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Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012



SpaceDrake posted:

The point is more that they're better than Rorona in multiple respects and going back to it after playing those can feel like a major step backwards. If you enjoyed Rorona, you will probably love the poo poo out of the other Arland games (so long as your tolerance for occasional gratuitous fanservice is high enough).


Speaking of which, I'm quite looking forward to Ayesha's North American release. I know virtually nothing about the game, other than it has a soundtrack that is head and shoulders above the Arland games, so it should be quite an experience when it does come out.

But yeah, if you liked Rorona, you almost certainly would like the sequels. The mechanics are vastly improved to be both more efficient and more strategic. Not to say I didn't like Rorona, but the sequels are definitely better.

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casual poster
Jun 29, 2009

So casual.


SolidSnakesBandana posted:

I've been playing Persona 3 FES lately and I've been wondering if there are any newer more 'classic' JRPGs in existence. By this I basically mean one with a turn-based battle system. This trend of MMO combat in JRPG games isn't really doing it for me.

What about the Dragon Quest series?

Bongo Bill
Jan 17, 2012

Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Monk make thee?

Dragon Quests don't come out very often, but they change so little that you can play an old one that you missed and it'll be just like playing a new one. They do turn-based traditional combat right, even going so far as to try to make it work in an MMO (I don't know if it's any good). Anybody who thinks they like RPGs, of any kind, owes it to himself to play a Dragon Quest or four.

KariOhki
Apr 22, 2008


softcorps posted:

Speaking of Growlanser -- Damnit, why does Remus look like such a drat girl. "Oh hey she's kinda cu... poo poo." I mean, what the hell is he even wearing? And on top of that, he's an archer, and I really liked having Charlone with a range mod in Growlanser 2 (so exploitable!). She may have been a bit annoying at times but I didn't mind her otherwise. Remus is a wimp AND he's wearing stockings.

The character designs after Growlanser III went off the rails and never got back on. Remus and Regina really annoy me design-wise.

And I always preferred breaking Hans in GL2 over Charlone. He's faster and with some strength up gems can deal just as much damage per hit.

Unlucky7
Jul 11, 2006

AG: Flyyyyyyyy!


softcorps posted:

Speaking of Growlanser -- Damnit, why does Remus look like such a drat girl. "Oh hey she's kinda cu... poo poo." I mean, what the hell is he even wearing? And on top of that, he's an archer, and I really liked having Charlone with a range mod in Growlanser 2 (so exploitable!). She may have been a bit annoying at times but I didn't mind her otherwise. Remus is a wimp AND he's wearing stockings.

Even more disturbing is that Urushihara (the character artist) makes porn of his characters so it makes me wonder if he's got some perverted fantasy of dominating young boys or something. "Here's your new uniform. Put it on." "D-Daisy Dukes? Is this reall-" "Are you a pansy? Put on the drat clothes."

Ugh, looks like he's the only archer.

Shut the hell up. Remus is a total bro.

Seriously though, while I will defend his character, I will not disagree about the design.

Unlucky7 fucked around with this message at Aug 6, 2012 around 02:27

Morpheus
Apr 18, 2008
HAMDOGS: Like staring into the Flame of God

So I've got a weird...request question thing that maybe you guys can help out with. A friend of a friend has recently tried to play her old copy of Ys III: Wanderers of Ys, and has two save points that are stymieing her:

In the first save, apparently there is an area near the beginning of the game where she gets a sword from someone, then she walks into a dungeon and is instantly killed.

In the second save, all that I learned is that there is an 'endless stairway' that she can't get by.

Does anybody have any idea what she's talking about? I beat the game once before, but that was years ago and the only part of it I remember is fighting birds on a bridge until I reached maximum level, then steamrolling the rest of the game.

For all I know she's confusing it with another game.

foutre
Sep 4, 2011


quote:

Skyrim/Oblivion (obviously), Fallout 1/2/3/New Vegas, Sacred (in the sense of magnitude of the world, even though it's one of the buggiest games I've ever played), Ultima VII, Arcanum, Xenoblade Chronicles if you like JRPGs, STALKER, the Gothic games, Shenmue (your best bet for pure immersion in a game, though you have to deal with everything in the game outside of the amazing little touches that continually blow your mind)

Honestly you probably won't find a game to really replicate playing Morrowind for the first time, but maybe try out some MMPORPGs? I don't know a whole lot about them, but there are probably some ones out there that are huge on crafting/lore/immersion and less on the WoW-style grind.

