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Default RPGWatch Feature: Legend - Hand of God Review

September 25th, 2008, 10:20
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Don't think I did

I realize that you are saying the you feel that ARPGs need to have MP support in order to satisfy those who enjoy the genre.

I simply stated that I do not fall into that category.

Regards
No that's not what I said

I said it was reasonable to expect multiplayer in a genre where it's a standard feature - meaning it's reasonable to list the omission as a negative.
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September 25th, 2008, 10:39
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
While you are trying to take half a step back compared to the other posters in this thread I think you are still too close.
The number of players is an objective and stable criterion, perfectly suited - and often used - for market segmentation. SP and MP are two different markets. Some games only go for one of them, others try to broaden their potential customer base by going for both. Whatever the developer & publisher choose, they will have their reasons.
The choice of a market segment cannot be good or bad from a reviewer`s or gamer`s perspective. If somebody refuses to play SP RPGs for prinicpal reasons he is no different from somebody who prefers FPSes or adventures, in this context: He is not part of the target audience.

"Graphics", for example, wouldn´t work in a similar way because it´s both unstable (-> innovation) and subjective.



A short comment reg. "expectation". If the box doesn´t mention MP at all, the dev always said "SP only" and the review says "no MP", the expectation reg. MP is zero. So you can´t be disappointed.
I can list countless features that work in exactly the same way, but again it's about expectations. Some people refuse to play violent games, and yet there are games which traditionally feature violence - like GTA or Postal. To name the omission of violence in a hypothetical sequel as a negative would be exactly the same kind of reasonable remark. But if that happened, we'd have people - like here - saying how it's not a negative because they don't think violence is needed and they prefer non-violent games. Great for them, but it's a valid complaint all the same.

While I find your comments about market segmentation interesting, I'm afraid they don't apply to my point. It's not about a game that simply chose to focus on singleplayer, it's about a game in a genre where multiplayer is a standard feature, which is why it's reasonable to expect it.

Also, I think it's a gigantic mistake to segment markets into SP and MP, as only the minority would exclude one or the other entirely. I realise that here, this being an RPG forum, a lot of people might tend to play SP exclusively - but I promise you we don't represent the majority. As a developer, you can't afford to think of those markets as segmented - unless you're deliberately targeting a limited audience. If they were after the SP market - and they very obviously were, I think they should have chosen a less superficial recipe for their game, and perhaps made a traditional CRPG rather than a shallow Diablo clone. Then again, maybe even SP CRPG fans are content with shallow action rpgs these days, but I guess sales numbers will reveal that.

I don't know what you mean by someone opposing SP games for principal reasons, but it's certainly not me. I don't need multiplayer to enjoy games that have enough depth to support the lack of human players.

It's really down to the kind of game we're talking about, and Legend HOG is what I would call extremely simplistic, and the genre lends itself so well and so naturally to cooperative multiplayer, that it's practically a sin not to include it, if you ask me. The same wouldn't be the case with, say, The Witcher, because it's a very deep and story heavy game - which requires an effort to immerse yourself in, something which is not practical with multiple players waiting while you're reading.

Oh, about being disappointed by HOG - it's not because of what it says on the box or what it says in a review. I'm disappointed because the game - while certainly mediocre overall - COULD have been good if they hadn't omitted a standard feature that I personally consider vital for my enjoyment of this rather simplistic genre.
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September 25th, 2008, 11:29
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm disappointed because the game - while certainly mediocre overall - COULD have been good if they hadn't omitted a standard feature that I personally consider vital for my enjoyment of this rather simplistic genre.
So you're saying that a totally generic and mediocre game could have been really good if they had only included some utterly generic mediocre multiplayer to go along with it?

— Mike
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September 25th, 2008, 11:49
why do games like this get released? Devs have had their time ahd resources so they could have easily done better job. Its like they don't have passion for what they are doing. Even the storyline feels like they copied it straight from "how to make a fantasy game pocketbook". I'm just having hard time understanding how developers were unable to come up with something more orginal? You don't have to reshape the ganre or anything to make a quality game, just write a good storyline and make gameplay feel somewhat fresh. The game designers should start reading and playing more because they are lacking the understanding what makes a good rpg.
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September 25th, 2008, 12:00
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
So you're saying that a totally generic and mediocre game could have been really good if they had only included some utterly generic mediocre multiplayer to go along with it?
Why do you add the words "totally generic" to my "mediocre overall"?

Why did you include the word "really" to my "good"?

Why do you call the hypothetical multiplayer mode "utterly generic and mediocre"?

You're changing everything I said, consciously or not.

Anyway, yes, I think a mediocre game can become a good game by including a feature that significantly enhances the experience. I fail to see why anyone would think that impossible or even unlikely. Diablo and Diablo 2 were some of the most hollow and boring CRPGs I've played singleplayer, but they were TREMENDOUSLY fun when played with friends sitting next to each other.

Sharing the experience and competing in good spirit for loot and kills makes the whole thing have meaning, or at least make it seem worthwhile. It's the same reason you can, as a developer, get away with spreading extremely repetitious and limited gameplay butter over an extremely large piece of bread - by having it be an experience shared by thousands.

