|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
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Cai's Quest 3
"Good and Evil Balanced by Heroes and Magic"
Believed to have been killed by Nick Ambiroth,
Shaltre was actually in seclusion for five year's time. During that time,
Nick and Cerl built and ruled a castle on the northwestern region, assuring
peace and prosperity to all.
But with Shaltre's apparent return, it is
now in Nick Ambiroth's hands to slay his nemesis once and for all before
Shaltre's evil army triggers a war of incredible proportion. The key to
averting the threat is defending runics, sources of great magical power...
use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|Average. The tilesets
in Cai's Quest 3 are adequate, but not really spectacular in terms of detail
or overall appearance. The game's maps are somewhat tileish, and the game
features character movement, animation frames for villagers and for enemies,
and a few other bonuses that are techonologically impressive. It would
have been nice to see some higher-quality graphics though.
Cai's Quest 3 could
also use some improvement in it's scrolling routines. The pixel by pixel
map scrolling is erratic, stopping whenever the character reaches a new
tile. The result is a sort of jerky movement that is more noticeable when
the games "running" feature is turned on.
smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
|The game's high
point. The soundtrack is actually the best part about Cai's Quest 3, often
being of such high quality that it clashes with the game's graphics. However,
the music is a mix of unoriginal music and a few tunes composed exclusively
for the game by Ben Price, Venosoft's musician. It's this clash from the
ripped music that lowers the sound/music score to an average rating.
precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
|Cai's Quest 3 is
a linear, traditional RPG made in the vein of the later Final Fantasy titles,
with a mix of some of the game mechanics found in Konami's RPG series,
Suikoden. Like Suikoden, weapons are not bought but upgraded, and magic
spells are given to characters through the use of Runics. When a runic
is used, it's effect can vary depending on the character who utilizes the
runic. Choosing which runics to equip during key points of the game is
central to progress.
The unwelcome mix
into the Suikoden formula are the Final Fantasy-style battles, which copy
some of the good and bad of a typical FF enemy engine. On the good side,
players have access to different spells, items, and other combat skills
that help mix up the game.
On the bad side,
the game suffers from a terrible lagging problem due to the built-in attack
bar, which is incredibly slow. Having to wait nearly eight seconds for
each character's attack bar to fill up just to attack (when it takes about
4 rotations to kill an enemy of equal strength) literally feels like throwing
away a minute and thirty seconds of life everytime an enemy battle takes
place, watching the enemies bobble up and down.
Personally, I don't
even understand why Cai's Quest 3 even needs a charging attack bar in the
first place. Usually attack bars are added to distribute turns between
enemies and characters, creating the feel of "real-time" combat. All the
attack bar in Cai's Quest 3 does is significantly slow down the game, and
make the entire battle experience tedious instead of fun.
creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
|The plot itself
is very different, Cai's Quest 3 storyline feels a little too much a cheapened
version of Suikoden (which coincidentally also revolves runes, a concept
similar to the runics in Cai's Quest 3). Cai's Quest comes across as a
pretty serious story and it would have been nice to see some more terms
and concepts made from scratch.
Some twists and turns
are taken by Venosoft to help give the story some more originality, but
the game suffers from another problem; the game is wrapped in too much
unique jargon, to the point where the excessive banter disrupts the game's
plot. There were simply too many town names, people, and other pieces of
vocabulary thrusted at one time, presented in a way that is buried in too
much drivel to understand.
|Replay Value (n.)
timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated
again and again
||The game's low point.
Because of it's massive size and relatively small staff, there are a lot
of parts in Cai's Quest 3 that feel untested. For example, many of the
tilesets in the game are poorly formatted. It's too easy to find mountains
or walls that haven't been assigned as obstructions, resulting in the ability
to walk through entire mazes instead of actually travelling the right way,
or walking pasts town exits and having to backtrack in an illogical manner
before returning to the field.
Other unusual gameplay
features in the game disrupt the gameplay. One of the more unusual commands
in Cai's Quest 3 is the "run" command, an input that allows you to toggle
between running and walking. This feature makes sense in an action-based
RPG like the PC game Diablo II, where enemy battles are not taken care
of in a menu-driven system. But this feature adds absolutely nothing to
the Final Fantasy-style gameplay of Cai's Quest 3, and actually disrupts
gameplay since running has to be re-toggled each time you play the game.
I pity the poor gamer who forgets to talk to that one villager about how
the "R" button works, because missing that one piece of information literally
adds hours to the total playing time of this game.
strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and
|There are different
ways to extend the playing time on an RPG, and Cai's Quest 3 extends the
game by combining a lot of experience gaining with some awkward enemy balance.
If you're walking somewhere where your party is not ready to go to yet,
you are going to be smacked very hard, oftentimes with hits that take away
80%-100% of your life. Even one experience level can make all the difference.
The problem with
this format is that it makes Cai's Quest 3's snail-like battle system feel
that much slower and unwelcome. If fighting the same creature patterns
over and over again using the same tactics isn't bad enough, having to
repeat the procedure for an hour or so each time you progress adds insult
|Fun Factor (n.)
overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
||With two years of
development time and the promise of over forty hours of gameplay, Cai's
Quest 3 was one of the titles I was really anticipating to play. But after
playing the game for nearly a dozen hours, even I had to throw in the towel
in trying to play this game to it's end. Even the most devoted RPG nut
will get frustrated of this game not because it's difficult, or because
of it's length. This RPG is just so boring in nature that nobody would
want to play it the whole way through, and those who do try to tame this
beast may encounter glitches that hinder the gameplay or even harm the
gamer's save quest. Not fun at all.
It's really too bad,
because Cai's Quest 3 actually has a pretty decent battle engine that offers
a lot of options and (on paper) has a lot of potential. But the battles
are just too slow and uninteractive to be enjoyable, and the poor enemy
balance simply breaks this game apart. If you ever do reach the end of
this game and find out what happens to Nick Ambiroth, you ought to pat
yourself in the back. Otherwise, there's no shame in letting this title
go in search of greener pastures.
Cai's Quest 3
Reviewed by Vance Velez
Role Playing Game
||To solve: 45 hours Final Rating:
download Cai's Quest 3 (5.08MB), click here.
install Cai's Quest 3, go to the website and download "CAI3DOS.EXE". At
this point, follow the installation instructions.
Cai's Quest 3 is installed, go to the main directory of the file and run
"CAI3.EXE" to play the game.
desired, you may download the latest patch for Cai's Quest 3 at Venosoft.com
to correct some glitches and optimize game speed.
Back to RPG Page
out of 35 points
Highs: Clocked at a hefty forty-five hours,
Cai's Quest 3 is indisputably the longest QBRPG ever made.
Lows: The heart of Cai's Quest 3 are the
battle scenes, which are numerous, sluggish, and unentertaining.
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