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Aeroldoth
12-15-2007, 04:27 PM
I saw the other thread on top 10, but it includes many non-crpg games. I was wondering what games others recommend.

I'm heavily into rpg, and I prefer fantasy, not so much modern or sci-fi. I've played the Baldur's Gate series and LOVED Morrowind. Gothic 1 and 2 were quite good also, as well as the Might and Magic series(3-6, 7 and 8 kinda, 9 sucked). I've also played some of the Ultimas, I thought 8 was great, but never tried 9. I played NWN1, gameplay felt choppy and piecemeal. About the only non-fantasy games I've played are Kotor 1 and Deus Ex 1, both pretty decent (I really liked DEs storyline, but had issues with some other aspects of it).

I far prefer story and plot over action. Mindless killing makes me sleepy, and I have never played Doom or Quake. Convoluted plots, subterfuge, great dialogue, grey or black morality, controversial issues, a very mature approach to sex, drugs, society, and life are all things that interest me. As an intellectual I prefer games that make you think, feel, consider. As a gamer, I'm a low-power purist, and prefer a real gaming challenge, not something where I get three artifacts and 1.2 million gold for killing an orc with my slippers.

I have considered TES 4, Fable, Gothic 3, and Deus Ex 2, but have heard a lot of negative views on them. I've never tried any Final Fantasy; they strike me as not being very "deep", more for children than adults, but I could well be wrong.

So, that's a little bit about me... any suggestions for CRPGs, fantasy or otherwise, old or new, that you think were awesome?

Corinthian
12-15-2007, 04:33 PM
Planescape: Torment is good for what you're looking for. Other good ones are Fallout & Fallout II, The Exile/Avernum series by Spiderweb Software, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, and Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines.

Achilles
12-15-2007, 04:36 PM
I far prefer story and plot over action. Mindless killing makes me sleepy, and I have never played Doom or Quake. Convoluted plots, subterfuge, great dialogue, grey or black morality, controversial issues, a very mature approach to sex, drugs, society, and life are all things that interest me. As an intellectual I prefer games that make you think, feel, consider. As a gamer, I'm a low-power purist, and prefer a real gaming challenge, not something where I get three artifacts and 1.2 million gold for killing an orc with my slippers. Off the top of my head:

Oblivion
NWN2
SW:KotOR II - TSL

If pressed, I'd probably put NWN2 at the top of the list and Oblivion at the bottom based on the criteria that you provided.

...and Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines.Another good one. Probably between TSL and Oblivion, toward the bottom.

mur'phon
12-15-2007, 04:49 PM
Vampire the Masquerade is my all time favorite, just remember to get the unofical patches, they add a lot. And remember to play trough it "as yourself" the first time, makes it more interesting.
You might also want to check out "the Witcher", from what I hear it's even greyer than Vampire.

Aeroldoth
12-15-2007, 04:57 PM
Planescape: Torment is good for what you're looking for. Other good ones are Fallout & Fallout II, The Exile/Avernum series by Spiderweb Software, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, and Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines.

I've heard good things about Torment but put it off. I may pick it up now.

I'm surprised you mentioned the Exile series, I didn't think anyone else had ever heard of them! The Avernum trilogy, along with Nethergate, are on my HD as we speak.

I've also heard good and bad about Arcanum, Fallout, and Bloodlines. Could you elaborate on what you like about them?

Off the top of my head:

Oblivion
NWN2
SW:KotOR II - TSL


What appeals to you about these? I've heard Oblivion is a greatly simplified, dumbed-down Morrowind. Does NWN2 offer much improvement over NWN1? Other posters here constantly hint that K2 doesn't compare to K1. What are your thoughts?

You might also want to check out "the Witcher", from what I hear it's even greyer than Vampire.

I read the thread here on it. It does sound quite interesting, especially the grey morality and "decisions having consequences" aspects, but it has one major irritant for me. One of the reasons I love RPGs, and to a lesser extant CRPGs, is the open-endedness of them, the freedom to be who you want and do what you want. When a CRPG restricts who you are or what you can do, IMO, it suffers. Personally, I'm a bit tired of having my character chosen for me, enough so that I may not get the game because of it.

Inyri
12-15-2007, 05:04 PM
Oblivion is hardly story-driven, if that's what you're looking for - it *has* a story... it's just not driving. It really plays more like a hack'n'slash, in my experience. With th Final Fantasy games, it greatly depends on which you play in terms of how deep the story is (the language in some of them is very crass, so I wouldn't say they're for children -- despite the playerbase). They're great as storyline RPGs, but they're very guided so if you're looking for something more independent you may want to look elsewhere.

mur'phon
12-15-2007, 05:18 PM
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
Pros:
-Great grey story
-Different kinds of vampire types, some alter the way you play completely
-You can side with one of three factions, each good/evil in their own way,
you can also screw them and do it alone if you want
-Briliant quests, from seting up hidden cameras to blowing an old train station
-Good voice acting
-Most places feel like a bad neighbourhood, eks: prostitutes and beggars are everywhere
-Not the easiest game around
-Believable characters
-Magnums, mallets and magic, all in the same game
-Different ways to play, stealth, magic, shooting, armed/unarmed melee

cons:
-Lots of loading
-Lots of bugs unless you get the unofical patch
-Combat isn't the best, though not excactly bad
-You are a vampire so you need to feed, some hate it, others don't

Aeroldoth
12-15-2007, 05:20 PM
Oblivion is hardly story-driven, if that's what you're looking for - it *has* a story... it's just not driving. It really plays more like a hack'n'slash, in my experience. With th Final Fantasy games, it greatly depends on which you play in terms of how deep the story is (the language in some of them is very crass, so I wouldn't say they're for children -- despite the playerbase). They're great as storyline RPGs, but they're very guided so if you're looking for something more independent you may want to look elsewhere.

Was there anything stimulating, novel, intriguing about Oblivion's story for you? I too heard it was a big chunk of hack with a sprinkling of plot. I also heard that hacking was repetitive as the foes constantly auto-scaled to your level.

I can stomach railroading if the story is good enough. Which FFs would you say are compelling? Crass language doesn't bother me at all; I find it refreshing. Is there however anything mature about them besides the language?

Inyri
12-15-2007, 05:23 PM
No, I found the story incredibly boring. By the time I quit playing, my sole enjoyment came from head shotting deer with my bow & arrow. :p

For the FFs, I'd say 8, 9 (a little weird, to be honest), 10, and 12 are pretty decent. Whether or not you like 7 is very dependent on many factors (I'm not going to go there =p). All of them have a certain amount of independence, but 12 seems to have a lot more than the others (hours and hours of side quests). Pretty decent plot, to boot.

jonathan7
12-15-2007, 05:24 PM
Other posters here constantly hint that K2 doesn't compare to K1. What are your thoughts?

Ha! In terms of your criteria TSL is far superior to K1, TSL is my all time favourite game, K1 is traditional Star Wars and black and white, TSL is far more complex and much more a scale of grey. It has easily the best charachter in Star Wars history; Kreia. For your criteria I would have to reccomend TSL; try it out, ignore what alot of the fanboys say!

