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So You Want To Be A Knight? Review

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So I want to be a Knight? Sure! Why not? I received my package of all the new games from CollectorVision today and for some reason this was the game that really intrigued me the most so I sat down and played for a good three hours today. Let's get right into this with some bullet points....

 

PROS

  • 6 Different Levels - The majority of them fun to play
  • I like the simplistic look and feel of the game. Graphics were "clean" and looked good.
  • The levels offered a nice variety. Each offered unique gameplay features.
  • Sound FX were good.
  • Packaging and presentation was fantastic!

CONS

  • One life - You Die - Game Over - Start again from the very beginning - Felt like this was the way they got around the game being short.
  • Some of the levels felt unfairly difficult.
  • Once you complete the 6 levels. That's it. You're done.

OK, so let's take this from the top.... I open the box and I'm presented with the quality I've come to expect from CollectorVision...

 

The box looks great. I really like the artwork a lot.

image1.JPGimage2.JPG

 

The label on the cart works just fine...

image3.JPG

 

Same with the instruction manual. Full color. The entire presentation *feels* like a real game you would buy in 1983, and that's one of the main reasons why I will gladly give the homebrew publishers my money! Thank you guys for the top notch work!

image4.JPGimage5.JPG

 

Let's get into the game. I'm presented with the title screen and it asks me "So you want to be a knight?" Of course! Who wouldn't? I've seen the movies, they get all the hot chicks! I'm totally in!

knight_01.jpg

 

The first level I'm told to avoid the rabbits. I'm instantly getting flashbacks of a Monty Python moment, so damn right I'm avoiding these little bastards!

knight_02.jpg

 

The level itself is VERY easy. Grab the treasure, head off the screen. The rabbits don't give too much of a chase, but that's fine. This is level one, and I expect to have the game just give me an idea of what's in store...

knight_03.jpg

 

Level two sounds a bit more dubious...

knight_04.jpg

 

This ended up being my favorite level in the game. A simple maze where the player just needs to turn all the blue squares green, and avoid the two bad guys chucking bones at you. The bad guys patterns are fairly easy to figure out, and after a few plays on this level, it was not hard to master. I will say, though, this level did introduce some difficulty with the player getting around, and very much like Bagman where it was hard to navigate in some spots and the character would get stuck, I quickly gamed around those areas, figured it out, and while it took a few more plays to adjust to this, that's what being a gamer is all about right?

knight_05.jpg

 

Level three's title screen...

knight_06.jpg

 

Again, another very easy level. All you have to do is go from the bottom to the top of the screen and avoid Indiana-Jones like arrows being shot at you. It wasn't very challenging, to be honest. I think I only died a couple of times on this level, but that was due to my own stupidity and the game getting repetitious to the point where I started to not care and made dumb mistakes. (I'll get into that more later...)

knight_07.jpg

 

Now here comes the first of what was a slightly annoying level...

knight_08.jpg

 

While this one wasn't too hard to figure out, and the hidden maze only took me about 10 plays to learn the pattern, the problem was that every time I died, I had to replay EVERYTHING I had all over again just to get to this point. And the game started to get a bit tedious...

knight_09.jpg

 

It's just a blank screen with your character. There's a maze in there somewhere and you just have to find it. When you get about half-way through, a bad guy comes out and makes a beeline for you. If you haven't figured out the next move in the maze, you die. The trial and error here took a bit longer than I would have liked it to take, and some sort of lives system would have really helped. I'm also not sure it's possible to get the treasure chest on this level. Ok, I'm sure it *probably* is, but it just seems so incredibly hard, that I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

knight_10.jpg

 

And now the level that I nearly gave up on...

knight_11.jpg

 

The level starts out pretty simple. You're in the bottom corner, the exit is in the top corner, and some boulders start bouncing down at you...

knight_12.jpg

 

The instructions say "anticipate falling rocks" which implies there is some sort of pattern you could follow to make it to the top without getting hit.

knight_13.jpg

 

But really what happens is that the rocks appear to be totally random, and you can easily avoid them on the bottom level, the middle one is a bit tricker, but the top one is totally impossible. In fact, the only way I made it to the end was pure luck. I couldn't see any real skill or timing that could be used to get by this section. It was only the luck of the programming if a boulder happened to not fall from the sky right on top of me. It probably took me 30-40 tries before I made it out the first time. Keeping in mind I had to replay EVERYTHING else from the first four levels again.

