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Blackout
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Why AwW 1 is Better than Rearmed

by Blackout Sat Nov 26, 2016 4:27 pm

Jk. Rearmed is vastly superior, but there are some noteworthy things I think it's predecessor still out-dos Rearmed in. I'll try to keep this as brief as possible.

Graphics Intensity & Performance
Self explanatory. Dan's mentioned to me he'd really like to add a graphics settings that would allow players to hide/remove the more intensive graphics(something I hope he can get around to soon).

Max Resolution
While Rearmed is stuck at 960x540(yes, I'm aware that you can technically go beyond on that and still not lose clarity, but the results are notably flawed with Rearmed), I've managed to get AwW 1 at 1920x1080 without a pixel's worth loss of quality. Here's a comparison with screenshots I took on my 1366x768 laptop monitor: http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/191896

Compact UI
With only a life bar and "Restart level" & "Menu", there's less UI blocking parts of the screen which results in more immersion in the game world because of it. While rearmed has more elements, each of them could be made smaller and more compact to achieve the same effect.

Little to No "Cartooniness"
The old AwW always looked and felt more real while playing than the post-Red Moon games. I'd like to see some of that realism return or at least the cartoonish elements in Rearmed reduced so it feels more like a remake of the classic AwW 1(which imo just makes the game better in general, but Dan and I seem to disagree).

AwW Run Animation
Dan's gotten quite a few complaints on AwW's new run animation. I don't hate it or even dislike it, but I think the original is simply better.

Power of Standard Attack
While Rearmed's combat system is far more tight and less clunky than it's predecessor's, AwW 1's standard attacks carry more weight to them and feel more powerful in and of themselves than do the standard attacks in Rearmed (for all the reasons here). There also are no attack lines or cartoony bubbles that appear cluttering up the screen (yeah, I'm still hung up on this).

Power-Strike Camera, Swing Animation, and Swoosh
The camera covered here.

When AwW's sword swings down, there's some power(presumably white fire) on the sword. I don't think this is present in Rearmed, but it does a LOT more to help the attack feel more powerful than lines or bubbles could.

When the power-strike misses, there is a huge swoosh sound. I believe that sound is also present when the attack hits, but the attack sounds so satisfyingly powerful when it does in AwW 1 that the swoosh takes a back seat. I think it's be best if Rearmed removed the animation if no enemy is hit and just play a swoosh sound(as i think should also be added to Rearmed).

Also, the fire at the tip of the sword is cool and would be nice to have in Rearmed as well.
Eagle
The eagle in AwW 1 is much tighter in it's controls. It also has a more energetic and more narrow and therefore piercing animation.

In addition to that, the fact that the eagle hides in AwW's sleeve and is only seen when desired or needed makes it a more interesting and unique experience when the eagle is actually in use.

Also, the eagle darting back to the player in AwW 1 also makes the eagle a more energetic element of the game.

Minotaur/Demon Boss's Difficulty of "Exploitation"
In both games he is exploitable for a quick kill(which I think is a great thing btw). AwW 1, however requires more precise timing with the necessity of missing the first attack. Also, Rearmed (from my experience) requires more lucky guess work to avoid being damaged at all.

Additionally, it's almost like the boss wants the player to attack him after he does his spin and his follow up attacks in Rearmed. The window of attacking him just seems smaller in AwW 1: like a moment of rest rather than a blatant invitation.

I'll address the cut-scene later below.

Stage 9/Level 23
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Mostly because the camera made it more challenging(in part also because the player initially doesn't know enemies wait for him there)

Portrayal of Vandheer
Call me nostalgic, but I think the old design of Vandheer is inherently superior because his old design is more unique and more interesting while his new one is more generic bad guy design and therefore more dull. Just my opinion.

Also, everything still relevant here (ik it's mostly not about his portrayal but this seems like the best place to put this).

Pretty Much Every Cut-Scene
It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of the level of detail introduced into the newer AwW games. Personally, I'm more in favor of something closer to Red Moon: hybrid of light detail AND how the charterers are depicted in actual gameplay, but I've talked enough about this already (*cough* hyperlink) so I'll only address the other issues I see per each individual cut-scene.

LW's Death
The framing is more interesting & telling and the dialog isn't so nearly as clunky & obvious exposition. Additionally, VL doesn't showcase his power as LW doesn't retaliate in AwW 1. This works better because the player is left uncertain how powerful the king is so it is more of a surprise in the cut-scene preceding the final level when VL shows off his power before the battle.

LW's Resurrection
Already covered here, but the resurrection scene, imo, was done far better because the original is both informing yet actually leaves the player curious and wondering rather than uninforming and almost being told he should be wondering. This is pretty much how I view this change: https://youtu.be/zK-TritVMao

Demon/Minotaur Boss
The original cut-scene was a lot more epic and fun to watch(for hopefully obvious reasons). It's the moment when the player goes, "Wow. Ok, he must have meant it when he said, 'through some divine means'".

