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Thread: General Fan Mission Review And Discussion Megathread

  1. #1876
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    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.

  2. #1877
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    That would be adequate. Maybe in the summer.

  3. #1878
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule
    Quote Originally Posted by Neb View Post
    Bennified ...


    LOL! Must add this to my personal dictionary!

  4. #1879
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule
    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.

  5. #1880
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    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).

  6. #1881
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    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.

  7. #1882
    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.

  8. #1883
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    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.

  9. #1884
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule
    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

  10. #1885
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    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.

  11. #1886
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Thanks for the nice reviews, Summer and Thor. Great reads.

  12. #1887
    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.

  13. #1888
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule
    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.

  14. #1889
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae 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]

  15. #1890
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    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).

  16. #1891
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule
    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

  17. #1892
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    Melan, I played Bad Debts again recently and actually tried to explore more thoroughly. I had so much fun, and after a few hours you wonder when you'll get around to starting the mission proper. I found the bow upgrade IOU.

    Disorientation was a little more lenient with health potions I think. Bad debts just picks away slowly at your health as you progress and take falling damage. It's like death by a thousand cuts. I actually finished the mission dead! I was on two shields, I darted out to open the gate, was fired at, and zig-zagged back into safety. I took a deep breath and charged out again to freedom, jumped into the air towards the opening and a broadhead took me out mid-air. I sailed through the opening, hit the ground - fade to black - mission complete. I can't bring myself to do it again just yet because that was perfect in a tragic way.

    This is why regenerating health would suck if Thief 4 ever implemented it. There would be no consequence for non-fatal falling damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thor View Post
    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).
    I'm not sure I know exactly what you mean by not classic. It is pretty strange though, but damn - does it tick. I especially love the feeling of claustrophobia in the wide open spaces, like the world itself could just swallow you whole at any second. Love the atmosphere.

  18. #1893
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    The missions will make sense without Return to the City, so don't sweat it. I am sorry for its performance-related problems, but it was built with methods that work in Dromed and don't work in DarkRadiant. (In short, you have to watch for polygon count in your direct view in Dromed, while the Doom 3 engine renders every polygon in every "area" that's in your view - so if there is a rooftop blocking your view, the engine still renders every poly on the opposed side.)

    I have learned my lessons, though, and my next FM will run better and look better.

    [edit]Thanks for your comment, Neb! [/edit]

  19. #1894
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule
    Quote Originally Posted by Neb
    This is why regenerating health would suck if Thief 4 ever implemented it. There would be no consequence for non-fatal falling damage.
    OMG, I do hope that's a joke Regenerating health?! What the heck is that?! So out of place for Thief! They aren't actually considering this, are they...?


    Quote Originally Posted by Melan
    The missions will make sense without Return to the City, so don't sweat it.
    Huh, that's good to know. Thanks, Melan


    Quote Originally Posted by Melan
    my next FM will run better and look better.
    So... where and when is it coming out then?

  20. #1895
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    I haven't even started. Sorry.

  21. #1896
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Summer View Post
    OMG, I do hope that's a joke Regenerating health?! What the heck is that?! So out of place for Thief! They aren't actually considering this, are they...?
    Certainly possible; Deus Ex 3 will have regenerating health last I heard. But hopefully even a cretin can see that regenerating health in any stealth game is about as sensible as a concrete parachute.

  22. #1897
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Location: Full on Kevel's mom
    I don't mind regenerating health...

    as long as it's regenerated between missions.

  23. #1898
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule
    City Conflict series (missions 1–5) by Silencium18.

    This series hasn’t been reviewed yet so I tackled into it. The story arc for this FM series is about the conflict between the Hammerites and the Mechanists taking place within the City. Each separate mission involves an event or task related to this conflict to which you take part on the side of the Hammerites or the Keepers. You are not one of them, but a thief hired to do a job for them – which escalates into a greater involvement into the conflict.

    The story is simple and the gameplay straightforward. No custom music or conversations. Just basic thiefy gameplay. Apart from the main task to perform in each mission there are some optional tasks and gathering of some loot for your troubles (hey, you ARE the one taking all the risks, aren’t you?). Apparently Silencium18 built each of these missions in a week. Nice job for such a small build-time. You can finish all missions in half an hour or less. No change in objectives in different difficulties – just the loot requirement going up. And funny little observation: Every mission starts with a drunk

    Mission 1: Your task is to find a missing Hammerite spy in a Mechanist embassy with the information he has gathered. One thing I noticed in this and all subsequent missions are the super-sensitive guards: No matter if he’s aware of you or not, whether you are in total darkness or fully lit, whether you sneak or walk – the end result is the same: A wailing from him on you. Tried about a dozen times each time before I got them so be warned. All in all, not a superb mission, but no major complaints either. Lunch-time mission if there ever was one.