Thanks a lot! I got the third Gothic and Shenmue, and will try them out in whatever order feels right.

jannik
Oct 15, 2004

The Biggest Anime

Seeing how everyone with a Vita is playing PSP games anyways, I've been thinking of picking up a used PSP to play through the ton of RPGs that are on the drat thing.

The only RPGs I've played on the system were P3P, FFIV and VC2. Besides these 3 titles what are the must have RPGs for the system? Are there any obscure cult classics that didn't review too well but everyone loved anyway?

I saw a few pages back that VC3 is getting a fan translation, so I'll be keeping an eye on that as well.

Also what kind of adventure/Visual Novel games are on the system (if any)? I'm thinking Phoenix Wright type stuff here. The only one I know of is Corpse Party, which is supposedly very good.

Levantine
Feb 14, 2005

GUNDAM!!!


jannik posted:

Seeing how everyone with a Vita is playing PSP games anyways, I've been thinking of picking up a used PSP to play through the ton of RPGs that are on the drat thing.

The only RPGs I've played on the system were P3P, FFIV and VC2. Besides these 3 titles what are the must have RPGs for the system? Are there any obscure cult classics that didn't review too well but everyone loved anyway?

I saw a few pages back that VC3 is getting a fan translation, so I'll be keeping an eye on that as well.

Also what kind of adventure/Visual Novel games are on the system (if any)? I'm thinking Phoenix Wright type stuff here. The only one I know of is Corpse Party, which is supposedly very good.

Tactics Ogre, while not a traditional RPG (it's SRPG) is one of the best games for any system period. It's a great translation of the original SNES version.

As far as RPGs, Crimson Gem Saga was an interesting entry - it's super pretty but gets a little grindy towards the halfway point.

FuriousGeorge
Jan 23, 2006

Ah, the simple joys of a monkey knife-fight.

I bought a used PSP solely to play Tactics Ogre, it's that good.

ShadowedFlames
Dec 26, 2009

Shoot this guy in the face.


Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (port of the original Valkyrie Profile on PS1) would be good to pick up.

The aforementioned Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is also worth it. In the same vein, I'd also recommend Jeanne D'Arc and Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (ported and retranslated FF Tactics). Note that load times may become a problem.

May also consider the first two Star Ocean games as well, though I'm basing that off of the console version of Star Ocean: The Second Story.

Ragequit
Jun 1, 2006



ShadowedFlames posted:

Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (ported and retranslated FF Tactics). Note that load times may become a problem.

If you have CFW the load times/lag have been completely removed from FFT with an easy patch.

Troffen
Aug 17, 2010



The Dept. Heaven games (Yggdra Union, Riviera, Knights in the Nightmare, Gungnir) are great if you're interested in something that's a little more out-there, mechanically speaking. Suffice it to say KitN is a strategy/RPG/bullet hell game.

And yeah Growlanser 4 just came out and is supposedly pretty darn good. I haven't got it myself yet because seriously I have like a half dozen PSP RPGs sitting on the back burner already. Why does this thing have so many awesome RPGs?

Admiral H. Curtiss
May 11, 2010

I think there are a bunch of people who can create trailing images. I know some who could do this as if they were just going out for a stroll.


Levantine posted:

As far as RPGs, Crimson Gem Saga was an interesting entry - it's super pretty but gets a little grindy towards the halfway point.

Everything I heard about it indicates that it's a bad game despite the high production values, so read up on that before actually getting it.

