Preview: Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask (PC – Steam) ~ It’s A Holy Sin.

capsule_616x353Developers’ siteFull game websiteKickstarterSteam page for the prologue

Ah, point-and-click adventure games. One of the best game genres that there is in my opinion. I do love myself a good point-and-click game. Now, you could start a debate if games like Ace Attorney, Corpse Party, Zero Escape series are also point-and-click games. I know that they are visual novels but I find that there is a lot of overlap between both genres. But that might be an interesting topic for a gamer’s thoughts article. Now, today I want to talk about a game that Red Martyr Entertainment is developing called Saint Kotar. They have launched a Kickstarter to raise more money to develop this game even further, you can find the link to the Kickstarter at the start of this article and it’s ending this Friday, July 24th, 2020. So, if this game seems interesting to you, feel free to take a look at that page. But, how would you know if this game is interesting? Well, by playing the free prologue on Steam of course. In this article, you will find my 100% honest opinion on this prologue, as per request of the developer. So, let’s dive right into it. And per usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on the game and/or the article in the comment section down below. 

Reviewed version: v1.3.

It’s A Holy Sin

fisherman_wallpaper.jpgWhen you start a new game in this prologue, you get introduced to the main character of this game. Just by the opening quote, you know which themes this game will tackle. The game is advertised as a dark psychological horror adventure game talking about religion. The story starts in what looks like a hellscape or limbo. The main character feels that he is being punished for something is he is unable to remember.

I don’t want to give a more in depth explanation of the story in this game since the demo is 2 hours long and otherwise I might easily get into spoiler territory. But, if you are interested in games about the exploration of trauma and sins, I think that this game won’t dissapoint you.

The whole prologue is completely voice acted in English and only English. Now, the game got translated to German, Russian, Polish, Turkish, Brazilian, Czech, Spanish, and Chinese. Anything but the voice acting is translated and localized. Since I understand a small bit of German, I replayed the first section with German subtitles and I have to say that I’m quite impressed with the quality of it.

Before I continue to talk about writing, I want to talk about the voice acting. The voice acting is quite well done but it’s on the edge of overacting in my opinion. I can’t really put my finger on it but I felt that some lines weren’t natural enough. But, the fact that I have played in several theatre productions might have something to do with it, since I can get quite nitpicky in details when it comes to delivering lines.

The writing in this game is quite impressive. It strikes that fine balance of creepy and being realistic. Now, something that destroys the immersion a bit for me is the animations, but I’ll talk more about that in a later part of the article. To avoid spoilers, I don’t think it’s a good idea to talk more about the writing. But before we go on to the next section, I do want to talk about this. The pacing is sometimes a bit off. Sometimes there is some downtime where the game looks like it’s soft locked and doing nothing. Most likely, it’s loading the next voice line in the background, but it feels a bit off.

Where is my Bible?

20200719134642_1The artwork in this game is amazing. The enviroments this game takes place in are amazingly detailed and feel realistic. The only complaint I have about the visuals is that it’s clear that somethings stick out a bit. The best example I can give are the charater models. Now, they aren’t bad but 3D characters on heavily detailed 2D image? It somehow doesn’t fit in my mind.

One advise I can give you is to set the brightness to max. There are some sections of the game I thought the game froze but it was playing an animation. That reminds me, I found it quite strange that when the screen went black to load the next scene in, there was no animation on the screen. It was just black with the sound and music where playing in the background. Anyhow, when I set the brightness to the maximum, I was able to see more of the game and some parts didn’t felt too hidden anymore.

When talking about the visuals, we also have to talk about the animations. Now, remember that I said earlier that it broke the immersion for me? Well, let me explain why. In the prologue, the animations feel unfinished and they are inconsistent. Let me give an example of them being inconsistent. In this prologue, you play as different characters. During the game, you meet Nikolay. Nikolay’s mouth moves when he speaks yet for some strange reason, the mouth of the main character doesn’t move while he is speaking. Maybe I’m overanalysing this since it’s quite possible that most of it are inner thoughts, then again, the mouth doesn’t move during dialogue…

What do I mean by unfinished animations? Well, it feels like there is so much more that can be done by adding more animations to the characters while interacting with things. The characters feel a bit to static, locked in their idle frames of animation. Now, I’m not saying that the animations are horrible or bad. Far from it. But, when I’m saying is that they aren’t there quite yet. Just let the character move a bit more and the game will feel a lot better.

