Here’s a weird little criticism of Koudelka.

So, I’m still playing through Koudelka and really starting to realize that when a reviewer says “12-15 hours of gameplay”, it means “24-30 hours” in my personal time space.  Fortunately it’s still quite enjoyable and the game’s “escape” command works almost every time – so if I find myself running into a few too many random encounters, I can just escape out of them.

Anyway, as previously noted, I’m quite fond of the characters.  The story is just now starting to explore their motivations for coming to the monastery in which the whole thing is set, and I think it says a lot for the writing that I’m genuinely interested to find out what sequence of events has thrown these three together.

The graphics, while still kind of painful, aren’t anything I can legitimately complain about, and they’re backed up by some really nice sound work.  I really don’t have much to complain about with regards to this game, so this next bit is going to sound super petty:

Koudelka has one of the worst inventory systems I’ve ever run into in an RPG.  It’s not just that you can’t sort it and that you can’t easily see stats on items, it’s not just that it’s a limited size and that picking up new items forces you to drop old items without being able to oh, check the stats of the thing you’re dropping vs the thing you’re picking up.

No, my big complaint is that the game throws a LOT of freaking quest items at you, and that they share inventory space with stuff like weapons and healing items, so you run into situations like I had tonight, where I was dropping weapons left and right to make room for weird pieces of glass and stone tablets and so on, and then I hit a sequence of rooms where I used most of the random doohickies I’d been picking up, and now I have an inventory that’s mostly empty – which is good, in a way, because now I can stop worrying about it for a while, but I really would have liked to have held on to some of the stuff I was forced to drop along the way.

Oh, and this is silly and somewhat related:

At one point in the game, I fought a boss and defeated it.  Go me.

Shortly thereafter, I got stuck on a puzzle and resorted to gamefaqs to get through it.

When reading the solution to the puzzle, I noticed that the faq mentioned that the boss I’d just fought still had loot on him, and that if I went back and searched his body I’d get twenty rounds of pistol ammo and a new, better pistol.

I went back to the bosses’ body and searched it.

I found a box of pistol ammo.

I had 99 pistol ammo already in inventory, so the game told me I couldn’t pick it up.  Since I couldn’t pick up the pistol ammo, it didn’t even tell me about the new & improved pistol.

The only way to pick up the new, better pistol was to a) walk around until I’d triggered enough random encounters to burn through 20 rounds of ammo, or b) delete the 99 rounds of pistol ammo I had in inventory so I could pick up the 20 rounds and then pick up the pistol.

Furthermore, if I hadn’t happened to see, in a faq, that there WAS a new pistol to be had, I would have searched the body, gotten a “you can’t pick up this ammo because you have too much”, and gone on my merry way never realizing that I should do whatever it took to be able to pick up the ammo.

Like I said, silly.

Also, if that’s the most heartfelt rant I can come up with, it speaks highly of the game.  🙂

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