One of the best Games on Newgrounds, Warts and all
Crystal Story strikes me as a the perfect kind of flash RPG- Its depth is achieved through all the right kind of sacrifices.
From an ascetics standpoint, your game hits as many key elements as it NEEDS too: there aren't a crazy amount of animations between the characters and monsters, and while it may get stale, it doesn't draw attention to itself- its not obnoxiously repetitive, its subtly repetitive, so it doesn't grate your nerves. The sounds were pretty standard-issue for flash-game fare, but by giving each sound its own distinct action associated with it (you never confused the 'basic attack' sound with a 'spell' sound, and so forth), and that helped to build the immersion where the visuals were lacking. The music was appropriate and varied, too, with a very heavy JRPG influence that fit the game well, considering it's a condensed JRPg.
Story-wise, it was pretty standard. The scarce dialogue was a treat- you weren't bogged down in exposition or story, so cut-scenes were actually a reward rather than something that simply had to be endured. This makes the characters more likable- they were all two-dimensional and lacking any real depth, but sense that wasn't rubbed in our face it was easy to simply take that for what it was. A lot of their personality, it appeared to me, was told more through what class you chose and how they did their attacks. Victory poses are telling, and those little details gave a player the freedom to construct their own 'characters' around the skeleton you provide.
In those terms, I'd really call this gaming 'minimalism' at its finest. It got better as you left things out- not an easy task to accomplish, but it defiantly turns this from a great game into an excellent one. You knew what needed attention and you gave it accordingly.
Gameplay wise, the first thing I'll have to do is give kudos' for the item leveling system. By having us able to pay to increase the level of items, it meant we didn't have to grind for newer equipment, and it meant we could actually build the stats we WANTED to increase- you wouldn't have to compromise or suffer sub-par equipment to get what you wanted out of your character. It was a simple idea that really transformed the RPG for me- and made inventory management a whole lot easier.
Dungeon crawling was pretty standard. Making some chests only spawn after you've defeated the enemies helps make me want to meet every encounter head-on, but usually the drops of these chests were nothing compared to the stuff you could get feeding the slime (Which is more or less an item lottery) so I wouldn't call it that great a reward. By the end of the game, I was positively SWIMMING in gold, by the way- while it made it easier to do everything, I think it could stand to be balanced somewhat. You don't want to make item management a grind, but all the same, making it too easy kind of negates the point of having currency.
Combat was fun, if not a tad easy. The variety of enemies are appreciated, and the fact that sometimes you need to use moves such as 'silence' and 'tranquilizing shot' speaks well for the balance, because oftentimes such moves just take up space, but I never really felt challenged by the enemies- it was only my frugal use of my abundant potions that caused me trouble, and I certainly could of afforded to be more liberal with their applications, seeing as I had so much money to spend on more, but still, there was enough variety to keep things interesting, even if there were no real strategies for boss fights other than "Empower, DESTROY!"
All in all, this is one of the best games on Newgrounds, hands down. It's fun, full of variety and depth, and if I had more characters remaining I'd defiantly take the time to mention all the other stuff it does right and wrong, but for now, rest assured- it's defiantly worth the time I've spent playing it, and I'm grateful you made it.
A solid game but could be improved
The biggest problem I had with it was its length: it was too short. It lasted all of two levels, then you unlocked the Sleeper block, and then you win.
Or to put it in less sarcastic terms, the blocks are, while rich in variety, extremely unbalanced. With a combination of the sleeper block and the sticky block, a block you start the game with, I won every single level with a gold soul. There was not a single time where I had to alternate my strategy to accommodate a new enemy, because 'swamp them with damage and slow them down' never lost effectiveness. The closest enemy that got me to switching up my plans was the ghosts, but again, sense the sticky blocks did damage to them anyway, slowed them down so they could get hit more, and one upgrade caused them to lose health while they held onto a doll, it was very underwhelming.