Achilles
12-15-2007, 05:26 PM
What appeals to you about these? I've heard Oblivion is a greatly simplified, dumbed-down Morrowind.I don't think it's fair to compare the two. Both were good in their own way. Morrowind had a better story. Oblivion had better gameplay (IMO).

Does NWN2 offer much improvement over NWN1?Can't say as I never played more than a few hours of NWN1. I will tell you that of the games I listed, NWN2 had the most nuanced story. Moral ambiguity, depth of character, etc, etc.

Other posters here constantly hint that K2 doesn't compare to K1. What are your thoughts? My opinion is that TSL was a much better game than K1. I played K1 dozens of times but have found it difficult to play again since TSL came out. No doubt that TSL is far from perfect, but K1's story seems sickly-sweet by comparison.

I read the thread here on it. It does sound quite interesting, especially the grey morality and "decisions having consequences" aspects, but it has one major irritant for me. One of the reasons I love RPGs, and to a lesser extant CRPGs, is the open-endedness of them, the freedom to be who you want and do what you want. When a CRPG restricts who you are or what you can do, IMO, it suffers. Personally, I'm a bit tired of having my character chosen for me, enough so that I may not get the game because of it.No doubt that The Witcher is "grayer" than any game I've ever played, but I don't think I could successfully argue that it made for a better story. The fact that you're a professional monster slayer should tell you something about the amount of "hack/slash" to expect (even though I thought the fighting system was innovative and interesting). It does have some mature themes when it comes to sex, drug and alcohol use, racism, etc, but again weighing the criteria that you provided, I didn't feel comfortable adding to my list of recommendations.

Lance Monance
12-15-2007, 05:49 PM
You could give the Gothic 2 addon a try, it is one of the best RPGs in my opinion.

You might also want to get a FF game. I've never played one myself as western RPGs are more of my taste, but there's an incredibly large community behind FF and lots of those games received top ratings therefore I think it is safe to assume they're good.

@ Achilles: Considering the games you played it rather surprises me that you label NWN2 as the RPG with the most nuanced story, depth of characters and so on..
How does it compare to Kotor and TSL in those areas?

Corinthian
12-15-2007, 05:58 PM
I have to disagree with TSL being a superior game. Maybe if it had been properly finished, it would be, but it wasn't, so it isn't.

I like Arcanum because of the feel of it. It's got a fantastic setting, with the rivalry between Magic and Technology. There's something about turning a Dwarven Gunfighter to stone with your magic.

Fallout, likewise. It's got a great feel, with the post-apocalyptic wastelands. Plus it's well written and has an amazing storyline.

Aeroldoth
12-15-2007, 06:16 PM
Whether or not you like 7 is very dependent on many factors (I'm not going to go there =p).

Please, do! Is it controversial or potentially offensive? That makes it sound more interesting.

K1 is traditional Star Wars and black and white, TSL is far more complex and much more a scale of grey.

It does sound better. Why then do you suppose people dislike it?

I like Arcanum because of the feel of it. It's got a fantastic setting, with the rivalry between Magic and Technology. There's something about turning a Dwarven Gunfighter to stone with your magic.

Fallout, likewise. It's got a great feel, with the post-apocalyptic wastelands. Plus it's well written and has an amazing storyline.

I've heard nothing but raves about Fallout's story, and some good things about Arcanum. I've held off though as I have this view that games with guns are more about explosions and killing than subtlety or nuance... could be my own bias though. I did try looking for Arcanum a few years ago, but gave up quickly.

Inyri
12-15-2007, 06:20 PM
Please, do! Is it controversial or potentially offensive? That makes it sound more interesting.Yes, but if we start in on that the rest of your thread is forfeit. :p

mimartin
12-15-2007, 06:27 PM
Other posters here constantly hint that K2 doesn't compare to K1. What are your thoughts? K1 is the more polished typical Star Wars game. K2 is darker and I feel you have more control over just who your PC is which is why I play RPGs. I actually like K2 more.

I enjoyed Oblivion and it is one of my favorite games. However, it is not a very deep game, but the variety of side quest is what keeps me playing it. The NPC interaction is my one true complaint about Oblivion it is sorely lacking IMO.

I did not like Fable and have yet to complete NWN2 as I do not like the controls or the view set up. I will one day when I have the time give it another shot.

It does sound better. Why then do you suppose people dislike it?Glitches, cut content, lack of love interest and Revan takes a backseat to the PC. Mainly it is not you typical Star Wars good verses evil story we are all so use to. I will not say it is the better game, but I like the TSL better.

jonathan7
12-15-2007, 06:42 PM
It does sound better. Why then do you suppose people dislike it?

I think people dislike it/don't like as much as KoTOR because its not typical Star Wars; people like heros to be simple; where as the Exile (pc) is quite complex. Good and evil is much more blurred and Kreia makes some wonderful points which really blur the lines. For me TSL is much more realistic than KotOR, its gritty and mature. Secondary to that is the cut content and bugs; although Team-Gizka will fix that once the restoration project is released. Despite its flaws I would highly reccomend TSL; indeeds given your criteria I'm sure you will prefer it to KotOR.

Achilles
12-15-2007, 06:59 PM
@ Achilles: Considering the games you played it rather surprises me that you label NWN2 as the RPG with the most nuanced story, depth of characters and so on..
How does it compare to Kotor and TSL in those areas?Well, TSL and NWN2 both came from the same developer, so...

K1 was my favorite game for a long, long time, but TSL blew it out of the water, IMHO. Aspects of NWN2 knocked my socks off in ways that TSL didn't though. I don't want to get into detail, because it wouldn't take long to get deep in to spoiler territory. I'll simply repeat that in my opinion NWN2 had the best story of the games that I listed.

It does sound better. Why then do you suppose people dislike it? Because the story was neither easy nor spoon-fed. You had to play through good/evil, male/female to get all the bits and even then you still had to figure out on your own what happened. Some people enjoyed being entrusted to have enough intelligence to figure it out for themselves. Other people didn't.

My biggest (and pretty much only) complaint about TSL (now that many of the bugged quests have been patched via mods) is the fact that you're railroaded down the last 20% of the game. :(

I think people dislike it/don't like as much as KoTOR because its not typical Star Wars; people like heros to be simple; where as the Exile (pc) is quite complex. Good and evil is much more blurred and Kreia makes some wonderful points which really blur the lines. For me TSL is much more realistic than KotOR, its gritty and mature. QFE.

There are certain decisions that Kriea will rip into you for, regardless of which decision you make. Make the light side choice, Kreia will pose a perfectly reasonable ethical argument for why you should have made the dark side choice. Make the dark side choice and Kreia will pose a perfectly reasonable ethical argument for why you should have made the light side choice. :)

Corinthian
12-15-2007, 07:13 PM
Basically, she's incredibly obnoxious and makes no real sense. She basically exists to lambaste you for the purpose of lambasting you, then being a complete hypocrite. Apparently, that makes her deep. I don't really get the appeal.