It’s getting there

cottage_exterior_wallpaperThere is some minor pixel hunting in this game. This could have been avoided when sometimes hotspots just sprakled or something in that nature. Maybe this could be a difficulty option like a lot of hidden object games do. This could help people when they feel stuck. And then I looked at the “Help” section of the pause menu. This feature is in the game, but it gets never explained. Just press the space bar.

Also, I found it quite strange that when you started the credits from the main menu, you get a message as if you had beaten the game. This is quite strange, since I just wanted to check out how big the team as research for this article.

Overall, this game is really getting there. There are a lot of detailing and polishing work to be done. Thankfully, the developers are quite responisive and open for feedback so I think the full game will be a lot better compared to the prologue. But don’t misunderstand me here, I’m not saying that the prologue isn’t good. I had an amazing time while playing this game.

I’m very impressed by the quality of this game and I’m crossing my fingers for the Kickstarter to reach it’s goal. Since I honestly believe in this team and from what I can see in this prologue, I think this game is going to become quite interesting. So, that’s why I might come over quite harsh in this article in certain sections. I just want to see the game get even better then it currently is. Sometimes, it are just some small details that need to be changed.

For example, the color of the buttons in the main menu are too similar to the colors in the background. The “Options” and “Exit Game” buttons almost blend in with the background for me. Speaking about the UI, it’s extremely well done but it would be bettter if some sound effects would play and if the “ESC” key also exited you out of menu’s.

Speaking about sound effects, they are pretty good. They set the tone and atmosphere quite well. Including the soundtrack of this game, it sells the whole atmosphere without a lot of issues.

In conclusion, this game is pretty decent. I’m seriously impressed with the quality of the game so far. If this is the baseline level of quality that the team can deliver, I’m very excited to see the full game in the future. The game is scheduled to be released in the summer of next year when you look at the deliverly time on the Kickstarter page.

Thank you Red Martyr for this oppertunity and introducing me to this project. I’m going to follow it for sure and whenever the full game is released, you may be sure that I’m going to write an article about it. So yeah, if you are into point-and-click games, horror games and/or adventure games…. I can recommend this game.

And with that said, I have said everything I wanted to say about this game for now. I want to thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to be able to welcome you in another article but until then, have a great rest of your day and take care.

Views on the future: an update blog.

Hello there Neko’s. Today, I’ll do something different. Normally I make Neko Vlogs for this, but hey, I like to change things around once in a while. So, that’s why I’ll write the updates here in this post. What am I going to do in the future? You will read it all here. Keep in mind that I’m going to be extremely busy. This weekend I have to go acting for a theater tour here in my home town. And next week my college for elementary teacher restarts. But hey, I’ll try to do some stuff in my free time for everything. 

Personal life.

Before I actually talk about my idea’s for the future, what I’m busy with and what will be going on that might keep me from creating content. Like I said in the introduction, I’m going to have a busy weekend. Next week, I’ll be out on Monday for college, on Tuesday I have some preparation work to do and from Wednesday my college restarts.

Since I have to focus on this new challenge, my releasing of content will slow down. I’m extremely excited to meet new people and face all the new challenges that this will bring me. I’m also planning to play a part in next year’s play of my theater group.  If any of you guys read this article, know that I love you guys extremely much.

Also, I have a lot of things to do in my personal life. Like cleaning things up, organizing things and such. Some parts of my library’s and stock effects (for example) are all a big mess. So, I have to clean that up. In addition to that, I have to make sure that everything runs as smooth as it can get.

