Posts Tagged ‘RPG’

The RPG Scrollbars: Quests Done Quick

I must confess, since finishing Siege of Dragonspear the other week, I’ve not actually fired up any RPGs. It’s not for want of them to play. I’m particularly looking forward to finally trying Final Fantasy IX, which I missed back in the day, and Beamdog’s recently announced interquel, Planescape Torment: The Nameless One And A Half. (It’s very similar to the original, only now whenever someone asks “What can change the nature of a man?” a furious little goblin pops onto the screen to yell “#notallmen!”)

The problem has simply been timing – not having a nice satisfying chunk of time to really settle down for an epic experience. So instead, I thought I’d take a look at a few speed-runs, and see how fifty hours suddenly becomes a minute and a half… provided you don’t include the hundreds of hours to get to that point. Here’s a few of them I dug up to make your completion times look like crap, from RPGs old and new.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Hollow Pursuits

Ever had one of those games that you just long to get into, but can’t? There haven’t been many I’ve wanted to get into more than the Dark Souls series. To sink into the world I see people talking about on my Twitter feed. To have that sense of discovery in ash and ember. For that crumbling world to feel like something more than just a succession of traps and gauntlets. I want to like Dark Souls. I really hope Dark Souls 3 is the clicking point. But… so far, (whispers) I’ve never managed to like Dark Souls.

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Wot I Think: Baldur’s Gate: Siege Of Dragonspear

Sixteen years ago, BioWare bridged the gap between Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate 2 with, more or less, “And then some other stuff happened.” Now Beamdog has gone back, filling in the gaps with Siege of Dragonspear [official site]. Is it worth putting the band back together for one more trip to the Sword Coast? Here’s Wot I Think.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Story Mode

About eighteen years or so after marking Baldur’s Gate off my To-Save list, I’m knee-deep in the Infinity Engine once again with Siege of Dragonspear. I’m not going to talk too much about it here, not least because there’s a full review coming soon. But there’s one thing I do want to talk about – not one new to the Enhanced Editions, admittedly, and that’s its Story Mode option. Essentially, at any time you can flip a switch and even a Level 1 mage can suddenly wander into a Beholder’s lair and poke every single one of its eyes out without the slightest danger. You can’t die. At all. In every possible way, you render playing large chunks of the game pointless.

I entirely approve of Story Mode.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Farewell And Begone, Scarlet Blade

If you can’t be famous, you can at least be infamous. Scarlet Blade is pretty much proof that while sex doesn’t necessarily sell, it certainly gets attention. It’s one of the most famous MMOs that pretty much nobody will admit to having played, which shuts down this month with rather less bang than whimper. Essentially, and by publisher Aeria’s own admission, it just isn’t worth updating any more, a botched patch has meant a lack of updates, and ultimately players have been asked to go find new adventure and shinier boobs elsewhere. Truly, the end of an era, and by that I mean of course, not.

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The RPG Scrollbars: EverQuest Next Killed The MMORPG

Light a candle for the genre, it’s basically done. Oh, it’ll keep ticking along, of course. This month we’ve seen Black Desert Online, there’s others on the way, and there’ll always be some audience for both the mostly Korean-born clickers and the occasional new idea. Personally I’m hoping for City of Titans to scratch that superhero itch that Champions Online sure as heck can’t, and for Shroud of the Avatar to bring back some of that Ultima magic. (Take a shot.) But as a genre to actively watch for cool stuff? Stick a fork in it. Sony- sorry, Daybreak was pretty much the last great hope of breathing life into it in any form remotely close to how Everquest did it back in the day, never mind giving it back the cultural clout from World of Warcraft’s heyday.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Just Go Along With It, Okay?

Spoiler alert, RPGs are kinda ridiculous. Most games are, of course. While the Mythbusters may have shown that carrying Doomguy’s loadout into battle isn’t as bad as it might sound, there’s a reason they’ve never done a follow-up about doing it after taking a few rockets to the face. Likewise, we can’t know the effect of glugging down fifty health potions a day, but it must mean a lot of pauses for the heroic knight to hurriedly get his armour off for a quick pee-break.

Like a lot of things, there’s a line here – on one side, things that are interesting to see a game justify, and on the other, things that are probably best handwaved. Where does that line lie?

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