Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Review Arcanum & Vampire: Bloodlines-- Lost Classics of Troika Games

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by DarkUnderlord, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Make America Great Again DarkUnderlordgender: ⚧ Bringing that old Raptor magic. Dumbfuck

    DarkUnderlord
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    Tags: Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magick Obscura; Troika Games; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

    If you feel like reminiscing about Arcanum and Bloodlines, here's a video from Noah Caldwell-Gervais:

    This is a video retrospective of legendary, long-defunct Troika Games' two most memorable titles-- Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magic Obscura, Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines. It looks at both games in depth, considering them for their own merits and their legacy in gaming history. If you've heard about these classic games but haven't seen them in action, or if you're looking for an in-depth critical retrospective, why not spend forty minutes with these Lost Classics of Troika Games? MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT, INCLUDING ENDGAME FOOTAGE. But nothing gratuitous, just what I need for my points.


    It's a pretty nice run through both of them.

    Thanks oasis789!
     
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  2. Excidiumgender: ⚧ P. banal

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    41:14

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. garrengender: ⚧ Arcane

    garren
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    Bloodlines a bad game? :stupid:

    Edit: Baka face
     
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  4. ColColgender: ⚧ Arcane

    ColCol
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    Too bad that in order to find the gold in these games you have to swim through a sea of shit.
     
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  5. Duraframe300gender: ⚧ Arcane

    Duraframe300
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    Cliched charachters and writing is one of the last things I would associate Bloodlines with.

    And yes, I have played it recently (Thanks to Wesp its only been better). That's not and has never been a good argument for discrediting someones opinion on a game you arrogant fuck.

    :mob:
     
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  6. ZagorTeNejgender: ⚧ Arcane

    ZagorTeNej
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    Eh, what? I'd say VTMB is at the very least reasonably balanced in terms of viable combat skills (and clan choices for that matter, something I don't think it gets enough credit for managing to do), regardless of how you feel about the combat itself.

    Melee weapons have the advantage at the start, remain solid until the end and are cheap (as in you don't have to buy ammo). Guns on the other hand start very slowly, catch up in Downtown (Braddock and Brokk), surpass melee weapons in Hollywood (Colt Anaconda, Jaegeraspas and Jaime Sue) and arguably get overpowered once you get your hands on Steyr Aug (great rate of fire, damage, zoom and cheap ammo) and Flamethrower.

    I also think he's way too hard on VTMB in terms of its plot, characters etc. very few video games would held up under such scrutiny (that he faps so much to something like Bioshock Infinite makes this all the more ridiculous), VTMB is one of the better games when it comes to writing (especially the Malkavian PC dialogue) and one of the best in terms of atmosphere (which is mostly urban horror instead of faggy emo goth crap which you might expect out of it beforehand), facial animations and voice acting are just superb.

    Rushed end areas (non-combat approach stops becoming viable after Giovanni mansion basically) and various technical issues are of course valid complaints (or was so at the time when it comes to bugs and stability, unofficial patches make this problem largely obsolete and the game is very playable these days) but I don't think he really gets why so many people considers this game to be a classic (hint, it's not nostalgia, I last played the game about a year and a half ago) and I think he hasn't done enough "research" (as he puts it) either.

    Don't know, the guy just overall comes off as a pretentious hipster especially with all the "Maybe 3 games were enough if this is the direction they were heading in", seriously just fuck off.

    Does this seem like a FPS/RPG hybrid to you:

     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
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  7. ZagorTeNejgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I prefer the term flawed gems, and I'd take them over well polished turds any day of the week.
     
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  8. Excidiumgender: ⚧ P. banal

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    Are you serious? Almost every character in the game is a really shallow stereotype. What saves them is the excellent voice acting giving them more personality.
     
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  9. DeepOceangender: ⚧ Arcane

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    This youtube guy is automaticaly disqualified to criticize the plot of any game.
     
