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Thread: General Fan Mission Review And Discussion Megathread

  1. #1876
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Hi, fellas and ladies, since this is a fan mission discussion thread I was wondering how you feel about ambient music in FM's? Am I the only one who doesn't really like it or even miss it when not there? Don't get me wrong, in some areas soft ambient in the background is great - the OM's wouldn't be the same without it -, but mostly I find it somewhat unrealistic and even annoying. It can be tastefully done, not interfering with gameplay and you can actually hear the sounds of approaching guards or their conversations. But sometimes the ambient is just way too loud for me, even when its there to set the mood and atmosphere (like the Rocksbourg series: great series, really loud music)... I hope I'm not going to get kicked out of here for saying this... For the sake of conversation, what do you guys/gals think?

    Summer

  2. #1877
    I do like some good ambience playing in the background, it can add a lot to the mood considering it fits the mission. Rocksbourg series used Silent Hill tracks which I thought fit extremely well. Having no ambience play to make you feel alone works, but for me a suitable track can make me feel truely alone. Ambience needs to be subtle enough to hear it but not over power every other element in the mission.

  3. #1878
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    I agree with you, quakis.

    The right music can really make a mission stand out, the feel of the mission changes. For example, the OM Bafford's (can't remember the actual mission name) has an ambient that still affects me today, making me feel trepidation and anxiety - both of which make the first-time exprience a memorable one, at least it did for me

  4. #1879
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Location: shalebridgecradle.co.uk
    I like having good ambient music in an FM. It can really add to the mood. Especially when the music creates an appropriate atmosphere and evokes an appropriate response from me - for example, suspense. A perfect example is Eclipsed by HipBreaker (though there are many others). And many authors are very good at balancing ambients with roombrushing so you can still hear guards, etc. Yandros is particularly deft at this. Though I agree that ambient music that is too loud and interferes with gameplay isn't something I care for usually.

  5. #1880
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Location: Full on Kevel's mom
    Quote Originally Posted by Summer View Post
    I agree with you, quakis.

    The right music can really make a mission stand out, the feel of the mission changes. For example, the OM Bafford's (can't remember the actual mission name) has an ambient that still affects me today, making me feel trepidation and anxiety - both of which make the first-time exprience a memorable one, at least it did for me
    You talking about the eerie tones? Sort of sounds like a distant wailing choir at times?
    If so, I agree. That ambient loop was brilliant and I reused it in my Anniversary contest mission, Ashes and Dust.

    It's by far my favorite ambient loop in the entire Thief series. Like you, it really affected me.

  6. #1881
    Well Thief isn't all that realistic so the eerie ambient doesn't annoy me at all. Actually it's what makes me enjoy a mission much much more, due to the atmosphere it helps to create.

    Oh, and I loved the sounds in the Rocksbourg series and thought that the ambient from Silent Hill fits Thief amazingly well

  7. #1882
    I love any sort of classical or theme fitting music in a thief mission that isn't overly loud and adds to the overall atmosphere of the experience.

    On the other hand - I really, really don't like when someone uses something silly like heavy metal music or some jarring and overly loud extreme piece of music in a mission - it never works as intended for me unless the intention is to shatter immersion and annoy me as a player. It really makes me wonder why a few authors in the past have made otherwise great missions and decided to throw a random ridiculous piece of growly or screamy metal music in for whatever reason. If a mission is completely combat oriented or set in the future or outside the normal thief style world I'm sure it fits - but inside the thief world? Come on.

  8. #1883
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Random_Taffer View Post
    You talking about the eerie tones? Sort of sounds like a distant wailing choir at times?
    If so, I agree. That ambient loop was brilliant and I reused it in my Anniversary contest mission, Ashes and Dust.

    It's by far my favorite ambient loop in the entire Thief series. Like you, it really affected me.
    Exactly what I meant You start Bafford's on the street, no music, you travel to the sewers and the moment you enter the storage room - BAM! Garrett's words and the music... Totally awesome effect, set the mood right up. Still remember it today, the anxious feeling that rose from it, the beginning of a great adventure...

