Feb 18 2008, 5:35 pm
First off something you may notice are the rules littering the hub, there are rules for not just players however, but GMs too! Which terrified me. You're supposed to hire so few GMs, and have lots of trust in them, so why do you need to tell them the rules on the hub? Is there that many GMs that you need to put it in the most public place?
Secondly the player rules discouraged me, "1.Do not attack NPCs."? Wow, what can I say about that, This was a first impression and yet a very very telling one. The coder of the game doesnt know how to make the world work the way they want it to with code, really the better you get at coding the fewer rules you should need. So this set me off but I decided I would completely forget about this turn off and pretend I had never seen all that.
The title screen is a great fit. The game is a Bleach/Naruto fusion and the title-screen shows bleach characters dressed up as naruto characters. So I laughed, good stuff. I click New character and I see a huge array of character names/Classes. Now ive gone on rants about byond games that completely segregate each character from an anime into a class, when making your own character you should not Shadow an existing character exactly and there was a lot of this. (Diedera, Elemental, Fan, Gaara, Gai, Hatake, Inoue, Sado, Tenten) This bugs me, and if I could recommend one thing it would be to segregate into as few classes as possible, Pick naruto or bleach then possibly a bloodline for naruto characters and the choice of Shinigami, Quincy, Arrancar and Human. You could even just simply have no choice and make your decisions between becoming a hollow or a shinigami/quincy whatever during your time in the game, but I digress. There simply are too many segregated classes, and this hurts a lot for building a character. A big part of the fun in a game is choices, when every skill you get is linear and your just fulfilling an existing naruto/bleach character by earning their skills one by one.. It's a little boring. However there was still A LOT of them, holy cow. So you have to give some credit, there was lots of choices to make at the character creation and that's always something people enjoy. Then I see the warning that this game is not in any way original, the notorious Village|Skin|Hair menu. Its ugly, its impractical and it always is buggy and forces the same choices for which hair do you want or which village do you want over and over due to lag. Its not the best way to do character creation at all, having 3 inputs come up for Red Green Blue for hair color is also lame. Its hard to guess how dark the hair is iconed as, and the average person cant wip up RGB combinations effectively. I click on village but nothing happens, needless to say this server is lagging pretty badly with only 20-30 people on.
I finally realize that Village won't ever work because there are no choices for me, I sat at the screen for a good 10 seconds waiting for something to happen just to realize they had offered me a choice where none had existed. I click Skin and I see Zetsu, Blue, Red, Vamp as some of the selections. I get a little annoyed because there aren't any shinigami that look like this, and the only other skin options that are normal are pale, tan and black. I choose Zetsu just to be a stinker. WOTS ICON ALERT, Great, im officially playing a rip. Also this entire put your mob in front of you on a public screen annoys me, if somebody else tries to make a character they get put over top of me and I no longer get to preview myself. So Im now a half white half black wots character with cornrows. Sometimes you should limit choice to keep people from looking ridiculous. Needless to say I was asked each freaking question of which hair or icon 2-6 times each.
I was asked which anime I was, despite shinigami only being a part of Bleach, I picked Naruto only to be thrown to soul society anyway. Im officially frustrated with the game and I just got past character creation. There are Rest and Meditate buttons, Indicative of Zeta Code or at least bad ideas that have seeped their way into this poor game. Resting is always very annoying, you have to stop moving and wait in order to regenerate your stats, why not make this automated? Why not make it rest whenever your standing still or better yet simply not in the process of fighting. Meditating is the worst excuse for a training method, your character closes their eyes and you gain power. Its immensely easy to macro and is arguably the least sensible training method ever conceived. There is a Save button, which is fine I guess. I don't see why a game should need a button to Save when you can easily make it happen automatically on logout and periodically during play if you're really scared of a server crash. However these are all elements of Nbotls so from now on im going to ignore these design flaws and stick to reviewing what's different. The combat so far is very odd. I get to choose between Slash and Attack, they both do the same damage and slashing has no animation while punch does a little arm.. It's the Nbotls base though, I should get off that topic. EVERYTHING is verb oriented, sheath is considered a skill in this game and in order to have any sort of gameplay you have to bind all your macros yourself, this is typical of a byond game however.
Also I would like to just say that when you spawn, you appear in a white tiled maze, with nothing really being self explanatory, im going to explore. I found out I had a map! And shinigami clothes in my inventory. I feel pretty good about this, the map is really ugly and drawn in paint though..
And then!! Naguera Says: Hado #66: Souren Soukatsui!
Masterdan was hit by Soukatsui for 1408 damage!!
Some random person 1 hit killed me, I died so now im back at the start. Genius! Lordy, nobody on OOC will answer my question on how I leave the spawn zone. So I click the big HELP button
I find out that to train, I click a button called "Train reitsu" and I enter in numbers as it asks me in input boxes. This actually is more sensible than Pbags, stumps or meditating. At least this way training cannot be automated by an Ez Macro. After hitting about 8 random numbers I get bored, so I check my stats panel to see my gain. Level18! Genius. I also have 50,000 dollars and what would appear to be more than 4x my original health the last time I checked.
