From Gold Boxes to Elder Scrolls : A Lifetime of RPGs

From Gold Boxes to Elder Scrolls : A Lifetime of RPGs

As a lifelong pen and paper RPG player, there is no genre closer to my heart in computer games as that of the Roleplaying Game. There was recently a post on Reddit where someone was asking about games like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale. I was going to post and then I thought, why not make it one big blog post instead? So here is the big rundown of RPGs I can recommend and why. Please note for the sake of my sanity, there are no MMORPGs listed.   Eye of the Beholder – One of the first RPGs I ever played on a computer as well as the first game I ever played in the first person perspective. Roll a party of 4 characters and venture into the labyrinthine Undermountain. It was super tough for young me so I never beat it until the GameBoy re-release. Like it: Legend of Grimrock   Dark Sun: Shattered Lands – The first D&D game on PC I played with a very open world. Starting as a gladiator slave, you make a party of four and escape from the clutches of the horrible wizard-king and get drawn up into a grand adventure in an arid death world. Like it: Baldur’s Gate, although it’s more for people who like unusual settings.   Baldur’s Gate 1 and Baldur’s Gate 2 – Excellent games that will forever be remembered as the best computer RPGs of the era featuring the best voices, art and gameplay that anyone could ask for. I practically learned how to play D&D from these games. Like it: Any other CRPG from...
Review: Rollers of the Realm

Review: Rollers of the Realm

Having done early views and interviews for Rollers, it would be horrible for me not to review the final copy. First, if you’re just here for the should you get it or not then consider the following: Does the idea of a fantasy world role playing game with pinball-action based mechanics sound interesting? Then you want to play Rollers of the Realm.   Firstly, I’m playing this game on PC. As far as that’s concerned, the graphical options are minimal (resolution, windowed/fullscreen, v-sync, anti-aliasing) but controls are very customizable featuring separate binds for Controller and Keyboard.   The game itself is sort of a puzzle game, where you need to bust open certain obstacles and defeat opponents on the ‘play field’. I put that into quotes because the play field is *not* a traditional pinball board. Towns, forges, fields are all maps you can throw the ball down onto. And speaking of the ball, each character changes how the ball works. Weight and size are all different depending which character you currently have on deck. Speaking of characters, each one has a different power. Using these powers should give you the advantage you need to complete more difficult levels.   In a review, typically you’ll denote weaknesses or un-fun bits of the game. Simply put, I enjoyed the game way too much to say that it has any failings. However, those who don’t like puzzle games or find themselves lacking the needed accuracy probably should avoid it. Also pinball purists, although they traditionally avoid digital pinball games. If this sounds interesting to you, check out Rollers of the...
52 Week Challenge – Week 36 – Sacred Citadel

52 Week Challenge – Week 36 – Sacred Citadel

This week, I beat two games. The first was Dungeons and Dragons : Daggerdale and the second was Sacred Citadel. Daggerdale I described as being a mediocre game with a great ending. Sacred Citadel is the other way around: a really neat game with a mediocre ending.   Having a deep love for old arcade games, the title “Golden Axe” isn’t unfamiliar. Three heroes, each with ‘magic’, melee and dodging around in a Streets of Rage/Double Dragon/TMNT sort of way. Beat em up games all play out the same way, but Golden Axe is a pretty good one and really tough without being impossible (screw you Battletoads). Sacred Citadel is the next generation child of all these games, except it’s easy. Being that it isn’t an arcade game, that’s fine, it just means it’s not chewing quarters.   All the RPG customization, complicated combo chaining, inventory system and four playable characters mean nothing if your story isn’t very good. The weakest point of the game, the story is fine. A weak final boss and some very contrived moments of “ok I get it, this just moves the story along” but the genre isn’t really known for great stories.   I grabbed the game in some bundle that wasn’t during a summer or winter sale, and so ended up getting three games for 15 bucks. I haven’t played the celebrated Sacred/Sacred 2, but this game was worth the bundle alone. Oh, but play co-op, since it supports it. And if you crave a tougher challenge, play Castle...
Archeage Beta 3

Archeage Beta 3

It’s rare that I enjoy an MMO. I love the social aspect of playing with my friends, I love living worlds. I cut my teeth on FF11 way back in the day, worked my way up to Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online and finally Guild Wars 2. When I heard about the ‘Sandbox’ gameplay of Archeage (and Black Desert), it gave me the same feeling that I had before I’ve ever played an MMO, when I was hearing about the likes of Everquest and Ultima Online. Living, breathing worlds that function because of the players actions. Kill too many deer, and the predator creatures that feed on them have to make wider searches for food, bringing danger to towns. That living and breathing world is what I want to participate in.   Archeage, at least as of Beta 3, is not that. It is a dyed in the wool, standard MMO. The current term for this is a ‘theme park’ mmo, where you’re led from one area to the next in a very linear manner of play. And that’s going to happen, naturally, since you must ease people into the new world with new mechanics. Provide the familiar, then ease people into your unique features. I always felt that Tera did a very good job at that. Five hours in, and Archeage was still leading me around by the nose. While it did have neat things (the races, leveling, visuals and the like) it just all felt really rote and too familiar.   To that end, I don’t recommend buying the founders package...
52 Week Challenge – Week 20 – South Park and the Stick of Truth

52 Week Challenge – Week 20 – South Park and the Stick of Truth

I’m a bit of an oddball in that I don’t watch South Park and yet I love the show. When I do happen to catch an episode here or there, I think they’re brilliant and yet I don’t think I’ve watched it on air since season 2 or 3. That’s why when I heard they were making an RPG based on it, I didn’t give it much thought. Then I saw a video preview of the game and was enamored with it! Watching a game that looked just like an episode, that’s part of the reason I love the “Two Towers”, “Peter Jackson’s King Kong” and “Star Trek: A Final Unity” games! I knew I had to play this. Fast forward to release, and a friend of mine was kind enough to gift me the $59.99 game. I cleared out my then-current 52 week challenge games and spun this up right away! 12 hours later, and I know I’ve only completed about 60-70 percent of the game and I have two opinions about it. First, it’s amazing. The deep mechanics, solid humor and great story punctuated by wonderful music and great voice acting… I couldn’t want more! There is just SO much to it. Which leads to the second opinion: it’s a bit pricey. Sixty dollars is a lot of money for something that you might get 18 hours out of. A more appropriate price point may have been around 30-40 bucks, but that being said the game was and is amazing and anyone who likes South Park or old school 3d Square Enix RPG’s should play this… but...