Anyway, recommendations from me:
The Disgaea games are worth a look if you haven't played any of them yet, SRPGs with gameplay mechanics that basically encourage you to break the game. If you like that kinda stuff also look into Phantom Brave.
In the same vein, Zettai Hero Project is a rougelike with Disgaea mechanics.
Half-Minute Hero is a fantastic parody of regular RPGs that cuts everything down to the core mechanics. Really fun, really fast, great tounge-in-cheek dialogue, get this!
Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep is, well, a Kingdom Hearts game, but one of the better ones. Action-RPG. Ignore the plot and you'll have fun, since the gameplay mechanics are good.
Trails in the Sky is a incredibly charming "PS1 era" RPG. Takes a bit to get going and is only part 1 of a longer series, but pick it up, it's good.
All STiNG games are worth a look (Riviera, Yggdra Union, Knights in the Nightmare, Gungnir), they're all very unique and usually pretty cool.

Additonally, the Ys games, well Oath in Felghana and Seven anyway. They're more on the action side though.

Other games I haven't played yet that might fit: Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time, Fate/Exta, Wild Arms XF.

ImpAtom
May 24, 2007

Watch that tongue... sticky!


Wild Arms XF is a weird game. If you go into it expecting a S-RPG you're going to be pissed off. It's more of a S-RPG themed puzzle game. Most of the stages are designed around figuring out which obscure gimmick in your inventory needs to be used in a specific way, not in playing how you want. I like it but it's not a game for everyone.

THE AWESOME GHOST
Oct 21, 2005

THAT'S WHAT THE SONG WAS REALLY ABOUT


Believe it or not MGS: Peacewalker has a small amount of RPG mechanics. You collect enemy soldiers to level up your base it's a great game if you like MGS at all.

I've started Persona 2 on the Vita recently, it was on sale but back to fill price I think.

Jonathan Creek
Dec 8, 2009


SpaceDrake posted:

Also just as a PSA, Growlanser rules like hell and you should all run out and buy it right this loving second. Possibly the best RPG I've played in a decade, with only a couple other contenders.

Totally agree with this post. This game is fantastic. I love the battle system, there's very little like it out there. I'm really interested in trying out CareerSoft's other games now, like Langrisser/WarSong series and the Devil Survivor series.

It's a great 32 bit era RPG, but with a really good storyline and unique battle system. I like the 90s anime artwork too, I've heard about the artists, ahem, "other work" but his designs here aren't that bad, with the odd exception, in fact, some of his designs are really good. The dude still lives and breathes in the 90s though. He also panders to his "other" fanbase a fair bit (those female costumes!).

Anyone here that can recommend any of the Langrisser games?

Boneless Jogger
Apr 20, 2010


Jonathan Creek posted:

Totally agree with this post. This game is fantastic. I love the battle system, there's very little like it out there. I'm really interested in trying out CareerSoft's other games now, like Langrisser/WarSong series and the Devil Survivor series.

It's a great 32 bit era RPG, but with a really good storyline and unique battle system. I like the 90s anime artwork too, I've heard about the artists, ahem, "other work" but his designs here aren't that bad, with the odd exception, in fact, some of his designs are really good. The dude still lives and breathes in the 90s though. He also panders to his "other" fanbase a fair bit (those female costumes!).

Anyone here that can recommend any of the Langrisser games?

They're pretty good. They can move pretty slow thanks to how the gameplay system works, though. (You're not only moving your commanders, but their soldiers as well. If you end the turn they'll automatically move, which is fine sometimes, but they also make dumb decisions if you let them do that too much.) You'd probably want to set the game speed to max and to skip animations eventually. They aren't as good for story, but some of the later ones have multiple routes like Wayfarer of Time does and they can be pretty cool.

As for recommending specific games, Langrisser 2 is pretty good. The genesis version (the original) doesn't have any routes, but is also better balanced combat wise, while the SNES version (Der Langrisser) has four different routes (Light, Dark, Imperial, and Independant) but less balanced combat. (it's really easy in some routes, and the opposite in others) Both versions have a translation patch. Langrisser IV has a translation for the PSX version, and isn't bad either. The original Langrisser/Warsong isn't bad either, though much more simplistic in comparison.

The Black Stones
May 7, 2007

COMPUTERS!
COMPUTERS!
YAAAAAAAAY!

jannik posted:

Seeing how everyone with a Vita is playing PSP games anyways, I've been thinking of picking up a used PSP to play through the ton of RPGs that are on the drat thing.

