Wow, no reviews. I thought WiL was more popular than that. .
Voyage Of Four is said to be an interactive movie (It is) but it is a lot more. There is a lot more interaction than what is made out to be. Many RPG battles and puzzles make this more of an adventure genre.
PLOT: The setting is a mid-evil type land where populations live in small vilages. The culture therefore is primative in nature. Location is purely fiction.
Well the plot was pretty simple at the beginning, but I was thoroughly confused towards the end. It begins with the story of a man who's village is destroyed and all the residents killed (Including his family). From his wife's last breath he learns that the army which wiped out his village is led by a mysterious "Man in Red." The man then devotes his life for revenge.
Further in the story this man runs into three other "heros," which is where "The Voyage of Four" comes from.
The end of the story became very confusing. It rambled on about a dark realm opposite of the regular world abd bringing balance between light and dark. It gave me horrifying memories of the Chronos Wars story line. Despite this written confusion, the ending DID make sense (At least the one I took. There are four, I believe).
Overall the plot was quite good, despite a few weak spots in writing and a bit of confusion.
GRAPHICS: You guys all know WiL, and you know what kind of job he does. The graphics for this game were marvelous and fit the story perfectly.
MUSIC: Recently, ZZTers haven't been focusing much on the topic of music. They don't realize, however, how much it can add to the game. A good theme on a title screen can start the game off well, or perhaps a nice song during beginning narrations. WiL uses music to his advantage, giving the game a great feel. Not only is the music excellent, but it is exactly the right amount. He does not over-do it at all.
PROGRAMMING: Voyage of four has two main types of programming; engines and cinematics.
This game IS an interactive cinema, so much of the programming is dialogue or movements. I did not notice any flaws in the cinematic programming. The other major part of the game includes various engines.
WiL uses an original (I think) RPG engine which worked very well. The only thing I didn't think did much was the dodge option. Mabye I'm wrong.
Another engine I really enjoyed tracked the player's party across a map. For each step the player took, random boulders would generate and turn into either breakables or fakes. Breakables acted as an obstacle, possibly forcing you to take a different direction. To make this engine feel like a Final Fantasy type RPG, enemies would randomly pop up on certain sqaures. When these were defeated, the player could resume his travel.
Overall, the programming was very good. It even had a few "tricks" like diaganol movement.
COMPLETE BATTERY: This game is definitely one of the better games in the archive, and should be played by aspiring ZZTers. I really enjoyed it, and didn't get the feeling of "When does this end?" I would give it a five, but there were a few aspects that made me think otherwise. The story became boring in some parts, and for a cinematic game, that is not good. Everything else, however, was excellent, so I give it a 4.5