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Review RPG Codex Review: Heroine's Quest

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Crooked Bee, May 1, 2014.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Tags: Crystal Shard; Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok

    Just when everyone had used to the thought that the Quest for Glory series would never see a worthy successor, and the Coles themselves went a seemingly unrelated way with Hero-U, a whole three new Quest for Glory-like adventure RPGs were announced - Quest for Infamy, Mage's Initiation, and Heroine's Quest. The latter was the first one to be released, and for free to boot! (Download it on Steam.) Quality never came at a lower price.

    Having nothing to do with mind-altering substances, Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok follows the adventures of a female protagonist in a Viking-themed land. It also follows the Quest for Glory formula almost to a tee. In this review, esteemed community member Aeschylus tells you why you should abandon whatever it is you're doing and go download Heroine's Quest right now, especially if you're a Quest for Glory fan. Have a snippet:

    Once upon a time, in the halcyon days of 1989, Sierra released a strange game called Hero's Quest -- later rebranded Quest for Glory, due to Hasbro's corporate dickery. The game tried things that had never really been done before -- melding RPG character development, classes, combat, and exploration with adventure game-style puzzles and occasional moon-logic. That game spawned a remake and four quality sequels, comprising undoubtedly one of the finest game series of all time. In spite of its success and quality however, Quest for Glory never really spawned any imitators (other than the painfully mediocre BloodNet) and remained for the most part alone in its genre. Over the years there have been a few attempts by fans to create successors -- such as the ill-fated Hero6 project -- but none had come to fruition until finally, this year, Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok was released by Crystal Shard Studios as freeware, following up on their excellent adventure game A Tale of Two Kingdoms.

    Heroine's Quest is a game that does not so much politely borrow from Quest for Glory as it does tackle it and steal its stuff. Thankfully, it does so for the most part without damaging any of the elements that made QFG great; most everything from the originals is still there, including the three character classes, connections to real-world mythology, adventure game puzzles, stat-building through practice, exploration of a large, hostile forest, goofy, awkward humor, and multiple solutions to almost every situation. The only real difference is that your character has lady-parts. Because of all this it is almost inevitable that Heroine's Quest will be played through heavily tinted nostalgia goggles, but it is also a game that is worthy of consideration on its own merits. The borrowed mish-mash of features for the most part comes together successfully independent of its influences, though not without a few stumbles along the way. There are many elements to discuss, so let's get to it.

    [...] The overall difficulty of the puzzles, aside from the few previously mentioned, is fairly moderate. You'll have to think a bit and explore the world carefully, but there are no puzzles that are so out-of-this world logic-wise that they're likely to be a major stopping point. That plus the fact that you generally have a fair number of things to do -- there is a large amount of optional content in the game, though it's only 100% optional for the Rogue -- mean that being completely stuck is likely to be a rare occurence. Getting full points on the other hand is quite challenging and requires you to always do the things appropriate to your class; a Rogue should always steal when possible, a Sorceress should strive to use spells, and a Warrior should always enter combat and search for new weapons. It's worth trying to max out your score, as you're likely to find a few interesting optional sections you would have otherwise missed.

    So, after all that, is it worth playing? The answer is very much yes, particularly given that it's free. Heroine's Quest is of a good enough quality that it could be considered a proper entry in the original Quest for Glory series, and that is high praise indeed. It's a well-crafted look back at an era of games that we haven't seen for a long time, but it can very much stand on its own independent of any nostalgia.​

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Heroine's Quest
     
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  2. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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  3. V_K Arcane

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    Nice review.
    Although the thing about cold being "underdeveloped" is utter BS, since it's only a part of a larger survival system, the other elements of which (hunger, encumbrance, exhaustion, alchemy) the reviewer seems to have failed to notice (which, I assume, took some effort since your very first task in the game is dealing with hunger).
     
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  4. VioletShadow Sensate Patron

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    Good review Aeschylus
    :brodex:
    I'm still in Chapter 1, but have enjoyed it so far. I'll return with more feedback once I've finished it :)
     
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  5. Pope Amole II Prestigious Gentleman Nerd Commando Game Studios Developer

    Pope Amole II
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    Eh, it's not like this survival system plays any significant part in the game - you have to really try to die from either cold, exhaustion or starvation. Even on the hardest difficulty, those meters deplete slowly, besides, food is plentiful in the game, cold can be circumvented in a number of ways and exhaustion takes a really long time to kill you. So, unless it's, like, your first game ever, you shouldn't have any problems and all those things are in mostly for flavor.


