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Storymode Thoughts (SPOILERS)

bibliodragon

Mashing the buttons!
Backers' Beta Tester
Jul 7, 2016
56
190
Was getting down some thoughts on storymode, and it’s a bit too much word vomit for Discord so I’m putting it here.

TFH is the first time in a long time I have played a fighting game (more of a platformer/shooter gal). Still not brave enough to fight real people, but I’ve been plugging away in the arcade, saltmines, and the tutorials (which are an absolute godsend! And also funny. Oleander is best ungulate). I’ve gotten to the stage with Oleander where she’ll do something and around 70 percent of the time that was on purpose, with Velvet around 50 percent, but the other characters have taken a backseat.

Arizona, well, she’s no Pom (Pom-mains=witchcraft!), but she’s never been one I’ve spent a lot of time on. It’s the lasso. You can only take so many lasso whiffs. So getting forced to play as Arizona for storymode, my initial thoughts were I’m going to have a bad time.

I was feeling brave so hit intermediate difficulty, fully prepared to drop down if button mashing proved to be a failure. But this was just right, with the boss fights providing a challenge but not an insurmountable one. It felt similar to Ori and the Will of the Wisps: OMG how the f**k am I going to beat THAT! But after a bit of flailing around and, admittedly, a few failures, you can work out their patterns and what you need to do.

By the end of Arizona’s chapter, I had gone from stumbling about and taking constant hits to the face to blocking and pulling off actual lasso grabs pretty reliably.

Wolf/snek/panther/bear are familiar from arcade and saltmines, so I knew their ways and what fighting types they are teaching you to counter. The new thing here was learning to react as Arizona. But storymode brings a new challenger: bird. This guy is a jerk! Flapping around, thinking he’s so big, pecking you in the face! But I was so ridiculously proud of myself for figuring out this guy’s deal and anti-airing him in the beak!

Outside of the fighting, the overworld is a lot of fun to wander around, speak to NPCs, and find secrets (What is the deal with mystery cave cow? Why does Arizona hate bananas? Will Velvet and Vixen just kiss already?). Only disappointment was all those pots in the Alpake Highlands which just refused to be smashed.

The main cast interactions are super super charming. The combo of those expressive portraits, the adorable little sprite actions, the beeps that actually sound like the characters(!) and sharp dialogue is something really special (PUMPKIN SPICE!?!). Of course the big star here is Arizona as it’s her chapter. I’ll admit she was never my favourite, losing out to Oleander (and Fred) and Velvet in sheer audacity, though next to Pom was always most sympathetic. But she shines in the spotlight here. I can tell Mane6 had a lot of fun with her dialogue. That Fight Club moment facing off against a sudden crowd of demonic predators was where I decided ‘yep. I like her.’

Only slight frustration is with those long jump platform sections. Those jumps are really difficult to pull off on a keyboard. I have to use both hands to hit the arrow keys and pray. Long jump platforms + birds that knock you back to the start = you guys are mean!

But I’ve loaded it up again, this time on Experienced to keep me busy until Velvet’s storymode drops. And maybe I’ll figure out how to land air lassos.

(Also special shoutout to the godly art, animation and music! It’s just all so…pretty, and makes it a joy to play. Even when Velvet’s tornado of doom has iced me in the face yet again)

TLDR: Storymode fun, jumping hard, looking forward to part 2! Excellent job guys!
 

Tribble

Backers' Beta Tester
Backers' Beta Tester
Feb 4, 2016
136
218
Germany
I agree. I had a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed fighting the different predators and figuring out strategies. I chickened out at the Velvet fight and switched to Beginner, but now that I've finished my first run, it only makes me want to try at Intermediate again. I feel like I'm finally starting to get better at being able to pull off the combos I can do in training mode in actual combat, and now that I know the story, it actually sounds quite fun to get stuck at fights for longer and test my limits. And honestly, I like the jumping sections because I know I'm bad at hops and high jumps, but they are so boring to practice in training mode.

That bit at the end with Fred makes me want to find the secrets I missed even more. :D

Definitely super excited for the upcoming chapters and learning more about the characters. I felt like wanting to screencap half the game because I was enjoying everything so much. Just a tiny bit scared of having to play as Velvet next...

Will Velvet and Vixen just kiss already?).
Haha yes. Definitely a couple of new ships on the horizon...
 
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MSTieScott

Backers' Beta Tester
Backers' Beta Tester
May 13, 2016
30
56
Spoilers are okay in this thread? Excellent.

I spent a good number of hours today playing through Chapter 1 in intermediate mode. The description of which players intermediate mode is for most accurately described me, and I think it presented the right balance of a not-too-easy/not-too-difficult challenge. (Though in the moment, I may have felt differently during the section-ending boss fights. But my reflexes are never going to be honed enough to react properly for advanced fighting techniques -- by the time I see an exclamation mark and know that I should react to it, I've already been hit -- so it takes me some effort to remind myself not to panic and start button mashing.)

