The Dink Network

Blacksmith's Trail (The)

This is madness! The Banishment of Poor Marty The Flyin' Pork Tavern
December 20th, 2015
1.01
Score : 9.2 exceptional
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This dmod well accomplished exactly everything that I think the author had intended. It is a fairly short romp and it is centred around combat which was the purpose (it was created for the carnage contest). It wouldn't necessarily compare well to the great epics, but for this type of dmod, the execution was fantastic!

I think that among dmod authors, MARPRO is one of the best (if not the best) at setting mood. Or at least when it comes to a dark mood. (I've played a few of Marpros dmods).

The map is beautiful and well done. I don't recall any obvious mapping errors. It is a true-color dmod, so that raises my standards (It's far easier to make nice graphics in true-color! I know from experience that graphics suffer from conversion to the dink palette) but I think this was a dmod that was worthy of true color.

The main villain is very well scripted. This is a different villain from the end boss. It's much more interesting than the usual slashing at something while trying to stay out of range. There are also some cool sound effects in this dmod. One might find the dmod too difficult (combat-wise), but you can always cheat.

***So I must WARN you that I am going to give it a score that applies only for this specific type of dmod. It won't compare against something like CC2! But for this type of short combat romp, it is extremely well made. And for that, I give it a 9.2. I don't give a score like that lightly. Some of the dmods currently sitting at 9 or above are not what I personally consider to be exceptional. But for this type of dmod, I do feel that this one should be considered exceptional. Thus, I feel that a score of 9.2 is justified.

9.2
March 3rd, 2015
1.01
Score : 6.8 fair
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lordsval
Peasant Male Australia
Lifelong Dinker 
Overall, this is a fun little D-Mod, but its sometimes extreme difficulty drags down the experience.

Gameplay
The gameplay here is above average. The puzzles are not very complicated and were easy to solve, but the regular combat made my adrenaline pump. The boss fights are very well scripted, although extremely difficult.
There are almost no powerups to be found and little in the way of character improvement, so it's not really possible to improve one's power in combat through typical RPG play.
The mod's runtime will get to approximately 70 minutes or so of normal gameplay, however the first and last sections of the mod are so unforgiving that I estimate I've put in about 5 or 6 hours of play into the mod.
Unfortunately I found it impossible to beat the final boss without modification of the game, despite over 50 attempts and several hours of grinding.

Story
I very much enjoyed the story of this D-Mod and found myself wanting more. I love the author's style and found he managed to keep the balance between overly serious storytelling with the typical light-hearted Dink theme.

Graphics & Sound
This D-Mod has some astoundingly good graphics and level design (aside from the last boss). Sound is also well above average. Looking at my screen whilst playing through the mod made me feel like I was looking into some high quality pixel art. Good stuff.
June 26th, 2011
1.01
Score : 9.5 exceptional
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pillbug
Peasant Male United States xbox steam
Love! True love! 
I'd like to start by saying I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and that it was my favorite entry into the Carnage Contest.

-Story-
Honestly, I wasn't expecting games entered into a Carnage Contest to have much of a plot at all. I was wrong. This game actually had quite an interesting story, and as I played I looked forward to finding out what was going to happen next. I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say the story was good, and complimented the gameplay very well.

-Gameplay-
I think the gampeplay is what I liked about this game the most. Marpro didn't add very many new things (he did add some cool stuff though), but he utilized what he had in very unique ways. I also felt that some of the fighting may have been too difficult, but I only really had trouble with the boss. However, he only came across as challenging, not an invincible death machine.

-Graphics-
The new graphics were implemented very well. They were subtle additions, and while easily noticed, they fit right in with everything else.
The boss was done well, and with a model like that, it surprisingly fit everything just right.

-Summary-
In conclusion, this is a great game. Short, sweet, and enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this game to others.