As I said in my previous post I have never been entirely sure as to why the Brony fandom seems to have fallen in love with Welcome to Ponyville. The one that seemed most likely to me based on my observations was that they really wanted a game in which you could date ponies (which isn't really that strange, given that there was a pigeon dating simulator of all things) and this game promised both that and a fairly decent visual novel experience. Now that Act 1 (which is essentially a demo of the final thing) has been released we can play this game for ourselves and decide whether it really has lived up to the hype.
Just how good is Welcome to Ponyville? Find out in our review which we have conveniently placed after the pagebreak.
|Bon Bon introducing herself.|
As most of you probably already knew by now Welcome to Ponyville only uses a minimal amount of original sprites, and uses community-created vectors instead. While I must admit that this was a good idea the execution was quite flawed. You see the vectors are often scaled inconsistently, creating the effect of a pony growing and shrinking as they talk. For some reason it seems that Filly Games refused to zoom in to some of the various backgrounds used in-game which introduces black bars on the top and bottom as you can see in the screenshots. This is only a minor setback but it would make Act 1's environment even more immersive then in its current state. As for the music...it's good, but nothing special. It does its job and does it well but most of the time you won't even realize that it's there.
|I get the impression the Vinyl Scratch will probably be the easiest character to ship yourself with early on.|
From this review most readers would probably conclude that I am rather disappointed in Act 1, and they would be correct. However one must remember that this is just the first chapter in Welcome to Ponyville and that hopefully things will get much, much better. Still, I would not say that this game has so far not lived up to the hype and for that I give it a 4/10. Let's hope that the next few instalments will be somewhat better, eh?
A couple of additional notes from Arctic Lux:
An alternate download link can be found here. The file's a little smaller, only about 600MB.
If you attempt to run the game and get the error "The program can't start because d3dx9_43.dll is missing from your computer," click here to update DirectX on your computer. Make sure to uncheck the box to install the Bing toolbar...
Also, I figured I'd add my unasked for personal opinion on the game: I'm more a fan of story-oriented games, and I had fun with this one. I think Xtux is right about a lot of the problems, but I'd still recommend it to fans of similar games.