I FOUND THE EXIT. "You need to be stronger to leave Soul Society"
Harsh, it doesn't say how much stronger but it seems it wants me to keep hitting random numbers, how distressing. I find myself at level 33 10 seconds later. This time I've run out of rietsu and have to rest. This apparently IS the training component of the game.
"(Leaf)-(Hyuuga)--Yuske: i see ppl just meditate all day" See the problem with a game that has even one method of training that can be automated, Everybody will abuse it. Now this is a good thing for some game makers, you see when you can AutoTrain it keeps people in your game even when they are at school or in bed. This inflates your total online number and keeps people joining the server because its popular. This type of trapping of players is an effective way to pump up the playercount and make a game seem like it must be fun!
Then I got summoned, had a chat with the owner and was able to take a glimpse at advanced level combat, and figure out exactly what the game was aiming for. The idea for this game is simple, Quantity. You get lots of skills, lots of classes lots of animes and icons and customizable aspects of your character. You get content quickly and the fighting is pretty interesting to watch because of how many different skills get used in one battle. So I have to say when you compare this to other BYOND games you have to give it some points in Gameplay, and also I think its obvious that there is an Audience for fusion games.
-Any stolen content? Well theres a few new things but because it's a WOTS rip you can expect all the graphics and stuff to be jacked and edited and all that.
-New Concepts? Sure, a Bleach Naruto Fusion is an idea isnt it? Theres an audience for it and people like being stuck in one community at a time, when you cant decide between Naruto and Bleach I can see where you could enjoy features from both
-Easy to get into: Not really, its not too bad though. The thing is because its based on WOTS code and is so similar to every other ripped game you get an advantage. People know what to do because its familiar to them, this doesn't really help me.. I don't know what Tekken is and things like that. However the game is familiar, and despite there being no tutorial and the beginning being a tad frustrating, hell at least there was a HELP button and the exit door told me exactly what I had to do to go through it! 2/5
-Combat: Okay, this is also familiar, you have to Macro every single skill you want or else your stuck clicking verbs in a skilltab. How can I be too critical of this? Theres only a small handful of games that doesn't do this. Still Combat could be better, fighting is just like NBOTLS/WOTS except there are some skills that do Area of Effect, partial homing etc. This is all things that WOTS code provides of course, but my point is there that combat is interesting. 2/5
-Leveling up: If your going to do something monotonous, at least make it not EZable, this is what was accomplished with raitsu training. However Meditate completely undermines this by being the same old abusable verb it has been in other games. 1/5
-Player Builds/ Variety: The thing that redeems the gameplay is the sheer number of skills added, because there's variation and lots of character differentiating you can bet it colors up combat. The problem is that each player build is packaged individually and you have to pick it at the beginning, so you don't really get to be too creative. You get to pick which character to play as, not build a character of your own. 3/5
WOTS/Nbotls graphics are putrid, combine this with RPGMaker stuff and you get something a little frustrating to look at. However some of the jutsu effects are improved from the game that it was ripped from. So if I have to be relative I would say the graphics of this game are in fact on a higher scale than NBOTLS, so how can you judge? Nbotls was a 2 and this game comes out to a 4. The mapping wasn't too terrible and some of the skill effects like the quincy bow weren't bad.
-GMs? Yes, however they seem pretty nice
-Rank Benefits? Yes, the game got a high rank due in no small part to abusing the ranking system, and this does bother me. What can you do.
-Nice? I was ignored when I asked players what to do, I was killed even. This is typical however and the Owner and Gms seemed nice.
The problem? Instead of making everything set in stone and forcing people to not be able to abuse, instead there were simply rules, and lots of them. People get banned if they cheat in a chuunin, and instead it should be the game owners job to simply fix the underlying problem. What can you do though?
-Login Screen: We are talking about code, this is the same login system as Nbotls and let me say its ugly and its inefficient and it spammed me with the same choices I already made hundreds of times with crappy input boxes, other players appeared on top of me when I was trying to create my character and this annoys me! However it was not coded by the owner of this game, but should that excuse low quality? Fix it!
-User Interface: Hey there was some elements of one! All the macros like Who, Whisper, OOC and such had on screen representation. They were original too and I appreciated that. Let me just say though that User interface is a lot more than just handy buttons. See the problem with many games is that those buttons should have been verbs and a lot of the verbs should have been buttons.. At any rate, Stat bars would have done a lot for this game.
-Bugs: Lots, it was a quantity over quality game and the lag showed but the jutsu effects aside from minor breaking up of multi tile effects, were done pretty well.
Overall 25/65, Lets make this clear, this is NOT the 5th best Anime game on BYOND. However it's in league with NBOTLS and trumps most NBOTLS rips. The game needs work.