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[usp] [ut] Nali Chronicles: second opinion offered

Legacy news previously posted on UnrealSP.org.
User avatar Hellscrag
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Subject: [usp] [ut] Nali Chronicles: second opinion offered

Post Posted: 15 Sep 2008, 18:27

MMAN's review of Nali Chronicles has now been joined by an extensive and insightful Second Opinion by Mister Prophet. You can read Prophet's views at the bottom of the main review page.
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User avatar Darkon
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Post Posted: 15 Sep 2008, 18:56

sweet! thanks!
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User avatar UBerserker
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Post Posted: 15 Sep 2008, 19:16

Heh, the knife was my favourite weapon in NC, especially against Pupae and Slith. And it was the only one which I actually used.

The mod was all about casting spells like mad, and I felt the weapons to be annoyances rather than having an use. They should have been removed.
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User avatar Darkon
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Post Posted: 15 Sep 2008, 19:42

The sniper laser was cool.. but got annoying when you held in the primary fire key too long....
Spells were ok.. was too much and too slow. Only used a few every now and then....
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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Post Posted: 15 Sep 2008, 23:05

Thanks for upping it :tup:
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User avatar Hellscrag
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Post Posted: 15 Sep 2008, 23:06

Mister_Prophet wrote:Thanks for upping it :tup:


NPs. Sorry about the delay.
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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Post Posted: 15 Sep 2008, 23:11

No worries.

The main reason I felt compelled to do this second opinion was the sheer lack of commentary on the nefarious gameplay issues. I just was in awe that after reading about the maps on the forum for so long that I hadn't seen a single comment truly reflecting how annoying some aspects of this game were.

In all, it's a pack I was very fond of for a lot of reasons. Mostly the story. I just don't think I'll play it again anytime soon.
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User avatar Semfry
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Post Posted: 16 Sep 2008, 03:08

I've submitted Scrag an addendum to the review based on the various accounts of the gameplay of the mod that I've seen; it results in the score being lowered to 72% (as the Cerberus Castle texture fix has resulted in me adding one to the texture score), I may as well leak it here :) :

Addendum by Mman:

As a result of Mister Prophet's review, my own subsequent playthroughs of this pack (this, with its complex systems, being a mod that makes you evolve your playstyle on later attempts) and other impressions I've seen. I've decided to go into more detail on the player-dependant nature of the mod. Mister Prophet found the pack unfair and difficult overall, as my review was hopefully clear on I pretty much had the opposite problem; even on my first playthrough, the moment I had Devine Bolt and Shadow Armour, combined with another armour spell or two, I was pretty much on god mode and equipped with the equivalent of a vastly overpowered, fast firing weapon for the majority of the pack, and most of the enemies before that were mainly pests that could hardly damage me after I casted a half-decent armour spell; in the end I didn't die very much at all.

Nali Chronicles' style makes its difficulty very dependant on the player, and not just in terms of combat skill, like most packs, but in terms of spell choice, focus on leveling (its nature requiring you to go out of your way to initially build up each type of magic), use, and discovery, of mana-spots and how efficiently you can handle (and learn, for that matter) the overall interface. I've seen various accounts of people finding the pack either too easy or too hard; the one consistent thing being that it's either one or the other (beyond one or two spots like the boss fight mentioned in both reviews here which is universally regarded as very unfair). Its nature makes the gameplay balance hard to score, as it can vary widely (far more than most other mods) between players.

As a result of I have lowered the gameplay balance by two; which I think takes the gameplay divisiveness into account along with the generally agreed on flaws in the gameplay (like that boss fight and the overall overcomplication of interface).

User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Post Posted: 16 Sep 2008, 08:36

I by no means meant to imply that the score should be altered, but it does seem evident that there's an imbalance issue. In my own experience, many of the problems I faced had more to do with placement of enemies near restrictive doorways and environments coupled with a slow attack system and unreliable attacks. It seems obvious that some spells are much more effective than others. In regards to spells like Divine Bolt, which I did not use until late in the pack because early attempts with it proved disastrous against low-collision size enemies (I actually had instances where I tried to use the spell to swat away attacking pupae and other critters, only to see the projectiles go right through them without touching, leaving me to believe that the spell was useless). For me, as a player who reacts according to my attack delivery, the clunkiness with the weapons and the long delays with the spell systems were huge issues for me.

I agree that it's entirely dependent on the player, which is why I was firm about not adding my own score. Because I think MMAN's score is fair and the pack deserves to be applauded for a lot of its assets, and his score reflects that. I just felt that an alternate opinion on some elements might be helpful for players using the site. I did find that, after making my mistakes, I'd usually find a spell that was useful for handling each individual situation. But the taxing way the mod seemed to force me to handle each skirmish (where, if I didn't get a lucky shot on the get go, I was must likely F bombed) with a huge deal of technical caution was unnerving because I'm so used to handling these exact same combat scenarios with a stock Unreal weapon with my eyes closed. The combat system is both innovative and incompetent at the same time. I think it comes down to design flaws more than anything. If you change a combat system, then you have to take into account the other aspects of the game, and that didn't happen here. Which was unfortunate for me since I truly enjoyed the narrative of NC. It probably has the richest story to tell in any Unreal SP pack I've played so far.
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Post Posted: 16 Sep 2008, 11:41

I found the review to be accurate and quite humourous. Good job proph!
I should play through it all again, "start to end" this time.
Although i'm planning on playing ezkeel's invasion and legacy map packs first

User avatar Darkon
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Post Posted: 16 Sep 2008, 14:49

Great reviews.. and totally agree with the visions on the subjects! If it's easy to adapt to the spells n stuff, then it's an easy pack. I was NOT used to that, so to me it was hard to play..
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brodders
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Post Posted: 20 Sep 2008, 22:47

What to say.

It's been 2 years or so since I played NC, yet I played it twice - second time using magic, magic magic.

One thing I realised early was that I was on the loosing side. My people lost; they got crushed. Why? Because the weapons did not really work against Skaarj.

So the weapons are in context. They are weak, under-developed and difficult. I am NOT a super-warrior, I am 3rd rate trying to do my best with what I can find.

With magic, the difficulties are slowly overcome. I learnt to immobilise the enemy, to fight at my slowed pace. I learnt to find places of safety and go over my spells, re-stocking my mana and learnt to make potions. I fought on my terms.

NaGaruuk is slow, deliberate and able. He cannot fight well in stand-up contests, yet the magic is powerful (over Redeemer levels on occasion). But he looses. As NaGaruuk, you will die - you must. This has to be so because this is a prequel and the people of the land are enslaved when Unreal starts.

I really enjoyed this take on Unreal and value it - yes, as flawed - yet highly original and of great value in the Unreal cannon. It is worthy and an SP-mapset I look forward to playing again in later years. Great stuff!

Edit by Mman: Gah, unmarked spoilers!

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Subject:

Post Posted: 24 Sep 2008, 07:16

I guess I am not that fine tuned to analyze SP gameplay so much.No matter wich SP pack they all seem fun unless it's all spam or a game like Myste.

Nice addition Proph, now awaiting for RD :tup:
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