The only RPGs I've played on the system were P3P, FFIV and VC2. Besides these 3 titles what are the must have RPGs for the system? Are there any obscure cult classics that didn't review too well but everyone loved anyway?



You NEED to pick up Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky

after that, I'd recommend picking up Fate/Extra which I thought was pretty good, and it goes without saying that you have to pick up all the Ys games because they're fantastic (well, I was lukewarm on Chronicles, but it's still decent).

jannik
Oct 15, 2004

The Biggest Anime

The Black Stones posted:

You NEED to pick up Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
Thanks for all the recommendations so far! I'm looking to buy a PSP for around $50 on SA-Mart if anyone's got one for sale

What's the deal with Legend of Heroes? I read that it's a "PS1 era RPG", what exactly does that mean? Are we talking 50+ hours of gameplay and lots of grinding?

Power Smith
Aug 22, 2011



Is Ys: I & II Chronicles worth picking up? Played the TG-16 version of Book 1 & 2 and I didn't get too caught up in it but Oath in Felghana was pretty fantastic and I'm looking for another Vita-compatible Ys game to play (so that or Ys Seven, I guess).

Admiral H. Curtiss
May 11, 2010

I think there are a bunch of people who can create trailing images. I know some who could do this as if they were just going out for a stroll.


Pick up Seven, the Chronicles remake still has the "bump into enemies to attack" system so if you didn't like the TG16 version you'll probably not like this one either.

The Black Stones
May 7, 2007

COMPUTERS!
COMPUTERS!
YAAAAAAAAY!

jannik posted:

What's the deal with Legend of Heroes? I read that it's a "PS1 era RPG", what exactly does that mean? Are we talking 50+ hours of gameplay and lots of grinding?

Legend of Heroes is more PS1 era RPG in terms of presentation really. It has a good bit of gameplay (I believe I sunk somewhere from 60-80 hours, I'd have to doublecheck) and the graphics are all sprite based stuff which would be a bit reminiscent of PSX era stuff but a bit smoother all around.

If you like JRPG's, it's a fantastic game with good characters and a great story once you get past the initial area.

Dr. Video Games 0031
Jul 16, 2004



Since there's no better place to ask this... I have a Final Fantasy 12 question. I've been playing the Zodiac Job System version, and I was wondering how many total party members you get, not just guests. This is somewhat important to what classes I pick.

edit: Nevermind, I think I found the answer. Six, right? A friend told me seven, a while ago. So I got somewhat confused. So I guess the other question is general class strategy. Can I go without a white mage if I have a red mage and a monk? You get most of the healing skills covered, but on the other hand you lose out on the buffs. Only having half the classes seems so limiting...

Dr. Video Games 0031 fucked around with this message at Aug 8, 2012 around 10:06

Syrg Sapphire
Mar 27, 2007

i know you love me but i'm still gone

I would honestly recommend White Mage just because then you end up with a solid healer rather than having to split two members of the party into "can kinda heal" and dividing where their points go.

Dr. Video Games 0031
Jul 16, 2004



Ugh but I already picked a red mage because they seemed pretty good all rounders and I picked a black mage. Having a white mage on top of that just seems to make the red mage redundant. I'm 3 hours in and I've already made some poor choices. Maybe there's a cheat that lets me pick a new class, since I'm on an emulator?

Levantine
Feb 14, 2005

GUNDAM!!!


Dr. Video Games 0031 posted:

Ugh but I already picked a red mage because they seemed pretty good all rounders and I picked a black mage. Having a white mage on top of that just seems to make the red mage redundant. I'm 3 hours in and I've already made some poor choices. Maybe there's a cheat that lets me pick a new class, since I'm on an emulator?

Use this: http://forums.pcsx2.net/Thread-FFXI...for-FF-XII-IZJS

You can edit more than just jobs. But don't worry too much, I carry a White Mage and a Red Mage and it's not a bother. Basically the idea is you create two parties and try to cover all your bases (physical damage, magical damage, healing). My first party is Monk, Samurai, Red Mage and my second is Archer, White Mage, Knight. It's hard to really screw up your game regardless, it's not a very difficult one.

voltron lion force
Sep 15, 2010



Check out the Final Fantasy thread for FF12:IZJS chat. It comes up like every other page.