    Uh-oh…



    Mission 2: The task is to find information about Mechanist spies in an abandoned church in another part of town. What you will notice about these missions in general are the very alert guards and the distinct lack of equipment. Neither will hinder your gameplay, but both are worth noting. No optional tasks here and the loot requirement is easy to meet. Also, no maps here, but the areas are relatively small, so there is little chance of getting lost. In the first mission you don’t mind that you have no compass, here I personally would’ve like to have had it – especially in the sewers. In all of the small city sections in these missions – except the last – there are few other townspeople about other than the Hammerites and the Mechanists, but the town areas are really small anyway.

    Your target – got to love the ominous Hammerite architecture



    Mission 3: This time you work for the Keepers to get a so-called cursed mask from a new collector in town. As a side note, the Hammers are not your friends anymore: They think that you are working for the Mechanists because Hammerite spies are being murdered – so a little twist there. Another twist comes from the fact that the Hammers now have the mask and you have to confront them anyway to get it. There is also a third twist, but I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t yet played this. This time there is a map of the city and a compass. Either the guards are less acute now, or I’m getting better, don’t know. Throughout these missions almost everyone is carrying something – loot or keys – so pick-pocketing serves you well here. The sound propagation is a little off sometimes: You can hear guards really well through walls so that confuses a bit when trying to figure out where they are.

    Hammerite theme continues, but a surprise is just to your left…



    Mission 4: Apparently there is another one of those cursed masks so the Keepers have tasked you to enter a noble mansion to retrieve it – and whatever else might end up in your pocket. Map is gone again, but at least the compass is still here. Not much equipment, as usual. Getting in to the mansion can be difficult, especially for ghosters: No matter how you do it (read: jump), someone will notice. And unless you’re really fast and invisible taking out both the stationary and patrolling guards in the garden maze you’re gonna use up a lot of water arrows – which you will need inside the mansion which is packed with guards and well-lit hallways.

    The mission in a single shot: Guards, lights and puzzles.



    Mission 5: After recovering the two masks the Keepers came up with a plan: To stop the conflict between the Hammers and the Mechanists you have to travel back in time to the past, as the Mechanists aren’t so strong then, and kill their leader. Firstly, I’ve never been a fan of Thief FMs where you are supposed to kill someone: This is Thief, not Assassin. But since this is integral to the plot and the story arc, it makes sense I guess. As an added twist, the City Watch is not hostile towards you, but the local jackablades are: The Mechanists have hired to them to kill you on sight. Same as before, texture work could be better (but I have been spoiled by fancy FMs like Broken Triad, Mission X, etc.), no custom sounds or music, few readables if any, no conversations, no scripted events: Like I’ve said it before, just basic thief gameplay – which pretty much sums up the whole series up to now. This latest mission just came out in May 2010. Texture work has improved from before, the sky looks great, but texture doors-to-nowhere still don’t. The sounds work a little better and in some areas you can’t alert guards or hear them through the walls – but only in some places. In the beginning there is a decent city section, then you get to the Mechanist chapel where you will need lots of moss arrows. Bonus: A bit of a scare in a secret area of the city.

    This is only one point of entry and only a small section of this mission.



    So, that’s the City Conflict series. The same problems plague each one of the five missions, but I still enjoyed myself. Personally I fancied the last mission the most, but they all feel pretty much the same: Nothing groundbreaking, just the basics – but that’s just fine, too, especially for quickies where you don’t really have the time to involve yourself in a deep plot or lose yourself in a large game map. After so many elaborate missions this might seem like a bore to some, but it’s still worth a playthrough – especially for the last mission. Mission 4 was IMO the toughest, even more than mission 5. Still, all missions are lunch-break missions: Won’t take you long at all. I recommend you give this series at least a once over.

  24. #1899
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule
    This time I’m going to do something radically and drastically different in terms of reviews so here it is – OTOR (Disclaimer: The similar pronunciation between OTOR and the animal otter is purely coincidental and should in no way be regarded as an endorsement of the otter swimming style).