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  10. Koscheygender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Koschey
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    Ah, I see, so wizards are disadvantaged in Arcanum until late in the game. What an insightful man.
    :hmmm:
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
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  11. Grotesquegender: ⚧ Arcane

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    please don't post news about shitty videos from utube anymore
     
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  12. Esquilaxgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I dunno, there are definitely some interesting things with several of the characters. I rather liked that LaCroix was the pathetic sort - you know he's a total pussy, and everyone else knows he's a total pussy, but he just happens to have all the power and nobody else can do shit about it. I went with the Camarilla ending the first time I played through, and you think that there's going to be this buildup where you finally get back at him for everything (because at that point you'd been gunning down a shitload of trash mobs), but no... he just falls to his knees and starts sobbing and rambling with all these rationalizations of how the city needs him. I thought that was well-done.

    I suppose you can call Smiling Jack a shallow stereotype of a cool, badass biker type, but that's also what he wanted you to think the entire time. He's the confident, smooth-talking type that a guy like LaCroix wishes he could be. Bertram Tung was a really awesome character that was a good example of your hard-boiled cynical type with probably the most straightforward, bullshit-free take on politics.

    Yeah, some things could have been done better, but overall, I feel that the major characters were generally pretty good and they showed a lot of personality with generally few lines of dialogue.
     
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  13. Excidiumgender: ⚧ P. banal

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    It's a cool story idea to have a self-seving prince that only uses his position for personal and vain reasons, but Lacroix is too poor of a character to carry that idea. They didn't do a good job at justifying this pathetic dude to be on the position he is, nobody supports or even respects the guy so what the hell is his power base?
     
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  14. laclongquangender: ⚧ Arcane

    laclongquan
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    Bloodlines doesnt get innovative, which is the altar western gamers and developers worship. What it does is doing the things they do very very well.

    Lacroix is the final boss that is designed from the start, but at the end, after a grueling battle with Sheriff, when the chance to kick his ass come, an opportunity we've been looking forward to a very long time, he broke down and blubbering... Turn out the final boss is the Sheriff. What a twist, eh?

    Smiling Jack seem just your typical middleman that you have every game, that appear and disappear without trace. But after several endings, you dimly realized he seem to be the puppetmaster behind the whole damn thing. A twist, again.
     
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  15. Azrael the catgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Azrael the cat
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    I didn't find that to be a problem. Smiling Jack sums it up quite well if you push him on why the anarchs haven't managed to take LaCroix down yet, and he warns you that he'd never say LaCroix was stupid - just 'middle management'. It's established that he managed to win a series of victories against the anarchs, putting pressure on them to the point that a bunch of them swapped sides. He's blinded by ambition, but he's also a devious bastard: defusing Nine's little protest by making a showcase of 'Camarilla leniency' in sparing the player, then using the player's debt to him as leverage to send him to what would ordinarily be certain death (getting the Sabat to do something that would have been politically damaging if he did it personally) is typical of what you get from him during the game - he's a pussy, but he's also a skilled politician and manipulator. Jack traps him by playing to LaCroix's political instincts; he might be a pussy, but it isn't weakness or stupidity that brings him down.

    It's also fairly clear that he's not exactly a pushover even without his political manipulations. From the info you get regarding LaCroix's history with Bach's family, you can put together that he started off as a minor noble (both in birth and as a vampire) - not high up enough that you'd expect him to get a Princedom. He then disappeared and travelled through Africa for the best part of 200 years, where he met the thing that's his sheriff, before returning to the civilised world and using his alliance with the sheriff to rise up the Ventrue ranks. It's quite clear that the sheriff is a very large part of what enabled LaCroix to get the title of Prince and then turn the tide against the Anarchs - nobody else in the game wants to fuck with the sheriff. In turn, LaCroix provides the brains and politics - without him, the sheriff would either be a frontline grunt somewhere, or would still be in the middle of Africa.

