The Dink Network

Echoes of the Ancients

September 18th, 2016
v1.00
Score : 8.5 good
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Deverax
Peasant Male
 
Probably the first thing one notices with this D-mod is the mass amount of new graphics, so let's start with those ;
Most of it looks very nice and add a whole new feel to the environment. The vast details also make exploring quite enjoyable and rewarding since there are plenty of items scattered around that will boost your combat performance. Unfortunately tho, there are a few (mostly plant related) graphics that looked a bit out of place to me. I just got a feeling with some of them (either due to their style/model or color) don't really fit too well in a Dink game. But whatever, most of them are very nicely done so I'm not going to complain too much about it.
Speaking of graphics, there are also plenty of new monsters to fight : some of them are completely new and some are modified version of already existing ones. There is a small thing that I didn't like too much, and that is the lack of corpse graphics. As in, when some creatures die, they don't leave a corpse, instead they just explode with blood . It's fine for some enemies to do that, but to have so many of them do it, I just found it a bit lacking. Also, another minor thing is that some enemies are placed in areas you would not expect to see them, kind of like they don't really belong there. I'll give the example with the floating skull monster, I just didn't think that nice, vast foresty areas are a fitting place to have such enemies. I think that having them populate some underground areas or the old temples would be much more fitting.

With monsters to fight, comes gameplay, so let's talk about that. To me, combat is a 10/10 spot on. Enemies are squishy, they would die in few hits, but they would also hit you for quite a bit if you're not careful. Usually, there is also plenty of them on one screen, so that makes things even more interesting.
When it comes to the quest itself, I think things could've been done slightly differently. Running around collecting all the different keys and meeting various kings that would just create portals to random places where you need to go did become a wee bit tedious after some time. Maybe some variety would've been nice, but oh well. At least the animation when you pick up items (such as keys) is nice.
Aside from combat, a thing I liked is the humor, which is quite nice. There were some jokes that caught me off guard so that's always a plus. There were some scenarios that I felt like were maybe a bit forced.

And now finally, the music and sounds in general which honestly, I don't think is this Dmod's strong point.
The first thing I noticed is the lack of attack sound effects with your fist. As in, there is no sound when you attack and there is no sound when you hit something/someone. Luckily, that's not the case with any swords (that I spend the most of time fighting with) so it was only for the early game that this was an issue. One issue still remained through the whole game, unfortunately, and that is that no monsters (except, I think, the Bonca) made any sound when hit. Obviously, non of this is game breaking or anything, but it did seem a little bit unusual for a Dink game.
The only complain about music is that I feel like there should be more screens that "trigger" the music to play. There were multiple times where I would be wandering around exploring or fighting in complete silence.

That's basically all I have for this Dmod.
There are some things that I wasn't really a fan of, but nonetheless, it is quite enjoyable and I would definitely recommend checking out
January 24th, 2016
v1.00
Score : 8.5 good
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JugglingDink
Peasant Male United Kingdom
Wagwarn 
This is perhaps the first game I've played with a King of Straw-Piles. Or a King of Trees. Or a King of pretty much everything this game has a king of. But on to the review:

This is the first Brassweasel mod I've played, and I have to say, he sure knows how to make good graphics. One of the first things I noticed was the sheer amount of them, and they really do help to keep it interesting when you're exploring all of the different areas. And there's a lot of exploring to be done, complete with goodies to find. Considering all the new graphics were made by Brassweasel himself, it's particularly impressive, and I'm sure if he were to release a graphics pack nobody would complain! (not that I'm hinting or anything )

The combat, for the most part, is standard Dink fare. No need for grinding though, which is always a plus. There are plenty of new monster graphics, which look great, although the majority are simple touchers. There are exceptions to this, and I particularly liked the new enemy which shoots firey pellets at things, as it often does some of the legwork for you. There are also several unique fights, each with their own mechanics, and these were all a lot of fun.

The homing-bomb enemy stands out as a favourite. The final boss is perhaps one of the less inspired battles, primarily just being an enemy with inflated stats, but even he has his own tactics to be beaten. The overall difficulty is good, it's challenging, without being so hard as to become trial-and-error. I died a handful of times in some of the boss fights, which I'd personally say is a good thing. The final boss is a significant ramp up in terms of difficulty from the rest of the game, but then again, he's the final boss.

The plotline is interesting, and less a parallel of the original game than it is its own thing. A lot of the gameplay tends to fall into the "walk around until you find the thing(s)" trap, and while this isn't always the most exciting prospect, the mapping here is superb, and makes exploration far more interesting than you'd expect. There are many different areas to explore, each marked by a little location-tag in the corner of the screen, which I liked. A sizable amount of time is spent travelling through dungeons/areas without many people to talk to, with the goal of finding an item, often a key, necessary to continue. Brassweasel sure likes his locked doors. It's fairly long, taking me just shy of two hours to complete. To be honest, if you weren't given the herb-boots during the first area, it could have probably bordered on being an epic.

There's also some pretty fun humour in here. I particularly liked the opening, which caught me off guard and gave me a good chuckle, and there's a running joke about having kings for everything. You can also optionally hunt down an artist's bad graphics, to unlock a special item, and while I had no idea what was happening during this whole thing, I was certainly enjoying it. But there are a couple of jabs at getting bad reviews too, so for this reason I have to give it a rating of 3/10 (just kidding don't kill me).

The DMOD isn't perfect of course. None of the NPC's react to being hit, and most non-story related things can't be examined, but this is likely a matter of personal preference as I tend to go over everything meticulously. There is one instance near the beginning where you're told to find something new after having already explored the whole area, without any real hints, but otherwise things keep moving.

Unfortunately I did run into a couple of bugs, but I'm sure these could be fixed with minimal effort. One featured a room in which you must use a pole to shoot targets, where attempting to fire downwards froze the whole game. There is also a puzzle room which is essentially a game of spot-the-difference, but this only appeared as I was exiting the area it was blocking, leaving the puzzle redundant.

But hey, overall, this is a very good DMOD, and I'd recommend it to anybody looking for something new to play!
January 22nd, 2016
v1.00
Score : 9.7 exceptional
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colin
Peasant Male United Kingdom
 
What a great Dmod its a long time since one this good made an appearance.

Great graphics an indepth story line. At times some of the secrets took a time to unravel, You need the herb boots early on or a lot of slow walking will take place. Make sure to build up strength and defense as you will need this to defeat some of the enemies.