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Thursday - September 22, 2016
Wednesday - September 21, 2016
Tuesday - September 20, 2016
Monday - September 19, 2016
Sunday - September 18, 2016
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The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

2016-09-28

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Review

Pessimeister goes in-depth in this Warlock of Firetop Mountain review.
» Continue reading the article...

Avadon 3: The Warborne

2016-09-22

Avadon: The Warborn Review

Forgottenlor ventured into the third game of the Avadon series to see if he could continue his enjoyment of Spiderweb games.
» Read the article

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Recently Released

Sep: Earthlock
Sep: Rogue Wizards
Sep: Heroes of the Monkey Tavern
Sep: Sorcery! Part 4
Sep: Zenith

Expected Releases

Sep: Dungeons & Darkness
Sep: Final Fantasy XV
Sep: Masquerada
Sep: Wanderer
Oct: Kenshi

Thursday - September 22, 2016

Unsung Story - Project Update #53

by Aubrielle, 03:32

In today's Kickstarter update for Unsung Story, Playdek announces that they have a new design partner, as yet unspecified, working with them to produce new content. More details are coming, apparently.

So, essentially, it's an announcement to say that an announcement is coming.  Hmm.

Though it took a little longer than anticipated, we are happy to tell you that we have entered into a strategic agreement with a major company, who will be providing design work for the tactics game, as well as other Unsung branded games in the future. We have begun the collaboration process with them, and will start to see the fruits of those efforts over the next few months. 

We will coordinate with them and make a formal announcement in the near future, but want you to know that this is in place and will have a positive impact on the gameplay, mechanics and overall delivery timeline for the beta and full release. We had hoped to have some design and art progress to show by this month, but we are just now getting the time we need to spend with our partner on the core mechanics and the game world and need to do this before providing updates with visual content progress. Rather than making estimates as to when we think content updates will be ready, we will stick to updating on the design progress more regularly, and then update you when we have a good step forward with some content progress, whether it be concept art or screenshots of in-game progress.  

Again, look to get a formal announcement on our partner as soon as we can all coordinate on public messaging for that. Hopefully, it won’t take longer than a few months, but announced or not, it is happening and is a huge plus for Unsung Story development.

Unsung Story

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

No Truce With The Furies - Dev Blog

by Silver, 00:13

In the latest dev blog for No Truce With The Furies the developer Fortress Occident talks about why they have prioritised non-combat systems and how they have made them a focus with this game. The focus of this development is a more immersive conversation system than what is standard.

In the 15 year build up to No Truce With The Furies, one of our main gripes with RPG-s has always been non-combat skill use. In RPGs - even the story-heavy ones - combat is lavished with tactical tension, skill use produces cool chunky animations, you get pulse-raising rewards and punishments, the logos are colourful. Sound effects go "Tring-trang!" and "Pow!", there are intricate beautiful systems for you to delve into.

Most of this is missing from non-combat skill use. Talking and exploring gets a simplified, non-competitive version of the combat rules. Usually this comes in the form of passive dialogue options: have this much of that required skill and you'll be able to say this thing. Even the games we truly admire - Planescape: Torment, Mask of the Betrayer, Fallout - have little going on in the rules department when it comes to dialogue. Ditto for most tabletop pen-and-paper role playing systems. The tactical depth of using arguments, employing logic, original thinking, empathy - the skill use that covers 95% of our actual lives - makes up 5% of the rule system. Yet my experience tells me thinking is the ultimate game. It's nerve-wrecking, conversations are filled with hidden doubts; we struggle to trust each other, manipulate each other, stay sane. There is great strategic depth and tactical tension that goes into talking that games haven't really - for me - begun to represent yet.

So that's the first thing we set out to create: a truly in depth non-combat skill system. We have four stats and under each stat there are 6 skills. That gives us 24 skills - all 24 have critical non-combat use. In fact, No Truce With The Furies (the first implementation of our role playing system) will cover their non-combat use almost exclusively. (In the future we want every skill to be a two-faced Janus with somewhat unsymmetrical and unexpected uses in combat and outside it).

I'll show off the individual skills in a future post. But first I want to talk about how the skills are used in No Truce With The Furies. That is - about skill checks.

No Truce With The Furies

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Modern
Genre: RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Wednesday - September 21, 2016

Morrowind Rebirth 3.8 - Released

by Hiddenx, 23:17

The Morrowind Rebirth mod has reached version 3.8:

[...]

Morrowind Rebirth Changes

  • You can now get a full set of Morag Tong armor by visiting Morag Tong Guild Halls. These pieces are not given for free until you've reached the rank "Brother", unless you find a set somewhere in the gameworld that is...
  • Travel costs for using boats/silt strider/mages guild travel-services have been raised somewhat.
  • Fatigue returned per second while walking changed from 0.0200 to 0.0300.
  • Minimal runspeed from 115 to 120 (initial starting speed).
  • Low level Dark Brotherhood assassins are now somewhat stronger.
  • Regular rats are no longer hostile.

