Sequence combineert elementen van ritme- en role-playing-games om een compleet unieke ervaring te maken.
Gebruikersrecensies:
Totaal:
Erg positief (1,066 recensies) - 86% van de 1,066 gebruikersrecensies voor deze game is positief.
Releasedatum: 20 okt 2011

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Before the Echo kopen

 

Recensies

“... Sequence is een van maar vier of vijf games die ik ooit heb gespeeld die zijn potentieel zo absoluut vult, en met zo weinig ruimte voor verbeteringen.”
100% – http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/pc/2011/11/07/sequence-review/1

Over dit spel

Sequence combineert elementen van ritme- en role-playing-games om een compleet unieke ervaring te maken. Volg Ky op zijn beklimming van een mysterieuze toren, geleid door een mysterieus meisje genaamd Naia. Tref dodelijke monsters en belachelijke personages, en ontdek het grandioze schema achter Ky’s mysterieuze gevangenschap… tenminste, als je de reis kunt overleven.

Belangrijkste kenmerken:


  • Een volledig ingesproken verhaalmodus die langer dan 10 uur is
  • Met muziek door Ronald Jenkees en Michael Wade Hamilton
  • Diepe voorwerpsynthese en spreukaanpassingsmechanismen bieden een volle RPG-ervaring
  • Volle integratie van Steam-prestaties en Cloud-savegames

Systeemeisen

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core or Greater
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 250 MB
    • Video Card: 512 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card (shader model 3)
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • OS: Lion 10.7.5
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core or Greater
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 250 MB
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable)
    • OS: glibc 2.15+, 32/64-bit. S3TC support is NOT required.
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core or Greater
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 250 MB
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable)
Nuttige klantrecensies
15 van de 17 mensen (88%) vonden deze recensie nuttig
1 persoon vond deze recensie grappig
41.2 uur in totaal
Geplaatst: 24 februari
I love rhythm games. Whether it's Elite Beat Agents, Dance Dance Revolution, Project Diva, Rhythm Heaven or iDOLM@STER, I can't get enough of tapping along to arrows and beats. When you combine my love for that genre with my love for RPGs, surely you'd have a winner right? Well, Before the Echo proves that isn't necessarily true. Before the Echo attempts to bring together RPGs, rhythm mechanics and cringe-worthy hipster jokes. In theory, these three aspects could get along rather famously. Unfortunately, in this case they get along about as well as a feuding family.

After waking up in a strange tower with no idea how he arrived there, Ky is beset by strange monsters. Guided by his 'shepherd,' Naia, Ky has no choice but to work his way up the seven floors of the tower, defeating enemies and guardians through the power of rhythm. Only then will he be able to escape his strange experimental prison and return to his own world. Sadly, only the ending of the plot holds any real interest, and even then it's pretty bizarre and will be hit or miss for most players. The previous several hours leading up to it gives you little insight into what's happening or the purpose of the tower. I suspect this was done to increase the mystery and suspense, but all it does is leave you feeling irritated and without purpose.

This is worsened by the horrific script and characters. The dialogue is clichéd, overwritten, uninteresting and seems to rely on pulling out cringe-worthy jokes every few lines. This can be forgiven to a point, since most of the jokes intentionally parody the lameness in hipster culture. Unfortunately, they're not very funny. The characters have incredibly two-dimensional personalities and you'll feel no affection for them at all. The only saving grace is the voice acting. Script aside, the actors, for the most part, do a tremendous job of portraying their characters. Strangely enough, one of my favourite parts of the game was the credits. They're narrated by the actors playing Ky and Naia and it's probably the most enjoyable credits sequence I've experienced in any game.

With that out of the way, let's get down to the nitty-gritty: the gameplay. In essence, Before the Echo can be broken down into two parts: rhythm battles and RPG-style item synthesis. On each of the seven floors, your primary goal is to collect the materials needed to create a key that will open the door to the next floor. To obtain these ingredients you must battle nearby enemies. After defeating them, you have a chance at obtaining various items that will likely be useful in synthesising items such as armour, weapons, new spells and the required key.

Sounds good, right? The problem is that some of these items have a relatively low drop chance and you're often forced to play the same 2-3 minute battles over and over and over again. In fact, on the seventh floor, I had to replay the same battle 13 times before the item I needed for the key dropped. It can be absolutely infuriating being forced to do the same battle again and again.

On the bright side, the battles themselves are pretty fun and incorporate some very unique ideas. Once you begin, you're presented with three different boxes on your screen. One is for attacking, one is for defending, and the third is for regenerating mana. Both you and your enemy have a health meter and it's your job to deplete theirs to zero before they either do the same to you or time runs out.

So, where's the rhythm, you ask? Once the music begins, each of those boxes becomes flooded with arrows. As arrows come down, you need to hit the corresponding arrow key. So, when the enemy's attacking you, you'll need to hit the arrows in the defence box. When you're attacking, you must hit all the arrows in the attack box to pull off spells. The catch? Only one box can be active at a time. Whilst you can see them all on screen at once, you have to swap between them using the Q and E keys to be able to interact with them individually. This can lead to some particularly hectic moments, especially on the higher difficulties where choices must be made on whether to sacrifice your attack to defend or vice versa. It's a very clever and intense little system that can provide a great deal of challenge for veterans of the music genre.