But some sad news needs to be told as well. Because I do a lot of repetitive movements due to play a lot of games and writing a lot, my right shoulder hurts from time to time. With resting and such it goes away but it sometimes stops me from working on content. So, that’s a reason why sometimes content doesn’t come daily.

I’m glad that I linked Twitter with everything. For my latest updates go to my Twitter. I announce on there when I’m sick, too tired to work on things, too busy or any other things like that.

The final thing before we move on is that I want to mention that I won’t try to put out things every day anymore. I don’t think it will be possible for me anymore. Also, I think I won’t enjoy my “work” (/hobby) as much then anymore. I’ll try to put something on my blog or YouTube channel at least once a week but daily is no goal anymore of mine.

Personal thanks

Before I continue, I want to thank you all for the support I’m getting lately. 12,500+ views and nearly 110 subscribers is really amazing for me. And that’s for my YouTube.

On my blog, I also get likes and comments on nearly every article. And it puts a smile to me face. I’m so glad that people enjoy my content and start following me. While this is actually a hobby and stress reliever of mine, I actually feel rewarded in the process. And that feeling is something unique.

For people who play sports as a hobby it feels like winning a match while the audience is cheering you on. It feels so good. I have to thank everybody from Arpegi and ButtonSmashers for the amazing feedback I get. BloodCat for example is such an amazing guy and really points out the things that didn’t go well.

Thanks to this small success, I actually got in touch with some better YouTubers and such then me. And I have ways to grow even more. Yet, this is extremely overwhelming to me. Seeing that I got some trophies from WordPress for my work and that another blog selected ButtonSmashers (and that means Arpegi also, a bit at least) for a family award… Well, I’m going to be extremely honest here. My goal is to entertain the family and make it grow. And getting a WordPress Family Award for it, it gave me teary eyes.

Like this article guys: http://afterdarkgaming.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/wordpress-family-award/ It’s really something I’m going to print out and stick on my magnet board near my desk.

I can’t wait what the future is going to bring for me. Maybe new people want me to write for them. New collaborations or solo projects. Who knows?

Future content.

Blog

I’ll be working on a lot for my blog. First of all, I’m thinking of starting a new page for Steam accounts and such. Or I might add it on the Arpegi network page.

Also, I’ll link to the ButtonSmashers networks by a new partner page I’m creating. I’m talking to the guys of ButtonSmashers to ask who wants to be on that page.

Plus, I now finishing up a lot of games at the same time. That’s why there hasn’t been so many articles lately. I’m working on finishing games to get review ready and in stock to avoid “death moments” on my blog.

And a new creepypasta is being read. This one will be exclusive for an Arpegian’s CreepyPasta Tumblr. Maybe after some time I might link it on my DevaintArt or my own blog/Tumblr.

I have some rants in preparation too. Since it has been such a long time that I wrote one. Game Diary’s will also continue. So, keep an eye on my blog for updates.

Before I forget, soon I’ll be on the “About Us” page on ButtonSmashers. I’m truly excited for that. I don’t want to push the guys there but they said it will happen soon.

Something I should have done a long time ago is the favicon of my blog. If you bookmark my blog, it will show the default WordPress logo. I have to change that! I might put my normal avatar as a temp replacement until somebody of ButtonSmashers or Arpegi makes me something. But yeah, until then I might change it to something temp.

There might change something on my blog. I might not review all games I did a first impression on. Simply because of time limits. Yeah, I don’t have loads and loads of time. And I start new games all the time. Either I have to change that habit or just make the full review a later day.

YouTube

After some stalling, today I finally started working on the final episode of Project Central. I’m 25% done with it. After that, I’ll start playing Dream Chronicles again to record a new episode of that.

As you neko’s probably have seen already, I uploaded the other episodes of Herobrine’s Return. Simply to get that series over with. I was so unhappy that my microphone bugged out and you could barely hear me. Thankfully I have a better headset now so that’s fixed.

The Corpse Party series is in a delay. Because of Hetty not having a proper mic. Yet, we are going to try to record a new episode with the internal mic of her laptop but I can’t give any promises. I might ask other Arpegians to work on new episodes with me.

