We've removed ads and are looking to Patreon to secure revenue so we can grow. Please pledge support today!
Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All

Forums > Submission Feedback > JANUS2's A Fading Melody (XNA) review

This thread is in response to a review for A Fading Melody on the Xbox 360. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

Additional Messages (Groups of 25)

[01] [02]

Add a new post within this thread...

board icon
Author: Lewis
Posted: June 15, 2009 (01:51 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

I bought it. You made me buy it. You awful human.

So far: nnnggg.

I want to like it. It's stupidly beautiful. I love the haunting, ethereal aesthetic to the whole thing: the silhouettes, the piano music, the snow. A few things are standing in its way.

The presentation is Braid. Simple as. Running past the narrative fragments embedded into the world, written in the same font as Braid... I dunno, it seems to assume the story is why Braid worked, when it's not. It's what lifted it from "very, very good" to "absolutely brilliant" but Braid worked because of the game. The time mechanics, the gorgeous simplicity of the actual platforming bits, how forgiving it was if you just wanted to get on with stuff... those were the secrets to Braid's success. The poetry was just a welcome extra.

A Fading Melody is woefully unforgiving. The checkpointing is just horrible. There is no fun to be had in repeating the same five-minute section again and again because it's placed a really fucking nasty difficult bit right at the end of a segment, with relatively tricky bits at the start and end, so you can slip up at any point, right up until the finale, and have to go right the way back. Fundamental rule of checkpoint design, man: place them before the most difficult bits. I can do all the bits before that! Stop making me do those bits again only to slip up at the end! Especially awful just now was a bit that introduced a new control mechanic before a checkpoint. BEFORE A CHECKPOINT. NO. YOU DO THAT AT THE START OF THE NEXT BIT, AND LET ME FUCKING LEARN IT WITHOUT PUNISHING ME.

Eugh.

The story seems interesting. It's going to have to get really bloody good for me to put up with how frustrating it all is. It seems to throw too many difficulty elements into the mix. You're always against an enemy-killing time limit. The checkpoints are too far apart. The platforms are brutal. It's like I imagine Spelunky would feel if it weren't procedurally generated. It's just horrifically tough, and, y'know, why am I playing this? It's marketed as a story. I wanna discover the bloody story, not play the first few minutes of it over and over again.

I'll stick with it. I believe you that it's good. It's just not doing itself any favours so far.


Not sure how to make a sig? While logged into your account, you can edit it and your other public and private information from the Settings page.


board icon
Author: JANUS2
Posted: June 15, 2009 (02:13 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Haha, I had a feeling you would disagree with me.

I dunno, it seems to assume the story is why Braid worked, when it's not.

Actually, it addresses the issue that I had with Braid, which is that the story and the gameplay were entirely unconnected. The designer also seems to share this view (based on his blog). If you're going to do story + platformer then make the plot relevant. I don't want to treat the two as separate, which is what Braid forces you to do (aside from one notable section).

A Fading Melody is woefully unforgiving.

This is true. In my review I said that it can be an unforgiving experience and that only those who don't have the patience to play such a challenging platformer should think twice before buying it. I don't think I disguise the fact that the game is hard (e.g. "Being asking to nail improbable jumps across ridiculously wide gaps is something that few “professional” developers would do.").

Fundamental rule of checkpoint design...

Says who?

Personally, all those things you say about the challenge are reasons why I LIKE the game! Honestly, if I could have finished A Fading Melody in fifteen minutes then it would have been such a hollow experience. If it followed all the rules then it may have been smoother and it may have been easier, but it would have been boring. Yes, I found it frustrating at times, but I enjoyed the way it tested my platforming skills in a way that games just don't do any more. I saw it as a modern throwback to Ghouls N Ghosts and Castlevania (these games are recognised as "great" and yet were far, far more stingy when it came to checkpoints). A Fading Melody is nowhere near as hard as the toughest "golden age" platformers, or even Megaman 9 (to use a modern example). I completed it over three days. Its approach is unconventional, tricky and sometimes very frustrating, but each level has three or four checkpoints and there were no sections that bothered me for more than ten minutes.

Anyway, I had a feeling you wouldn't like it as much as me. All I hope is that you don't feel I misled you in any way. I tried to be as open as possible regarding the gameplay (I'm glad you like the style - I suspected you would like that bit, at least). I might reiterate the difficulty in the conclusion, though, just to make it absolutely clear that you have to be prepared for a challenge.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


board icon
Author: Lewis
Posted: June 15, 2009 (02:49 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Hey, for a few quid, I'm glad I bought it. I think it's very interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes. I don't feel mislead by anything you said. You portrayed the game pretty accurately.

