Part 22: Response from the Chrono X story writerI just got a response from the Chrono X story writer on YouTube! I'll break it up as I respond to it.
Hello, I am MMBN Chrono X's story writer. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your review of our game. It was refreshing to see a review that wasn't all about one side (i.e. "THIS GAME RULEZ" or "THIS GAME SUCKZ"). You've brought up many points from a (somewhat) objective point of view which is rare to see in my experience. I'll personally send you a link to demo4(which will contain chapters 1 and 2), that is, if you still wish to interrupt your series' LP once more. Though, I will provide some insight so that maybe hear things from the developers' point of view; I see MaxRock said his bit already.
Objective? My viewpoint can be summed up as "Content that reminds me of MMBN4 sucks, everything else referential to the series is good." It's been a bit surreal to get actual feedback from you guys. Combined with ChibiSoma the GameFAQs writer and Taoto/various other UnderSquare members, it never ceases to amaze me when influential figures from the MMBN fan community show up or get in touch. Lesson: Paying 10 bucks for a SA forums account and being entertaining is great for publicity.
My only real regret with demo3 was that I had not gotten the chance to proofread it before release (as I wasn't part of the team at that point, and therefore, unable to see the game's script). Though, they're fixed now, it's kinda irksome for me to see it. But hey, that's what happens when you arrive late to the party.
I do agree with the cursing, but only in the sense that it's overused in that chapter. I've actually balanced it so that, Lan can curse, but it won't be nearly as frequent, while being more spaced out. You'll see one swear from Lan in that chapter. I still hold BN2 as worse with the whole "Suck Yo Momma's Milk" line. Talk about getting crap past the radar.
Gauss' line "Damn it all to hell!" was certainly out of left field. The airplane in general is probably one of the weirdest parts of the whole series, the infamous Drunken Plane Rap-Off being the perfect example. It's great to hear that you intend to rebalance the cursing, it'd actually be a funny thing to address if you ever include a Humor program or anything else that lets you poke a few jokes.
You mentioned that the beginning batch of viruses are too small (Met and Canodumb being the only encounters in ACDC, while CyclopsW was in VendingMachineComp). We're open to the idea of adding more variety to that beginning segment -- especially me, provided we properly balance the rest of the game first before deciding exactly what virus should be there. It's also worth noting that the virus formations are a bit more varied in demo4. FYI, that WindBoom virus is actually 100% scratch. Any similarities probably come from a theme from another virus, or just a coincidence.
Changing up the virus formations would probably be sufficient to provide the variety. I just felt mind-numbed by seeing the same "3 Mettaurs in a diagonal line" battle or the "Mettaur and 2 CanoDumbs in a diagonal line" battle 90% of the time.
As for the WindBoom virus...100% scratch? You might want to check with your sprite artist for making that claim!
See? Even I could make that sprite!
First dungeon was quite annoying, yes. We intend for the dungeons to be evil, since once you complete them, that's it, they're just extra areas to gain chips. I admit the first dungeon was more of a chore, but, we're open to the idea of making it better. It'd have to have poison clouds and still utilize a FanProg due to story complications, but that's an idea for a contest down the line now that I think about it...
Ah, you're going that route, huh? I love the design philosophy of "Anyone who plays our game is going to be very experienced at MMBN". So keep up the good work with that, if you're going the route of deliberate evil, I recommend speeding up the poison effect since the dungeon itself provides MiniEnergy subchips! That way you add a sense of urgency to the dungeon with a minimal effort.
Honestly, you guys are the first group I've heard to complain about Raven's name. We thought since there existed male navis without the "Man" extension, it would be perfectly fine (Glyde, Colonel, Bass, Serenade, but that last one's gender is up for debate due to a translation goof). Plus, we weighed "Raven" VS. "RavenMan" and we thought Raven sounded better. Changing his name would a be a lower priority, as its easy and also, we haven't garnished any real problems from that name as of yet (majority does seem to be perfectly fine with it).
Ah, the elephant in the room. It's ultimately a subjective opinion, but I think my favorite suggestion was to adopt a StarForce name convention and go with something like Black Raven to help usher in the transition from MMBN to StarForce content. If that's what you guys want to do. I'm willing to embarrass myself in front of the goons to help you guys out, I actually do some writing and roleplaying as side hobbies. I actually was an admin at a Battle Network InvisionFree RP forum years and years ago, but I've moved on to original settings since. Holy shit the stories I could tell people about horrible, horrible characters. The point of this is that nothing good in my experience has ever come from anybody named Raven. Ever read the infamously terrible fanfiction "My Immortal"? Part of the main Mary Sue's name is Raven. Or Ravyn, I forget and have no intention of reading it to double-check.