Morrowind Rebirth Additions

  • Bernadette's Import, Vivec Entrance, has recived a shipment of rare goods. Be sure to check it out.
  • Overhauled Seyda Neen somewhat to make it feel less cramped (more fps as a bonus!).
  • Molag Amur overhaul [ALPHA] with new content featuring:
    • Improved landscape with less floating objects, texture seams, bleeding meshes etc.
    • A new fort, Fort Ashmoth, haunted by the undead [ALPHA - no interior atm].
  • Added a connecting road to Vivec's east entrance.
  • Added more clutter in Ald Velothi.
  • Misc additions here and there.
  • New unique items:
    • Ring of Blind Faith
    • Nightbane [Sword]
  • New creature:
    • Earth Atronach

[...]

Morrowind

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC, Xbox
Release: Released

Details

Sorcery! Part 4 - Review @ TechRaptor

by Hiddenx, 18:22

TechRaptor has reviewed Sorcery! Part 4 - which will be released tomorrow:

Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! Part Four Review – Showdown

It’s been a long journey. You’ve found your way through the Shamutanti Hills, navigated the treacherous “Cityport of Traps”, and survived the time-twisted, apocalyptic Baklands, avoiding or defeating the assassins of the Seven Serpents along the way. Now, in the third installment of Steve Jackson’s legendary Sorcery! series (the first included Parts 1 & 2), your mission to stop an ancient Archmage from subjugating your homeland with the magical Crown of Kings will reach its dramatic conclusion.

[...]

Summary

Sorcery! pushes and exploits both genre tropes and limitations, not as mere parody but in order to provide a better role-playing experience.
A masterful work.

Score: 9.0

 

Sorcery! Part 4

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Light Fairytale Episode 1 - Kickstarter launched

by Hiddenx, 18:08

The J-RPG Light Fairytale Episode 1 is now on Kickstarter:

loading...

Introduction

Light Fairytale is a turn-based Japanese-style RPG set in a dying underground world ruled by a fierce empire. Inspired by classics such as Final Fantasy 7 and Breath of Fire 5.

The first episode is coming in 2017 on PC and Consoles. In English and Japanese.

Vision

The goal of this project is to bring back the immersion and emotion of 90's JRPGs, but with modern graphics and gameplay systems.

I think the reason why most recent games in the genre have failed to impress is their overly complicated stories and the realistic direction they are taking. This does not leave much to the imagination and just doesn't feel like the naive drama stories we used to love.

Most game-systems in those games are also too complex and require lots of time and dedication to start to be fun. I personally believe in quick and easy to understand, but hard to master gameplay mechanics.

This is exactly what I'm trying to achieve with Light Fairytale: A light yet touching story, with a simple but addictive gameplay!

[...]

 

Kickstarter Games

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Unknown
Genre: Unknown
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Warlock of Firetop Mountain - Review @ RPGFan

by Hiddenx, 09:04

RPGFan has reviewed the gamebook adaption of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain:

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

Tin Man Games has carved a niche for itself in the digital gamebook market, with their original 2000 AD's Judge Dredd series and the popular Fighting Fantasy series by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson. The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (WFM) is no stranger to the list as a 1982 paperback by the two aforementioned legends. After a successful Kickstarter that almost quadrupled their $15,000 goal for better artwork for environments and characters, WFM is now available on Steam and coming soon for smart phones and tablets. While I've never played the original paperback on tabletop, it's clear WFM aims to be more than a nostalgia trip.

[...]

Overall, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain certainly has its unique charm—I was captivated for a good amount of time until things started to crash and burn near the end. I have no doubt a demographic exists for those who enjoy exploring and don't mind repeating paths to eke out the best way, but I can't help but feel that the game could be so much better if it had chosen to focus more on one thing rather than both. Perhaps I'm a little too spoiled by Sorcery!, but if WFM had a rewind feature, or even just more save points, I would have stuck around for much longer.

Score: 72%

Warlock of Firetop Mountain

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Titan Quest - Anniversary Edition Review

by Hiddenx, 08:58

FilmGamesEtc has reviewed the Anniversary Edition of the Action RPG Titan Quest:

Titan Quest was an action RPG that was showered with positive reviews when it was first released back in 2006. However, a rough launch ensured that the game wouldn’t catch on with a wide audience like other genre staples, such as Blizzard’s Diablo series. Iron Lore, the developer behind Titan Quest, went under shortly after releasing Immortal Throne—the game’s first expansion. While Iron Lore’s financial failure put an end to further developments in the Titan Quest series, the bright minds at Iron Lore did go on to play a pivotal role in the creation of Grim Dawn—arguably the best ARPG since Diablo II.

The spirit of Titan Quest lives on in Grim Dawn, but what about Titan Quest itself? When the game was released it had so much promise, but financial and technical hurdles stunted its growth and kept it to cult classic status. Well, fast forward to 2016. Austrian developer and publisher THQ Nordic, who has the rights to the Titan Quest IP, has released a 10-year anniversary version of the game on Steam, which includes the Immortal Throne expansion and full support for modders.

