An odd place to put a gallery
The first level of the gallery
The power room
Review by Anarchic Fox|
Mission Name: Father's Pride
Author: MaJiC (Mark Cole)
Mission Type: Neutral Fort
Map Size: Tiny
Difficulty: Very Easy
No. Times Played: 3
Difficulties Played: Normal, Hard, and Expert
Loot Found: 1190 out of 1190
Secrets Found: 0 out of 0
Pros: A mission designed for children (a rarity, to say the least). Solid gameplay and architecture, along with lots of small, endearing touches.
Cons: Not at all challenging, some of the humor is puerile (but that's the point, isn't it?).
Bottom Line: If you have kids, you might try this mission on them. However, as a full-fledged fan mission, it's only so-so, and no challenge for experienced players.
A certain gallery is selling off its paintings; but one, very valuable painting, is still there to grab. The auctioning of its treasures has caused the gallery to lay off most of its security, leaving a group that should be very easy to sneak past.
Since it is (as far as I know) the only fan mission specifically designed to be played by kids, Father's Pride has some special aspects. One is a concern for the player's progress that exceeds what's found in many missions. In Father's Pride, one is practically forced into a more-or-less constant sequence of actions. This isn't unusual, and may or may not be beneficial, but Father's Pride also has the merit of making the necessary tasks easy to discern from a quick view of the map, the starting area, and the nearby readables; it also includes just enough variation (in which way you go first, which guards you come across in which order, and how you go about finding the tower loot) to avoid being an actually linear level. In short, it makes immediately clear to a player what would perhaps be difficult for a child to figure out. The other aspects of gameplay are not unusually designed, just very easy; there are only two patrols (they're widely spaced, but go all over the place), and sneaking up on every guard is a breeze (and if you can't manage that, they die with one arrow shot when alert). For older players, playing on harder difficulty levels, the mission requires that you evade a bot guarding an inventory (fairly tough, though there is more than one way to do it), and a fun bit of careful searching, jumping, and rope-arrowing to get dropped treasure in the nooks and crannies of the central tower.
In some ways (texture choice, mainly) the architecture is very plain, but it does allow a wide swath of the mission to be seen at once (with only slight drops in framerate); the more interesting sights include the surrounding arcades and the high central tower, with an angel statue prominently displayed. The visual quality is nothing special, but certainly not bad.
Returning to the subject of the special child-oriented inclusions Father's Pride, the jokes are worth mentioning. Some -- like the flatulence -- are much more likely to appeal to children, though perhaps startling enough to get a laugh from anybody. Others, like the interplay of the notes on the bulletin board, should be funny for both children and adults. Lastly, there is the painting in the tower (forgive me for spoiling it, but the painting "Father's Pride" is of Majic's kids), which I found very sweet; a merit of this is that it can be easily customized (instructions are included) to any other parent's kids. Perhaps this would be too hard for most parents, but it is a nice touch.
Story: 5 -- Solid, but basic. There's plenty of detail given to set up the scenario, but don't expect any plot development along the way.
Atmosphere: 4 -- Well, it's an intentionally easy mission, and this doesn't allow many tense moments or serious immersion. Some good use of ambients, though, along with readables that flesh out the guard squad a bit.
Gameplay: 6 -- Has all of the elements that contribute to fun gameplay, although none will pose a challenge (with the possible exception of the loot in the tower). There's nothing exceptional, though.
Architecture: 5 -- Solid, with some interesting areas (the tower/gallery), but a lot of repetition and quite plain texturing.
Preliminary Reviewer's Score: 5 bronze
Reviewer's Bias: +0.5 because I thought the level very sweet. Plus, I approve of its purpose.
Final Reviewer's Score: 0.5 silver (5.5 on the ten-point scale)
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