!" blends traditional ZZT arena fighting, RPG battling (and this engine's actually GOOD, folks... plenty of magic attacks, as well as a sword technique and a bomb move), Atari's Breakout (much like pong, with the major difference being that instead of going against an opponent, the player has to hit differently colored blocks), and the random dungeon scheme... and somehow manages to make it all fun. Eight levels of fun, plus a boss at the end which won't fall by touching him (... or it) many times or trying to shoot his brains out (... Well, he'll tell you how to defeat him, but it's still somewhat challenging and fun anyway). The only real downfalls are that it's a bit short (which is forgiven, since it's fun enough to be replayed a decent number of times), plus it has some bugs that sometimes appear, though the most I had to do about that was try "?+dark" to find a passage. Don't worry about it, folks, the small errors don't really harm the game.
Are there some bugs? Yeah. Should you care? No, dammit, just use "+zap". This is one of the better games of the year, and the best action game released so far this year (okay, there's little choice for that second one... but this game's good, anyway!). Let's remember why people play ZZT; to have fun. Simple as that. And this game, while being as simple as that, also does pack that fun.