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Dark Road ► Thoughts on Dark Road (NO SPOILERS)



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AR829038

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So, I just started the game a few hours ago (so don't worry about me spoiling anything), and I wanted to know what people's thoughts are so far on it.
Personally, I'm intrigued by the story. But the gameplay is really infuriating. So much so that I'm wondering whether I'm doing something wrong. I've been playing for hours, and the level grinding slog is HORRIBLE. It's SO much worse than Union X! As I'm typing this, I literally have the game on autopilot right now because if I have to keep flicking/tapping those cards for any longer, I think I might get carpal tunnel. I mean, Union X's gameplay is still boring and tedious, but this card stuff is downright exhausting and physically painful. Granted, maybe it gets better once you get more cards, but right now, the amount of time you need to put in fighting enemies just to gain a single level (and it's at the beginning of the game!) so far is maddening. I don't even know if I'll be able to get through this mess.
Is everyone else feeling like this, or am I just doing something really wrong?
 

Katsagu

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The gameplay is a complete grind fest. The gameplay loop is supposed to play itself, I see no way for this to be played actively.

Once you reach about...mission 16 there's also a difficulty spike that is completely out of nowhere. And the only way for you to progress is to level up. Now the problem is, exp for each level up get exponensially higher, so the only way for you to lvl up is to spend more time grinding and farming or spend medals to go to the event where you get tons of exp killing the golden mushroom. It's very bad.
 

AR829038

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So it isn't just me, then.
God, I'm pissed. I was willing to give Bitgroove the benefit of the doubt that they would make this game better, but somehow they've made it even more unplayable than Union X. I'd call that an accomplishment, but I'm sure that's not the right word for it.
They're going to need to fix this. At this rate, if what you're saying is accurate, and if the difficulty spike/EXP grind continues to climb, I doubt we'll even be able to WATCH the story clips on YouTube, because I doubt ANYONE is going to have the patience to trudge through the story with these mechanics.
 

blank points

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Damn. I have to admit, seeing the criticisms on this is rather disappointing. I gave up playing Union X years ago, but I thought I would give Dark Road a try. But if the gameplay is really that terrible, I might just stick with following the story online again. Is it really as bad as all that?
 

Sign

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I like the gameplay because I don't have to pay attention and can just leave it running while it grinds. It's very low effort though; I gave up on doing it manually after the third or fourth time I accidentally flicked my phone's menu up.

The story is pretty neat so far and I like the character interactions between the students.
 

AR829038

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I like the gameplay because I don't have to pay attention and can just leave it running while it grinds. It's very low effort though; I gave up on doing it manually after the third or fourth time I accidentally flicked my phone's menu up.

The story is pretty neat so far and I like the character interactions between the students.
That's the biggest problem for me. I don't want the only two ways I can play a game have to be either wearing my wrist down to the nub by flicking a screen for hours on end, or literally just putting it on auto and going to do house chores for half the day while it levels up itself. There's nothing fun about it. It's the most extreme case of grind-itis I've ever seen in a game in my life.
 

Katsagu

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Damn. I have to admit, seeing the criticisms on this is rather disappointing. I gave up playing Union X years ago, but I thought I would give Dark Road a try. But if the gameplay is really that terrible, I might just stick with following the story online again. Is it really as bad as all that?
The problem is that it literally plays itself... And if you don't want to pay for it, you are looking at a ton of time letting the game play itself. Its not engaging at all, UX was more engaging in my opinion, I'm probably going to youtube it also.
 

AR829038

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Damn. I have to admit, seeing the criticisms on this is rather disappointing. I gave up playing Union X years ago, but I thought I would give Dark Road a try. But if the gameplay is really that terrible, I might just stick with following the story online again. Is it really as bad as all that?
So far, it's truly godawful. Again, the story is interesting, what little I've gotten through of it. But the game itself is just unplayable. And I mean that quite literally—as in, playing it through is practically impossible. I don't know if anybody could do it without setting the thing on auto for 90% of the time.
Honestly, I could see this game being the thing that kills the UX app. No one is going to want to play this.
 
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blank points

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Ah, dang. Thanks for the replies. Looks like I might be sticking to YouTube.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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I like it because it plays itself. Like Sign, I also kept flicking my phone's menu up so I turned on auto almost immediately.

The story is great. I definitely agree on the grind, though. I'm bored by it. I think this game was aimed at a different kind of play style...Like something we were meant to have running in the background while we went on about our day. Except we are all still probably WFH or in self-quarantine because the virus is still infecting huge swaths of people.

Regardless, I like this more than UX. UX required too much of my attention whereas this doesn't need me to play it. It could use a lot of work.

Maybe a theater mode so we can rewatch cutscenes?
 

Sign

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omg YES theater mode. UX didn't have it at launch either but I'd hoped they'd learn from that and include it straight in DR, but no :(

That's the biggest problem for me. I don't want the only two ways I can play a game have to be either wearing my wrist down to the nub by flicking a screen for hours on end, or literally just putting it on auto and going to do house chores for half the day while it levels up itself. There's nothing fun about it. It's the most extreme case of grind-itis I've ever seen in a game in my life.
You can change the setting to tap instead of flick if you still want to play manually.
 

AR829038

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omg YES theater mode. UX didn't have it at launch either but I'd hoped they'd learn from that and include it straight in DR, but no :(


You can change the setting to tap instead of flick if you still want to play manually.
I've done both. A little less wear on the wrist, but it doesn't help in the grand scheme of things.
 

