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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: Mars War Logs - Review

Default RPGWatch Feature: Mars War Logs - Review

May 2nd, 2013, 23:51
The release of Mars War Logs came as a surprise. Shifting the release to an eartlier date and providing little to no marketing in advance must be a new marketing strategy that I haven't seen before.
Anyway, together with the ads campaign we got a review copy from Focus Home International and our new editor Fluent looked into what kind of game Mars War Logs really was and found some serious drawbacks, which he penned down in this review.
Another major disappointment I had was with the story. To put it mildly, “What story?” The game just wanders along without ever having any strong goals or meaningful intentions. It also feels as though you are rushed along with not enough back-story to let you know what is happening. Many times I felt confused about the names the characters were throwing around, and you are treated as if you know these things well, even though it’s your first or second time hearing about them. The plot is both muddled and confusing, and just not very good.
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May 2nd, 2013, 23:51
strange. the dialogs besides a few hickups I felt were the best I've read in the last 7 years.
best character development and personalities, plot was ok, no cheesy twists, I loved it overall. Don;t trust the review. Its worth it
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May 3rd, 2013, 04:16
All the more reason for multiple reviews!
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May 3rd, 2013, 04:49
Originally Posted by borcanu View Post
strange. the dialogs besides a few hickups I felt were the best I've read in the last 7 years.
best character development and personalities, plot was ok, no cheesy twists, I loved it overall. Don;t trust the review. Its worth it
A few hiccups? It seemed like every other line was unnatural and poorly written, lol. But hey, we're all entitled to our own opinions. Glad you enjoyed it but I was bored stiff by the end of it.
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May 3rd, 2013, 04:57
Well it's a budget title and for the low price I can't complain. I didn't except a new Mass Effect as the developer doesn't have the cash to make one.

Regardless of the faults I found it enjoyable.

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May 3rd, 2013, 05:32
It wouldn't have been so bad if the story was interesting. After you leave the prison camp it goes downhill fast. I wasn't expecting Mass Effect, but I was expecting something, anything to hold my interest. Where's the villain?
Spoiler
Where's the motivation to continue playing? And near the end they're rattling off names and locations that you don't care about, from the sheer boredom of it all I think I nearly died playing it . Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it certainly wasn't good.

I didn't even mention in the review that unless you kill your enemies, they are going to "respawn" in the same areas and you are going to be fighting the same enemies in the same spots over and over again. Combat was fun, but by the 5th time you've killed the group when you're just trying to finish a quest, it starts to become a chore.

I'm shocked that it's gotten a decent score on Metacritic so far. But hey, different strokes for different folks and all that.

I wouldn't pay $20 for it, that's for sure. Maybe $8.

Even the romance options were half-assed. Why even include it in the game if it's going to be executed that poorly? They should have spent those resources developing a compelling plot, or an interesting back-story for your companions. Ugh. Rant over.
Last edited by Fluent; May 3rd, 2013 at 06:38.
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May 3rd, 2013, 05:59
Hey genius… if you feel the need to talk about the ending of a game, how about using spoiler tags next time?

As for your opinion, no offense intended, but you're the guy who swears that Kingdoms of Amalur is one of the best RPGs you've ever played.
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May 3rd, 2013, 06:39
I didn't even realize that was a spoiler. Sorry.

Can't argue with you about Reckoning, as I do think it's one of the best games I've ever played. Any RPG where you drop over 200 hours into it without beating it and enjoy every second of it has to count for something. If you think holding that opinion invalidates my opinions on other games, then I suggest you don't read my reviews
Last edited by Fluent; May 3rd, 2013 at 06:53.
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May 3rd, 2013, 06:59
I didn't mean to sound harsh. I was just sort of pissed that now I already know what to expect at the end of the game.

As for your love of KoA, well… I suppose I've seen stranger things in this world.
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May 3rd, 2013, 07:05
I really hate to be a jerk, but Mars: War Logs is a pretty solid game for what it is, and it deserves far better than to be butchered by an unqualified "reviewer" like Fluent - someone who has little background or knowledge of the genre, obvious bias, and little credibility. Why not coax Dartagnan, JDR, Pessimeister, Ghanburigan, or someone else of that ilk to review an RPG for the watch? It would be much more informative for users of the site and a lot more fair to the game being analyzed to have credible forum users like these write reviews instead of the first volunteer to raise his hand.

