91 people found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 21.3 hrs on record
Posted: Jan 14, 2016 @ 7:15pm
Updated: Jan 20, 2017 @ 10:38pm

Edit: A year later and the game is still missing basic features, never got promised fixes, and seems to be abandonware. I guess I gave the developer too much credit in trying to fix this game. Avoid purchasing, unless it's on sale for a dollar - even then don't forget about steam refunds.

Edit: Steam has a character limit for reviews and comments! I've pasted the current text along with my afterthoughts into a pastebin. You can get the full review here: http://pastebin.com/zV605pj9

Where to begin? Well, lets start by adressing what actually worked for this game:

The music in the game is actually really nice, though there are some issues with volume (such as overworld to town stuff or other places suddenly gets much louder) and some repetition in the music. Wish there were some more actual songs in the game, but what's there already is pretty nice.

There's an attempt at storytelling, and there's quite a bit of dialog. Unfortunately, this comes coupled with the inability to push a button to advance text and as such you're stuck waiting for the game to show you the next line of text. A button press to make the dialog was desperately needed. Another blemish is the coupling of character details inside of storytelling (Such as when you meet a new character the game tells you how to play them, but doesn't actually let you do it while it's telling you that. Show, don't tell.) The game also does not allow you to try playing the character when you get them, instead you must walk to a waypoint to be able to change characters.

Now, let's get to the bad stuff.

HOLY CRAP that load time. I don't have the best computer in the world, but it's certainly not a toaster. The game takes on average a minute to load. That's bad, but not too terrible, until you take that into consideration with the staggering amount of game-crashing glitches you can run into, but more on that in a minute.

A really, really trivial complaint is the title card for the Dream Within logo, it just looks silly, flashing it's name skewed-screen several times before finally coming to a stop. It's not really a problem but I thought it looked strange. On occasion, the game failed to even display that and chose to just give me a retina-burning white glaring screen.

Now, getting into more serious concerns, one of the main selling points is a "Four-Player" cooperative game. While the game does allow you to do this, it feels like cooperative gameplay was an afterthought in the end. The character choices are wide and diverse but unfortunately there are real stinkers in the selection. One such character is Valos. A fast character, capable of dispatching foes with ease and traversing the terrain quickly. Unfortunately getting hit causes a lot of knockback, noticeably more than other characters. The lack of acceleration in the character means you're going from zero to sixty right when you hit the button and whoever's playing that character will be slamming into everything, or flying out into pits. Another character that's not fun to play as is Cenendra. She comes with an invisibility cloak that allows her to avoid getting hit, but unfortunately she is unable to really contribute in any meaningful way during her invisibility. So, using her puts the player at a disadvantage of having an ability that makes you useless to a team contribution when it's in effect.

Now, I understand that there are upgrades coming to the characters but for out-of-the-box, these characters are not fun to play and are detrimental to the game's cooperative gameplay experience. In the co-op game I had with my friends they opted to avoiding the noted above characters because of how bad they are in comparison to the others. It would have been nice to be able to play "Thomas Clones" of pallet swaps, allowing everyone to have the basic character.

On the subject of character selection, you're stuck playing one character between waypoints, having to go back to a checkpoint to save and check characters (and to change game options too, you cannot just pause and change settings which is really strange.) With so many characters available and them supposedly remaining with you during your travel, it's disappointing that you cannot just pause the game and switch characters ala Little Samson. This would have presented some interesting gameplay mechanics of being able to use certain characters to handle specific situations. A missed opportunity there.

One of the core issues with the game though are the game-breaking or game-crashing glitches. On several occasions I and my friends had been thrown back to the desktop with an error message, forcing us to lose our progress (and before you go "You should have saved more often" the crashes happen between waypoints so there's no way you can save between them) and start from square one again. Not fun. Add that into the long load time and everyone's got plenty of time to get a drink or use the bathroom, waiting for the game to turn back on. Some more interesting glitches occur that do not crash the game, but enter into soft locking. I entered into a small building with Reize and Lily standing near a counter of some kind and accidentally paused the game. When I unpaused, everyone had left and I couldn't do anything! I couldn't pause, couldn't unpause or even close the game. Everyone got up and left and I had to Ctrl+Alt+Del to close the game (And yet again, wait through a long load time.) Another crash occured during a dream-sequence with a space-shooting game, crashing back to the desktop.

