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1  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Unsung Story: A Kickstarter by Yasumi Matsuno. on: February 27, 2015, 10:05:30 AM
My problem with the screens isn't that the graphics look "objectively" bad or anything, it's that it lacks style. Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre both have technically unimpressive visuals but are nevertheless really nice to look at. FFXII was impressive in both regards but that would be an unfair comparison. This can get fixed by appropriate lighting and whatnot though, which is why it's hard to really pass judgment on early screenshots like these.

My thoughts exactly. It's still quite early I guess but this looks incredibly amateurish and nothing like the preview artwork. The artwork, if memory serves, was very much in that Vagrant Story/FF Tactics vein. Very gritty medieval realism. These screens couldn't look further if they tried. And what happened to the hexagonal grid? That was this game right?

Sort of.  It was supposed to a bunch of triangles... which appeared to form a bunch of hexagons.


However, this would have differed from a typical hex-based strategy grid in that the hexes overlapped.  Characters were to stand on the intersection of the intersection of the triangles.  Here's the Kickstarter update going over the concept.  Note that they did say it was just preliminary ideas that were subject to change.  I'm guessing they tried the triangle grid in an early prototype and it just didn't work well.

In the alpha screenshots, it does seem that they've changed to a square-grid, but it will apparently allow diagonal movement, rather than being limited to 4 directions.

I agree somewhat about the current art style... It is may just be that it is still far from the final visual pass and once they polish everything it will be more closely resemble the concept art.   This is why developers usually don't show screenshots early in a game's development; everyone starts assuming it is what the final product will look like.  They say repeatedly that this is "early" screenshot so I'm not going to worry about the visuals just yet.
2  Media / Single-Player RPGs / "Icy" Post-apocalyptic, Ice Age CRPG coming this summer on: February 26, 2015, 06:43:38 PM
I've been following the development of a promising looking indie RPG tentatively called "Icy".  It's a dialogue-heavy adventure CRPG (PC/Mac/Linux) in a post-apocalyptic setting where the world is experiencing a new Ice Age.  The game play will involve a lot of tough moral choices and a strong emphasis on the survival aspect; e.g., your party must hunt for food, scavenge for supplies, and deal with dangerous beasts and cannibals.   There's some really nice artwork as well. 

The game is nearly complete with an estimated release of June, but the developers are running an Indiegogo campaign to help with polishing:  A $6 pledge gets you a digital copy of the game if you're so inclined.  Looks like they will reach their modest funding goal. 

You can also help by voting for the game on Steam Greenlight and GOG wishlist.
3  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Shadowrun: Hong Kong Kickstarter on: January 28, 2015, 03:29:47 PM
SRR and DF were pleasant surprises, no doubt. I'm looking forward to it too, though I prefer to set my expectations to normal levels haha. Since they won't target the tablet market (for now) HBS might be able to, at very least, tweak the interface. Other than that, I hope they keep the game compact, "fat-free": no huge dungeons, trash battles, fetch quests and so on.

Yeah, it seems like they are committed to going for a quality over quantity approach.  There's the fact that they have (conservatively) estimated SR:HK's play time as 12 hours, rather than promising an "epic" CRPG.   In the comments, Mitch from HBS has said they're really hoping to continue to improve upon the choice & consequence aspect of the game as well. 

The campaign now has 20 days left and is over $700K.  Lots of great stretch goals have been unlocked: aside from additional companions & their person quests, there's going to be improvements to the interface, improved and more varied Cyberware and magic, and a revamp and improvement of the Matrix segments. 
4  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Shadowrun: Hong Kong Kickstarter on: January 19, 2015, 11:05:14 AM
I'm really excited for Shadowrun: Hong Kong.  Shadowrun Returns was a decent RPG; albeit linear and relatively short by today's standards, but the editor has allowed for some good user generated campaigns to be made.. But I thought SR Dragonfall-Director's Cut was absolutely incredible. One of the things I loved about it was the almost total lack of filler content; too many RPGs have mandatory grinding, a bunch of boring fetch quests, long boring tutorials, etc.   SR:DF held my interest from beginning to end.  It was Definitely my personal 2014 game of the year and in fact one of my favorite RPGs of all time.  But of course there's still room for improvement with the engine and I'd like the next Shadowrun to be even bigger and better.   