Funny how that works.
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September 25th, 2008, 12:09
Originally Posted by Dez View Post
why do games like this get released? Devs have had their time ahd resources so they could have easily done better job. Its like they don't have passion for what they are doing. Even the storyline feels like they copied it straight from "how to make a fantasy game pocketbook". I'm just having hard time understanding how developers were unable to come up with something more orginal? You don't have to reshape the ganre or anything to make a quality game, just write a good storyline and make gameplay feel somewhat fresh. The game designers should start reading and playing more because they are lacking the understanding what makes a good rpg.
Games make money by appealing to players. The vast majority of human beings in this world are drawn to the prospect of making money, even if - while doing so - you don't make anything of significant value. Making money is, in itself, quite enough reason to do whatever you do.

In the past, players were pretty much all what we consider hardcore today, and as such you had to make games that appealed to them. For CRPGs, this meant having a certain level of depth and complexity, and a cetain amount of innovation. Later came deeper stories and so on.

Today, we have the mass market - where the vast majority of gamers are casual. To appeal to casual gamers, you don't need deep and complex features, and you don't really need innovative features. You need run-of-the-mill stuff that people recognize as the kind of game they like with a reasonable visual appeal, so as to not scare them away before they discover your game is mediocre at best.

We must remember that we don't actually know what we pay for, and that's why the content of the package is vastly inferior to the presentation of the package. Quality doesn't sell, marketing sells. I call it marketing, but you could call it the combination of visual aesthetics, hype, and advertisements if you like. There are exceptions, naturally, but that's the rule.

It's exactly the same principle they use in Hollywood, and it's exactly the same reason Transformers or whatever superhero movie is hot can generate tons of money, while everything done for the art is microscopic in terms of revenue, in comparison.

Sometimes the two collide - like I would argue the case is with World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings (in movies) - but even in those rare cases, you can easily spot the compromises made for money, at the cost of fine art.
Last edited by DArtagnan; September 25th, 2008 at 12:27.
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September 25th, 2008, 13:12
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Games make money by appealing to players.
That alone would lead into games that appeal to the greatest possible mass of players.

Which means in principle that all points must be deleted for this game which might distract other kinds of players from it.

Which konsequently would result in "mediocre" or/and "totally generic" games - just for the reson not to distract anyone from it. Or, to put it differently, not to distract the greatest possible mass from it - to result in the greatest possible mass of buyers buying it.


Now, the interesting point is what might this greatest possible mass of buyers want ?

Assuming that (as I personally suspect nowadays) the greatest possible mass doesn't want anything too much challenging - because "stoppers" might distract them from playing (although not from buying), this might result in totally generical and mediocre games at the same time. Because everything is deleted that might be too much challenging, in this theory / assumption.

The result would be games like Dungeon Siege, or what Blizzard does.

Or the Sun and the Bild in the Newspaper area.

They all sell, no doubt.

Let's take the opposite: PS:T. It is challenging - not only because you must read much text, but also because of the themes in it, the whole scenery and layout is challenging, it has no MP (at least I don't remember it), and it is challenging from and intellectual point of view perhaps, too.

If a company was aiming to build and sell a game that appeals to the greatest possible mass of buyers, PS:T never ould've happened.

It's like Musems and exhibitions: They are intellectually challenging, at least sometimes, therfore they do NOT attract the greatest number of visitors, but rather a smaller parts of a country's society (also it depends on the popularity of the museum/exhibition, of course).

Assuming the vast majority of gamers prefer MP, this would mean that most game MUST have MP. This not because it makes the game much better, but ONLY to appeal to a greater set of (possible) buyers !


So, the argument, that games should be made to appeal to players, might very likely lead into a non-innovation phase of gaming. No inventions anymore. Nothing new, because everything new might be sort of challenging, which might in result distract possible customers / buyers.

The only development one would see, then, would be some sort of "micro development", which would incorporate new innovations in homeopathic doses.

For the industry, this is very, very good ! Big money with few costs ! (Because inventions and for that, development and required testing, consumes most of the money).

This is the way EA works, especially with its sports games, I hear. Personally, I can't say, because I'm not interested in sports games, that's why I fall out of this market.

For the consumer, this might not be so good. Or, to put it better, not good for the non-conservative parts of the mass of consumers.


I think we all know, why PS:T is so unique: In part, because no-one ever would've done such a game. PS:T is in my eyes an insanely lucky case of development. No current company would release *such* a challenging game - because lots and lots and lots of buyers would find it too challenging and therefore not buy it.

In the Drakensang forum, only few days ago someone complained that he had to read all of the test instead of it being spoken. He found it - what's the word ? arduous, says my dictionary. Wearysome.
Instantly I knew which kind of games he would NOT play …

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September 25th, 2008, 14:05
Hey fellas,

After reading all the comments about multi-player vs single-player, I feel the need to point out that the reviewer was lamenting the lack of a multi-player option with regards to a replayability angle.

The point is a valid one. As short as the game is, it would have provided more value/replayability if you could hop into a game with a friend and beat on stuff.

