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June 12th, 2019, 16:52
Originally Posted by henriquejr View Post
Great writing, Forgottenlor! Thumbs up!

I finished some of those games (Lords of Xulima), others I started and never finished (Wizardry 8, Paper Sorcerer) and others are on my library, sitting untouched at least for while (Elminage Gothic, Bard's Tale Trilogy Remastered and BT IV)

May I ask you what's your personal opinion about Vaporum (if you've played it)?
Its in my backlog, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Sorry!
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June 12th, 2019, 16:58
Originally Posted by felipepepe View Post
Cool article idea, but it reads too much like a "games that I like" list, instead of a more balanced take for different kinds of players.

Still appreciate the effort
A justified criticism, I think. I put a lot of thought into how I wanted to write this article and my goals were:

*To cover all the turnbased/real time with pause blobbers that I could find.
*To give a short description including any unique characteristics a game had.
*To say whether I'd recommend the game or not, since some games have major weaknesses.
*To keep each description relatively short, so as not to lose the reader's attention span in the middle of the article.

This proved quite the challenge for me. In any case, if there are any games you think a more detailed description, I'd be happy to explain more.
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June 12th, 2019, 17:05
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Cool article, didn't know 7 Mages before and might give it a try, looks cool.

I think Legend of Grimrock could have been highlighted as this one is "the one" game which basically revived the whole genre. Whether I like it or not, it earned some credit for that.

I was a bit surprised you ignored pretty much all of it's clones, which have the same lack of quality in exploration. I mean there are quite few blobbers which have rather uninspired levels full with enemies, but nothing really interesting to look forward to.
I'd see Fall of the Dungeon Guardian as one of them, but that one at least has an interesting take on the combat system which actually works rather good (despite me disliking RTwP).

Of course there are other blobbers missing here, but I guess you also had to limit the list at some point.

I think Lands of Lore (was briefly mentioned) and Stonekeep (was not mentioned at all) could have received a bit more praise. In my opinion these games also brought the genre a bit more into the mainstream. They focused more on story and had a rather high production quality, voice overs and so on.

And you didn't mention the original Realms of Arkania Trilogy. First released in 1992 with Blade of Destiny, which was even before Wizardrdy 7. I think it was the first game with such a huge scope, and such a feeling of adventuring and exploration. I mean you could even stumble upon whole dungeons which were completely optional.

Last but not least, I also recommend MMX. Haven't played Operenica yet, which seems to be great as well, but so far I'd say that MMX is the best modern blobber.
You are quite correct about Grimrock. I originally intended to include it, but after going through all the games in this article, I thought including action combat blobbers, of which there are actually quite a few, would have made for an overly long article. Also I've only played Grimrock, Grimrock 2, (both of which I finished) and Ruzar the Lifestone, Eye of the Beholder, Dungeon Master, Stone Prophet, and Strahd's Possession (none of which I actually managed to finish). So there was the added problem of me not feeling that I had enough authority to discuss these kinds of games.
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June 12th, 2019, 17:11
Also I'd be more than happy to give a more detailed description of any of these games, either in this thread or in a PM. This article was born out of me playing and enjoying a lot of blobbers, and deciding not to review them and instead reviewing games I thought would have a bigger audience here at RPGWatch. But I still wanted to give these games some recognition and hope some of them might wake some interest in other Watchers.
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June 12th, 2019, 17:29
Thank you for this article - short and sweet to the point, and prefer the recommendation from a player rather than a balanced review/overview.
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June 12th, 2019, 17:30
Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post
Also I'd be more than happy to give a more detailed description of any of these games, either in this thread or in a PM. This article was born out of me playing and enjoying a lot of blobbers, and deciding not to review them and instead reviewing games I thought would have a bigger audience here at RPGWatch. But I still wanted to give these games some recognition and hope some of them might wake some interest in other Watchers.
I pretty much would like to read your full review of Might & Magic X, Grimoire and Star Crawlers. Please, do them
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Last edited by henriquejr; June 12th, 2019 at 17:47.
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June 12th, 2019, 17:43
I’m having to dig way back in the memory banks, but I believe if you had access to magic in Demise you had the option of casting a spell rather than auto attacking. It was nearly impossible to do it right when you entered a room because the first action happened almost instantaneously, but if there were subsequent rounds it was more doable. It has been nearly 30 years since I last played though, I could certainly be wrong.
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June 12th, 2019, 18:19
That's a very nice love-piece @forgottenlore , you can clearly see the passion you have for these games and the pleasure it gives you to spread the good word.

I'm not a fan of blobbers myself, I have the most appalling sense of direction and hate overly obtuse puzzling. I also prefer to move my pieces around the board and I have a strong distaste for being jump-scared by monsters 'popping up at you' from nowhere and I am also not a fan of grinding, these last three issues aren't specific to all of them though, so it's mostly just the sense of direction and the obtuse puzzles (ok, not all of them have overly obtuse puzzles nowadays either).

Having said that I have played, enjoyed and completed Paper Sorcerer and Lords of Xulima and would recommend them to anyone. I even consider LoX a must-play for any RPG connoisseur.