    And BTW, your mission Ashes and Dust was really great and packed full for such a small space. Found one mask by accident, looked for the other for awhile. And yep, I did notice the classic piece of music, too Nice work!

  9. #1884
    Quote Originally Posted by SneakyJack View Post

    On the other hand - I really, really don't like when someone uses something silly like heavy metal music or some jarring and overly loud extreme piece of music in a mission - it never works as intended for me unless the intention is to shatter immersion and annoy me as a player.
    Not even in Gaetane's "Happy New Year, Mr. Lambert" mission? The sight of all those snobby nobles at the party getting down to Rammstein was freakin' hilarious.


    Seriously, though, I really don't like when FM authors use the loud, metal, EX-TREEEEM!-type musics either.

  10. #1885
    Since today is the 5 year anniversary of T2X is anyone going to give it another whirl through?

    I'm about to start playing. Later I've got a friend's birthday so I'll be Bennified before too long.

  11. #1886
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball
    That would be adequate. Maybe in the summer.

  12. #1887
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Neb View Post
    Bennified ...


    LOL! Must add this to my personal dictionary!

  13. #1888
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Since there hasn’t been reviews a lot lately I thought I would add to this thread a double review of my own, since they seem to be all the rage right now. These two missions I've chosen aren't connected in any way, just two FM's I liked.

    The first is Transitions in Chaos I: Conspiracies in the Dark by Ramirez’s Old Fat Burrick.

    This was the first FM I played after T2X, and it was everything I had hoped the fan community missions would be - not having played them before. Starting off in the rainy street and working my way into a labyrinthine mansion full of mystery and loot (of course) this mission delivered on all my expectations, and here's hoping there will be a part II.

    The lord of the manor, one Lord Marton, has been murdered and being cast as the suspect you, or in this case I, set out to find the real killer and figure out what the frell is going on. Everything looks amazing, the atmosphere is like the calm before the storm, still and ominous, and puzzles are aplenty.

    The lower floors of the mansion were confusing to navigate at first: Can't remember how many times I looked up the map only to scratch my head in confusion "where the blazes am I?" or took a sneak around a corner only to find "ahh, heck, I've already been here, so I guess I wasn't where I thought I was!". But precisely that was what was GREAT! I love huge mansions where I totally get lost and turn around a dozen times only to end up somewhere I've been before Nice... Upstairs gets a little easier and there are alternative entry points to locations. Keep your thiefy eyes sharp or you’ll miss out on a lot in this rather confusing layout, and the map is not as detailed as one might hope as one stumbles into the same place third time in a row. Still, it’s a small matter in such a huge and entertaining accomplishment.

    The story is multileveled here: You start just trying find out the killer, but things get more confusing very quickly. There are quite a few secrets in the mansion and various tasks to perform and many keys to find on different difficulties. And, naturally, along the way you collect all the wonderful, pretty, shiny goodies noble mansions are full of. There are also some relatives/inheritors/guests of the deceased staying at the mansion, and they are all suspicious with a capital "S", all plotting and scheming in a true sense of the nobility. Readables, puzzles and a certain deceased gentleman are there to aid with the who-dunnit-and-why investigation, which takes some pretty nasty and quite sinister tones towards the end a la TDP/TG style. And remember, everybody is a suspect as the story begins to unfold.

    It has been awhile since I played this, so I can't remember anything specific about the music, but in a mission this great - having created a lasting impression for gameplay alone - I have no doubt it was excellent. There are some pretty exciting places to go in the mansion, such as a gallery for ancient art and a recent corpse (yes, I do see how well those go together: “Yes, but is it art?” as the gals from Absolutely Fabulous say in their living room about a corpse while viewing works of art). Overall, this is a mystery-solving FM, not so much the run-or-die-waiting-for-the-next-monster-around-the-corner-to-appear type of mission. Well worth a playthrough - or half a dozen Highly recommended – and I for one was glad to have chosen at random such an excellent piece of fan ART for my first FM.