To actually attack your foe, you must choose and cast spells assigned to your sphere by hitting the corresponding numerical key. At first, you can only take a couple of spells into battle at once, but by the end this can be expanded to seven. New spells are learned by synthesising items and passing specific musical challenges. The attacks themselves include direct damage, damage over time, healing and more. There's a decent variety, but the real strategy comes in picking one spell over another. Do you pick a spell that does more damage but has a shorter recharge time? Do you take the most powerful healing spell even though it requires a huge amount of mana to cast? The spell choice adds a much needed layer of depth to the game.

If that doesn't sound hard enough then don't worry, it doesn't stop there. Each floor of the game has a guardian that presides over it and can interfere in each battle. By exercising their individually unique powers, guardians can seriously hinder your progress. Some can drain your mana while others can reverse the position of arrows, block your view of the arrow grids and even change the playback speed of the song. Once you finally forge the key and finish a floor, you then must then confront the guardian and defeat it. The guardians attack far more aggressive than regular enemies and the battles tend to have shorter time constraints. It's great fun.

Underlying all this great fun, however, is one massively poor design choice: synthesising items costs experience. Picture it: you spend an hour destroying enemy after enemy and collecting all the items you need, only to fail your synthesis and lose two levels worth of experience. It's incredibly frustrating. Each time you synthesize you are literally betting your hard-earned experience to increase or decrease the chance of success. On later floors it can be utterly devastating to lose so much. At least you don't lose the items, I guess.

The music used throughout the game is of fairly good quality. Fitting in with the theme of the game it's mostly electronic-sounding, which will really be a hit or miss thing for individual players. The tracks used during battle are solid, but there just isn't enough variety. Across the seven floors there are only around 10 songs used, and you're stuck with the same song for each battle. So, if you're fighting that same enemy five times, you hear the same song five times, which gets monotonous. Outside of the battle the music just sort of merges in with the rest of the game and is easily forgotten.

Aesthetically, the game starts off solid but starts to disappoint the further you play. The stylistic, artsy design of the characters and environments are fantastic the first time you encounter them, but they're reused far too often. Background graphics are reused a number of times throughout the game and enemies are palette swapped to an offensive degree. Character design, however, is well-rounded. Each of the guardians sports a unique and interesting design that sets them apart from each other and matches their somewhat stereotyped personalities. Ky may look like a generic hero, but you certainly can't fault him artistically.

So, did I enjoy Before the Echo? Yeah, I did. It's a fun game with some great mechanics and intriguing ideas going for it. If there was reduced experience gambling, less incessant grinding and a few additional songs, it could have been a far superior game. It may not be hardcore enough as either a rhythm or role-playing game for some, but there's still plenty here for both camps to like.
Was deze recensie nuttig? Ja Nee Grappig
4 van de 4 mensen (100%) vonden deze recensie nuttig
11.8 uur in totaal
Geplaatst: 29 november 2015
A Paladin’s Review: Before The Echo. Rhythm and RPG Genre Mixing Goodness.
  • Genre: Rhythm RPG Indie Title
  • Developed & Published by: Iridium Studios
  • Platform: Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • Business Model: Cheap Base Game.
  • Copy Purchased by Myself
Read the full & unabridged review A Paladin Without A Crusade

Preamble
Originally titled Sequence, Before the Echo is the first game released by the indie devs Iridium Studios. It was later followed by There Came An Echo, a real time tactics voice controlled game released on Steam in early 2015. According to Before the Echo’s Steam Forums, they had a copyright claim thrown against them by another developer over their name. So, Iridium Studios had to rename Sequence to something else in order to avoid legal trouble. A rather unfortunate turn of events. However, I will say that Before the Echo might have been a better choice anyway, as Sequence isn’t particularly memorable for a name. I myself only discovered Before the Echo when There Came An Echo was released and got a lot of press attention for its unique voice control mechanics. BtE has some interesting ideas of its own though and I don’t think it should be ignored.

Overall Gameplay Thoughts
A rhythm-based-combat RPG with a story driven narrative has a decent amount of content, especially if you decide to go for as many recipes as possible. The rhythm mechanics are a refreshing change of pace from the normal choose-spells, counter as best you can and win over and over again. It forces you to pay attention to what you’re doing and continually improve as the game goes along. This is even after my initial skepticism that this game had few legs to stand on. After all, we’ve had plenty of rhythm games before. What could possibly make BtE stand out? Well, a good story with an amusing banter between the two protagonists and a decently diverse set of characters to fight out against with their own particular personality doesn’t hurt. Neither does a refined rhythm system that requires you to pay attention and react quickly to three different fields of falling arrows.