    The only real thing that confused me in this review is the statement that sorc combat is too hard at the beginning - it really isn't. And she's much more powerful than the fighter in the endgame, especially since combat animations are kinda sloppy and it's hard to time your actions exactly right.
     
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  6. V_K Arcane

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    You don't die from hunger/cold per se. You die from getting into a fight while low on stamina from hunger/cold.
    Though I agree that it's somewhat too easy and no danger past early game. What I disagree with is that it's "underdeveloped" and "tacked-on" - because the mechanics are there and interact with other systems fairly well.
     
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  7. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    Liked QfG, still have to play this one - thank you for the review.
     
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  8. agris Arcane Patron

    agris
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    Thanks for the review Aeschylus, I'm going to give this a try.
     
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  9. Aeschylus Prestigious Gentleman Swindler Patron

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    By underdeveloped I didn't mean that it was poorly done, so much as it was never really part of the game outside of itself, if that makes any sense. Hunger for example, was used as an element in a puzzle.

    And thanks all for the kind words :D.
     
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  10. Deuce Traveler Prestigious Gentleman 2012 Newfag Patron

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    Really well done review. I'm also playing this now and have barely gotten past Chapter 1. I'm looking forward to the rest of the game, and even more so after reading this. I think it is ironic that this game is likely in the top 3 of released CRPGs of 2013, yet was done as a fan project and given out freely.
     
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  11. Fizzii Crystal Shard Developer

    Fizzii
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    Thanks Aeschylus for writing the review! I enjoyed reading it :)

    It's interesting reading between different reviews on how the difficulty level is perceived. When we were beta testing, a lot of additional features (e.g. the automap, then the heads on the automap, the score and skill popups, the stamina bar, the end connectors for the sliding puzzle to name a few) were added in upon request. The teleportation reward was also added in late in development. The cold difficulty also got tweaked down, and a number of optional puzzles had additional hints added in too, but we've still had comments that the game is hard. I think most people here are much more cluey with playing this sort of game :)

    Personally, I felt the automap with the quest targets was indeed a bit hand-holding too, but I think Radiant didn't want to make it too difficult and also to ease the player into the game. Hence why there's so much clueing as to what to do at the beginning.

    The sliding puzzle is also completely optional for all classes, but (of course) it means you don't get full points if you don't do it (so completionists probably feel that it is more mandatory than optional, I suppose). We wouldn't have forced a sliding puzzle onto players just to complete the game though ;)

    Anyway, that was a good read. Thanks again for writing it!
     
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  12. Krash Prophet

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    I keep reading this as Heroin Quest.
     
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  13. Aeschylus Prestigious Gentleman Swindler Patron

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    I was under the impression that the sliding tile bit was mandatory for Rogues, but maybe not if you say so.

    Glad you enjoyed the review, I certainly enjoyed the game!
     
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  14. mvBarracuda Liturgist

    mvBarracuda
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    Sounds like Heroin Hero!

     
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  15. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

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    Good review, man.

    Just as a note, for whatever weird reason the developer's website just redirects you to Steam when you click to download. So I guess this is Steam exclusive now.

    Edit: "IndieDB" seems to have it without Steam: http://www.indiedb.com/games/heroines-quest
     
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  16. Aeschylus Prestigious Gentleman Swindler Patron

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    The IndieDB download is an old version and is probably buggy, the newest version's standalone installer is here.
     
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  17. V_K Arcane

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    They've said they'll put standalone version back on their site when version 1.2.1 is ready.
     
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  18. Fizzii Crystal Shard Developer

    Fizzii
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    Yeah, I'll remind Radiant to update IndieDB (and anywhere else it is uploaded to) when the next update is out - it should be soon. The Crystal Shard site doesn't actually host downloads of our larger games because the web hosting is kindly provided to us for free, and bandwidth is limited.

    The current version is indeed available through Screen7, as per Aeschylus' link.
     
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  19. Nagling Educated

    Nagling
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    Sounds interesting
     
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