Pokemon: Den of Ages
Well, i heard about this game and wanted to take a look.
I download PDoA_Installer.exe which was a nice small size of 8.7MB, after I ran the setup it started registering all these files that i really wish it didnt…i was really wanting a zipped version of the game client.
I start the client, and press Continue to game, since i CBA reading some game news or whatever bullshit its trying to make me read. When i get to the game, it keeps saying run the updater. Like it couldnt automatically run for me. The programmer obviously knew i was running an old version and it would msgbox saying i need to run updater. After about 15 times of trying to run without updating, i decided maybe i should close out completely and patch.
Then it shows a loading bar for something called MMOGaurd, who knows what the fuck that is, probably keylogging my shit. but oh well, that won’t stop me from trying out the game.
It loads pretty fast, first thing i see is the ripped lame “particle” rain from Konfuze. this is based off ms303, so i didnt really expected ripped code from really bad engines…
I start off moving really slow, which is apparently just the walk speed. Pressing the R button makes you run, but thats really no better. But im finally moving at a decent rate using ‘run’, and most impressively, WASD can be used to control your character. But the down side to this, when it comes to moving and turning, the controls are worse than the controls of a really bad NES game. it takes like a second to turn sometimes. it works better if you release the key you were holding before, then hold another arrow key.
it does have nice map scrolling, but it doesnt scroll very far. you can see the map links surrounding your map, so it looks like its a seamless world, but its a half-ass implementation. you can’t see sprites on the surrounding maps, only the mapping. and then you get stuck with a map loading so you really know its not as seemless as intended.
game stays at 30-32FPS with 100% CPU usage. I guess that means i can’t listen to windows media player or anything else while playing the game. So maybe they are expecting me to update to at least a dual core CPU to be able to multi-task while playing the game, but shit, its using 10-15 year old technology but assuming you are running it on top hardware. StarCraft 2 beta gave me about the same FPS as this game, and sometimes better. this simple vb6 game is using 103MB of system RAM, probably 0 video RAM…but EVGA precision can tell me that…looks like my hardware is sleeping. 103MB for this game probably indicates 0 memory management. it uses the old motto of “lets just slam everything in RAM and keep it there the entire time”
I saw there was a GFX config tool, and an option between CPU and GPU. when I set it to GPU, RAM usage reduces to 56MB(of System RAM), but the CPU usage is still 100%. I am impressed to see that my GPU actually woke up, but the FPS are still very bad…i guess my single core 2.4GHz CPU is my bottleneck for this game, and i can’t ever hope to achieve 32FPS
now for the interface and the client, the main game form looks like it covers 1/8 of my screen because of my resolution, and half of that client is rendered by DirectDraw7, while the other half uses GDI drawing, and lame VB6 components.
I couldn’t leave the first map until i got a pokemon, which wasnt a problem. to talk to somebody you press spacebar, but another VB6 component pops up OVER the game screen, which is something any game should avoid. you dont mix that stuff together. You don’t usually see games using half DirectX and the other half using openGL, and just hope for no conflicts.
When it comes to buying items for a merchant, it uses the vb6 input number prompt. I expected after 7 years of development, they would get passed the basics and implement a proper GUI for it.
you press T to talk, but it doesnt work the way you would think it works, it keeps you locked in chat. you have to press enter when you have nothing typed in for it to dissapear so you can move again. if you played any other game before, you’d notice how this is really annoying, and all you can do about it, is pretty much get used to it
the main developer is un-aware that windows can be opened modally (the modally opened windowed is the only one that can accept input while open), so the game screen constantly dissapears when another window appears.
When i tried to battle my pokemon with wild pokemon, some player repeatly spammed me with a challenge. I was completely stuck because all i could do is decline the challenge, only to be immediately challenged again.
when you battle pokemon, at first it looks like an interesting interface, only to find out theres no mouse over effects, no hover effects, pretty much a non-interactive GUI, other than accepting your input in the form of regular vb6 command buttons. the battles have 0 animations. The first RPG game i’ve ever seen was Final Fantasy 1, which even that had simple battle animations…so that was rather dissapointing. You can select different pokemeon to use during combat, when you press the Pokemon button, it hides the fight window, and brings up a list of your pokemon in another window thats half way across the screen. this is one of those games that were intended for 800x600 resolution. would be nice if it would at least open at the center of your screen.
I don’t know if my speakers are broken or not…but i hear 0 sound/music…good chance to try windows media player to see how my FPS goes. FPS is about 29-30. Pretty weak when vanilla MS303 gives me 550FPS
I also didnt like that short character names are completely off-center, my name being “DFA” ingame, the D starts at the sprite’s head.
when you close the game, a major error occurs, an unhandled exception…fun stuff