Koudelka

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JaySevenZero
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Koudelka

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions for Koudelka for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder that where the feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but keeping it brief is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mostly reading out essays. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.

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Seph
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Re: 474 - Koudelka

Post by Seph »

I'm sorry if this comment is completely useless in terms of feedback, but after looking up this game it awakened some lost memory of something I have definitely experienced yet lacking any actual detail.

From looking at the cover of this game and gameplay videos, I know I used to own this and played through at least the first couple of hours. The fact I never finished it or that I don't own it now means I probably didn't think much of it back then; but it's the type of game I'd love to try now, mostly due to the atmosphere and story. If it didn't carry such a hefty price tag these days I'd pick it up or at least buy a digital version, but I can't find one of those anywhere.

Anyway, as I say, this comment won't add much to any discussion. However, thanks to whoever suggested it as it unlocked a part of my memories and if the panel thinks it's still worth playing, I'll see what I can do to track it down.

T-BirD
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Re: Our next podcast recording (19.6.21): 474 - Koudelka

Post by T-BirD »

Unfortunately, I don't anything terribly constructive to add either.
I bought a used copy of Koudelka after finding out it was a sort of prequel to the Shadow Hearts series - I was immensely enjoying Shadow Hearts: Covenant at the time. Now, 17 years later, I still haven't played beyond a few minutes past the title screen. Somehow I always picked something else off the shelf.

Might see if I can put a bit of time into it the next few days to add some more useful feedback.

The North American version goes for crazy prices nowadays - I did not expect that development.

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Ben77000000
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Re: Our next podcast recording (19.6.21): 474 - Koudelka

Post by Ben77000000 »

As one of the plebs who walked away from Breath of the Wild disgruntled with its flimsy weapons, Koudelka's weapon durability system proved to be a pleasant surprise. Seeing my characters' proficiency with certain weapons improve every time they broke one meant that I ended up welcoming the notification that a weapon had shattered, rather than dreading it. Koudelka's handling of weapon durability encouraged me to experiment with different types in the hopes of seeing the extended melee combos that came with higher aptitude. The weapons also lasted long enough that obtaining one felt rewarding rather than redundant.

In terms of tactics, the final boss was the only enemy in the game that demanded my attention. As such, the combat was only inadvertently entertaining through its oddball enemy design and quirky animations. Thankfully the customisation afforded through stat distribution, coupled with the generous levelling system, meant that sitting through the sluggish encounters rarely felt like a waste of time.

Although random encounters were tame and tended to last a few minutes too many, Koudelka's story was intriguing enough to hold my attention. Developments came at a steady pace, and seeing things unfold was consistently entertaining thanks to the frenetic CG cutscenes and solid voicework. The singular quality of the performances in this game lent the characters a weird charm, and despite only spending 15 hours in their company, Koudelka's three dysfunctional leads won me over me in a way few JRPG parties do.

Putting Koudelka up against its peers one facet at a time would probably lead to a series of unfavourable comparisons, but as an experience in and of itself, the game holds up pretty well. Its pre-rendered backgrounds don't hold a candle to those of Final Fantasy IX or Resident Evil 3, nor do its encounters warrant the tinkering that other JRPGs of its era invite, but for me Koudelka remains an endearing game that admirably reworks the tone and progression of a survival horror into a curious RPG that accomplishes a lot without asking for much.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (19.6.21): 474 - Koudelka

Post by T-BirD »

After 4.5 hours and just beginning disc 2, I can confidently say that I have never played anything quite like Koudelka.

This strange blend of Resident Evil with a (very) light strategy rpg combat system, taking place in a semi-historical, supernatural fictional timeline and featuring a cast of dysfunctional characters who work together out of necessity rather by choice....would be a tall order for a modern game. The fact that it was even attempted in 1999 is impressive in and of itself. Unfortunately, that only excuses some of its numerous rough edges.

Koudelka has served up some goosebump moments so far and evokes a sense of dread in its grisly setting. The occasional bit of humor - usually a result of the party members bickering - has usually been successful (quality of the voice acting aside), when it could have so easily undermined the experience.

The battle system is the game's low point. That's a major problem, given that it makes up the majority of the gameplay besides "running about". I *still* haven't figured out exactly how the movement grid works in all circumstances. Nor have I uncovered the secret to leveling up spells akin to the way weapon skills are leveled. What I -have- figured out, is that enemies practically always first target Koudelka if there is any possible way of hitting her...

Also, the combat is just abysmally slow, even running on a PS2. The constant loading pauses after attack or magic actions must have been absolutely painful on the original Playstation. It also feels unfinished, as in some animations and sound effects feel like they are missing.

I'm intrigued enough that I intend to finish Koudelka in the coming weeks. It's certainly not an easy game to recommend, but it IS unique in many ways, and I wonder what could have been accomplished with a bigger budget, a bit more time and some better optimization.

3 word review: "Ambitious, fascinating mess"

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Simonsloth
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Re: Our next podcast recording (19.6.21): 474 - Koudelka

Post by Simonsloth »

Koudelka is an excellent pick for this years Cane and Rinse line-up, especially for my copy of the game. I actually got the game on release as from the magazine previews it appeared to my young eyes like a resident evil style survival horror but without the BBFC 15 certificate which would have stopped my parents buying it for me.

I played it once and was so confused as I don’t think I’d played a turn based RPG before and put in back on the shelf. I was raised to never be ungrateful for a present that I said thank you to my parents, pretended I had enjoyed it. So all these years it has sat on a variety of shelves....until now.

Although there are some resident evil comparisons what with the mansion setting, fixed camera angles, questionable voice acting and range of monsters the game play is very different.

Overall I enjoyed my time with it and am glad to have played it. The interval between random battles was perfect, levelling up occurred pretty frequently, there were lots of save points and the game was surprisingly short for an RPG ultimately respecting my time. Aside from one painful piece of backtracking the game always seemed to be pushing you forward which was incredibly welcome and there’s something really satisfying about a disc swap.

Unfortunately the game also has several questionable design decisions. The battle music aside from maybe the last boss is the same every time and although it was quite fun at first during some of the longer battles it felt borderline torturous. The in game map was terrible, many key objects were barely visible and even the head turn Koudelka does towards an object did not help.

The manual in the box was poor and I didn’t feel like it was ever explained to me that if I repeated an attack or continually used a weapon with a character that it would level up that individual stat. Unfortunately a lot of the early game I was using every new weapon I came across and switching to the one with the highest stats meaning I never mastered anything to my detriment and lead to some later game grinding which could have been avoided.

During battles there are painfully long delays after magical attacks where the other characters load back in with some of these making me think the game had crashed.

Then there was the Backtracking for acid! Why?! I can’t understand why anyone would think it was a good idea to add this unnecessary padding especially with the confusing map and poor signposting.

I don’t want to end on a series of negative comments so I’ll highlight something positive. Towards the end of the game there was a prolonged scene involving Koudelka and Edward which seemed both natural and well acted. It had an almost uncharted-esque flavour and stood out in terms of quality and style from the rest of the games quite terrible dialogue and acting. If there had been more of this I feel the game could have garnered a more favourable critical reception and makes me wonder how much better it could have been.

You also fight furniture.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (19.6.21): 474 - Koudelka

Post by T-BirD »

"You also fight furniture."

So you're saying Koudelka is also part Splatterhouse? ;)

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