Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Information RPG Codex picks for 2002

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Calis, Dec 24, 2002.

  1. Calisgender: ⚧ Pensionado

    Calis
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    Click here and disable ads!
    Tags: The Year in Review

    What did Saint Proverbius, Mistress, Calis, and Exitium think were the best games released this year? <a href="http://www.rpgcodex.com/content.php?id=27">Read it</a> and find out.
    <br>

    <br>
    And here's a clip from the forward:
    <br>

    <br>
    <blockquote>So, why not list the CRPGs we thought were the best? OF course, some will say that the big reason not to do it is that everyone else is. However, I'm pretty sure that most everyone else didn't play all the ones we played. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most of them haven't heard of some of the shareware games we cover, or the rogue-likes.</blockquote>
    <br>

    <br>
    Yay!
     
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  2. Dangender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Dan
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    I just want to be the first to say it:

    "wUT? NO NEVER W1NT3R KNIGHTS?"

    Thank you.
     
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  3. Jedgender: ⚧ Cipher

    Jed
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    Why no Avernum 3?

    Haven't played it, but due to the generally positive reception it got around the 'Codex, I'm surprised to see it not make at least one list.

    J
     
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  4. Spazmogender: ⚧ Erudite

    Spazmo
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    I suppose it was #4 on some lists.

    Interesting picks. I probably should get around to buying DivDiv.
     
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  5. Saint_Proverbiusgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
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    Yup, it would have been #4 or #5 on my list, in competition with Morrowind. Both of those games tended to do something well. I think I was the only one that played Avernum 3 out of the lot though, so I would have been the only one that could have picked it.
     
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  6. chrisbeddoesgender: ⚧ Erudite

    chrisbeddoes
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    Prince of Qin ?

    Is this really good ?

    I read a lot of reviews in the web giving it very bad scores.

    Mayby a lack of a good publisher to promote it can explain those scores ?
     
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  7. Walks with the Snailsgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Walks with the Snails
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    I checked out the demo for Prince of Qin and it was pretty cool. You can get it at gamestop.com for $19.99 with free shipping in the U.S. It's a pretty good deal.
     
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  8. Saint_Proverbiusgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
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    I thought it was good, obviously. :)

    PoQ has a number of things going for it:
    • A good number of quests don't involve killing things.
    • Uses Feng Shui element system heavily. For example, Water promotes Wood, so if you have a Water elemental ring on the hand that holds a Wood elemental sword, that rin will unlock powers in that sword. Same thing goes for necklaces and helmets, belts and chest armor, and so on.
    • Enemies and your characters can also be aligned with the elements. Since Fire detrements Wood, you'll have a much easier time overcoming a Wood aligned enemy if you're Fire aligned.
    • Likewise, spells are aligned with elements too.
    • Weapon and armor forging. If you're a "paladin", you can make weapons assuming you have the right materials for that item.
    • Charm attribute, which effects certain speech outcomes.
    • Unique, Chinese class system: Paladins, Musclemen, Witches, Wizards, and Assassin. Each one is totally in tune with Chinese lore. Paladins are noble Chinese knights. Musclemen are more like Mongol/Chinese barbarians. Witches are female magic users. Assassins are ranged fighting, trap disarming/arming rogues. Wizards are males who cast magic.
    • While the game is set in China, unlike Throne of Darkness, the weapon names and armor are in ENGLISH so you don't have to refer to a Chinese weapon manual to figure out what they are.
    • The single player is typical party based faire, a la the Infinity Engine games. This includes real time with pause combat(yuck), but combat isn't the focus like those games. Expect lots of dialogue, and most people you speak with isn't a precursor to combat.
    • Multiplayer is more kin to Diablo, where you run a single character in real time. Multiplayer also features random quest generation, which beats Diablo hands down.

    The single player demo for the game sucks though. It's based on an alpha build of the game, and it IS mostly combat.
     
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  9. chrisbeddoesgender: ⚧ Erudite

    chrisbeddoes
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    Oh .
    Other game sites thought that

    Prince of Qin sucked.

    GameZone 7/10 Adrenaline Vault 2.5/5 Gamespot 6.7/10

    Gamespy 68/100 Gameover 74 % ELiTeD 83 %

    Gamer's Hell 8/10 Sharky Extreme 6.5/10 ActionTrip 31 % dont bother

    PC.IGN 6.8 ESCMag 7/10 Gameguru Mania 68 %

    Games Domain 3.5/5 LoadedInc 6.5/10 Gone Gold 75 %

    Entertainment Depot 7/10 Gamers Temple 60 % Game Chronicles 7.0/10

    Gameraiders 65 % RPGVault like game weak points.


    This info was collected by searching at rpgdot.


    Now let me say some scores that NWN was awarded.