Whenever I read an analysis of "the good old days of the blobber" and it's clear that it's a love-project, I'm always disappointed they never mention how the puzzles were so bad there was literally a law brought in to combat them.

It's pure nostalgia to think that those old blobbers weren't as cynically designed as modern loot box games, their primary objective to make players phone 0900 numbers and buy cheats magazines and cheat books etc etc (there were no internet guides back then). And that the primary reason the genre died out in the mid-nineties is because this law made it pointless to design a game around obtuse puzzles.

And that's one advantage of the newer games. When people complain "the puzzles aren't as 'good' as they once were", you might want to imagine some guy posting 20 years from now lamenting how modern games don't "Lootbox like they once did"
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June 12th, 2019, 18:21
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
@Shagnak posted a thread on the Codex last year to try to get to the bottom of the origin of the term:
https://rpgcodex.net/forums/index.ph…lobber.123306/

Conclusion seems to be that it was likely invented by Zomg on the Codex in 2008.
The word "blobber" sounds like something without substance … or without clear, defined borders … like in The Blob.

It sounds to me like a derogating word meant to badmouth a game as having no substance.

In my opinion, therefore, it is an "hate-word", because I just cannot find anything positive in its sound (or meaning).
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June 12th, 2019, 18:26
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
And that's one advantage of the newer games. When people complain "the puzzles aren't as 'good' as they once were", you might want to imagine some guy posting 20 years from now lamenting how modern games don't "Lootbox like they once did"
I still remember that puzzle in Wizardrdy 6 where I had to bring some product serial code to some snail…
Without a walkthrough I would never have made it through it.

But that's kind of what I mentioned before with Lands of Lore. It feels like this was the first game which broke with that and made it more appealing to the "masses". It was a game which you could play start to finish without any external help (or being stuck for days).
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June 12th, 2019, 18:27
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
The word "blobber" sounds like something without substance … or without clear, defined borders … like in The Blob.

It sounds to me like a derogating word meant to badmouth a game as having no substance.

In my opinion, therefore, it is an "hate-word", because I just cannot find anything positive in its sound (or meaning).
You are right, the main problem with the word is that it just sounds ugly. It's actually a very apt word from a practical perspective, it just sounds silly.

Dungeon Crawler is a much better term, but then fans of Dungeon Crawlers tend to go all pedantic when you start referring to games Like Icewind Dale as Dungeon Crawlers (which they are) and then that doesn't express very well the contents of Wizardry 8 without a clarification that the outside overworld is kinda like a big dungeon in and of itself.

Blobber is a useful way to refer specifically to the combat method, that of first-person, party-based. It is indeed a shame a more elegant word wasn't memed-up though. My suspicion is that the inventor was probably Generic Codex Fallout Fan No.2746 who was looking for a way to say why Fallout was better than Blobbers and so came up with the silliest name either consciously or sub-consciously.
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June 12th, 2019, 18:45
As THE most iconic monster of these types of grid-based very square-like corridors is the Gelatinous Cube (or "blob" after a few beers around the GM's table), I always found it fits perfectly.
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June 12th, 2019, 19:14
Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
I need to play MMX one day.
Such an underrated game -- a great battle system and character development.

The surface aspects of the game are honestly a little off-putting (bland writing, clunky movement). But persist! The core of the game is the combat and the combat is a joy.
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June 12th, 2019, 19:18
Originally Posted by henriquejr View Post
I pretty much would like to read your full review of Might & Magic X, Grimoire and Star Crawlers. Please, do them
I don't have time to write 3 full reviews here, but I can try to expand more on these games here, but before I start a question: Have you played Wizardry 6, 7, or 8? Have you played any of Might and Magic 3-5, or Heroes of Might and Magic 5 or 6?
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June 12th, 2019, 20:00
Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post
I don't have time to write 3 full reviews here, but I can try to expand more on these games here, but before I start a question: Have you played Wizardry 6, 7, or 8? Have you played any of Might and Magic 3-5, or Heroes of Might and Magic 5 or 6?
Well, if I could pick only one game for you to review, I'd choose M&M X.
Yes, I played Wizardry 8 and HoMM V (but this isn't a dungeon crawler), though I haven't finished them. And I've played some of the games you mentioned in the article (see post #7 above): Lords of Xulima, Paper Sorcerer and even some other dungeon crawlers not featured in your article (Legends of Grimrock - finished it).
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Last edited by henriquejr; June 12th, 2019 at 21:39. Reason: Fixing few typos
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June 12th, 2019, 21:23
Originally Posted by henriquejr View Post
Well, if I could pick only one game for you to review, Id choose M&M X.
Yes, I played Wizardry 8 and HoMM V (but this isn't a dungeon crawler, though I haven't finished them. And I've played some of the games you mentioned in the article (see post #7 above): Lords of Xulima, Paper Sorcerer and even some other dungeon crawlers not featured in your article (Legends of Grimrock - finished it).
Might and Magic X uses a lot of resources from Heroes 6, some of which look very similar to Heroes 5. One of the reasons is that it was pitched to Ubisoft as a bargain game that would not need a whole bunch of new resources. That's why I asked. The graphics looks very much like a heroes game.
In Might and Magic X you move on a grid, and unlike Paper Sorcerer or Heroes 8, movement isn't free. Its more like Legend of Grimrock.

