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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » NWN2 - Reviews @ SciFi.com, Game Vortex, RewiredMind

Default NWN2 - Reviews @ SciFi.com, Game Vortex, RewiredMind

November 28th, 2006, 00:32
A trio of additional NWN2 reviews are now online. Let's head to SciFi.com where the score is 'C':
But wait: "I know D&D, and you, sir, are no fan of D&D." Not true. I'm just not a fan of games that daisy-chain sparsely detailed areas together and require you to run from one end to the other battling enemies pulled from the tired old passive-aggressive playbook. I don't want to go spelunking in dungeons where every corner's perfectly squared and every segment's implausibly flat as a pancake. And I really don't care for situations where, for instance, you clear out a bandit camp, trigger a script and then the bandit camp's suddenly&mdashresto—full of bandits again. It has nothing to do with D&D, but rather the collision of tortuously detailed rules with a mediocre game engine and a dog-tired storytelling approach that—in 2006—no longer entertains the way it thinks it does.
Game Vortex heads in the other direction, with a score of 95%:
You are joined most of the time with a cast of characters who are directly in your party. You can use them directly and control them by choosing their character. Depending on how you interact with the members of your party, it will determine how well or how hard they will work for you. You may find a teammate who does not trust or like you to be very handy in a fight. Besides your group of four companions, you may often be joined by NPCs (Non Player Characters) for special missions.
Now that you and your party are armed and on your way, you will encounter a rich and unique world. The official story is well done and the dialogue well thought out. Enjoy your adventure into new realms and choose your fate. Expect about 55 hours of play time to experience all that the game has to offer.
Finally, RewiredMind curiously finds the interface makes it less of an RPG and the score is 6/10:
Quite a few things that really helped the first game as an RPG have been taken away, strangely. Two things off the top of my head that bug me about it are the inventory and the lack of the radial menu. For those of you who didnít play the first game or didnít use the menu, you could press 0 on the keypad, and from there you had 8 submenus, all of which could be accessed using the number pad by pressing the required direction. It was very quick, efficient and easy once you learned where things live. They took this out completely, and now you have to right click, wait for the delay (which is in the options, but you canít turn it down to be instant) and search through the menu. This takes far too long and will probably get you killed on more than one occasion. As for the inventory, itís gone back to single icons which are nearly indistinguishable from each other. This causes great confusion if youíre in a hurry, for example, mistaking a potion to cure serious wounds with one that cures light wounds, will almost certainly kill you if you canít rectify your mistake in time.
More information.
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November 28th, 2006, 00:32
I don't want to go spelunking in dungeons where every corner's perfectly squared and every segment's implausibly flat as a pancake.
Not every design decision will click with everyone, but a review should at least acknowledge the intent behind them. The automap makes it clear that Obsidian wanted the dungeons to evoke memories of graph paper maps and tabletop gaming. I love them to death, personally.
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November 28th, 2006, 06:20
This takes far too long and will probably get you killed on more than one occasion. As for the inventory, itís gone back to single icons which are nearly indistinguishable from each other. This causes great confusion if youíre in a hurry, for example, mistaking a potion to cure serious wounds with one that cures light wounds, will almost certainly kill you if you canít rectify your mistake in time.
did this guy miss out on the fucking pause function or something - talk about D U H
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November 28th, 2006, 11:52
Matt Peckham is at it again, and although the review by scifi.com seems to be better then his first pulled back GFW review and shows that he actually played at least part of the game, it still feels like he has his own agenda and just refuses to be completely honest with his readers.

For example, he makes it sound like respawning enemies are the rule in the game, while in my experience up to now it seemed more like an exception (when I was in the bandit camp, the bandits appeared in front of their tents when I went close to them, which I thought was a nice touch, and they appeared only once and never respawned). He mentions the squared corners in the dungeons, but conveniently forgets to mention that unlike in the original NWN, all the above ground maps are free of this restriction with curving roads and houses pointing in every which way. He complains about "tired storytelling", making it seem like your way through the official campaign is unmotivated and boring, and while I am sure that this is a subjective matter, at least in my and apparently about everyone elses opinion the storyline is far more involved and interesting then the original game's, with frequent cutscenes and the added backstories of your companions giving it additional momentum.