My strong suggestion would have the scene in a much similar way to the original, but incorporate elements from LW's uber "Revived" mode from the final battle. That way instead of just seeing AwW be epic like in the original, later on the player himself can be epic like in that scene.

Encountering the King
The original dialog was more smooth and more epic, as well as the framing depicted a bit more clearly the supposed power gap between LW and the King(same with the initial cut-scene of LW's death). This scene also didn't (and still doesn't) have to be a detailed one.

The King Draws His Blade
This one doesn't have an equivalent in the original, but this scene is the embodiment, the pinnacle, the personification, the epitome, and the shining example of what I mean by Rearmed being too "cartoony". This animation in this cut-scene is so cartoony it's totally out of place in even this generation of AwW. The cut-scene is the poster boy of the argument "less is more".

Vandheer's Defeat & Escape
Once again, the dialog is far more clunky than the original *cough* "What power is this??" "It's more than yours, Vandheer!" *cough*.

About Rearmed's iteration of the cut-scene itself, though, two things I liked about the original are 1)it cut immediately to pounding VL and 2) it had the massive power attack at the end. Rearmed's equivalent to 2) is much more lacking in its final blow. What I'd recommend is redoing the first part of that scene on the regularly/non-detailed plane and then transition into the remainder of the scene (mostly) as is.

I say "mostly" because one thing about continuity: LW says in Rearmed "Justice demands that you die," but the original story, LW was meant, "to seal the king." That could be problematic for the way AwW 2 ended, but that could be explained that AwW's intentions had changed by the end of AwW 2, though it may be too awkward to make that clear.

There are things I may have forgotten or not thought of to begin with, but hopefully with our growing discord community, many others will voice their opinions on the topic as well in the hopes of helping Dan create the best remake possible.
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Re: Why AwW 1 is Better than Rearmed

by DarklordMogrithe Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:35 pm

Blackout wrote:Power of Standard Attack
While Rearmed's combat system is far more tight and less clunky than it's predecessor's, AwW 1's standard attacks carry more weight to them and feel more powerful in and of themselves than do the standard attacks in Rearmed (for all the reasons here). There also are no attack lines or cartoony bubbles that appear cluttering up the screen (yeah, I'm still hung up on this).

I feel that all Dan has to do here is add an option to disable attack lines and another to disable the attack bubbles. Attack lines can make for prettier screenshots, and attack bubbles and help you tell if you've hit an enemy or not. I agree that they both subtract from the power of the attacks themselves, though. I believe you've also mentioned sound as a modifier of power, and that the sound of the slash-through-air should be diminished, all of which I agree with.

Blackout wrote:Eagle
The eagle in AwW 1 is much tighter in it's controls. It also has a more energetic and more narrow and therefore piercing animation.

In addition to that, the fact that the eagle hides in AwW's sleeve and is only seen when desired or needed makes it a more interesting and unique experience when the eagle is actually in use.

Also, the eagle darting back to the player in AwW 1 also makes the eagle a more energetic element of the game.

Making the eagle faster seems like a good change now that I think about it. I'm not sure about having the eagle land on LW himself, because it be less visible and perhaps seem less important.

Blackout wrote:Stage 9/Level 23
Mostly because the camera made it more challenging(in part also because the player initially doesn't know enemies wait for him there)

A more zoomed-in camera seems like something that would be worse in that situation. The player should have the right to see the level, unless them not being able to is necessary for it to work. A zoomed-in camera in this section could also be seen by some as a developer oversight.

Blackout wrote:Portrayal of Vandheer
Call me nostalgic, but I think the old design of Vandheer is inherently superior because his old design is more unique and therefore interesting while his new one is more generic bad guy design and therefore more dull. Just my opinion.

Also, everything still relevant here (ik it's mostly not about his portrayal but this seems like the best place to put this).

I disagree with this; Vandheer doesn't seem "too cliche" with his current portrayal. The old design, though maybe more original, made less sense. If you envision the old design of Vandheer in Rearmed, he seems out of place with all of the other characters.

Blackout wrote:Pretty Much Every Cut-Scene
It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of the level of detail introduced into the newer AwW games. Personally, I'm more in favor of something closer to Red Moon: hybrid of light detail AND how the charterers are depicted in actual gameplay, but I've talked enough about this already (*cough* hyperlink) so I'll only address the other issues I see per each individual cut-scene.

I personally enjoy the current level of detail, and it would only make sense to have more detailed cutscenes to match the current game. However, the dialog is quite an issue in most, if not all, cutscenes. I propose that we create a thread for everyone in the community to collaborate on making some new dialog that fits the characters. The post that you've linked is a good starting place for discussing these changes.