    Well no use because everybody gave perfect score or 95 % and the very few that gave medium not low score well they had big problems.

    And NWN well in my opinion sucked bad .

    And your opinion which i trust is that prince of Qin is a very good game.

    So my question is WTF ?

    Are 95% of all commercial web games sites on the take ?

    Are they marketing machines just for the purpose of selling and promoting and hyping games that big publishers produce ?

    And all the independent games and small publishers are left in the cold ?

    Anybody knows ?

    Anybody has the courage to answer ?

    Or is it something else that i dont understand ?
     
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  10. Calisgender: ⚧ Pensionado

    Calis
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    Chris,

    Having worked for a commercially-owned gaming site, I can safely say that they usually don't *actively* suck up to big-name publishers. The main problem is that reviewers are generally as susceptible to hype as anyone else. They go into a game with certain expections, certain prejudices. Prince of Qin, for instance, was marketed as an Action RPG. It even says so on the official site! So naturally reviewers compared it to Diablo II. Which it wasn't. So instead of really delving into the game's gameplay they take a shallow look at what they've seen, compare it to Diablo II, and slap a 70% score on it.

    Reviewers also have a tendency to award points on merits that are purely from-the-box features. I had a hefty argument about this with Dann Weldon of GA-RPG back when I worked there. He gave Vampire: Redemption an 85% score. Why? Because it had the potential to be an awesome multiplayer game. He put a bunch of time into playing it after writing the review, but after a few sessions it became clear that it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. The review still lauded the game for its innovative storyteller mode.

    Most reviewers are as susceptible to hype as anyone else. Also please note that I am *not* trying to bash Dann here. Most of his stuff was very good (usually better than mine), it's just that the example of his Vampire: Redemption review nicely illustrates the problem.

    Another problem is that reviewers don't always do their job seriously enough. I've been in the position myself. You've played a game, are in a hurry to get the review done, and don't pay as much attention to doing it seriously as you should.

    Part of the reason stuff like this happens, is that there is a certain amount of time pressure in getting a review out on the net. You want to have a review up not too long after release, because that is the moment people will want to read about the game they're considering spending their cash on.

    Of course, in some cases, the problem really is that the site managers like to smoke fat corporate publisher cock. I'm pretty sure that wasn't the case at the sites I've seen up-close, though... then again, Actiontrip is pretty consistent in crap like this, so I'm guessing they do have a few publisher cocks up their collective asses.
     
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  11. Croakergender: ⚧ Novice

    Croaker
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    I'm enjoying Avernum 3 more than Geneforge. Maybe I should have played as a Shaper, but stomping around in Avernum with a party I tuned to my wishes just brings me back to games like Shattered Lands.
     
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  12. Killziggender: ⚧ Cipher Patron

    Killzig
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    Next year you guys should pick different games, maybe one a piece if you can't find that many worthy RPGs. Then each can go more in depth, seems silly to keep repeating the same set. Also, where are the worst of 2k2 ?! surely they too deserve some sort of mention.
     
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  13. Saint_Proverbiusgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
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    Right, I agree it was marketted very poorly. In fact, the original demo for PoQ was nothing more than an alpha demonstration version of the game, which basically just showed off the engine and how combat worked. The final release of the game was nothing like the final version. However, I know a few people that tried the demo and passed on checking out the final because of this.

    Oh well, their loss.

    I think times have drastically changed since GA-RPG, Calis. Fatbabies has had a few emails from publishers to gaming sites about things like that, where the publishers flat out tell the site contacts, "Hey, we're giving you perks, we want this in exchange."

    Right, I think this is one of the huge reasons that a lot of games get better reviews than they should. I doubt most of the reviewers who reviewed IWD2 made it to Fell Wood for example, which is a truly awful area and the game only gets worse from there from what most people have told me.

    Well, each list is a different staffer's opinion, so there will naturally be some overlappage.

    As for the three worst? Not a bad idea.
     
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  14. chrisbeddoesgender: ⚧ Erudite

    chrisbeddoes
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    What about the

    3 most overhyped games ?


    2 particurarly come to my mind at this time.
     
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  15. Sharpei_Diemgender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Sharpei_Diem
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    I'd add that some people/companies review beta releases or special 'preview' releases which might differ from the completed game. I think some of the magazines are clearly susceptible to this: they're already heavily disadvantaged by the net and it's 'instant post' system and many feel it a necessity to cut corners in order to get the review out.

    I've always liked fan-based reviews and forums like http://www.pcgamereview.com . True, you do have to seperate alot of the chaff (not to mention the pre-pubescent rants and ravings) from the wheat, but generally the first sentence tells you whether you should bother basing any kind of decision on this persons thoughts. Just checked the above site for NWN, and the average review is 3.82 out of 5, which is below almost every 'professional' review i've seen.
     
