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Default Grimoire - Review @ RPG Codex

October 24th, 2018, 00:43
The RPG Codex checked out Grimoire, again:

RPG Codex Review: Grimoire - The Real Official Review

[Review by Dorateen]

There and Back Again: A Barrower’s Journey through Hyperborea

On page six of the Wizardry 8 Game Manual, under the section Importing Characters, it reads the following: If you’re interested in this option, then you’ve been waiting a long time for this moment.

It is a reference of course, to the game’s highly acclaimed predecessor, Crusaders of the Dark Savant. Released in 1992, that adventure had reached a cliffhanger climax, and it would be nigh ten years before players could experience a satisfying conclusion. However, this sentiment is equally applicable to Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar. Not just for its laborious development cycle, but also in the context of the latter Wizardry series of computer role-playing games.

To appreciate the historical significance of Grimoire, one must consider that Wizardry 8 was the numeric and literary sequel to Wizardry 7, ending the story arc of the Dark Savant and the Cosmic Forge trilogy.
One year earlier, in the autumn of 2000, another title called Wizards & Warriors was published, designed by D.W. Bradley, the author of Wizardry 7. Wizards & Warriors could also be treated as a successor, in writing style and fundamental design. However, both of these at the turn of the millennium represented a move to 3D graphics, introducing real time elements and generally embracing advancements in software technology.
At last, in Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar we have a sequel that has hewed to the traditions of Crusaders of the Dark Savant, and to a good degree Bane of the Cosmic Forge, in both presentation and seizing that intangible quality, the spirit of the game.

It is with this understanding that one should approach Grimoire. To state it plainly, this is a cRPG belonging to the early 1990’s, and places value on many design principles of that period. The game is viewed through an adventuring window, turn-based and grid-based, unapologetically opaque in delivery of its mechanics as much as narrative; a behemoth in scope allowing multiple hundreds of hours of playing time for a player who is given just enough rope to hang their party as they explore Hyperborea. All this, as well as the chance to rise in exultation with each triumph, whether in combat or deciphering the mysteries of the richly developed game world.

It is not to say there aren’t some concessions made for a modern audience. Features of comfort are present such as the automap, an encyclopedic journal, and a quick fix method to heal characters in the party post combat. Yet even these do not detract from the overarching classical agency of the game, setting the player loose in the world with little direction, until they search around following their own instinct and volition, for the threads from which the tapestry of Grimoire is weaved.

[…]


IMPRESSIONS

The adventuring landscape of Grimoire is vast, and a large swath of time will be spent in the hunting of cuneiform tablets that are pieces necessary to the central quest. Often these are only found locked away in deep dungeons, and claimed by conquering some tyrannical guardian. As I looked back at the culmination of our party’s progress in the game, I realized it was not just about traveling from one dungeon to the other, but rather the fashion in which these locations are rooted in Hyperborea and attached to surrounding environments, which created a sense of separate modular adventures. Taken together, these episodes form a much broader campaign, with individual tales like streams that feed a river’s current pressing toward an unforgettable crescendo. More than any other role-playing game in a long time, Grimoire kept me in suspense all the way up to its multiple endings.

For what it’s worth, the story of the Heralds of the Winged Exemplar is a heroic romance, filled with tragedy and flawed characters as well as a realistic desire to set things right again. To return the world to what it once was. The party of characters thus answer the call to do the deed at hand, whatever the cost.

While the writing in the game is humorous and can at times be as fourth wall breaking as the Might & Magic series, nevertheless it touches upon serious subjects such as war, the nature of totalitarian state, and marketing media corruption. One of the lasting themes of the narrative is the transcendent power of music.

Computer role-playing games of this style and magnitude are not being produced in our present age. Not like Wizardry 6, not like Wizardry 7, or the classic party and turned-based dungeon crawlers of yesteryear. But the independent developer of Grimoire took it upon himself to craft such a title. For good or bad, like it or not, Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar stands as a once in a generation contribution to the hobby.
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October 24th, 2018, 00:43
If that is the "real official" review, what about the other one penned by @felipepepe? A joke, a warm-up?

"Official" reasons aside ("…You said the reviewer just didn't get it. That balance doesn't matter in a game like Grimoire. Clearly those criticisms were entirely correct! To rectify our errors, I'm happy to present the new definitive Codex review…"), what a unpoliteful way to treat one of their members! Telling his review wasn't the correct one, calling it an error (as per the word in bold above). Felipepepe could and should have been treated fairer.
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October 24th, 2018, 00:59
Hey, it's the Codex, what else would you expect!!
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October 24th, 2018, 01:18
Honestly, the game was far better than I expected it to be. Yeah, it was a bit rough on release, but I didn't run into any bugs that prevented me from completing it. Not sure if I'll ever replay it, but I got my money's worth the first time.
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October 24th, 2018, 01:44
Grimoir Lives!
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October 24th, 2018, 02:39
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Hey, it's the Codex, what else would you expect!!
Should I expect no less from them ????

