Slick presentation and a satisfyingly functional fighting system. However there's are some significant flaws that make the fighting system much less complex and enjoyable than it could have been. You understand some cool mechanics that make fighting games interesting, like guardbreaks and hyper armor, but you threw other mechanics in there that make them essentially pointless. The biggest offender in this regard is the dodge. The dodge in my opinion robs the potential from this fighting system because it's the absolute optimal defense to just dodge every attack. Blocking is useless without a shield because the user loses more stamina than the attacker AND it can be guard broken. Why block when you can simply dodge through the attack spending only a hair of stamina? The only attack in this game that is difficult to dodge is the dual wielded combo, which is part of why it's the most powerful weapon class. On top of that, the dodge can get you behind the enemy, which lets you potentially completely avoid even more damage. The two handed weapons are incredibly satisfying, but the only reason one can land a hit is because the AI lets the user trade hits with them. You just have to fight a two-handed weapon using enemy in the game to realize that the only reason you should ever be hit by one is missing a dodge.
To a lesser degree, the finishing move is also pretty disappointing because
1) the small health pools of the enemies means that you'll often kill them before having a chance to use it.
2) It gains charge off of hitting a blocking enemy (another reason not to block)
3) It's completely uncounterable except for one option which is -- you guessed it -- the dodge.
In my opinion the finishing move would be a lot more interesting if you were able to charge it faster by blocking or dodging. That way it could be used as an equalizer rather than a way to win more than you already are. This is how it works in most fighting games. I figure it's the way it is now because you'd like to discourage turtling, but that can be done by making turtling more difficult to do than dodging a bunch.
Once I found all these issues with the fighting, it left me with not much reason to keep playing the game. The unlocks are (as far as I can tell) random, which really made me feel restricted when I had to wait for a random drop or character spawn just to try other weapons. There's no story motivating me to progress. In fact there's NOTHING motivating me to progress. With no indication of what I need to do or how far I am to unlocking the second adventure there's nothing to do but grind One Day and Survival for unlocks that don't feel like they make a significant difference in gameplay.
Just know that I only have so many criticisms because I see so much potential in this game. My time with it was still quite enjoyable, and I wait excitedly for what you have in store next!
I really appreciate this. You've put forward some of the best ideas I've heard from the comments section so far. So thank you for this.
It's been an absolute joy seeing the Armed with Wings series get sooo smooth and refined over the years. You deserve all the attention and accolades possible for such dedicated and high quality work.
It's decently polished, but a lot of things are missing that were the factors that made Punch-Out great mainly the very distinct clarity regarding whether an opponent can be hit or not, clarity on whether you can keep attacking or not, and even the fact that blocking or dodging locks you out of other actions. Honestly though, the original Tyson fight is pretty BS as well, so it's not like you aren't being faithful. Also it's a minor gripe but not including the TKO system is a really a big oversight.
I don't usually prefer speedrun games(mostly because I'm really bad at them) but this one really stood out to me with its evidently large amount of polish, its more accessible approach to momentum, and reduced emphasis on precision platforming. That said, I would personally like the platforming controls to be a bit more forgiving; there were many times when I jumped at what I thought was the edge of the platform only to find that I was already considered off of it, and could not jump anymore. Most platformers, especially ones that ask for precision like this, give a grace period after stepping off of a platform's edge where the player can still make a jump, and I'd like that in this game.
I was eventually able to wrap my head around the controls by the end, though I'm still not confident that I would be able to know which button to press if faced with a novel situation; something about using the same button for multiple actions makes that difficult. I'm not saying it's a bad control system-- it felt very smooth and elegant when I was doing well -- it's just that I'd perhaps like the option to bind a different key to each action. The change I definitely want is to remove shooting from idle stance entirely, as unless there's going to be a reason to do so in the final game, I see no reason I would use that ability and I would highly prefer pressing down to make me dash no matter what.
My BIGGEST gripe with the game is even a death animation as short as that is far too long for a game like this. I don't want to spend even half a second watching that death animation instead of starting the level over. It surprises me that this is an issue, because you have an excellent restart level function but inexplicably disable it during the death animation. Every successful speedrun platformer works to minimize the downtime of the player, and this just seems to stick out as a confusingly unhelpful decision in this otherwise great game. I would like to be able to reset during the death animation or have an option to skip them entirely.
My other, smaller, complaint is that the background layers constantly changing color sometimes blends in with the foreground at times. I'm not sure if that is intended or not, but that has NO reason to be a thing, especially because it hurts how clear the level design is and screws over the player. The most glaring example of this is the second double jump level, where an area that looks like a platform fades away right as you approach it, and it was hard to not think that was a dick move when it inevitably killed me the first time.
But I complain out of love. You've sold me on this idea within the short 20 minutes or so I've spent playing it. I'm very excited to see the full game!
Where the heck do those paintings vanish to? I think the game would have felt more fair if completing a painting produced a bonus in money and happiness or even a choice of one or the other. If he's just hoarding the paintings for himself at least have like a pile of them in the corner.
On a more serious note, I do like the graphics and the idea. I relate to a lot of the feelings expressed in the text sometimes.
This game would be amazing if S or down were used to control your grabs. Right now it's just a fun skilless flailing novelty, which while I'm sure is sort of the point, you can't blame me for wanting more.
Clean, intuitive puzzles (except for the grandfather clock one). Good use of the whole space. Not too much personality, but a decent game overall.
Elegant, simple, and smooth. Perhaps a bit too simple, the AI has a lot of trouble in addition to a slower running speed. Would have appreciated shadows, so i could see where the ball was more accurately. Eventually ran into a bug where the screen went blank, then the game reappeared and all the players heads were missing (I am not kidding).
Simple and sleek presentation. While I appreciate the attempt to vary the goals and game modes per level, the main mechanic inherently doesn't feel that compelling. In the end, dropping squares into holes isn't that interesting to me personally.
Would be cool if you expanded and improved on this.
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