I also agree that the way Rearmed reveals the power of both sides is bad. For one, it shows that LW had the ability to utilize large amounts of energy before being granted any power by Blackmist. This, in turn, makes his resurrection and empowering seem much less meaningful to the plot, and with the way it is currently, it seems as though he hasn't been empowered at all. The elements of mystery are completely gone, and the storyline seems much more flat than with the original game.

Blackout wrote:My strong suggestion would have the scene in a much similar way to the original, but incorporate elements from LW's uber "Revived" mode from the final battle. That way instead of just seeing AwW be epic like in the original, later on the player himself can be epic like in that scene.

This is a great suggestion. I feel the death of each boss merits something of a plot-building cutscene, or at least some cooler animations than exist now. There was some discussion of more cutscenes in this post, and although I now oppose revealing Vandheer's power at the beginning, I do feel that the plot needs to build more throughout the game.

Blackout wrote:The King Draws His Blade
This one doesn't have an equivalent in the original, but this scene is the embodiment, the pinnacle, the personification, the epitome, and the shining example of what I mean by Rearmed being too "cartoony". This animation in this cut-scene is so cartoony it's totally out of place in even this generation of AwW. The cut-scene is the poster boy of the argument "less is more".

I think this scene should be something more than "VL gets hit by lightning but then draws his sword." A better way to implement this is to have LW about to power strike him, but then have Vandheer block it with his sword (which would be drawn then, on the spot). This shows that Vandheer is still supposedly much more powerful, but actually has to resort to his sword.

Blackout wrote:About Rearmed's iteration of the cut-scene itself, though, two things I liked about the original are 1)it cut immediately to pounding VL and 2) it had the massive power attack at the end. Rearmed's equivalent to 2) is much more lacking in its final blow. What I'd recommend is redoing the first part of that scene on the regularly/non-detailed plane and then transition into the remainder of the scene (mostly) as is.

I also dislike how the cutscene doesn't start where the gameplay ended, meaning that the cutscene breaks the continuity and might even seem like it doesn't parallel the already-epic fight that took place. Even just skipping the first part would make the cutscene that much better, and if the previous change I mentioned is also added, it would be the first time Vandheer is hit with the full force of LW's power. (Going off of what you said about LW revealing more of his power later in the game, it might be cool to see LW transform into his full Armed with Wings form, even just for a short time.)
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Re: Why AwW 1 is Better than Rearmed

by Blackout Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:03 pm

Thanks for your detail reply. I agree with mostly everything you said with the exception of a few things:
DarklordMogrithe wrote:I feel that all Dan has to do here is add an option to disable attack lines and another to disable the attack bubbles.
I hope that finds its way into the potential graphics intensity setting.

DarklordMogrithe wrote:
Blackout wrote:Stage 9/Level 23
Mostly because the camera made it more challenging(in part also because the player initially doesn't know enemies wait for him there)

A more zoomed-in camera seems like something that would be worse in that situation.
That's exactly why I prefer the original: it's more challenging. VandheerLorde made a post covering this extremely well but I can't seem to find it.

DarklordMogrithe wrote:If you envision the old design of Vandheer in Rearmed, he seems out of place with all of the other characters.
An update of the sprite would be fine for him to match the aesthetic of the game(as long as he's more identical to AwW's 1 & 2 and Red Moon), but aside from that, I think he'd look unique, not out of place.

Dan's said he would eventually be getting to integrating the classic iterations of LW and VL as playable characters: I really hope he hasn't changed his mind about this.

DarklordMogrithe wrote:...it might be cool to see LW transform into his full Armed with Wings form, even just for a short time.
It's a cool idea, but it might serve to ruin the surprise at the end of AwW 2.

On another note, just added another quick point to the OP about his run animation after having remembered writing this reply and another one the power-strike ;).
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Re: Why AwW 1 is Better than Rearmed

by Vandheer_Lorde_PL Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:52 pm

Thing I'm missing in Rearmed is the look of the king. He was looking more harmless, not that powerful sso we can just strike him down.

Also I miss old sword holster style. I mean, I love moment when someone draws the sword out of pouch. It's awesome 4 me and I miss it.
It also was making calm aura around LW, now he look like always ready to fight more aggresive. Also he was looking so wisdom in AwW, worning a robe or what was that and that sword.
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Re: Why AwW 1 is Better than Rearmed

by Blackout Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:14 pm

Vandheer_Lorde_PL wrote:Thing I'm missing in Rearmed is the look of the king. He was looking more harmless, not that powerful sso we can just strike him down.

Also I miss old sword holster style. I mean, I love moment when someone draws the sword out of pouch. It's awesome 4 me and I miss it.
It also was making calm aura around LW, now he look like always ready to fight more aggresive. Also he was looking so wisdom in AwW, worning a robe or what was that and that sword.

Dan said he had plans to integrate the classic styles of both characters into the game as playables. Hopefully he hasn't changed his mind, as I don't see him redoing their current designs.
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