    He's a pussy, and it's nice that the game doesn't do the ol' 'here's the most dangerous villain that ever villained a villainous villaining'. But Jack's phrase 'middle management' (and his warning that he'd never call LaCroix stupid) sums him up - he's an ambitious and relatively young go-getter, and his skills lie in politics rather than governance, but he's still devious enough to be a threat. He's a pussy, but that never actually turns into a weakness for him. By the end of the game he's manipulated events so that his main rival is near-dead via werewolf and the subject of a blood hunt (and it's only a bizarre stroke of luck that Nines survives the werewolves when LaCroix lights up the fires to attract them) - the anarchs are thoroughly screwed, his non-pussy rival is dying or dead and he's played the Anarchs, Kuejin and Sabat off each other masterfully, using each to do jobs that he couldn't have done himself. It's not his pussyness that brings him down, it's his political ambition. LaCroix rose through politics, he consistently comes out on top during the game when tackling his rivals via politics, and gets defeated when Jack dangles in front of him a means of leaping from 'middle management' to true power, enticing him out from the Camarilla political game that LaCroix plays well.
     
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  16. Drowedgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Lol, he really said that? The fuck. :lol:

    I was still deciding whether I should watch this video or not, but after the reviews here I see that I can do many more useful things with 40 minutes of my life.
     
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  17. Excidiumgender: ⚧ P. banal

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    I think you give him far too much credit.
     
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  18. Shadenuatgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    :lol: the way he slips into white knighting at the end.
     
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  19. tulusegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    This is sort of true, but they're not cliches common to RPGs, so it felt fresh in an RPG context.

    Also, the characters have well defined and easily understood motivations which pushes the writing into the top shelf with respect to other video games.
     
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  20. Make America Great Again Commissar Dracogender: ⚧ KKKodex WCDS Commissar Patron

    Commissar Draco
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    Interesting to to the point where author makes long long winded PC and White Knight rant about one of the best VTMB quests; Also he reached only one of the five endings and bitches about subpar ending he has chosen what a faggot; No fun after replay of the game? His fault to replay the game as brainwashed college graduated ''progressive adult''. :troll:

    His Review of Arcanum is quite :incline: though and I agree with conclusion; You can't make game which will be both popular with Manboons thus profitable for :keepmyjewgold:Evul Producers and :obviously:+M.
     
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  21. Burning Bridgesgender: ⚧ Enviado de meu SM-G3502T usando Tapatalk

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    This. He complains at length about not being able to customize his face like in Skyrim and the lack of strong female characters. He also complains about Arcanum having "terrible visuals" and VtmB being a bad game.

    This guy is a hipster if I have ever seen one. He was bored and selected Troika as target for some pseudo intellectual bullshit before reutrning to his newest facebook shit.

    Of course some of his points are true, but should not be new to anyone who played these game.
     
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  22. SCOgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

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    In the land of videogame writing, all you need is restraint, not treating your audience like the retarded morons most are and bit of humor to be king.
     
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  23. crawlkillgender: ⚧ Kill all boxed game owners. Kill! Kill!

    crawlkill
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    I don't disagree with any of his criticisms of Bloodlines, and, like, there are way more terrible things about Bloodlines than he went into in detail, but I do think he kind of failed to praise some of its high points. like, dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. I'm too gay to notice if women are presented oppressedly in Bloodlines, other people will have to let me know
     
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  24. godsend1989gender: ⚧ Scholar

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    Overall Bloodlines is a masterpiece, i dont care what you faggots say that game is gold for me.
     
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  25. General Maxsongender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Arcanum and Bloodlines are 10 times better with all their flaws than anything I have played in the last 10 years. And this is just some hipster faggot. I only wish we got more flawed gems than polished turds we get nowadays. Don't get me wrong, both games have flaws, but only games that have a chance of capturing that "old school" magic could be kickstarter or indie (AoD) ones, mainstream gaming is dead so far as those kinds of games go. I just hope KS games won't be disappointing mediocre turds.
     
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