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Updated November 20, 2004

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Ped Xing's Quest v1.2 

"The Wizard Brings Us Peace And Addiction!"
2002 QB Gaming Gold Award Winner for Best Graphics, Best Music, Best Story, Gaming Hunk (Ped Xing), Best RPG, and Game of the Year

Earth, Fire, Water, Metal, and Wood - it is these five elements that rule over the land. And when Master Suki senses great trouble among the humans and bakemono of the East, he sends his pupil Ped Xing to straighten things out and fulfill his training as a wizard.

With a puff of smoke, Ped Xing is teleported in the land of the East. What adventures await our quick-witted and talented hero? What mysteries await him in the many villages and territories that stand between him and bringing back peace to civilization? Only the Emperor knows...

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
Excellent. In observing Ped Xing's Quest, I didn't think Typosoft could maintain the high level of detail and animation they had when they programmed Super Sumo Wrestling. But Ped Xing's Quest does just that, despite the sheer number of tiles and animations that had to be drawn. Examples abound, starting with a fine mix of foreground and background elements. Enemies and villagers alike move with a fluidity and smoothness that very few QBRPGs can match; reflection effects exist and  even several static objects like torches and parchments are animated and carefully lit. Typosoft really did it's homework in makng this game look professional and it looks like a lot of time was spent.

Of course, the development time was cut significantly thanks to the re-use of many characters from the Super Sumo Wrestling universe. But there are plenty of new graphics to be enjoyed in Ped Xing's Quest, especially in the tilesets that make up the forests, towns, harbors, and other environments inspired by Chinese themes. There are also several new tilesets for demons and villagers.

How Typosoft was able to implement that much into graphics and still have enough memory left in QB to make some good spell effects is beyond me. As Ped Xing is a wizard, there are many spells in this game that vary in eye candy and in intricacy. Some spells even have a form of intelligence; one example is the "clone" spell, which allows you to create a copy of yourself that acts on it's own and tries to defeat enemies until you pick the clone back up. From a technical standpoint in QB, that's incredible.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
Alongside Ped Xing's graphics are equally enthralling music and sound effects, made possible by the popular DS4QB++ package. This carries a series of advantages and disadvantage. On one hand, you get the use of several sound effects, often complimenting various spells casted. Even Ped Xing will occasionally say "Yeah!" as he picks up an item.

The sound effects are also well-synched with the in-game action. The game's intro comes with the crash of thunder just as the screen flashes with lightning. Even in the villages, you can make contact with animals and they will either bark, meow, or whatever sound is appropriate.

On the bad side, DS4QB++ is not as stable as earlier iterations of the DS4QB programs. Rarely (but notably), Ped Xing will quit due to a sound conflict. It's no reason to deduct Ped Xing's sound/music score, but it was one of the small influences that took a hit on the Gameplay score. 

Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
(Very Good)
Ped Xing's quest uses a three-button game interface. The first and second buttons are mainly use to cast and select Ped Xing's roster of spells (you start with only one spell but acquire many others toward the game's end). The third button allows to use some non-special items that could serve purpose in combat or in resolving a particular plot twist.

In terms of the gameplay formula, Ped Xing combines some of the best elements of the Zelda and of traditional RPG games to create an ingenious interface. The game features quite a few towns where you can converse with humans and bakemono alike, and all you have to do is walk into them. Menus will pop up whenever the prompt is needed, whether you're talking to a storekeeper or some old lady who has nothing better to do than tell you a long and boring story.

But the Zelda elements come in when you realize that the towns don't come with Inns. Money, HP, and chi (the game's version of MP) are earned the Zelda way, by beating up enemies and then picking up items that boost your character's stats and assets. The execution of all these elements, along with joystick support exemplified by the easy three-button interface and an auto-save feature is usually enough to get a very high gameplay rating. And that's why it hurts me that I have to say that gameplay is the weak point of Ped Xing's Quest. It takes a while to notice it too-- but once you play the demo long enough, you start to notice some technical problems that really get in the way of enjoying the gameplay.