    This first screenshot of the mission represents the moment of awe I felt in this my first FM. I know, I know, for all you veterans out there: I probably should not have been such a girlie and instead should've taken a fancy screenshot of hordes of undead running towards me or armies of invisible glowing monsters waiting for me behind the corner or fire-elementals hurling flames in my direction... or something equally as world-shatteringly awesome... But I just saw this (picture below) and I remember thinking, with a happy glee on my face, that this fan community is going to show me things I haven't seen before and give me experiences that will shake me the same way the OM's did way back in the day. And so far this community has not let me down, because every FM has something, whether big or small, that amazes me - every time, so a big hardy thanks to all FM creators out there!




    It’s a dark and stormy night… I know, a cliché if there ever was one, but honestly: Nothing captures the essence of Thiefy goodness like a pitch black rainy night.





    My second review is of the Trickster's Gem Mine series mission 1: Errand Boy by Belboz.

    Before this mission there is actually a training mission a la OM style, also worth checking out. IMO it was actually better than the OM training in TDP/TG - more versatile, longer, a bit trickier (the only negative in it was the fact that you didn't get a message on-screen if you failed an objective, it just ticked off in clandestine secrecy, which I didn't notice until the next save and had to reload - damn those clanky metal floors!).

    In any case, this review is about the first actual mission. It's a city mission, about average size, a little higher up on the difficulty scale, though. There are lots of places to visit (or more to the point, to rob) ranging from underground tunnels to high-up attics. You will need rope arrows and your wits about since there are some tricky locations and some hard-to-find secrets and puzzles. But you won't be overwhelmed. I personally did not find all the loot even on my third playthrough just recently, but I'm mostly in this for the gameplay anyways, being the romantic sap of a rogue that I am...

    Before you start wondering my motives for picking this FM I should start out saying that I love city missions, so I may be a little prejudiced towards glorifying them. But honestly, this mission plays well, sounds good, and offers some interesting explorations, so try it out. And it is the first in a series, so if this tickles your fancy, there's more goodness to come

    The story revolves around a missing keeper acolyte and has different objectives around this one, such as finding him (obviously), searching his house, finding his notes, and so on. You can enter pretty much everywhere right from the start - except the docks which comes into play in mission 2 of the series. I don't remember any house that you could not get in, so keep an eye out for various points of entry. The patrol routes were the most challenging in the City Watch station, but that sort of thing is to be expected – but be warned that this particular section might be tough to ghost due to the patrols, lighting and a nasty surprise behind a particular door. On this mission be on the lookout for details, since they are significant and usually highly rewarding secrets. All in all, a well crafted city mission with plenty to see and to solve. Recommended!

    I could have taken a screenshot of the shocking shower scene but I began to feel too much like a hybrid monster between Norman Bates and Peeping-Tom (wow, pixelated porn, what will they think of next? And where is the similar eye candy for girls – especially of Garrett, I ask?!). So, instead I took this one to show the main puzzle of the mission. Mmm, challenging… (done with a rather convincing voice of Homer Simpson, if I do say so myself).




    And then… dun-dun-dun… Ominous…




    So, there you have it: Two excellent missions, one that already has sequels, for the other we still have to be patient and hopeful. If you already haven't, play them. You won't regret it.

  14. #1889
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball
    Mkay, making my way through the KotP series.

    The Enterprise was the most atmospheric mission I have ever played. The green tone, rain, fog, little secrets and the fact, that it's been taking place on a mountain just takes the cake from every FM I've ever played. The readables can get pretty repetetive with it's formalities and everything, it's emotionally detaching often, but otherwise great stuff.

    Hallucinations loses the green tone, replacing it with a colder, yet still colorful one. It's both a refreshing, intriguing and nerve pressing experience, that the mission is on a timer, but in my case where I tend to go slow, a bit of a push is a good thing. Plus you can still prettymuch explore all of it. The story is getting better too, not too much to read either. Enterprise stole most or at least a part of my time for reading. The clocktower was beautiful, similar as in Ultima Ratio, but in it's own pale tone. I like healing potions left on ranom ledges, cause it's just fun to find a random explore rewarding, tho it didn't make sense.

