The Banner Saga - Review @ GameBanshee
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February 1st, 2014, 13:21
Very nice title screen. Main Menu letters could be larger and more in focus / in front of the player. Too far to the left currently.
Nice big fonts mostly, this is important.
"You arrived just in time.."-these texts could use bigger font and window.
should be avoided overall - straining to the eyes -, use a more neutral color, like the blue you used on "Armor".
READY button: the action that the player must click to begin battle is annoying. Auto-begin?
RALLY: Better would be click on rally then click on target. Player shouldn't have to confirm everything with the okay icon, makes tactical battle annoying, restricts game flow.
Auto-scroll screen missing when mouse reaches screen border.
Blood-gush particle effects are offset if character is turned in some directions.
Cannot attack in all 6 directions
The subtitles should be closer to the cutscene window. Interestingly this split / detachment in communication to the player plagues all systems of the game.
First dialogue: Who speaks to whom? The game doesn't introduce story characters successfully.
Currently speaking characters don't look into the players resulting in a split / detached / broken communication to the player
"You meander through rows of open-face houses.."
- these types of texts should occupy the center of the screen.
Big red canvas:
When characters speak via texts placed on the upper part of the big red canvas, why is the canvas center empty and an icon placed at the bottom? = detached communication to the player
You don't know who is speaking and why they are saying that. Only clear thing are the numbered answers, but again, who is answering?
Speaking characters are not placed into the focus of player attention. Story-telling suffers from this. Missing emotions - apart from battle cries and the nobles monologue. The whole game feels like leafing through a comic book.
Combat screen is supersaturated with icons, nauseating, unclear, not very tactical, not much fun. It feels like Battle of Icons rather than a visceral battle of vikings.
This is more like an RTS than a good XCOM-like gameplay, where you care a lot for your squad members and are constantly worrying about their health. In Banner Saga a "squad member" is just a paper-cut piece.
Probably among the most unfortunate dialogue designs in the game industry.
Good that I could check out Banner Saga at my friends, because I found this type of drawn 2D graphics too straining for my eyes. The eye must constantly strain to "read" the outlines of battling units among the 2D sprites, where as in 3D the eye doesn't need to focus / separate a unit from the background that much so the gaming experience is a lot more relaxing, like watching a movie.
Because of increasing eye-strain - as the first battle progresses - from picking out what's happening on tactical battle screens, I can't play, so no buy.
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