[Review] Pokemon: Den of Ages

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

Nice wall of text.

@Robin:

Nice wall of text.

it got breakpoints faggot

@DFA:

@Robin:

Nice wall of text.

it got breakpoints faggot

So does your face.

lol at this thread.

Epic review. I loved your comments. I have played this game and can agree with every point you have made. It’s hilarious how people just care about having a game that people will play, completely disregarding the fact that it looks terrible and plays terrible (not to mention runs terrible).

Hey DFA. This is Xietnin, I too play the game. I noticed that you may have had problems with the client at first. Some people with computers that are not so “up-to-date” have problems with this. I assure you, Silver (our programmer and creator of PDoA) will be getting to each problem with the client. With all games, compatability is always an issue, espescially with BETA versions.

You were running slow because you were starting out. Buying a Bicycle by raising up for enough money would help that. I think you’d be pleased with how easy the map-loading and movement would be.

As for your CPU, I have had a few worse games, but generally, PDoA only gets 25% CPU, a little better than the high-end games that I usually play. (Grand Chase, DDO)

Also, GUI doesn’t look like a main concern right now, since this is still a BETA version. Same with the number prompt.

About how you got battle multiple times…That would be battle-spam. There is a 3-second battle timer so you can’t trap someone, but this is against the rules, and you should report that to one of our MODs/GMs. They will gladly help you with anyone harrassing you of any kind, we care for our community and do not tolerate rule-breakers like battle-spammers.

As for the battle animations, yes, it would be more interesting to show attacks and such. We may have plans for that in the future. Now when the party-screen is on the side, rather on the middle, you have less of a risk of accidentally clicking another button. I, for one, am a clumsy clicker, and I like how the part is on the side, instead of in the middle, where the battle normally is. I could understand why you would want the party GUI in the middle though, that would be somewhat easier. I’ll see what Silver has to say.

Here is the music, btw: http://pdoa.koneko-chan.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=56 It was on the page, you may not have read through all of the downloads. Feel free to test it out on the client, its pretty easy to install. If you don’t like the game, I’m not pressuring you into playing again, I’m just explaining in detail. (We also recently moved, pardon us if you get any problems.)

“when you close the game, a major error occurs, an unhandled exception…fun stuff” Would you mind telling us what error occurred? If you have a screenshot, I would gladly love to check it out, it would help out the game if you could get a screenshot of it.

I would also like to clarify, you reviewed a BETA version of the game. I’m glad I get to hear another person’s side of the story, but its not quite necessary in my eyes. I would appreciate you making a review of the final version when it comes out. You seem to know what you’re talking about.

Yay, another wall of text.

When it comes down to it, Matt (The one you call Silver) was just some emo black guy who pretended to be white. He didn’t impress anyone by posting pictures of himself with a candle, looking like he’d just been to a bloody funeral and so left the place.

That means he’s not learnt anything new for years. The game hasn’t been out for 7 years because it was 4 or 5 years ago when he first started harking on about the bloody thing.

We re-made Mirage for a reason, and this game shows exactly why that is. People grabbing a copy of Mirage and assuming they’re a programmer because they can change a few variables and lag it to shit.

I suggest Matt stops cutting his wrists for 5 minutes to sort out his bloody loops.

what robin said.

wtf, 7 years of beta?

as for the unhandled exception when you close out, i dont know how to read memory dumps, but i do know how to read source code.
send me your source if you want it inspected.

vanilla ms303 (base of PDOA) gave me about 550 FPS…but this game is struggling to keep up at 32FPS for me.
tell mat to implement multi-threading and i’ll invest in a dual core CPU.

You’re doing a great job, and I’mma let you guys finish, but PDoA really isn’t that bad of a game.

You make some fair points, but I’ll have to disagree with the majority of them.

It’s a pokemon game, DFA. Meaning if someone looked up “Pokemon Online Game”, they could probably find PDoA if they looked around long enough. Not everyone that joins already has the library files, or any idea about Mirage source or eclipse or VB6 for that matter. The installer just goes ahead and installs everything to stop questions like “o lol it sez not has OCX DLL file”. And No, it does not remove the library files, as you previously thought.

The programmer does not, in fact, know that you are running an older version. We all have the same Patcher and you’re expected to run the patcher, as you can’t continue to the game until you do so, or “skip”, and the skip button is there ONLY in the case that the patcher isn’t working. It’s not our fault you weren’t patient enough to patch the game.