Matt is clearly on his personal crusade against D&D computer gaming, and while he has a good point when saying that computer games should use the additional computational power they have available to improve upon a system used to simulate a world when only dice and papersheets were available, his review seemes awkwardly biased even beyond this basic complaint. Fortunately, there are plenty of reviews to choose from.
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November 28th, 2006, 18:11
Originally Posted by abbaon View Post
Not every design decision will click with everyone, but a review should at least acknowledge the intent behind them. The automap makes it clear that Obsidian wanted the dungeons to evoke memories of graph paper maps and tabletop gaming. I love them to death, personally.
Eh?

My automap looks round, has fog of war, and looks nothing like a graph paper map or table top gaming

The square and flat design *is* a let down of interiors, purely caused by the decision to use the tilebased system from NWN1. I'm sure if Obsidian had much more time they would have used a heightmap system similar to exteriors, giving a more baldurs gate/PS:T feel to dungeons. I don't think there is any intent to make it like table top gaming there.
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November 28th, 2006, 23:18
SciFI.com review is almost right on the money. too bad gaming review sites have to be paid off to give good review for a game.
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November 29th, 2006, 08:27
too bad lots of people think NWN2 is a great game too eh? my game of the year for sure. wah wah wah.

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December 2nd, 2006, 14:26
Matt does bring up a valid point in asking how the computer should be used when
developing roleplaying games for the computer. I agree, however, that this point should not be adressed when reviewing a game. In fact, I do think that it is quite an interesing and important discussion to be take some time - at a different time than in a review of NW2, which, of course, is a game that uses the 3.5 D&D rules.

If Matt dislikes the 3.5 D&Drules so much, then I would suggest that he stays away from reviewing this subgenre, since his dislikes for the subgenre obviusly clouds his judgment whwn writing (fair) review(s) of these games.
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December 3rd, 2006, 01:16
What exactly is the valid point he made? I'm not clear what that "important discussion" would be about.

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December 4th, 2006, 16:35
I think his point is that D&D is an inherantly pen and paper system and all a computer should be used for is as an aid to playing the traditional system.

So in some ways the discussion is whether you should even attempt to make a computer game that emulates those systems.

Personally I think yes, you should, as long as you are happy to stray as far as needed in order to produce a fun game. I also think there have been several of examples of fun games that have based themselves on D&D games - the golden box set of games, Menzoberranzan (yes, I enjoyed that), Eye of the Beholder I& II, the Infinity Engine games.

The author has a different opinion in that his personal dislike for the computerised D&D system (a valid viewpoint, he's not alone I'm sure) is such that no game will ever please him. IMO he is expecting too much from D&D when he sees it in a computer game, and is comparing his experiences to those of pen and paper sessions. Which is completely wrong of course - you should view D&D cRPGs as just another setting/rule base for a game, not a style of play.
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December 5th, 2006, 00:21
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
Eh?

My automap looks round, has fog of war, and looks nothing like a graph paper map or table top gaming
The minimap is round. The automap is square. Press 'm' to bring it up.

The square and flat design *is* a let down of interiors, purely caused by the decision to use the tilebased system from NWN1.
This is self-evidently false.
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December 6th, 2006, 16:07
Originally Posted by abbaon View Post
The minimap is round. The automap is square. Press 'm' to bring it up.
Sorry, let me rephrase that then. My minimap is round, and my automap has fog of war, auto updates enemy locations etc etc.

This is self-evidently false.
Not so self evident - that's still square tile based, flat, and not any different to NWN1.
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December 6th, 2006, 23:36
Did you forget what we were talking about? The corners of the cave tiles aren't "perfectly squared" - Matt's complaint - so the square corners on the other tiles can't be "purely caused by the decision to use the tilebased system from NWN1" - your allegation - because the tilebased system doesn't require any such thing. Jesus.
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