Arátoeldar
12-15-2007, 07:24 PM
1. Planescape: Torment
2. Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords
3. Gothic 2 & Night of the Raven aka Gold
4. The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall
5. Fallout 2
6. Neverwinter Nights 2 & Mask of the Betrayer (EP more than makes up for C+ plot of OC)
7. The Witcher
8. Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
9. Betrayal at Krondor
10. Temple of Elemental Evil (official patch and Circle of 8 patches)

Honorable Mentions
Arx Fatalis
Europa 1400: The Guild, The Guild 2 (mixture of RPG and middle-ages life simulation)
Fallout
Might and Magic I-VI
The Elder Scrolls: Arena http://www.elderscrolls.com/tenth_anniv/tenth_anniv-arena.htm
Ultima IV-VIII, Ultima Underworld
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
Vampire: the Masquerade: Redemption
Wizardry 1- 8

jonathan7
12-15-2007, 07:27 PM
Because the story was neither easy nor spoon-fed. You had to play through good/evil, male/female to get all the bits and even then you still had to figure out on your own what happened. Some people enjoyed being entrusted to have enough intelligence to figure it out for themselves. Other people didn't.

I've not played NWN2, but I would definatly say the above is also true of TSL.

My biggest (and pretty much only) complaint about TSL (now that many of the bugged quests have been patched via mods) is the fact that you're railroaded down the last 20% of the game. :(

Aye, thats its biggest problem, I remember playing Malachor for the first time and reloading it several times assuming there had been some scripting bugs which meant things werent spawning opposed to it actually just not being finished. Personally I blame LA, as I think had the game been finished in my opinion it would have been the best CRPG to date (although I think that anyway) ;)

There are certain decisions that Kriea will rip into you for, regardless of which decision you make. Make the light side choice, Kreia will pose a perfectly reasonable ethical argument for why you should have made the dark side choice. Make the dark side choice and Kreia will pose a perfectly reasonable ethical argument for why you should have made the light side choice. :)

As ever my friend, much more eloquently put than me. I love Kreia; shes awesome, its great on Naa Shadaa with that Beggar right at the start that no matter what you do she will tell you off... Hehe. I think she has to be the best computer gaming charachter I've ever come across. On her own she makes TSL a quality game.

Aeroldoth
12-15-2007, 07:54 PM
people like heros to be simple; where as the Exile (pc) is quite complex. Good and evil is much more blurred and Kreia makes some wonderful points which really blur the lines. For me TSL is much more realistic than KotOR, its gritty and mature. [...] indeeds given your criteria I'm sure you will prefer it to KotOR.


Because the story was neither easy nor spoon-fed. You had to play through good/evil, male/female to get all the bits and even then you still had to figure out on your own what happened. Some people enjoyed being entrusted to have enough intelligence to figure it out for themselves. Other people didn't.

Thank you both, you've convinced me! I'm going to get a copy of the game.

[game list]

Arátoeldar, thank you very much! Tell me, how do you feel Daggerfall and Betrayal at Krondor have aged? Oddly, I've never heard of the Europa games. What is your take on them?

Sabretooth
12-15-2007, 09:07 PM
Hmm, okay - haven't read through all the responses, so this is all my own.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is one decent FPS-RPG hybrid - good story, lots of replayability and Deus Ex-style flexibility. I removed it because I got annoyed with it, personally. Loading was slow and since you have go from one map to the other frequently, that was very very annoying. Also, the gameplay was pretty shallow, IMO. It feels great the first time you play the game. Second time, it gets sort of weary.

Invisible War isn't bad in the story department, although it doesn't maintain its predecessor's maturity. IW is extremely replayable, and a sort of different experience overall. It's not extremely bad or unplayable or anything, it just doesn't hold up to Deus Ex, which is main source of criticism. Also, IW almost throws away all of DX's RPG points, like the skill system and the inventory system.

Finally, if you haven't already, play Fallout at all costs. Its graphics may appear very jaded and its gameplay may take some time getting used to, but you'll love it in the end. Its the most mature story I've seen in any game, its gameplay suspensefully fun and well, its just an experience overall. Fallout I and II are nearly identical in gameplay structure, so I suggest going with the first. :)

Arátoeldar
12-15-2007, 09:35 PM
Arátoeldar, thank you very much! Tell me, how do you feel Daggerfall and Betrayal at Krondor have aged? Oddly, I've never heard of the Europa games. What is your take on them?

While the graphics don't come close to todays games. The gameplay and story in both games more than make up for this. I even have a box specifically for DOS based games with older hardware like the SB 16. :D

The Europa games combination of real life sim and RPG. You can what class you want to be be and what kind of game you want to play. You can play mission mode where you have objective you must meet before you die or you can play "endless game" where create a dynasty through offspring. Some of the offspring are controllable. Some of the micromanagement can get tedious. I'd give the series a B+.

Aeroldoth
12-16-2007, 01:04 AM
Wow, many of the older games are ridiculously priced!

Planescape: Torment, Daggerfall, Arcanum and Wizardry 8 are all around $50 each. That's quite pricey for old games.

EDIT: Arátoeldar, some of the games you list appear twice on listings at Amazon. One version is listed as by Jowood, the other by Aspyr. Is there a difference (in the game) between the two publishers, do you know?

Emperor Devon
12-16-2007, 05:57 AM
Wow, many of the older games are ridiculously priced!

Supply and demand. With Black Isle out of business copies of Torment are no longer made, and the few people who still want to play the game are willing to pay it. (With reason, I might add - Torment is worth every penny it will cost you.)

Anyways, I'll join along with the crowd that's lauding Torment - it's a truly excellent game. (I mean, it's written by Chris Avellone and in the Planescape D&D setting - how could it not be an excellent game? :xp: )

Without spoiling much, it takes place in the bizarre city of Sigil in the Outer Planes (where belief dictates a consensus reality rather than the laws of physics). Your character awakens in a mortuary with his memories gone (it's actually much less cliche than it sounds, but that's a spoiler) to the slang-filled chattering of a floating skull with eyes who seems to be taking this whole situation as entirely normal. You see your body is covered in countless scars, and from what the skull reads to you has several paragraphs of text tattooed onto your back. (In addition to a variety of magical tattoos that provide you with protection - you're no knight in shining armor, you're what looks like a walking corpse killed ten times over with tattoos depicting suffering and torment.)

Anyways, I can't say anything about the storyline (if you don't mind spoilers, major or minor) but it's all very-well done and your character's above mentioned appearance is there for plot reasons rather than simply making everything look dramatic. That's another thing I love about the game so much - it has the bizarrest of locales and characters, and they're all put in there solely for plot reasons than for adding atmosphere. Atmosphere is good, yes, but when you can weave the environment's atmosphere into the plot it makes things simply marvelous. And yes, that extends to everything from the giant pillar formed out of the rotting heads of people who were lying sages in life to the Brothel for Slaking Intellectual Lusts (where the 'prostitutes' are all trained to engage in debate/storytelling/verbal dueling/other ways that satisfy one's lust for mental pleasure).

