Title: A Valley Without Wind
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Arcen Games, LLC
Arcen Games, LLC
Release Date: 24 Apr, 2012
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It's really weird, it's not for everyone, and it has it's flaws.
But if this is the sort of game that you like, then you're going to _really_ like it.. Greetings, comrades! I really, REALLY wanted to like this game. I mean, who wouldn't? A randomly generated "Metroid-vania" style game with RPG-heavy gameplay, what more could you want? Well, the answer lies below, if you dare to enter the rabbit hole.
As I already stated, the concept is amazing, and the RPG elements are simple yet complete. Unlike most RPGs, this one gives you a very strong weapon right off the bat. Not the best, but good enough to be a constant companion throughout the game.
I found the graphics to be a refreshing change from the standard "drab-&-dull" that older Indie games are known for (not all Indie games, calm down fan-people). The world is bright and sharp, with clean angles and stunning detail.
The custom difficulty is nice, allowing you to set your own pace.
The controls, while a bit quirky, are responsive and imaginative.
While the RPG elements are all there, there really isn't a temptation to level up. I mean, my character could "tank" all of the early bosses with ease, the only challenge being when a boss is resistant to a certain elemental-type weapon, and you have to use another element to kill it. Even then, the challenge rests not in the boss itself, but rather in finding the new element required to kill it.
While I like quick weapon progression, as it allows you to do other stuff instead of trying to get a new weapon, this game suffers from a lack of other stuff to do. The quests are the same, the enemies are the same, the graphics are the same, and the gameplay style is the same. All the same. All the same. Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity? (Heh, see what I did there? Ha ha! No? Ah, forget it.)
As I said, the world is very realistic, but the characters are not. It's almost like playing one of those old CD drive games in which the people look like cut-outs pasted onto a background. This is actually a fatal flaw, as it throws off jumping in an odd way. It makes you unsure of what is in the background, or what you can jump on. I really can't describe it, but if you play it, you should see what I mean.
I really hate to say it, but this game's lack of creativity and excess of imagination bring this game down from the heights it could have achieved. It's almost like they were so focused on the imaginative idea of the game that they forgot to flesh it out into something workable. Plenty of people like the game, and I can see why, however I just couldn't bring myself to do the same.
Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!
. A great argument against procedural generation. Very repetitive, and poor interface doesn't help.
A pity, it has(had?) potential and I really wanted to like this game.. The story was somewhat intriguing, but got lost in the gameplay.
Gameplay was interesting, but got lost in the grind (I've read warnings about the size of dungeons, and still!) and dungeon-navigation (meeeh).
In the end (keeping in mind that I played this one at work when servers were stopped, so it's like 8 hours a day and you have nothing to do at all!) I dropped the game even before I've defeated the 1st lieutenant.
Soz.... The premise is excellent and unique, but is very poorly executed.
Gameplay is shallow and repetitive. The game's marketing cites a level of depth and challenge that is absent. Enemies have simple patterns that are easily exploited. I killed half the bosses while they were offscreen. Player customization is nice but isn't anything new or unique. Platforming is made completely trivial by the ability to place platforms anywhere.
Visually the game is unclear, muddy, and unattractive. Characters are stiltedly animated. Enemies, pickups, background objects, and projectiles all look similar and the only way to differentiate them is by what color they are on the minimap.
The game's music is decent, with a nice main menu theme. The sound effects are inoffensive.
The whole time there is this feeling that "it gets better later". Maybe it does. But it starts terribly and doesn't get any better after 4 hours.
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