[EGD] Lordeldar Writes A Review

Review by lordeldar on Sunday, July 22nd 2018
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Click to play Ryspo

Ryspo is a game created by sto4

Hello everyone who reads this review ;). Probably been a while since you saw my name on the review page because this is my first review on Sploder in more than 4 years (My last review was my editor app in May 2014). This is my 41st review and today I will be reviewing Ryspo by Sto4, which was made for the annual EGD contest. I used to fill these early paragraphs with bad jokes and bash reviews that didn't with Funny Capitalisation like This but I'm past that now, so let’s get straight into it. This is a pretty long game, so expect a long review.


Pre-thoughts

So, every year in July the biggest names drop the best game they possibly can in the name of competition (Or as an excuse to actually put something out). More unknown creators also release games and try to keep up with the big boys and girls, and every year seems to bring a few surprises. Sto is definitely one of the more established creators on the site, having won EGD in 2015 with Nesting Box and being the 12th most featured user on Sploder with 26 features. Ryspo is a platformer, a creator that Sto is very well-versed in. It is also a rework of a game from 2012, which sadly I can't say I have any recollection of playing. Sto has said that not much of this remake resembles the original game however and given Sto's past I am expecting something great from Ryspo.


Review

My first impression of Ryspo is that the game has a very strong adventure feel. The game combines scenery (Which I will get onto later) with gameplay that makes you feel like you are going on some kind of epic adventure. The gameplay in the early levels is enjoyable and allows you to go at your own pace, with the levels feeling open and free. There are few puzzles to talk about that will slow you down and to be honest with you, I don't mind a lack of puzzles in a game like this. The early levels make creative use of switches the create fight scenes which force you to stick around in a certain area. This was a welcome touch, although towards the end of level 2 there is a long fight like this in which enemies would often land on my head and completely obliterate me, something which I felt to be rather inconvenient and often resulted in my losing lives quickly.


After the early levels strap you in and let you know what kind of ride you're in for, we have a water level. I know what you're thinking, "Oh gross water levels I hate those" but Sto actually does a very good job in my opinion. The water levels were enjoyable to play and featured more creative fight sequences, as well as still giving that adventure feel from the earlier levels. I'm not really sure how you're meant to beat the boss in level 5 and I think I cheesed it if I'm honest, but it was a cool touch to have a boss battle underwater.


For me, level 6 onwards is when the game really gets going. The early levels were very strong, but the next few levels just ramped up the game to a whole other level for me. Hoverships are something that are generally underused in platformers because people have never really seemed to be able to find good use for them (And of course, because I never finished Dystopia). Sto changes this in Ryspo. If there is one part of the game you absolutely NEED to experience, it's flying through levels 6 and 7 (There are checkpoints on the mrtwig4444 account so you have no excuse). Using your hovership to clear the way and progress further was a very innovative and unique idea that really sets Ryspo apart from other platformers, and while I was playing these levels the term "EGL" was honestly ~flying~ through my head.


Sadly, the later levels of the game feel like a slight drop off. While the bosses continue to keep up the level of the previous levels, unfortunately the gameplay levels feel a tad underwhelming. While Sto has improved level 9 since I played this game on release, I have never been that keen on this kind of platforming. The jumps may have been made smaller, but it cheapens the idea behind the level for me because of that. Level 9 still has the adventure feel for me, but the whole jumping from platform to platform (Or tree to tree in this case) thing feels a bit like Sto was beginning to run out of steam before the end. After a boss we reach level 11, which is the weakest level of the entire game for me. I was never able to beat it (And just played the next checkpoint to see how the game ended), but once again we see a strong emphasis on platforming, except this time failure can result in lost lives. This is quite disappointing, considering you can tell by the atmosphere that Sto was trying to hype the player up for the epic final battle, but instead sadly falls flat and frustrates the player. Thankfully, the final boss makes up for it and this is just a stain on an otherwise amazing game.