[...]

Summary

If this is your first time hearing about Titan Quest, or if you never played it when it came out back in 2006, now is your chance to experience this gem. Titan Quest is a must-own for any fans of the ARPG genre, and for those who are looking to delve into the genre for the first time. For those who fell in love with this game back in 2006, why not rekindle that love affair? Sure, there are lots of great ARPGs on the market right now, but the zestful spirit of Titan Quest has yet to be recaptured by another title like it. Besides, if you still have your digital copy on hand, it’s free! My experience with this game has been eye-opening.
Sure, Titan Quest has its warts, but these are very easy to look past. The epic journey from Greece to the Far East has a habit of sweeping you off your feet and carrying you along in a captivated trance—at least that was the case for myself. Players who are looking for an ARPG with a deep character customization system, challenging and stimulating gameplay, and a beguiling setting should look no further. Titan Quest is back with a vengeance.

Score: 8.4/10

Titan Quest

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Hack & Slash
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Sorcerer King: Rivals - Create Your Own RPGs

by Silver, 08:28

Remember the Neverwinter Nights modding days? Stardock does as Sorcerer King: Rivals will let players create their own RPGs according to Gameranx, all thanks to Steamworks. The game is due for release September 22nd.

Neverwinter Nights had some incredibly versatile campaign-creation tools. Remember those? Well, Stardock's upcoming 4X strategy game Sorcerer King: Rivals will include all the tools you need to create your own RPGs and share them with everyone else-minus any of the hassle players had to put up with in NWN and other games thanks to Steamworks.

This fantasy 4X game allows players to design their own classic RPG by stripping out the factions and city/unit building and focus entirely on characters and storybuilding.

[...]

In Rivals, the tables are turned and players now take on the role of a wizard who aspires to godhood. The rival wizards must try to stop you before you ascend, and the Sorcerer King's (he's still around) own ambitions will get in the way of yours.

The tools available in Sorcerer King: Rivals include a quest editor, a map editor, and various other tools to create items, units, tiles, and more.

Stardock describes the game as "Populous meets Master of Magic." It's set for release on September 22.

Sorcerer King

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

D&D Online - Producers Letter

by Silver, 07:58

Gamebanshee reports on the producers letter from Turbine which has annouced some ambitious plans for D&D Online. There are plans for an expansion in 2017 and a significant new content release for the 10 year old game. Now the producers letter details new features, character advancement options and quests.

Here's the list of Things We're Working On:

~ Updated Night Revels event: First up, we're working on an update to The Night Revels, our Halloween-themed event which debuted last year. We're planning to add a couple of new quests along with a handful of new items that will focus on cosmetic fun. We're expecting the updated Night Revels to debut later in October.

~ A new Questing hub: We've long wanted to help people figure out where to go and what to do when they come back to DDO from some time away, and this hub will help both them as well as anyone who'd like to get to quest entrances more quickly. We don't have a name for this new system yet, and we'll be talking a lot more about it in the coming weeks.

~ World Character Transfers: We've heard from many of you that our process to transfer characters from one world to another needs to be more intuitive and take less time. Our new launcher-based system will send a character or characters from one world to another in seconds, and players will be able to pay for their transfers directly with Turbine Points. We think you'll like this transfer system, which is already in place in our sister game Lord of the Rings Online. Expect to see it debut by the end of the year.

~ Deity feats: We'll be adding new Deities that players can follow, and new feats that can be unlocked by players who find favor with their deity of choice.

~ A new free dungeon: We're expecting to release a new free dungeon in December that we think fans of A Study in Sable will enjoy. This quest sends adventurers to a popular type of pen and paper location that hasn't had much representation in DDO. I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil it.

~ Character Bank Storage: We're working to take the user interface used for your Shared Account Bank and Crafting Storage and bring it to your personal character bank. Besides an improved look and functionality, this change will allow us to offer additional character bank storage space in the future.

~ Monks and Favored Soul updates: Continuing our class work, you can expect an overhaul of handwraps in addition to updated enhancement trees for both classes.

Looking beyond 2016, we know many of you have been hearing the rumors and teases about Ravenloft, so let's talk Strahd. We're 100% interested in bringing Ravenloft to DDO, and are working through the process to make it happen. We don't have an exact time frame in mind, although our current plan has it coming to DDO sometime towards the end of 2017. We can't wait to bring one of the most popular and classic adventures in Dungeons & Dragons history to the game.

D&D Online

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Shiness - Behind the Scenes

by Hiddenx, 07:42

Take a look at this behind-the-scenes trailer for Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom:

loading...

Go Behind-the-Scenes in Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom trailer

Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom,the upcoming Action-RPG from Enigami, is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC this December. This Behind-the-Scenes video tells the story of the birth of Shiness, and how a seven year-old Samir Rebib - creative director - imagined Shiness' magical universe 20 years ago when he drew his manga, before adapting his universe into a video game. In this video, Enigami studio is opening the door to their imaginary world and describe how they created the enchanting lore of Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom.