    The Insurrection had the largest cathedral I've ever seen. Kinda goes by the standarts of SSOM, probably even bigger, although it didn't go so much underground. Didn't feel like it needed to either. So anyway the heights and ledges so you could look down on it was the most amazing part of the mission (again, some healing potions and stuff like that on the ledges), but the story was quite intriguing too, for this time it involved 2 characters every Thief fan knows quite well. Even though their characteristics weren't accurate enough to blend in properly with the originals, it was still great to have it. By the way, it's on a timer as well.

    Oracle of the Prophets... (haven't finished it yet) well, I've read some random complaints about it. I have one complaint too. The author should have given some INSTRUCTIONS on how to play through the mission, since it is so complicate. Maybe he did, but maybe he shouldn't given them in a place one could not miss, like the beginning? No, I am expected to be lucky enough to stumble upon it... which I didn't yet.
    Aside that, this mission is my new definition of awesome. It does 2001 - A Space Odyssey music and it's created an environment I've never seen before, which is executed masterfully (apart from not giving any visible clcues from the beginning) and when I find some proper instruction on how to play this thing, I will rip it apart like a wild Thor.

    In conclusion so far - frobber (the author) has a style on his own and he is capable of creating a world of his own and I assume he's had some awesome influence on him here and there. Way to go, awesome campaign and I'm sure it'll keep getting awesomer.

    I had made loads of screens, but I'll share them with you only when I feel like editing and uploading them.... (which may as well be never).

  15. #1890
    Quote Originally Posted by Thor View Post
    I had made loads of screens, but I'll share them with you only when I feel like editing and uploading them.... (which may as well be never).
    Why even post something like this?

    Great reviews Summer! Good to see the reviewing bug has bitten you being that you're good at it.

  16. #1891
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Situation's changed, Tom.
    Quote Originally Posted by SneakyJack View Post
    Why even post something like this?
    Aw come on SJ, Thor posts something about one of the best and most unknown Thief campaigns out there and you comment on that part? Screens are the least important thing of a review.

  17. #1892
    Kinda makes the reader think "why did I waste the time reading the review of someone who's heart isnt even in it?" It just came across as "neener neener I made screens but I ain't gonna share them cause I'm lazy" silliness.

  18. #1893
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by SneakyJack View Post
    Great reviews Summer! Good to see the reviewing bug has bitten you being that you're good at it.
    Thanks, SJ

    Melan, if I may ask: is there a proper order in which to play your missions? They can obviously be played separately - just playing through the Unbidden Guest atm -, but I've just been wondering if there is a chronological order or something to them.

    Summer

  19. #1894
    Quote Originally Posted by PotatoGuy View Post
    Thor posts something about one of the best and most unknown Thief campaigns out there[...]
    Most unknown? How come? It's just too epic for that.

    I'm off to play it again.

  20. #1895
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Location: shalebridgecradle.co.uk
    Thanks for the nice reviews, Summer and Thor. Great reads.

  21. #1896
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Situation's changed, Tom.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neb View Post
    Most unknown? How come? It's just too epic for that.

    I'm off to play it again.
    I have no idea why, but I discovered this campaign really late, just because I saw almost no one talk about it here. A shame really, because it's indeed a fantastic campaign. Replaying it too right now, by the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Summer View Post
    Melan, if I may ask: is there a proper order in which to play your missions?
    IIRC, Melan posted somewhere the mission order is:

    1. Prowler of the Dark (TG)
    2. Return to the City (TDM)
    3. Bad Debts (T2)
    4. Disorientation (T2)

    Unbidden Guest is apart from the order, and can be played where and when you like.

  22. #1897
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by PotatoGuy View Post
    IIRC, Melan posted somewhere the mission order is:

    1. Prowler of the Dark (TG)
    2. Return to the City (TDM)
    3. Bad Debts (T2)
    4. Disorientation (T2)

    Unbidden Guest is apart from the order, and can be played where and when you like.
    Thanks, PG I was wondering if Melan's missions had any continuity. Now I know.