Like the blocks, the enemies had a nice variety, and the fact that new ones appeared all through kept me engaged, but all in all they were all venerable to the same strategy. I can see why you threw in the invisible enemies, to try to throw a curve ball, but that was poor design choice: when you turn it into a matter of chance it invalidates strategy, turning this into a odd defense game into a game of dice. There were a lot more interesting ways you could of tried to change up a strategy: say, a enemy that could shift through vertical shafts if they got too high, or a enemy that could disable whatever block it was currently seated on: the only real variation of powers swapped between health and movement speed. I will give a shout out to the balloon-like enemies that moved quickly up viritcal shafts: that was the right idea. But the problem was there weren't many strategies one could utilize for horizontal-layered game play. While its true there were a few blocks that could shoot up, but only one that could shoot up thru other blocks. It was a step in the right direction but we weren't equipped for the trek. Coincidentally, they could still be killed with only sleepers and stickies.
The last level showed me a glimmer of the real potential this game could of had: a clever mix of puzzle and strategy game that actually forced you to think ahead and anticipate the kinds of demons you'd be facing, but it was all 'bogged down' by enemy and block variety that masked a repetitious block spam fest.
As for other aspects of the game, the graphics were sound and clear, and the new enemy types were a joy to see, but the girls didn't look like girls at all... they looked like boys. The dad's animation got stale after a while, and I would of happily traded a block or two if it meant a new attack animation every once in a while.
If there was as much music as there were blocks, my ears wouldn't be sore right now, but as it stands hearing the same two songs over and over started to make my head hurt. it doesn't help that those songs were ALSO repetitive and loop every five seconds. More, better songs would be appreciated in the future.
In conclusion, despite all the flaws, the bones of a good game are here. The idea is nice, the gameplay is addictive, even if lacking in variety in the strategy, animation, and music department, and it caught my attention long enough to warrant me writing this lengthy review.
Good idea, but you made game-breaking mistake
Frankly, adding the hostages was a bad move. Yes, I'll give you, It was a way to make this game different from the other kinds of games like this on the internet: but it wasn't a good way to go about this.
See, after you pick the spot you want to shoot, everything is out of your hands. With everyone moving constantly, there's only so far you can plan ahead, and a chain reaction is going to very quickly get out of your control... which is where the FUN of these games come from. With the hostages, its not only forbidding you from going batshit crazy, but its also making this more a game of chance than skill: there's only so much you can do to avoid hitting them, and, like I said, once your limited control is removed, all you can do is HOPE that the civvy doesn't get hit, turning this into a game of chance.
Other than that, it was a fine game, a pretty standard-issue example of this type.
Final boss.. @_@
It took me half an hour to finally be able to beat the final boss. I have to admit, you didn't sugercoat how difficult it would probably be in real life, and in that sense, I admire the realism. But still, for a game, it was very hard... especally sense it didn't really match with the rest of the curve. I mean, the battles got harder, but when we got to the final boss it just leapt up in difficulty.
The animation is stale. While the fataliites look good the movement is choppy and annoying, and the blood effects weren't very well done either.
You've got a pretty solid game, but it still has a long ways to go, in terms of balancing and graphics... but it still does a few things right.
Keep at it!
I don't have much to say other than you really, really should of playtested this before you delivered. It was way too buggy.
I can't want to see a finished verison, though.
As games go, perfect.
This is just about as close one can get to a real video game experience with Flash: excellent level progression, a wide variety of enemies, weapons, and power-ups... the thrill you get every time you hear that "Rage" yell... it was a whole lot of fun the whole ways throughout.
it wasn't perfect, though. There were a FEW annoyances. For one, the key to pick up weapons was right next to the key to reset the entire level-section... which caused me to accidentally reset twice. I fixed this by changing the pick-up key, but I think it would of just been simpler to not be able to reset levels with the R key, when the menu would certainly suffice.
Secondly, also with the weapon-pick up, there was a delay in the pressing of the key and the action actually taking place. This wasn't lethal by any means, but due to traps, it caused me to lose some weapons, and it made it a bit harder to do the second boss, partially when the angle you need to stand at to pick up the weapon changes. Again, a understandable glitch, but an annoyance regardless.
Otherwise, it was fabulous. The story was about as deep as you could expect it to be for a comedy series, the voices were good, the music was fantastic... well, I could go on and on, but we both don't have the time for that.