knight_14.jpg

 

Most of the time, though, this is what my experience looked like... Almost to the end, and BAM, a rock fell out of nowhere... Replay entire game all over. *sigh*

knight_15.jpg

 

YAY! I finally made to to the last level!

knight_16.jpg

 

The first time I made it here, I was kind of confused. I think part of it was that the level has a bit of an "unfinished" look to it (note that I only ever made it to this level using an emulator, I didn't get this far on the actual CV hardware so I'm not sure if the emulator was having issues, but I doubt it.) The level came up, I moved just slightly to the right, and I died. Not even sure what happened...

knight_17.jpg

 

After finally making it to this level only about 7 or 8 times total, I figured out that stuff just seems to happen REALLY randomly on this level. The gold appears in random positions each time you get to this level. The red fire(?) tiles disappear and reappear randomly and the black enemies just fly around trying to get you...

knight_18.jpg

 

Again, it was just random luck that one of the times I made it to this level all the gold was clustered right next to each other and I won purely out of luck...

knight_19.jpg

 

Yay! I made it!!! I'm gonna be a Knight and get all the hot chicks!!!! Right?

knight_20.jpg

 

Wait, that's it? Game over??? And it says I'm "hopeless???" I just played your game for three hours! Where's all the hot princesses that want to fight over banging an awesome knight?!?!?!

knight_21.jpg

 

In total over a few play sessions I put in over 100 games. While I was frustrated by some of the game, yes, at no point was I not having fun. In fact, I was driven to keep playing out of the frustration. I WANTED to beat this game!!! I WANTED to be a knight!!! So while Nicolas Campion had me pulling my hair out at several times during the game, I also wanted to keep playing. So he's certainly done something right there.

 

I will say that the game is not perfect. I would have preferred there to be some sort of "lives" system so I wouldn't have to keep playing those levels over and over and over and over and over again. Even my favorite level in the game become monotonous when I was playing it for the 87th time. And levels like the hidden maze, even though I had figured it out and knew the course by heart, just became tedious having to do it over and over.

 

But I get it. I've seen the "one life - game over" tactic used by other designers when they know they have a short game. If I didn't have to keep going back and replaying it, I probably would have finished in half of the time.

 

I think though, instead of prolonging the game due to monotony, and then have it just "end" after six levels, I would have liked to have seen lives added to the game, and then after beating the game, be able to re-play each level, slightly harder or at least just repeat the levels until I ran out of lives. I'm also assuming there is some sort of payoff for collecting the treasure chest in each level. I wanted to do this, really, but after being frustrated with having to replay everything over and over, I just couldn't be bothered to try. Some of the chests seemed nearly impossible to get and when you've only got ONE SHOT on an already nearly impossible level, the unknown bonus just isn't worth it.

 

None of the levels I felt were "bad" by any means. But some of them became more frustrating when I would die instantly, and then have to replay EVERYTHING again just to get back to the spot I left off from. Had I been able to play that hidden maze or the boulders level 3 or 4 times in a row, it wouldn't have made the game seem as frustrating or monotonous.

 

Overall, I had a good time playing the game. It will sit nicely on my shelf of other homebrews looking very pretty and I will absolutely play again.

 

My final score: 70%

 

Thank you Nicolas for a fun, yet frustrating evening! =)

 

To purchase "So You Want To Be A Knight?" visit the CollectorVision page: http://www.collectorvision.com/index2.htm

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Another great review with ample screenshots... Thanks!

 

While it's all about playing these games on real hardware, this is exactly the type of game that lends itself to being played via an emulator that offers savestates. I know it's in a way cheating, but to have a savestate starting at each individual level eliminates all that frustration of having to start over when you lose your one and only life and therefore have to start the game over from the very beginning.

 

Looking forward to further reviews... especially Starship Defense Force.

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Another great review with ample screenshots... Thanks!

 

While it's all about playing these games on real hardware, this is exactly the type of game that lends itself to being played via an emulator that offers savestates. I know it's in a way cheating, but to have a savestate starting at each individual level eliminates all that frustration of having to start over when you lose your one and only life and therefore have to start the game over from the very beginning.

 

Looking forward to further reviews... especially Starship Defense Force.

