No Lusty Argonian Maid?
Anyone trying to write this off as a hashed Skyrim commercial has clearly never tried to do one of the fallowing: 1. Write a song, 2. Make a flash animation, 3. write a song and then make a flash animation around it.
The quality of the art and animation is exactly what we've come to expect from the Happy Harry brand of cartoons. Pure frame by frame goodness, with lots of varied movement, poses, and perspectives, all of which are convincing and satisfying to look at.
The song is clever and well written. It manages to criticize gamer culture, and touches on all the major points of the game without using and kind of forced rhyme scheme or filler lines. Yeah it's short, but how is that a bad thing? It means it doesn't overstay it's welcome, and if you want to watch it again, you don't feel like it has to be a commitment.
It's short, it's sweet, and if you're an elder scrolls fan, than you can really connect with the amount of love put into this cartoon.
Nice variety, but a little obvious
The art, animation and variety of styles were all top notch by New grounds standards, and even by the standards of the garbage they put on TV these days. But a lot of the jokes were a little obvious or overused.
The turnip animation was pretty cute, it was clever to have all the different Links in one scenario, but again, it was mostly references any video game fan has already heard. The Captain N cartoon was pretty clever, but the minute I saw Simon mentioning he was hungry, I knew it was going to be some joke about how absurd it is to find food in the walls. Though I have to say, it was nice to see a Castlevania flash that didn't use sprites.
When Shamoozal first started, it had this quirky, off beat, irrelevant humor that set it apart from most flash animations. Now that it's all about video games, I feel like the series has become part of a flooded genre.
Still, I can't deny the work and attention to detail you put into this. The backgrounds and characters were all richly details in their own unique way, the animation was smooth and the cartoon was paced very well. So you still get 9 out of 10 and a 5. Hope to see more!
Thanks! I'm sorry you miss our old stuff. We've been doing this for a few years now as you know, so I'm always trying to find something different that works for us at the moment. I was offered to do this series while Shamoozal shorts were in limbo. It was good for me because it helped get me back into the swing of things. Doing work for another outlet means I HAVE to do the work and helps keep me motivated to continue working on shorts.
I know the gaming space is pretty crowded with cartoons like this. Going into it I was hoping that my edge would be quality and just the way we go about doing things. I always think I've achieved my goal if someone could watch something like Candy Corns and then this and realize it came from the same person.
Sorry if you feel some/most of the jokes are obvious. I mean, you aren't the only one, just look at any of the reviews on here that scored me low.
Anyway, thanks for being a long time fan! Hopefully I'll be able to please you with future cartoons!
Vibrant little short
Loved the stylized artwork, especially the colors, very vibrant. Reminds me of fall. The humor was good too. Not too obvious, and was paced really well. Hope to see some more of these guys ion the future.
Loved the art style. The animations were natural and satisfying and the character designs were detailed and appealing. The environments were varied and did a good job of immersing me in the game. The sound was also done really well, and synched up perfectly with all the flashy special effects.
As for the game play, I found it to be clunky and vague. There isn't much of a sense of exploration due to it's linear format, and the fights are almost universally trial and error. The prompts for combat are confusing and unclear. I never felt sure if I was supposed to click on the arrow or around the arrow, or even when to click. I was able to beat the archer, figuring it was just a particularly tough enemy, but the fight with the large demon thing just drained the whole experience. The precision timing required for the fight just isn't represented well enough in the animations and it leads to a lot of unsatisfying deaths.
Silent Hill meets Moebeus?
Art games are often hard to review in the traditional sense, because it brings up the argument of what is a good game and what is a good piece of art. The game aspect of Gyossait is rather minimal, so lets start with that. The controls were simple, the jump was a little funny at first, but I adjusted to it eventually. I'm surprised so many people complained about not being told how to play. Didn't anyone see those slabs in the background of the first level? I did, so that either means I'm incredibly intelligent, but more realistically, it means I've probably played ANY OTHER FLASH GAME ON NEWGROUNDS! The level design, from a technical standpoint was the usual platformer fair, however, I did appreciate that short cuts would upon up as you progressed through the level so any untimely death was made easier to cope with when you realized you didn't have to trek through the whole level again.
That's really all that can be said for the game play, so lets move onto the next part which requires a bit more examination.
Visuals: This game has a great variety of moody, disturbing imagery. The atmosphere is thick and menacing and i think the pixelated graphics work very well. Some may poo poo this retro design choice, but I think it adds to the spooky ambiance. Pixel art by it's nature is mostly interpretive. It leaves much of the work up to imagination of the player, and a good fabricator of horror knows that when someone is frightened, their imagination is their worst enemy.