You have a ton of character building options. There are 4 races, and each race has a might(warrior), magic(wizard), and hybrid class. There are a ton of skills, but each class excells in some skills. For example the Elven warrior (blademaster) excells in swords and knives, while the Orc warrior (barbarian) excells in maces and spears, and the Dwarf warrior (defender) excells with axes. This is just weapon skills though. There are 7 magic skills, 6 weapon skills, and 11 misc. skills, and each class can grandmaster in 4 skills. So thats a ton of build possibilities for any given party.

The great things about Might and Magic games is that they encourage and reward exploration. Finding certain shrines can raise your elemental resistances or give you temporary combat bonuses. Each skill also has 4 tiers. For example to get to level 5 in a skill you need to be an expert, 7 a master, and 10 a grandmaster. If your class allows you to grandmaster in axe, you still need to find a teacher to move you along from the basic to expert level, and then from the expert to master and so on. Each teacher can tell you where the next teacher is, but only gives the name of a city or region. So to raise skills at some point you need to go teacher hunting. Some teachers also want you to complete a quest before they teach you. You will also get a number of other quests as the game goes by, and these always tell you in vague terms where to go and what to do. The game is filled with secrets too.

Might and Magic X world is very similar to Lord of Xulima, in that it is a huge open world, but some areas you can only enter after defeating a certain tough monster, learning a particular exploration skill, or by completing a certain quest. Like Lords of Xulima it has many unique regions and towns with their own monsters, npcs and flair. Littering the open world are a number of dungeons, some big, some small. This is due to both games being inspired by the early Might and Magic games.
Combat runs similar to Xulima. Its fast turn based, and you really want to finish quickly, because many monsters are glass cannons who can really hurt you if you let them linger too long.

Once you have opened up the entire world, the game can get easy. If you do all the side quests you will have more money than you need by the end of the game, and the last battles aren't overly hard. I'd say that's the only downside of an otherwise very good game.

The story is also not bad, but kind of fantasy clique, like in the Heroes games. I did like the end, though. I thought it a nice twist. Story is kind of secondary though. MMX is a game about exploration, character building, and combat. And all those are done well.

Also the game was horribly optimized at its release in 2014. For a Unity game without modern graphics it ran only on higher end computers. I don't think that should be a big problem now. You also, like for any other Ubisoft game, need to install the Uplay launcher, which some people find very annoying. And now its time for me to go to bed. I'll write something on the other games soon.
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June 12th, 2019, 21:44
Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post
(…) And now its time for me to go to bed. I'll write something on the other games soon.
Thank you very much for your time writing that, Forgottenlor! I eagerly await for your other reviews
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June 12th, 2019, 21:47
One thing I'd like to mention regarding MMX though, is that saimilar to Lords of Xulima, you should look into Classes and the Charakter system beforehand. The game is not very transparent in that regard, and you might end up with a bad surprise later on, if you don't look into external sources before you start the game.

Also I think it was rather bad in introducing you to the game. If I remember correctly for example you went into some first dungeon before you were told where a heal or poison heal spell can be found which you pretty much needed.
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June 12th, 2019, 22:10
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Whenever I read an analysis of "the good old days of the blobber" and it's clear that it's a love-project, I'm always disappointed they never mention how the puzzles were so bad there was literally a law brought in to combat them.

It's pure nostalgia to think that those old blobbers weren't as cynically designed as modern loot box games, their primary objective to make players phone 0900 numbers and buy cheats magazines and cheat books etc etc (there were no internet guides back then). And that the primary reason the genre died out in the mid-nineties is because this law made it pointless to design a game around obtuse puzzles.

And that's one advantage of the newer games. When people complain "the puzzles aren't as 'good' as they once were", you might want to imagine some guy posting 20 years from now lamenting how modern games don't "Lootbox like they once did"
I don't think "the" Blobber exists.

The games define themselves not only from the first-person perspective and the step-by-step walk.

Some Blobbers are real CRPGs like Might&Magic and Wizardry (npcs, shops, towns, quests,..), others are Dungeon Crawlers…this is mainly about the fight.
  • they also differ in turn-based combat and real-time combat
  • puzzle or almost no puzzles
  • story and quests…or almost no story (LoG,…)
  • branched or open world against linear structured games
  • aso.

All this has so much influence on the gaming experience that you can't just define them all. They are also made for different types of players, which is why this umbrella term Blobber mostly only describes the Grid-Based Movement.
In my opinion a wrong categorization.

You're not saying that Skyrim is a "Smooth Mover"
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June 12th, 2019, 22:33
It just came to my mind: Is there actualy ANY roguelike/lite Blobber, could as well be just with one character. Cannot think of any…
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