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March 4th, 2010, 03:57
I, like, totally knew it. No one can resist this Neko's grace and charm and good upbringing, nya nya.
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March 4th, 2010, 05:06
Originally Posted by Nyapocalypse View Post
@ Magerette

Yes, it's only DS, but the DS it's kind of super dee duper convenient considering all the weird stuffies and the experimental thingies are coming out for it right now, and since it's also all safey safe from the waves of Grimdark engulfing the rest of the industry i say, like, best console ever, totally.
I've always thought of consoles as something for my offspring unto the second generation, but now I'm finding out that Video Games Improve Elderly Brains on the XBox and Wii Combats Depression in Said Elderly(and who could doubt this guy after all)

Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., is a researcher at the University of California, San Diego.

…so I may have to revamp my thinking and adapt.

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March 4th, 2010, 06:05
I've had a string of great luck liking / loving the games I've been playing. All finished recently:
- Mass Effect 1 (great main quest but side quests were pretty lacking)
- Fallout 3 (enjoyed that even more)
- Dead Space (flat out freakin loved it. Blew me away.)

"For Innos!"
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March 4th, 2010, 08:39
I just kind of finished Rhapsody: A musical adventure, inspired to replay it by a thread on that other forum and the news that Gemini is translating the sequel. And i know what those of you who know this game are thinking, like, right now: In the most holy and mysterious name of YHVH, lord of hosts and many other thingies both heavenly and earthly (and, if we are to believe those crazy Qabalah guys, also of many Hellish ones), does this girl ever play games requiring a mental age above ten or so?! Well, indeed i do, every now and then and as long as they feature enough fairies and princesses and witches and pretty dresses, but those do not often include a scene where the villainess, her three henchgirls, and a bunch of their minions break into song and dance in the throne room of the dark evil fortress after some villainous planning got done and thus they don't really make for good conversation, nya.

Back to the game, its deep, convoluted, and philosophically complex plot focuses on a young girl by the name of Cornet, who has the power of talking with, and giving life to, dolls and puppets by means of playing her trumpet for them and has been raised by her grandfather in some random village so vewy vewy much backwater the main industry seems to be raising oranges. Every now and then she dreams of a charming, elegant, gentlemanly, and totally hot prince who rescues her of an evil monster and stuffies, and the game begins after one such dream, when she and her magical, wise cracking, troublemaking fairy doll Kururu must go to the forest to do some random FEDEX quest without any purpose beyond puting her in the way of the plot, here embodied in the figures of an evil catgirl witch (who was a greater influence on my budding self than i thought, nya) with an army of talking cats and a charming, elegant, gentlemanly, and totally hot prince who rescues her of the former's pet dragon. And you sure know what happens next, nya: She falls in love with him after recognizing him as the boy from her dreams, quite literally, and then we must help her win his heart and affection through a series of situations as weird as amusing. Before long, though, the villains make an appearance, abduct the prince, and our heroine must rescue him to ensure her chance of becoming royalt… i mean, to ensure her true love's safety and happiness, yay.

Now, last time i played this game i was but a little girl and thus most of my memories of it were nothing but a blur so it felt kind of new to me. Quick review: The dialogue on the dramatic scenes and the song's lyrics, for the game is truly like a musical and the characters start singing about true courage and true love and fighting for one's dreams until the bitter end every now and then, made me feel i was drowning on a fondue; the combat, so easy you can end even most bosses in just one turn if you do any planning at all, and dungeon crawling, the dungeons being made from two sets of few rooms (cave and castle) repeated over and over and over and over with a palette swap every now and then, still make the gameplay better than anything Planescape: Torment had to offer outside of plot and setting; some parts of the plot only make sense when seen through a prism thingie colored by the game's wacky logic and, like, tends to get pretty LOLtastic and full of that spaced out weirdness that has come to be one of Nippon Ichi Software's selling points.

And it manages to be pretty amazing, just like that. I don't usually believe a game can pull itself only on charm and character and humour and warm feelings, but this one can. So it is pretty much like one of the latest Nippon Ichi titles, A Witch's Tale, as they both are cute little games with a lot of personality, wacky and cute characters you totally can't help but fall in love with, and nothing in the way of dificulty or challenge. Also, if you don't cry at the end of Rhapsody you are a totally heartless monster and i don't want to have anything to do with you, shoo shoo.

And it has singing, dancing cats. You can't get much cooler than that.

