I really liked the last level.
It took me several tries until I nailed it but I enjoyed the process. It was only possible to complete it if you remembered things, like where a wall would be spawned and where things fell on you etc. So it was the ultimate test of dexterity and it tested your skill at switching between characters and playing them all, better than any other level in the game. In addition to that it had the memory element. This is the level that separates the men from the boys in that up to this point, it was all fairly straightforward, and you could do it all at your own pace. Add in a real pressure (time), and it's all about keeping a cool head while still being able to perform well under pressure.
This is the kind of gameplay that most games used to be founded on. If you grew up playing games in the 1980's and early 90's, this is what many of them were made with. It's frustrating but it's addictive at the same time. Gamers would want to "try to beat" the game. They would try, try, and try again until they succeeded, and it was finally beating the game that made gamers feel really proud of themselves. Those big boxy arcade machines wouldn't have made as much money if it wasn't for this. I don't know if modern gamers have the patience for that kind of thing any more, but I think many will, and it's only right at the end.
So yeah, I think it was a great level. In fact, I personally would have made it a bit tougher, like having the final spiked ball land and stay still. It actually lands and rolls off the little ledge by itself, so if you take the left at the top, I didn't need to use the Wizard or Knight at all.[s p o i l e r !]
As for the tactics, I found the thief to be best too, but the wizard worked best at one point. I used the theif to do the first 60% or so, really quite easily. Just jumping up and roping up from ledge to ledge, and fire arrow anything that gets in the way. Nearer the top, if you go left you can do it with the theif, but if you go right you need to use the wizard to stop the rolling spike balls. Have him levitate them over you. I found that if the lava is about to catch up to you, you can just quickly switch to the Knight and let him be the one who dies in the lava. The game then kindly lets you respawn with a new character quite a lot higher up. It's almost like a cheat. Although after several tries, I remembered all the tricky bits, so on my last try I went all the way without losing anyone.
It is controversial, but there are also a number of people who like it. However, we will look into making it easier with easy difficulty (for the rest of the difficulties it's however working fine I think).
It would however help us to do correct tweaks if people who have completed the last level tell their feelings about it. Eventually, it all comes to the rewarding point when you complete the game, and I think that matters more than the flawless accomplishment of the entire game
(flawless accomplishment, as we have seen, turns out to be a discussion about game length ..
I did that literally 7 or 8 times until I was able to finally do it. I did ok every time, even my very first attempt, but you went out of your way to do sneaky things which really took me by surprise
Like when I got near the top and jump from one ledge to another, and you have the ghost create a flat wall JUST as I am jumping. The way I found to get around that was to just hesitate for a moment and the wall falls and then I can jump.
Really, I can't think of any way to tweak this process. You went with the frustrating, timed, test of dexterity challenge as the final point of the game, and I don't think you can really tweak that. If you remove the ghost adding the walls or something, it just wouldn't be as fiendish and I like that it was fiendish. It's the end of the game after all. The only thing I would do, is like you said, make it easier on the easy level. I would probably leave it the same but have the lava rise slower.
whitebyte wrote:+1 for ZedPower's quote.
This is a good game for kids on easy, so the last level could be more consistent otherwise they'll quit when they are so close to finishing the game. Checkpoints or less object dropping would do the trick. At the point where the spikey balls are dropped repeatedly, maybe only one instead so you can survive it without a wizard.
You can take a completely different route. If you go left, you don't even go to that dropping balls area. Even if you do go right, I found that quite easy to handle with the Wizard, although I don't fancy my chances at this last level if I was playing with a game pad.