Graphics: 5 Gameplay: 5 Creativity: 5 Sound/Music: 5 Length: 4 Difficulty: 5 Quality: 5 Overall: 4.86
I have nothing but admiration for someone who creates a game that goes far beyond ZZT's original design platform. Job well done.
The game did seem artificially short. Too bad about the size limit; I would have liked to see more gameplay like this.
First off, let me state that the relic system is awesome. But, it wouldn't be all that great if the experience system wasn't there as well. Both of these things make Mercenary a great game to play. And though I think that the experience system was executed flawlessly do have a little problem with the relic system. It became very apparent on my first run through the game exactly what path I would have taken if I had chosen the other relics. The game feels quite cramped when this happens and while I agree to some extent whith the other reviewer who thought that more than three relics would have been good, I think that having to choose one item over another would definately make this a better game. For instance, if you don't choose, say, the Rope then every time you pass a Rope-accessable area you need to think. Okay, when I play the game again, when I choose the rope, I've got to remember this area. How the game is, however, you really don't need to backtrack all that often and there is no real need to play the game again with different choises. You can see everything and do everything on this first play though. I do want to say again that I absolutely loved the battle and experience systems. The original enemies were quite nice. The only trouble I had in this respect was the dragon boss, who seemed to need a lot more ammo than was acutally given. I do fully recommend The Mercenary for download and play. The loss of 1 point from a total of 5 was due to the cramped feel and completeness of doing everything in one play-though.
Okay first off: I don't think that it really is playalbe twice since (after the game progresses) you get all THREE Relics. I think there should have been like 9 relics, but you had to choose. Like say first you would choose from Gauntlet Lockpick Rope then you pick from a different set of relics, then a different one again. That REALLY would have made it playable multiple times. It IS fun tho. rather difficult at some places. Not long enough. I beat it in say half an hour, maybe less?
Ahh yes. Chon nevered did disappoint me in none of his games and The Mercenary is not an exeption. It's all because of his sence of taste. He seems like a congenial person to hang around with. Ehney weh, I manage to get this review done since I'm still computerless(grrr).
Funfactor-If you like ArcadeSpeed, AdventureRPG. Yewl lolve thos! And it doesn't take long to complete.
Features/Elements-The relic is the feature advertised in this game, as it is used in going places like many of the crap in the Zelda series(I had a similar idea from that). But, unlike some game as,"you gotta get this to go there", or anything that you got to get those idems respectively. In this game, he has broke the bonds of liniar adventure and gives you the freedom to play your character...Oooh, but no story and no interacting people other than Chon and a bunch of merchants though. Hmph, tuff. Whatcha have is a choice of picking a Rope to go across gaps and lava pits, a Power Glove(see there) to move rocks, or a thief tool, or "A Pick" to unlock doors and junk. Each choice will alter your path in your journey. Juicy!! There are lots of well programmed OEs, such as the ones in the fire dungeon, and ice dungeon. The favorite is the ??? that uses its power to make the candles shoot(never though of that). The thing is that there are so many different ones that keeps your bloodlust going. Incountering a new enemy and see what it takes to take'em out is always my thang roh huhl. More I can say about other games,"Wow...another damn bear." There's also candy coated items you can collect. Sweet!!
Speed-Physically on my (brace yourself) PS/1 (ouch!), the game ran at half the normal speed. I've found the problem. Five BoardObjects on each board have no pauses. It toke me 15min to go to every board and add /i under :loop. That no problem with me and the game ran the way it should. Now to the game itself. You choose the relic you start and from there, you can immediately start playing. I like that.`v'. But you do have to run back and forward to buy shtuff and upgrade your weapons. How fast you progress through the game depends on the person. If you want to go on a hunt for blood, items, and cash, it might take you longer. The dungeons are well lenght also and it won't take long to take out each dungeons masters. The combat system is also speedy. "Chop, chop, kapow!! You gain 10XP". Smoother than the bluntly stoping of many combating windows. And of course, lack of story sequences that we are not going to get into in this section.
Visual-You can tell graphic is not one of his feats as he uses the "overly used" fades. One more time "OVERLY USED" fades, as in it's just about everywhere. I know that there are many other ways to make value that they need to be balanced. The many color he uses on the dungeons keeps them from being boring and bland. That's one thing I like about him. The level design is always good.
Sound/Music-The music kicks, but I can't help having a deja vu of the style of the music. I like it.
Imagetry-Auhh...There's no supporting text that gives the scription of the rooms you incounter. These are the things that draws the player into the game by highthening the sences. With little to no graphic, these powerful discription will saturate player with there own imagination like in books and literary work. A DM like me knows this. But remember the size of his file though...KABOOM!!!
The name says it all. You are hire to defeat the three dungeon master and take out the Ring Leader. It might not answers why but thats as far as I can get from there. Anyway, it hard to come up with a desent story and worry about the game. Ain't like it would die without one.
Since you kick'd it's butt from left to right, let's do it vice versa. The relics made it possible to break it from liniarity. And cause of the speed, and changing gameplay, it came close of having no end.
I'll say this again, I always had liked his games, and uhm...anymore of you players uses me as a waterhose or flippers can go jump. I hate freezing cold water. FIN
It's diablo 2, for ZZT. It's been done before, yes, but this time it's actually playable. Let's start with the good. The levels are well designed, have a good balance of gameplay, and the programming for the level system is pretty good. The relic system gave the game a good touch on non-linearity. Nowhere near enough to want to play the game twice of course, but it still added another level to an otherwise shawllow concept.
However, the graphics are pretty simple fading shades, and don't seem to really fit the game very well. It plays much more like an oldschool game in the respect it doesn't actually seem to have any reasoning or plot behind it, just the random touching of objects to advance to the next level, then touching more objects and so on so on.
It's all very well if you're playing diablo when you can at least have fun equipping your character with random stuff and looking at pretty graphics, but in this game, you don't have either, which just makes it seem very simple, and shallow. Maybe one day someone will make a game just like this, only intersperse it with towns, and a plot? Something to give people a reason to play on other than stats.
Other than the lack of any proper reason to be killing these things in the first place and the confusing name, Mercenary is a pretty good game. Nice programming and good idea, but the execution does leave a LOT to be desired. Still, something to build on.
I have to say, I really enjoyed playing this game. The relic system really enhanced the game to its fullest potential. And the lvl system was the best I've seen in a long time. Was it just me, or did this game seem to have a remnant of Anthony Testa's games? When I first started playing this, I realized how much his games and this game had in common. I'm probably gonna get flamed for this, but, I thought this game seemed a little better than, say Dungeon Master Gallery. I really, really, really, liked the weapon system. Probably the one thing I didn't like was the name; it didn't seem to fit the game.