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Ballad of a Bloodline Deluxe

Overview Feature Quest
Creator: Twilight Knight , CastChaos Genre: Story-driven Updated: 26 Nov 2018 ZC Version: 2.50.2 Downloads: 267 Rating[?]: Rating: 3.6/5 (4 ratings) Download Quest
(9.15 MB)
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Marv Albert  
Rating: 4/5

Edited 07 December 2018 - 04:03 PM
I recall playing BoaB back in 2009-ish when the quest was still pretty new, so my recollection of the original is pretty foggy. What I can say is that, as I found out while replaying Hero of Dreams and some other classic 1.92/2.10 quests in recent years, is that, in many ways, these older quests have not aged well. Maybe we, as players, have all been spoiled by some of the great, seemless 2.5 quests in more recent years. Maybe those old classic quests were just really clunky and "meh" in a way we just never realized at the time, because we didn't know any better. Whatever the case, it certainly is a worthwhile goal to update a classic quest to the more modern experience and gameplay of 2.5 standards.

I do like the subscreen updates in this DX version, and as a whole, overworld screens and maps look much better than originally; but these changes are pretty subtle and, as far as I can tell, the only noticeable changes in this DX version that jump out at me. A simple but important improvement I can think of is that BoaB DX now has 8-way movement, which is a very nice thing considering the large amount of damage tiles and other obstacles made 4-way movement in BoaB a real pain at times. One important point I didn't see Russ bring up is that, while playing through, especially in those hybrid overworld dungeons with many entrances, is that it's a complete crapshoot where the player is going to respawn after saving or F6-continuing. I can't recall if that was a major problem in the original BoaB, but it is in this DX version. I quit in frustration many times when being forced with backtracking because my character respawned in an unpredictable place.

I understand why the plot is still very convoluted with "everything but the kitchen sink" seemingly thrown in, in terms of crossovers from other video games, because BoaB DX is afterall a fan reconstruction. I really can't forgive how the script is still a mess, in terms of grammar, proofreading, and needlessly-long dialogue strings, and honestly, it hurts my brain trying to follow along. The lens of truth is also still pretty much mandatory in BoaB DX, for why Russ mentioned, and you are going to be in a world of hurt
Spoiler


Those things said, I agree with Russ that BoaB DX fails in its purported mission to remake the original quest in much of any significant way. Russ' points are all valid and I also do not recognize enough changes in this DX version to call it more than an update/polish. If I were to go on the merits of the update alone, and how the update improves the original BoaB, I would rate the DX version a 2 as well. However, taking the quest as a whole, and what it is, and so as to not discourage new players who have never played BoaB, I will give this a 4. The good elements and gameplay from BoaB are still there and certainly worth experiencing if you never have played through, but be warned, there is still a whole lot of baggage throughout.
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Russ  
Rating: 2/5

Posted 02 December 2018 - 02:15 AM
I was pretty excited to see BoaB getting a DX version. While BoaB is hardly my favorite quest (far from it), it has lots of cool ideas. It always felt like, somewhere under the mess, there was a beautiful gem waiting to be revealed.

Unfortunately, BoaB DX is not that gem. While it advertises itself as fixing the problems of BoaB, the truth is that most of them are still here and still just as bad.
- The game still starts out slow and forces lots of money grinding. Money grinding continues to be a central theme of the quest.
- While a handful of secret triggers were fixed, you'll still be burning stones and hookshoting torches into oblivion and boomeranging hammer posts and generally trying every item you have on every random object until something happens. Better find that lens!
- While the text has been reorganized and now has better formatting, including text highlighting, and lots of text is now appended to NPC scripts, the writing is still mostly unchanged from CastChaos's broken English (with a few exceptions).
- Dungeon bosses are still embarrassing 2.10 messes. Some work has gone into cleaning up the presentation with FFCs and combo cycling, and while it is appreciated... it's still silly and outdated, much like colorizing a 1950s horror movie wouldn't improve the overall experience much. The final bosses, the worst offenders as far as bosses went in the original, are completely unchanged.
- Issues with overworld and dungeon navigation still remain.
- The plot is still a clusterf***, to put it nicely.

Now, there are a few improvements. Namely, some of the screen design has been touched up and a handful of new areas have been added. The loli material, for better or worse, is gone (and replaced with hilarious substitutions in one case). As mentioned, there's an NPC script which, combined with the reformatted strings, is nice.

But on the whole, very little has actually changed. This feels more like a minor update than a proper remake, and the original quest, flaws and all, is still proudly on display. The experience of playing through the quest felt more or less the same at the end of the day, and I can't really justify to myself giving it any higher a score as a result.
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