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Default Arcania - RPG Codex Hates Arcania

October 25th, 2010, 15:07
RPG Codex found out how enjoyable Arcania is for the classic RPGer.
While playing Arcania, I was wondering if I could find a single word that would describe this game fully, and with which I could open this very review. In the end, I was stuck between three words and couldn't pick the one that would feel the most spot on.

These words were 'obnoxious', 'shameless' and 'insulting'.
… and more …
The great brain robbery.

Even barely after launching the game and accessing the options menu, we suddenly realise that something seems very, very wrong. Thanks to the 'interface elements', you can make this game 100% idiot-friendly. […]
… and more …
That's right. The whole game is, basically, a linear progression through a handful of extremely small and hideously closed areas. Each time you want to advance from one section to another, you have to do all main quest-related tasks to remove the obstacles that block your path. These obstacles often feel half-arsed and could have been easily omitted, but alas. […]
… and more …
Let's just skip the introductions and say the important thing right away: the combat sucks. It sucks a lot. It's a travesty that someone gave the green light to something this horrible. Everything about the combat just boils down to clicking the enemy to death. No precise timing needed, nothing. Just click the left mouse button to win. […]
… and finally, much later …
I just couldn't make this stuff up.

This game is just insanely bad. Really. I know it often seems far-fetched to call something 'worse than Oblivion', but I think this game has done it. It managed to set a new low. There is nothing good about it. Absolutely nothing. Non-existent exploration, mindless combat and dumb story and quests are nothing that anyone in his right mind would ever consider 'good'. At least Oblivion had some pretty sightseeing, some sort of non-combat gameplay and character customization and you couldn't just steal everything in sight without repercussions. And this? This game wouldn't be worth your money even if it shipped with booze and hookers. Yes, it's that bad.
Worse than Oblivion? Okay, maybe. But the last part sounds slightly exaggerated.
More information.
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October 25th, 2010, 15:07
the game is for kids and x-box users . I have to say the graphics look really good though. art style is typical, cant tell how the animation is.
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Default Same feelings after the PC demo.

October 25th, 2010, 15:23
So the demo was a real slice of the whole game ?

And as it has been said numerous times already from the PC demo players : Nice and very well optimized graphics, clickfest combat, way too easy, invisible walls and scripted areas.
Oh and I forgot the marriage oriented story.

Conclusion : The antithesis of a Gothic game; including the note on optimization
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October 25th, 2010, 15:25
One of the few times I actually agree with something from the Codex.
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October 25th, 2010, 15:32
The problem with all that quack (that jowood pitched, and most of the reviewers kindly picked up), about how "casual" and "accessible" the game is, is the fact that the competitors in this "casual" league, that have succeeded over the years had so much more to offer in addition to instant accessibility.
Diablo series and Sacred had great multiplayer, loot and pretty fantastic character systems. That means great replayability. Replayability of G4 is zero.
Oblivion had mods. There are no official mod tools out for Arcania.
Mass Effect had "cinematic" dialogues, with great voice acting and interactivity. The dialogues and voice acting of G4 are as wooden as an Uwe Boll movie.
Oblivion and Sacred had vast open worlds. We all know, how open G4 is…
That game is not even fun to grind for levels- something that is mandatory to have for a successful action rpg. I predict, that the game shifts about half a million units across all the platforms and then dies in relative obsucrity. Jowood is about to learn, that the "casual" market is a tough one.
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October 25th, 2010, 15:34
Sounds like a kid with a chip on his shoulder - be aware that review is extremely spoiler heavy if you're going to read it. When he says there's no point investing in the skill tree and then says he found no way of interrupting powerful attacks, you'd think he'd have managed to put those things together
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October 25th, 2010, 16:01
Originally Posted by Alistair View Post
be aware that review is extremely spoiler heavy
Huh? Where? The only 'heavy spoilers' are in the storyline section, and that one is pretty clearly divided and described as spoiler-heavy. Unless you count 'bring me five demon hearts' as a heavy spoiler…

if you're going to read it. When he says there's no point investing in the skill tree and then says he found no way of interrupting powerful attacks, you'd think he'd have managed to put those things together
You probably mean the shield bash ability, right? Tell me then, what exactly is the point of interrupting one enemy with it and leaving yourself completely open to three others that are currently charging THEIR powerful attacks, thanks to the clunky animation and inability to cancel the shield bash/do anything else?

Not to mention that, thanks to the stamina requirement, you can't spam it as often as enemies spam you with power attacks.