The development team also tells us more about Shiness' fast-paced battle system, which blends RPG elements with classic fighting game mechanics. Mastering the real-time blocking, parrying, dodging and combos are key to progressing in your quest, with distinct playstyles across 5 different characters. Each character also has their own special abilities used outside of battle, vital for resolving the many puzzles scattered across the lands of Shiness.

Shiness features its own unique language, created in full just for this mythical universe - this intricate language helps players feel totally immersed in the world of Shiness. The soundtrack, composed entirely by Enigami director Hazem Hawash, only enriches this extraordinary world even further.

Harness the power of Shi alongside Chado and his allies in Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom, coming to Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC this December.

Pre-orders for PC are already open on Steam, including the Official Shiness Manga, the Original Soundtrack and 15% off the game's price.

Shiness

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

InXile Entertainment - Selling 3D Models

by Silver, 00:38

At gamasutra they report that InXile Entertainment is selling the 3D models from its games to other developers starting with the models from Wasteland 2. The models themselves will be available on game asset marketplace TurboSquid.

It's very rare to see a studio selling game assets it's produced on an open marketplace, and it's a line of business that TurboSquid chief Matt Wisdom (understandably) hopes will become more popular in the game dev community.

"Studios are often sitting on thousands of 3D models that were incredibly expensive to produce," Wisdom stated in a press release laying out the arrangement. "Selling the content helps offset the rising costs of development for the studio, and it allows developers around the world to access amazing, consistent, game-ready models."

The plan seems to be for InXile to start processing and uploading 3D assets from its games to TurboSquid's store in usable formats, starting with assets from its 2014 RPG (pictured) Wasteland 2.

"3D models for AAA titles are often built and used for only a single title," stated InXile founder Brian Fargo in the afore-mentioned release. "It made sense to create additional value out of our existing content by opening it up to other developers."

InXile Entertainment

Details

Tuesday - September 20, 2016

RPGWatch @ Gamescom - Morning Men

by Myrthos, 12:18

The end of the Gamescom articles series is nearing (although there are still a few to cover) and today's article is about Morning Men, a story driven episodic J-RPG.

Morning Men will be released in episodes, with the first episode being planned for the 22nd of November. All episodes will be roughly the same size, but next episode will also include feedback from gamers, so the size might differ depending on that feedback. Currently they are considering at least three episodes. Each of the episodes will be stand-alone, so it can be bought separately from the other ones. Each of the episodes will have a beginning and an end, but there is also an overarching story covering all three of the episodes. If you happen to play episode 1, followed by episode 3, you will get some information, like characters sharing their memories of what happened in episode 2. You can take your character from episode to episode, and your skills will carry over to the new episode. However, you can also opt for starting each episode with a new character, in which case that character will get a stock set of skills and items.

Morning Men

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Rogue Wizards - To be released Next Week

by Myrthos, 12:11

News reached us that Rogue Wizards will be released next week the 27th of September. Here is its trailer.

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Rogue Wizards is built on dungeon crawling and procedurally generated playthroughs; yet beneath the chasms of these core details are a few fantastic spins on the genre. Combat is turn-based which adds a more clinical thought process to keeping your character alive on a deep run. This is also supplemented by building out your own assets with a town-building mechanic in the Wizard’s Sanctuary of Rogue Wizards. As you rescue lost NPCs in dungeons, they’ll move their shops into town which gives you access to new spells and weapons. Sell off your excess loot to bring shop prices down for a chance to even score sweet stuff for free!

If you are still interested, you might also check out this gameplay video by Evolve.

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Rogue Wizards

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Bloom - Particles, Design and Planning

by Myrthos, 11:59

In a new development update for Bloom: Memories, some information is given on experiements with particles  (including a video), new creatures, a new dungeon, artwork and a timeline.

First off, like I said last time, we are aiming at getting this prologue done ASAP. I'm talking a month or two..... but that really depends what walls we hit (for example, we need to get in the spawners and the event scripting system to move characters around during "scenes". Waypoints SHOULD work for this, but more likely is we will need to custom build some functionality into that to really get the control we need. For spawners I want to randomize some of the creature stats within a range upon generation...which isn't a crazy task, just another job on the pile. And that isn't even considering the loot tables.). 

After the prologue is done and you all get a chance to play it, it will then be time to plug in our content and work on custom stuff that fell outside of the prologue (for example, some specific abilities will need a little work....like getting moss footsteps to spawn or solving how to handle swimming class creatures ((in water and sand)). 

How long will that take? Really not sure. 6 months? A year? Realistically I expect it actually to go fairly fast to get it playable and all the content in (less than 6 months), BUT then I expect polish and fixing little things to be a huge task (fixing animations, replacing sound effects, scripting out some better movements in events....or even just adding stuff and reworking segments of the story that is confusing). 

Keep in mind I handle all of this scripting and plugging stuff in, along with fixing the animations and basically everything except for the hardcore programming + music....so....only so much one person can do so fast :P

Basically, as I've always said I want to do this right. That "fix little things" stage is a fairly important difference between releasing a game that FEELS good and polished...and one that "falls short, but had so much potential". 