I have been playing a lot of Minecraft with the Arpegians. New people joined in the crew too. Maybe they might appear in video’s. So, I played a lot on a 1.7 snapshot server and I’m talking to MiseryLC for maybe a new survival series. But we aren’t going to reset our map so, the boring grindy stuff is already done. Sadly enough, we have so ugly chuncks. Some might like it, but I’m still not sure what to do with them. I might just delete the bad things with MCEdit or something or just deal with it.

I also need to upgrade my editing software soon. Version 12 of PowerDirector was released. And I’m still rocking with version 11. The new features really caught my eye. Like an improved rendering and zoom really put a smile on my face.

The other updates are slowly getting done. Like the updating of all playlists is done. Now the description of everything and I finally did all the behind the scenes work on my channel.

Other projects

I’m saving up for a lot of new things. Like a better mouse, better speakers. And maybe even a great microphone.

But I’m mainly working on the Arpegi forums as well. I have a lot of things to fix and improve on the forums. I made an update to the YouTube support of the forum the other day actually. But it needs some tweaking.

I also need to update my other social networks to link to all the places I publish my content on. Sadly enough, I can’t link my Tumblr to my YouTube… But one day I’ll make it happen.

I’m also thinking about expanding my social networks to Facebook. But I’m not so sure about that. It might be just too much for me to keep up to date.

Final words

Anyways, thanks for reading. Now I told you all my latest updates which would be normally in a vlog. Thanks again for all the support and I’ll do my best to continue publishing my content. Thanks to all the feedback I feel that I’m improving and creating even better content for you neko’s.

Sadly enough, real life is going to eat a lot of my time soon. I’ll focus primarily on that so that I don’t get myself into trouble with that. That makes a less stressy Jonez and that results in a more creative me. And a more creative me… Yeah, I think you get the idea.

Feel free to drop me a comment. But for now, NekoJonez out!

CreepyPasta: You should have been playing. (Written by: NekoJonez)

As a hobby I maintain my own blog, forum and YouTube channel. For that I have made a Facebook page and people could request to join.

Writing is something that interested me since the beginning. When I discovered those horror stories about bewitched games and hauntings of cartridges my attention was caught right away. I watched a lot of video’s, read a lot of stories and enjoyed every second of them. Maybe with the help of some shameless advertising, I even made a few comments.

One day, a girl that wasn’t part of my forum wanted to join the Facebook page. I checked her profile out. She was pretty hot in my opinion. That aside, I checked her profile out to make sure it wasn’t a cover for some advertiser or some fake profile. And I accepted her. It didn’t take long before I got a friend request of her. I thought that she followed my links while reading my comments and to further spread my content, I gladly accepted the friend request.

After a week, we talked a lot over Skype and Facebook chat. Man, did we have a fun time. We also played a lot of games together. From Minecraft to Corpse Party. The single player games we played in screen share. Or we used something along the lines of TeamViewer. That depended on the resources the game asked to avoid lag.

But sadly enough, my holidays were running short and I had to go back to school. She was bummed out. She didn’t go to school anymore and she had nobody else to play games with. I felt sorry for her and I tried to spend my free time with her.

Winter arrived and I went out of town for a week. Enjoying my ski-trip with my classmates. Man, the teachers and we looked forward to it. But in the middle of it all, I realized that I forgot to inform her of all this. I shook it off, hoping that she would read it on my blog or the forum where I mentioned it several times. I didn’t need to be scared then… well yet.

When I arrived home, I hoped that she was online. Sadly enough she wasn’t. Yet her profile changed. It was much more filled with darker imagery. I rolled my eyes. I kept telling myself that it was another one of those times that she went obsessed with the games we were playing. And since we were recently playing horror games and games with a dark tone it didn’t came as a surprise to me.

But then strange things started happening. Thankfully nothing like “ultra-realistic blood” or “loud noises and freezing computers” like you read in many of these stories. Just something really scary. It started when I booted up my 3DS to play some Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. I found out that my capture device wouldn’t go out of my 3DS. I rolled my eyes and said to myself that it will be find. Maybe my desk was jamming the cable or something. I just wanted to play since I didn’t play the whole trip. Exciting.

