Reviews for Mad Ambition
Note: Hints included in some reviews. You have been warned.

Below are some reviewer's comments which we thought might help you decide on whether or not you'd like to play the scenario. This page is not a list of all the reviews the scenario received, only those that had thoughful and/or useful comments to make.
Comments:Mad Ambition, well I feel it is perhaps the best scenario thus far for BOA. The story is compelling drawing your group along to every turn. It truly is a great narrative. I especially enjoyed the atmosphere of the fort. It seemed almost romantic, I only wish more time could have been spent there perhaps fending of an attack or two.

For the first time every character in a scenario seemed real they all had back stories and and distinct personalities. Combat is far too hard for a party starting at level 10. I could not progress past the first fight at that level. However, level 17 proved more reliable. The initial ambush and fight sequence also shines greatly enhancing the overall story.

Mad Ambition really does deliver a great sense of atmosphere. The darkness of the fort upon your initial entry adds greatly to the atmosphere of intrigue. I would liked to have been able to progress into Nephilim lands more to see what their side in everything was. In some ways I felt cheated as much of the scenario had nothing to do with the Nephilim. The addition of some refugees in the fort would also have helped this scenario. I am not saying a whole mass of refugees perhaps one who could at least identify the equipment you get.

The implemented technology unlike previous TM scenarios really helped the story it is not overdone, but still shines. The landscape was also used to its fullest. Heights were rendered beautifully and the forests along with surrounding fort area brought once again a sense of realism. I hope future designers remember what BOA can do landscape wise. Well, done all around great scenario.
Rating iz 4.6. REsPeK,,,,,,,

This is amazing. It's the first scenario where I've really felt anything for the NPC's, and the back story for the characters is clever. Normally I am somewhat hard going in my ratings; this is not an exception; I'm only .11 below a 5.00 because I'm hoping there will be more like this one day. This is the best BoA scenario I have played; it's very... real.
Comments:This was close to one of the worst BoA scenarios I've played. The player is forced to wallow in emotionally debased characters, with dialog like something out of a bad Anime cartoon. Of course, the maudlin quality of the story does, at times, move the player, but only because of the sheer quantity of pathetic emotion spewed by the characters.

The combat was uninteresting, sparse, and unbalanced. Excessively heavy use of cutscenes leaves the player feeling powerless over his destiny, and the splitting of the party was annoying as well. The only purpose this scenario served was as a filler for a low-mid level party. Overall, a very sad scenario.

Comments:Another typical TM scenario, like an American freeway with limited access and no hitchhikers. I had no problem knowing what to do when, all the special combat features seemed like common sense at the time. Not sure why I wanted to drink poison, but perhaps it was the obvious antidote to the insanity of the offense. Perhaps in that light, it could have been more opaque, but that may have been part of the design.

The interactive cut-scene was ... um . . . just freakish. Really.

I am torn since I happen to like aspects of the open-type scenarios, but I appreciate the technical aspects of TM's work. So, I give this effort a 4.32.
Well done and very worth playing.

Comments:This was a very enjoyable scenario. Here are the things I thought especially good in mad ambition :
The part about the family illness makes one especially involved in the story, not only as an adventurer looking for loot and reputation.
They were some interesting ambiguous characters in Fort Ivalice, unfortunately their role was very brief.
The cutscenes weren't too many and they were short.
Most of all what I think is the most remarkable in this scenario is the atmosphere. It was especially oppressing in some passages, the plot, characters, dialogues and graphisms all contributing towards an almost desperate ambiance.
Now for the bad things :
The plot is very linear. It goes on more like a book telling a story than a game scenario where it is nice to be able to make some choices.
I thought that some characters lacked some subtility, being either all bad or all good, but maybe this was intended by the author? I especially think that the classic revenge story was a bit feeble, but perhaps this is meant to be continued in another scenario.
All in all a very enjoyable although too linear scenario, short but that's not a bad thing, makes you want more!
The designer of this scenario is very technically proficient. The plot is captivating, tugging at the heartstrings. The settings are stunning and the mood enhances the storyline. The characters are well-developed and their values are intriguing, giving insights into the designer‚s philosophy of life. So for the technical excellence and the appealing nature of the storyline, I would rate this scenario a 5.

Game play is an entirely different matter. I play computer games like Blades of Avernum to discover the storyline for myself by talking to other people, to solve puzzles, complete quests and engage in challenging battles. Mad ambition has none of these elements. Instead, my adventurers are pulled along the plotline, like they have a ring in their nose. „Psst! Not this way‰; „Stay away‰ „You can‚t leave yet;‰ ad nauseam. Yet you are told „it is your choice.‰ Like hell it is. You make the wrong choice, guess what? ˆ your adventurer(s) end up dead.

„Playing‰ Mad ambition is like watching a foreign movie where the subtitles take up the entire scene. It is somewhat interactive in that you have to take certain actions to move on to the next scene, but again, you get the message „not this way‰ if you don‚t do exactly what the author wants.

As for battle, there is only one challenging battle. The other battles are completely contrived. In the opening battle, your fellow soldiers are instantly dispatched, but you can easily kill the enemy with very little damage to your adventurers. But try killing the same enemies in the mine, suddenly your adversaries are able inflict much more damage and are much harder to kill. But wait, these Nephil appear again in their fortress and this time they are appropriately difficult to kill, but not as strong as in the mine.

What about puzzles? There are none. This scenario is not a game. It is an interactive movie. This is a real shame because the designer is obviously very talented. If he would give some thought to the person playing the game he could blow us away.

For game play, I would rate the scenario -3.5, for a total rating 1.5.


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