So, to the question of "when will it be done" ....I can only REALLY say "as soon as possible!". :) Everything else is up in the air to how progress goes and how peoples lives fit into development (I don't have sacks of cash laying around to just tell everyone to put down everything they are doing and focus only on Bloom haha).

Bloom

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Starbound - Hotfix 1.1.1

by Hiddenx, 11:35

The sandbox adventure game Starbound got an hotfix:

v1.1.1 - Changelog

Morning everyone!

We've released a small update this morning that should take care of some collection-related issues introduced in 1.1, plus a few other little things!
Click through to read the patch notes. :)

Starbound v1.1.1 Changelog

  • Make previously captured monsters and previously completed fossils unlock their relevant collectible entries
  • Pets and fossils will need to be dropped and picked back up as item drops in order to register as collectables
  • Better handling of status effects applied by weather, e.g. acid rain
  • Fix bug with Snuffish and Gosmet not being properly added to monster collection
  • Fix swapped collection entries for Avian and Apex skeleton fossils
  • Prevent critters captured in previous versions from also being relocatable
  • Add a few missing recipe unlocks for cooking recipes to relevant items
  • Add missing documentation for a few new Lua functions

Starbound

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

UnReal World - Major Update in October

by Hiddenx, 11:23

The longest living Rogue-like UnReal World gets a major update in October:

Monstrous summary about upcoming quests and spells

Oh yes, we're aiming for a new version release in October with the meat of it being the quests and the new kind of spells. I'll be still wrestling with the final additions until the end of this month, but no longer. Then it's time to wrap things up for You to unfold on some pretty unpredictable October day.

Been writing down the list of new features too and hereby you'll get to read a sneak preview about the big two to expect. Let's have a few screenshot in there too for easier digest. Some of this has been hinted about earlier, but putting it all together is in place now. And there's still September left to write a few more chapters - both the code and the news ;)

This is a list of future features to be released in October:

Quests

There are quests - and that's big. We start with around 15 quests in this version, and more will follow in the future. It's quite impossible to pinpoint it all, but here's a few lines about the most important ideas, features and mechanics regarding the implementation of quests.

The quest system as a whole is an enormous (and laborous) addition. We haven't taken the easiest path, but use verbose dialogue, procedural generation and randomization to maintain replayability and immersion.
Quests don't come in your way in linear or fixed fashion. Not in the the same order, not from the same NPCs, not in the same locations, and so on. Some of the quests may appear several times, some only once.
The plots vary from everyday chores and problems to folklore and mythology based stories and incidents.
We've paid attention to making quests also to fill in the game world and the worldview of the player (character) to good and interesting extent. There are both mundane and otherworldly things to discover, solve and learn.

Quests bring a lot to the game, but open-ended and non-linear roaming, adventuring and surviving remains the essence. You are likely to get involved in quests relatively rarely. Perhaps only once or twice a month or so. And in the end it's completely up to player characters as to what extent, if at all, they want to unfold the quests and stories there now exist.

[...much more...]

UnReal World

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Historical
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas - Review

by Hiddenx, 09:24

WGTC reviewed the puzzle adventure RPG Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas:

Oceanhorn: Monster Of Uncharted Seas Review

[...]

Taking just one look at Oceanhorn reveals the type of game that it is, and it quickly becomes apparent that this action-RPG contains more Zelda than anything else. It’s obvious that the developers were big fans of both A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker, because those two adventures are emulated closely within. That’s not a bad thing, per se, given that Cornfox & Bros. were able to pay homage to their inspiration by doing its iconic mechanics justice, but their obvious lack of creativity is hard to overlook.

[...]

The good news, though, is that things play out in a mostly solid fashion without anything in the way of major technical problems. The gameplay is solid, and offers the odd interesting dungeon and thought provoking puzzle, but it’s all very much A Link to the Past. Hell, the items you find (outside of a fishing rod for hobby fishing) are almost all borrowed from Zelda, including the familiar bow and arrow, bombs and heart pieces. Spells change things up a bit, but they’re not the most useful things out there and are better served for puzzle solving than general combat.

Despite its lack of creativity, Oceanhorn still manages to be a very solid and enjoyable game. It won’t appease everyone, but those who are willing to check their expectations in favour of playing a Zelda-like quest on a non-Nintendo console will find a campaign worth experiencing.

Score: 3.5/5

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Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Deus Ex: MD - In Praise of Prague

by Aubrielle, 09:11

YouTube critic Mark Brown breaks the trend of supporting bigger worlds by coming out in favor of smaller, more detailed game worlds, using Deus Ex: MD's Prague as an example.

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Deus Ex: MD

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Moon Hunters - Replaying Value

by Hiddenx, 09:01

Gamasutra analyzed the replaying value of the adventure RPG Moon Hunters:

Replaying value: A unity of mechanics and theme in Moon Hunters

“We remember something new with each telling. Together, let’s tell the story again and again.”

