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Thread: General Fan Mission Review And Discussion Megathread

  1. #1051
    Fantastic work Intruder! Great reviews - I just replayed those missions a few weeks ago, they are fun indeed.

    @ The Juggler - you don't have to let us know what mission you are reviewing until you actually post the review


  2. #1052
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Germany
    Hey intruder and The Mike, great reviews.

    intruder, I see you've used directupload.net to store your screen shots. Don't know about photobucket, imageshack etc., but I know directupload *will* delete images after a year of not being viewed. So once again I have to ask you and anyone else posting screen shots in this thread: how do you ensure your screen shots won't get lost over time? Would be a shame if they would.

    Another thing: The Mike, I clicked on one of your screen shots which resulted in my Firefox opening the image about 10 times at once, any interaction with one of the opened tabs, again opened another 10 tabs and so on. Don't know if this is a mistake by Imageshack or a problem with the TIF format you used. I tried to open one of the files FF downloaded and the Magic Number thingy doesn't seem to match a TIF. In fact it looks like being a PNG with a TIF file extension. Maybe this gets Firefox confused. Anyone else got this problem, too?

    EDIT: Hmm... stange. Tried again and now everything works fine.

  3. #1053
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2007
    Location: UK
    Quote Originally Posted by SneakyJack View Post
    Fantastic work Intruder! Great reviews - I just replayed those missions a few weeks ago, they are fun indeed.

    @ The Juggler - you don't have to let us know what mission you are reviewing until you actually post the review

    Trust me, m'lord, I'm so lazy that if I don't make an active promise to review I'll never get around to it - it works better this way

    On which note, ladies and gentlemen, I present the first instalment of this three-act drama, The Plot Thickens!

    Act I
    Author: Anonymous - uploaded by Otto55

    Story: You're offloading gear at a fence, when a few pesky arrows come in and mess up the deal - typically, these arrows were meant for you. This mission sees Garrett turn private eye, tracking down the assassins and uncovering their plot.

    Gameplay: This mission is split into two main parts. The first part sees you doggedly pursuing a pair of surprisingly senseless assassins through a small, canal-filled city - and this is jolly good fun. The second part sees you traipsing through sewers to reach their hideout - still pretty good fun, provided you've got plenty of flares handy. I've honestly never used a flare before this mission but it's surprisingly vital for navigating the myriad pitch black (And I mean, pitch black - whacking the gamma up to 11 had absolutely no dent on the velvety darkness) tunnels and sewers beneath the city.

    Looks: Although small, and somewhat utilitarian, the city actually looks rather nice. The buildings are varied and the architecture seems to capture the mix of medieval and victorian britain that the Thiefverse is so lovingly modelled on. However, I do have to say the sewers were INCREDIBLY dark - perhaps a little bit more ambient light wouldn't have gone totally amiss. The city also seemed fairly deserted - with only the thieves and two watchmen in the whole district.

    Sounds: I have to report some solid ambience, accompanied by some very clearly-recorded and imformative dialogue. All good so far.

    Verdict: This mission wasn't afraid to try something a little different, yet at the same time, overwhelmingly classic. Even the gripes, it's still a fun, playable mission - even if the challenge comes more from navigation than thieving. I'm going to give this 69% Stay tuned for Act II!
    Last edited by The Juggler; 2nd Jun 2009 at 09:56.

  4. #1054
    Member
    Registered: May 2003
    Location: Normally I'm in the batcave.
    Quote Originally Posted by SinisterShadow View Post
    Another thing: The Mike, I clicked on one of your screen shots which resulted in my Firefox opening the image about 10 times at once, any interaction with one of the opened tabs, again opened another 10 tabs and so on. Don't know if this is a mistake by Imageshack or a problem with the TIF format you used. I tried to open one of the files FF downloaded and the Magic Number thingy doesn't seem to match a TIF. In fact it looks like being a PNG with a TIF file extension.
    *head spins* Uhhh...well I'm glad things ultimately worked out because I don't have any clue as to what 90% of this means (though I imbued each one of my screenshots with the spirit of a Candarian demon so that might be where the problem lies...).

    Once again thanks to everyone who commented- also intruder, your reviews have me playing the TTGM series for the first time, so thanks for the inspiration (also I'm on mission one and I think I already alerted every guard in the mission 3 minutes into it). Juggler, your reviews are extremely well-written, keep going man.