But ironies aside, the Codex could have presented the new review in the likes of "Another member also wrote a review for Grimoire and we'd like to share it with you etc etc etc". Or perhaps they could have published the new review like "a second opinion on this game etc etc".
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October 24th, 2018, 02:47
10,000 words on Grimoire? I'm guessing this is some sort of punishment meted out on the Codex, for crimes against the hive?
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October 24th, 2018, 02:49
Originally Posted by henriquejr View Post
the Codex could have presented the new review in the likes of "Another member also wrote a review for Grimoire and we'd like to share it with you etc etc etc". Or perhaps they could have published the new review like "a second opinion on this game etc etc".
I expect third review from them that would "dwarf them all".


But Im surprised that there are some serious subjects in the story…

serious subjects such as war, the nature of totalitarian state, and marketing media corruption. One of the lasting themes of the narrative is the transcendent power of music.
Most interesting is that "transcendent power of music" whatever it means in the game…
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October 24th, 2018, 04:19
Originally Posted by henriquejr View Post
If that is the "real official" review, what about the other one penned by @felipepepe? A joke, a warm-up?

"Official" reasons aside ("…You said the reviewer just didn't get it. That balance doesn't matter in a game like Grimoire. Clearly those criticisms were entirely correct! To rectify our errors, I'm happy to present the new definitive Codex review…"), what a unpoliteful way to treat one of their members! Telling his review wasn't the correct one, calling it an error (as per the word in bold above). Felipepepe could and should have been treated fairer.
Pretty sure you are taking that way, way more seriously than it was intended to be. I think the last line is a hint: "So hopefully Cleve will stop sending us threatening emails now."
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October 24th, 2018, 05:30
So is it all patches up now? Complete enough to play? Demo I liked but I always wait about a year after release to play
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October 24th, 2018, 07:38
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
Honestly, the game was far better than I expected it to be. Yeah, it was a bit rough on release, but I didn't run into any bugs that prevented me from completing it. Not sure if I'll ever replay it, but I got my money's worth the first time.
How long did it take you to complete it?
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October 24th, 2018, 16:40
I think it was around forty hours, from start to finish. Some areas I bulled through pretty quickly, others I explored a bit more thoroughly.
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October 24th, 2018, 17:10
Originally Posted by Saxon1974 View Post
So is it all patches up now? Complete enough to play? Demo I liked but I always wait about a year after release to play
It definitely is playable as is. I've played 45 hours+. Cleve has promised a huge update (who knows if it ever will be finished) to address some of what I consider the design flaws in the latter part of the game. Some of the dungeons there are emptier (not empty per say, just in comparison to the dungeons in the first 25 hours which are filled with secrets, ect.) Also as felipepepe correctly pointed out the monster and xp in the later game are funky. Though you do see new monsters, you see many old monsters from the first 10 hours of the game, which are almost worthless to fight both in the sense of not being challenging and not being rewarding. Also though many of the newer monsters are tougher than what you meet early on, they give very negligable xp awards. How xp is given out for monsters is funky in general. You meet Ore Worms about 15 hours in, which give about 400xp each, come in a group of 3 (so about 1200 xp for the encounter) and are pretty weak, though they can dissolve non magical metal equipped weapons and armour. You get less or only negilably more for much more powerful enemies later. A Storm Dragon gives like 750 xp, and it can easily kill a couple of characters. And at that point in the game you need like 200k xp to level. This "official" review isn't inaccurate per say, but is a fanboy review glossing over the problems later in the game. There is also no manual yet, so you'll have to persuse the guides on Steam before starting.
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October 25th, 2018, 00:51
Are we sure Cleve didn't write this review himself?

Also, I don't think Infinitron was being disrespectful towards Felipepe, he was just making fun of the Codex hivemind.
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October 25th, 2018, 21:38
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
10,000 words on Grimoire? I'm guessing this is some sort of punishment meted out on the Codex, for crimes against the hive?
Path of the righteous man is never said to be easy. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the Grimoire.
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October 26th, 2018, 23:11
In lieu of a manual, "Dexter" put together a player guide on Steam:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfil…?id=1102535369
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