Judge 1: Darrman
No punches are pulled here: make a mistake and you will be punished. In common with Four Kings, everyone has a PRF: however, many with one use left. You get one Hammerne use, which needs to be used wisely. Red text draws attention to the major skills: pay attention to them. The chapter is fast-paced: you have a ten-turn time limit and the Hawkeye enemies make sure you can’t dodge tank everything. Offence is everything: kill as many enemies each player phase as possible. The goal is interesting too: you have to destroy a tower, which is done by hitting a cracked wall. But you need to get Patty the pegasus knight to take it out, and she’s on the other side of the map. The back half of the chapter’s a matter of getting her back to the tower as soon as possible. A well-placed thicket prevents breaking the chapter with the longbow. By all accounts, this is a solid chapter. Keep moving and be on your toes.
The mugs are good and the music is good. The title and status screens also fit nicely together. However, I did encounter a bug when checking Zoe’s status screen with Armour March in effect, with the screen oddly glitching out. This bug does not occur otherwise.
The story is set in continuity with Four Kings, exploring its aftermath for some of its characters. However, this chapter stands well on its own. Zoe – the Lady – and her companions are travelling the world, and they are informed that a rebellion is brewing against Patty – the Princess – due to her blood. Zoe then moves in to help an old friend out. After the rebellion is defeated, Patty grants amnesty to most of the rebels – the leader was a big bully. She worked herself to exhaustion trying to prove herself to her people, so her friends encourage her to take a break. It’s not an especially complicated plotline, but it doesn’t need to be one. A nice extra touch are the heal quotes Zoe has with Vin and Cindy.
Total Score: 14/20
Judge 2: MCProductions
A very simple map where you rush to grab a flier and then break a wall. Fun, but very simple. Immediately rushed thru it and cleared it on my first attempt
Not terrible, but also not impressive. Castlevania music for the PP theme is pretty hype though.
As a sequel/epilogue to Four Kings, my lack of knowledge regarding that hack has bit me in the rear, but the revolt premise itself is solid and while I don’t know the characters, I am more interested in trying Four Kings now.
Total Score: 12/20
Judge 3: 2WB
The use of a box that flickers between def+avo and res+ddg makes it very hard to check the resistance of units, -and additionally- makes it hard to check their defense because it flickers away while I’m still processing it. This, in turn, means that I’m actually using the status menu instead of the box, which eliminates the point of using the box, which makes its hugeness start being an impediment to tactics.
While I appreciate being told that Zoe’s sword gives Miracle, there are multiple versions of Miracle that it could be, so just saying “Miracle” is terrible to me.
Similarly, “Has the brave effect”, when braves themselves have “Can strike consecutively” is less useful text wise.
Not having suspend is terrible and I hate you for it. While not ridiculous in context, just… why would you do that? (I wanted to check how long I’d been advancing through the text and I usually get interrupted often.)
In the menus, units seem to *lose hit rate* when in range of support partners. Why? Why is this not explained anywhere? The answer is that they actually don’t, but I can’t know that unless I attempt attacks.
Overall, this calculating attack sequences a gigantic pain in the ass because I genuinely don’t know what numbers to trust when I look at any of them, since they don’t correlate obviously to one another. And I have to pay attention to all these numbers, because I can’t throw units away because I have no idea what’s ahead but it looks fairly challenging.
Now, to the submission’s credit, the numbers do work out fairly nicely to let you make almost exclusively very consistent attacks.
Which brings me to the Life and Death Sages being *incredibly* boring. They actively detract from the experience because of how they one shot multiple units, making them easily cause resets should they manage to hit their 50~60 displayed hit. On the other hand, this is actually not the worst of things, since we do have tools to answer them.
The same applies to the Swordmaster and Berserkers – except even worse, because they actually have to *critical*, not just hit you, so it’s more inconsistent and has a more painful throw-the-dice level.
However, enemy reinforcements when recruiting Patty is awful. I cannot explain at enough length how *fucking pissed* I get when I see enemies come out during my turn, because while you did a very excellent thing in making them spawn and not move, the fact that if I had *delayed talked to Patty* I could have had a much better experience because I would have been able to clear out more units before more reinforcements showed up is… in honesty, quite sad.
The green units’ position being called defensible is… a true statement, but why would I want to turtle in a spot when I can bring my whole army forward?
Which is what I did, because turtling is lame as hell.
And, even moreso, when I can get to the chapter objective in just two turns by the sheer power of reposition, dance; and killing the only enemies in my way easily.
But that was fun and interesting and made me feel tactical. I had room to work with and there wasn’t some hard “no. You can’t do that.”
The playable map is good. The palette is pleasing and easier to look at than vanilla’s, but it’s harder to discern the terrain features from one another. I really had trouble separating the Forest tiles from the Grass tiles, which made the cutscene map look even worse than it is.
The initiate-combat music is both quiet and slow to start. If I have the rest of the game at a comfortable volume, I can’t hear it begin.
The volume of the enemy phase theme was painful. It had better audio balance between it and the enemy initiating combat theme, but it was not *pleasant* to listen to due to its volume.
The recruitment conversation music introduction section has pops from parts being too loud. It does sound rather cool and groovy overall, but the beginning, again, has poor balance and that really hurts it.
Nothing damning but nothing that made me exceptionally joyful.
The story in the opening cutscene was nice… But there was way too much of it.
I wanted to find out how long it had taken me, but then I found out you disabled suspend.
The actual writing was good and the characters thought out all quite fine, but my initial gut feeling is that, because by the time I was done reading the opening *I no longer wanted to play the game*, it doesn’t do its job. It was *too much text*. Due to having no familiarity with the world being presented, it was nice to get an overview, but it was also very long for what amounted to “These three friends are also friends with the new princess, who a lot of people don’t like, because she’s not a legitimate heiress.”
Basically, the overview gives me too much information if I’m familiar with the source material, since I probably already know it; but also is painfully long.
The same extends to Zoe’s healing conversation – this is a really cool detail, but I should not be reading a minute-plus long conversation when I have to use my physic staff for the first time?
The ending cutscenes were far more reasonable lengths. I was amused by Vin’s meandering and eyes opening in the ending, and remembering to call back to the abandoned man is nice, if predictable.
However, you are far from the only person who decided to make a too-long cutscene, and yours was good.
Total Score: 16/20
Judge 4: theghostcreator
It’s fine, the objective of destroying the tower was neat but other than that it was just boring. I was in no real danger because of Vin’s prf and the holy sword being so strong. Three game over units is too much though, especially since after talking to the flier game over condition with another game over condition a bunch more enemies spawn out of nowhere, including a brave bow warrior just a few tiles away from the flier! The gameplay overall was just a lot of boring baiting of enemies with no reason to push forward at all, at least nothing readily apparent. Healing was also pretty tight but that didn’t matter much since Vin could just bait 90% of the threats on enemy phase 100% safely then just killing everything on player phase with the million brave weapons given to the player.
No complaints, looks and sounds really good.
It’s fine but I’m deducting points just due to it spoiling 4K, which I have not read through. Being forced to read spoilers of a story for the sake of a hacking contest is just not a good thing, even if I have no intention of going through 4K any time soon. The language used also made it feel very… amateurish? Like no characters really spoke like they were in a Fire Emblem adjacent setting and instead just talked like modern people do.
Total Score: 12/20