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Old 09-12-2009, 03:26 PM   #1
Aevnar
 
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Thumbs down First impressions

Hello all,

I have bough this game on a whim, because I thought it looked like a fairly descent ARPG type game. Also since its actually the second in the series, I thought it would be polished and would fix any problems the 1 might have had (for those who dont know, the name of this game is Dawn of magic 2, only changed for American customers).

The graphics look dated but are not a real eyesores either. The spell effects are nice enough. So this wouldn't win any visuals award but its sufficient.

The sound and music are pretty nice, and some of the voices are good too. Some of them are downright disturbing/shameful though. Many dialogs suffer from a out of sync problem, whereas only the first page of subtitles are shown, and then its frozen there till you manually click or exit the dialog. No biggy but.. its buggy nonetheless. Some dialog pages overlap too. My guess is that these dialogs use fixed timings to switch from one to the next and the dialogs were translated from another language, which does not have the same sentences length. Sometimes you have to wait a bit with no sound, other times they will start early and overlap.

Now the biggest single bug I encountered that really ticks me off is that even though I set my controls how I want them, as soon as I leave the game and come back in, load a character, its all been reset to the default layout, and I lose all the controls I have customized. Now that's majorly annoying since I change almost all the bindings.

The combats are... well a little bit chaotic when many NPCs are near, they all start yelling and you have about a dozen dialogs popping in front of you, and you are unable to see your enemies, even less manage to click on them to attack said enemies. When fighting out of town though, its more manageable and can be entertaining.

The translations seems poorly done also, like for instance, in the game's menus, the "OK" buttons are marked as "Yes" instead of a standard "OK", or "Accept", which is odd really...

The mini map is just... very very confusing, in any populated area, its practically impossible to know whats what on it, or where you should go, even in the zoomed version. Some early quests seem bugged, like there was one in Avon where you need to defend some women from goblin attack against her house. I start the quest... and I can't find any attacking goblin anywhere, yet after a while I fail the quest for letting them attack the house. There were no clear (or any) indication as to where these goblins were.

I only just started playing so I cant really comment more on the content. I did go through the tutorial and there are some good ideas in there for sure, but its also a highly unpolished game, that seems to be very.. very buggy, judging from the 2 major bugs I encountered right there at the beginning of the game. I work as a computer programmer/analyst myself, and I did code some games in the past, and let me tell you, these kind of bugs/oversight should never have gone past QA, this game as it is, is unfit for release in my book.

Maybe my computer has something to do with the problems but I doubt it, doesn't look like hardware related bugs, maybe its the Vista 64 OS that throws it off... either way, it wasn't properly tested/coded if that's the case. (For info, I have a Core i7 920 system, highly overclocked, water-cooled, using 2 NVidia GTX 275 vid cards in SLI).

As it is, I do not recommend this game to anyone, if they release a patch that fixes most of these major issues (and some other that I have not yet encountered, yet I am sure exist), then I would say its entertaining enough to warrant the price tag.

Last edited by Aevnar: 09-13-2009 at 11:56 AM. Reason: Added other comments
 
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:53 PM   #2
BassMadoo
 
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Spot on! Nice review on your first impressions.I am a fan of this type of game so I would like to give this it a fair chance. The spell/combo system seems pretty cool. Maybe the game's strongest thing going for it.

The problem I'm having right now is just trying to figure out what to do. The map does a poor job at showing you which NPC actually gives you a quest. And when you do find a quest there is very little instruction on where to go to complete the quest. Example: one of the first quests you get with the gypsy charactor is to kill some Heratics. After you kill them the person who gave you the quest then tells you to talk to Eric the town Mayor. Ok, where the heck is Eric? Nowhere I can find on this map. I'm in a gypsy camp, is this not the town he is mayor of? How do I get to this town?

I've been playing video games for 20 years and I don't need someone to hold my hand through a game, but gimme a clue or something on what to do or where to go next. I won't even tell you about the experience I had starting as the Fat Fryer character. My gf could not stop laughing at me yelling at the screen last night.

I'm hoping something clicks for me with this but so far there's not too much drawing me back.
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:48 AM   #3
Rumtruffle
 
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do they still have the insanely frustrating quests where you have to beat npcs at killing or fetching things?
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:12 PM   #4
dozerking
 
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damn, i was really looking forward to a new arpg. Decent ones seem soooo few and far between...
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:54 PM   #5
Baleur
 
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So another buggy pos then? K, next. :P
Honestly, sometime they have to stop releasing these bugtacular pc games, its ruining the entire platform when 90% of all games released are buggy.

Thats why i play my 360 more and more, because games released for consoles are, well, FINISHED.. You know?
Love my pc but all these buggy games that could have been epic.. Its jarateing me off that they want us to pay full price for them. BS. It has to stop.
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:13 AM   #6
velvetmeds
 
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^just pick the right games and forget the pos games, PC still wins.
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:17 AM   #7
kuan_ieong
 
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Thumbs down

im not loving this game, to me it seems identical to the first....
i played both and this one disappointed me.
the graphics were almost the same and the spell were the same...
just almost everything was the same...
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:25 AM   #8
Rumtruffle
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassMadoo View Post
After you kill them the person who gave you the quest then tells you to talk to Eric the town Mayor. Ok, where the heck is Eric?
lol thats the same as the first game. same npc, and if hes also in Avon then its the same town aswell.

that lends even more credence to the above user saying its basically the same game with a different storyline.

doesnt appear as if they put in any effort whatsoever and hopefully they wont be making a third.
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:35 PM   #9
radio_babylon
 
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Originally Posted by Baleur View Post
So another buggy pos then? K, next. :P
Honestly, sometime they have to stop releasing these bugtacular pc games, its ruining the entire platform when 90% of all games released are buggy.