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Really I found the game a lot more engaging than UX, both can play themselves but this one if I play it I can actually balance out some strategy which I haven't been able to do in UX for a very long time. It started out sluggish because of the lack of cards but two 10-draws and 1 minnie later and I'm nearing level 15 right now (playing on higher difficulties helps) and it's been like what 3 hours? It's still a grind but it's also a grind with rewards if that makes sense? We played all of X and almost all of UX where fighting enemies meant nothing now beating the individual enemies is a goal in it of itself because of the stat boosts you achieve on top of normal exp.

As someone has been playing X back when it was a browser game. Like as a whole this game is a MUCH more solid foundation, the real stand out elements to me comparatively to those to.
  • Tap is 100x better than the pull and release from UX
  • Leveling and merging is done for you automatically
  • An enemy bestiary exists showing us enemy weakness which gives an inherent large possibility for strategy
  • The partners are surprisingly useful like on the 1-star mission Urd and Eraqus killed 4 enemies by themselves without me attacking, as long as partners scale appropriate this is MUCH better party member system and honestly this just feels more like KH.
  • The game leveling you even if you don't play it is also greatly appreciated so any time not playing isn't wasted time.
Story is a lot better than UX though just by the virtue that the filler missions are essentially a single mission you can just turn the game on to play those for you, then swap to playing the actual story missions yourself. However the lack of a theater mode is boggling like...really?
 

Katsagu

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My main problem right now is the crazy ammount of BP you need to get, without any way to receive more of it that isnt, grind even more than you did before. The only way is to buy keys.
 

AR829038

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Really I found the game a lot more engaging than UX, both can play themselves but this one if I play it I can actually balance out some strategy which I haven't been able to do in UX for a very long time. It started out sluggish because of the lack of cards but two 10-draws and 1 minnie later and I'm nearing level 15 right now (playing on higher difficulties helps) and it's been like what 3 hours? It's still a grind but it's also a grind with rewards if that makes sense? We played all of X and almost all of UX where fighting enemies meant nothing now beating the individual enemies is a goal in it of itself because of the stat boosts you achieve on top of normal exp.

As someone has been playing X back when it was a browser game. Like as a whole this game is a MUCH more solid foundation, the real stand out elements to me comparatively to those to.
  • Tap is 100x better than the pull and release from UX
  • Leveling and merging is done for you automatically
  • An enemy bestiary exists showing us enemy weakness which gives an inherent large possibility for strategy
  • The partners are surprisingly useful like on the 1-star mission Urd and Eraqus killed 4 enemies by themselves without me attacking, as long as partners scale appropriate this is MUCH better party member system and honestly this just feels more like KH.
  • The game leveling you even if you don't play it is also greatly appreciated so any time not playing isn't wasted time.
Story is a lot better than UX though just by the virtue that the filler missions are essentially a single mission you can just turn the game on to play those for you, then swap to playing the actual story missions yourself. However the lack of a theater mode is boggling like...really?
Well, I'm glad to hear it gets more manageable when you get stronger. I never played the Browser game, so I can't compare this to that, but I guess I'm just disappointed. I was hoping to wake up this morning to spend the better part of the day actively engaged in a new Kingdom Hearts game and enjoying it, not just setting it off to the side and once every two hours if I'm lucky checking back in on it. It's just a big letdown. Granted, I know I shouldn't expect much from a f2p mobile game, and I'll grant that the auto function makes it a little bit more manageable than Union X (actually, it's the only thing that even makes it playable, barely), but it just doesn't feel like a fun time, y'know? Kingdom Hearts is supposed to be fun. It's not supposed to be something you wait through.
 

AR829038

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So, I just discovered the BP quests on the main menu, and it definitely expedites the grind TREMENDOUSLY, so that helps.
 

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Yea:
The bare bones gameplay. Tapping cards for optimal skill usage and colour coordination is pretty fun.
Defeating enemies and collecting cards gives stat bonuses.
Duplicate cards feel they have more a direct purpose unlike UX. Guilt is basically a non-issue at this point in UX and rolling for traits is such a crapshoot. UX eventually gave us the point draw but this feels a lot more streamlined.
The story is intriguing so far, I like the character interactions and I especially like Eraqus’s characterization.

Nay:
The steep grinding curve. I understand they don’t want everyone to grind up to level 40 or something overnight the first day of release but I’m apprehensive about just how steep the EXP curve is gonna get, especially if they drag the story out.
No Theatre Mode. Hopefully it’ll come with a future update, but I really feel it should be there from the start.
My first 10 card pull had 4 Abus in it. This is actually a total non-issue but this goddamn monkey...

At the moment, it’s okay. I like it for what it is, just like UX. It feels like something that should get more interesting as more options open up but at the moment I'm just gonna wait and see.
 

Sakuraba Neku

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Just like any KH mobile game I'm not interested in play it, but I look forward to the story updates and Dark Road has me more insterad than the other KHX games.

I would like the pacing to be better than the other KHX games and story don't get dragged for the rest of the decade.
The global version keeping up with the japanese version is already an improvement. at least.
 

Katsagu

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I think the problem really is the progression, lack of challenge and content so far.
All of it together creates this barebones gamefeel we're getting I believe.

Let's see: The game has a very big lack of content. Only 20 story missions, most of them offering the same challenge. In the 1st day most people have already beaten the story missions. So that leaves us with 4 events. 4 events for however long untill the next update or whatever. Now, the challenge of this game relies mostly on your character level, so the progression has to be slow in order for all the content to not be done on the very first days (unless...you paaaay of course, you can get those keys to level up quicker).

So yeah, right now this just feels bad.
 
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