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MechQuest: Analysis of 1/30/09 Release

Posted by The Peanut Master on February 4, 2009

NOTE: Sorry for the lateness. An extra-large release + not so much free time = later analysis. Sorry. 😦

This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for… the Zargon finale, a SC-only Galactimecha uber quest, AND mods!

Zargon Finale: Universo

About

Zargon’s deep and intense storyline comes to a close in this quest, when we finally discover the location of Dr. Boltavolt’s big (BIG), bad (BAD) monster, Universo. As we travel underwater to reach Universo, Dr. Boltavolt picks off the ship Selina is traveling in and kills her, and after a brief chat with Boltavolt, we go in to fight Universo itself. Now, Universo is beastly (who would win: AT-AT, Dragonoid, or Universo?), and so we have to take it down from the bottom up, destroying each part of its mecha body one piece at a time. The different parts all have unique animations but the same attacks and specials, and are not easy to beat. This is especially true because if you lose to just one of the parts, you have to start back at square one. One beaten, Dr. Boltavolt ejects in an eyeball (yes, it’s that big) and Universo is destroyed. Also, the superhero energy emanating from the destroyed Universo brings Selina back to life and transforms her into Starstorm, with the powers of all the superheroes on Zargon combined!

Pros

Think of this quest as a refined, better version of the 100-floor elevator with multiple improvements. First of all, it’s not even as close to tedious as the 100-elevator dungeon, and each Universo part correlates nicely and relates to the plot much better. The animations for each part are just awesome, and really makes each and every fight more diverse and exciting. In addition, I loved the strategy AE set up with the enemies. DoTs, -30% defense nerfs, and increased weapon cooldowns, added on to a manageable 80 immobility resistance, and you have some darn difficult enemies. However, with the right strategy and setup, they are very beatable, and are a nice challenge nonetheless. The opening dialogue and plot ending was satisfying as well.

Cons

There were a few problems with this quest, which takes it a step backwards from the 100-floor elevator. First of all, while the elevator quest saves after every 5 floors, only losing once to a Universo part sends you back to the toe, and it can be very frustrating to get to the top and have one string of bad luck and get sent to square one again. Also, while the 100-floors included a variety of enemies with a variety of strategies and specials, all of the Universo parts used the same attacks and effects, and it sort of got old towards the end. The plot was also very expected and I was hoping for something a little more spiced-up.

In addition, I have a major quip with the way the plot ended in the finale. After Boltavolt killed Selina, he showed nearly no remorse, regret, or sadness, which was very unexpected, considering how much he loved her. Furthermore, nothing unexpected, unpredictable, or surprising happened during after the quest, and put up no further fight or argument. There were also no other major plot revelations whatsoever, save for Selina becoming Starstorm (which was very expected). There needed to be something to spice the finale’s plot up, and AE did not deliver.

Grade of Release

8.0/10. The quest was fun to play through and showed some nice improvements from its 100-floor dungeon predecessor, but some minor gameplay drawbacks and a bad plot ending brought the release down quite a bit.

Galactimecha Star Captain-Only Quest

About

Dr. Boltavolt promised that after the first Universo was destroyed (in the above quest), he had made an even bigger, badder one, and we get to face off against it in a real-time shooting game. A very deep, unique, and original minigame, similar to the Zargon finale quest, you work your way up Universo piece by piece, shooting the different spots of Universo’s body to destroy them when they are activated. You can zoom in and out as you get closer and further back from Universo, and you also two different, short and long-range missiles at your disposal. This mingame utilizes keyboard controls for movement and the mouse click for shooting.

Pros

WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW. Honestly, I didn’t think AE was capable of creating a minigame half as good as this one. A genuinely fun, fast-paced, and fantastic mingame I had a blast beating, and the originality and creativity used to create it was jaw-dropping. The implementation and animations for not only your character but Universo’s multitude of attacks was just superb. AE outdid itself to a new degree with this minigame, and I am crossing my fingers that it is the first of many more Star Captain-only quests to come. The attention to detail, animation, and gameplay fun was superb, and is by far, bar none, heads and tails better than any other minigame AE has ever created, for any game.

Cons

None. This was superb. Truly. Really. No joke.

Grade of Release

10.0/10. Nothing may be truly perfect, but because of how far above expectations AE went with this minigame and how it had no downsides, I couldn’t help but give it a perfect score.

Mods

About

Mods, the newly re-named version of DragonFable’s trinkets announced over the summer in an MQ DN and left for dead months after, made their appearance in MechQuest this week. These mods, short for modifications, are mecha add-ons that currently add points to your stats. They appear after beating the Zargon storyline, and boost multiple stats. While the current mods are underwhelming and nothing special, it is fairly certain that mods will gain in functionality and usefulness, and will continue to grow over time.

Pros

This is a feature that should have been implemented a long while ago, and is much-needed to MechQuest’s battle landscape. AE implemented them in its first phase as I would have expected: small and unobtrusive, but prime to grow to something great. The seeds have been planted, and I’m liking what I’m seeing with another new, attracting battle strategy option.

Cons

It sure wasn’t much, and didn’t introduce any new exclusive features, only add-ons to stats. While I’m sure mods will grow to include better effects, in a few weeks these mods will become afterthoughts.

Grade of Release

9.5/10. Regardless of whether it was small and nothing special, it was the still the implementation of a key new battle feature that is ages overdue and a welcome addition to MechQuest. I can’t wait to see the continued development and evolution of mods.

Overall Grade of Release

9.0/10. When all is said and done, this was a jam-packed and quality release, filled with all the things I love to see. Only the Zargon finale didn’t live up to its billing, and was far outdone by a truly magnificent minigame and the addition of a much-needed feature. A jam-packed release it was.

Enjoy! 🙂

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9 Responses to “MechQuest: Analysis of 1/30/09 Release”

  1. Arikromus (Cyouni) said

    A slight change to the Universo battles: It now (temp) saves at each Universo part. Meaning you don’t have to go through the entire robot again.

  2. ZamuelNow said

    While all the parts of Universo have the same specials, I noticed that they proc at different rates. The EC still had better variance but that was an interesting little tidbit.

  3. @Arikromus: The reason I didn’t account for that was because that was a late addition in today’s release was was not included in the original release. I did mention it in today’s analysis though.

  4. ZamuelNow said

    Also, as a late addition to this release the team added a counter for the Rescue Superheroes mission–something that’s been badly needed for a while.

  5. adam said

    i loved this release to and i cant wait until the npc’s arrive

  6. mike446 said

    Shouldn’t it be “Jaw-Dropping”? Anyways… I personally didn’t like the ending to Zargon very much. The traditional, end boss battle was very… how should I put it? Bland. There was nothing particularly shocking, interesting, or new. Let’s face it, it was rather boring. Now, while I’m sure the SC-Only minigame was great… I’m not a SC.

  7. simidorl said

    i have to agree with mike on that one.
    nothing cool about this if your not a SC… the mods arent even very good.

  8. In all honesty, the Star Captain content was actually what made this release better. Where you want to accept it or not, free players get an extraordinary amount of content in the game, much more than they should get. AE needs to start catering more towards Star Captains, and I’m glad they did so in this release.

  9. simidorl said

    How strange…
    free players feel like they don’t get enough…
    star captains feel like they dont’ get enough either.
    i’m hoping that’s because of lack of staff means less gets released, not as a percentage.

    Because no matter how much they put out, the percentage of Free (60%) to Sc (30%) to Nova Gems(10%) will not change.

    *This is just my way of showing the boosted weapons only available for NG.

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