Sounds like a kid with a chip on his shoulder
Cute.
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October 25th, 2010, 16:19
Preposterous. I'm sure this game is enjoyable with hookers and booze. Even on Xbox.
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October 25th, 2010, 16:37
You should probably have investigated a bit more deeply before investing so much snark. You don't actually seem to understand how the combat skills work, and you didn't get as far as magic? A bash with a shield or axe hilt will interrupt a winding up enemy, as will a charged up blow of your own. Lightning will paralyse your attacker and frost will slow his attack. So there are multiple counters, plus rolling, popping a speed rune and running for it or using a bullet-time rune. The advantage of the counters is that they generally stun the enemy and let you get blows in, where rolling away offers temporary respite. The stamina requirements can be met by investing in stamina, or using potions or enchanted items, but I thought you were also objecting to over-powered flurries - the stamina requirements for all these movements struck me as a good thing in an ARPG. I'm surprised you found it clunky and unresponsive as the responsiveness was one thing that impressed me. You can always interrupt anything you're doing and roll away as far as I recall. I do remember he's a little slow to bring up his shield in the first place, and doesn't auto-target. I suppose that could feel clunky. I thought fighting groups worked well and forced you to judge when to roll and carry out special attacks - I didn't see any problem there at all. It's reasonably challenging unless you use higher level skills… but that's what it's about. I played on Gothic. I do believe the lower difficulties can be stumbled through, but if you're going to publish a lengthy diatribe, you should be informed about all the options.
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October 25th, 2010, 16:41
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
I'm sure this game is enjoyable with hookers and booze. Even on Xbox.
I can accept the first two, but the third is immoral.

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October 25th, 2010, 16:46
Originally Posted by Alistair View Post
A bash with a shield or axe hilt will interrupt a winding up enemy, as will a charged up blow of your own. Lightning will paralyse your attacker and frost will slow his attack.
One thing: read again what I've written. What exactly is the friggin point of interrupting one enemy when you're almost constantly facing hordes of 4+?

Second, on the Gothic difficulty, they charge their power attacks a lot faster than you do, so using them is like signing a death warrant.

but I thought you were also objecting to over-powered flurries
What? Where do I write that they're overpowered? If anything, I said that they're completely useless and inferior to the regular deal of clicking stuff to death.

I thought fighting groups worked well and forced you to judge when to roll and carry out special attacks
Hit'n'run is not exactly my idea of fun.
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October 25th, 2010, 16:48
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
RPG Codex Arcania - RPG Codex Hates Arcania[/URL]
…News at 11…

Hmm, interesting controversy regarding the combat controls though.
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October 25th, 2010, 17:16
I like the game and I'm just as hard core an RPGer as anyone over at Codex. I've said repeatedly it is not a Gothic game, but Arcania is turning out to be a nice diversion. BTW, any knock on the graphics is rubbish. These programmers absolutely nailed the Golden Hour (sunrise before the sun is over the horizon).

One curious thing about the game is that my protagonist is turning out to be an out and out A-hole. He's rude, abrupt and some what of a bully. It sorta makes sense he's steals everything in sight. I'm about 2/3 in and the only good thing about my guy is he tends to do favors (quests) for anyone who asks. Too bad the game isn't secretly really building towards making our guy an all out villain instead of a save the world hero.
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October 25th, 2010, 17:21
I'm still wondering whether how much it will sell.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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October 25th, 2010, 18:37
great review but this garbage would not even deserve one.
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Last edited by baron; April 28th, 2011 at 10:22.
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October 25th, 2010, 18:41
Originally Posted by Darthowicz_Roxorowski View Post
What exactly is the friggin point of interrupting one enemy when you're almost constantly facing hordes of 4+?
Splitting up the group is one good tactic - forcing some members back with arrows/paralysis/cold spells is what I would do.
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October 25th, 2010, 19:14
Originally Posted by Alistair View Post
Splitting up the group is one good tactic - forcing some members back with arrows/paralysis/cold spells is what I would do.
Alistar, please don't argue with Darth Roxor. In these days a real exchange of opinions or facts is nothing someone from the Codex wants. It's all about whining and bashing and being full of sh$t.

To cite a great game:

"The sanctity of this place has been fouled."
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October 25th, 2010, 19:26
Originally Posted by tolknaz View Post
The dialogues and voice acting of G4 are as wooden as an Uwe Boll movie.
Ouch. I was actually thinking about trying this game out until tolknaz put it in perspective for me.
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October 25th, 2010, 20:22
Originally Posted by Sir_Brennus View Post
Alistar, please don't argue with Darth Roxor. In these days a real exchange of opinions or facts is nothing someone from the Codex wants. It's all about whining and bashing and being full of sh$t.

To cite a great game:

"The sanctity of this place has been fouled."
Don't be stupid. I suspect the number of people, who have accounts both here and at the codex is pretty high. Not all codex users are trolls and their alts.
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October 25th, 2010, 20:38
Originally Posted by Alistair View Post
Splitting up the group is one good tactic - forcing some members back with arrows/paralysis/cold spells is what I would do.
Forcing them back with arrows? Uhm… and that is supposed to work… how exactly? I used the bow extensively, and I don't remember any paralysing/slowing arrows.

And spells? Tell me how long is the paralysis/slowdown from these. Is it longer than 5 seconds? Because if not, it sounds horribly useless, as you won't even have time to hack at the enemies before they start waking up, but if yes, it seems even more horribly tedious than just clicking the enemies to death, since you have to keep spamming lightning bolts to have any hope of engaging in melee. How is that good design?

Also, basically, you're saying 'become a battle mage or forget about melee'. How is that good design too?

Originally Posted by Sir_Brennus View Post
Alistar, please don't argue with Darth Roxor. In these days a real exchange of opinions or facts is nothing someone from the Codex wants. It's all about whining and bashing and being full of sh$t.
Why, hello there, Sir Brennus. How's your irrational vendetta against Piranha Bytes going on?
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