Zelda: Book of Mudora

Started by wizard_wizzle (aka ZeldaHistorian), August 08, 2014, 01:53:58 AM

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[Solarus] [101060] Error: Illegal direction 3 for sprite 'enemies/baba_seed' in animation 'hurt'
(when throwing arrows at babas)

[Solarus] [1442780] Error: In on_interaction: [string "maps/8.lua"]:307: attempt to index global 'quest_plants' (a nil value)
When talking twice to the plant quest person.

Maximini, please log any further bugs as issues on the github page at https://github.com/wrightmat/zbom/issues. Thanks!

Hi! I'm Wuzzy.

I am going to review this game now. I have played version 1.4 on Solarus 1.6.0. Beware, this review will be quite chaotic ...

I have played this game a while ago and completed most of its tasks. It's a nice game and the world is really, REALLY, big. The world is really huge. I mean it. This makes for a much different gameplay because you need much more time to explore each tiny angle of the world. Exploration is fun! But it's also difficult to remember all. The map doesn't give much detail and it sometimes is just outright wrong. You need a good memory if you want to explore the whole world, that's for sure. The exploration part of the main land is a major part of the game, and I think it's also pretty good. Each area of the world has a meaning, a purpose. There's always something you can do. There are a few "useless" areas, but I think it's okay, as they still add to the overall flavor.

At least, up to the point you completed the main quest. The Northern area ... different story. I'll come to that later.

It's good you added flutes, these items are very helpful indeed and really needed, given the world size. The navigation with the flutes was annoying. There are huge areas in the North that are completely flute-free, which means you have to walk much longer. Also, it's very confusing how flutes are selected. There is no logical order in which flutes are selected (it seems random) and you can only go forwards, never backwards. Why not using a logical order like North-to-South, West-to-East?

The dungeons were fine. Not great, but fine. They are much simpler than what I have seen in other Solarus games, but the rooms are also a bit larger. The dungeons are still good enough to be enjoyable, don't get me wrong. The most difficult dungeon IMO were the sewers. In fact, I actually completed it AFTER completing the main quest (you know my bugreport). I think it's probably it took me forever to find the final entrance, or better: To find it again (because I forgot ...).

The progression. I liked that the game started very simple with the party and very slowly introduced more and more stuff. That's a different pacing than I'm used to, but I think it has been done well. The party was a nice addition, but I was confused by the smith. The smith always said he will do a "demonstration" soon but it never came. Thanks, smith, for wasting my time ... :(

There's a ton of things to explore. It took me a very long time to see most of the game. I don't know how long I have played the game, but definitely too long. XD NPCs and towns are good overall. I like all the different species populating the world, with their own backstory documented in the library.

All the various side quests are pretty fun. What I really liked were the magic items like deku sticks to give to the great fairies. There's also many different other secrets in the whole game, which I always appreciate a lot.

The "arrow" game near Hyrule Castle seems a bit broken. It has crazy high payout rates, I sometimes get >1000 rupees for one game. The eyes also get faster after every game, but the speed resets after re-entering. Eventually the eyes become impossibly fast. I think this game needs more balancing ... Maybe make the eyes slower again when you had a bad round. Also, the person always tells you that you did "great", even if you score 0 ... But to be honest, I don't even mind the crazy high payout rate. There are some crazy expensive items and I believe it would just have been a chore to grind all the way to 5000 rupees every time. Even if the arrow game seems OP, I think its actually fine as it is. IMO it was enough work to win the 5000 rupees, then return to the shop, return back, etc.

The use of items, especially in the early game, is following the formula of many Zelda games, and that's a good thing because it works. That you always progressively unlock new areas. However, in the very late game, this forumla breaks down.

The soundtrack was great.
Sometimes the soundtrack changed too fast or didn't make sense. In the Cave of Ordeals, the music changed from "battle" to "peaceful" without any logic behind it. Sometimes it was the peaceful music in the battle phase. The minigame houses had the "castle" music. But these are more like nitpicks, the soundtrack's still great.

I didn't really understand why the game had to add a "stamina" mechanic. I don't see what it was for. OK, so I was forced to eat things and go to sleep from time to time. OK, so a bit of time management but it wasn't a real problem to me. Also, stamina became progressively less and less meaningful when your stamina bar became huge. Stamina didn't break the game, but I just don't see what's the point of it as it didn't affect the game that much.