The debate of whether MP options adversely affect SP games doesn't really apply here. Besides, leaving out MP in this game certainly didn't help in this case…

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September 25th, 2008, 21:36
Strange, never in my entire life have I not wanted to play a game just because it didn't have multiplayer.

On the other hand, I couldn't count how many times I passed on what I thought was going to be a good game because it ended up being multiplayer only.
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September 26th, 2008, 15:34
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Strange, never in my entire life have I not wanted to play a game just because it didn't have multiplayer.

On the other hand, I couldn't count how many times I passed on what I thought was going to be a good game because it ended up being multiplayer only.
Ditto. Totally.

But then, I can see where the wordy guy is coming from, and that's why I passed on the game. My thought process went like this:

1. Is the game a traditional CRPG with an in-depth storyline and choices that affect the game world? No… it's an action RPG.
2. Is it multiplayer? I can typically enjoy even the lamest action RPG if played cooperatively. No? Okay…
3. Does it have character customization, so that I can at least create a customized avatar for this game's world, something that is usually sufficient to get me to play even the lamest action-RPG in single player? No…

Okay, pass.
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September 27th, 2008, 05:28
Originally Posted by Saber-Scorpion View Post
Ditto. Totally.

But then, I can see where the wordy guy is coming from
Me the wordy guy? I thought that was Space Siege?

I admit I am surprised that such a rage got raised over this - I know there is quite a strong sentiment over how the 'need for multiplayer' messes with resources to make solid SP experiences.

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September 27th, 2008, 08:01
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Me the wordy guy? I thought that was Space Siege?
.
I have a feeling he was refering to DArtagnan.
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September 29th, 2008, 22:42
I can't understand how people keep playing and purchasing that sort of game. They have no plot, their gameplay is repetitive, very little strategy and thinking is necessary. It doesnt even require reflex and good hand-eyes coordination like action games do. You just keep killing in order to get levels and loots… this makes you a better killer until you get to the end of the game at which point you are invited to restart the game by playing it at a higher level of difficulty where baddies and equipment get a jump in stats.

Gosh.

The real art of wasting time.
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September 30th, 2008, 17:10
Originally Posted by vanedor View Post
I can't understand how people keep playing and purchasing that sort of game. They have no plot, their gameplay is repetitive, very little strategy and thinking is necessary. It doesnt even require reflex and good hand-eyes coordination like action games do. You just keep killing in order to get levels and loots… this makes you a better killer until you get to the end of the game at which point you are invited to restart the game by playing it at a higher level of difficulty where baddies and equipment get a jump in stats.

Gosh.

The real art of wasting time.
Well, in the case of Legend…sometimes after a long day I just want some mindless hack & slash with random loot drops. I don't want a lot of reading, thinking, plotting or strategy.

This is fun at the right time, but sometimes you just want to jump in and kill some stuff before diner or a bed time

Just my opinion.

(i play plenty of traditional RPGs with a lot of depth as well heh)

edit: actually any ARPG would fall into the category I described above. (Titan Quest, Sacred/Sacred 2, Diablo 2, Dungeon Siege/2…) There's something to be said for these types of games that allow immediate action when you have a small block of time or just want to escape for a bit and not have a complex story or puzzle to figure out.

I love 'em
Last edited by Roland; September 30th, 2008 at 18:44.
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September 30th, 2008, 20:13
I guess we have different tastes.

While I do like playing «light» games sometimes after a long day of work… I prefer «light» games where the gameplay is at least interesting. Like the one offered by a game like Mount&Blade, or by purely action games like Crysis or Far Cry.
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October 1st, 2008, 13:39
Originally Posted by vanedor View Post
I can't understand how people keep playing and purchasing that sort of game. They have no plot, their gameplay is repetitive, very little strategy and thinking is necessary. It doesnt even require reflex and good hand-eyes coordination like action games do. You just keep killing in order to get levels and loots… this makes you a better killer until you get to the end of the game at which point you are invited to restart the game by playing it at a higher level of difficulty where baddies and equipment get a jump in stats.
Addiction to Adrenaline ? Or even to Endorphines ?

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October 11th, 2008, 19:27
I was eyeballing this game yesterday at the wallyzoo for $19, the price seems about right given the review. Too bad about no MP as this would probably be a good one to blow a weekend on with my buds in LAN party. Games like that are getting rare as more want internet connections to MP. While that can be fun the getting together is still more fun.
Great review keep up the good work.
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October 20th, 2008, 23:48
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I have a feeling he was refering to DArtagnan.
I'm a bit late clarifying this, but yes, I was.
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October 21st, 2008, 11:05
Wordy?

I take that as a compliment

(note the non-wordy post)
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September 30th, 2009, 03:08
I tried this demo in the last hour. The framerate was a joke. My machine is not weak by any stretch and there is just no reason for it. Just for grins and giggles I turned everything off (AA, AF, low textures, no water effects, no grass etc) still ran like poop on a stick.

I played through the Titan Quest demo last night and really enjoyed it. Smooth as butter too I might add. I guess I'll never know if Legend is any good. I can't hit anything with all that damn stuttering animation.

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