Sound: The SFX and music were something of a mixed bag for me. Sometimes it would be great, but other times it would just be grating (see what what I did there! yuk yuk yuk) I would have preferred the looping of the music to be a little more subtle, but I can at least say that the music is always very appropriate and it does help to keep you enthralled in this dark, dying fantasy world.
Storytelling: Instead of going into the actual story, I'd rather talk about the story telling technique. Sense the game's controls are rather limiting, most of us will play through to the end to get our story telling fix. The challenge of the art game is indeed to be artsy, but you must be wary of becoming artsy fartsy. When something is artsy, it usually tries to tell us a story or evoke an emotion in an interesting and abstract way, so at first we're confused, but later on, we get that epiphany and we walk away with a greater understanding or appreciation for that story or emotion. This differs from being artsy fartsy when it feels like someone is just trying to be as abstract as possible, so no one gets it but them, and they can feel some sort of artificial sense of superiority.
If there was anything that i think needed to be changed about this game, it would be the removal of all the text. Visual narrative is a powerful and underused tool in the video gaming world. It encourages the player to interpret things for themselves, and ultimately immerses them deeper into the world. And immersion really is the defining factor of a game like this.
Many people seem confused by the games story, but feel all the text gave away a little too much. And sense it's written in a dark and surreal, poetic style, it comes dangerously close to artsy fartsy territory.
However, I don't think it's fair to call this game pretentious, or patronizing. It's actually a fantastic story that's paced extremely well, and in the end, is very satisfying to see all the way through. Art games are becoming more and more popular, much in the way art films have, and i think it's up to games like this to set the mold for future artistic gamers and game designers.
Aside from a reason to draw a lot of dead babies, this game doesn't offer a whole lot. Isaac's projectiles are unreliable and hard to aim and enemies take way too many hits to kill. Bombs are good alternative for damage dealing, but enemies seem to move at random so actually hitting an aggressor with one seems based more on luck than skill. What exactly is Isaac shooting anyway? Spit bubbles? Sense the story seems random and irreverent why not work something in that seems more appropriate like a sling shot or just some rocks? The game also seems prone to slow down if there's more than one thing on the screen, and sense Isaac takes up that spot by default, it really becomes a problem when entering a new area. I'm pretty sure it's not my computer either, sense I can play other Flash games just fine. As for the bonus items, there were so many it was hard to keep track of which ones would do which. Half the time, I forgot I had them, because I didn't want to risk using something really good on nothing, or using something that would just screw me over. I know it's to keep in line with the humor and style of the game, but if the player has to look up an encyclopedia every time they want to use a secondary item, than you're designing game elements for the wrong reason.
Randomly generated dungeons seems like a good idea on paper, but it always screws up the difficulty curve, and just doesn't make for a tight, memorable experience. Some are open and filled with spit bubble fodder, others are cramped, giving you no room to maneuver as you fight off another dead baby, some rooms had nothing in them at all, or worse, an item I couldn't reach cause I didn't have enough bombs or something. It's a scrambled, disjointed mess, and it doesn't add anything to the game. Sure you can argue it will create a new experience for every play through, but if the first experience isn't enjoyable, what reason do I have to come back?
I find the aesthetic of the game to be unappealing. Everything is such a dull, sickly red, brown or gray. Sense the dungeons are randomly generated, every room pretty much has to be the same, so there's no variety in the scenery. Although there are a decent amount of enemy types, there are only so many ways you can draw a dead baby.
When boiled down, this is a nuts and bolts, minimalist adventure game with unnecessary padding in terms of secondary weapons and randomized dungeons. Everything about it so lack luster, I'm surprised I could even write a review this long. If the game play was more fluid, and there was more structure to the level design, then I think the basic mechanics of the game would have a lot more potential.
I love this tune. It's done in a very unique vernacular. The instruments work well together, and you keep it interesting with melodic progression that paced perfectly.
The piano is very powerful
I wish I had a larger musical vocabulary, so I could properly comment on this song. At least, I can say there's a lot of emotion here, and i think anyone who listens to this song can relate to a stressful dilemma and feel relaxed by it just like you.
Everything in this song harmonizes so well! The way the beat and samples are crafted together really carries the listener through the song.
I love how free form and rubbery your characters are. It seems like a really fun way to draw and emote with your cast.
Yeah dude! I have a lot of fun doodling with a loose hand. I usually end up with a lot of rounded shapes and off-model characters but I think it ends up looking pretty decent. Exaggerated expressions are hard for me so I just try to throw in ridiculous ones whenever I can.
Skulls are pretty sweet and metal.
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