For what's it's worth, Mars has some rough edges, but it also has some neat ideas that come together pretty well (like the crafting system), a unique atmosphere (the best comparison I can think of is a bit of a cross between Blade Runner and Fallout), and a fairly entertaining and challenging combat system. While some of the side-quests haven't exactly been that great, and the English translation is a bit awkward at times (though never so bad as to be completely confusing or obtuse), the main story is reasonably well developed while avoiding the typical Mass Effect-style "you are the chosen one to save the universe!" cliche. There is also a decent amount of choice and consequence, and while it doesn't approach the likes of Fallout 1 &2, Arcanum, The Witcher, or Alpha Protocol in this regard, it has more of an effort put into player choice than most AAA RPGs. It's certainly not perfect or as fleshed out as it could be, but for $20, Mars offers very good value for those looking for a unique sci-fi role-playing experience - something that is all too rare in the genre.
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May 3rd, 2013, 09:08
I do agree that writing is poor especially dialogs.I don't think skill tree is as good as reviewer claims,it's ok,it does it job but nothing to get excited about.Game isn't totally bad but but I haven't finished,it will wait in my backlog until there are no better things to play.

Also no offense fluent because I don't dislike you, but I don't think you should be doing reviews.I Think people Nerevarine mentioned would be just fine.
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May 3rd, 2013, 09:48
So, us Codexers have some questions Fluent, you say:

Verdict: The combat is fun, but you’ll really be missing a story or any reason at all to keep playing. Skip it.
In other words: this is a good game, but a bad story. You follow this up with the brilliant:

Pros
- Interesting skill tree with some useful skills
- Fun and challenging combat
- Crafting of weapons and armor

Cons
- Uninteresting and muddled plot
- Poorly written dialogue
- Dull, repetitive environments
Score: 2/5
In other words:

RPG Mechanics: Check, they work according to you.
Gameplay: Check, it works according to you.
Additional systems: Check, they're fun according to you.

Everything central to a game and an RPG functions, but since the graphics are repetitive and the dialogue isn't your cup of tea you fail this game?

This game might very well be terrible, this discussion is not about that, I just doubt it's as terrible as your review. As another user wrote:

Originally Posted by Clockwork Knight, post: 2640082, member: 10780
Yeah, weird review. Three paragraphs of cool features, then "low budget and not as polished as an AAA title, so no".

Originally Posted by Corwin
When I lock 'em, they STAY LOCKED!! Don't push your luck!!!!
Last edited by Grunker; May 5th, 2013 at 04:41.
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May 3rd, 2013, 09:57
Ok, I think we can stop piling up on Fluent now.
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May 3rd, 2013, 11:30
Well, it is his first review for RPGWatch, so have some patient I suppose. Still it might be good to have second opinion on this.
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May 3rd, 2013, 11:52
As always a review is an opinion of the reviewer, so anybody who feels they can do a review that in their opinion does the game more justice feel free to write that and send it to me. Perhaps we can run that one as well.

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May 3rd, 2013, 12:44
Pros
- Interesting skill tree with some useful skills
- Fun and challenging combat
- Crafting of weapons and armor

Cons
- Uninteresting and muddled plot
- Poorly written dialogue
- Dull, repetitive environments
Score: 2/5
I'm not Fluent, and can't write a review as my english pretty much sucks, but can be short about these points.

About pros:
- Some skills are not balanced very good (there are a few OP skills)
- And also repetative as the game contains mobrespawn crap design
- Which is odd at times as the second best armor in the game if upgraded has better stats than the best armor upgraded

About cons:
- Actually in my case the plot was interesting and I loved every single line of it unlike many other games where I skip the dialogue if it starts to be boring, annoying and uninteresting
- Yes the dialogue is cheesy and silly at times, but I found it fun so that can't be among cons
- I didn't see repetitive environments really, in fact with the engine used they've made pretty different things - or the reviewer speaks about the train that does repeat once.

This game is fun and IMO deserves 3/5. I'd go for 4/5 if there were no mobrespawns. I'm definetly buying it's sequel if it gets made and hope they remove the respawn crap from the game and make it bigger.

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May 3rd, 2013, 13:08
Yeah, well I don't think any rational human being is going to take criticism from the Codex seriously. Too much bile, not enough substance
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May 3rd, 2013, 13:17
Dunno about criticism, but their avatars sukk (that'd serve as a better flamewar topic).

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May 3rd, 2013, 13:26
Fluent, have you tried different paths or dialog trees to see if it leads to different consequences and different endings?
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May 3rd, 2013, 14:19
Originally Posted by Grunker View Post
Everything central to a game and an RPG functions, but since the graphics are repetitive and the dialogue isn't your cup of tea you fail this game?
Pretty much this. No mention of quests either (quality/variety/multiple outcomes/meaningful choices), which for me are far more important than the story.
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