With those words begins another session of Kitfox Games’ Moon Hunters, a puzzle-box myth that was recently selected as one of the PAX 10. Each playthrough is a variation on the theme of an epochal event that sees moon-worshipping tribes pitted against an ascendant, militaristic sun cult bent on destroying them. A single session in this game--once billed as a “co-op personality test” for its heavy emphasis on taking the measure of your character--will last between 75 and 90 minutes, but it’s not meant to be played once.

This is, more than most RPGs, a truly mythopoeic game from top to bottom. It is about playing through every possible embellished variation on the same mythic story, a ludic rendering of how our own real myths come to be. In this, the repetition serves an expressive purpose. There isn’t much in Moon Hunters’ mechanics or its emphasis on replayability that’s strictly new; what impresses is how they are used to draw the game’s theme into sharp definition. Moon Hunters is a prime example of a game that harmonizes its themes with its “gamey-ness.”

[...]

Moon Hunters is on a -35% discount this week.

Moon Hunters

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

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Zenith - Release Day

by Hiddenx, 08:48

The humorous action RPG Zenith will be released today:

Wizards and adventurers have one thing in common: they'll happily start messing with any ominous glowing artifact they find in a ruin if they think they can gain something for it, be it knowledge on the arcane powers that forged the world, some shiny new sword or, god forbid, the power of friendship. No matter how many skulls are engraved on the thing.

Sure, mages may be more prepared and do it for the right reasons... sometimes. But that doesn't change the fact that they're toying with dangerous powers, and when they fail, they fail big. And most times those failures reshape the world around them. Generaly in the form of a smoking crater. Or something with a lot of tentacles.

Well, Argus windell was a pretty good wizard, an Arcanologyst to be precise. He knows everything there is to know about ancient artifacts, but I guess an apocalypse unleashed in the middle of a war has a way to change your views on the whole “unveiling the mysteries of the universe” thing. So he retired, looking for peace and quiet.

But that’s not easy to get in a world full of spike-haired buffoons who drag their giant swords around and mess things up with their chosen one complex. Specially when you’re trying to keep one of those dangerous devices out of the reach of their greasy heroic hands.

Key Features

  • Explore a world of possibilities in a fully-realized fantasy realm. And one of those world map things we used to love.
  • Face huge bosses, dangerous foes, and angsty teenagers.
  • Find tons of parodies and pop culture references. Let's see if you can recognise them all.
  • Save the world. Sorta. Granted, it's a bit of a cliché. But hey, it works.
  • Unlock special abilities and upgrade basic combo movements with an all-powerful "final blow"-type move.
  • Evade the cruel and overrated real world with a long single player campaign. Well, not as long as that one with the guy with the white hair, SURE, but we're an indie studio, dammit!

Zenith

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

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The Fallen Kingdom - Update 1.05

by Hiddenx, 08:39

The open world RPG The Fallen Kingdom got an update:

Version 1.0.5

Hello, my friends!
Our team is happy to give you the new update for The Fallen Kingdom. Here is what we've done:

  • Fixed bugs and collider issues
  • Improved environments
  • Level connections ( Now there is no problem with travelling back from The Island )
  • New encounters
  • Fixed "Drastar Outpost" mission ( We saw in a couple of videos that this level was needing some serious work and we've done it. )

I hope you are happy with the new update. The next one is coming very soon!
As always, if you think that you can help us in some way, just contact us on this e-mail - thelostsymbol@mail.bg

Thank you and have a great week! :))

 

 

The Fallen Kingdom

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Historical
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Eisenwald: Blood of November - Funded!

by Hiddenx, 08:12

The Kickstarter campaign for Eisenwald: Blood of November reached the funding goal with 11 hours to go:

We are funded! Thank you!

When I was posting our last update I had no idea that we would get to the goal so fast! We were pretty confident that our campaign would get funded but we thought it would more like a last minute thing. But we are so happy it's not the case! Thank you so much, we are so grateful to you all! 

I am not sure we will be able to fall asleep soon (past midnight here) but tomorrow we will continue working on this game with much joy and enthusiasm and this is known to boost development times several hundred percent!

Thank you, your support means a world to us!

Alex and all of us at Aterdux

Eisenwald: Blood of November

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

The Dwarves - Beta 2 Released

by Silver, 03:03

The Dwarves has been updated to Beta 2 according to the latest kickstarter update.

What's in the Beta?

Compared to Beta 1 there are...

Up to 5 new battles with new enemy types
Up to 6 new playable heroes, including the new companion written by Markus Heitz
Tungdil's journey between the kingdoms of the Secondlings and the Firstlings

We also fixed a ton of bugs, added new features and worked on the performance. We're looking forward to your feedback!

The Dwarves

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Monday - September 19, 2016

Hardland - Just Played

by Hiddenx, 08:48

Gametrailers checked out the Early Access Adventure RPG Hardland:

Just Played Hardland

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Hardland

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Prisonscape - Alpha 2 Release

by Hiddenx, 08:28

Prisonscape is still in development:

Prisonscape Alpha 2 Release

Only took a year to release.

