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Steam - Games Ordered by Hype and Surprise
Posted: Aug 28, 2016, 04:23 pm by RPGWatch
PCInvasion reports that SteamSpy has put together a list of most over-hyped games on Steam and conversely a list of those games that have been a surprise hit. It makes for interesting reading.
There are factors that need to be taken into account such as type of game, price, and whether it's single player or multiplayer. These charts do show the power of both marketing budgets and word of mouth within the gaming community.
Hype is a massive problem in gaming and the top list shows the how important it is not to buy into the hype. Games such as No Man's Sky and the Mighty No.9 left many players disappointed when the final product was released.
Mugen Souls Z - Released
Posted: Aug 28, 2016, 10:22 am by RPGWatch
Fans of the HyperDimension Neptunia series and Disgea can rejoice - Mugen Souls Z has been released for the PC:
Join the super-powerful undisputed goddess, Chou-Chou, as she continues her quest to conquer the twelve Zodiac worlds and make everyone and everything her peon.
Created by Compile Heart, the developers of Fairy Fencer F and the Agarest and HyperDimension Neptunia series , Mugen Souls Z features free-roaming world maps and a brilliantly flexible turn-based battle system. With the ability to do billions of hit points worth of damage, a level cap of 9999 and some brilliant anime-style artwork, Mugen Souls Z is a game that will satisfy even the most hardcore JRPG player.
Twelve worlds corresponding to the signs of the zodiac were created long ago by the ultimate gods and now a certain "something" capable of destroying each of the worlds is preparing to awaken from a long sleep.
Chou-Chou and the gang return in this brand-new S-RPG sequel with a new story and even cuter, super-powerful, godly action and adventure! But this time, after her curiosity gets the better of her, Lady Chou-Chou must rely on the abilities of an all-new ultimate goddess, Syrma, as she tries to stop this ancient threat to her world that has recently awakened.
'Chouchers' must teach this newbie how to become all-powerful, before dealing with a colourful new cast of frenemies, as well as a host of favourites from the first game in the series.
Can Syrma work together with Chou-Chou and her motley crew of peons and shampurus to save the twelve worlds from the unknown and ancient "something" that threatens to consume everything in the universe? Join them for 9,999 levels of power levelling, brutal battles and awesome antics to find out!
Tactical 3D battles featuring turn-based combat, dozens of unique skills and game-changing crystals
Explore expansive worlds, defeat dangerous enemies and expand your party using your unstoppable charm and superior skills!
Charm your enemies into doing your bidding! Transform monsters into 'Shampurus' to power up your spacefaring G-Castle!
Create your own 'Peons', boost their skills and fuse your creations to create the ultimate party!
The Mugen Field returns! Featuring stacks of challenges and near-infinite levelling possibilities!
Featuring full mouse and keyboard support, gamepad support, Steam achievements, User Interface and other graphical enhancements!
Ep.2: Son of Slaves
Thorne: Tales of The Crow is a character-driven, episodic RPG developed by a Brazilian Indie company. Each episode tells a different tale of Thorne, an infamous mercenary known as The Crow. This is the second episode, released after Thorne - Dearth Merchants.
Thorne is anxious to leave the Duchy of Calida. It is known as a peaceful place in Rowen, where order prevails.
For those with an eye for reality, that is simply not true.
The Crow has to finish one last contract for the Duke before he can finally leave.
Such contract will put him in a dangerous road with no turning back.
Find the truth about Calida.
Fight against evil fiends born from human's cruelty.
Divinity: Original Sin II - Swen & Chris Podcast
Posted: Aug 28, 2016, 10:22 am by RPGWatch
USgamer has interviewed Swen Vincke and Chris Avellone about Divinity Original Sin 2.
In this week's episode of Axe of the Blood God (download link here), I welcome legendary RPG developer Chris Avellone and Divinity: Original Sin creator Swen Vincke to the podcast to in-depth on 2014's breakout hit RPG..
In addition to interviewing Chris and Swen, I had a chance to spend some time with Divinity: Original 2, which retains much of what made the original great while adding in several new and interesting elements. In particular, I really like that you can take on premade characters with their own backgrounds and personalities, which naturally gets you in the mindset for roleplaying. You can hear the rest of my thoughts and more during the interview, which begins around the 15:00 mark.
Shroud of the Avatar - Review P2 @MMORPG
Posted: Aug 28, 2016, 10:22 am by RPGWatch
The second part of the MMORPG Shroud of the Avatar review is out and examines the game's deeper issues at this point in time.
As you might recall, my first impression of Shroud of the Avatar left me with mixed feelings. While I was still attracted by the fascination of freedom that such a sandbox game always offers, dated visuals and a clunky combat made it hard to enjoy my initial experience. However, some might say that this was critique that focused too much on the surface, and they are right, because that was the exact intention of the first article. It was supposed to give the impression of somebody who is new to the game. Somebody who might have much less endurance to work themselves into the game than I had in the course of this review.
They are also right because the problems of Shroud of the Avatar run much deeper, even though that does not make the points that I laid out invalid. There are two main problem categories that I could identify for myself, but first I have to give a fair warning: There is a good reason why the developers are fighting hard to proclaim that this game is not officially released yet. This is not your typical PR-Pre-Alpha window dressing to avoid critique. This game is still under heavy development. Huge junks of content are either completely unpolished or simply don't exist. The question, whether the timing for the final wipe at such a state is a good one, is a different story, but be aware that you shouldn't purchase the game if you expect any sort of coherent final experience. Instead, come back when it is officially "released", although even then I have some doubts about how polished the game will really be.
