#msxdev Compo 2014 results


After tallying the votes cast, with 70% of the votes the winner is determined to be...

Pointless Fighting by Baka-Yo! Softcorp!

The winner receives the #msxdev Compo 2014 prize pot of 100 euro.

Mr. Balloon consequently received 30% of the votes, a respectable score! Additionally, many voters indicated that they would have picked Mr. Balloon if the game was a little easier.

Reports of the competitor judges

Mapax on Pointless Fighting by Baka-Yo! Softcorp Baka-Yo! Softcorp on Mr. Balloon by Mapax

Without a doubt, the strong point to be highlighted about Pointless Fighting is the hardware usage, technically it's something never seen before in the MSX scene. A clear example of what a plain MSX2 is still capable to do, a very limited hardware demonstrating a result simply awesome. An excellent job showing something unimaginable to the MSX community.
Technical Difficulty: 10 Hardware Utilization: 10

Although the graphics had been mostly ripped from the original game, we appreciate the effort made to adapt them to the limited MSX specs. It deserves special attention how the team coped with an added difficulty, to get a good balance between the colors used for both background and players with only 16 colors available. Also the usage of different screens modes.
Graphics/Display: 8

About the sound, the MSX-MUSIC is the best choice, the compositions are great. The sample effects addition is a must so the OPL4 usage is very welcome.
Sound: 7

Regarding playability, also high score. Giant players, fast movements, no slowdowns, and a versus mode too, nothing wrong!
Gameplay/Usability: 9

And finally about the negative points... we understand that this is a game with a deadline for submission so it could be improved a lot. A better title screen, improved song compositions and a more complete game with more players, stages, etc would make this game a true gem... although it already is.
Overall Quality: 8.8

Mr. Balloon has good and detailed graphics. Especially the shadows add a nice touch to the visuals. It also proves that even a small amount of graphics can look great on MSX2. The theme of the four seasons is well chosen, and shows off the MSX2 palette capabilities with different color schemes. The music is very catchy and sound effects fitting.

Although this is a dexterity game, it is not for beginning players. Mr. Balloon is very, very, hard (even on 50Hz systems) and unforgiving. There is no easing you into it, it's an immediate challenge even for the hardest of the hardcore gamers. One wrong move and the balloon pops, warping you back to the start of the maze. The clock and any picked up items are not reset, making it even harder to reach the goal each successive attempt. The "bonus" maze after each normal one should be seen as a boss level, because you have to complete it in order to advance in the game. One mistake, and you're back in the maze you just cleared. Our advice is: DO NOT DIE! EVER!

Despite the gameplay issues, Mr. Balloon shows wonderfully how a minimal specification MSX2 game can be made. Everything fits snugly in 32K ROM. The graphics are even uncompressed! With a bit of compression even more content could've fit. Since the intent of the authors was to show exactly this, they certainly succeeded in that.

In conclusion, we like the polished look and feel of Mr. Balloon a lot, but find its difficulty a bit too much. Nevertheless, it is a cute game for those who like a challenge, or whenever you feel the need to test your dexterity.

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