    Edit: Also as an answer to your first question SinisterShadow, I have all of my screenshots saved on my computer so if they get deleted, worse things have happened. This will do at least until I find a permanent place to put them (and my reviews as well- since let's face it, this topic won't be on page 1 forever and I for some reason find myself being pretty proud of them, the little scamps).

  5. #1055
    One thing everyone might want to think about is starting an account at photobucket - they seem to be the most permanent image host and as long as you are only storing thief screens they won't remove any of them that way we can preserve the thread for long term use without broken images.

    Unfortunately most image hosts (tinypic for example and a few of the image hosts already used by others in this thread) are rather crappy about how long they'll actually store a picture and they'll regularly delete photos after a short while leading to a ton of broken images in posts.

    With a photobucket account you can manage all your screens in one spot, post full size images and as long as you log in every couple months or so your account will always be active - and its free. I've been using them for years and they've never deleted a picture or caused any images not to load. Also, if you post thumbnails of your screens and folks click on them they arent greeted with the horrible pop-unders and pop-ups that plague some of the image hosts that folks use here in other threads. My browser gets raped every time I click on a thumb from that awful directupload or whatever one of the popular image hosts is here - and I've even got firefox with ad-block and pop up blocking on.

    Just a suggestion for the future

  6. #1056
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball
    Quote Originally Posted by SneakyJack View Post
    One thing everyone might want to think about is starting an account at photobucket - they seem to be the most permanent image host and as long as you are only storing thief screens they won't remove any of them that way we can preserve the thread for long term use without broken images.

    Unfortunately most image hosts (tinypic for example and a few of the image hosts already used by others in this thread) are rather crappy about how long they'll actually store a picture and they'll regularly delete photos after a short while leading to a ton of broken images in posts.

    With a photobucket account you can manage all your screens in one spot, post full size images and as long as you log in every couple months or so your account will always be active - and its free. I've been using them for years and they've never deleted a picture or caused any images not to load. Also, if you post thumbnails of your screens and folks click on them they arent greeted with the horrible pop-unders and pop-ups that plague some of the image hosts that folks use here in other threads. My browser gets raped every time I click on a thumb from that awful directupload or whatever one of the popular image hosts is here - and I've even got firefox with ad-block and pop up blocking on.

    Just a suggestion for the future
    I was using photobucket as well. It served me well. *logs in, sees that all is well*... I think I personally had some lags with it, but i assume all photo hosts have those demons. I use firefox too and i have some anti-pop-up window thingy turned on too.
    Anyway, be well. It's cool to see multiple people reviewing missions. Maybe one day when my English gets a little better and I stop sounding so stupid all the time (doubt it's going to happen though) I would gladly post a review or two.

  7. #1057
    Your english has always been great from the posts I've read of yours, you should definitely give reviewing a shot! I think you'll see that once you start you'll realize its a ton of fun and you'll want to continue - and I hope you do!

    I really like having many viewpoints (even on the same mission) and I'm really enjoying being able to read reviews from others. Its very nice to have folks jumping in, and I definitely feel its a "the more the merrier" situation - so give it a try.

  8. #1058
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Situation's changed, Tom.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thor02 View Post
    I was using photobucket as well. It served me well. *logs in, sees that all is well*... I think I personally had some lags with it, but i assume all photo hosts have those demons. I use firefox too and i have some anti-pop-up window thingy turned on too.
    Anyway, be well. It's cool to see multiple people reviewing missions. Maybe one day when my English gets a little better and I stop sounding so stupid all the time (doubt it's going to happen though) I would gladly post a review or two.
    You really should try it indeed. Look at me - in my opinion my English is really bad but I tried writing some reviews and it worked a bit. (Actually, I only like my first review, the rest is not that good.)

    I always use tinypic for screenshots, I didn't know they delete them after some time. Soon I'll go to Photobucket too, I think.
    Last edited by PotatoGuy; 3rd Jun 2009 at 02:51.

  9. #1059
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Great. Now I can't get back in
    Quote Originally Posted by SneakyJack View Post
    One thing everyone might want to think about is starting an account at photobucket - they seem to be the most permanent image host and as long as you are only storing thief screens they won't remove any of them that way we can preserve the thread for long term use without broken images.