Talking about the bosses, they were a very welcome addition to Ryspo, especially as they went on. As I said earlier, I think I did the first boss wrong so I can't really judge it that well. The water boss is an idea that may be a turn off for some, but I personally thought it was something creative. The next boss follows up on the "epic" hovership levels I mentioned earlier and follows it up in grace. This boss was almost like a small puzzle, giving a strong challenge but still feeling fun and replayable. After this boss, we get to the weaker part of the game, although I can safely say that the boss battles do not follow this trend and improve on the previous bosses. The next boss is a very creative and enjoyable jetpack boss which brought the game back to the quality of previous levels and had me thinking “wow that’s nifty” while playing. The final boss had even more interesting ideas to once again redeem the game from its weaker later portion. Honestly, it’s probably up there with the best bosses in Sploder platformers. Very well done on the bosses Sto


So, I said I'd talk about scenery and here we go. My first impressions on the scenery were that it is quite simple, yet VERY effective. While graphics are used in places, Ryspo does not rely on graphics at all and merely uses them to further decorate environments and create immersion. This is something I actually appreciate, as some games are very insistent on hiding behind graphics and if you don't know what you're doing with them (Something that definitely does not apply to Sto however) it can make your game look like a mess or be overdone. Ryspo uses the standard Sploder tiles and other decorations to give it a strong adventure feel. The aesthetics really helped sell the feeling of the player going on an adventure, with even the weaker stages of the game still creating that immersive atmosphere. Everything looked like what is was meant to and I can't think of anywhere where anything looked out of place or unusual. The rain graphics are something that particularly stood out to me, it's been done before but the inclusion of rain in some parts of the game really pushed the immersion for me. Other than the rain, the graphics were not really pushed on the player, and instead blended in with the default Sploder tiles and decorations. If you're looking for a good example of a top tier game that isn't smothered in graphics Ryspo is a good place to look.


Now for the story. The story isn't the main focus of Ryspo, but it is definitely there to give the game a sense of direction. The story is never forced on you like in some games, but instead is there for you to read if you wish to. The scene is set through an introductory level, then there is a character who interacts with you to tell you what is going on. I can't spoil too much for you, but there is a small twist towards the end which was nice although not overly original. Dialogue is mostly used at the start and the end of levels, which is a welcome addition as it does not break the flow on the gameplay while still delivering the player with information. Ryspo will take you to multiple locations, such as the sea or a volcano. Overall, Ryspo's story is solid, helps drive the game forward and is fitting for the theme Sto was going for.


Another interesting feature is the use of a checkpoint system. Knowing that the game would be both long and challenging Sto incorporated a checkpoint system into Ryspo, so that if you fail there is a code you can enter at the start of each level which you can use if you fail during that level. This means that once you fail the game, you don't have to go back to the start or message Sto asking for a checkpoint from [Insert level here]. Unfortunately, Sto forgot to put the codes in the checkpoints which was a bit unfortunate, although he eventually released all the checkpoints on the mrtwig4444 account so if you do fail you can just go there are check out the later levels. This helps with replayability for me as I don't have to spend ages going back to where I was before if I was to fail at some point and I hope to see this feature used more in future platformers.


If there was one aspect of Ryspo that I thought could be improved, it would be the placement. While improved on the version I tested a few months back, Ryspo does have a few issues with how enemies are placed. There are a few areas where enemies will fall down from the sky, and if you are not fully expecting it there is a decent chance they will land on the player's head. With some enemies, this can be a great inconvenience as they will land on you and all you can do about it is sit and helplessly watch your health rapidly deplete. This problem is rampant during the earlier levels of the game but seems to calm as you progress. This could've been improved by simply having enemies drop near the player and not on top of them. Other items seem to be placed quite well. Lives are hidden in levels to reward players for exploring but are generally not too hard to come by, even if there could possibly be more (Maybe that's just me being bad though). Health is placed fine and nothing stood out as particularly poor about the placement of other objects or hazards.


I think I have touched on everything I want to so let’s get to the ratings


Pros:

Strong immersive atmosphere

Creative and unique gameplay

Checkpoint system


Cons:

Later levels feel a bit underwhelming

Enemy placement could've been better



Ratings

Gameplay: 8.5/10

Scenery: 8.5/10

Placement: 7/10

Difficulty: 9/10

Creativity: 9/10

Overall: 8.5/10


So Ryspo gets an 8.5/10. Sto has made a very good game here, which will no doubt get featured in EGD and even outside of EGD it is fully deserving of a feature. The real question is if it belongs in the Epic Game Library? This is something I would need more time to think about, but if the game was to be suggested it would have to be a decision made with a lot of thought and could honestly go either way. Thank you for reading, especially if you read the whole thing because you just read 2016 words.

 
 


Ryspo Reviewed by lordeldar on Sunday, July 22nd 2018. [EGD] Lordeldar Writes A Review - A game review written by lordeldar for the game 'Ryspo' by sto4. Rating: 4