|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
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"Cooey's Sidekick Enters the QB Spotlight"
After years of being in Cooey's shadow, it's
Mattress's turn to go treasure-hunting and quest-seeking! In this mini-RPG,
you take on the role of Cooey's partner in creature-slaying, experience
gathering, and boss-killing.
With a new set of skills, potions, and enemies,
Mattress must brave a world bullied around by an incredible evil. Can the
valliant sidekick of Cooey survive?
use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|All the graphics,
as intended of course, have a Dragon Warrior feel. But rather than look
quaint, "retro", or even gothic as DarkDread sometimes aims for, it just
ends up looking a little cheap. This style of art is now so normal, so
expected, and so dated, that it doesn't add enough ambiance to the game.
Some of the enemy drawings are dreadful-- for example, you fight two trolls
in the game, and they both look like something Mattress should be able
to squash underneath his shoe. Worst of all, the final boss is tiny, and
more than a little pathetic looking. I appreciate that graphics aren't
the focus of the game, but surely he could have spent an hour after he
was finished to fix a few things?
paid to intricate details in Darkness Ethereal games is also missing in
Mattress Warrior. One thing really bugged me about the graphics for the
house-- the shading is all wrong. The only way to explain the shading in
this game is to imagine that in the Secret of Cooey world there are two
suns, one at a steep angle casting a black line on the right hand side
of buildings (and into the buildings themselves-- what, do they not have
roofs or something? What do they do when it rains?), and another at the
back of all the buildings, shining sunbeams through the windows into the
house. Bizarrely enough, there are even shadows in the caves, but no light
Of course, this is
DarkDread we're talking about. Needless to say, it's not all bad. The NPC
drawings are quite good, and Mattress himself is well drawn (although when
he walks left and right his hair flashes different shades of black). All
the other characters, especially Cooey, look terrific. Most of the tilesets
are pretty good too, if a little crude. It really speaks of DarkDread's
experience that he can make graphics lke these, practically without trying.
smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
no sound in the game whatsoever, there is some music. The music in this
game isn't really that bad, but it's a huge step back from the likes of
Mysterious Song, which features one of the best QB soundtracks ever. In
Mattress Warrior, I personally kept getting the feeling that DarkDread
really just couldn't be bothered with it. The songs are short, repetitive
and cheery, with the exception of the cave theme, which although no less
repetitive than any of the other songs, is kinda moody and pleasant to
listen to. In fact, it kinda reminded me of the sad stages in "Mayhem in
Monsterland" for the Commodore 64, with it's bouncy low baseline and implied
rhythm. Personally, if I was playing this game again though, I'd play with
the nosound option on and stick in a metal CD. Once again though, the simplistic
music in this RPG is mostly due to the fact that the game was programmed
in only 48 hours as part of a MiniRPG competition hosted by the RPGDX,
a website for indie-RPGs.
precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
latest RPG offering falls short where it matters most. The Dragon Warrior-
style battle system lacks variety and substance, with the spell list far
too unbalanced, and items too difficult to procure. Surely the focus of
a Dragon Warrior-type RPG is it's battle system. Why then, are the later
spells so useless? When you're at a high enough level to use spells like
Fury and Omen, it just isn't cost effective because they use up most of
your MP. And you desperately need to hang on to your MP, because it's the
only effective way to heal yourself (potions only give you back a measly
100 HP). You can't actually buy any items in the game, you have to be fortunate
enough to find them when you kill an enemy.
That said, it's not
all bad. It gives you a reasonable challenge, and the battle frequency
is low enough (and the random encounters easy enough) so that the game
never really feels like a chore. The bosses are fairly fun as well. However,
nothing novel is introduced to the overused Dragon Warrior combat style
in this game. The game could have been much, much better had DarkDread
made the battles somewhat more strategic. As it is, the game ends up as
nothing more than an uninspiring Dragon Warrior clone.
creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
didn't even try to incorporate a story into Mattress Warrior. Unlike the
way 'Secret of Cooey III' attempts to be a spoof of RPG clichés,
Mattress Warrior simply embraces RPG clichés everywhere - bored
warrior seeks treasure, finally realizes he just wants to be with his friends.