    Unfortunately most image hosts (tinypic for example and a few of the image hosts already used by others in this thread) are rather crappy about how long they'll actually store a picture and they'll regularly delete photos after a short while leading to a ton of broken images in posts.

    With a photobucket account you can manage all your screens in one spot, post full size images and as long as you log in every couple months or so your account will always be active - and its free. I've been using them for years and they've never deleted a picture or caused any images not to load. Also, if you post thumbnails of your screens and folks click on them they arent greeted with the horrible pop-unders and pop-ups that plague some of the image hosts that folks use here in other threads. My browser gets raped every time I click on a thumb from that awful directupload or whatever one of the popular image hosts is here - and I've even got firefox with ad-block and pop up blocking on.

    Just a suggestion for the future
    Absolutely agree. Apart from things occasionally getting pretty busy over there (they number their photos & videos in the 10s of billions), Photobucket has heaps to recommend it, as SJ has itemised. Plus they just keep adding new features & improved ways of doing things, and you can search for, & d/l, any other photos / videos there. I've been using them for about 9 months & never had the slightest complaint. Check 'em out

    I'm also keen for people to avoid using directupload - I find many screens that use them turn up as links; click on them & they won't even give viewing permission! And they're 1 of only 3 sites I know of that can (& actively do) get past my pop-up blockers.

  10. #1060
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Germany
    Ok then I'll switch to photobucket as well.
    But I want to say, that it always depends on the user how he deals with the host. With directupload as example, you can avoid all those popups at all, if you use the hotlink when linking from thumbnails. But 99% of the people using directupload for images don't take care of that
    The same with all those imageshack users, they throw in those links that take you to a page where you have to click on a small blue arrow to get the picture working. Appart from the fact that imageshack is quite slow...

    But enough off-topic....on to the next reviews

  11. #1061
    Having just finished Gaetane's excellent L'Arsene series (for the second time) over the last week, I thought I'd write a review of it. The series consists of four missions - L'Arsene, Emilie Victor, Korrigans and The Den. I'll go through the missions one by one.


    L'Arsene
    ---------


    Garrett has decided to take a break from the City and has sought refuge in a small (unnamed) town. As he wakes up, he realizes that he has been robbed! The culprit is the local master thief, L'Arsene, who has left a taunting note in Garrett's room. Your task is to get back your stolen stuff and exact revenge on L'Arsene by knocking him out and tossing him in a prison cell.

    L'Arsene is a traditional city mission with guards, thieves, many buildings to visit and plenty of rope arrow opportunities. Along the way, you will receive more taunting notes from L'Arsene, as well as attempts to ambush you and get you killed. This together with notes and other readables by other characters flesh out the character of L'Arsene, adding to your personal motivation to get back at this smug bastard.

    The map of the town is quite large, but only a part of it is accessible at the beginning, with new parts opening up as you find the required keys. There indeed is a good number of keys in this mission; although this isn't a particularly frustrating keyhunt (most keys are in rather logical places and not too difficult to find), I wish more of the keys had been labeled: For example, there are two identical-looking blue keys that are both called "Key", and cycling through the various keys in the inventory is a bit of a hassle sometimes. Nevertheless, the gameplay is quite solid overall, and the partial linearity in exploring the town isn't necessarily a bad thing - it helps you familiarize yourself with your surroundings and get your bearings, which is fairly important here due to the lack of a map.

    L'Arsene is a good city mission with traditional Thief gameplay that can definitely stand more than one playthrough. Apart from the slight hassle with the keys, I can't really think of anything negative to say about it. A must-play for fans of city missions.


    Emilie Victor
    -------------


    Emilie Victor is only rather loosely connected to the rest of the L'Arsene storyline and mainly acts as a bridge between the previous and following missions. Although it does include some characters who were mentioned in L'Arsene, such as the mysterious Emilie Victor herself, this is mostly a separate story where L'Arsene only plays an insignificant minor part.

    Sometime after the events of the previous mission, Garrett wakes up after a night of partying in an unknown bed in an unknown house, his companion for the night already gone. It soon turns out that the mansion belongs to De Loret, the strongman and de facto leader of the town. The mysterious Emilie Victor who sent a note to Garrett in the previous mission seems to be connected to the mansion somehow as well. You don't have any equipment with you save your lockpicks, so your first task is to find replacements. Then you need to steal the key to De Loret's warehouse, which supposedly contains lots of valuable goods, and meet and find out more about Emilie Victor.