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  16. Saint_Proverbiusgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
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    Yeah, the only two I can think of would be Dungeon Siege and Neverwinter Nights. I think you could count NWN twice for the shear amount of hype it got, though.

    I didn't see too many bad reviews of Dungeon Siege either, even though there was little game to be had in that one. Other than walking, there wasn't a game there. :\

    And, you know, anyone on PC Game Review that gave Dungeon Siege a 5/5 in gameplay deserves to be banned from that site for not knowing what the word means.
     
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  17. Sharpei_Diemgender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Sharpei_Diem
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    lol....funny you mention that one. Stopping by an EB games store i almost bought it....then decided I wasn't quite in the mood for a fantasy game and went sci-fi with Moonbase commander. I've heard lots of good things about it and it sounded interesting....I almost picked up PoQ, but didn't find the price attractive(they had it at like $40, which didn't make too much sense to me)...
     
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  18. Saint_Proverbiusgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
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    Dungeon Siege is way too automated. There was review on pcgamereview.com where the poster said that you basically march your party in to a dungeon room, then you can go have a sandwich, come back and collect the loot.

    Combat in Dungeon Siege is pretty automated. You just put your guys on aggressive and get them close to the monsters. Then it's just a matter of waiting, really. Oddly enough, even advancement of your characters is automated. The more killing the do, the more little messages you get about a skill or an attribute raising. So, basically, you take the two most interactive parts of a dungeon crawler, the combat and advancement, and let the computer do it for you.

    Other than walking and shopping, there's nothing to do in the game.
     
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  19. Mistressgender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Mistress
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    Totally. The game is lovely to look at, and it has a nice feel to it in terms of the way it looks and the fact that there are no loading screens etc, but it's basically just like taking a walk in a pretty forest for an hour or two.

    I pick the game up every so often when I'm really bored and I feel like messing around and looking at pretty scenery.
     
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  20. Saint_Proverbiusgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
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    Dungeon Siege has that Quake 3 feeling, I think. It's a great engine, you can't really argue that. However, it seems like it's more flash than a game, as if it's a demo to get other developers to license the technology rather than it being an actual game in and of itself.

    I actually wouldn't mind seeing GPG license out the engine to a bonafide CRPG developer to see what they could make with it.
     
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  21. Mistressgender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Mistress
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    Definitely - I've been playing Dungeon Siege this morning for the first time in a while. I don't know, it's just got a nice feel to it. The actual gameplay quickly gets dull - but wandering around in the game for a while on a Sunday morning is quite pleasant.

    Funny you should say that - while I was playing today, I was thinking it would be interesting to see what someone else could do with the engine and a decent storyline/concept. I'd love to see a well designed RPG that looks and feels as nice as Dungeon Siege.
     
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  22. chrisbeddoesgender: ⚧ Erudite

    chrisbeddoes
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    I found this .

    here

    http://somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=216


    yea i believe that this is now true

    <b>
    </b>
     
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  23. Saint_Proverbiusgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
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    That was over Anarchy Online, IIRC. The game was released in a really shoddy state where most people couldn't do anything due to glitches and lag, so FunCom sent out a release telling game sites not to review it yet.

    That's funny when you think about it. FunCom decided the game was worth releasing at that state, but it wasn't worth reviewing yet because of those issues. That's obviously a really odd double standard there when release quality is much less than the quality they want the game to be reviewed at.

    I understand why they released it, the coffers were getting low for the publisher. MMORPGs require a lot of money to develop. However, they have to figure out that reviews aren't free PR for them. The point of reviews, traditionally, is to inform the end user what he or she is getting.

    The problem with game reviews is, like that article pointed out, it no longer is there to provide end users with solid information about a product. It's there now as a marketting tool for the publishers.

    Ever noticed that a game that puts off gobs and gobs of hype rarely gets a bad review? That's just it, because the publishers and developers give that site content, i.e. HYPE, that site is then obligated to get free shit in exchange for a good review. Can you imagine if the actual press worked this way?
     
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  24. Mistressgender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Mistress
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    A total double standard. "Well, it's okay for people to unwittingly spend their money on this game, but it's not okay for people to comment on the state of the game because it isn't really finished properly." Yeah....okay....

    Yes, it is understandable, we may not like it too much, but it's understandable. Reviews certainly shouldn't be seen as free PR though.

    Yes....I read all magazine reviews with a hefty pinch of salt these days. It does tend to be the case that while there is a degree of accuracy with the less hyped games, of course the majorly hyped games tend to (not *always*) spawn biased and unbalanced reviews. Let me think of a recent example....oh yes...Neverwinter Nights of course. :lol:
     
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  25. chrisbeddoesgender: ⚧ Erudite

    chrisbeddoes
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    I think that it does work that way only for more serius matters that games .
     
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