Author Topic: REVIEW: A Glimmer of Hope (by Ian Liew)  (Read 892 times)

Offline Olivier Leroux

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REVIEW: A Glimmer of Hope (by Ian Liew)
« on: January 30, 2009, 04:48:22 PM »
A Glimmer of Hope
by Ian Liew

Reviewed by Harri Polsa

This design is fairly simple in every aspect, yet it manages to give a pleasant gaming experience. Sometimes simplicity can bring good results, which was the case in this design.

The plot starts when my party has volunteered to assist in minor guard jobs. Soon they are assigned more demanding tasks, and the main quest starts in Lenton, where undead stalk the streets and make the life of the citizens generally unpleasant. It seems that the local high cleric, Father Lawrence has disappeared. A mysterious drow woman takes a place in the party and assists us in finding the disappeared cleric. The incident ends as the cleric is rescued and a battle against the evil is fought. Except that it didn't end. There seems to be another evil (two big bad guys in one design?) that must be vanquished too. I didn't see any connection between these two evils, and I thought this was rather clever. Then we set out to locate three keys, perform a minor side quest (which wasn't a side quest at all, it is important for solving the game, but at first it looks like a side quest) and finally destroy this second bad guy as well.

The plot may not sound like much excitement, but what was there was well executed and there was a feel of something going on all the time.

So what was wrong in this design? The main problem for me was the characterization of the characters. They were simply too cliched to be taken seriously. The big bad guy talks like every other big bad guy in fantasy world, the good guys talk like they were all using some standard format. But the good thing was, that even though cliched, the text was written in the spirit of the rest of the game and was true to the atmosphere all the time.

It became quite obvious during playing, and more during a closer scrutiny in the editor, that the author was not a very experienced designer. The dungeons were very simple, mostly combat events and occasional text events, there were no complex quests or questionnaries, though the quests were used to keep track of events, and this was done well.

Minor bugs were scattered here and there, nothing earth shattering, but it was possible to avoid certain important events if the player decides not to take the 'straightest route.'

Also a minor but funny thing, the 'good' clerics at the temple were all evil in alignment. Conspiracy? :)

There were only a few new pictures, and few new monsters. The combats were not too difficult, since my party can collect a necklace of missiles for each character (including NPCs), and that firepower usually made the combats easy. Also a cleric or two in the party was able to turn most of the undead. Occasionally the combats looked weird, since there were so many different monster types fighting against my party. The only common thing about the enemies was, that they were evil. The final battle against the big bad guy is quite simple and easy, in fact, quite satisfying ("Hah! I always knew you had only a big mouth and were not man enough to stay and fight!").

Overall, this is a good, simple design. The finale left me in a good mood, and I never really grew annoyed with this. Also, the design is very error free, there are errors, but you have to see some trouble before you reach them. And it didn't take long. If you are in a mood for a simple, quick, heroic quest, then this is your choice.


Ratings:

    * Plot Matter: 4
    * Artwork: 3
    * Hacks: N/A
    * Text: 6
    * Events: 2
    * Originality: 3
    * Errors: 8
    * Feel: 7

    * Difficulty: 3

    * Total Rating: 43%
 
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 01:09:10 PM by Olivier Leroux »

Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: REVIEW: A Glimmer of Hope (by Ian Liew)
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2009, 01:09:55 PM »
A Glimmer of Hope
by Jade Dragon

Reviewed by hans

I've finished playing Ian (a.k.a. Jade Dragon) Liew's mod "A Glimmer of Hope" (Hope.zip) and it was a design that provided me with hours of enjoyment.

It's very much in the "Goldbox" style, particularly in structure. Your party must complete a series of quests that are stepping stones toward your final confrontation with the main baddie. Along the way, you explore, meet up with a number of NPCs, and do quite a bit of standard dungeon-crawling.  It firmly adheres to the familiar formula of SSI's old "Goldbox" games, yet with a happy gusto that enlivens that well-traveled path.

The combats are varied, in both monsters and difficulty. (I love tough combats and even sought out those bloodbaths which can be avoided.) The major threat against the populace, though, are undead, so I suggest that your party include at least 1 Paladin and 2 Clerics.

If I have one complaint, it's that I wasn't able to get to know some of the characters in the mod better. Celeste, the converted drowess, was with my party almost the entire adventure, but aside from one important soliloquy when she joined my party, and one upon the completion of her quest, she was almost as quiet as a church mouse. I would've enjoyed hearing from her more often. She seemed very interesting when she did speak . . . Of course, I found that same weakness in the actual "Goldbox" games, as well. At least I feel that I know Celeste better than I got to know Alias & Dragonbait after playing SSI's "Curse of the Azure Bonds" . . .

Despite that one critique, I don't hesitate to recommend "A Glimmer of Hope", --especially to our community's "Goldbox" contingent.

Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: REVIEW: A Glimmer of Hope (by Ian Liew)
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2009, 05:36:58 PM »
A Glimmer of Hope
by Ian Lieuw

Reviewed by Susan McKinney

    My party was asked to assist some towns in dealing with the hordes of undead that had been attacking the region. As we worked our way to the heart of the matter, we found out several towns were being ruled by evil men who were working for some big bad guy. A very good story line without any technical glitches.

    Mycroft Rating: 7



Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: REVIEW: A Glimmer of Hope (by Ian Liew)
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2017, 02:28:22 PM »
Nice module in the classic Gold Box style.

Reminds me a bit of Death Knights of Krynn, with overabundance of Undead, several optional side quests, and the final battle being too easy since it's so obvious excactly where it takes place that you can fully buff the party without meta gaming.

Story and characters are rather cliche, but there are some good fights, especially in the earlier stages when you dont have Wands and Necklaces for everyone.

One thing that annoyed me was that once you enter Krell, you can't exit. So if you enter with only one key, you are fornicated. So make sure you go to Willborough and pay a visit to the local lord there first.
Also stock up on Cleric scrolls with Restoration.