here's my honest opinions on all of aaron's games, and I'm not going to sugar cote or exadurate any of this. If people don't like what I have to say, then that's fine, so here we go.
AAC, I really enjoyed. It was nice and retro-sounding, there were some interesting challenges while playing through it along with the puzzles and various achievements, you actually had a sense of accomplishment when you finally finished it, plus there is some replayability with the difficulty levels and such. This goes without even mentioning the abilities of the stage creator, and stages like remnent put this to great use and showed just what could be done with it. To be honest remnent could have almost been considered a seperat game in its own right.
Paladin was sort of a disappointment. I guess it just kind of... worked, no more than it had to. It could have really used some more sounds, at least footsteps and a few battle sounds. The battles in general felt very empty and generic. Enemy descriptions and spell descriptions would really have been nice. Also the story seams to just be full of random things glewed together in strange combinations. For example, there seams to be a decent security presents around on the paladin, however they apparently aren't compitent enough to clear out the casino, they overlook a teleporter leading to a gangster hideout, and they totally miss the huge drug making operations being conducted right under their noses. When transitioning to a new area, it often felt like the story was randomly being thought of as the game was developed. Whenever new areas were needed aaron would just slap on a new random piece to the story and hope it fits together.
Psycho strike is mostly a lot of unused potential. Mark my words when I say that if done right, it could have gone so so so many places. It was a really fun thing to pass the time with when it first came out, and if you're playing it for the first time it can be quite cool to discover all the weapons and try things. However, there's so much it could have done, but ended up not doing. It was originally advertized as a first person game, which is not correct. But consider how awesome the game would have been if it were first person with actual objects you could run into and destroy rather than a simple side scroler. If not a first person view, a truely 2d game would have been awesome. You wanna escape the police for a bit? Go jump over the counter in the bar and take cover. Need a better position to snipe from? Climb onto an abandoned tractor in the farm. There was enough content in place for you to do things like a campagne mode. There is the system of setting a goal but a sort of story would have been a lot better. Overall, i think it should have focussed a little more on the gangster part, not on the senselessly killing part. How about drug runs? Kidnappings for ransum? Database hacking for liquid assets? Also, psycho strike's feature list talked about you having to manage your base. That is not actually a thing. Perhaps your base could periodically come under attack, and you'd have to defend it. You could do this yourself and also place things like mines or sentry guns to make it harder for invaders. From what I know, there were a grand total of 0 updates released for the game, even though when it first came out aaron announced more content being in the works. That content never came. Lastly, the AI is pretty easy to fool. There's a really simple trick that works most of the time. All you have to do is make sure there's an item near the entrance of whatever area you're in. Then when a cop comes in, you have to jump behind them. For some reason, if you're behind police, their AI will prioritize the item as long as its in their sight range, and will stop caring about you until they've picked it up. This gives you ample time to shoot them in the back while they carelessly run for the item, letting you stay alive a lot longer. For obvious reasons this is most effective when going solo because group members can get in your way and then things probably will get hairy quite quickly.
The gate was in my opinion a rip-off. I have a few gripes about it, notably the story. In the beginning, you had one. However, as soon as you got past the vampire girl Whose name I forget, it just sort of stops until you reach the final boss and it just becomes an endless killing fest. There's no *real* strategy involved for most of the enemies. For the majority, after you get the sword its usually go right/left towards them, hit them as often as you can, then jump back, rince and repeat till they go away. There's no randomness to the levels, meaning that once you've played through it on easy or perhaps normal, you're basically done unless you play infinit mode. Speaking of difficulty, its very, very unbalanced. The gray lady shouldn't be the first boss in my opinion. It scares a lot of people off who might want to buy the game if the very first boss encounter prooves to be as difficult as people say it is. Also any difficulty past medium is basically impossible to play because the enemies simply become too tough after a certain point. On hard, this is reached when you fight this powerful zombie boss. He kills you in three or four hits, and you can only get at max one hit in before he hits you. Since he can move faster than you can jump, you can't even avoid him,. He has too much health to be killed before he kills you even if you have healing items, and his health resets every time you die and respawn. The levels feel extremely empty and generic. Aside from the obsticals and items, there's nothing to the castle. It feels a lot less like a castle and a lot more like a series of empty hallways. This was advertized as a horror game, but there's no real horror element to it aside from the occasional jum pscare, which quickly loses its novelty. If you play any good mainstream horror games, they don't just throw a bunch of jumpscares at you. They give you tidbits of a scary plot, let you fill in the blanks as to what happened, and basically provide a lot of unpleasant immagery and sounds. While I know that graphics kind of fall away here, you can do a lot when it comes to creating a suspenseful horror atmosphere with sound. As it is right now, the gate just sounds like your average hack & slash side scroler. Compared to other vg storm games, the music is very sub-par. It seams to only be one track that slightly shifts in intensity if an enemy is near you, and other tracks for cutscenes. There's a lot of cheep difficulty enhancements, such as instakill ghosts, rocks spawning on top of you, and the spiders basically being inescapable if they stun you. The voice acting is also pretty bad, and I don't see why it should be a part of the reason why the game costs 35 bucks. The level of voice acting seen here could have been easily achieved by using royalty free actors which wouldn't have charged squat for their record time.
Manamon is a little bit of a different story, its the other vg storm game besides aac that I liked. Since braillemon is far from a finished game, and the pokemon crystal access scripts cause nvda to lag when speaking and have labeling issues, manamon is a great alternative to the pokemon series. I don't really care that its basically a clone of pokemon with changed names and sounds, there's a lot of mainstream pokemon clones out there as well, just like there's a whole bunch of minecraft or GTA rip-offs. The story is definitely better than the one presented in paladin, the sounds both for the world, creatures, and attacks are well done and the music is mostly good too. My two gripes are: First, the large amounts of grinding needed, since bosses skale only with highest mon level. I don't know much about how much time you typically spend grinding in your standard pokemon game because many letsplayers don't show grinding on screen, but I doubt its as much as the amount of time you need to invest here when it comes to leveling up your mons and keeping them at a similar level to each other so the skaling bosses don't trash them. My other problem is the price. I'll be clear here, I am not as entitled as to think I should be getting games for free. Manamon deserves to be payed for, it likely took a lot of time to design the game and its story, come up with creature descriptions and make the sounds, movelists and stats for them. I also know that much of manamon's music was produced just for the game, but even with all that factored in $40 seams kind of high. I would have set the bar at $30 at most. Some people like jade have raised concerns over things like movelist balancing issues and the like. Those are things I didn't really notice and won't say anything about because it was those people who actually had enough time on their hands to sit down and compare all the mon movelists and do all that.
In conclusion, I still think aac was aaron's best game. This is kinda ironic, since aac was both his first game, and a free one at that. It also seams to have the most features and replayability of all his games. I won't say anything about my country place, because leasey.
Bar, bar, bar...
Bar is my name and to go bar is my aim...
Sometimes I'll go "Bad bar",
But in the end its always bar, ahem beer, ahem bar! beer bar!