    So, what is Summer’s copyrighted OTOR, you ask. *audience sits at the edges of their seats holding their breaths*

    OTOR – Oppositional Theme Oriented Review. *audience relaxes with a noticeable ahh sound*

    Basically, you pick a couple of FMs (an even number ‘cos it makes more sense and ‘cos I’m a nitpicker) and a theme, such as story, gameplay, music, faction, camvator/intro/briefing, etc. you know, whatever aspect of the game really. The point is to compare the theme of your choice in FMs, and here – in my first OTOR, or my last if this crashes and sinks like a Mechanist submarine after the fall of Karras – I have chosen textures.

    Simple enough. Textures may not be as important as gameplay or story, but it has a massive effect on immersion and the overall feel of a mission as well as the replay value. My oppositional FMs here are the clean, smooth, highly polished textures in FMs like (and here are just a few) Mission X, Broken Triad, Pirates Ahoy! Mission 1: Cast Off, Heist Society and the Mystic Gems series vs. the grim, gritty, unnervingly filthy, photorealistic and scary textures of FMs such as the Night in Rocksbourg series and Eclipsed. May the bloodbath begin…

    I thought up OTOR when I was thinking about trying some undead missions – which I usually don’t play because I’m not Alice from Resident Evil. It occurred to me that the look of a mission has an enormous impact on the impression of a FM. The clean textures are the equivalent of sunny meadows full of flowers and young girls with silk satin saches singing “the hills are alive with the sound of music”, while the gritty textures are a cemetery a la Silent Hill in stormy night with monsters lurking in the shadows and they aren’t singing – but if they were, it would be more along the lines of “the hills are undead with the moan of zombies” (See how well the new lyrics – trademarked by yours truly – coincide with the melody, so go ahead and try it out yourself, no-one will hear, I promise… *Summer prepares to turn on secret spyware webcams*).

    Moving on. Undoubtedly most of the people who are a part of this fan mission community either know all these missions mentioned or have played them a dozen times over so I won’t go into specific details here. The point of OTOR is comparison and thus the best way to achieve this (at least with my choice of theme) is with pictures worth a thousand words, so below are some screens. Keep in mind that these FM authors are masters of texture work so this is purely a matter of personal preference – so no fair saying “My view is best, yours blows” and running for the hills so as not to hear counter arguments (No, not the same hills with the singing girls or moaning zombies, I’m not that cruel). And after you’ve done that: Opinions, arguments, ideas, debates – or more OTORs from you

    Pictures:

    CoSaS: Mission X (yep, as you might have already noticed from my previous reviews I have a thing for artsy windows).





    Heist Society (almost took a picture of the chapel windows, but then I thought… Well, I didn’t think anything, I just took a different shot).



    Broken Triad (the picture absolutely speaks for itself!)



    Mystic Gems II – the Heart of Bohn (should I serenade the moon or howl at it? hmm…)



    A Night in Rocksbourg 1: A New Beginning (city missions – what’s not to love).



    A Night in Rocksbourg 2: Discovery (zombie missions – what’s not to fight?)



    A Night in Rocksbourg 3: Ink and Dust (Keeper missions – what’s not to… ehm… fear…? Drk, the Dark Zone is your first class ticket to Hades, courtesy of every Thief fan who now has to suffer with irreversible brain damage (read: pants-shitting fear with capital S and F (but not capital P ‘cos pants aren’t that important so it would just be silly) for the rest of their lives thanks to you.)



    And now, a word from our sponsor:
    *Insert individual opinion and/or personal preference here*

    Summer (done with the voice of Paris Hilton): Ok, well, I personally like the polished ones more than the gritty ones, ‘cos they make me feel safer and like I have more space around me. The gritty stuff is scary and claustrophobic – and I hate being scared ‘cos I’m just a ninny girl.

    *audience sniggers less than politely and quite loudly at the speaker*

    Digital Nightfall (done with the voice of Kermit the Frog): Ahh, shucks, Summer

    DrK (done with the voice of Darth Vader): Ouch, that sucks, Summer

    (The above is a totally imaginary conversation I had in my head – should I be worried? … what? … Oh, never mind: The voices said I have nothing to worry about… so there.)

    As a final note, if you were wondering, I was sick last weekend with the flu (yeah, warm sunny days and naturally I get the sniffles…), so I had a lot of time on my hands – that’s why there are so many reviews (not the top 10 of something, of course, ‘cos that’s the Mike’s department – I wouldn’t want to step on any toes… or in his case mummified toes or tentacles).

  25. #1900
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2009
    Location: In your house, looting
    Can't say that I am wild about your reviews. I respect your initiative but you jump from a matter to another in a matter of a sentence, some jokes are out of context, when you involve the laughing audience you are supposed to actually say something funny. Also, the images are supposed to be more close as representatives to the general feeling of the mission. I give them 2 thumbs up out of 5 for effort.

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