If you've not gathered already, Torment is not your typical fantasy game. There are no swords (well, actually just 3) present, but there are a variety of clubs, maces, and weapons formed from things like your own blood, a condensed chunk of reality from a Chaos-aligned plane of existence, or a guy's arm (does that count as a club?). There aren't any orcs, elves, or dwarves either, but there are plenty of shadows formed from the hateful spirits of slain men, demons, devils, angels, hags (a number of the former not being as close to their alignments as you might guess), golems and men who only exist because people think they do rather than from being born/forged... you get the picture. It's all very non-standard fantasy, and complements the plot perfectly.

Other posters here constantly hint that K2 doesn't compare to K1. What are your thoughts?

Completely untrue.

I've never understood the source of the TSL-bashing around most places. Two constant gripes are bugs and the "unfinished" storyline - both of which I don't understand the source of either. I ran into a few bugs, sure, but honestly about as many as I did with K1. If you search the forums you'll come across a number of posts that make similar assertions, and very few that even name specific bugs people have run into when they criticize the game for them.

Most of the criticism of the storyline is also unfounded. Amusingly enough, if you look far enough back in the forum's history you'll notice most of the bashing of TSL's storyline didn't start until around when all the cut content was found out and made known. 'The game isn't complete' has become more of an unexplained and universally accepted mantra most people repeat without considering than a legitimate opinion IMO. I mean, really - on the rare occasion anyone deigns to elaborate as to why the game actually isn't complete, they cite (I'll leave out spoilers since you've not played the game) one single line said by a character about a place you never get to visit. Yes, that one, completely possible to miss and non-plot critical line is one of the things that ruins the story.

The other is in regards to the end of game, where a sequence between two of the characters has to be inferred through what happens at the end rather than a direct cutscene. All right, so you don't see those two characters interact with each other directly. I suppose that's only an issue if you like every detail of your game to be spoon-fed to you, as there are only two possible outcomes to that situation and the final cutscenes make what happened almost painfully obvious. Why anything thinks not seeing that situation in front of your eyes makes the game incomplete I can't begin to guess.

The only truly legitimate critcism of the storyline is how some dialogue explaining a few plot-critical things is optional. Understandably, the last parts of the game can be confusing without knowing it. I, however, never found it to be a problem (first playthrough included) as I make it a habit to exhaust every dialogue option with all NPCs and explore every nook and cranny of the areas I go through in RPGs. Without spoiling much, the mentioned plot-critical dialogue can be heard at any time by talking to your party members. Unless you don't care at all about character interaction or any semblance of roleplaying, anyway... in which case I suppose whether the plot is well-written or not is no longer a problem.

Anyways, that's my take on it. Personally I've yet to see any truly valid defense of the notion TSL has an awful/unfinished plot. I'd definitely encourage you to get it; it's a crime to play KotOR and miss out on its sequel!

I will tell you that of the games I listed, NWN2 had the most nuanced story. Moral ambiguity, depth of character, etc, etc.

Let's be sure we're on the same page... you were talking the MotB expansion and surely not the OC, right? :xp:

Anyways, I've not seen any full-length reviews of MotB (Mask of the Betrayer) like I've provided for the previous two games, so I might as well do one more.

MotB is the expansion pack, content and story-wise, from the original NWN2. The OC for that was kinda meh; it had some good moments, but all things considered it was an unoriginal 'save the world' fantasy story with antagonists that had as much character depth as brick walls, and party members who were equally unoriginal and felt like their cookie-cutter personalities were based off their classes rather than a desire of the developers to make them unique individuals in their own right. (A sneaky kleptomaniacal thief, a chivalrous paladin, a firey-tempered sorceress... oooh, original.)

Still... don't let that dissuade you. It can be fun to play if you don't always want a masterful storyline and feel like playing through what's essentially your everyday 'save the world from an ancient evil' D&D campaign. And a break from excellent storytelling isn't always a bad thing; Wittgenstein liked to read cheap detective stories in his spare time after all.

The expansion pack is a completely different story. (Oooh... I thought up an uncreative and not even groan-elicitating pun.) It starts with your character from the previous campaign waking up in a barrow below thousands of tons of earth, lying on the ground in what would've been a pool of his/her own blood if the giant wound hadn't been poorly stitched up. You've no idea why you're there, (no amnesia though) or why the morally ambiguous woman serving a morally unambiguous organization who frees you from the surrounding wards chooses to do so. You're promptly told you have to get the hell out of the barrow before the spirit animals come after you, and soon get caught up in an intrigue-filled plot involving supernatural curses, covens of hags, shadow parallels of your reality, the dead, spirits, people with insatiable hungers, the Witches of Rashemen and the Red Wizards of Thay.

Again I can't got into too much detail without spoiling anything, but it's really all excellently done. It probably has some of the most thought-provoking concepts I've yet seen in a game; I was staring at my computer screen for an hourish thinking of what way to resolve a particular moral dilemma (moral ambiguity is not one of the game's main focuses however). Secularism vs. religion (well, sort of) is also a heavy concept in the game. Rather surprising considering how gods do exist and have walked the earth in the game's setting, but no one said that gods are automatically deserving of worship.

Anyways, I've typed up a maelstrom... get Torment, TSL, NWN2 (the OC is worth playing), and of course the MotB expansion. You'll have a ton of fun with them all.

Arátoeldar
12-16-2007, 09:15 AM
Wow, many of the older games are ridiculously priced!

Planescape: Torment, Daggerfall, Arcanum and Wizardry 8 are all around $50 each. That's quite pricey for old games.

EDIT: Arátoeldar, some of the games you list appear twice on listings at Amazon. One version is listed as by Jowood, the other by Aspyr. Is there a difference (in the game) between the two publishers, do you know?

Jowood = original publisher

Aspyr = Mostly known for converting PC games to Mac.

Aeroldoth
12-16-2007, 10:03 AM
IIRC JoWood is in Germany. Do you suppose that means that Aspyr may have fixed some bugs, since they came later, or do you think they may have censored parts for US distribution?

EDIT: What do people think of Jade Empire?

Achilles
12-16-2007, 01:05 PM
and party members who were equally unoriginal and felt like their cookie-cutter personalities were based off their classes rather than a desire of the developers to make them unique individuals in their own right. (A sneaky kleptomaniacal thief, a chivalrous paladin, a firey-tempered sorceress... oooh, original.) A demon that had been kicked out of her world and raised by priests, a defender of the kingdom that had rejected his duty (incurring a bounty, IIRC) in order to serve what he considered to be "the greater good", a fiery sorceress with too much pride to admit that she can barely control her own power. I notice that you didn't mention the warlock or the other antagonist (but we both know that would have been spoilers galore).

I guess it all comes down to how you want to look at the characters. I think you may have unfairly glossed over much of the depth that was there. But of course this is only my opinion. :)

Take care, my friend.

Aeroldoth
12-16-2007, 01:48 PM
(With reason, I might add - Torment is worth every penny it will cost you.)First, let me thank your Imperial Majesty for your post. It's always nice to see people take the time to share their thoughts; I appreciate the time you put into typing all that.

Now, you say it's worth every penny. Did I mention that Ebay had it listed for as much as $100?! (Although, there were cheaper copies.)

