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November 30th, 2006, 12:04
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Curious about those Realms of Arkania games that a lot of you are mentioning. I've heard of them but never played any. Does anyone know if they'll run on WindowsXP? Are they abandonware?

Surprised to see KOTOR on so many list. I thought it was a very average game.
You have to learn to like them. The setting (a quasi-viking land with orcs, elves, and dwarves) is cool, and the skill and magic system is very detailed as it seems to be a faithful adaptation of a German PnP game. There are a lot of realism features (you have to eat and drink, and your weapons break) that can get annoying or add to the experience depending on your taste. You can do cool things like poison weapons, make poisons of your own, etc.

The cons are that the direct adaptation of the PnP skills and spells mean that about 70% of the skills and spells arent ever used in the game. At the same time some skills and spells are NEEDED to get past certain points in the games, and since XP mainly is awarded for quests and the FIRST encounter with various monster types it is capped in practice, meaning that you cant level up some more to compensate for not choosing an essential spell in the past The reality features can get annoying and dont always make sense, for instance a stackable ingredient needed for non-stackable healing potions have a healing power that is in the same order of magnitude as the potion. Weapons breaking almost killed the second game of the series for me, as the dungeons are located very far from the smiths that can repair your weapons.

Still I liked the first game (Blade of Destiny) a lot. It is set in a world with lots of towns and dungeons that you could roam around in a manner that felt fairly free form (even if it wasnt), giving an illusion of open-endedness similar to the first Pool of Radiance.

The second game (Star Trail) has a better story but only a few towns and dungeons (about five of each) that are very far between. Weapons breaking made it a drag for me to play. And there are two instances where you are taken prisoner and lose ALL your equipment if you are careless, thats a pretty major bummer.

Didnt like nor finish "Shadows over Riva" which is the third game. It is mostly set around the city of Riva and has a more modern (primitive grid-less a la a high-resolution Arena) movement system in that city.

Also had problems exporting my chars between the first two games, ended up with the "babyface bug" and the patch found online couldnt fix that for me.

But I am looking forward to number four…
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