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    dkirschner's Trials of Fire (PC)

    [March 24, 2024 04:38:43 PM]
    I shouldnít have purchased this. I must have been on a card battler kick, probably when I was playing Slay the Spire and Monster Train last year. Thereís nothing wrong with Trials of Fire; it just doesnít have the personality or the pizzazz that better card battlers have. In fact, playing it after Wildermyth, it comes off as a way less interesting take on the card battler/tactical RPG genre, and I canít help but compare the two. The main difference, of course, is that Wildermyth has no cards; itís a tactics RPG with procedural storytelling and character development that was really, really cool. Trials of Fire doesnít have anything that is really, really cool. Trials of Fire has:

    - An overworld that manages to be duller than Wildermythís. The landscape is drab, and you just move around following a quest arrow, stopping on whatever blue question marks are around to try and find crafting supplies, food, obsidian (money), equipment, followers, battles (which is how you level up), and so on.
    - A stamina bar that means you have to rest and eat food. Resting or dragging food onto a character is also how you recover health lost in battle or through random events. As your stamina drops, your characters get stuck with debuff cards in battle, so you have to stop to restore stamina.
    - Time management that is not as interesting as Wildermythís. You have to make progress toward the golden quest arrow on the edge of the map, and if you are too slow, then your morale drops. If it drops all the way, itís game over. So you are basically balancing your morale with your stamina and trying to keep your charactersí level high enough to win combat encounters (i.e., since combat is how you gain XP, you have to stop and fight to level up, but canít stop too much lest you spend too much time fighting and your morale drops). This was less interesting than the incursion and enemy strength timers in Wildermyth.
    - Cards to collect and upgrade. Upon each level up, you can replace one of your existing class cards with another one, or choose to upgrade an existing class card.
    - Equipment to wear and upgrade. Equipment can be upgraded with crafting supplies when resting. Each piece of equipment bestows various cards on the wearer, and upgrading the equipment upgrades its cards, which is cool.
    - Unlockable character classes that can level up to award more class cards. The classes level up after a campaign, and I suppose that newly unlocked cards are available in future campaigns.
    - A bare bones story, random and generic events, simple quests, all of which totally pale in comparison to Wildermythís (and most other games).
    - Characters with no personality whatsoever, such a stark contrast to Wildermyth.
    - Bosses that pose a real threat!

    Regarding the latter, at the end of each quest stage (there were three stages in the quest campaign I played), there is a boss battle. The first two of these were easy enough, but the last one just about killed me. It was a dragon with 90 health (double the previous boss). It killed two of my characters, and only my hunter remained. My hunter had like 13 health and 11 armor, and the dragon was at about the same. My hunter was also backed into a corner, and in one more turn, the dragon would have moved in melee range and my hunter would have been stuck (you canít use ranged attacks in melee range of your target). But I drew like the perfect combination of cards, did double damage with my first attack and then my last card did x damage, and if the target was then below y HP, it automatically died. Well, the math was perfect, and I killed the dragon. If I had drawn different cards, the dragon would have killed me. Intense for sure, but what the hell! The difficulty came out of nowhere in the last battle. Battles are not repeatable, by the way. If your party wipes, itís game over and you start the whole campaign over. I would have been pissed, because, like Wildermyth, these campaigns are not short.

    Upon winning, your classes level up and you unlock some new cards for each of them. I unlocked a new class for achieving something or other. Then you just go back to the menu and start over with another quest. Wildermyth has that cool Legacy system with persistent characters that grow over time, but thereís nothing like that here. Given that the storyline for the quest campaign I did was so generic, Iím not motivated to play another one (and there is only one more story quest, then the others are like roguelike situations where you just play with daily modifiers or create custom campaigns or do a seasonal challenge or whatever). There are surely a bunch more cards to unlock, and there are 9 classes in total to unlock (for completing x quests, for killing y bosses, for spending z crafting materials, etc.), so there is more to do in terms of progression. But itís just not that compelling! Again though, nothing is bad about the game, but man, I guess itís just rare that I play something that is so disappointlingly generic.
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    dkirschner's Trials of Fire (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 22 March, 2024

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 24 March, 2024

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Less interesting Wildermyth.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

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