Most of the criticism of the storyline is also unfounded. Amusingly enough, if you look far enough back in the forum's history you'll notice most of the bashing of TSL's storyline didn't start until around when all the cut content was found out and made known. Aah, that explains a lot, thank you.

Corinthian
12-16-2007, 02:00 PM
You gotta admit, though, Emperor, TSL's ending was both crap and felt rushed. You crash-land, everyone seems to get flung about a hundred klicks across Malachor's surface, and then you do something with Mira and the Remote, only one of which is significant in any way, shape, or form, and then you do another Assault on Sith Castle (Like we didn't do enough of those) kill Sion with Love and kill Traya with Lightsabers. It wasn't a particularly grand, climactic showdown.

Aeroldoth
12-16-2007, 03:10 PM
(C, I averted my eyes after getting the sense that your post above contains spoilers. Does it?)

Well, I've placed an order with Amazon... prolly not too bright to be ordering during Christmas rush. :lol: :sonar1

Here's what I've selected:

Gothic 3 - $7.99 -
Deus Ex 2: Invisible War - $4.00 -
Guild 1 1400 Gold Edition - $5.98 -
Betrayal at Krondor (PC) - $7.95 -
Thief Bundle: Thief 1 and 2 - $11.79 -
Dark Messiah of Might & Magic - $10.99 -
Fallout Collection (1, 2, & Tactics) - $12.95 -
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines - $9.99 -
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords - $19.99 -

Not too bad for $115. :D Some of the games I was iffy about, but for about ten bucks a game, how can you go wrong? Some of the others mentioned here looked interesting, but were too pricey IMO. I'm not keen on spending ~ $50 for a ten year-old game. I won't buy them from Amazon but may check in on Ebay now and then to see if they're on sale.

Suggestions still welcome.

LukeDavis93
12-16-2007, 03:19 PM
I know what RPG is but what is a CRPG?

Arátoeldar
12-16-2007, 03:19 PM
First, let me thank your Imperial Majesty for your post. It's always nice to see people take the time to share their thoughts; I appreciate the time you put into typing all that.

Now, you say it's worth every penny. Did I mention that Ebay had it listed for as much as $100?! (Although, there were cheaper copies.)

Aah, that explains a lot, thank you.


I'd wait until after Christmas to see if price come down. It ll about supply and demand. For a long time the MS Natural Pro KBs were expensive. Now they are very reasonable.

Achilles
12-16-2007, 03:21 PM
I know what RPG is but what is a CRPG?Google/Wikipedia to the rescue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_role-playing_game)

Balderdash
12-16-2007, 04:58 PM
Without spoiling much, it takes place in the bizarre city of Sigil in the Outer Planes (where belief dictates a consensus reality rather than the laws of physics). Your character awakens in a mortuary with his memories gone (it's actually much less cliche than it sounds, but that's a spoiler) to the slang-filled chattering of a floating skull with eyes who seems to be taking this whole situation as entirely normal. You see your body is covered in countless scars, and from what the skull reads to you has several paragraphs of text tattooed onto your back. (In addition to a variety of magical tattoos that provide you with protection - you're no knight in shining armor, you're what looks like a walking corpse killed ten times over with tattoos depicting suffering and torment.)

Anyways, I can't say anything about the storyline (if you don't mind spoilers, major or minor) but it's all very-well done and your character's above mentioned appearance is there for plot reasons rather than simply making everything look dramatic. That's another thing I love about the game so much - it has the bizarrest of locales and characters, and they're all put in there solely for plot reasons than for adding atmosphere. Atmosphere is good, yes, but when you can weave the environment's atmosphere into the plot it makes things simply marvelous. And yes, that extends to everything from the giant pillar formed out of the rotting heads of people who were lying sages in life to the Brothel for Slaking Intellectual Lusts (where the 'prostitutes' are all trained to engage in debate/storytelling/verbal dueling/other ways that satisfy one's lust for mental pleasure).

If you've not gathered already, Torment is not your typical fantasy game. There are no swords (well, actually just 3) present, but there are a variety of clubs, maces, and weapons formed from things like your own blood, a condensed chunk of reality from a Chaos-aligned plane of existence, or a guy's arm (does that count as a club?). There aren't any orcs, elves, or dwarves either, but there are plenty of shadows formed from the hateful spirits of slain men, demons, devils, angels, hags (a number of the former not being as close to their alignments as you might guess), golems and men who only exist because people think they do rather than from being born/forged... you get the picture. It's all very non-standard fantasy, and complements the plot perfectly.Great synopsis. Everyone should play this game at some point or another. I should say that not everyone who has played Torment ends up loving the experience for ever and ever - you could even argue that it's an acquired taste - but it certainly is an experience like no other.

A demon that had been kicked out of her world and raised by priests, a defender of the kingdom that had rejected his duty (incurring a bounty, IIRC) in order to serve what he considered to be "the greater good", a fiery sorceress with too much pride to admit that she can barely control her own power. I notice that you didn't mention the warlock or the other antagonist (but we both know that would have been spoilers galore).

I guess it all comes down to how you want to look at the characters. I think you may have unfairly glossed over much of the depth that was there. But of course this is only my opinion. :)

Take care, my friend.When it comes to NWN2's OC... I think it's fair to say that the developers themselves glossed over much of the potential depth of the characters when they made the game what it was. They could've made a great deal more out of the more interesting aspects that you just listed, but they never did. Untapped potential doesn't make a great game.

On the other hand, Mask of the Betrayer's companions each have a great deal more to say to you (all of them have probably about twice as much interpersonal dialogue with the PC as everyone in the OC... except perhaps the warlock... and bear in mind, this is also all in a much shorter game). And everything your companions talk about is in some way elaborated on by the characters the further you play through the story, and there are more choices and consequences as a result, the further you advance the plot.

Achilles
12-16-2007, 06:13 PM
When it comes to NWN2's OC... I think it's fair to say that the developers themselves glossed over much of the potential depth of the characters when they made the game what it was. They could've made a great deal more out of the more interesting aspects that you just listed, but they never did. Untapped potential doesn't make a great game.Certainly they could have put more time into each of the 11 companions' backstories, banter, etc. But at the expense of what? I'm sure we could pick any title you'd like and find "untapped potential". I don't think that automatically excluded a game from being good (and in some aspects, better than comparable games).

On the other hand, Mask of the Betrayer's companions each have a great deal more to say to you (all of them have probably about twice as much interpersonal dialogue with the PC as everyone in the OC... except perhaps the warlock... and bear in mind, this is also all in a much shorter game). And everything your companions talk about is in some way elaborated on by the characters the further you play through the story, and there are more choices and consequences as a result, the further you advance the plot. This is great info to have. I was already looking forward to playing MotB, as it was :)

Emperor Devon
12-16-2007, 06:34 PM
A demon that had been kicked out of her world and raised by priests,

If you'd prefer to split hairs, some of the dev comments in Mephasm's dialogue mention that she's his 'creation' so that would technically make her part-devil.