    If L'Arsene was a traditional city mission, Emilie Victor is a traditional mansion mission... Well, almost. It turns out that the mansion has its own secrets and there is more to it than first meets the eye. I won't spoil the plot for you, but suffice to say you will find areas that are not quite like the typical noble mansion where the mission starts.

    Since you start out this mission without a blackjack, you have no choice but to ghost near the beginning. How long you need to do this depends on how quickly you can find your equipment - I remember that the first time I played this FM, it took me a long while and I was getting a little frustrated with my helplessness. That being said, this mission appears to lend itself to ghosting pretty well, so fans of that playing style should have no problem there.

    Besides the traditional sneaking and stealing action, Emilie Victor also includes some puzzles. I felt that one of these, in particular, was rather obscure and I don't think I could have figured it out on my own, unless there was a clue in a readable somewhere that I missed. The map is (or at least appears) smaller than in L'Arsene, but in a mansion-type setting with narrow corridors, it provides quite enough tense sneaking opportunities, especially for those who like to ghost. Again, there is some linearity in the exploration in that keys are required to open up parts of the mansion, but key placement is again pretty logical and the mission doesn't degenerate into a frustrating keyhunt.

    Emilie Victor is a mansion mission with a twist, with puzzle solving and some unusual elements tossed in to spice things up. I found it quite entertaining, even if I was still a little confused at the end about some parts of the plot. Recommended for fans of mansion missions, even if you haven't played L'Arsene - the plot works quite well independently of the rest of the series.


    Korrigans
    ----------


    Things have gone bad in the town. L'Arsene has escaped from prison and is plotting revenge against Garrett. In addition, strange creatures called Korrigans (Gremlins) appear to have invaded the town, although nobody quite knows where they come from or what they want. They have killed and maimed some people, and as a result, the town is effectively under quarantine and nobody is allowed to leave. The docks, the main exit from the town, have been locked down by the watch, so the only way out is through the North Sewers. And the only person who has a key to it is Berenice, L'Arsene's sister. Can she be trusted? It's not like you have much choice, as the sewers are your only way out.

    As you probably guessed, you will eventually come in contact with the mysterious Korrigans; turns out they have abducted Berenice, so you need to find their hideout and free Berenice to be able to escape from the town. You also have the warehouse key you stole from De Loret in Emilie Victor, so robbing the warehouse and pawning off the goods is the other main objective. There are also several optional objectives (one of which is triggered during the mission), like stealing a valuable mask from an exhibition and getting your hands on L'Arsene's correspondence. Optional objectives are a nice way of giving the player more to do while still allowing them to finish the mission if they don't want to do everything, which I'd like to see in more FM's.

    Korrigans is again mostly a city mission. The area is not as large as in L'Arsene, but this time there is actually a map to help you find your way around, and apart from one gate separating the eastern and western sections of the town that you need to open, you can wander around more freely. The enemies are mostly guards and thieves (L'Arsene has placed snipers around the town who will shoot you on sight) - the civilians in this mission are non-hostile as long as you don't hurt them or commit crimes within their sight.

    What makes this FM unique are obviously the Korrigans and their hideout. The Korrigans may look and sound funny (midgets with a sped-up "drunken guard" soundset ), but only as long as they don't see you: They are mean little buggers who can easily kill you in battle, they have very acute hearing and they move fast, making them very difficult to outrun.

    Korrigans is a (mostly) city mission that you should take your time with: It took me about four hours (not including reloads) to finish on my second playthrough (Expert, with all optional objectives). For a first-time player, especially a ghoster, I assume it would take much longer. This mission has a lot of action packed into it, and is recommended for all fans of classic Thief gameplay.


    The Den
    --------


    Garrett's attempt to escape through the sewers at the end of Korrigans ended in (not totally unexpected) betrayal. At the beginning of The Den, Garrett is locked up in a cell in L'Arsene's hideout, with the rival thief himself gloating at him on the other side of the bars. Your first task is obviously to break out of the cell, then get back your equipment. After that, it's time to put an end to this feud by finishing off L'Arsene once and for all.

