Oooo, Look, Another One.

Review by darut1234 on Thursday, July 18th 2013
Click to play Conquest

Conquest is a game created by sportsdude104


I give up.

I've spent the last hour or so trying to play through Conquest. I spent an hour falling through holes and then hitting the refresh button to try it again, wondering as I did why I had to play through the opening sequences every single stupid time I had to do this. I can't even begin to describe to you how much I didn't want to review another game in a row that I couldn't finish, but here we are. I'm done, I refuse to play Conquest for another second.

I should point out here that there seems to be an attitude running around the Sploder forums that needs, I repeat, NEEDS to be adjusted. As I mentioned in my last review, there's a huge backlog of Epic Game Drop games that need to be reviewed before any other games can be reviewed. And it would seem as though all the games that have yet to be reviewed at the moment are games that are too difficult for the reviewers to play through to any meaningful degree. I even saw a comment that said something along the lines of "If people with games to review could release walkthroughs that would be wonderful, because a lot of these games are really difficult."

You know what? Screw that.

I'm absolutely sick of this idea that if a game is too hard, it's somehow the reviewer's fault, and the game for some reason deserves a better player in order to be reviewed. The only time it should be acceptable for a player to be stuck for long periods of time on a single section in a game is if it's a puzzle game, in which case the creator of the game can help the reviewer along, and then the reviewer can judge whether the puzzles were hinted at well enough and they were just not looking at things the right way, or if the answer was legitimately too difficult.

Other than that exception, a reviewer shouldn't have to rely on whoever made the game holding their hand throughout the experience. The reviewer should be able to play through the game on their own and experience it on their own, and the reviewer should feel that they're being presented with a fair challenge, and in this day and age the reviewer should never have to play massive stretches of gameplay all over again. Not to make this an overly dramatic call of revolution, but I think that it's time we step forward and try to change the way games are structured. It's time we start to encourage newer games to adhere to better structure and focus more on avoiding severe annoyance. Basically, it's time for a change.

But that's a topic to be extended another day. For the time being I'm going to make yet another appeal to the people who run the Epic Game Drop. Listen, guys: you can keep repeating this pointless event if you really, really want to, but for God's sake, meet me halfway. If you ever do this again, and if it would break your heart if you didn't do anything to change the "No game left unreviewed" rule or change the method of choosing who's allowed to throw their games into the mix, add in a new rule. One simple rule, that's all I'm asking. And that rule would state, "In order to be included in the Epic Game Drop, a game must first have at least one username in the scoreboards, indicating that the game is, in fact, possible to beat.

Why? Because it's difficult enough to slog through not-very-good games and die repeatedly without constantly meeting the same "No top scores yet" screen that seems to subtly whisper in your ear "You know, there's always a chance that you're fighting a lost cause. There's always the chance that this game is actually impossible, and you're time spent with it is completely wasted. Now, how does that make you feel? Are you having fun with the game yet? Are you having fun yet?" Oh, and there's the added bonus that it might encourage some members to actually play their games before they release them, because I'm not totally sure anyone played Conquest before it was released.

While we're talking new rules - Can we please make one about newer, longer games and reasonable checkpoints? Like, am I the only one who thinks that the addition of checkpoint systems in the more recent game creators on Sploder is an absolute blessing and when properly utilized allows games on this site to become things that they could never be before? Yet they're constantly squandered in games like Conquest, and to me this is the big thing that makes the game so frustrating to play that I couldn't finish it, despite only being three levels.

Here's a sequence I'm talking about: The bit of the game that I played repeatedly requires permission platforming that results in an instant failure of the game if not performed perfectly. There's a big problem with this: Say what you will about the Platformer on Sploder, but the controls aren't great, and trying to be precise when jumping always, ALWAYS feels incredibly sticky. And every time I screw up these sections I'm sent the whole way back to the start. There's no reason why there can't be a checkpoint and a few extra lives before these sections, so why isn't there?

Granted, the lack of checkpoints and frustrating sections aren't the only problem that Conquest has. There's also a trend towards incredibly annoying design and inconsistency. The opening sequence of Level 2 has you trapped in a room with two big Gears and a Thor. Sometimes when you play the game you can safely escape, but sometimes when you start the Thor is pushed right on top of you, making it impossible to move and giving you no option but to kill yourself with the grenades. It's inconsistently designed, and it's not a fun section even when it works. It's annoying to be constantly pushed by the gears when you're trying to escape the room.

To me, Conquest symbolizes the fact that the reviewers of this website really needs to change the way it approaches game reviews. I believe that it's time we push for new standards in game difficulty, push for a better emphasis in game structure, and encourage people to properly play their games through to the end before they release them.