But in any case, interesting a plot point as that may be, you don't get to see it anywhere in-game. Which is a definite pity, I think it could've saved Neeshka from having a character that looked like it was built entirely off her class. As-is she's far from original; a sneaky untrustworthy thief who's run afoul of the law and some past partners. No character development or consideration of her part-fiendish nature to speak of.

a defender of the kingdom that had rejected his duty (incurring a bounty, IIRC) in order to serve what he considered to be "the greater good",

All revealed in about twenty lines of dialogue. More untapped but squandered potential - Casavir tells you all about how little faith he has in Neverwinter when you first meet him, stays silent for the next several acts, and then if you're female confesses you've made him believe in Neverwinter again and asks to hit the sack. No transitional stages of thought, barely any dialogue for most of the game, and you only get to see his new opinion if you've picked the right gender.

a fiery sorceress with too much pride to admit that she can barely control her own power.

Which she never admits (or even pauses to consider), leaving her just as fiery and stuck-up at the end of the game as she was at the start of it. Again no character development to speak of, not even several lines. Unused potential unfortunately doesn't count.

I notice that you didn't mention the warlock or the other antagonist (but we both know that would have been spoilers galore).

Ja, can't really say anything about either without spoiling anything. But to address them...

Ammon, I concede, was a fairly well-developed character. One of the few in the game I can say that for. My only problem was that I couldn't empathize with his loss of Shandra, as I had stood up and let out a cheer when I saw him kill her. Slightly squandered potential with me, but I liked the rest of him. Someone who sells their soul to achieve a greater good isn't terribly original, yes, but there are so many opportunities for character development in it I suppose originality isn't that big a factor. Pity he got so nerfed in Mask of the Betrayer!

On the main villain, again squandered potential. The only lines regarding his past are seen in one area and completely irrelevant to the plot; I could've stuck my fingers in my ears, hummed loudly and shut my eyes during those dialogues and it wouldn't have left me even slightly confused later on in the game. Whether you know the KoS' backstory or not, he's basically just a big animal you need to put down. Perhaps if his past could've been brought up at least a few other times or factored into the final battle somehow I'd have liked him more. But as-is his backstory is an interesting yet irrelevant tidbit you can find out about him.

This is great info to have. I was already looking forward to playing MotB, as it was

Ohh, you definitely should. Your party consists of a Neutral-aligned and very secular Red Wizard, a handsome and witty hagspawn who claims to have been born from people's dreams, and an idealistic half-angel cleric who's worshiped several gods and struggles with issues with her faith. There's also two mutually exclusive ones depending on your alignment. The good one I can't say if you don't like minor spoilers, though the evil one is probably the most bizarre and original of the bunch; he/she/it/they are thousands of evil souls (murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, heretics, a few innocents) all bound together into a wraith-like form and called One of Many. (The One being the currently dominant soul that speaks for the Many.)

I'm not keen on spending ~ $50 for a ten year-old game.

The site I was able to get it from had it for only $50, so it's not impossible to get for a reasonable price. Unfortunately I don't still have the link, though if you search enough you may be able to find it.

Replies to Corinthian are below; unless you want the ending to TSL spoiled you should skim over it.

You crash-land, everyone seems to get flung about a hundred klicks across Malachor's surface,

Not seeing any problems so far.

and then you do something with Mira and the Remote, only one of which is significant in any way, shape, or form

Untrue. The Hanharr confrontation resolves the subplot between him and Mira, and ultimately determines whether Mira values her integrity over her life. Should she left him live knowing she's held herself to a higher standard? Arguably she has truly defeated him by not allowing him to corrupt her moral code of never killing. Or does she decide to kill him, her life being worth more than his? It's not an uncommon dilemma, yes, but I love seeing it. So whether it was significant to the main plot or not, I don't think you dismiss it as worthless.

and then you do another Assault on Sith Castle (Like we didn't do enough of those)

Is there an alternative environment that would have helped make the ending more satisfying? I really don't see what the locale has to do with it.

kill Sion with Love and kill Traya with Lightsabers.

An almost plot-killingly brief summarization that makes no mention of any of the character development or answers to the game's many questions.

It wasn't a particularly grand, climactic showdown.

Don't see why you should find a lack of grand climaxes to be a problem, being a fan of Torment yourself. (Probably the most non-epic RPG there is.)

All in all it looks like you simply took issue with where the ending took place, how you defeated the antagonists and that a non-plot-critical scene was put into a plot-critical sequence. You're welcome to criticizing those, but they bear no relevance at all towards how well the ending was done or whether the game was incomplete. If you'd like to mention why you think those criticisms are valid, however, I'd be happy to debate you over them.

Achilles
12-16-2007, 06:56 PM
If you'd prefer to split hairs <snip> Considering the endorsement that you gave TSL (who's characters were equally developed if not less so), I can only conclude that you're applying some sort of double standard or are bashing NWN2 because you feel it's fashionable to do so. I don't mind having standards, but it sure would be nice to see them used consistently.

But in any case, interesting a plot point as that may be, you don't get to see it anywhere in-game. Which is a definite pity, I think it could've saved Neeshka from having a character that looked like it was built entirely off her class. As-is she's far from original; a sneaky untrustworthy thief who's run afoul of the law and some past partners. No character development or consideration of her part-fiendish nature to speak of. Aside from the whole "raised by priest/struggling against her nature" thing I mentioned earlier. :)

All revealed in about twenty lines of dialogue. More untapped but squandered potential - Casavir tells you all about how little faith he has in Neverwinter when you first meet him, stays silent for the next several acts, and then if you're female confesses you've made him believe in Neverwinter again and asks to hit the sack. No transitional stages of thought, barely any dialogue for most of the game, and you only get to see his new opinion if you've picked the right gender. Oh. How many lines of dialog are required to meet the "3 dimensional" character threshold? You can learn everything there is to know about Visas Marr or the Disciple in a single dialog. Crap characters too? I would venture to say maybe, but then again you were endorsing TSL a few posts ago.

Which she never admits (or even pauses to consider), leaving her just as fiery and stuck-up at the end of the game as she was at the start of it. Again no character development to speak of, not even several lines. Unused potential unfortunately doesn't count.So because *she* never talks about it, it can't be part of her character? I thought we were discussing nuanced games where not every detail is spoon-fed to us by devs that don't want to insult our intelligence. Did I wander into a different thread?

Thanks for reading.

Emperor Devon
12-16-2007, 07:07 PM
Considering the endorsement that you gave TSL (who's characters were equally developed if not less so), I can only conclude that you're applying some sort of double standard or are bashing NWN2 because you feel it's fashionable to do so.

I disagree; I found them all quite well-developed and non-cliche for the most part, though a critique of them all and a comparison to the NWN2 companions would take quite a while. Are there any specific instances you'd be willing to go into?

Kudos for a response.

Edit: Ooooh, I responded one minute too early and now it looks like I've gone blind or am intentionally ignoring points I don't like or something...

Achilles
12-16-2007, 07:11 PM
I fleshed out post #39. If I didn't address your points there, please let me know and I'll be happy to take another stab at it :)

Take care.

Corinthian
12-16-2007, 07:25 PM
Admittedly, TSL wasn't as bad as I make it sound - I liked it. But you have no real choices throughout the game, and the Light Side/Dark Side choice not only is completely insigificant, but makes no sense. Malachor V should be destroyed whether you're Light or Dark, given that it's not your intervention that destroys it. It's just an annoying plot device.

