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Messages - camber

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General Discussion / My Amulets and Armor Review
« on: September 11, 2011, 04:49:53 PM »
Amulets & Armor review

Amulets and armor is a really fun game, but it has some fatal flaws that ruin an otherwise enjoyable experience.

Length:  A really long game with lots of hidden areas to explore and items to pick up.

Engine:  For this type of "2.5d" game (of which I'm a fan), the engine is impressive and can render large environments with complex geometry easily.  It offers a lot of interesting physics, especially when enemies die.

Level design:
A wide variety of levels with fantastic castles, forests, villages, arenas, towers, rivers etc.  This is no standard "dungeon" filled with similar-looking corridors. The levels were clearly all made with a lot of love, and are infinitely better than those crappy linear levels in modern games.

RPG mixed with FPS:  This game manages to mix the genres well, delivering fast-paced action while requiring you to manage armor, spells, potions etc.  As you play through the game, your character definitely feels more powerful.

Enemies: Tons of enemies, which require completely different tactics to fight successfully.  They are generally well-drawn.  There are some great bosses and surprise enemies hidden throughout the game, which are a blast to fight.  This game breaks all barriers in terms of enemy size for a 2.5d game, with some truly giant sprites.


Some bad design choices:
  One of the longest missions (Elmore's retreat) requires you, with no hints, to find 2 sets of keys in inconspicuous locations on maps 4 and 5.  You absolutely need them on map 6, and if you don't have even one, you have to complete the entire giant mission over again!  This is frustrating and unnecessary.

The AWFUL save system:  I'm fine with checkpoints instead of "save-anywhere" type games, but this one requires you to complete the entire level before your progress is saved, which can be quite long.  But I could live with this, if not for another issue I encountered:

After playing a long way through the game, I was on the last map of lost-city, where you have to fight the invincible god.  I finally met him in the combat arena, grabbed his staff and tried to run to the exit.  But due to the way the map was laid out, I couldn't quite reach the exit from where I was (the top balcony) and so died.

When you die, you drop all equipment but are otherwise okay.  So I went back to the arena and tried to get back to where my equipment was.  To do so, I went up a staircase, which turned out (surprise!) to be the exit. The game instantly put up the message "Quest failed!" and returned me to the store.  "That sucks", I thought, "but surely if I quit the game now my game won't be saved, since it only says 'Character saved' when you start a quest, and no game in their right mind would save if you LOSE a quest".

So I quit and restart, and guess what?  It saved!  So not only did I lose all progress in that map, I lost all progress in that mission, and not only that, but all my valuable equipment!  What the hell???  There's no way I can complete the game from here, since I don't have much money and I can't take on difficult enemies with no equipment.

I know the game was rushed out the door but could it have been that difficult to put in any of the following?

- When you finish a level, a dialog box "Are you ready to move on?"
- When you fail a quest, DON'T SAVE, instead count it as a death and let the user replay the last map.
- Multiple saves slots for each character, perhaps autosaved in a slot after each quest or map.
- When you exit the game, "Do you want to save your progess?" Dialog box.

It is just horrible game design to allow a user to completely erase days of progress through a game just by finding the exit to a level too soon.  While I wish I could rewind time, I'll have to leave this game incomplete, despite the fact that it was extremely fun while it lasted.

Feel free to comment.

Hints, Cheats, Tips & walkthroughs / Re: Stuck on Elmore's Retreat
« on: September 08, 2011, 11:30:57 AM »
Shamelessly bumping the thread to see if anyone can help.  If I really have to replay the whole quest (:'(), can you at least tell me what level the extra key is on? 

Hints, Cheats, Tips & walkthroughs / Re: Shareware walkthrough
« on: September 08, 2011, 11:28:37 AM »
Ok, I guess if you were playing with a magic-friendly character that would be the logical thing to try.  I was playing with a Knight and hardly ever use spells, so I didn't even think about casting a random one that I just picked up.  :)

Hints, Cheats, Tips & walkthroughs / Re: Shareware walkthrough
« on: September 06, 2011, 12:47:05 AM »
So in part 1, how did you know that the "blink" spell will teleport you to the treasure when you stood on the correct balcony?  I was stuck there forever until I saw your walkthrough.

Hints, Cheats, Tips & walkthroughs / Stuck on Elmore's Retreat
« on: September 05, 2011, 11:12:52 PM »
I'm currently playing through the game and I really like it so far.  I made it to the last map of Elmore's retreat. When I start this map, I have one key, which I picked up in the previous map.  I can make it all the way to a circular room with a locked door across a pit of lava.  At this point I only have the key I picked up from the lava serpents.  The game says the door needs a different key, but I've searched all over the map and can't find it.

I even tried unlocking the door by using the "Knock" spell, but it seems to have no effect on that particular door. 

Is the key hidden somewhere in this map?  Is there any way to finish this quest from here? (I'd be open to using cheats if I have to).    Or are you telling me that the ONLY way to complete this quest is to replay all SIX maps to get the key on  an earlier level??!??

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