Project HBR: Lonely River

Project HBR: Lonely River


Judge 1: Darrman

Gameplay: 8/10

This chapter is a fairly simple one: kill the boss. The main gimmick involves juggling two army kill counts: one must be above the other in order to get the achievement. Aside from that, there are several other achievements to hunt. Of these, I got the army goal, mage to level 5, rescued the green unit, and all dialogue achievements. There isn’t much to complain about, really: the chapter execution was solid.

Presentation: 3/5

The music was good, and the portraits were mostly good as well, aside from one placeholder mini. There was still a bit of vanilla music to be heard here and there, though.

Story: 4/5

This entry’s story is very much inspired by Jugdral – and I very much like Jugdral. The world is split between those with magic and those without, with the holy bloodlines being at the very top. However, major holy blood is king – the people don’t care for the minor stuff. We follow our lord, having recently ascended to head of her house, as she has many problems to manage. Minor blood people are considered weaker, so she must prove herself. In addition, some magic-using fugitives from the non-magic half of the continent had recently arrived. The two groups were ordered to put down a rebellion by someone claiming to have holy blood in another house. Our lord’s goal was to prove herself by out-competing the fugitives. There are many plot threads spun in the course of this chapter: certainly enough to have a full hack in this world. I did get the full dialogue achievement!

Total Score: 15/20

Judge 2: MCProductions

Gameplay: 8/10

The map is a race against yourself. Your army is split in two and a score is kept between the two halves for kill count. You are encouraged in the plot to have Marilyn win the “competition”, so the map is a balancing game of which side gets kills but still attempting to make progress. It’s a very fun gimmick.

Presentation: 1/5

Portraits have clashing artstyles, bow fliers still have pegasus knight holding lances sprites, and the map looks very dull.

Story: 3/5

We are given an FE4/3H style set up regarding holy blood being the defining trait of nobility, and in general a lot of set up is done. Sadly due to only having one chapter to work with, little is resolved cleanly, and this hack feels like setup for another hack. I am interested enough from what I’ve seen here to seek out a said hack that follows up on this, but what’s here now is not enough to sate me.

Total Score: 12/20

Judge 3: 2WB

Gameplay: 7/10

The gameplay was neatly involved. There were a lot of things to pay attention to….until about turn 9, at which point there were only three enemies on the map, all unmoving. But I ended the map on turn 13 despite what I considered a slow way to kill the boss, so it was nice, especially because, until that point, the gameplay kept having one event after another to make sure the player was paying attention … on the north side. There was nothing on the south side, which felt a bit disheartening – there was also a significant blank spot in the middle of that area, where there were no enemies.
Enemies were pretty deadly but units aren’t extreme glass cannons so you have an allowance for error, you have plenty of healing from Dawn’s staff and from the healthy Elixir quantity.
It just felt good to play.

I felt significantly gipped by the Cultist in the top right, due to one conversation saying one thing (they wouldn’t swoop in) and not seeing the character conversation talking about it due to my placement of the units.

Presentation: 5/5

The guide existed and elaborated a lot of things that people need to be less afraid of telling their players.
The music choices were extremely good on the whole, only the audio balance could have stood a little improvement.
Every portrait was nice (though hugely varying in style), every palette was both well made and matched the portrait.

Every thing I checked worked the way it said it should in the guide.
The only negative thing I really can say is that one of the tiles has all of half a tree on them but is a Forest. But it’d be weird either way that you handle that! The snow palette was cool, the renaming the terrain tiles to “glacier”, there’s so many nice things.
This was definitely my gold standard: Every single thing was good. I didn’t become elated from it alone, but it was better than “no flaws”, it was “I’d like to see this more.”

Story: 3/5

I got 60 screenshots of text in and felt bored.
Please imagine how annoying that is when there’s 132 screenshots of the story length-wise and framing before we actually go anywhere.
Now, none of the intro content was bad. It read well and it set up a lot of stuff. It was very much full of intrigue and quite polished. There was not too much Proper Nouning that made the text hard to read, there was a lot of character-focused writing, scene setting, line spacing – everything –
But if I had been actually playing this hack for fun I more than likely would’ve either stopped playing and gone to watch some videoes, or pressed start and missed the actual important “if i get more kills than his team” part.

Similarly, I really like the excessive amount of talks. They’re well done, but it’s truly excessive. I feel obliged to trawl through and look at all of them, and yet, it’s so much stuff. 60 boxes of text between “start chapter” and “start turn 2” was quite painful to me.

Total Score: 15/20

Judge 4: theghostcreator

Gameplay: 7/10

It’s perfectly serviceable, wasn’t all that enjoyable but it definitely felt complete and playable, cheesed the boss with a bolting from both the units that could use it though and it has the FE6 problem of one side of the army being able to clear one side much faster than the other. The reinforcements were also a little mean.

Presentation: 4/5

Mostly good, the map and music were great, and none of the portraits were hard to look at, a lot of them had differing styles though to the point it became distracting and the minis were hit or miss with one unit not even having a proper mini.

Story: 3/5

There’s effort here but it just isn’t enjoyable to read. Too much exposition at the beginning and the story expects you to remember the long crawl of dialogue. Felt like it’s an abridged version of another hack or something.

Total Score: 14/20



Grand Total: 56/80

3rd Position Overall

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