TSL needed an epic confrontation because the game was on an epic scale. Fate of the Galaxy and all that. On the other hand, Planescape mostly revolved around the fate of the Immortal's soul and mind.

Balderdash
12-16-2007, 07:47 PM
Certainly they could have put more time into each of the 11 companions' backstories, banter, etc. But at the expense of what?Obsidian could have afforded to to have fleshed out the characters to a greater extent at the expense of, for instance, most of the first act - which as I recall consisted of a lot of boring H&S that did not add a whole lot to the story.

I'm sure we could pick any title you'd like and find "untapped potential". I don't think that automatically excluded a game from being good (and in some aspects, better than comparable games).True enough, and I liked the campaign enough to play it through three or four times, which does indeed place it above a lot of other games. I was responding solely to what I percieved as your misrepresentation of the characters' backstories when referring to "untapped potential" - I didn't mean to imply that this made the campaign as a whole a bad game. I just didn't ever experience a great game while playing the OC.

Emperor Devon
12-16-2007, 08:01 PM
Oh. How many lines of dialog are required to meet the "3 dimensional" character threshold?

Perhaps you interpreted my complaint about the lack of dialogue as a complaint about the amount of dialogue itself rather than what it illustrated. My chief issue with Casavir was that while you know about his lack of faith in Neverwinter at the start of the game and how he's dealt with that at the end of it, there are no transitional stages of thought. Yes, I know, technically you could call him complete for it. He's faithless when you first meet him, and seeing CRK put together and the KoS resisted makes him believe once again in what Neverwinter can do - so obviously he underwent development, even if you weren't able to see most of it... but I'd have liked to have seen some transitional stages of thought, maybe a few dialogues where he starts to doubt his opinion.

I suppose that meets the criterion for a 3-dimensional character if only technically. I'd still say a lot of his potential was squandered; any conversations the devs could've written about his re-emerging faith I think would have come out well.

You can learn everything there is to know about Visas Marr or the Disciple in a single dialog. Crap characters too? I would venture to say maybe, but then again you were endorsing TSL a few posts ago.

Never claimed them to be either. I've endorsed TSL and most of the characters, but never addressed them in particular.

So because *she* never talks about it, it can't be part of her character? I thought we were discussing nuanced games where not every detail is spoon-fed to us by devs that don't want to insult our intelligence.

Not spoon-feeding the details to us is one matter, a complete absence of any evidence of character development is another. There are literally no lines whatsoever where she displays any character development, or any that you can infer it from. By the time my character is fighting the KoS, how can I know whether she's actually thought about her inability to control her own power or is still completely oblivious to it? I'm all for having to infer details on your own without any lengthy expositions from the characters on how they feel, but when it gets to the point I have to start guessing (and with little evidence pointing towards either guess) whether their characters have changed, that crosses the line from realized to potential development on their part.

Perhaps this could have been solved with the implementation of several of D&D's mind-reading spells, but unfortunately a lot of the non-combat-oriented ones never made it into the game. :(

But you have no real choices throughout the game,

A debatable issue in its own right, but unrelated to an incomplete plot.

the Light Side/Dark Side choice not only is completely insigificant,

Still debatable, but irrelevant to your original point.

Malachor V should be destroyed whether you're Light or Dark, given that it's not your intervention that destroys it.

So the primary thing that makes the game incomplete/poorly written is that a fight between Goto and the Remote gets resolved differently without your intervention depending on your alignment? Call it the will of the Force, call it luck; I think there was a pretty even chance of whether the Remote could activate the MSG or not before Goto destroyed him.

Still, nitpicking about the realism of how a fight ended is what makes the storyline so awful? I suppose I can't account for your taste, but that seems a pretty weak thing to base your opinion off of to me.

TSL needed an epic confrontation because the game was on an epic scale. Fate of the Galaxy and all that.

And here's why I think many people are disappointed about TSL; (apart from repeating a popular opinion) they expected it to be an epic game but it wasn't. It's really only half-epic; the Exile's actions impact the galaxy around her to an extent, yes, but the story is really about her and Kreia.

Anyways, that's it? A not epic enough climax and fight sequence of dubious realism was enough to make the plot as awful as you've lambasted it for in so many threads? (I don't really see how that makes it 'rushed' as you put it either.)

Achilles
12-17-2007, 11:05 AM
Perhaps you interpreted my complaint about the lack of dialogue as a complaint about the amount of dialogue itself rather than what it illustrated. Actually, I was simply trying to clarify the argument. Previously there seemed to be some significance assigned to the number of lines used.

My chief issue with Casavir was that while you know about his lack of faith in Neverwinter at the start of the game and how he's dealt with that at the end of it, there are no transitional stages of thought. Yes, I know, technically you could call him complete for it. He's faithless when you first meet him, and seeing CRK put together and the KoS resisted makes him believe once again in what Neverwinter can do - so obviously he underwent development, even if you weren't able to see most of it... but I'd have liked to have seen some transitional stages of thought, maybe a few dialogues where he starts to doubt his opinion.It's been a while, but IIRC, NWN2 really made you work for what you could get out of your companions. Perhaps there were parts that you missed (did you do unlock the romance dialogs)?

Never claimed them to be either. I've endorsed TSL and most of the characters, but never addressed them in particular. And I didn't say that you did. It was a question. You're free to answer however you'd like :D

Not spoon-feeding the details to us is one matter, a complete absence of any evidence of character development is another. There are literally no lines whatsoever where she displays any character development, or any that you can infer it from. By the time my character is fighting the KoS, how can I know whether she's actually thought about her inability to control her own power or is still completely oblivious to it? I'm all for having to infer details on your own without any lengthy expositions from the characters on how they feel, but when it gets to the point I have to start guessing (and with little evidence pointing towards either guess) whether their characters have changed, that crosses the line from realized to potential development on their part. Are we arguing depth of character or character development? I think my earlier arguments addressed the former while your points here attack the latter. Companion NPC don't need to undergo some great personality shift for me to consider them 3-dimensional. Plastering up a Johari Window on the character page isn't required.

Perhaps this could have been solved with the implementation of several of D&D's mind-reading spells, but unfortunately a lot of the non-combat-oriented ones never made it into the game. :( Again, yeah, if we're talking about some sort of character arc, that might be necessary, but we still appear to be wrestling with some sort of strawman that you've created (I think we hit a divergent path long about post #38). My original comments had to do with nuance and depth...not growth or change or eureka moment, epiphanies, enrollment in 12 step programs, etc.

Aeroldoth
12-18-2007, 03:35 PM
Any other recommendations?

SilentScope001
12-18-2007, 04:53 PM
Malachor V should be destroyed whether you're Light or Dark, given that it's not your intervention that destroys it.

Goto said in the game itself that it is up to The Exile to decide if he wants to blow up Malachor V or not. Not the Remote.

So it is up to the Exile, if he wants to ally with the Remote or with Goto. If you are DS, you ally with Goto and try to unite the galaxy under the Sith Empire. If you are LS, you blow up Malachor V.

