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Fan Mission Reviews, walkthroughs


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#176 The Dark One

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 03:33 PM

Stab my back and I’ll stab yours, I suppose.

 

Betrayal (by Fieldmedic) is a very vertical mission, starting with a desperate ascent out of a mountain prison before sending the player up a haunted tower. Sadly, the end result is a bit clunky. Our hero begins locked up in a Builder prison courtesy of a backstab. As he’s resigned to being stuck there, however, a massive earthquake strikes, destroying part of the prison and apparently turning the Builders into haunts, as well as giving out hero a chance to escape.
 

This early part shows the general frustration I have with Fieldmedic’s missions: The slow creeping through a foggy and recently wrecked and haunted mountain prison is exciting, and the creator does a good job of making the player feel helpless and vulnerable. But the mantaling and tight patrol routes result in the player having little room for error, creating a fair bit of irritation. Other little irritating bits like that pepper the level, making it hard to get immersed in the atmosphere at time. One example is a sin that Inn Business fell too: making ordinary items count as loot even though they aren’t counted as loot in most missions. Other than that and some irritatingly placed wine bottles, the loot is clear, but backtracking is difficult and often tedious.

 

My main gripe is a poorly placed priest at the end, who stands on a staircase facing a room and never budges. You don’t have a blackjack, but if you don’t find one of two gas arrows (which are waaaay before this point), tough luck, hope you don’t mind the knock to your stealth score. The mission has this vague lack of direction to it, with the path in theory being clear but the actual route being muddled. It’s annoyed, because the mission does have some good bits, such as getting into a locked room near the top of the tower. Not hard, but I haven’t seen this method in The Dark Mod.
 

All in all, a frustrating mission with some good ideas and atmosphere. If you can’t deal with the player unfriendliness, Not Recommended.


  • Moonbo, Anderson and Taquito. like this

Because in mystery novels, the first suspect is almost certainly never the murderer. No matter how much unmovable evidence there is, it will all be smashed in pieces by the wrath of the remaining number of pages of the story.

 

-"The Evil Spirit of the Zushi Clan" from Virtual Carnal Pleasure by Yamada Fuutarou


#177 The Dark One

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 01:00 AM

I'm back. More Fieldmedic now!

 

Reap As You Sow is a very atypical mission with many good ideas, but few of which live up to their potential. This time, Not-Garratt isn’t a thief, but a private detective hired to look into the disappearance of Carl Powell by the assumed dead Oscar Powell. The Powell farm allows tours of its hedge maze, allowing our hero a chance to slip into the estate and find the answers he seeks…

 

The most obvious difference from other missions is obvious from the title screen: It takes place in broad daylight. This results in the graphics looking a tad artificial, but I admit I liked it. The idea I think was to move towards more social stealth like you see in the Hitman games, as you now don’t fail the mission for being caught per se, but via a “tension gauge” hitting the red, which it will do if you;re caught wandering around areas you shouldn't be in. The problem is that you spend the vast majority of the mission in places you shouldn’t be in, and the fact that everything is so bright makes it so that NPCs can see you from across the dang map, so the whole thing is much more irritating than it should be.

 

Not to mention that the tension aspect is broken. I knocked a guard out, and of course the meter goes up for a little bit. Then it went to green and since I was somewhere I “should” be I just wandered around with an unconscious guard for a bit and no one cared. I had something similar happen when I noclipped into a barm that’s apparently optional but still lets you in if you can pick the door. Turns out that I broke the tension again and could wander about unmolested.

 

It’s annoying, because the mission has plenty of good ideas and moments of horror. The irrigation tunnels are sufficiently creepy, and the idea of traveling through a hedge maze hunting for loot is such a good idea that I’d almost play a mission with that concept alone. I also liked how the mystery wasn’t flat-out explained in the end, it’s not complex, but there’s no summation spelling everything out for you. Even the protagonist’s actions at the end, while scummy, are at least different, even I fell that there needed to be more build-up.

 

The issue is that all the good stuff is buried under unneeded irritation and lack of direction. This might be one of the few missions that’s harder on easy and normal than it is on hard, because the latter at least dumps you close to where you need to be at the start, as opposed to the other two. All in all, if you can work around the kinks, it’s certainly one of the more interesting missions. Otherwise, Not Recommended.


  • Moonbo and Anderson like this

Because in mystery novels, the first suspect is almost certainly never the murderer. No matter how much unmovable evidence there is, it will all be smashed in pieces by the wrath of the remaining number of pages of the story.

 

-"The Evil Spirit of the Zushi Clan" from Virtual Carnal Pleasure by Yamada Fuutarou


#178 The Dark One

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 05:05 PM

The guest that wouldn’t leave, I suppose.

 

Not an Ordinary Guest is Fieldmedics’ most recent mission, and another ambitious but more traditional entry. This time, you don’t have three difficulties, but three playstyles. All three place you in an upper-class inn, but one has you playing as an assassin to take out a cheating husband, one has you just robbing the place like normal, and the third has you assuming the role of a saboteur out to wreck the inn’s reputation (and interestingly the notebook the main character has more or less says that this is a sequel to the now taken-down mission A Night to Remember). While they don’t exactly correspond to normal difficulty levels, each has their own challenges.
 

Assassin has the simplest objectives: find husband, kill husband, but is also strict about you not being seen. Thief is more forgiving of mistakes but has slightly more complex objectives. Saboteur has the most objectives, but the stealth is the easiest, bringing back the tension meter from Reap As You Sow. It’s done much better here, as it only makes you suspicious if you’re in areas you shouldn’t be in, or if you’re spotted carrying around lockpicks.

 

The layout is well-done. There's a small cityscape outside the inn, and while there’s not much to steal out there, it does give a wide variety of entrances to the inn, from mounting onto the balcony to swimming through claustrophobic and maze-like sewer pipes. It strikes a good balance, and doesn’t fall under empty space. The atmosphere and layout are both good as well, even though they lack the pure horror of some of his earlier works, barring the basement due to the very creepy music. It does a good job of conveying that you really shouldn’t  be here. There’s a bit of empty space in the inn, namely the attic and sewers, but it’s mild.
 

Like most of Fieldmedic’s missions, its hard, but unlike them it's hard for the intended reasons, usually. Assassin is short but requires you to quickly grab a wellguarder object without being detected, which is easier said than done. Thief is the easiest, but also the most tedious, as you'll have to break into and search almost every room in the inn for the needed loot. And it’s random each game (which is good that he put the effort in, but man.) I feely admit I might have made it harder on myself by missing something, but I’m not sure if it would have helped. Saboteur has the best objectives, but the needed ones are buried behind some mild obtuseness, though not to the same extent as Reap. One requires you to note a random object in another part of the inn and use it (with little indication that this is what you need beyond the fact that you can pick it up), and another requires you to find a journal in a shelf of unreadable books. Nothing major, but it can jar a playthrough to a halt. I also have to question why make thieving a part of this setting, but it’s a mild gripe.

 

All in all, a fun set of missions. Recommended, if you can deal with the hiccups.


  • Moonbo and Anderson like this

Because in mystery novels, the first suspect is almost certainly never the murderer. No matter how much unmovable evidence there is, it will all be smashed in pieces by the wrath of the remaining number of pages of the story.

 

-"The Evil Spirit of the Zushi Clan" from Virtual Carnal Pleasure by Yamada Fuutarou





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