There's definitely evidence of KS fatigue, but their campaign seems to be going pretty well.   I'd hope it helps that this particular developer has proven they can actually deliver a solid game.  I get that people don't want to put up money months or even years in advance, but IMO this is a better alternative to going to a publisher for extra money, who always meddle by forcing DRM, rushing releases, or even trying to exert creative control. 
5  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs and the horrible path they follow on: November 06, 2014, 02:24:58 PM
The western RPGs have the beautiful world and the exploration you want to see but the stories are god awful. Everyone you meet either dies/betrays you with zero loveable characters and you the random generated character do everything but are limited to any character progression/story because you are random generated. Not to mention the combat systems are rarely one step above original Diablo's click to attack with a heavy focus on realism in a fantasy world where anything is possible it just seems wrong!

Err, what Western RPGs have randomly generated player characters?  Don't think I've ever played a single one.  Western RPGs tend to have *player* generated characters where you choose the gender / race / class / skillset and possibly appearance, but that's a huge difference from "random"... unless you make all your decisions by flipping coins or rolling dice.   Some like Baldur's Gate give the option to start with pre-generated characters, but you can customize them if you choose....  And creating my character (or occasionally even entire party) is one of the things I absolutely love about WRPGs.  Even in the rare WRPG where you have a pre-gen character with a full established backstory like The Witcher series, they tend to give you some dialogue / narrative choices that let you make the character your own.   Aside from a few JRPG gems like Growlanser that let you make some choices and decide who your character is, WRPGs have the advantage over JRPGs when it comes to actual role-playing. 

JRPGs are becoming more and more like an anime film with interactive battles.  And most JRPGs feature the same stereotypical player character; an adolescent male from humble origins who is naive about the world, but wants to be a hero... Possibly to prove to their father that they are not a loser or perhaps to avenge their dead father... almost certainly daddy issues of some kind), in the same "Chosen one saves the world from an Ancient evil" storyline that many mainstream WRPGs regurgitate.  I can't think of many mainstream RPGs, regardless of their country of origin / art style that really break this mold when it comes to storytelling. 

Anyway, it sounds like you have very limited experience with WRPGs, or you have been playing the wrong ones, at least.  Diablo and the Elder Scrolls are two of the worst WRPG series IMHO, but unfortunately they're two of the most popular.  And Bioware is a shadow of the it's former self (the company that made Baldur's Gate / Dragon Age: Origins).  For recent WRPGs with great, tactical battle systems try Divinity: Original Sin, Wasteland 2, or Shadowrun: Dragonfall.  Shadowrun: Dragonfall also has an above average story and a setting that is quite a bit different from standard generic fantasy stuff we've all grown accustomed to.   Expeditions: Conquistadors is another great recent WRPG release. 
   
6  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Pillars of Eternity on: October 09, 2014, 11:31:40 AM
Most were expecting the game to be delayed.
I can't say it's much of a surprise.

It only came as a bit of a surprise to me because fairly recently in an interview on "Matt Chat" (youtube), Feargus from Obsidian said that PoE would "definitely" be released by the end of the year. 
7  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Pillars of Eternity on: October 03, 2014, 11:07:10 AM
I'm glad that they're taking their time with it, really.  Obsidian has the reputation of releasing games that are ambitious, but buggy / unfinished.  In most cases this probably was completely out of their control as the publisher set a deadline and forced them to release it.  Now that they're releasing a game that isn't relying on a publisher for funding, it would be incredibly stupid for them to release something that isn't as polished as it could be.

I've got plenty of RPGs to keep me busy.  I'm on my second playthrough of Shadowrun: Dragonfall- Director's Cut (I love that game!).  I haven't even started Wasteland 2 yet and haven't finished Divinity: Original SinJagged Alliance: Flashback is coming out later this month.  Lords of Xulima will probably release in a month or two.   It's even possible Serpent in the Staglands and Starcrawlers will release before the end of the year.  Probably a few more games I've backed that might come out soon as well.   It's a great time to be a fan of "old school" CRPGs.
8  Media / Single-Player RPGs / [Kickstarter] {Demo} Graywalkers: Purgatory - Supernatural Post-apocalyptic RPG on: September 28, 2014, 11:01:09 AM
I'm backing Graywalkers: Purgatory a supernatural, post-apocalyptic RPG (e.g., angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, etc.)   on KS.  It has turn-based tactical combat similar to X-com Enemy Unknown, Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns, etc.  The confirmed platforms are PC, Mac, and Linux... Console ports are going to be stretch goals.   They seem to be off to a good start, so I hope they get funded this time around.  
 
The developers just released a (pre-alpha) demo which is available for download.

 I really dig the setting and art for this game.  