MMOGuard is basically exactly what it says. It’s our anti-cheat program, just like all of the big time games have one.

About the rain, I cannot say, for I don’t know how exactly he put the rain in.

The movement speed. There’s a story behind that. a long time ago, we all moved a pretty fast speed, and an even faster whilst running. When the release of bikes came out, he slowed down walk and run speed to about the same speed as on the real games, so that bikes would actually be used.

As for the controls, I don’t know what to say. I’ve never had any troubles with moving. at all.

And hey, noone’s perfect. the scrolling will be fixed in the future, silver’s got the plans for it, but as for now there are more important things he could be working on.

I don’t know whats wrong with your computer, I stay at 31-32 FPS whilst running AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Limewire, and Google Chrome. Often I have VB6 up too.

To tell you the truth, I’m regretting writing this reply. Your review is too long for me to touch on every point you made, but I’ll try anyway.

Silver admits he neglects the client. He’d rather work on the server more. But hey, we’re in beta. I’d rather seven years of BETA than 1 year of beta and 6 of horrible final releases. The shops. What’s wrong with our shops? I like them. They’re fine, we don’t need some special setup for shops… because, well, THEY’RE SHOPS. Walk into the Mart and buy a potion, then get out and go train more.

And yes, you can’t leave the first map until you get a pokemon. Why? Because we used to be able to. Know what that resulted in? people with NO pokemon in the final city of the region. Nty.

I don’t understand how someone spammed you with challenges, there’s a Three second wait before you can challenge someone again. Dunno how you had that problem.

Yes, no pokemon moves, blah blah. BETA, better things he could be working on atm.

And actually, there’s Music on virtually every player-accessible map in the game. Optional Music download. your fault if you didn’t download it.

the off center problem is brand new, due to our Patch from two days ago. It’s a problem with basically only new players. With the release of our team system came some bugs, and that is one of them. It’ll be fixed, worry not.

The unhandled exception when you close out… it always happens, and it’s one of our true bugs. I don’t know what it is or why it’s caused, asked silver.

So thank you DFA for your insight to our game, and we hope to make you eat your words one day. Respect.

As for robin, Noone on PDoA cares about what you have to say and I don’t think any of us ever will. If the worst thing you can say about silver is he’s an emo black guy(which he’s not.), then… I think you’re jealous, to be honest. Take this as you will, but I don’t care how smart you are, or think you are, if you’re going to be a stick about everything, I just wont listen to what you have to say. and I never have, and it’s suited me just fine.

For everyone else, tl;dr: I disagree with DFA.

Respect,
KruSuPhy.

@Robin:

@DFA:

@Robin:

Nice wall of text.

it got breakpoints faggot

So does your face.

SHIT JUST GOT REAL!

lol 7 years of beta?I’ve never heard of something like this.:P

Sigait.

Hilarious, that game is how I ended up here. I wonder if anything has changed since the version I played. (doubtful)

I agree with 99% of what KruSuPhy said. Same with Xietnin. With your complaint of the fps being only 32 fps at its best, that’s called a cut off so it doesn’t over use someones computer while running only 1 2d Pokémon game. 32 is plenty to capture the fact most of the games animations if not all are used by flashing 2nd images of something. So if you think it needs 550 fps then you honestly need to learn the meaning of the term “over-doing it”. As for the unhandled exception or the error you got when u closed PDoA, me and several other players get the same error. and we’ve all come to the conclusion its cause we run Windows XP. As for the battle spam you got we do have younger people and just plain idiots who shouldn’t be playing so administration does expect our smarter players to let us know when that happens. As for Robins remark of Silver being an emo black dude, that’s totally uncalled for. If you don’t like his game fine, if you don’t like him that’s fine, hell if your racist and just plain don’t like black people that’s fine too but there’s no reason to personally attack him cause hes got a life and doesn’t devote every second to the game cause I’m 90% sure that anyone who reads this doesn’t spend 99% of their time on one project. Yeah his game isn’t 100% perfect and its been in beta for a long time. I doubt any game was in beta for 1 year and had absolutely no problems with it. Take what I say for what its worth, you played the game for a maximum of 30-45 minutes and commented on all its problems and none of its accomplishments.