Anyways, I recently started working part-time so that I can concentrate on finishing Prisonscape.

This release contains mostly bug fixes and code refactoring.

List of completed stuff:

  • add license attributions (LICENSE file)
  • add teleports to level editor
  • add trigger areas (game model + level editor)
  • fix all bugs found from Alpha 1
  • refactor texture atlas creation process
  • update all libraries
  • upgrade to Java 8
  • fix redundant code style issues
  • delete useless libs
  • update lib folder structure
  • update and clean build file

Alpha 3 will contain Consequences and Drug Effects, maybe some improvements to the combat as well.

Prisonscape

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Modern
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Rogue Wizards - Impressions

by Hiddenx, 08:09

RPGamer checked out the Indie games Rogue Wizards and A Curious Tale:

A Curious Tale

[...]

The game controls with either keyboard and mouse (with WASD movement) or a controller. Although several types of potions can be crafted — including straight-up offensive and defensive potions, healing draughts, and other versatile potions — these are limited, with up to ten of each being taken on explorations. However, being a crafty young lady, you can pit enemies against each other, helping to reduce direct usage of offensive resources. During my demo I positioned a spider to spit poison on nearby enemies, which defeated them without using up one of my precious cache of potions!

[...]

Rogue Wizards

[...]

As the story progresses, players will be able to rescue NPCs from the dungeons, who will move into town and create buildings with new services. The more quests that the player undertakes, the more they can level up these NPCs and thus their buildings. During the main story, players will be resurrected in town with no penalty. However, for those who desire a more hardcore experience, a gauntlet mode is also available to test those with the mettle to challenge an increasingly dangerous set of dungeons.

The game is strictly keyboard and mouse, with no controller support planned at this time. Launching on September 20, 2016, and clocking in at about ten hours to complete the main story, those who want to continue playing have more ways to challenge themselves.

Rogue Wizards

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Spiderweb Software - AMA on Reddit

by Hiddenx, 07:05

After releasing Avadon 3 Jeff Vogel answered some interesting questions in an Ask-Me-Anything event on Reddit - here are a few:

Huge fan of your games, especially the Geneforge series as I grew up playing it. My questions is slightly greedy: Are there any plans to remaster some of your earlier games? Especially for example the first 3 Geneforge games that don't have HD resolution options. I know it's a big ask for an indie company and that it doesn't really make business sense, but I'm interested nonetheless.

I am a big, BIG fan of remasters, for many reasons. They end up better games. They let me modernize the engine, making new things possible (like iPad ports). Also, the old games stop working on modern systems.

Yes, I will remaster Geneforge. All of them, absolutely. However, it has to get in line. I'll probably start the Geneforge remasters in 3 years. Avernum 3 is far more due.

I still play the Exile series. Exile 3 is one of my favorite titles from when I was a wee boy.
However, I had issues with Avernum and its isometric viewpoint. Out of curiosity, who made the decision for the change from the "topdown" view?


It was me, because I like it better. And now I'm tired of it. Our next all-new series will have a much more dead-on, Exile type perspective.

I change everything all the time. It's how I keep this fresh for me. Every change makes someone happy and someone sad. It's unfortunate, but it's an integral part of the thing.

How are you funded? You seem to have a steady flow of great RPGs but does each one fund the next? What if a game does poorly than the last does that mean less money goes into the next one? As an indie-game developer in Seattle I've always looked up to you guys. I'm not at a point where I could have a studio setup like yours but I am hoping one day I could just stay at my home and write code between noon to 6 PM and from midnight to 4 AM. (Which is when I am most productive usually)
So what would you recommend the first steps are in doing that? Also what time do you wake up usually if you are up to 4 am? Do you ever feel pressure go to bed early?


I am VERY lucky. My games do well enough and I work cheap enough that each game funds the next. (Part of this is the heavy reuse of graphics that many in this AMA have criticized. It may look rough, but it's a fundamental part of what keeps me in business, so I can't feel too bad about it.)
Part of the reason I do this job is that I can keep weird hours. I try to work 4 hours in the afternoon, 2 late at night after everyone is in bed, and sleep from 3 AM to 11 AM. Sweet!

Spiderweb Software

Details

Battle Chasers: Nightwar - Game Upgrades

by Silver, 00:37

The latest kickstarter update for Battle Chasers: Nightwar gives estimates for Alpha, Beta and final release. Also announced is the game upgrades under way due to the developers partnership with THQ Nordic.

Game Upgrades

Working with THQNordic has given us the time and cash to do a few cool things with the game. Here are a few things we'll be doing with those added resources:

- More Dungeons! We had planned 5, but will now be creating 8.
- More Abilities! Heroes will now have more animations and greater combat depth
- More Creatures! In a nutshell... more creatures.
- Fishing! The originally planned "Tavern Mini Game" stretch goal has blossomed into a fishing mini-game system that will be used throughout the game
- More Polish! We're adding to the game, but also putting time into simply spit-shining many of the features we were already doing.

And those are just a few. We can't wait to get the game in our backers hands first, and in a matter of months!