I had been wondering how a game with six fighters and a handful of non-playable predators could deliver a full-length story mode. Now I understand. And I like it! I spent my sweet time wandering all around the maps, interacting with any character I could, trying to read every line of dialogue before inadvertently advancing the plot. A couple of times, it took several more seconds than usual before I could continue because I was too busy laughing. My two biggest laugh-out-loud moments: Paprika's silhouette during the prologue and the revelation of the accuracy of the name the alpaca gave the cave.

(I also enjoyed the density of jokes in the museum. I suspect there were at least a couple of references to specific paintings that went over my head. And boy... between fighting for survival and seeing Reine's art, Arizona sure is growing up quickly during this journey.)

When the story began with a lesson in how to jump (cleverly interwoven, I must say), I thought that all of the game's mechanics would be explained as the early story progressed. But a new player who jumps in by playing story mode first won't have a good experience -- unless they simply experiment mid-fight (or open the moves list from the start menu), they won't learn the strength buttons, magic system, or special moves. If I had been a new customer, I would have started with story mode, and I would have been a little upset to have to take a break from that to go over to the tutorial in order to better get my bearings.

To that end, the platforming section of the climb up the Huacaya Mountains felt unnecessarily challenging, as it occurred well after the time for tutorials had passed. My left thumb was already sore from playing too much, and being forced to perform a series of less-than-forgiving super jumps started to get on my nerves. Unless that was supposed to be a subtle hint that I should have been using super jumps to fight the final bird?

The developers may also want to make it easier for users to know they have the option of skipping long stretches of dialogue when they restart boss fights. It took me four or five impatient passes through the entirety of Velvet's conversation before I discovered that option in the start menu.

On the whole, I enjoyed the game and will eagerly await future chapters. The characters are interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing the plot develop as all of them search for the key. I know there have been a lot of struggles and unexpected delays, but the care and passion that have been poured into this game shine through.

(One question: During the third round of the Oleander boss fight when she starts hovering and throwing fireballs at you, is it possible to even hit her? Or is that one of those situations where the player is forced to lose in order for the story to advance?)
 
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Tribble

Backers' Beta Tester
Backers' Beta Tester
Feb 4, 2016
136
218
Germany
One question: During the third round of the Oleander boss fight when she starts hovering and throwing fireballs at you, is it possible to even hit her? Or is that one of those situations where the player is forced to lose in order for the story to advance?)
It's possible to beat her (as demonstrated on Saturday's FightingFoenatic twitch stream), but it doesn't change the outcome, just adds a bit of fun extra dialogue.
 

Tunnel_Rhino526

Backers' Beta Tester
Backers' Beta Tester
Feb 6, 2016
54
101
Story Mode was a blast, but if there's something to critique about, Chapter III felt short. It had some of my favorite moments in Arizona's story mode like the battle with Paprika and the climb up the mountain while fighting the eagles once I got the hang of both of them, but those moments along with one short side quest were basically the only things Chapter III consisted of with only several NPCs to interact with. I would like to ask for some additional content to beef up the chapter, but I think that would just delay work on Velvet's chapters. Another critique would be the final collectible in the temple is a serious guide dang it moment (I think it has something to do with which rooms have torches lit or not), even with the recently added hint.


(Also, when will Flappy be fightable in the Salt Mines?)
 

Snake

Crowdfund Backer
Crowdfund Backer
Dec 16, 2016
1
0
I Just want to say, that while I enjoyed the story mode immensely and just glad it wasn't just like every other story mode in fighting games, and gave a good way to practice some basic fighting game tactics, Oleander's fight at the end gave me some hell EVEN ON THE 2ND EASIEST DIFFICULTY! While it only took me a little while to get through her first 2 phases and end the story, it took me 4 hours of constant trying and strategizing to finally beat her 3rd round! Don't believe me? go check out my stream replay on my channel Omega Snake on Youtube! I don't mind that she was hard, she was the final boss, but I do think she needs to be toned down just a little.
 

<|:n0n4m3:|>

latest of the late
May 31, 2019
21
8
I’m just curious about the 2 Longma balls you can get, like if they affect how some of the rest of the story goes, since Fred and Oleander made it seem super important.
 

Someoneman

Crowdfund Backer
Crowdfund Backer
Feb 3, 2016
77
170
During Velvet's second and third phases, how am I supposed to block her projectiles without losing all the distance I closed towards her?
 

MSTieScott

Backers' Beta Tester
Backers' Beta Tester
May 13, 2016
30
56
During Velvet's second and third phases, how am I supposed to block her projectiles without losing all the distance I closed towards her?
My experience was to accept that you're going to lose some ground every time you dodge/block the ice. But anytime she's not attacking, keep holding that stick/D-pad forward once you start dashing, and you should be able to reach her after about three of her attacks.

That's what worked for me -- I don't know whether there's a more efficient way of defeating her.
 

Tribble

Backers' Beta Tester
Backers' Beta Tester
Feb 4, 2016
136
218
Germany
I also used all my magic meter for magic dashes (they are invincible), and I misused my supers as a way to close the distance even if I knew I wouldn't hit her.
 
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<|:n0n4m3:|>

latest of the late
May 31, 2019
21
8
I actually really liked Stronghoof. He’s a pretty cool guy and he’s not snobbish and rude like most of the other Reine citizens. That’s what I like about him. He’s probably one of my favorite characters
 
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