    Of course, things won't be quite that simple. The Den - an abandoned fortress/mansion taken over by L'Arsene's gang - hides a dark secret of its own, and it seems L'Arsene is also aware of it. Not surprisingly, you have to deal with this secret before you can get back at your nemesis. In that sense, The Den resembles Emilie Victor (mansion mission with a twist), and again, you start out without any equipment.

    For the most part, The Den is a traditional mansion mission, only this time, your enemies are thieves rather than guards. As the plot begins to unfold, there will be more elements, including a new type of enemy and some puzzles. Again, the design of this FM seems to expand on Emilie Victor, as the puzzles are more numerous and more elaborate here.

    I found this mission somewhat more challenging than the previous ones, mostly due to the puzzles and having to find some pretty well-hidden items. Like Korrigans, this is a lengthy mission you shouldn't start over a lunch break - again, it took me almost four hours to finish it on Expert on my second playthrough, and without hints, it would have definitely taken even longer.

    Basically, if you liked Emilie Victor, you will almost certainly like The Den as well, and if you've played all three previous parts of the L'Arsene series, you can't really afford to skip it. It concludes the story of the rivalry between Garrett and L'Arsene, which is a bit of a pity - L'Arsene was an interesting character who could have featured in other missions. All in all, The Den is a worthy ending to an excellent series by an excellent author. If you call yourself a Thief enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to play this series at least once. Highly recommended!

  12. #1062
    Fantastic work Jah! Reviewing all four missions at once is quite an undertaking and I thank you for contributing that. It was a great read, and I agree with nearly all of your points, specially in the first review about the slight hassle with keys. Hope to see much more from you!

    Edit: I just played a mission called "Partytime" By MHTheFreak which apparently was a rework-in-progress of "Life Of The Party"? I'm sure there are many out there that know much more about that mission than I do - but I played through it and it is fantastic! Some of the conversations were the german language files (I think) but I've heard them so many times from past Life Of The Party playthroughs that I knew what was going on anyway. I think with the changes made the mission flowed much, much better and the city areas were even more fun to hop around the rooftops - was a finished version of this ever released?
    Last edited by SneakyJack; 5th Jun 2009 at 21:07.

  13. #1063
    Thanks, SneakyJack. After finishing a FM, I often spend some time summing up my thoughts and analyzing the mission, and after finishing three quarters of a campaign, I thought I might as well write them down when I'm done. And it was a good way to kill time on a boring day at work.

    Right now I'm replaying T2X, but given its length and the fact that you've already reviewed all the missions, I'm going to pass reviewing that. But maybe I'll take a shot at some other mission after that.

  14. #1064
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2007
    Location: UK
    Ice Base 1 by The Independent Thief - reviewed by our very own Boris Johnson of Thief II, The Juggler

    The Story: The Keepers are paying you a substantial sum to infiltrate a Mechanist base on a very small, very icy little island, to steal some vital blueprints, and whatever else you can fit in your pockets.

    The Gameplay: Typical mechanist fare - avoid the cameras, introduce the guards to your good friend El Kabong. I, for one, liked it - relatively classic gameplay. Not a lot of scattered loot, but enough to make you feel at home. It's also a little more hardware-intensive when outside. One thing I didn't like was the lack of a map - only a slightly rusty texture on my map panel. It's a bit of a winder so a good map is pretty much essential.

    The Looks: This, I think, is what will divide fans right down the middle. Lookswise this is definitely not your regular thief fare - indeed, I wasn't sure if I was playing System Shock 2 at points. I understand a lot of the textures were taken from other games. Now, I myself wasn't sure what I thought about this - now, I'm a bit of a Thief puritan, so in the past I've been reluctant to embrace anything which strays too far from the established look/feel. However, this mission does seem really well put-together - striking in some places. So I remain torn.

    The Sounds: The ambience feels like it should - it jarrs much less than the visuals, and is pretty seamless. Nothing too exciting, but solidly done.

    The Verdict: Even if you're a thiefverse puritan I'd suggest you have a look at this to see what you think - it's a solid thief sneaker, with little in the way of spills and spooks, but inevitably the setting is going to cause controversy. I, for one, am slapping it with a solid 74%

  15. #1065
    Another great contribution Juggler! I like how you give each mission a percentage score, its a detail that helps set your reviews apart!

