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Default RPGWatch Feature - Frayed Knights Review

September 28th, 2011, 13:44
Rampant Games' humorous old-school RPG Frayed Knights is a unique mix of ingredients and two of our staff have been playing all through the beta to bring you this early review. Freshly released, read the whole article for views from Corwin and Skavenhorde. Here's a sample:
This is probably a good place to address the issue of magic in the game. There are four somewhat different types; three of the Priestly persuasion and one arcane. A character may only learn one of the cleric schools, but could if they so choose also learn the arcane line as well. The first thing you notice about all the various types is that they have delightfully different spell names ranging from Hellacious Angry Flowers to Power Word Defenestrate (a personal favourite of mine with an excellent animation). Half the fun is reading the spell descriptions and watching some of the animations. The arcane are predominantly attacking spells while the priestly are more buffing, healing with only limited attack possibilities. I tried only 2 of the cleric lines, but did develop strong feelings about them.
Read it all here.
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September 28th, 2011, 13:44
Excellent reviews! I loved Wizardry 8 and can't wait to start playing this!

Daniel.
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September 28th, 2011, 15:11
Very nice. Thanks guys !
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September 28th, 2011, 19:23
This one sounds like a no-brainer. Thanks for the great review (unless
I hate the game 'cuz in that case I'm coming back to bite your heads off).

Well, off to buy the game I guess…
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September 28th, 2011, 19:56
LOL, I'm fully confident that you will enjoy this game……IF you like old-school turnbased games, are ok with the graphics and you don't mind a dose of humor in your games. Recently roguelikes have Dungeons of Dredmor and now we have a blob RPG with some humor in it. I hope to see this trend continue.

I don't mind dark and gritty, but I've missed these lighthearted adventures as well. I seriously have to play QFG again after this.

Another hint for you guys is to use Chloe's Cheat Sheet (It gives a detailed description of the monster you cast the spell on). In the beginning it won't matter too much, but later on it always helps to know what they are vulnerable and resistant against.

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I'm still just a rat in a cage.
Last edited by skavenhorde; September 28th, 2011 at 20:08.
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September 29th, 2011, 13:40
Awesome reviews guys! Can't wait to grab it this weekend!

— Mike
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September 29th, 2011, 13:49
Thanks for the kind words Mike, I respect your opinion highly!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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September 29th, 2011, 14:05
Same here.

Being the first official review here I was kinda nervous, but glad I did it. I really enjoyed this game and wanted to try and express why I did. Brother None, you and VOD make it look so easy.

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September 29th, 2011, 20:40
You had me at Power Word: Defenestrate.

Thanks for the reviews!
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October 2nd, 2011, 06:52
Well, why ever let people roll their own party if a preset party is good enough for a 100% score RPG.

If its a set party played through a first person view why not just roll all the abilities into one character and lose the party aspect altogether? Speed up the gameplay, kill the same amount of stuff, easier to control…?

Rolling my characters is such a big deal for me on the roleplaying side of a roleplaying game. Id trade lame jokes for some serious races and classes any day.

Is it fair to say "well, they didn't go for races/classes and what's here is 5 star"? Just say it makes a billion $$$ then everyone sits up and goes "OK, guys, races/classes are out. Too complicated, too much learning curve." and their game sells well too… Pretty soon thats the only kind of RPG game around and gamers become so used to having it all set up neatly for them they think when you do have to roll your own party its just a stupid game.

Yep, you're killing the RPG genre with those 5 stars!! Indie devs all round and scrunching up their race/class ideas that were making their heads spin and loading up World of Warcraft to come up with some spells and abilities.

good rant, huh?
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October 2nd, 2011, 07:10
Rolling my own party is secondary to enjoyment, hence the 5 stars.

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October 2nd, 2011, 08:13
No, actually it's a pathetic rant. You are setting up an EXTREME strawman argument without ever playing the game. It's also called the black and white fallacy. To begin with, 5 stars doesn't mean it's 100% perfect. Even Jay would agree it's not. Neither does it set out to be a pattern for all future rpgs. It's ONE game which takes a position (pre-determined characters) and then lets YOU shape those characters as you wish. It's not trying to be D&D or anything similar, it's trying to be a fun game which doesn't take itself, or gaming too seriously. Get off your high horse and go get a Life!! Good Grief!!!!

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October 2nd, 2011, 09:30
I like the 5 star mechanics - it encourages the player to play through difficult situations rather than reloading the game.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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October 2nd, 2011, 09:31
Yeah given the mechanics and theme of the game I don't think complete character creation is necesary. I do think the game would benefit from having a little bit more choice when you start out though. The game gives you a lot of different skills to choose from but there are some that are just really hard to work into any of the given archetypes they start you with. It might have been nice if for example you could have chosen to make benjamin a dark priest instead of a nature priest, or to give dirk quick draw for thrown weapons instead of size doesn't matter for daggers. It's not a huge deal, but it might make people more likely to use all the different skills and abilities that they put into the game.
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October 2nd, 2011, 09:38
I was thinking that for Ben as well, but then Jay couldn't tailor make the dialogues with a nature priest in mind. It's a little difficult to create a generic dialogue for a priest when the three classes of priest are very different. Bottom line is that I'd rather have the wit of the dialogue than being able to choose which priest. The dialogue between the characters is a big part what I enjoyed from of this game. The other part is - of course - the combat.

You do have a point with Dirk or the others, but I didn't mind since they were only level 2 with the "normal" perks for their class. Pretty much the same thing I would choose and I got to customize my characters relatively quickly.

For instance I turned Arianna into a paladin by taking divine and in the first playthrough I made Dirk a dark priest/thief (not sure what you would call that class…assassin?). Though I made some mistakes with that class and he wasn't as powerful as I could have made him. He still held his own though.

Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
I like the 5 star mechanics - it encourages the player to play through difficult situations rather than reloading the game.
You're thinking of the 3 Drama Stars. Sir James' rant was about our 5 star rating for the game in the review.

I agree though that those Drama Stars are great. Helped me from having to waste time backtracking to revive a character or get rid of their exhaustion.

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I'm still just a rat in a cage.
Last edited by skavenhorde; October 2nd, 2011 at 10:03.
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October 2nd, 2011, 10:11
Yeah you would have lost a few nature priest dialogs, but I'm not sure that would have been that big of a deal. I'm sure they could have come up with alternate jokes. They could even have changed up the dialog a bit depending on what kind of priest Ben was, it's not like it came up all that often. Though I admit it might be a bit hard to imagine Ben as a dark priest.

I thought the drama stars were a great idea as well. The actual effects could probably use a little tinkering, but it's definitely a really clever way to discourage unnecesary reloading.
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October 2nd, 2011, 13:59
PS:

I agree with the review - the final score should be 4.5 stars - but let's give them a
"0.5 Indie Bonus"

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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October 2nd, 2011, 20:20
Well, I definitely should play the game.
I speak in off the cuff observations not fully fleshed judgements… However!

Rolling my own party is secondary to enjoyment, hence the 5 stars.
Secondary enjoyment NOT INCLUDED IN THE GAME. Should It have been included, and well implemented, what score would the game be deserving of now? We are talking about RPGs and character generation is a major feature for many players! You can't just leave it out and get 100% score!

To begin with, 5 stars doesn't mean it's 100% perfect.
5/5 = 100%. Correct?
What score do you give a perfect game? A jilliondillionfillion stars! wheeee!
How is there no room for improvement when there's an EOTB style game marketing as "old-school" with prepackaged characters like a console DnD arcade game.
Sure, premade party option for the casuals and newbies would be cool. But all frayed needed to do is take those base 4 classes, throw in a couple more flavor classes, up the party to SIX, let ppl take their standard 4 for the basic combat they DO have at the moment, and then another 2 to add flavor to the party. Maybe a martial artist or something that doesnt use loot, for eg., Then you can have 2 more NPCs join you for the story sake and a little more flavor thrown in. Optional, of course. Yes, its hard to do. But you shouldn't get extra points for not trying.

Also however strongly you disagree with my arguments, you didn't address them individually, and I never stooped to calling you pathetic or even pathetic actions, like calling you out on being obviously biased towards your personal friends computer game. Your review reads like an advertisement. Oh, buuurnnnnnn.

I'm trolling somewhat and being pedantic, and strawman argument isn't unfair thing to say…

TLR
But there will others who think no party generation is a bad thing; dumbing down the genre for the sake of greater accessibility, in turn for the sake of greater sales. There will be other users who see you approving of this with a perfect 100% score.
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October 2nd, 2011, 21:02
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
Secondary enjoyment NOT INCLUDED IN THE GAME. Should It have been included, and well implemented, what score would the game be deserving of now? We are talking about RPGs and character generation is a major feature for many players! You can't just leave it out and get 100% score!
I have no idea what you mean by "secondary enjoyment not included in the game" Seems like you were going for some play on words there, but you lost me.

I'll say it again just so that we are crystal clear on this, rolling my own party is not as important as the actual enjoyment of an RPG. It doesn't matter one whit if I could roll my characters in the beginning or not. What I could do is customize my characters with the many feats available during the game. That's perfectly acceptable to me.

You do understand that not even the forum members here at RPGWatch can agree on the definition of an rpg so a declarative statement like "You just can't leave it out" is a little funny.

I am not even going to respond to your foaming at the mouth batshit crazy talk of dumbed down. This is an indie not Bioware where they personally cater to the masses. Since when do turn-based games "cater to the masses"? Jesus, buy a clue.

Bottom line is it would still receive 5 stars with or without character customization in the beginning of the game. The rest of the game is just that good.

EDIT: Btw, Chicken Little says hi and to remind you that the sky is falling.

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
Last edited by skavenhorde; October 2nd, 2011 at 21:12.
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October 2nd, 2011, 21:13
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
5/5 = 100%. Correct?
Not outside of math class. I mean, c'mon, this is ancient review 101 stuff …

And since you couldn't even be bothered to look at the HOW WE REVIEW page references right under the score … here is the relevant section:
5 – An outstanding game that will be remembered as a classic. A score of 5 indicates a game that is equal to the best gameplay available in the genre at the time of writing. It is, however, important to understand this does not represent an absolutely flawless game.
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
What score do you give a perfect game? A jilliondillionfillion stars! wheeee!
Might as well be - since there has never been and never will be a perfect game. Not technically, not conceptually, and certainly not based on the different opinions and preferences of reviewers.

Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
How is there no room for improvement when there's an EOTB style game marketing as "old-school" with prepackaged characters like a console DnD arcade game.
Again, read the description - there is NOTHING in 5 stars that says 'perfection'.

— Mike
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