Going onto trivial stuff, the graphics are just... bad. I understand it's supposed to be retro, but when the sprites look like they're ripped and edited from different source material, the backgrounds look like low quality photograph jpegs taken with a cellphone and the character/enemy sprites look like MS Paint they clash heavily with one another and it detracts from the overall appeal. Enemy sprites are lazy, and enemies themselves look like barely recognizable green blobs. The silouhettes for them don't work making fights with actually dangerous enemies (like the bomb throwers) a cluster♥♥♥♥ because you can't immediately spot them. Larger enemies are hilariously bad, they jiggle and pulsate adding more to that "blob" look, and the big green guys don't even look like they were actually finished (the sprite below the head just goes to darkness/blackness, it looks like he's wearing a body suit.) One of the bosses was a common enemy just stretched to be huge, but it looked like a pixelated mess. Graphics are a minor issue but it hurts the "retro" appeal when the graphics are so inconsistent and boring.

All in all, I can see that there's some effort in the game but it seems like there should have been some feedback from outsiders allowed into the game during it's development cycle. A single dev can make a game but playtesting and feedback from a community does nothing but help. It *might* be worth around as much as an apple or android app (roughly two to three dollars) but the fifteen dollar price tag (even with the 33% discount at the time of writing) is simply too high for the quality of this game. Keep an eye on it, avoid buying it until it goes on sale, and even then only if the dev actually makes an attempt to fix some of the major issues with the game. That being said, I do intend to finish the game with Co-op as best we're able, and feedback and whatnot will most likely be provided in the community hub discussion pages for this game.


Afterthoughts: Having finished the game I have written in my final thoughts on the game. Steam has a character limit for reviews and replies, but you can read the whole thing here: http://pastebin.com/zV605pj9

tl;dr:

Good music
Bad game
Dont give up, dev.

Playthrough video is available here for you to watch and judge for yourself if you're curious.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TBpwLHXEIA
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19 Comments
ReallyMadHobo Apr 4, 2017 @ 5:33pm 
@Rock can you shut up already? you're not helping yourself.
Employee 427 May 8, 2016 @ 8:20pm 
This developer is hilarious
Sylveon May 8, 2016 @ 5:46am 
Strange how he doesn't reply now...
May 8, 2016 @ 3:01am 
Rock, you suck.
O'Rayan May 8, 2016 @ 2:29am 
Rock admitted on his hidden Twitter profile that he's making these fake accounts. He admitted he's trying to discredit negative reviews:
https://twitter.com/RockNickRidgway
Mjollner May 7, 2016 @ 11:37pm 
Wow, I just saw this comment thread, the developer is trying to do the same thing to me, claiming that I am you. Coincidentally, the twitter accounts have started being made again "harassing" him to try and discredit my legitimate review.
Drak Apr 15, 2016 @ 12:26pm 
@Kitty did you even play the game?
Kitty Apr 14, 2016 @ 3:54pm 
this is a very excellent game. i love the old school style. i dont see the problem :)
SNIVY BOI Apr 13, 2016 @ 4:08am 
Aaand he banned me from community discussions because of that negative comment. Really mature, dev.

You're saying that every single negative review is written by Drak and every single person that didn't like your game is a troll. You can't handle criticism, simple as that. Quit acting like a manchild.
SNIVY BOI Apr 12, 2016 @ 2:38pm 
Also, the dev constantly deletes my negative comment about his game, so i don't think he's "all ears", "honest", "kind" or "down to earth".

Deleting comments won't make the game any better.