 

You're welcome! The only reason I was playing this on an emulator for the majority of the time is that I broke my ankle last week and I'm kind of stuck in bed resting it, so it was easier for me to play on my laptop than where my actual CV hardware is. I actually didn't know about savestates on emulators! That would have come in very handy! I used Nanochess' new CoolCV to play, which I don't think supports any save features, but worked AWESOME. Not sure if Mugrat had savestates either.

 

Also, using the emulator makes it easier to take screen shots while I play!

 

Either way, glad you liked the review! I do like writing them. I may do Zanac next...

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You're welcome! The only reason I was playing this on an emulator for the majority of the time is that I broke my ankle last week and I'm kind of stuck in bed resting it, so it was easier for me to play on my laptop than where my actual CV hardware is. I actually didn't know about savestates on emulators! That would have come in very handy! I used Nanochess' new CoolCV to play, which I don't think supports any save features, but worked AWESOME. Not sure if Mugrat had savestates either.

 

Also, using the emulator makes it easier to take screen shots while I play!

 

Either way, glad you liked the review! I do like writing them. I may do Zanac next...

 

 

coolcv supports save states

 

 

Press Fn-F1 to save snapshot (saved in /var/tmp/coolcv_snapshot.bin)

Press Fn-F2 to restore snapshot.

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coolcv supports save states

 

 

Press Fn-F1 to save snapshot (saved in /var/tmp/coolcv_snapshot.bin)

Press Fn-F2 to restore snapshot.

 

Damn! I read that in the readme and I just assumed it was for taking a screenshot. Didn't even notice the .bin in the snapshot.bin file! Oh well, maybe next time. Although I do kind of like paying a game a it was meant to be played when doing a review. But this is still good to know!

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Thanks for this excellent review. I understand your criticisms, especially about lack of lives. I've only respected the spirit of "Le baroudeur", the game which has been the inspiration.

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^ Fully understood. And like I said, any criticisms didn't stop me from enjoying the game! :)

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Was considering picking this one up...Is there no scoring system? As far as I can tell its a time/rank thing instead of points? Just curious...

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Was considering picking this one up...Is there no scoring system? As far as I can tell its a time/rank thing instead of points? Just curious...

Nope. Just finished it again to double check and yeah, just a time/rank thing....

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 16.41.46.png

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I got around to playing this recently and am extremely dissapointed in the controls . It is very hard to make turns . I have even tried different controllers including a perfect working Atari joystick . I think the game is great and that is why I am dissapointed in the horrible controls . Issues that are similiar but different like in Bagman . And if I remember correctly it is the same programmer . In no way am I bashing this game but for future releases by him this should be something to address . Again , seems to be a great game with horrible controls .

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Issues that are similiar but different like in Bagman . And if I remember correctly it is the same programmer .

 

Different programmer. Although I didn't have any issues with the controls. FWIW, I was using either an NES controller modified for CV or my keyboard arrow controls when I played.

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I got around to playing this recently and am extremely dissapointed in the controls . It is very hard to make turns . I have even tried different controllers including a perfect working Atari joystick . I think the game is great and that is why I am dissapointed in the horrible controls . Issues that are similiar but different like in Bagman . And if I remember correctly it is the same programmer . In no way am I bashing this game but for future releases by him this should be something to address . Again , seems to be a great game with horrible controls .

 

I understand your critic. To confess, for this game and for my two first games, I haven't proceed not enough beta testing. I made the same error as the videogame "The Smurfs" for 16 bits consoles : this a really difficult game because devellopers haven't made beta testing from young players. Since, I decided to point out beta testing for my two next games, "Quatre" and "Burning Disc". Okay I admit I made this decision because these games feature a two player mode. Then, I'm sorry, I've shoud take on board this part.

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I understand your critic. To confess, for this game and for my two first games, I haven't proceed not enough beta testing. I made the same error as the videogame "The Smurfs" for 16 bits consoles : this a really difficult game because devellopers haven't made beta testing from young players. Since, I decided to point out beta testing for my two next games, "Quatre" and "Burning Disc". Okay I admit I made this decision because these games feature a two player mode. Then, I'm sorry, I've shoud take on board this part.

Bugs N Bots was also hard to get up and off the ladders , was this one of them that wasn't much tested ? Bugs N Bots is a great game and I felt the control flaws in that aren't near as bad as So You Want To Be A Knight . But I do remember people mentioning the ladder issues in that game . Bug N Bots is still very playable compared to this and I encourage people to buy it . And I encourage more Beta testing in the future :grin: I could possibly test games if you are ever looking for a tester . Thanks for your hard work though in programming these games !