As for party advice, having a Black, White and Red mage isn't actually bad as they are all strong classes. The Time mage not so much. You'll also probably want to take either a Hunter, Archer or Machinist. They have access to all the remedy lores, which will be extremely useful to have. You'll also want at least one strong physical attacker like a Knight or Samurai as well as either a Monk or Ulhan for their unique buff/debuff. But, like Levantine said, most of the content can be done with any party combination so it doesn't matter too much.

Rangpur
Dec 31, 2008

formido oppugnatura exsequens

I know I'm years behind the times here, but I just beat Overlord in EOII. Is there some basic class/skill combination I've overlooked the entire game? Because every single tactic I tried still left me at the mercy of the RNG. Level 65 Beast kitted out to be a giant meat wall? Dead in one round of attacks. Hexer and Dark Hunter could never get their ailments & debuffs to stick. Until they did, and then I won.

I'm okay with a game where luck plays a major factor, but if there's some trick I'm missing, I'd like to know before I tackle the post-game content. (Also if there's any build that makes Troubadours and Alchemists worth the gobs of TP they require just to function.)

Rascyc
Jan 23, 2008

Dissatisfied Puppy

Rangpur posted:

I know I'm years behind the times here, but I just beat Overlord in EOII. Is there some basic class/skill combination I've overlooked the entire game? Because every single tactic I tried still left me at the mercy of the RNG. Level 65 Beast kitted out to be a giant meat wall? Dead in one round of attacks. Hexer and Dark Hunter could never get their ailments & debuffs to stick. Until they did, and then I won.

I'm okay with a game where luck plays a major factor, but if there's some trick I'm missing, I'd like to know before I tackle the post-game content. (Also if there's any build that makes Troubadours and Alchemists worth the gobs of TP they require just to function.)
Dump the alchemist, they are really poor late in the game when weapon damage overtakes magic damage. It's probably the worst class in the game in fact. Everyone just runs a gunner instead since they are insanely better. Alchemists are a lot more fun in EO3.

Troubs should be useful, I mean only use the big buffs on bosses/FOEs, otherwise their passives should be really good by now. Troub+Protector is a pretty standard abusive combination for mitigating damage via the Troub's sheltar and the Protector covering the rest of the bases. If you are using Revenge (which you should) then I believe stamina can increase its damage since Stamina only raises your max HP.

Do not enter post-game without a protector. This is staple advice in all Etrian Odyssey games.

Generally the only trick you need to know is to abuse Force skills as much as possible. There are items you can unlock in post games (Axcela IIs?) that raise your force by a ridiculous amount and that's basically the staple way to beating the very boss.

And yes if you are running a Beast tank instead of Protector, you need some pretty precise party setups and the corresponding beast build. I really dislike Beasts. Protectors are just way easier to use.

Rascyc fucked around with this message at Aug 8, 2012 around 22:00

A Sometimes Food
Dec 8, 2010

I'm kidding


Someone mentioned it another thread, and got me thinking. Is the PS2 version of Deus Ex any good as a port? It's on the PSN and I have some funbux left over and was just wondering.

RadicalR
Jan 20, 2008

"Businessmen are the symbol of a free society
---
the symbol of America."


A Sometimes Food posted:

Someone mentioned it another thread, and got me thinking. Is the PS2 version of Deus Ex any good as a port? It's on the PSN and I have some funbux left over and was just wondering.

No. Get the PC version of it.

SolidSnakesBandana
Jul 1, 2007

Infinite ammo


A Sometimes Food posted:

Someone mentioned it another thread, and got me thinking. Is the PS2 version of Deus Ex any good as a port? It's on the PSN and I have some funbux left over and was just wondering.

I think it's a pretty good port all things considered. Though the PC version is still way better.

SSJ Reeko
Nov 3, 2009


A Sometimes Food posted:

Someone mentioned it another thread, and got me thinking. Is the PS2 version of Deus Ex any good as a port? It's on the PSN and I have some funbux left over and was just wondering.

I played it on PS2. It looks better than the PC version, but areas are cut up into many more chunks, and loading wasn't the fastest. It's a rather solid port that issue aside.

