The Dink Network

Friends Beyond 1

That house has seen better days. From the COTPATD project.
August 25th, 2002
Score : 9.2 exceptional
Peasant He/Him Belgium
When I first played the original FB I was very disappointed. It had nothing interesting in it and I thought it was a bad start for a trilogy. However, this remake sheds a whole new light on the d-mod. It's the perfect romp you might say. Then again, I wouldn't really call it a romp, which will become clear throughout this review.

The map is slightly more decorated than the usual FB map, but still isn't on par with many others. It didn't really disturb me this time around though, but that may be due to the new enemy appearance scripts, which succeeds in filling the screen multiple times. You have a one on four chance of an enemy not appearing on a screen. Unfortunately, this is the origin for a nasty bug which is in the game. Screenlocks are done away with by killing pillbugs. But, if that pillbug happens to be left out due to the random factor you won't be able to get out of the screenlock anymore. I quickly wrote my own 3-line key triggered script to get past it. Next to that, other things I can say about the map is that it's complex and features a lot of height differences, which can be considered a plus in this case. There are also a lot of labyrinths, both in caves and ordinary plains. They're extremely well laid out and require some insight to get through. There are secrets spread out all over the map, but you'll have to look very closely to find them, some are even unnoticable without burning some trees.

The plot is very thin, a strange thing to start a trilogy with, but it succeeds in driving the player to the end. All there is to it, is the introduction of the main bad guy in the trilogy. You don't even get to fight her. There's only one quest and a pretty simple one. The dialogue is scarce and feels as if it shouldn't even be there. The NPCs in town are nothing more than decoration you might say. Overall you shouldn't play this d-mod for the story, but if you wish to play the other parts of the trilogy it's a good start.

On to the graphics then. There are some new graphics in FB1.5 and they're very well done. They consist mostly out of enemies, but there are also some new inventory graphics and decoration. Wesley also added a small technology test to show off a mirror. It's not very fast to mirror things, but as he said it's an interesting idea and it needs some adjustments. As a last graphics example he included a real fade in animation, one which doesn't look bad, but can run a little slowly on older computers.

There's only one thing I can say about the music. It's absolutely gorgeous and sets the mood in every part. The only downside is that the music often stops and there aren't many screens that reset it.
There are only a few new sound effects, but high quality ones. The title screen uses two of these and I must say I really got the idea the theme of the title screen was "water". Sweet!

The difficulty of the d-mod could be rated as medium if you spend your time leveling up and searching for secrets. If you don't do this I predict it can become rather difficult, but only in situations with a screenlock.

So what's the conclusion? This shouldn't be called a romp, but a quest. The map's far too large for a romp and the new graphics aid in placing it out of the category in my opinion.
So, as long as this is called a romp, it will be the best romp so far. I'll review my score if it ever gets promoted to quest, but this is my temporary decision.

MAP : 8.5/10
STORY : 4/10
SOUND : 10/10

OVERALL (Not necessarily an average) : 9.2/10