This is a great game and a great accomplishment. I expect it could easily be nominated for game of the year.
A tiny, irksome error is annoying me.
I don't know if its a glitch or if its intentional, but there's a problem with some attacks: for example, when a kitsune has Fire Storm and Winters Wrath equipped at the same time, she'll only ever use one, and ignore the other. Likewise, the same stands true with Hail of Fire and Barrage of blades. Some attacks just won't go at the same time, while others will.
I think this game would be a lot funner for me, if there wasn't this glitch, or whatever you call it. Other than this issue, the game is a lot of fun and a interesting twist on the TD genre...
...oh, and most of the time the music dosn't play.
hail to fire and barrage of blades (and most of the "ultimate" skills) are heavy on mana requirements. try placing a king with spiritual healing near Sorgal/kitsunes.
The concept was good, and funny too.
But every aspect of this game is painfully slow. You level up slowly, and as you get more levels it just goes slower. Shoop Da whoop charges slowly, no matter how many times you upgrade it. The enemies die slowly, and even upgrading the lazers twice there wasn't any noticeable speed increase as to how fast enemies died... new enemies took forever to show up... you even lost health slowly, only taking a sliver of damage with every hit. It took two minutes for the cat to die when I just stood there and let five helecoptors, one ufo, one ship-thing and six kamakazie planes beat me up. The game itself was good and crips, but it was so slow and requred such a heavy level of patience that I just couldn't take it.
If you were to have made this game faster in all departments, it would of been funner and more challanging.
Average all-around. Nothing really exciting or interesting, but... solid and crisp.
Thanks yo, I hope to learn some cool new things to introduce more concept ideas for future games. Physics maybe and advanced AI..
The game itself is great... but...
The game is great, as my title indicates. The controls are responsive, the graphics are crisp, the music is great and the gameplay is addictive. For these reasons, I've given you a ten.
But on a more personal note, I can't really like the game that much, or anything in the Larry universe, for that matter. Frankly, I'm disappointing every time I see something new has come out, because inevitably it's a mini-game or a spin-off. You created one episode. One. And while it was a good episode right after it came out you seemed to devote yourself to making spin-offs... it seems like your way to eager to mechanize on the Larry universe than actually expand on the story. You even plugged your Larry characters into A Newgrounds Christmas, which I found almost insulting, comparing them to Newgrounds classics. They didn't deserve to be there yet, and I think you putting them there cheapened the flash and was unnecessary self-promotion.
I loved the Paladin series, and The Composer was Brilliant. Why did you throw away your integrity? Why can't you let us enjoy the Larry series and THEN expand on it with pointless minigames like this? Why don't you let your viewers decide its a classic and THEN treat it like one, instead of just assuming it is?
This is gonna be rated a useless review, I just know it, but it feels good to get off my chest.
Look, I really do understand where you're coming from, but I don't think you entirely understand my standpoint. Yes, I'll take the hit for being a bit too Agee around christmas, but I'd love if you tried to understand a few things.
1, this is a mini game prior to a very big game being released, one which vie spent MONTHs on, which has a big story plot twists, and you learn a good deal about the world of karryon and what happens to Larry in his time training.
2, the so called spin offs are not in any way spin offs. They are karryon! My goal from the beginning, has been to create a kingdom full of recognizable characters with unique stories and personalities, and to do that it takes time, and yes every now and then, smaller projects. Rest assured that my next project is the next episode, of which I have scheduled months of full time work. Not only that, but I have plot, characters, episodes and YES games both large and small planned for a long time to come. I'm not just farting out material and randomly doing spin offs to make it look like I'm already 'famous'.
THANK you for your honesty, but this is me letting you know, my integrity is still in tact, a still have the occasional 20 hour work day on Larry projects amid the full time work I spend on it, my only intention to entertain. I have big plans, but it's a slow process. These things take time. And a lot of work.
Sincerely hoping I change your mind, weather now or in the course of time-
newgrounds.com — Your #1 online entertainment & artist community! All your base are belong to us.