  23. #1898
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinqueecclesiensis HU
    Quote Originally Posted by Summer View Post
    Melan, if I may ask: is there a proper order in which to play your missions? They can obviously be played separately - just playing through the Unbidden Guest atm -, but I've just been wondering if there is a chronological order or something to them.
    Sure! It is a good thing you started with Unbidden Guest, because I consider it separate from my other missions. All my other FMs take place prior to the events in TDP, the current order being:
    Prowler of the Dark (TDP/Gold): liberate a skull of paganic enchantment from an abandoned church, which is kept sealed and guarded by the Hammerites.
    Return to the City (The Dark Mod): a job where you break into the other side of the Builder complex to steal a pack of explosives. Patrols have been heightened because of the recent break-in. (This mission connects to the previous along the North/South axis - too bad I didn't have the time to let you revisit some old areas )
    Bad Debts (TMA): fallen on hard times, you take a job from a diminutive snitch to steal his letter of debt from a wealthy usurer. Rooftop extravaganza.
    Disorientation (TMA): following the events in the previous mission, you attract the unwanted attentions of a warden and have to break into her palace to deter her from further assassination attempts. Like Bad Debts, except better in all ways.

    Unbidden Guest (TMA): a "what if" mission reconstructing Uninvited Guest (the TMA demo mission that became Life of the Party) in the TDP style, with an attempt to portray the Mechanists and their leaders as less like cardboard cutout villains. I wanted to use the Vertical Contest to create a mission that could later be merged with this one, but got discouraged early on with it. Too bad.

    I plan to continue from Disorientation in my next mission (which will not be city-focused), but haven't had the time to start properly yet. In any event, our protagonist will once again adapt the name "Talbot" as he did in Bad Debts (and presumably before).

    [edit]Beaten by PotatoGuy! [/edit]

  24. #1899
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball
    Lol. Sorry SJ. It's not just my laziness, it's simply that I had stuff to do and I still kinda do. I could make some time for it, but it's not my top priority. Doesn't mean my "heart" isn't even in it. Plus the whole process of editing/uploading (not to mention sorting them out) is long and tedius. I felt like writing, that's it.

    Neb - great to know you like KotP too. It's just always felt like a campaign that's been overlooked for some reasons (probably cause it's not classic Thief action).

  25. #1900
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Melan View Post
    Sure! It is a good thing you started with Unbidden Guest, because I consider it separate from my other missions. All my other FMs take place prior to the events in TDP, the current order being:
    Prowler of the Dark (TDP/Gold): liberate a skull of paganic enchantment from an abandoned church, which is kept sealed and guarded by the Hammerites.
    Return to the City (The Dark Mod): a job where you break into the other side of the Builder complex to steal a pack of explosives. Patrols have been heightened because of the recent break-in. (This mission connects to the previous along the North/South axis - too bad I didn't have the time to let you revisit some old areas )
    Bad Debts (TMA): fallen on hard times, you take a job from a diminutive snitch to steal his letter of debt from a wealthy usurer. Rooftop extravaganza.
    Disorientation (TMA): following the events in the previous mission, you attract the unwanted attentions of a warden and have to break into her palace to deter her from further assassination attempts. Like Bad Debts, except better in all ways.

    Unbidden Guest (TMA): a "what if" mission reconstructing Uninvited Guest (the TMA demo mission that became Life of the Party) in the TDP style, with an attempt to portray the Mechanists and their leaders as less like cardboard cutout villains. I wanted to use the Vertical Contest to create a mission that could later be merged with this one, but got discouraged early on with it. Too bad.

    I plan to continue from Disorientation in my next mission (which will not be city-focused), but haven't had the time to start properly yet. In any event, our protagonist will once again adapt the name "Talbot" as he did in Bad Debts (and presumably before).

    [edit]Beaten by PotatoGuy! [/edit]
    Man, I've played them totally backwards! I'm playing both Disorientation and Unbidden Guest atm, and I must say that your city design, Melan, is just frellin' amazing All those complex floorplans and layouts... Keep ending up back in the same place five times in a row or just keep on going after finding more and more new places that I totally forget where I came from or how to get back there

    My only downside is that I just can't get Return to the City to work That beginning just first lags my framerate to a practical halt, then crashes entirely or gets stuck indefinitely And I really wanted to play this winning mission... That was basically the reason why I asked if there was any continuity to your missions - since this one won't cooperate, damn it

    But thanks a lot for your reply

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