Overall, I was impressed with the effort Michael Dowling put in this category. Since the last time Ped Xing was reviewed, Typosoft made great strides in correcting various joystick, keyboard, and auto-save problems I had. Whether you're using keyboard or joystick, controls are very well-integrated. Four-button joystick support (with the third button for summons and the fourth button for special items) would be icing on the cake.

I also noticed a "shoveling" bug. Without trying to spoil the game, when Ped Xing gets a shovel and you save the game, you don't have the shovel when you reload the game. This could be because the save file doesn't take into account the shovel, because of it's special properties. Of course, I'm being incredibly nit-picky at this point, but if small bugs like this aren't taken care of outright it could hurt Ped Xing's Quest later on.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
A lot of videogames try to implement humor into their platform, often with unsuccessful results. But Ped Xing is a welcome exception to the rule, with Ped Xing coming across as a funny and daring hero. A big help to this comes from a mixture of clever dialogue and facial expressions made by Ped Xing during the dialogue boxes. Much like RPGs of the Playstation and Dreamcast generation, the character face of Ped Xing reacts according to different situations.

The overall plot of Ped Xing is also structured very carefully, keeping many of the fundamentals of an RPG game while consciously being wary of cliched RPG elements. The result is that Ped Xing becomes an experience truly all it's own.

As an added bonus, Ped Xing's Quest is also one of the few QBRPGs to have a mix of real-time and demo story sequences. What that means is sometimes the story develops by watching the equivalent of a dramatic sequence, with stops to read dialogue. Other times though, the story is more interactive. For example, early on in the game, a man is running rampantly while being attacked by two Ichi-me.  Should you kill the Ichi-me, the man returns to a normal walking pace and thanks you for helping him out. It's this clever blend of wit and interactivity that really strengthens Ped Xing's Story score.

Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
(Very Good)
Almost perfect. Ped Xing v1.2 is slightly longer than Ped Xing QB Expo Edition, offering a new subquest and access to a new spell. This makes Ped Xing a solid 3-hour quest, with some extra things to do after beating the game, like "What to do with that shovel?" or "What if I do save 999 yen and pay the guard at the very beginning of the game?"
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
This is a very careful category for Ped Xing's Quest, since it's in a demo phase. So far, the game comes with a mix of puzzle elements and of Zelda-like RPG elements, and the gradual increase of challenge is about right for the game so far. The enigma is, can you make a game more challenging while keeping a tight grip on the high level of story elements and fun factor throughout the game so far?

Then again, I myself have never made a game that would score this high overall on V Planet anyway, so my advice wouldn't be very good. I guess the best I could say to Typosoft is to trust their heart when making the rest of this game. If they do, the worst case scenario is that they get a 33/35 when the game is complete. 

Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
It probably sounds like the distance between my lips and the ass of Typosoft is very small, especially with the barrage of compliments that I am giving their second QB project, Ped Xing's Quest. In fact, this marks the second time a game by Typosoft received a 30-point rating from V Planet, a feat no other QB coding group has ever achieved.

But Typosoft deserves every bit of praise, especially for polishing the humor and the gameplay of Ped Xing's Quest. The gameplay is easy to get into and addictive from the beginning. Level layout is up with the best of commercial and non-commercial products, and the harmony between technical expertise and good old fun factor is perfect.

You ought to forget the hype as you download Ped Xing to your computer. There won't be any QB site out there that will try to bash Ped Xing because Typosoft made a game that has way too much humility and personality to be put down. In short, Ped Xing will seriously contend your opinion for the best old-school DOS experience you've ever had.

Ped Xing's Quest Reviewed by Vance Velez

Players 1 player Genre: Role Playing Game
Rating To solve: 3 hours Final Rating: 31/35

To download Ped Xing's Quest v1.2 (4.28MB), click here.
wIf you're unzipping this program in DOS, you may have to use the -d option.
wThis game is joystick compatible.
wBefore you run Ped Xing's Quest, make sure you run "SETUP.EXE" to change the game's sound settings.
wTo play Ped Xing's Quest, run "PEDXING.EXE".

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Game Summary
Coding Group
Homepage URL
Final Rating
31 out of 35 points

The Highs: Easy interface and goregeous graphics and music get you into the game very quickly.
The Lows: People who've played Ped Xing before may want to wait for the next version of Ped Xing for more new adventures.

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