Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hydrophobia Prophesy: A Review

Hydrophobia Prophesy, after the intro I started looking for mods to remove the swearing. I did fine where the sound bytes were stored although VLC didn’t play them well. I removed about 20 files and felt pleased with myself. Initially I was going to replace them with a sound of Kate groaning as it could serve as a good analog, but not for that many files. Although even after that though the main characters still swear a lot. It’s not just taking the Lords name in vain; it’s also the repetitiveness of the so called “Colorful adjectives” that irritates me. People plagued by the word “Um” irritate me in the same manner. Sometimes I can live with it like Red Steal on the Wii, the first line of your girlfriend is “my god, you’re here” or something along those lines, so forever after that I was talking to the ingame characters and gently chided her for giving me the pet name of god. If it wasn’t for that I would never have called out all the sword moves as I did them, and that added a lot to the game. That said unlike Saints Row I am keeping with it and should probably see the tale through to the end.

My next gripe is that the MAVI idea is a great one that would have been better if all the UI was contained within it. As it stands there are a few things that glow on their own like a corpse that I needed to loot and exploding barrels, both of which broke my suspension of disbelief. Also its nice when a game doesn’t tell me that “W” will walk me forwards. The only game that I can think of that specifically doesn’t use “C” for crouch would be the rougelikes. Can there be a difficulty setting for “I have played a FPS before and I know how to configure the kemap” Then only the people who fail to understand get forced to sit through a tutorial. There is also the high score system, that would definitely work better if it was constrained to the NAVI at least in the first playthrough. Plus when you are looking through the MAVI at the world then bring up the overhead map you open another new MAVI over the top of the current one and it is slightly larger.

All the rest is good, It’s nice to not start a game with coming out of a coma. The water mechanics are nice, the confusing half in half out of the water works well in this game. While its frustrating to constantly lose vision as you go through the phase change of water-air-water it feels like it is supposed to do that.

I am wondering at this stage how my mate in the computer knows what I am doing. But his help is not invasive; it actually feels pretty cruisey that I don’t have to think for myself. Also after the first few checkpoints I found that while I am in a rush to not die I always die when I rush.

So it’s a nice immersive game. This also means that I need to play at nighttime to build up the atmosphere. And never run to quest objectives because then people stop talking mid-sentence, moving onto their next piece of dialog.

I also like the boob wobble, reminds me of anime. Although since I first noticed that I’ve been looking for other things that wobble and take advantage of the fluid dynamics system but I haven’t yet noticed anything yet. Maybe I will go through a cafeteria later that was serving jelly. I wonder if there will be oil on water mechanic too?

Ooo a sound gun, that sounds nifty, I suppose I’ll never have to reload it. I’ve yet to try it underwater. I saw somebody complain that there were no air bubbles under water but I don’t mind, with the overhead camera I’m sure they would always get in the road of what you are trying to see. I recently played a mermaid mod of CS Source and the most funest bit of that game was gaining speed and leaping out of the water, then hitting something on land with a wet slap. That game had a good mechanic for getting me to panic about suffocating on land, but here I feel too relaxed about the whole endeavor to be bothered by drowning.

Ah the balance mechanic is also interesting I had no idea what was happening at first as I never fell off anything. But now I know what it is about I’ll give it a go. Incidentally you lean forward when drawing the pistol and it seems I leant forward enough to be on a balance beam, but I cannot have a drawn weapon there so Kate stopped moving. Since I couldn’t do anything else after that I called it a night.

Overall thus far I’d say the game is ok in spite of the swearing and because of the swearing I don’t think I can recommend it.

Part 2:
Wow roughly 3 hours in before I am climbing into a vent. And I have vet to see a box/crate puzzle. Although I think the first instance or crate clutter was just after the elevator in the tutorial.

In one room the apparent exit was blocked with a shipping container and I thought “In real life those barrels could be used to float the container” then proceeded to explore every inch of the room looking for the way out. Eventually I resorted to using the map, then after a while of trying to squeeze through the gap I nearly gave up. Then I found out I could grab the floating barrels and swim down.


The water powers were cool when I eventually go them although I couldn’t find enough places to play with it. Throwing dynamite barrels is so much more effective than shooting them. Also you can throw people but I didn’t manage to throw one person at another. Also it takes a while but they do drown, they give of a greeny glow when you kill them.

The boss fight had me stumped, after a half dozen attempts I could get her 2/3 dead but then I always died from a tsunami of grenades. I even had to google a solution, I spoilt the fact that this was the only boss fight and found out that the boss was definitely 2/3 defeated. But now how to beat her?

It was simple really, don’t use cover. When you hide the boss throws grenades. All the other attacks you can move out of the road of.

That’s it then, all done and dusted. Apparently this is game 1/3 and they are still looking for player feedback. I like that It made me review the game and got me more interested. Although I’m not about to restart it and hunt for more collectables (I may have found them all but I don’t know). After my rant on swearing I didn’t really notice much more, so that was good. More brain scratching puzzles would have been good, and more combat to play with the water power. Also less chaos may make it better, or worse. Maybe just a faster graphics card to make the chaos smoother is all I needed in those explody electric flooded firefights. Jelly would be a nice addition and having the floor rock under you feet, maybe sway? Yes sway like a real boat. Having a boat rock sounds like it is beached or you are listening to the Beach Boys.