9  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Shadowrun Returns on: September 20, 2014, 09:01:58 AM
Been playing Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut since it came out.  I highly recommend; if you found "Dead Man's Switch" too linear, this is a more open ended RPG with lots of choices to make. If you liked SRR, you'll love this. 

I haven't played very far into the DC yet (as my usual style is to constantly restart RPGs with different builds until I decide which one I like most), but I can say that I really love the changes they made to the combat system. The fights are more challenging but it feels like you have more control over the outcome. Melee oriented characters are a lot more viable than they are in SRR. I'm trying out an adept and he's kicking ass, because he can run in there and flank an enemy in full cover.  Of course if I do something stupid like end my turn with him standing out in the open, he'll get slaughtered. 
10  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Wasteland 2 on: September 20, 2014, 08:53:46 AM
The game has been getting pretty good reviews.  The reviewer at Jostiq claims to have experienced some crashes and other bugs, but it appears to be that something about the hardware configuration they used caused this, as most other reviewers haven't reported any. 

I backed it on Kickstarter, but I think I'll hold off on playing it for awhile.  I hear there's still a chance they might add perks in an update, so I don't mind waiting a little longer.  Besides, I haven't actually played Wasteland 1 yet, but inXile game me a copy of it on GOG.  But at the moment, Shadowrun Dragonfall DC has got me hooked.   
11  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Shadowrun Returns on: September 10, 2014, 06:59:04 PM
Nerco-posting to point out that Shadowrun Returns (Windows/Mac/Linux) is on sale at the Humble Store for $4.99 for the next 11 days.  I believe you get both a Steam Key and a DRM-free copy.  If for some reason you never bought this great cyberpunk / fantasy RPG, here's your chance to get it cheap. 

Also, Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut is out on September 18th.  Anyone who already owns the Dragonfall expansion gets it for free.  I'm really looking forward to it !
12  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Divinity: Original Sin on: August 11, 2014, 12:15:38 AM
I am looking for advice about buying this. The reviews are great but I don't know if it is for me.

Games I like
Dragon Age: Origins, Knights of the Old Republic, Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines, Mass Effect, Fallout 3, Elder Scrolls Oblivion and Skyrim

Games I tried but never managed to get into
Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights, Fallout 1&2, Elder Scrolls Morrowind

I am afraid it is too old school for me. I've heard people say it is challanging. I try to play games like BG and IWD and I die in the first few fights. Even in Dragon Age Origins I never get passed the Origin story before I have to turn it down to easy to play the game. I grew up with Final Fantasy VII rather than Ultima VII so complex CRPG's are hard for me.



If difficulty is the main thing holding you back, then I say don't worry about it.  The game has three difficulty settings.  I've been playing it on hard and while it was initially pretty challenging at times, I am now about level 13 and currently finding it a bit too easy.... If you take two mages in your party your party will kick some serious ass; with two magic-users you can basically have two summoned elementals at all times... then the enemies will be so focused on trying to take out your summoned creatures that your actual party members should be OK.     The game does have some balance issues (there's too much loot). 

The way in which it's old school is that there aren't things like quest markers (you can make your own notes on the map).  So you have to pay attention to what NPCs say in order to figure out where to go for quests, but the game is basically open world so you could essentially just explore the world and accidentally solve the quests that way.  Enemies don't scale so if you find enemies in one area are too difficult all you have to do is go somewhere else and come back when you're stronger. 
13  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs that All Children Should Play on: August 01, 2014, 02:50:03 PM
Shining Force 1 & 2.  Think I was around 12 when I played those.  Plot isn't too complicated and while they're SRPGs, the combat systems are pretty straight forward and easy to learn.  If you don't have a SEGA Genesis, I believe there's PC, PS3, and XBox 360 versions available in one of the SEGA collections. 

And for nice, easy, & non-violent RPGs, there's always the Harvest Moon series. 
14  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: 2014 Kickstarter, Steam Greenlight, etc. thread. What's piqued your interest? on: July 30, 2014, 02:34:34 PM
Braven Arts -a tactical (J)RPG is currently active on Kickstarter. It has a really cool looking tactical turn-based battle system, lots of side quests, and a day / night schedule for NPCs.

Hard-West  - turn-based tactical strategy / RPG set in the Wild West

Age of Grit -a cRPG with a steampunk / Wild-West setting. I like how the steampunk aspect is an integral part of the gameplay and storyline, as opposed to being merely an aesthetic style that it is in a lot of "steampunk" rpgs; e.g., combat takes place on steam-powered airships. I also love their thoughts on RPG quests.
15  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Trails in the Sky FC PC release July 29th on: July 30, 2014, 02:31:38 PM
NM.
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