  16. #1066
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by SneakyJack View Post
    Edit: I just played a mission called "Partytime" By MHTheFreak which apparently was a rework-in-progress of "Life Of The Party"? I'm sure there are many out there that know much more about that mission than I do - but I played through it and it is fantastic! Some of the conversations were the german language files (I think) but I've heard them so many times from past Life Of The Party playthroughs that I knew what was going on anyway. I think with the changes made the mission flowed much, much better and the city areas were even more fun to hop around the rooftops - was a finished version of this ever released?
    According to this post, yes. Maybe you could drop PsymH a PM here on ttlg.com and ask him for a complete english version...

  17. #1067
    Actually, I did that a while back and he replied that he'd try to put something together. That was a month or so ago, however, and I've not heard anything further.

  18. #1068
    I really hope so - I enjoyed it far more even than the OM, and thats saying something.. Life Of The Party was my favorite T2 mission and his reworking honestly just made it better.

    Thanks for the info Intruder and epithumia

  19. #1069
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinqueecclesiensis HU
    Ruined I-III.
    fan mission campaign by Rostvogel

    This three-part campaign from 2005 seems to be little known among Thief players – I certainly can’t recall it being mentioned in review or recommendation threads. Well, what I am going to do is recommend playing it, because Ruined does not just impress with its size (two very expansive missions and a briefer finale), but also by being a very good exploration-oriented experience with decent if not earth-shattering architecture.

    The setting of the missions is a grandiose, partially ruined fortress complex built into the mountainsides, sitting atop a chasm of lava and some Nasty Things from Way Back. Your target is none other but the ‘Canon Medicinae’, a book written by Avicenna and now kept in a secret library under the fortress. Other people are also looking for the treasures of the fortress complex: first, a band of thieves who have taken over the fortifications surrounding the abbey, and are excavating the foundations to break into the library; and second, Garrett’s associate Rupert, who will be helping you a lot during the missions with stashes of hidden equipment, hints and so on (a welcome change from the usual solitary ventures). Unlike the dark steampunk of baseline Thief, this is more high fantasy; you will be seeing a lot of paintings and tapestries with dragons, forgotten tombs, undertemples and so on.

    Architecturally, the missions are straightforward: you should not be expecting the visual fireworks of The Broken Triad, Mission X or The Hammerite Imperium, and the majority of resources are TMA defaults. The first impression will probably be modest, or even slightly disappointing, but it gets better – quite better. The use of fog and rain lends the mission its own character, and the terrain is refreshingly complex – the author lets you stray off the beaten path and go climbing, and usually rewards you with a cool loot cache, interesting view or side area when you do. In my opinion, Ruined gives you the purest experience of mountaineering in a Thief fan mission, not because it has the best-looking mountains (that honour might go to Sterlino’s Horns of Canzo), but because it has the most climbable ones.

    From relatively simple architectural features, Rostvogel has constructed a game area that covers a lot of ground and presents more and more new areas you were not expecting. It is a cool trick that in the first mission, there are areas you can see but can’t explore; in the second, it feels very nice to finally reach them and look back on the site of your previous explorations. Moreover, the FMs look lived-in – a lot of small details, creatively used objects and similar tricks give it even more variety, while there are also signs of decay in the environment – cracked walls, vines growing over some areas (a good use of TMA’s otherwise uninspiring vine decals), and vegetation clinging to the niches of the ruined structures or the rocky terrain.

    The majority of action revolves around meeting a growing number of objectives. Much of it is functionally a hunt for various items you use as keys, but with a few exceptions, they are relatively easy to find and give cool effects when you use them. There is a remarkably nasty exception in the second mission, though, where a nondescript room hides a “keyhole” behind some unmovable furniture – which is not fair at all, especially considering that the levels are so huge that this sort of thing ends up way worse than it would in a smaller mission. Also, there were a few puzzles I solved using slightly unorthodox means – twice by smashing down a door/window, and one time by climbing a place that might not have been intended to be climbed. Still, this strong focus on exploration and allowing potentially out of the box solutions to fulfilling your objectives, gives Ruined its peculiar charm – when you find out again that yes, the hidden room you suspected exists, or the secret tunnel you found leads someplace interesting, you can’t help but smile.

    All in all, this is not a groundbreaking mission series, but it is a very playable one, and with its impressive length, it is bound to last a few evenings.










  20. #1070
    A mission release AND a great review all in the same day? Impressive work Melan and thank you so much for contributing your first review to the thread

    Quality work with the screenshots as well!