Now let's hope the next game i finish is, like, something horrible and grotesque and totally guro involving serial killers and, like, tentacle monsters from the nightmare realms. I can feel my reputation going, like, totally rock bottom already, nya.
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March 4th, 2010, 12:09
Woah, that looks like one of those old SNES adventures/JRPGs. I love the style, pixel art and all that! And the song was pretty cool too. Must find out more. Thanks for the info.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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March 4th, 2010, 15:34
Ishar 2: Messengers of Doom (1993)
In Ishar you play as Aramir who are sent out to oppose an evil sorcerer named Krogh, who occupies the fortress known as Ishar.
Neither Aramir, Krogh nor the land in Ishar returns in Ishar 2, instead you begin the game as Zubaran, the current ruler of Ishar. Zuburan hears that a new evil lord is plotting to take over the throne and he takes on a journey to deal with the problem. Zuburan returns in Ishar 2, so he seems to become the main character in Ishar 2 and beyond, but it's still possible to let him die and continue the quest. If you import an Ishar 1 party you won't get Zuburan in your party at all. If you choose not to, you can still find all Ishar 1 characters at taverns around the world.

Just like Ishar, Ishar 2 is a "Dungeon Master" or "Eye of the Beholder" clone, that gives you your character portraits at the bottom of the screen and you see the gameworld from your characters eyes. Ishar was placed on Island connected with bridges. On Ishar 2 you travel back and forth by boat. The different islands contains different landscapes, including a snowy mountain, a misty swamp, a large city and of course a couple of dungeons.

Ishar surpass it's prequel in every possible way. It's larger, it looks better, the music is better, there's more to do this time around and there are greater variation to what you have to do to make progress.

The game is easier to control, but there were quite a lot of nuisances regarding party. One thing I missed was the opportunity to increase your abilities (strength etc), which means you were stuck with the stats your party is recruited at. There was an armor I could never use with my characters because none of them could wear it. Also, armor for women was always crappy, the game seem to assume you use male characters as fighters. The worst part about the game is that you are for plot reasons forced to either have two free character slots, or fire your characters, to recruit plot-essential characters to your party. So I had to drop a 21 level scholar for a level 7 one.

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March 5th, 2010, 18:34
Since I enjoyed Mass Effect 2, I finally decided to give the first one a try as well and … ended up liking it too. Main quest is a pretty brilliant piece of space opera.

If I had to shortly compare the two, Mass Effect 1 has better level design (at least when it comes to main quest) and more involving skill system, Mass Effect 2 has more interesting and better developed characters and more exciting combat.

No other comments, would be redundant by now .
Last edited by DeepO; March 6th, 2010 at 03:27.
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March 6th, 2010, 13:42
Ishar 3: Ishar 3: The Seven Gates of Infinity
While Ishar 1 is standalone, the story in Ishar 2 and 3 are directly connected. Yet again you play as Zubaran, the ruler of Ishar. (of course, you are free to kill him off and grab someone else if you like.) The evil from the 2nd game somehow survived and you are up against it again. None of the areas of the first two games return in the 3rd, instead you begin in a large city that will act as a central hub for the entire game. The city is almost without enemies, except for a few thieves that grows in strength as you level up, but they can be avoided most of the time.

A central theme in Ishar 3 is timetravel. You unlock portals that allow you to reach special areas ahead of and back in time. Theese alternate areas can be quite alien, including a swamp, a thick forest and a future dungeon. The goal of these often minor areas is usually to get a single quest item that unlocks the next one.

Since most of the game takes place in a city there are many quests related to walking around in town rather than killing stuff, like finding a theatre, like getting entrance to the castle, like making an astronomer happy by buying him liquor etc. Taverns are utilized more this time around, including offering you subquests and important clues.

All of the Ishar series had issues with translations and this is one is often funny. Clerics are called Priests in Ishar 1, Scholars in Ishar 2 and "Clerks" in Ishar 3. Yes, Clerk. Lol. Also Ishar 3 uses a british translation on stuff like Armour. I also found it humerous that an old wizard NPC you meet once in awhile greet you with "Hey Guys!".

Also, what kind of name is "Dragon of the Sith" for the bad guy?

Graphics & Sound
My greatest problem with Ishar 3 is the graphics. There was a trend that got popular in the middle 90'ies that begun using digitized photographs instead of handpainted graphics, and it never looked as good. Ishar 3 is almost exclusively put together using this kind of graphics and it looks kind of cheap in my opinion. Ishar 2 looks a lot better in comparison and it also had greater variety of maps. The music was also better in Ishar 2, in Ishar 3 you just hear some bagpipes (!?) when entering shops.

Gameplay
Like in Ishar 2 you are stuck with 3 characters since you need two free slots to make quest progress. Like in Ishar 2 you cannot increase your abilities, you are stuck with the starting abilities your characters come with when you recruit them. I found this bad. You are expected to just throw out partymembers you been grinding since the first minutes of the game and you are stuck with bad stats if you pick the wrong one.

Like in Ishar 1/3 you can make potions, but they are just four or five now of which only one is made for the quest. I believe the Psychic Regeneration potion is cheaper this time around which means that you can play large portions only using a mage if you wish. I actually had to do this a time when my main fighter got cursed before I got the exorcism spell on my Cleric. There's also a place near the end of the game in which you actually can't rely on fighters at all, you have defeat a tough foe with wizardry alone.

Enginewise, Ishar 3 have some improvements. You can select money much easier than previous games (the +/- is replaced by simply clicking the digits like a codelock to select your amount) and you can now also sell items which is nicer than having to toss them away.

You also get a minimap this time around and it even marks important places for you, however it just works in town.

In Ishar 1/2 I had problems with the armor I could use, but now there's a new "Justice Armor" that all my characters could use, once I could afford it.

There are no real grinding area in this game, you can grind on thieves but they level up to a point in which you can barely beat them. Ishar 3 have more of an adventuregame feel, in which you need to do things in a certain order, and it feels you get money when you are intended to upgrade your stuff for the next level. I didn't follow this progression though, I managed to grind on thieves up to having the best stuff for my fighter before I even reached the first dungeon, but then thieves were so lethal that when I later had to beat some of them I had to use up two full manabars worth of lightnings spells to kill them…

Fighters were kinda meaningless in this game though. You don't get a good sword until near the final bits of the game, and even the best one will often hit for "1" hp worth of damage. This ofcourse forced me to learn how to use spells more, including debuff spells like "blind" or "sleep".

Final Conclusion and note
Despite being a much larger game in megabytes, Ishar 3 wasn't up to par with Ishar 2 in my opinion. The first is that some of the RPG feel is lost.

That said, I am happy for finally gotten to play theese games, despite the bad event that happened to me (read below). I had Ishar 2 on Amiga back when it was new but didn't understand the game back then. I have often planned to play them but it's first now I got around doing so.

Note: This is unusual for me, but I never actually finished the game this time around. I got very close to the end but ran into a bug that made it impossible to continue the game. I ran this game on an unregistered WHDLoader in WinUAE so I couldn't transfer the savegame to the PC version to try to fix it. Instead of replaying the entire game I watched a guy on youtube play the final bit. The exact point the game broke is explained below.

Spoiler

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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March 7th, 2010, 03:46
Heavy Rain: A button mashing driven detective movie. A great one that is … if you don't mind playing a game that just consists of repeating button instructions.
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March 7th, 2010, 19:09
Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove
From the folks that brought you the Ravenhurst games comes the next entry. This one holds up to the lofty success of those worthies. The puzzles are a little less difficult, but the use of the hidden objects is a little less obvious than before. They did succumb to console-itus a bit with the addition of a dozen achievements, but it actually works out pretty well. There's a few rewards for ticking off all the achievements and they're sufficiently interesting to prompt a replay or two, which is good since the game only lasts 5 hours or so. It was a little too difficult for the Wild Dogs, but a nice casual diversion for me. If you've played and enjoyed Ravenhurst, plan on picking this one up.

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April 3rd, 2010, 01:05
Lands of Lore: Throne of Chaos
I always were a fan of the Eye of the Beholder series. Unfortunately only the first two were ever released on Amiga and I didn't have a PC until much much later. Both Eye of the Beholder III and Lands of Lore (that was going to be EotB3) were released on PC but it took many years until I got to finish EotB3 on my own. And it would take yet many years before I could finish Lands of Lore on my own, so I did tonight.

Story
Scotia, the witch, controls the dark army that threatens the kingdom.
King Richard (voiced by Patrick Stewart) send out the player to find the Ruby of Truth. Right outside King Richard keeps you encounter Scotia herself but she doesn't attack, instead right when you get back into the keep Scotia attacks and poisons King Richard. The rest of the game is spent searching for a way to cure him.

The storytelling is a step above for the time. It plays out partially by comments made by your characters and partially in cutscenes. The events unfold one by one taking new twists and turns just when you thought you done it all.

Graphics & Sound
For it's time, Lands of Lore is a beautiful game. If one appreciate "handpainted" pixeled artwork, this one is really well made. It doesn't have the ugly FMV or 3d Graphics that would be mainstream right after Lands of Lore was released. The sound is well done with some great music (sounds especially good with a good soundfont) and the voice acting is great, including Patrick Stewart.
Unlike Eye of the Beholder, Lands of Lore uses some pseudo-3d engine that appears 3d when turning around and when you move, but behaves just like a static 2d dungeon crawler. The character portraits are animated and behave according to whatever happens to them (take damage etc).

Engine & Gameplay
The 6-character party of the Eye of the Beholder series is now only 3 and you only have 3 classes to level. Each character can level all three classes by using the primary weapon of choice for the class. A Fighter strikes better and level up by using melee weapons. A Rogue is used for ranged combat and lockpicks and is ofcourse boosted by using ranged weapons or throwing. The mage have several spells in his arsenal but must use offensive spells to gain levels. At the end of the game you most likely have leveled all your characters to at least some levels in each class.

The game is really hardcore. There's one particular item that makes an almost impossible level just hard and for story reasons it seems intuitive to waste it before you even get there. There are monsters that earthquake and make you drop all your weapons on the ground, leaving you to figure out how to beat them without weapons. There are monster that eat your armor from you, monsters that take no damage from anything but a level 4 spark etc. Just figuring out how to beat the monsters is quite nasty. Still, it brings a challenge and variated maps. Each new level means new content, new music, new puzzles, new monsters and new loot. It's really what's fun in a game, I think.

Final Conclusions
This is one of those middle-90'ies gems that still today is worthy of a playthrough. The story is well written and storytelling have taken a great step forward compared to Eye of the Beholder. Gameplay is unfortunately a step down to Eye of the Beholder I think. Only 3 characters and no Dungeons & Dragons mechanics.

I do not plan to play Lands of Lore 2 anytime soon. I have watched bits of a playthrough on youtube and while that is somewhat enjoyable, I prefer partybased RPG's.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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April 3rd, 2010, 08:28
Originally Posted by JemyM
There's one particular item that makes an almost impossible level just hard and for story reasons it seems intuitive to waste it before you even get there.
Hm? What would that be? LoL 1 is one of my favorite games ever, but I don't remember this particular item. Would you mind spoiling me? The one thing that nearly drove me nuts in LoL 1 was
Spoiler
Took me two weeks to figure that one out…

I never played EoB 3 as it wasn't a Westwood game IIRC.
The last game I finished was Quake 2, but I think I already said that.

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April 3rd, 2010, 09:09
I think the complains about Eye of the Beholder III is exaggerated.

I think it's a more enjoyable game than the first. The story is a bit disconnected compared to Eye of the Beholder II, but that's really the only problem. There are many enhancements that make the game fun in it's own game. You have to think on how to beat monsters in part 3. Just walking into a fight whacking worked in the first two but in the third you need to consider the right weapon for the job. The music with a good midi sounds really good and the NPC's have more thought behind them. There are many things to like in the third game.

My youtube playthrough of the third was really effective, almost a speedrun but I do not leave out anything. Feel free to have a look if you like.

On your LoL question;
Spoiler

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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April 9th, 2010, 11:27
I just finished Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

I have to admit that I hated it at first, but it actually ended up being a pretty fun game. The story had a few unexpected plot twists, and some of the levels were a blast to play through. It's a fairly short game, but longer than MW1.
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April 9th, 2010, 17:30
Just finished Elven Legacy. (Except for the last incredibly impossible scenario, which I will have to replay probably ten times to win.) It's a great tb strategy game. No hand holding, no excuses, your brain against a very ruthless and effective AI. I found it just a little easier than its predecessor, Fantasy Wars, but I think that's due to learning the ropes more than the game itself being that much different. Recommended, but only for hardcore tb strat junkies.

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April 9th, 2010, 19:23
Dragon Age -
It was fun overall, dragged out a bit there in the end (120 hrs total) w/ endless Darkspawn battles. I feel pretty much that way about all games at the end tho. I think it was a worthy successor to the BG games.
Didnt like the Morrigan thing much.

I'll wait awhile til Awakening
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April 12th, 2010, 12:27
Oblivion main quest.

I've played this game on and off since release, and only ever bothered to finish the Dark Brotherhood questline and "mess about". Despised the vanilla mechanics, but there are mods out now that make the whole experience pretty damn good.

As per usual, it's a NIGHTMARE getting it to run properly with all the mods, and with decent performance. But, by some miracle, I got it all together and actually found a strong balance in terms of being a powerful character when stealth was the option (being a stealthy dude), but much weaker without it - just as I was expecting from the original game.

The plot in itself was "meh" and most of the quests likewise. A few neat ideas, and some rather beautiful locations made up for it in some ways, but I was suprised how very short it was. Combined hours for the main quest was ~10 hours or so.

But my time with the game is around ~40 hours this time, and I've only done the DB questline (once again) besides fooling around a bit.

Still keeping my attention, and I still think it's completely unsurpassed in the visual department. NOTHING comes close, regarding immersion and fantasy atmosphere.

It's mesmerizing sometimes.
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April 12th, 2010, 12:58
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Oblivion main quest.
If you didn't use any console commands to close the stupid gates you are indeed an hero
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April 12th, 2010, 13:30
Originally Posted by Tragos View Post
If you didn't use any console commands to close the stupid gates you are indeed an hero
I used a command to open a large gate because I couldn't find a switch - or it was bugged

That said, you're right, the stage where you had to close one for each town was INCREDIBLY boring.
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April 12th, 2010, 13:45
Never got to the point where I got bored with closing the smaller gates outside of the towns, was too bussy getting fustrated with those damned clannfear.

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