So, those weird things. Yeah, those happened when I started my copy of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Gates to Infinity. My savefile was completed. Everything was there, the whole story finished, all Pokémon captured and raised till the highest level. And the completion time was 12:12. I was confused. Did my little brother play on my 3DS? Could be, but finishing my game…. Nah, I can’t believe that. He didn’t know where I hid the charger.

I closed my 3DS and placed it away for the moment. I started up Minecraft to put my mind on something else. When I see that I can’t connect to the internet. I got irritated since I didn’t want to look like the default Steve. But my mom told me that it’s because a cable snapped in the garage that gave power to our router. My dad was out getting a new cable so I had to wait a bit for it to return.

I started up the world me and she had been playing the whole time. But when I entered the world, I found a lot of signs. Signs of one of her pranks I thought? But all signs said the same: “You should have been playing.” All of them. They were everywhere. Well, to be fair on all the places I had yet to finish building. And believe me or not, all parts where indeed finished.

I closed Minecraft. Another thing finished? Odd. And I can sit here the whole day talking about the other strange things I saw. But everything comes down to the same idea. Every game we played, was finished. To the max. And every game had a hint that I should have been playing.

I didn’t want to continue playing those games. I got scared. What sick prank are they pulling on me? Every game was finished. Who of my forum or my community was that bored to do all of this? I started up the last game we played together. Scared what I was about to find. It was a hacked version of Corpse Party some people on the internet made. It was a simple translation hack to make it in our native language.

But the final cutscene played when I booted it up. “We came home. Without the help of User-Laptop! He should have been playing.” Then I started to laugh uncontrollable. So, somebody just wrote a script that hacked my savefiles to 100% and he made a mistake there where he or she pulled my computer name and tried to use it as my normal name. “Hah!” I thought to myself. I was so glad that I took that name as pc name now. So glad that my laziness when I reformatted my laptop months ago pays off now.

Yet, it didn’t end there. A new chapter was unlocked. “Absence of friends.” I smiled heavily. I love Corpse Party a whole lot and new content, count me in. This would have been such a great distraction from this prank. I thought.

I explored around and when nearly finished the chapter, I found an empty-ish room. There was only a bed, desk with a computer and some other things. Well, in short, it looked like a bedroom. One I recognized. It was her bedroom. She once showed it to me when she turned her cam on at Skype. I was confused. Scared of what was going to happen, I saw there was a body on the floor. I stopped in my tracks. A connection in my brain was made that instant.

Did she commit suicide because I wasn’t playing with her? And did she finish all the games we played and killed herself out of sorrow? That might explain a lot of things. Mostly her profiles being so dark and empty. And the signs of me begging to play everywhere. I was about to freak out. This couldn’t be real. With major fear, I walked to the body and pressed “A”. …..

The story is too harsh and emotional to continue to tell. Yet, to this day I don’t know if it was real or if it was an effect of the darkening of my arrival here at Heavenly Host Elementary…..

Wait Jonez, what is this? 

Thanks for asking. Well, since this is my 50th article on this blog I decided to do something really special! I made my first attempt in writing a creepy pasta. Which is a story that isn’t true, made up. It’s written for your own entertainment.

It’s mostly a story about something really scary happening. Something unreal.

Anyways, let’s close this off with the usual cliché and generic stuff. Thanks everybody! Thank you ButtonSmashers for recognizing me and all the moments we spend together.

Thank you for helping me grow. My Arpegians and the ButtonSmashers. Even when you aren’t one of both, thanks for reading and supporting me. It’s so much fun to write, make video’s and do stuff like this. It really helps me get through the challenges that life gives me.

Anyways, if you want me to write more Creepy Pasta’s, I wouldn’t mind. Just leave me a signal and I’ll try to come up with some. But feel free to write in the comments your thoughts of this story and/or how you would improve it. Thanks for reading and hopefully I see you here a next time.