Most seem to get the notion that because it may involve a certain plot point, the plot may suffer. My theory of why BN4 and 5's story sucked was that the story writer was already done with the series at BN3 (he even said so in an interview), but due to corporate decisions, he had to write a story for more games. This kind of thing can be a bothersome and can ruin a plot entirely (MegaMan X6, anyone?). As such, anything perceived in a sucky game is -- more often than not -- going to receive the notion that it sucks. Just bear in mind that a good story does not stem from the idea, so much as its execution. I just ask that you remain objective about plot ideas and wait to see a more complete product in the future. Who knows, you may even like where the story heads.
Attempting to take the writing of MMBN4/5 and do it well is a mighty undertaking. Executing a plot about souls, darkness, etc. is a path fraught with pitfalls and danger. It's a subject matter difficult to take completely seriously, even from a standpoint that ignores MMBn4/5 completely. I mean, the execution in the main series was so bad that the entire SA forums now has an emoticon (which cost 30 bucks) to express ludicrous, stupid evil: . I'm fond of the term "Regaltarded" as well, but unfortunately I only came up with that after MMBN5. If you can actually make this work, and I have faith in you after you acknowledged how awful the writing for 4/5 was, I will be severely impressed.
Well, that's a bit from my end. Extend my thanks to the users at SomethingAwful forums. I read, and consider your advice, just know this. A lot of what you have mentioned has already been fixed, or something that is valid and is open to be re-thought out later when we're not prioritizing other tasks. Your criticism makes Chrono X feel like an actual game, something WORTH criticizing, and that's what I liked seeing. Glad to see Raven gave you a feeling of catharsis and just general fun; expect more tough bosses like that.
MegaMan games have always been about the gameplay, not the story. That said, the MMBN games put a higher focus on story, and for that they've been dismissed out of hand by many. It's great to know that some of the complaints I had are already addressed. My overall synopsis of the game was "good, but lacking polish". Buffing things up sounds great. It's already a game worth criticizing, although criticism is something you can get from anybody on the internet. Criticism is cheap. A game worth ENJOYING is what I liked to see, in turn. And the thought of fighting more tough bosses makes me giddy. May I humbly suggest the name "BassBS" for the inevitable over-the-top postgame Bass fight?
A couple of notes about the next demo: We had originally intended demo3 to be the final demo before release. We felt anymore than that would be too much of a spoiler into the final game. As such, we tried to go all-out adding in secret bosses, a hidden obtainable gigachip (Hold Z to use), NaviCust, a very small taste of our power-up system (about 5%), and all the chips possible in the demo appear in your pack. This was something missed by your LP, but if you do review it, bear in mind this fact: It was made in 1 hour, the hour before release. Although not buggy, it's lacking a bit in terms of content and polish.
Oh, wow, really? In that case, I'll play demo4 on my own time, but save the LP of it for when the final release comes out. The fact that it sounds like you guys are actually on progress is astonishing.
Because this was planned to be the final, the save system in itself cannot auto-update to demo4 for two reasons. 1) Demo4 fixes, and improves on just about everything demo3 did, things that are possible to do given small resources and time. Fixing bugs with new code meant you can't use the old code's save, so yeah, casualty of improving, I guess. 2) The save system was not made to auto-update, because again, it was planned to be the last until the fans shouted: "MORE!"
I don't mind going through Ch1 again since I get to fight Raven again. It's carrot-and-stick, you know? I'm willing to go through stick to get carrot. Especially with the promise of even more fun.
Not to fear, though, I can easily give you a savefile that starts right before Raven thereby passing ch1. But if you do, note these changes:
-new title screen, and overall cosmetic changes to many areas (especially the Net Area)
Items on pressing Z places
-CX now runs smoother on older comps due to new coding methods.
-Stelar gets a new mug
-The rewards system is actually more identical to real BN games (it's a pain in demo3, let me tell you).
That's all I can think of. Once again, thank you, and good luck with your future endeavors
That all sounds fantastic. The "re-balanced cursing" note made me laugh, I have to admit. Most games in development need to balance things like competition, power levels, strategies, etc., nope we're balancing how much the teen protagonist is swearing here. I eagerly look forward to your future developments!