...As for TSL, well, in its favor, there are worse RPGs out there. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Corinthian
12-18-2007, 05:04 PM
But the remote sets off the Mass Shadow Generator. Your choice has nothing to do with it.

SilentScope001
12-18-2007, 05:11 PM
But the remote sets off the Mass Shadow Generator. Your choice has nothing to do with it.

The remote was supposed to set it off, but Goto stopped him using his own remote-control commands. He wanted to protect Malachor V so that the Exile can use the resources to save the galaxy.

He said that the choice belongs to the Exile, not to the Remote. If The Exile is LS, he would intervene on the side of the Remote and blow it up. The Exile himself knows about the Remote, he could say, "I can blow Malachor V and take us both of us" or "Malachor will live, but you will die". This again indicates that the Exile decides what will happen to Malachor V...save it, or kill it.

HappyMojo
12-20-2007, 06:16 PM
Just a copy paste from my closed thread... Jae got a darkside point *sniff* :p

I decided to give myself a Christmas present and bought "The Witcher" from Atari. And after I've been playing it almost non-stop (by my standards) since I got it, I must conclude that this game rocks. Sure the feel is a bit dodgy and the long loading times sometimes drive you insane, but...

First of all it have mature story line, which means that it's not a game for minors *sho* *shoo*. But for an old geezer like me, it contains some of the things I've missed, like drinking contests, morale issues, a lot of twisting and turning the storyline, and other things...

Secondly, the storyline isn't linear. Like in good old KOTOR you can choose to be a punk or a hero, but it isn't just the endings that changes from the choices you make. No, the entire game reacts to your decisions: The characters, the storyline and so on (a bit KOTOR2ish). This means when you've have finished the game after about 80 hours of gameplay, you can start all over and experience something quite different from what you just played. That is so cool in my book.

Well, apart from playing KOTOR 1 and 2 without sound in vista (Stupid ATI card) what RPG's can you recommend?

Radish
12-25-2007, 02:53 AM
I've never tried any Final Fantasy; they strike me as not being very "deep", more for children than adults, but I could well be wrong.Depends. The main sequence (up to 9 anyway - haven't played past that) don't have much depth in the core character advancement system - gaining a level just gains some small automatic stat increases of vague significance. Most of the games provide (if not require) additional means of improving a character, however, usually having something to do with how you learn magic spells. Final Fantasy VIII took this to an extreme, rendering actual character level nearly irrelevant with its munchkin's paradise junctioning system. (Even so, it's still not exactly deep - more like "grossly imbalanced".) The Final Fantasy Tactics line, however, provides some satisfying complexity in character advancement and customization, not to mention combat (as the "Tactics" in the title would suggest).

As for actual roleplaying, they pretty much have none - main characters and their dialog are all predetermined after FF1. The first Tactics game allows you to hire additional units which you may choose the name and gender of, and FF1 allowed you to create your entire party from scratch, but in both games these characters were just blank slates - the only personality they would ever have is what you imagined for them (though that could still be fun). Story varies in depth and quality from game to game, but if a story is ever bad (Tactics Advance >_<) it's never because it was "for children" (though in and before the SNES era many games were vigorously mangled in translation to make them "kid friendly" - if you intend to play games from that time, I suggest finding newer translations). Some of the stories have interesting philosophical and moral ideas behind them (the nature of the afterlife - and life itself, to a degree - is particularly prominent in 7 and 9). Most can manage to be at least entertaining. And since it's in a similar vein, do not forget Chrono Trigger (forget Final Fantasy before you forget Chrono Trigger), an epic myth that easily belongs alongside such other classics as The Odyssey, Dante's Inferno, Star Wars, and Planescape: Torment.

Fallout/2 has an excellent combat and stat system, and the first has a pretty good if comic-book-style-over-the-top story (Fallout 2's story is pretty goofy, though). In both, roleplaying is somewhat limited and leans strongly in the "smart-ass" direction. The main draw of Fallout/2 is the setting, though; a veritable character in itself.

Aside from another great setting, Arcanum is noteworthy in that you truly start out as a nobody thrown into things of astounding importance purely by chance (alright, and maybe a pinch of destiny, but just a pinch). And consistent with starting out as a nobody, it is entirely possible to start out utterly incompetent, as well. Want to be a bungling fool more likely to injure herself with a sword than her enemy, and whose knowledge of magic begins and ends at the words "abra kadabra"? Well, you can. And you can then build that bungling fool into a great hero, steeled by her experiences to become master of sword and spell both. (Of course, you can start out competent, too, if you want to, but it's not nearly as fun :))

Wizardry 8 suits your combat needs, I think. Certainly challenging, with a moderate approach to the use and power of magic (more for buffing and crowd control than killing things) that may or may not fit what you mean by "low-power". The story is good, though there's not a lot of it, and nearly all of it is concentrated in the last few minutes of the game. A good number of unique, interesting characters all with great voice acting partly make up for this, but the game is still mostly about providing a smörgĺsbord of turn-based combat and classic dungeon crawling. Roleplay is nearly non-existent, your characters being mostly blank slates except for a rough personality determined by which voice sets you chose for them. Maturity doesn't really come up, except perhaps in character design - female NPCs all have sexual characteristics exaggerated to the point of just plain not looking human (though simply bad character modelling may play a part in this), and the only female NPC that fights is also the least-clothed (in metal lingerie, of course).

Jade Empire has a very...familiar story. You Are The Only Hope in a battle of Clear-Cut Good Versus Evil for The Fate of the World(/Galaxy/Kingdom/Republic/Empire/etc.). The sort of story that's been done a thousand times before. However, Jade Empire does it really, extremely well. And in so doing serves as an example for why so many stories like these are told - because when they work, they feel really damn good. Having one of the best musical scores ever only intensifies the experience.

Some complain Jade Empire is on the short side, but that wasn't my experience; my first game clocked at 49 hours, my second at 30, and honestly who expects an action RPG to be as long as Baldur's Gate, anyway? My only real gripe with the game is in roleplaying: there's minimal ability to customize your character's appearance, and far too many times (as in any at all, but more specifically: more times than I could count on my hands) where you are limited to just two responses in dialog to choose from, frequently at opposite extremes of the game's moral axis. Even more frustrating, these railroading dialogs seemed to crop up MOST often at important, emotional, plot-vital, and all around character-defining moments - y'know, moments where the player should be given the largest number of dialog options with which to differentiate zir character.

Oh, and wait, that's not my only gripe, actually. There's also the way Bioware shrank away like a bunch of babies from their own content, too cowardly to show the same full kiss scene for same-sex romance climaxes that they do for opposite-sex ones (though I fixed this (http://www.lucasforums.com/showpost.php?p=2401203&postcount=173)).

Wow, many of the older games are ridiculously priced!

Planescape: Torment, Daggerfall, Arcanum and Wizardry 8 are all around $50 each. That's quite pricey for old games.That's why you download them. Copyright holders don't get money from second-hand sales, anyway.

Lance Monance
12-26-2007, 07:25 AM
50$ for Planescape Torment? My copy was included in a computer magazine..