Posts Tagged ‘RPG’

The Count Lucanor Combines Pixels With Bach

A top-down RPG with pixel graphics is about as common a game conceit as you can find on PC these days. But Baroque Decay’s project The Count Lucanor [official site] grabbed my attention by noting that it has a soundtrack by Bach. Bach, performed as chiptunes.

Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: Before Fallout 4, The Afternow

“I hope I’m getting through. This is Independent Librarian Dynamic Sean Kennedy VI. This is Episode 732.653.663.398.36.1. This is a pirate radio broadcast in the Queen’s English from sometime after now. So light your candles, and may Server protect us all. What do you say to ghosts who died before you were born?”

Long before beloved podcasts like Welcome To Night Vale – before the word ‘podcasting’ was invented, in fact – a strange broadcast found its way onto the web. Tales From The Afternow is the history of a future that can’t be allowed to happen; one man screaming into the darkness, and sending that scream back to a time when there was still the chance to change things for the better. This was 2002, and… well, let’s just hope that creator Sean Kennedy’s descendant enjoys something about the post-apocalyptic cyberpunk wasteland, because he’s not getting out of there soon.

On the plus side, what better way to pass the time before Fallout 4?

Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: The Damned DM Delusion

The most dangerous ideas are the ones so compelling, nobody wants to admit they’re bad. Also the atom bomb was pretty nasty, but that’s a bit out of a weekly RPG column. Instead, let’s pick one of the chocolate teapots that people keep mistaking for the Holy Grail – the idea that RPGs can hope to offer anything close to a classic DM experience. It’s a terrible idea. It’s not going to work. Stop wasting everybody’s time.

Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: Conning Purple

After what seems like forever, but has really just been ages, Age of Decadence [official site] is out and ready to kick your arse/ass (delete according to your ability to pronounce ‘aluminium’). I’ve not had much time to put into it myself yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so, not least because of the promise of not being your usual combat heavy RPG. There’s combat, but also plenty of scope for talking your way out of problems, as well as a cast not all patterned after the knight that can only tell the truth from that tiresome logic puzzle. You know. Towers of Hanoi.

What really caught my attention on firing it up though was one of the character classes – “Grifter”. Hmm. How would that go? No weapons, just wits. Time to hustle.

Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: Oktoberquest

This month, it seems like just about every major RPG out there is getting a major update. Divinity: Original Sin. Wasteland 2. Guild Wars 2. Even Deus Ex! All we need is for someone to announce that they’ve secretly been upgrading Darklands on the sly and we’ll have the whole set. Here’s a quick look at what’s taking a level up on a PC near you.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: The Witcher III: Hearts Of Stone

The Witcher III: Hearts Of Stone [official site] has a simple moral: be careful what you wish for, unless it’s more The Witcher III, obviously. Taking place after the main campaign, though not at all related to it, Hearts of Stone is a ten hour tale of ambition, of regret, of manipulation, cruelty and sorrow that gets to push aside fears of the incoming apocalypse in favour of focusing deep on the series’ love of finding compassion in the most cynical of situations. The worst I can say is that it’s ‘just’ more of The Witcher 3 to play, but rarely has that word more deserved its air-quotes.

Here’s Wot I Think, as if you haven’t already guessed.

Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: Sacred Worlds

Most RPGs ask you to save the world, but not all of them offer a world worth saving. Honestly, there’s been quite a few where given the choice I’d have joined the evil overlord just to beat up all the potion vendors who wouldn’t even give me a discount before the final battle, and for the mere chance of stabbing the guard in Act 1 who wouldn’t let me into The Town Where The Actual Bloody Game Starts.

This week though, I’m interested in the other side of that – the worlds that become more than just a place to grind for loot and XP. The places that feel real. Beloved worlds, which don’t necessarily correlate with beloved games. I really enjoyed Skyrim for instance, but Skyrim as a world largely leaves me cold for reasons that have nothing to do with the Frostfall mod. That’s not the same as saying it’s bad, or any real quality judgement at all, simply that for me it never became a second home, more than a playground. Fallout New Vegas meanwhile, despite its problems, ticked all of the boxes. It was a world I could believe in, get immersed by, and not want to leave, which given the current political climate around the world is quite probably for the best.

Here are some of the most special worlds for me. How about you? Note, we’re talking entire worlds, as in the settings for whole games, not specific places like, say, Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII or FFXIV. Those are cool too, but… another week!

Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: Chris Avellone Writes Everything

This week, Larian announced that Chris “Chris Avellone” Avellone would be joining the Divinity: Original Sin 2 writers to help craft what some are already calling “Words”. Commenting, Avellone demonstrated his willingness and capability of writing them by writing others, which read as follows: “This is the first time I think the community is responsible for bringing two developers together who might not have crossed paths… and especially for such a great project.” There was also a stickman involved.

But of course, this is only one of the many projects that Avellone has signed on for in the next year or so. What more of his magic awaits us in coming months?

Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: Undertale

You should play Undertale [official site]. It’s not had much attention since it came out last week, and that’s a real shame, because it’s one of the sweetest, darkest, funniest RPGs I’ve played in ages. It’s rare to find a genuinely funny game, and rarer still to spend several hours laughing and laughing. My only problem with trying to give it its proper due is that by doing so, well, I inevitably have to spoil things. So, if you’re in the mood for a sweet, dark, funny RPG that’s not just about meta references and jokes about XP being stupid, you go check it out, right now, and I’ll see you next week.

If you need a little more than that, hmm. How to describe it without saying too much? Aaah, I know. It’s a bit like Earthbound, only with the big difference that most of the people with nice things to say about it have actually played it. (No, five minutes with a ROM doesn’t count.) And like Earthbound, you’ll kick yourself if you miss it now.

Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: The Lost Magic Of Magic

Given a choice, I almost always play as a mage. Swords? Pah. Divine magic? Save it for Sunday School. Give me control over the elements, the power to reshape the very building blocks of the universe according to my every whim, and if at all possible, a cool hat. It’s an easy fantasy to indulge in almost any RPG out there.

I just wish it was a more satisfying one.

Read the rest of this entry »