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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Eschalon: Book II - Review @ RPG Codex

Default Eschalon: Book II - Review @ RPG Codex

August 19th, 2010, 17:47
RPG Codex has a review of Eschalon: Book II, written by Elwro. It's a mixed article with the presentation and music praised but criticism for the story, balance and "emptiness":
On a more positive note, you will find two people accusing each other of being a werewolf. There doesn't seem to be a clear cut way of non-violently establishing once and for all which one of them is the lycanthrope; you have a few (weak) hints and have to rely on your gut instincts to some extent. One of the men owns a magical shop you might not want to lose access to… An interesting, difficult situation; the dev gets points for that.
Unfortunately, these are only isolated instances of interesting content in the predominantly empty game world. With all the bugs (now mostly ironed out) and general feeling of emptyness, it's unfortunately obvious that the developer simply had to put this game on the market in May. There are also two places, a cave entrance and a staircase, which should provide access to two dungeons which do not exist in the game. You're told “There's nothing more in that direction. Turn back – your fate awaits elsewhere!” With all the empty areas, I felt like having been ripped off a little. This is unfortunate, since it seems like a matter of presentation. It would be better if the entrances were non-approachable by the character, or if they were simply removed, as the dungeons might be added in a future addon. You might remember that a similar project for the first game did not take off. Here's to hoping the developer fares better this time. If he did not put the entrances in the released version of the game, the players could await the dungeons as a nice, free expansion. Unfortunately, due to overall lack of content in the game they look like something which should have been there from the start.
More information.
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August 19th, 2010, 17:47
Anyone here have opinions on this? I know there's a free demo, but I don't want to sink a big bunch of hours into a game that goes nowhere and gets emptier as it goes on.

Opinions, please.
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August 19th, 2010, 17:58
Hi Ovenall! Here are some quick links to help you out:

Book II product page

Reviews

Download the demo
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August 19th, 2010, 18:05
Corwin has made a review for RPGWatch.

I have played the game and liked it for what it is and I believe that many people here feel similar.
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August 19th, 2010, 20:54
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
Anyone here have opinions on this? I know there's a free demo, but I don't want to sink a big bunch of hours into a game that goes nowhere and gets emptier as it goes on.

Opinions, please.
I finished Eschalon 2 one month ago. I have to say that I agree with the review. There are many improvements over the first chapter (food, skills, some visuals,…) but as the review says, the story is a bit disapointing and you have the impression that the game is not finished. As long as you go further, the world is more empty. I took me about 20 hours to finished, less than Eschalon I and I played it in hardware mode.

I was disappointed because I hope that this new release would have a lot of more content (bigger world, map elements, missions, enemies, dungeons, story…) than the first chapter (the engine was already created so all the work should go for the contents ¿?)

Nevertheless, is a good RPG and it is worth playing it.
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August 19th, 2010, 21:08
I'll probably check it out when I'm not so busy. I like to support indie games.

My opinion is that I'd rather play smaller games. I don't need a 40 hour experience if it's full of filler. I'd rather play 3 different 10-hour games that are better paced and filled with content. I have this problem with big money titles as well. Dragon Age was way too bloated for its own good, for instance.

To BasiliskWrangler: Why not take the game engine and graphics you created and make a few different "modules/scenarios" or shorter games and charge a little less for each one? I'm not suggesting you "dumb stuff down," just make the content and stories more digestible. I have a hard time keeping up with some RPGs because they go on and on… I can't dedicate hours of playtime all the time, and it's difficult to stay engrossed with ANYTHING after 20 hours…. let alone an indie game.

I know, just my opinion, but there have to be lots of others like me out there.
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August 19th, 2010, 22:35
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
My opinion is that I'd rather play smaller games. I don't need a 40 hour experience if it's full of filler. I'd rather play 3 different 10-hour games that are better paced and filled with content. I have this problem with big money titles as well.
Amen, brother. Amen.
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August 19th, 2010, 23:01
I have been curious myself as I liked the demo and have been debating buying the full version.

As for length - I am the complete and utter opposite. I dislike short tidbits of a game. I want something with real meat to it, 20 hours tends to be my minimum. Something between 40 and 80 tends to be my favorite. Since it is an SRPG you have complete freedom to save and play are you leisure, whenever you have time. There is no rush or pressure to finish or keep up (like in an MMORPG). I like it when a game can last me months not weeks.
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August 20th, 2010, 03:42
Ovenall: If you like short games you should get Neverwinter Nights since there are a huge amount of mods for that which are from 2 to 10 or so hours long and are really good.
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August 20th, 2010, 05:27
I bought it a few weeks ago and have been playing it every free computer minute I get. I'm toward the end, it seems, at about 30 hours of game time in. Besides the 'nostalgic tech', I'm noticing a few balancing issues, and indeed some "emptiness" here and there, especially in the latter parts of the game, but it's still very enjoyable, and the developer seems to have allowed the player enough leash on which to hang himself if the player isn't careful. I'm afraid I may be one of those players, as I like to see what kinds of crazy character builds I can pull off and still finish the game. In most modern RPGs it seems nearly impossible to have any significant setback, but this game certainly can pull the rug out from under you from time to time.
Still, very nice game; especially for $25.
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August 20th, 2010, 14:03
guenthar: I played NWN years ago and liked it. I'm currently playing NWN2 and it's growing on me. Really didn't like the OC at first, but it's getting better and better. I play on a Mac (I know, I know…) but when I upgrade I plan on doing a full Bootcamp partition and installing all of NWN2, or possibly trying to run it in Parallels. Thanks for the suggestion.

And I'm not trying to pick on Basilisk Games. I'm sure Eschalon 2 a good product. I just don't get why developers feel they need to make gigantic games and pad them out with filler. I applaud that they make food and water optional, as to me stuff like that doesn't make a game more challenging, just more of a pain in the ass.
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