[...]

Dates

First, we have a few announcements regarding time frames for Alpha, Beta, and ship! Check them out below!

Alpha: 4th Quarter 2016 (Targeting end of November)
Beta: 1st Quarter 2017 (Targeting January)
Full Launch: Mid-2017

We also expect our forums to launch around the same time as Alpha hits so we have a home for discussion and feedback.
Physical Release

Speaking of the above-mentioned full release, we're excited to announce that our partnership with THQNordic has allowed us to do a full physical release of the game to retail! We'll be working with THQNordic to figure out the details of a program that'll allow our backers to upgrade to physical copies if they'd like to.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Gamasutra - The Past and Future of the Roguelike

by Silver, 00:15

Gamasutra examines the past and the future of the 'roguelike' genre.

The more the formula has been played with, the more it has become clear that these ideas can be applied in incredible ways. FTL sent players in a race against time with one chance to stop a fleet that was hot on their trails, with a whole new experience waiting every new run. Rogue Legacy let players throw themselves against an ever-changing castle full of danger, each death creating a new character to carry on the adventure.

All these games and more have truly stuck with their fans. Communities have built up around the stories of failure and success that have been had - amusing deaths in NetHack, the often inevitable fall of a Dwarf Fortress, unlucky drops in Binding of Isaac still get discussed with great interest, while many fans of NetHack are willing to share their first ascension with others, and the various challenge runs in Spelunky are met with anticipation and excitement.

Rougue also inspired a dedicated fan community, who are now holding an all-day festival that will play host to many of the most notable developers working in this subgenre.

Roguelike Celebration takes place on Saturday the 17th in San Francisco. Rogue creators Glenn Wichman, Ken Arnold and Michael Toy will be in attendance, as will the developers of Dwarf Fortress, Jason Grindblat (Caves of Qud), Nicholas Feinberg (Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup), and Jim Shepard (Dungeonmans). Also slated to speak is the creator of popular web RPG Kingdom of Loathing Zack Johnson, and Alexei Pepers will be discussing her work bringing accessibility to NetHack.

Gamasutra spoke to several of the attendees about what they plan to present, and why Roguelikes are more popular than ever.

"We're giving a talk about the Roguelike inspirations for Dwarf Fortress--mostly about the ones from back in the 80s, including Rogue itself," said Tarn Adams, who developed the elaborate simulation Dwarf Fortress with his brother Zach. "It's cool to share what Roguelikes have meant to us and to meet many people that have shaped and been impacted by them. It's really exciting that the Rogue people will be there!"

Gamasutra

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Sunday - September 18, 2016

Deus Ex: MD - Review @ RPGCodex

by Hiddenx, 17:24

The RPGCodex has reviewed Deus Ex: Mankind Divided:

RPG Codex Review: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Mankind Divided is the 'sequel to the prequel', following Adam Jensen after the climax of Human Revolution. Human Revolution was a clever, well-constructed, and worthy sequel to the original Deus Ex - if not quite surpassing it. Is Mankind Divided a further step in the right direction?

Note: as I want to discuss and critique the game, this review will contain some mild spoilers for Mankind Divided (of a similar degree to what you'd get watching some of the trailers and teaser videos released by the developer), and more serious spoilers of Human Revolution and Deus Ex itself. One can scroll to the final heading to see a (wholly spoiler-free) summing up and recommendation whether or not one should buy the game.

[...]

Conclusion: Not enough steps forward, a few steps back

Mankind Divided is so near and yet so far. Its elements mostly build upon the strong foundations of Human Revolution, but occasionally they retreat back from earlier triumphs, and leave some major flaws uncorrected. It is cleverly written but with a few too many mis-steps, and a central lacuna around the player character himself. At its best, the strengths of the game combine harmoniously to produce one of the best opening thirds in computer gaming; the fatal weakness is that it is no more than an opening third, and the game ends on a deeply imperfect cadence with too many themes undeveloped, leave alone resolved.

The game indicates considerable talent, and the writing team know their craft well. My hope is that the impressive story Mankind Divided intimates has been mostly written, and that subsequent additions to the franchise will adroitly fulfill the undoubted promise manifest here. Yet these games do not yet exist, and thus Mankind Divided remains a promissory note for a series of games which in combination may form a masterpiece. Unless and until that happens, this opening act, despite its qualities, cannot justify its own purchase.

Deus Ex: MD

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Zombasite - New Patch and Reviews

by Hiddenx, 07:40

Zombasite patch 1.003 is now available here.

Some Reviews:

Hardcoregamer - Score: 4/5

Gamingtrend - Score: 80/100

Skewed & Reviewed - Score: 3.5/5

CGR - Score: 8.5/10

 

Zombasite

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Matt Chat #353 - Elder Scrolls Online

by Hiddenx, 07:37

Part 2 of the Lawrence Schick interview:

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Mr. Schick is back this week to talk about his book, Heroic Worlds, the evolution of MMORPGs, why Tamriel is special, and what open world collaboration is all about.

Elder Scrolls Online

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details