I think games are probably getting easier (particularly this sort of game) but that's a good thing. I'm the person who plays all his games on the lowest difficulty setting. It's not necessarily because I'm bad at them - I can power through an Expert campaign on L4D - but because, in terms of single-player narrative driven stuff, I don't see how repeatedly stalling the story is sensible. I want it to flow.

Hell, I even thought Vita-Chambers were a good idea.

Braid... hmm. Did it separate the game from the story? It did on a superficial level: you read a bit, then you played a bit. But it's a game about regret, and that manifests through the time mechanics... it's all linked in an abstract way. So far, this feels less integrated if anything... it's just environmental stuff. "Here is my nightmare." A bit like Yumme Nikki. If it has a revalation like that at the end, it might all be worth it.

Cheers for the recommendation, anyway. Whether I end up liking it or hating it, it's one of the more interesting games I've played this month.


Not sure how to make a sig? While logged into your account, you can edit it and your other public and private information from the Settings page.


board icon
Author: JANUS2
Posted: June 15, 2009 (02:56 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

I don't know how far you are, but the revelation is that you learn what happens. I wouldn't get your hopes up for the philosophical "depth" of Braid. And I didn't really enjoy Yume Nikki enough to finish it... hah. I guess I'm just more interested in literal connections than abstract ones (especially when I consider them to be TOO abstract to the extent that they threaten devalue or marginalise the gameplay). But then we obviously go into games looking for different things, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

One day, we will agree on a game... maybe.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


board icon
Author: Lewis
Posted: June 15, 2009 (03:14 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

I don't mind about philosophical depths. Simplicity is fine.

I might agree yet. I'm not very far in. Played for an hour, tops. This is all very much first impression territory, and while I find the game frustrating, I'm actually looking forward to my girlfriend finishing watching Eastenders so I can get back to playing it.

Oh - Yumme Nikki is totally no-fun. It's not enjoyable at all, and a real slog to get through. Once you get to the end, well, things slot into place, and the chores were kinda worth it a bit. It's certainly a fascinating way to design the game: have it not make any fucking sense whatsoever until after you've finished it.


Not sure how to make a sig? While logged into your account, you can edit it and your other public and private information from the Settings page.


board icon
Author: JANUS2
Posted: June 15, 2009 (03:35 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Yeah, I'll probably try to finish it at some point. I don't know what happens (after reading the first paragraph of your review I decided I would read the rest after playing it), so there's still that curiosity factor.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


board icon
Author: Lewis
Posted: June 16, 2009 (03:11 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Was really looking forward to getting back playing this today. Live won't connect. Check on the support site and it's down in the UK for scheduled maintenance. Until tomorrow. At 8am. That's a long maintenance period, and they should fucking work faster.


Not sure how to make a sig? While logged into your account, you can edit it and your other public and private information from the Settings page.


board icon
Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: June 16, 2009 (11:08 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Pretty sure it's down worldwide, Lewis. They've been announcing that today that would be the case for quite some time now.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


board icon
Author: Lewis
Posted: June 16, 2009 (03:41 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Oh I don't pay attention to things.


Not sure how to make a sig? While logged into your account, you can edit it and your other public and private information from the Settings page.


board icon
Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: June 16, 2009 (04:01 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

I don't blame you. I probably wouldn't either if it weren't my self-appointed job, so to speak. I read about it on Kotaku, I think it was, which was referencing some posts on Microsoft's site or something.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than Opinneguind requested its removal.

This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than soovariagsRap requested its removal.

This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than soovariagsRap requested its removal.

This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than soovariagsRap requested its removal.

This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than seedayNeF requested its removal.

This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than seedayNeF requested its removal.

board icon
Author: JANUS2
Posted: June 16, 2010 (10:15 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Thanks seedayNeF


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than seedayNeF requested its removal.

board icon
Author: pickhut
Posted: June 16, 2010 (12:27 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

It's odd how this review is a hit with spam advertisers.


I head spaceshit noises


This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than vystinata requested its removal.

This message was deleted at the request of Genj, the person who originally posted it.

This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than inwadiazy requested its removal.

This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than inwadiazy requested its removal.

board icon
Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 31, 2010 (10:35 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Not spam!

Playing Braid has reminded me that I really need to go back and finish this one. The darkening screen is a stylish mechanic that also feels inextricably linked with the story, whereas for the most part Braid may as well be a Flink knock-off that happens to have "something going on" that I may or may not find out later. It's the difference between a constant versus occasional reminder of something bigger.

Unfortunately, since this is an Indie title, I cannot play it at my house because Indie titles require internet to play, whereas Arcade titles do not.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


board icon
Author: JANUS2
Posted: July 31, 2010 (11:16 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Completely agree. What did you think about the platform gameplay?


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


Additional Messages (Groups of 25)

[01] [02]


Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. A Fading Melody is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to A Fading Melody, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors.