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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Lords of Xulima - Preview @ Twinfinite

Default Lords of Xulima - Preview @ Twinfinite

August 10th, 2014, 10:00
Twinfinite posted a new preview of the Beta version of Lords of Xulima.

Lords of Xulima isn’t a bad enough game that it’s unplayable, and that’s actually the problem. Worse is that it advertises over 50 hours of gameplay. 50+ hours of colorless text, trite combat, and nary a “No one is faster than Chiktikka Fastpaws!” to spice up the “fun.” It’s still in beta, but the good money’s on none of these things changing for the better. If a good RPG is what ye seek, better get some wind in yer sails and search for greener pastures.
Let me say I hate the writer after reading it.

More information.
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August 10th, 2014, 10:00
Best parts of this game were the awesome Kickstarter updates!!

After watching a new gameplay battle, um yeah.. my enthusiasm deflated.
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August 10th, 2014, 10:00
Let me quote my own comment on that article:



"all the wonderful gameplay antiques of the past make a gleeful comeback.
Enduring wounds, hunger and food, and wandering tribes of ridiculously
difficult monsters are all present and annoying."

"by the incredible difficulty the player will face from the start"

"Lords of Xulima does introduce the pain of formations"

Seriously, if you are going to review a game that is supposed to bring back features of older games that require some amount of thinking and planning, you should make sure that you like the genre. You obviously don't.
If your description is correct, then someone who prefers "JRPG's, visual novels,…" - so a definitive focus of story(telling) with and by whiny weeaboos, accompanied by shallow game mechanics* - is not the person this game is aimed at. Not even remotely.

You should at least make it clear what is a good RPG to you upfront so that readers know they are reading a review by someone this game was certainly never meant for. To me, this review makes as much sense as if I would review a sports game, a genre that I honestly don't like at all.

Not that all is wrong here, it seems the game is in definite need of some better explanations.
Also, I'm not saying the game will be great or anything. It might still suck (at what it set out to do). But if so, many of the reasons you brought will have nothing to with it.

*Not saying I don't like these, too, from time to time. Kind of a guilty pleasure. But at least I don't pretend they're anything more than what they are.
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August 10th, 2014, 10:15
What a god awful review. Attacking a game for what genre its trying to represent makes for a poor argument. The only thing which is independent of this seems his dislike of the starting monologue.
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August 10th, 2014, 11:19
I've put about 10 hours in and don't agree with his conclusions. If you were looking for a difficult old school experience with puzzles and no hand holding this fits fine. I will agree that there is a lot of need for resting/healing at town and it will be quite annoying for some. They tried to take a different approach to having tons of gold by scaling the cost of food as you level and I expect some people will like that.

On a side note, R Clicking statuses in combat, or anything in the game really, gives you a pretty good idea of what is happening. Though i will agree from what I've seen so far the average NPC is forgettable.
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August 10th, 2014, 12:28
About the author..

Mike Geib (Writer)
This one was born in 1989 and counts watching his old man play Hack on an ancient PC as one of his earliest memories. Fond of JRPG's, visual novels, and the RTS' of old, Mike's gaming preferences are "anything so long as it's got a good story." A simple network engineer from Philly PA, he looks forward to exploring the intricate world of gaming with ye!
Yeah… sorry LoX isn't a JRPG or visual novel.
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August 10th, 2014, 15:37
Another snippet from the article:

"…and wandering tribes of ridiculously difficult monsters are all present and annoying."

I'm curious if the author was hoping for the dreaded level scaling so you can go to whatever region of the game world you want and skate through with minimal resistance. Why go through the pain of leveling up any more? I also don't understand based on the level up screenshot how that illustrates how "boring" the process is. Is he upset there's no complicated, fancy icon tree from which the player clicks and gets a new skill? This was a silly criticism.

While the author's tone was annoying he does bring up some valid concerns:

1. NPCs with no depth
2. Boring combat
3. Lack of immersion

If in fact he is correct on these three I will need to pass on this one. That's a disappointment because I had become increasingly enthusiastic about this title.
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August 10th, 2014, 15:53
I agree with everything TheSHEEEP said. And most of the reviewers cons are pros to me, except the lack of transparency and annoying toolstips that's hard to hit (status effects on enemies).

If the manual is detailed enough then no problem.
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August 10th, 2014, 16:02
What an absolute idiotic review.
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August 10th, 2014, 16:12
I'm curious if the author was hoping for the dreaded level scaling so you can go to whatever region of the game world you want and skate through with minimal resistance. Why go through the pain of leveling up any more?
Dreaded? Why? You would rather find a new area, notice that the critters are two levels ahead of you, and go back to find the "right" area for your level? Without scaling you get a more linear experience.
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August 10th, 2014, 16:20
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Dreaded? Why? You would rather find a new area, notice that the critters are two levels ahead of you, and go back to find the "right" area for your level? Without scaling you get a more linear experience.
You're joking, right?
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August 10th, 2014, 16:30
Originally Posted by EvilManagedCare View Post
2. Boring combat
3. Lack of immersion

If in fact he is correct on these three I will need to pass on this one. That's a disappointment because I had become increasingly enthusiastic about this title.
Combat kind of depends. This is one of those games with a slow start. You're very weak, have poor hit %, and little to no skills early on. However once you hit level 5/6 the game starts to pick up. Your Mage starts to get a variety of skills with different uses (pure damage, CC, DoTs, AoE at lvl 10) and your combat options start to open up a bit (this also applies to the Arcane Soldier who can enchant his weapons and gains access to some Mage spells). Enemy units of course evolve too bringing in healing, DoTs, and CC for your Priest to handle.

Your out and out physical damage dealers are pretty bland though. The Barbarian for example doesn't seem to get any skills (mine's nearly lvl 15). He just hits hard (thanks to crit skill) and doesn't die easily (resistence/HP skills). Rogue and Explorer have a pair of basic and not overly useful combat skills too.

Not the most immersive RPG I've ever played but not the worst either. NPCs are forgettable and there's not a lot of side quests but the story itself has been pretty good. The first Prince points out the hypocrisy of the mission and the stories grays a bit from there.

Edit: And there's no level scaling. However you won't be able to full clear the beginning area till level 10ish on Hardcore thanks to the difficult Mushrooms and Ogre. There's a very good spread of enemy difficulty to keep things interesting. I've also stumbled across a pair of unique monsters currently listed with "Impossible" difficulty (one of which has 4600 HPs!!!) that will have to be dealt with much later.
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August 10th, 2014, 17:10
I'm having a lot of fun with this one. I found it pretty easy to put down the Wasteland 2 beta, as well as the D:OS beta, and wait for the final products, but I am so far unable to do that with this beta. I just turned level 3, and it's taken me quite a while to get here (6-8 hours?), but I'd say I've only mapped out about half the first map (and this first map is just a fraction of the overall world map. This game's going to be nice and chunky in size, I think).

The overworld map activity kind of reminds me of King's Bounty; when you see a pack of monsters, you can right-click on them and it will show how many groups there are, and give a determination as to the combat difficulty ("Balanced", "Troublesome", "Challenging", "Difficult", "Impossible", etc), so you can choose to engage or move on. And the constant harvesting of herbs and food and containers and corpses gives me the same King's Bounty vibe (along with that constant pull of wanting to take just a few more steps and see what else is ahead). Of course, the time and food factor is new here, with each step ticking the clock a minute, and thus consuming a bit of your food.

Food is measured in days, but this goes beyond the M&M games, where it's just a number that you need to keep high. They added some realism that one day's food is much cheaper to obtain than, say, 7 days' food (supposedly because it needs to be specially prepared to last that long). So one days' food will cost you 75gp, but two days' food will cost 200gp, and 3 days' food will cost 350gp, etc, all the way up to 6 days' food costing 1,000gp. Because gold is pretty scarce and valuable, there's an incentive to keep one's food stocked up for only 1-2 days' at a time, which means you'll be back at town fairly often. This is offset by the food you can find while exploring new areas, and for the most part my expeditions into new unexplored areas have been able to keep pace with my food consumption (fortunately the food you find adds to your food stores no matter how much you have).

It's when you do any backtracking (like, say, going back to town to heal/revive/remove status effects), that you'll really feel the impact of food because you're consuming it but not finding any. Overall, the food mechanic will probably be controversial with some folks; it's a fairly harsh mechanic that affects a lot of what you do (ie, it does things like prevent you from going overboard on spell usage in combat, because resting all the time will consume food). Personally, I think it does a good job of keeping you on your toes, and really consider many of the actions you take while out exploring and fighting. But I can see this game suffering the wrath of mainstream reviewers because of this….

The game is hard, but not unfairly so, I don't think. I'm playing on classic difficulty, and I've done a lot of saving and loading, but things got a bit easier after I finished the first dungeon/cave, and spent about 1500 of the 2000 gold I'd amassed on equipment (you start the game with every character naked except for a basic weapon). Once I got my front line's defenses up, I was defending a lot more attacks, and was having much more success with longer battles against larger numbers of enemies.

The death mechanic is pretty costly, but not enough so that it's an automatic reload if one of your party members goes down. Your characters don't actually die, instead they get "fatally wounded". All it takes to revive them is 24 hours' rest, which of course brings food back into the picture. More likely, you'll head to town and revive them at the healer or rest at the inn. Reviving a character at the healer currently costs ~40gp (goes up with level, I think), while resting at an inn costs ~80gp (this is the option if 2 or more characters are down, obviously), neither of which exactly breaks the bank. But the inconvenience of backtracking to town, or using a days' worth of food out in the field, makes death pretty meaningful overall.

I definitely wouldn't call the combat boring. There are many things to consider besides damage, with lots of status effects you can give and receive. Swords and daggers cause bleeding (recurring) damage, axes and bows cause wounds (reduce combat effectiveness), while maces and polearms cause stunning, which knocks you a few seconds further back in the combat order. The weapons you find/buy will have enchantments that increase any of these effects, as well as stat increases, but might also do other things like cause burning or poison damage.

Character progression doesn't look too deep; there aren't a ton of skills, but you'll be having each character focus on a few skills anyway. The equipment you can find/buy looks much more interesting, with lots of different bonuses possible to stats, status effects, and resistances.

The story and exposition at the beginning is kind of cheesy, but I don't mind. It sets the stage well enough, and explains why you're here exploring a new land and killing anything that moves.

Some might not like that one of your characters is pre-made with no changes possible, but I think this is an innovative compromise between having a known character that a story can be built around, and allowing customization in your other 5 party members.

Overall, this game is exactly what I was hoping it would be, and that's a good thing. For those who backed it, I would recommend that you play this beta for a bit, because the odds are that you WILL want to restart it anyway after getting familiar with the game mechanics. I already have some changes planned in my party composition when I go through the final game.

Thumbs up here….
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August 10th, 2014, 17:31
@Fantasm

thank you for your first impressions!

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August 10th, 2014, 19:06
Well that was an interesting review?

If it is half the game D,OS was it will be a lot of fun to play.
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August 10th, 2014, 19:49
Well, I really loved D:OS and spent 200 hours in total (alpha/beta/final release)…I'm not getting anywhere near the sense of enjoyment from LoX. Granted, I'm not yet 3rd level and have spent perhaps 3.5 hours with the game, but just doesn't excite me in any way, and I hate having to fret about food stores etc. I'll probably stop playing this as soon as Risen 3 is released. I think I backed it in a moment of madness, since I don't really like blobbers. Ah well, the kickstarter bug has run its course in me, so I'm far more careful now about what I contribute to.
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August 10th, 2014, 21:40
I noticed the bottom picture is of the first town you see…then you die…I did! I was on normal setting and used the default party…will not do that again. I am going to study the party formations and decide on a power plentiful party. Reminds me of Wizardry 8
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August 10th, 2014, 22:17
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
Well, I really loved D:OS and spent 200 hours in total (alpha/beta/final release)…I'm not getting anywhere near the sense of enjoyment from LoX. Granted, I'm not yet 3rd level and have spent perhaps 3.5 hours with the game, but just doesn't excite me in any way, and I hate having to fret about food stores etc. I'll probably stop playing this as soon as Risen 3 is released. I think I backed it in a moment of madness, since I don't really like blobbers. Ah well, the kickstarter bug has run its course in me, so I'm far more careful now about what I contribute to.
Well that is a shame, as I was really looking forward to this game.

When it released(finished) I will still check it out. Though it sounds like I am in for a big disappointment in it.
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August 10th, 2014, 22:17
There's a lot more skills than first glance would indicate. A lot of them are hidden until you hit certain levels.

Food isn't so bad considering it respawns on bushes and you can harvest the farm in the village every time it respawns for about 3 days worth of free food every couple of days.
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August 11th, 2014, 02:00
I hate those idiots who call themselves reviewers. You can call a game not your style. But you can't call it bad because you are lacking of the brain to play it.

"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."
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