The Dink Network

Eternal Suicide Chapter Zero : Wasted Life

June 7th, 2004
1.00
Score : 6.4 fair
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Tal
Noble Male United States xbox steam
Super Sexy Tal Pal 
As much as Nitronic hyped the coming of the Eternal Suicide saga many moons ago, I looked forward to it with moderate interest. However, many hyped D-Mods never actually see the light of day, so I was admittedly skeptical about Nitronic's promises of D-Mod goodness; I hoped for the best regardless. I was taken by surprise when the first part of the series, Chapter Zero: Wasted Life, was suddenly released mid-2003. I wanted to play it, especially after reading a handful of rave reviews, but I was simply too busy at the time to do so.

Fast forward to June 2004. I have more time than I know what to do with, and I try my best to catch up with all the hot D-Mods released over the months (maybe years) that I have neglected hardcore Dinking. Chapter Zero was one of the first D-Mods I chose to play, and I came across quite a surprise by doing so. Much to my dismay, however, it was an unpleasant surprise... despite all the positive remarks about Wasted Life, I was severely disappointed by it. Nitronic's first D-Mod defies many standards found in the typical D-Mod, and while this is usually fabulous, I'm sorry to say that I was very annoyed.

The game almost entirely scraps exploration and interaction, substituting most of it for numerous cutscenes which attempt to establish the story and characters. Unfortunately, this element of the game falls flat on its face for many reasons. The dialogue is constantly lame, the various sound effects are ridiculous and do not seem to fit well at all, and perhaps most importantly of all, the story is almost incomprehensible. Dink deals justice. Dink pursues slayer thing. Lana is bad. Lava is worse. And the rest is up for interpretation.

In addition, the action - which is basically all you have control over, save two or three barely-decent puzzles - is of mixed quality. The game is so linear that you're practically shoved from one situation to the next, which aggravated me. There is an abundance of clever ideas, such as the lava chase, but a few of them are executed poorly. I can tolerate running back and forth through a dungeon, but it grows tiresome after waiting for unlocked entrances to take their time re-opening over and over again. Despite all this, there is at least one nifty factor to the game: to compensate for all the battling and inevitable bloodshed in the D-Mod, of which there is a lot, your health is replenished each time you choose to save; also, save points appear after most of the fights. Even if you can't survive this game, Dink will.

The visuals are a mixed bag. Most of the new graphics are animated gifs taken from various places online, and it shows; some don't seem to fit well with the Dink world, attractive as they may be. Considering that he probably did little to no graphical work himself, though, Nitronic did a decent job of implementing new objects for variation's sake, and he must be commended for that. The game's sound, on the other hand, isn't very impressive at all. As previously mentioned, many of the sound effects are awkward. Most of the music is irritating as well, though a good tune plays from time to time.

As far as I can see, Nitronic is actually very capable of making a great D-Mod: Chapter Zero's map design is pleasant, scripting seems alright, the bugs were kept to a minimum. With a little more emphasis on exploration and non-linearity, and perhaps some adjustment to the story and characters, Nitronic could release a masterpiece. Sadly, Wasted Life seems more like wasted time... I expected so much more.