Thats why i play my 360 more and more, because games released for consoles are, well, FINISHED.. You know?
Love my pc but all these buggy games that could have been epic.. Its jarateing me off that they want us to pay full price for them. BS. It has to stop.
things are 100x better now for the pc in terms of bugs and "finished-ness" than they ever were 15 years ago... by a WIDE margin. and things 15 years ago were 10x better than they were 5-8 years before that... because at that time, the games were just as buggy (or would only work with one very specific configuration), and you were just SOL because there WERE no patches (or very rarely) because so few people had modems to download them. and when there WERE patches, you frequently had to get them from a long-distance BBS, and spend an hour (or even a day or more) downloading, making it cost prohibitive. if you were lucky, you could get someone to mail you a floppy (or 10) with the patch, or get it off a magazine floppy. or sometimes the company would mail you the patch. and again, thats IF there was ever a patch produced.

i cant even BEGIN to express how much of a joy pc gaming is today compared to the mid 90s and late 80s. it isnt even close...
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:53 AM   #10
DevHyfes
 
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Babylon,

Are you smoking something?

Back in the 80's-90's they didn't have the internet so they actually tested games and didn't go gold until all known bugs were scrubbed out. Sure, every now and again there was some weird critical bug that got out into the wild, but this was extremely rare.

Today, "going Gold" means nothing. Almost without fail, publishers bank on one additional release after they've pressed their gold release, which will be posted along with the release date.

I remember when Diablo II dropped and it wasn't really even playable until I downloaded a 120mb patch- especially if you wanted to play online. That was when I realized that the internet had enabled even the best publishers to release buggy crap just to meet deadlines.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:19 AM   #11
Rumtruffle
 
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i think people arent taking into account that games now are infinitely more complex than they were decades ago.

bugs in manic miner may have been slight or non existent, but also the code involved is slight or non existent when compared to something like sacred 2.

the more complex the system, the more prone to fault.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:49 PM   #12
DevHyfes
 
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Rumtruffle-

As others already noted, Consoles have had a pretty good reputation- and they are just as complex. If you look at the PS2 and Xbox games, they were all just as complex as contemporary PC games. Of course, now that all the major consoles have hard drives and internet connections, that has changed, hasn't it? Of the last 5 console games I've played, 4 of them had downloadable updates the first time I plugged them in.

It isn't the complexity of the game that causes them to be released laden with bugs, it's the fact that the developers CAN release them laden with bugs 2 months early and run a patch on the release date.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:56 AM   #13
radio_babylon
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DevHyfes View Post
Babylon,

Are you smoking something?

Back in the 80's-90's they didn't have the internet so they actually tested games and didn't go gold until all known bugs were scrubbed out. Sure, every now and again there was some weird critical bug that got out into the wild, but this was extremely rare.
you obviously werent playing the same games i was, or as many. believe me, there were plenty of bugs. and even if you discount bugs, there were the configuration issues to contend with. it virtually *never happened* that you would install a game, and it would just... run. no fiddling with it, no juggling IRQs, no configuring extended memory managers... just... run. *never happened*. and there was a reasonably large percentage of games that would just never run, no matter what, on any given machine. id put it in the neighborhood of 20%. that 20% would vary from machine to machine, one machine would run game X fine and NEVER run game Y, and vice versa.

contrast that with today, where i regularly install and run games just fine right out of the box. they may have bugs, but they RUN. right away. just install, and run. that is a TREMENDOUS improvement. id say less than 1 game in 10 do i have to do ANYTHING to get it to run, and out of the ones i do have to fiddle with, its usually very minor.

there is no question that the pc gaming experience is immeasurably better today that it was late 80s/early 90s. gaming back then was such an unbelievable pain in the i almost gave up on the hobby entirely more than once. today, with digital distribution and standardized architectures and APIs, the pc is my platform of choice.
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:49 PM   #14
xiriod
 
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Originally Posted by radio_babylon View Post
you obviously werent playing the same games i was, or as many. believe me, there were plenty of bugs. and even if you discount bugs, there were the configuration issues to contend with. it virtually *never happened* that you would install a game, and it would just... run. no fiddling with it, no juggling IRQs, no configuring extended memory managers... just... run. *never happened*. and there was a reasonably large percentage of games that would just never run, no matter what, on any given machine. id put it in the neighborhood of 20%. that 20% would vary from machine to machine, one machine would run game X fine and NEVER run game Y, and vice versa.
Wow, that brought me back to the DOS-days. Configuring autoexec.bat and config.sys to load high and all kinds of things to squeeze that little extra memory you needed to play a game. But ahh, those where the days Two words for the classic DOS system, Norton Commander

And downloading patches from BBSs. I live in Norway, and had to download the latest patch for Arena from a Bethsoft's BBS in the US. That patch was expensive, as they had a 14.4 connection at that time. Wow, now I am really trippin' down memory lane.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:46 PM   #15
Whist
 
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I think it was pretty obvious after seeing the UI in the screenshots that it would be terrible. If the devs can't even make a decent looking UI...how can they make a good game?

My favorite part is the demons which appear to be humping the diablo style health and mana orbs...except they're not diablo style cause they're eggs. It's new stuff.
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