Ty, JJ

@Lika:

I agree with 99% of what KruSuPhy said. Same with Xietnin. With your complaint of the fps being only 32 fps at its best, that’s called a cut off so it doesn’t over use someones computer while running only 1 2d Pokémon game. 32 is plenty to capture the fact most of the games animations if not all are used by flashing 2nd images of something. So if you think it needs 550 fps then you honestly need to learn the meaning of the term “over-doing it”. As for the unhandled exception or the error you got when u closed PDoA, me and several other players get the same error. and we’ve all come to the conclusion its cause we run Windows XP. As for the battle spam you got we do have younger people and just plain idiots who shouldn’t be playing so administration does expect our smarter players to let us know when that happens. As for Robins remark of Silver being an emo black dude, that’s totally uncalled for. If you don’t like his game fine, if you don’t like him that’s fine, hell if your racist and just plain don’t like black people that’s fine too but there’s no reason to personally attack him cause hes got a life and doesn’t devote every second to the game cause I’m 90% sure that anyone who reads this doesn’t spend 99% of their time on one project. Yeah his game isn’t 100% perfect and its been in beta for a long time. I doubt any game was in beta for 1 year and had absolutely no problems with it. Take what I say for what its worth, you played the game for a maximum of 30-45 minutes and commented on all its problems and none of its accomplishments.

Ty, JJ

I’ve played pdoa, Robin’s engine rapes it. To be honest your wall of text makes me less likely to value your opinion, and to be truthful a beta generally means the game is ready for testing, not that it has 500+ issues. Feel free to defend that game, but I’m pretty sure there are thousands of pokemon games that are better (poke cyrus was far superior if I remember correctly.)

I like how PDoA sent all their Mods to come and write good things about their game (notice, new profiles and just a few posts).

What iiiiis this place?

@MrMiguuâ„¢:

I like how PDoA sent all their Mods to come and write good things about their game (notice, new profiles and just a few posts).

Good point. Thats sad, because if truth hurts, why they have to tell their own life stories and how they are lived with this game.

@MrMiguuâ„¢:

I like how PDoA sent all their Mods to come and write good things about their game (notice, new profiles and just a few posts).

Same, especially since they only went to this topic. It wouldn’t be as obvious if the log showed them roaming around, but it’s clearly in the moderator/admin section of PDoA with a link to it.

Also, they keep saying ‘our’ and ‘we’. I haven’t even played this game, and after seeing how immature the moderators are, to just come over here just to try and defend their game, I don’t plan to. Reviews are so you can take the insults and try to fix the problem.

Also, they keep saying ‘our’ and ‘we’. I haven’t even played this game, and after seeing how immature the moderators are, to just come over here just to try and defend their game, I don’t plan to. Reviews are so you can take the insults and try to fix the problem.

yes…so you can fix the problems…

try to remember that this review was completely unbiased, I dont know the creator, or anything about the development team.
If I reviewed my first game, it would be similar to PDOA’s review
you can call it harsh, but its just what I thought…

its REALLY hard to enjoy a game with the client isnt good, the client was completely neglected and the makers went straight for the “fun stuff” of making a game

example of how improved controls and graphics can make a game more appealing to play

before… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBXQJqNPrX4
after … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C_3MQdXaew

and again

before… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb4DfKzVA6w
after… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2UjICAeAj4&feature=related

So thank you DFA for your insight to our game, and we hope to make you eat your words one day. Respect.

if you are asking for an epeen contest…I think you’re really barking up the wrong tree

I said the scrolling looked pretty good.  yeah I didn’t download the patch, figured it would automatically install.
if you want to know how my personal auto updater works. it would compare the CRC32 values of your files vs the ones on the server, and only the needed files would get updated.  So it didnt matter what version you are using, it would update to the latest.

I figured if I didnt download a massive sound/music pack, at least the basic sounds would be in the game.

the FPS is so weak in PDOA probably because he ripped more bad code from Konfuze, the particle rain already shows that he rips code from other sources.

So if you think it needs 550 fps then you honestly need to learn the meaning of the term “over-doing it”

no nigga, it started off at 550FPS, now it struggles to keep up at 32FPS (on my machine)

if i hop on VBGore, and i am getting over 1000FPS, does that mean he over-did it? no i think thats called proper coding. a 2D game should have massive FPS with a modern machine

lololololw alkks of text

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