Story Thoughts
The player is following the story of Ky, a hacker who finds himself waking up in a mysterious tower called, well, the Tower. This seven leveled tower isn’t something to scoff as he’ll soon learn that he can die in this tower. Upon awaking and talking to himself about what’s going on, he’s greeted by Naia, a “shepherd” that has few answers for Kai but seems to be on his side or at the very least trapped by her own circumstances. She’ll help him out by guiding him through the tutorial and each level. Ky must do this, defeating monsters to grow in strength to eventually defeat the seven guardians that stop forward progress. The plot has lies and half truths a plenty. Not everyone is telling the truth and there’s something sinister going on in the background. It seems to be set in the modern era though no country or actual year is dropped. The characters do seem to imply this is all happening in the 2010s.

Combat Thoughts
In Before the Echo’s battles, you defeat monsters and bosses by following the beat of the music and destroying the enemy’s health before they do yours in. This is accomplished in a dance-dance-revolution type battle where you’re trying to cast spells, block their attacks and regenerate your mana when possible. To do this, you’ll need to press the right direction on the d-pad and letter keys of your controller when arrows are at the right time. You’ll often need to use both set of controls in order to handle all the arrows falling. Keyboard and mouse can also be used but I find the controller to be a little bit more enjoyable and easier to use for this game. To further complicate things, you’ll need to select and cast spells using the controller’s joystick while keeping an eye on arrows. This can be a little tricky to figure out at first but I eventually got used to it.

PC Settings
Settings are a little bizarre here. Fullscreen on/off is the only traditional video setting to be found. Particle effects can be turned off, there’s a lag calibration for your controller, gem and text speed can be changed and a lot of other different functions important to the rhythm mechanics. Resolution options, AA, V-sync and other settings are missing as well. The one game I actually desire individual sound volume options doesn’t have them at all. I found the SFX was just a bit too loud over the music and people speaking but not unbearably high. For such an audio-intensive game, being able to adjust the different volumes seems like an obvious thing to include in your game. Voice acting can be turned off but I don’t know why you’d want to do that. It’s pretty good voice acting. I was surprised to hear the voice actor for Dust from Dust: An Elysian Tail in this title too. He plays one of the guardians.

Final Thoughts
Before the Echo is a good and different experience that’s both decently approachable but difficult to master. The combination of RPG and Rhythm mechanics just works here, the mechanics blending well together and never allowing things to get dull for long. Though there are fights that can be overly frustrating. It’s also not too hard to lose concentration and find yourself in an unwinnable situation. So, you’ll need to stay on your toes or take a break if it’s happening too often. The story itself is pretty good, I found myself chuckling at the banter between the two protagonists from time to time. It does lean a bit too much on tropes but I think it does them well enough that I’m not bothered by it. It’s a good time “dancing” to the beats while playing a more traditional RPG game. I definitely liked this mix of genres and I recommend checking out when you have the chance.

Was deze recensie nuttig? Ja Nee Grappig
5 van de 6 mensen (83%) vonden deze recensie nuttig
32.7 uur in totaal
Geplaatst: 9 februari
9/10 next step from generic stepmania, where you have a visual novel part WITH rpg elements, so you have to play a rhytm game while attacking, protecting yourself or casting stuff. 10/10 soundtrack, 10/10 visuals, the only problem - this game could be too hard for the beginner who never played such games before and too easy for someone addicted to them.
Was deze recensie nuttig? Ja Nee Grappig
1 van de 1 mensen (100%) vonden deze recensie nuttig
18.8 uur in totaal
Geplaatst: 29 november 2015
This game's a hard one for me to explain- part RPG, part stepmania, all rolled up in an aesthetically pleasing pun fest (I LOVE PUNS) with a great (albeit kinda limited) soundtrack. I can't get enough!

It's got nice voice acting, it's a bit of a grind fest if you want to craft and unlock spells (Both grinding and crafting are my kind of thing so these are positives for me), and it's got a neat mechanic of paying XP for items instead of currency! And the pièce de résistance of this game for me is the 3 arena style, where you have three fields of events going at once. One controls your spellsets, one is for defence, and the last one is for your mana pool. Missing an arrow in all but the mana field might cost you dearly! Switching between them is crazy fun, and timing is crucial if you want to chain events up.

All in all, beautiful game!
Was deze recensie nuttig? Ja Nee Grappig
1 van de 1 mensen (100%) vonden deze recensie nuttig
19.1 uur in totaal
Geplaatst: 21 december 2015
This is a great great great game. If you're into rythm games, go and grab it. The battle interface is great, the controls are flawless, and there are difficulty levels to keep you busy for a reasonable amount of time.

If you're into RPGs, however, be wary that this game is not really an RPG. It's much more of a visual novel, with no control of what your character does or where it goes, no side quests, no character customization either at the start or during the gameplay. Also, the synthesis system is a bit grindy, but you eventually acquire items that drastically improve drop rates.

Finally, most of the supporting characters are well written and the plot is interesting.
Was deze recensie nuttig? Ja Nee Grappig