The Northern area was, to be honest, disappointing. It feels much emptier and frankly, just incomplete compared to the mainland. There's a noticable difference in quality.

Actually, the whole late game (after you completed the main quest) overall degrades in quality, to be honest. The Northern dungeons are clearly not that good compared to the rest. Well, they seem broken, too. And the game doesn't even consider them dungeons (no map). The cities are much simplier, so are the NPCs. One city is just outright incomplete (you know which one I mean) and the North Castle is also weirdly simplistic (only one NPC dialog line for all NPCs), compared to Hyrule Castle. The Zora village also has annoyingly many closed houses, and the Zora halls are extremely simplistics. The world design of the North is not bad, it's more the cities and NPC stuff that is lacking.

Another thing which I didn't like: The late-game items which are expensive and hard to obtain, namely, the flippers, feather, hammer, shovel. They turn out to be a big disappointment. These are items which you can only use in a very few specialized places. In other Zelda games, each tool has its own unique use and almost always unlock new areas. In this game, however, these items pretty much don't unlock anything new at all, apart from a few few specialized places and a few shortcuts. The flippers also seem mostly useless. The waterways are an absolute CHORE to wade through, and there's almost zero reward for exploring the waterways. The shovel isn't too bad, actually. It's useful in getting you lots of stuff in a short time, so I guess at least that item paid off.

The flippers also unlock very little in the game. IIRC the flippers are only useful in Zora's Domain and to enter the Island Dungeon. There is zero reward for exloring the waterways any further. The waterways are basically a giant barren desert in which almost nothing interesting can be discovered. So the flippers are mostly just for shortcuts. This is very different from other Zelda games, in which the water area is a little world in its own right, it is its own rich world with many new things to explore. I mean, the flippers are not useless, but I was disappointed in the lack of world design when it comes to the water. What was also frustrating that there are way too few ladders to enter the land again. If you are DEEP in the water area, and there's no ladder, you must swim all the way back ...

What I liked about the north are the two fetch quests. If those fetch quests just wouldn't have been so broken! But searching the flowers was a nice addition. But you know the rest.

The trade quest was hard. I actually had to cheat, to be honest, but, oh, well, "git gud", I guess. XD

I don't think it's possible to ever enter the water temple again, am I right? Even with the Zora flippers. Once I have completed the water temple, I am unable to drain the lake ever again, the button is already pressed when I enter the sewers.

The biggest disappointment was the feather, to be honest. It's very difficult to get but I think there are only 2 places in the entire world that you "unlock" with the feather: the swamp temple puzzle becomes solvable and you can jump on an island in Subrosia. But it turned out to be a stupid Poe soul! I was so mad!! Poe souls can be bought or even gotten in infinite numbers for FREE at the cemetery. Also, Poe souls are the most useless items in the game. Their only use is to guide you through that forest, but you don't even need Poe souls to do that. I have explored the whole forest way before I obtained my first Poe soul.

The worst part of the game is the bugs. The production quality of this game isn't as great as the other Solarus games, to be honest ...

What I want to say is: Boy, this game is buggy and broken as hell, when I first played it! I don't know how often I had to reset the game because I was stuck, or the game just outright crashed and lots of smaller annoying bugs that hindered the game flow. I was the one who reported all the bugs on GitHub lately and I hope all the bugs will get fixed. I am pretty sure there are even more bugs which I have not found or I just have forgotten them. Did you not playtest the game?

Anyway, fixing the bugs should be number one priority for future versions. And testing. Number 2 priority might be a rework of the North, but only because the area just "feels" quite empty and incomplete. The quality of the North should be brought to on par with the rest of the world. Otherwise, I wouldn't make more major changes to the game, even if not everything is perfect.

Frankly, I would not recommend this game to other people at this point, but it's because of the bugs. But remove the bugs, and the game is recommendable.

Overall, I still had a whole lot of fun playing this game. It's a classic Zelda clone, but also different simply because of the sheer scale. It really makes a difference. Quality-wise, it's not quite on par with ZSDX, there's just too many things that need fixing, polishing or balancing.

There is probably a million other things I could write about the game, positive and negative, but I am getting exhausted from writing and I keep forgetting things.