Whereas in the Music
and Graphics category, I could understand if DarkDread's work was a little
rushed, given the nature of how it was programmed, I can't give such an
excuse for the game's plotline. Personally, I found the game's hero (Mattress)
very uninspiring. It is the actions that Mattress takes throughout the
story that cause the plot to blunder back and forth from cliché
to cliché. Therefore, I can't in good conscience give Mattress Warrior
a respectable mark for story.
|Replay Value (n.)
timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated
again and again
||With no scores,
complex or appealing spells, unique challenges or any secrets and sub quests
at all, I honestly couldn't find a single thing that would make me want
to relive the Mattress Warrior "experience". And I looked. Really hard!
I even played though the game a second time, looking for cool extras. Unfortunately,
as far as I can see, there isn't a single one, at least not an obvious
strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and
|The Dragon Warrior-style
challenge in this game is reasonable, but it really only depends on what
time you have. A tried and tested method for leveling-up effectively is
to fight your current batch of enemies until they become fairly easy, and
then move onto the next batch. The problem is that you don't really earn
anything from playing the game. Sure, your character becomes better, but
anyone can level up an RPG character, especially when all that's involved
is fighting and automatic stat leveling up. Some interactivity, like choosing
which stats to level up as you gained experience, would have helped.
Worse still, there's
very little strategy involved in the battles. Say in a platform game, where
you have to perfect your timing on a jump, or a fighting game where you
have to learn new moves - once you've done that, you feel like you've conquered
a real "challenge". Mattress Warrior practically involves no strategy--
anybody can finish Mattress Warrior if they put enough time into leveling
|Fun Factor (n.)
overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|I'm sick to death
of QBRPG clichés being seen as all part and parcel of working in
QB, and how mediocrity rules when a decent indie RPG plot is concerned.
QB programmers don't have the resources of professional developers, and
understandably, we sometimes have to settle for mediocrity in music, and
in graphics. What we can do, and what should be our niche, is to make original
and interesting storylines. What I think annoyed me more than anything
about Mattress Warrior is the the obvious lack of effort made to make a
good RPG story. To be honest, it made me a lot less sympathetic in the
other categories as well.
quite a lot to like about Mattress Warrior. The conversation between Cooey
and Mattress at the start set the scene for a promising game. I like the
fact the entire game was coded during a two-day sitting. I always like
to see new QB games, especially from Darkness Ethereal. However, there's
an equal amount not to like. I don't like the way the menus in the game
run slowly on my Pentium 466. I don't like the moronic character you play
as. But it's still a fun game, if entirely too typical.
I respect DarkDread.
I really do. I think Mysterious Song is the currently the best RPG made
in Quickbasic. But I also think that a programmer should constantly be
trying to better himself or herself, and unfortunately Mattress Warrior
is a step back, and not a step forward. After seeing the QBRPG scene explode
over the last few years, an explosion which is due in part to DarkDread
himself, we've come to expect better, even if this is only a minigame.
Reviewed by Terry Cavanagh
Role Playing Game
||To solve: 1-2 hours Final Rating:
download Mattress Warrior (755KB), click here.
Warrior uses DS4QB, and must run under Windows if you want music. Otherwise,
simply use the nosound option explained in the readme file.
play Mattress Warrior, unzip the file and run "SNDSETUP.EXE" to change
sound settings, then run "MWMUSIC.EXE".
Back to RPG Page
out of 35 points
Highs: DarkDread is to Hideo Kojima as
Secret of Cooey is to Metal Gear Solid-- any game you download from the
Secret of Cooey series is legendary.
Lows: Cooey is to Solid Snake as Mattress
is to Raiden-- the pathetic storyline and average graphics and music make
the main character unenjoyable.
V Planet! Archive
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