RadicalR
Jan 20, 2008

"Businessmen are the symbol of a free society
---
the symbol of America."


I'll add this - if you have no other options, then yes, the PS2 port is alright. However, if you CAN get it for the PC, there are several mods that makes the game look a lot nicer.

Stelas
Sep 6, 2010



The Game of the Year version is on Steam for cheap and is absolutely servicable. The only thing to remember is that the game never handled multiple cores well - if it's running strangely fast or slow, go into Task Manager for the executable and turn off all but one CPU for it.

Fallen One
May 1, 2007

" Whoa! Death? He's come for me!... Death is sleeping too..."

Rangpur posted:

I know I'm years behind the times here, but I just beat Overlord in EOII. Is there some basic class/skill combination I've overlooked the entire game? Because every single tactic I tried still left me at the mercy of the RNG. Level 65 Beast kitted out to be a giant meat wall? Dead in one round of attacks. Hexer and Dark Hunter could never get their ailments & debuffs to stick. Until they did, and then I won.

I'm okay with a game where luck plays a major factor, but if there's some trick I'm missing, I'd like to know before I tackle the post-game content. (Also if there's any build that makes Troubadours and Alchemists worth the gobs of TP they require just to function.)

Like Racsyc said, I cheesed a lot of the late FOE/bosses by having a Hexer with maxed Revenge/Hp up and just leaving her at one hp and spamming Revenge.

A Sometimes Food
Dec 8, 2010

I'm kidding


Thanks for the replies, I actually have the PC version somewhere, but do not have a PC for gaming, and won't in the foreseeable future and I got the urge to play it again, so I think I will get the PS2 version.

Rascyc
Jan 23, 2008

Dissatisfied Puppy

Really enjoyed Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time for the most part. Like all games that do a split story approach, the surrounding events were way more interesting to me (the wars, the elections, etc) than the events your personal party are pursuing. Thankfully you get so many updates on the surrounding events, that it kept me interested. The main plot, I have issues with though I quickly forget when I remind myself its a remake of an old game.

Gameplay wise though, I pretty much have the same complaints I did in all the Growlanser games. It's extremely easy to build ridiculously powerful characters, however being able to swap out spellstones mid-combat really cements it. The game is much faster paced than its predecessors so that was a nice change, but it gets very spammy at times and it's hard to feel like you are making progress in some fights as you eat batteries of spells. Mission design was varied enough that things stayed interesting, but I really disliked any mission that had a "timer" component to it since you did not always know what was going to happen if time ran out.

What's not fun is the dumb buff system. Story fights without buffs are extraordinarily different than fights with buffs. The kicker is that you can do most buffs outside of combat, so if you know something rough is coming, you should just buff up. The exception to this is the incredibly powerful Magic Def Up buff but that is a ZERO ATW knack that lasts all battle anyway. Eventually though you can just keep the holy trinity buffs up 24/7 thanks to endless MP from magic vortex (which is a incredibly fabulous spell).

Also I wish the party size of controllable characters was 5, and not 4. Joint spells are incredibly painful to use for most of GL so the AI always has a huge leg up on you in the magic department due to sheer numbers. This is honestly where most of the difficulty comes from, since single target base spells have infinite range.

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Polite Tim
Sep 3, 2007
'insert witty Family Guy/ Futurama/ Simpsons/ Little fucking Britian etc quote here'

I'm about six months behind on any game I play, so this is probably old news to you guys, but I've just done a first impressions write up of Kingdoms of Amalur for your pleasure

NO SPOILERS

Games these days have a hell of a time coming up with original settings or mechanics, now that the industry is in full swing and affordable development is on the increase this issue is going to get worse. So what do you do? 38 Studios decided to embrace the inspiration and came up with a game that's some how Fable, World of Warcraft and Dragon Age all rolled into one. You could write a textbook on the trials and tribulations of the recently bankrupt company, some may say that former Baseball star Curt Schilling is a scumbag for effectively ripping off the government when he defaulted on the company's $115 million loan (or however much it was), but I'm not really interested in that, more in actually talking about how the game actually is:

Gameplay - 8/10
Gameplay is solid, it's a standard MMORPG-like fare where there are zones to play in, quests to do and enemies to kill. Thankfully the dearth of kill x plaguerats or collect y dragon hides was a concept condemned in the eyes of the dev team, as the questing generally involves dungeon trawling, hunting for clues, tracking and defeating marks whilst somehow keeping the formula fresh. The quests at heart are basically the same thing over and over again, but they are held together quite well with some nice if a little mediocre flavour text. The combat is excellent, however, it starts out simplistic but as you unlock various abilities you can take on enemies more tactically and change up the flavour of battles. I was playing as a rogue, so my experience has mainly been sneaking around, disabling enemies, dashing around to evade attacks and generally shanking every living thing in existance. It's responsive and the control set up never feels obnoxious, so kudos all around for that. KoA also does the Fable thing of having a friendly fire toggle button for all you budding sociopaths out there.

Story - 5/10
I'm not gripped by the story, i have to say. Given how the promo material was bigging up how R.A. Salvatore was writing everything, it's kind of...amateurish in presentation. The central theme involves the fact that the game universe is governed by fate, and your character, by surviving his or her own death at the beginning, has broken free of fate and can freely unravel the world around them. This is a cool concept, and there is a huge amount of backstory and world lore written for the game, but Salvatore just doesn't really go anywhere with it. Dialogue is flat and frankly not delivered all that well by the voice cast, the characters are unmemorable and the world suffers the usual Tolkein problem of everything having a stupid hard to remember name. Looking at another open world fantasy RPG, Skyrim, the locations and characters were named in a way that it was easy to distinguish between them. Solitude, Dawnstar, Markath, Beggars Reach, High Hrothgar, easy stuff. I can't even remember the names of the main towns and I only put the game down thirty minutes ago to write this. So...not great in this respect.

Graphics and design - 8/10
The game engine was designed from the beggining with the idea of making the game an MMO, so graphically it's not up to Uncharted/Cryengine standards, but loading is quick and everything on the overworld is seamless, which honestly I can accept a sacrifice to visuals for. I'm not a geek about graphics, I'm happy with what i'm seeing, the visual style is somewhere between Wow and Fable. Semi-realistic but comic book in tone without looking ridiculous. Enemy designs are pretty good, you have your staple RPG enemies as well as ones unique to this world but everything seems fresh to look at. I'm particularly fond of the Boggarts, little wooden bastards who waddle around blissfully ignorant of the terrifying tatooed lady creeping up behind them. Animations are good, nothing extraordinary, but wholly competent and they flow well. I've only had the game freeze on me once, and I got stuck in the ground once, but generally the engine holds up well.

Sound - 8/10
Can't fault the audio, no bugs, everything is crisp. Music, again, is a bit bland and unmemorable, sound effects are pretty good, but that's something that's hard to mess up these days. Nothing else really to note.

Longevity - ?/10
I'm about twelve hours into the game, and i've covered less than 1/4 of the map, so i have no idea at the moment how the game is going to hold up into the endgame. As it stands right now, i'm having trouble putting the controller down. Quests are quick without being brief and there is a steady stream of rewards. The gameplay itself is varied enough to keep me interested but I can't see myself playing through to the end, at least not without a six month break in between. Sometimes there can be too much to do and you end up with saturation fatigue, but I can't really complain about having lots of content in a game, especially when even modern AAA RPGs are getting shorter and shorter.

Overall - 7/10
Unfortunately, if you're big on visual flair and epic storytelling, this probably isn't the game for you. Nothing about it sets the world alight. What it does right, it does very well. There's virtually nothing annoying in the game, but it also doesn't really challenge you on any level. Customisation is good but not great, battles can be tense but fateshifting is a press-to-win button and fills far too quickly. I really like the game, otherwise I wouldn't keep playing, but it's not without its flaws. I would recommend anyone who likes ARPGs to at least give this a try, though Torchlight 2 and Diablo 3 both came out recently, and Skyrim is still awesome nearly a year on from release. I'm happy, so the game has succeeded in it's primary goal.

TL:DR: Gameplay good, everything else mediocre

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