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Beta Testing....it is the well known strong point of game published by CollectorVision ... :grin:

 

Sorry for bashing... but it is really a point where CollectorVision should work on before publishing a game ...

 

To have published games with CollectorVision and Teampixelboy .... the difference in term of Beta Testing phase is so huge between the 2 publishers.

 

Collectorvision should take a training at Teampixelboy school! :)

 

aside that, personnaly i have no issue at all with Bug N Bots , i do not have the other one unfortunnaly.

Edited by youki
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this school will be close in 2016 😢 maybe luc will have a lot of free time and beta test game

 

or he will change his mind and continue to publish game for the colecovision

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Spunky Supercar! have been played by several people before it been released. I got good suggestions and some caught some bugs in that game. Otherwise, there would be just 2 difficult settings and a blue screen after the 3rd level because I accidentally forget turned on the screen between level load. Just don't be afraid to ask for beta tester. There's good trust worthy people in the scene that willing to help.

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game need to be beta tested by multiple players because we play different way and with different controller and system ....

 

beta test take lot of time.... programmer start to be fed up to correct bugs and make change...the more you play the games more you want changes and addon than someone take the decision we go with that version.... programmers or publisher ?

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game need to be beta tested by multiple players because we play different way and with different controller and system ....

 

beta test take lot of time.... programmer start to be fed up to correct bugs and make change...the more you play the games more you want changes and addon than someone take the decision we go with that version.... programmers or publisher ?

 

Programmer is not enough to beta test . I spent hours playing and testing my games. But as soon as somebody else play the game you can be sure it will raise issues , because you never think that a player could do that!

 

Feedback from player are really good. Even if it is hard to find an agreement sometimes... some will find a game too fast, others will find the same game to slow... it is very subjective. But if 90% of people say you that your game is bad.... i think you can trust them. :)

 

For me the publisher should be responsible for the beta testing. He can "hire" people to do it ... but he is responsible for the quality of published games.

 

But serious beta testing consume lot of time. And honestly i have been very impressed how much Teampixelboy invested in beta testing. Sometimes i would even say it is too much for an home-brew....

 

I remember when TeamPixelBoy discovered the Easter Eggs in Battle of Hoth , he reproached me hard that i didn't say there was one. Because if he did not have discovered it , he wouldn't be able to test it!!!.

 

Since when you talk about "easter eggs" to a publisher?.. that's the base principle of easter eggs to be hidden to publisher!!.. lol..

 

But It is a proof of the quality of beta testing that they have found it without my help!!!

Edited by youki

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To be fair, as someone who spent a lot of time working on commercial games, I have seen many homebrews that are far less buggy and feel more polished than games released to retail shelves. I cannot tell you how many times we had an executive producer tell us "So that game you're working on...the one that's about 90% done...yeah, we are going to release the latest version...don't worry, we'll patch it later...but we gotta make our dates and keep the stock holders happy!" And then the game would come out, get horrible reviews, bomb at the retail level, and the team that worked on the title just wasted the last 18 months of their lives. Crap like that happened all the time.

 

Now I'm not excusing buggy product to go out the door from homebrewers or anyone else, I'm just saying that the overall quality of what I've seen from this homebrew community has far exceeded my expectations from all the games I've played. And if I'm correct, aren't most of the people who are working on these games, especially the beta testers doing it mostly as volunteer work for maybe a copy of the game? To me, that's dedication!

 

I look at some of the homebrew games I've played recently that were coded from the ground up: Boxxle, Bagman, So You Want To Be A Knight, Starship Defense Force, Mr. Turtle, etc, and they all exceeded my expectations in terms of quality assurance goes. Could they have been better? I mean, sure...maybe, some of them more than others, but just about every game can. And I thoroughly enjoyed playing every one of them, and to me, that's what matters most.

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The Coleco has a LOT of Homebrews now, it has more complete in box homebrew releases than any other system, it might even have more homebrew releases than commercial games now, lol.

 

The point I'm getting at is when a system has this many homebrew releases, people become a lot more critical of its released homebrews. You don't have as many people just buying them all (as it would be hard to afford) and you get a lot more people buying to actually play them....at $50-$70 you have to deliver a damn good game when there is a lot of competition :)

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