  21. #1071
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Situation's changed, Tom.
    Good review Melan, you word my exact thoughts about that FM. And thanks again with your fabulous new FM, I have only played it 15 minutes and I'm already in love with it. I think I'm going to write a review about it here...

  22. #1072
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball
    Quote Originally Posted by PotatoGuy View Post
    I think I'm going to write a review about it here...
    If someone else doesn't do it first.

    No, but seriously, now i have a list of FMs ... bwah... I have to play atleast 6 or 7 FMs at the same time to be in the schedule.
    Well, atleeast now i really have some free days and i might actually make it. XD

  23. #1073
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2009
    Location: Germany
    @SneakyJack:
    I haven't forgotten that. But first I will complete my mission "The Mirror of the Return".

  24. #1074
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball

    Reviewing: From Beneath The Sands

    As I read the encouraging comments to give reviewing a shot, I slowly (that's me) processed those thoughts and decided to actually try it (plus I knew which mission it would be).

    So my first (and possibly last ) review goes for the FM i started like a half year ago, but only now got my wits to finish.
    Added note: As i just realized, this is the original version of Whispers in the Desert. I guess nicked decided to make a remake out of this. Well, i thought this was good, so the remake should be even better.

    Oh and also my English skills aren't the best, so please pardon.
    OH and also, MAY CONTAIN PRETTY MINOR SPOILERS! (but I'll tag them anyway)

    From Beneath The Sands by nicked
    Released: 09th May 2006

    From Beneath The Sands is no ordinary mission. In fact it is strictly 1 kind of FM (not like many others trying to combine everything or just much more in them) - tomb raiding (pyramid raiding this time!). That helped it to be the great FM it is.
    Onward, the story starts out pretty basic, but during the mission it gets a bit more... awesome. Well, not like the story is the best thing in this FM, it just fits the stuff around you (mummies, tombs, orange textures, piles of skeletons & such).
    Speaking of Sounds beneath the Sands, I didn't notice much ambient sounds (but the lava areas did some contrasting (if You had sound very high, Your ears might get angry)), but the mummy sounds were pretty fun and realistic (as realistic as walking dead mummies).
    This mission is looking very good in my opinion (You'll judge it yourself by the few screens I'll show off). It has no huge views though, but hey, when has a huge underground tomb complex had much of those? (Moria wasn't originally a tomb!) The textures are very are in that "archeological" color (weird description, but i hope you get the idea).
    This mission reminded me of both Lost City and Bonehoard, but it wasn't them at all, as You will see. The overall design was mostly simple detailed with big blocks. Pretty much like a tomb should look like. Well, maybe it could have had some more detailed rooms, but I don't complain. (And I have a feeling the author intended it to be that way)
    Gameplaywise it is... well, I don't really know how to judge gameplay, but it had some nice secrets (and not totally impossible to find), some nice places by default, it can be pretty much ghosted (except the ending really, You'll see why). Also, this mission had lots of small puzzles, but they were relatively easy, because the hinting stuff didn't speak in riddles, so even i managed to complete it without help. (I did look in the forums, but out of curiosity for 4th secret)
    I suggest this mission for people, who are obsessed with tomb raiding like me, the desert, Egyptian pyramids idea, AIs you can't really knock out that simply and not risk waking them up after!

    Oh, i almost forgot the favorite part (The one that people will really see in my review) - screens + some unfunny comments!

    The entrance area. Something is seriously wrong with the sky vortex when you look really high up.


    Is that... lava? Well, you never know when you might have to kill something in the lava.


    You must be anxious to know what's down there? Well, I ain't tellin'.


    There's a scroll on the floor. Notice the scroll? Seriously.


    Booo!! Fear me, small people!




    Mazes... quite a few of those!


    Added note: I just realized the least favorite thing for me in this mission were the ceilings. The textures and simplicity (but simplicity is actually understandable).
    Added note: I might have not said everything I thought about this mission, but i think i summed up the most important stuff. If someone actually read it all, i hope it didn't felt like a wasted time.
    Last edited by Thor; 25th Jul 2009 at 06:32.

  25. #1075
    Vertical Contest Winner 2009
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: The Great White North
    hey juggler, the plot thickens is a mission pack. How about the last two acts?

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