Master of Orion - Released
Posted: Aug 27, 2016, 04:02 pm by RPGWatch
The 4X game Master of Orion has been released:
Master of Orion has blasted off and is ready for galactic domination today. The legendary 4X game of interstellar conquest is primed for intrepid explorers to eXplore, eXpand, eXterminate, and eXploit. Choose from one of 10 diverse races in your bid to "Conquer the Stars". Take on real-time tactical battles and explore numerous paths to victory as you work your way across the galaxy to capture Orion.
The first reviews are good - for example the review from Gaming Nexus:
Although it doesn't supply intense space battles like Sins of a Solar Empire or Stellaris it doesn't have to. Instead Master of Orion delivers an exciting universe where every action has a diplomatic action or consequence you can act on. The AI does a fantastic job at staying true to each races individual strengths and weaknesses during a campaign. The game is so well designed. Micromanagement and nitty gritty work is made effortless. Just look at how players control pops on each planet. The screen is never cluttered with useless data and comedic relief is delivered through news highlights of a galactic news network.
Call of Cthulhu - Can it be a Good Game?
Posted: Aug 27, 2016, 04:02 pm by RPGWatch
PCGamer asks the question of Call of Cthulhu. Can the game use its source material effectively and make a good videogame?
The part of me doing my job is sitting with developers from Cyanide Studios to talk about their game Call of Cthulhu, to see what's unique about it, if it looks promising. They're friendly, especially lead developer Jean-Marc Gueney. He's lively, and as soon as we start talking about Lovecraft we develop a quick and easy rapport.
The other part of me is on a witch hunt. While prior games emulating Call of Cthulhu have been fun, they haven't captured what makes Lovecraft great. And Cyanide hasn't just set out to emulate Lovecraft. They're making an official adaptation of the Call of Cthulhu tabletop RPG, the best game adaptation of Lovecraft ever. The risk is palpable. The Lovecraft fan in me is ready to crucify these men in the most florid prose should they fail my ideological purity test. I pepper them with hard questions (unfair, even) both in-person and later over email.
"Call of Cthulhu will be an investigation game with strong RPG elements," said Gueney. "The hero, Edward Pierce, will have to find out the truth about the death of a famous artist." Of course, like any Lovecraft story, Cyanide intends for it to get darker from there. The hero will make their way to Dark Water Island, an island off the coast of Lovecraft's favorite New England setting. They'll have to use their character's skills to "discover, explore, and survive" what they find there. Most gameplay will be stealth, investigation, and psychological horror-carefully managing your character's tabletop-faithful Sanity score.
To say that Lovecraft's monsters are "in" right now would be an understatement.
They are flaming hot. Cthulhu, his face-tentacled Great Old One brainchild, has squirmed its way into the permanent pantheon of geekdom. Video gamers are spoiled for tentacular horrors from other dimensions and the accompanying spirals into madness. Every era of World of Warcraft has included at least one section of content themed after Blizzard's own knock-off brand of Lovecraft. Dark Souls creator Miyazaki's Bloodborne is rife with Lovecraftian gods. The monster from popular Netflix series Stranger Things may well be a Dimensional Shambler.
But for all this representation, it's rarely true to Lovecraft's writing. Lovecraft's horror is a difficult literary genre to capture because it's really about a problem with no solution. The desire to explore and rationalize, set against the idea that not everything can be understood or perceived by human beings. In the words of critic Jess Nevins, "What Lovecraft created was a specifically twentieth century idea: the universe as an empty, materialist one, in which there is no spiritual meaning to any actions and in which human existence is not significant in any way." The title of Nevins' piece is, in itself, a perfect summation of Lovecraftian cosmic horror's ethos: "To Understand the World Is To Be Destroyed By It."
Deus Ex: MD - Microtransactions Blindsided
Posted: Aug 26, 2016, 09:32 pm by RPGWatch
PCInvasion airs its issues with the Microtransactions in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
Yes, this is another videogame article complaining about microtransactions shoving their unwelcome little currency signs where they don't belong. It's pretty much the equivalent of screaming into the void at this point, I know. The fact that this keeps happening means microtransaction bullshit sells well enough for publishers to happily tolerate any backlash. The same is likely to occur with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
But I feel compelled to write something. Microtransactions (or macrotransactions, since one goes as high as $10) for the main Deus Ex: Mankind Divided story irritate me in so many ways.
I'm pretty pissed off that Square Enix hid their existence in pre-release builds, meaning my review (and all others) had no chance to mention them before launch. It was obvious that Breach mode was getting them (yes, this full priced game has two microtransaction greed-chutes) because it had a suspicious-looking second currency value and in-mode 'shopping cart' link. But the extra crap in the actual game came as a nasty surprise.
"[Breach is] full of slot machine 'card pack' rubbish and primed for microtransactions. Still, if that's the way the Eidos Montreal team are able to keep that sort of nonsense out of the main game, then Breach is performing a noble service" I wrote at the time. So much for that.
I'm unlikely to have docked major points for their inclusion, but it's the sort of information readers are owed in a review. By keeping hush-hush about their little sideline, Square Enix prevented me from doing my job properly and helped perpetuate the annoying stereotype of games writers being complicit with publishers. Thanks a bunch Squeenix. As if it isn't already hard enough to dispel that little conspiracy.
But enough about my very important and precious hurt feelings.
Very early in the game you will get access to a jet-pack, which will allow you to travel in vertical direction and can also be used in combat by flying up and then crashing down with your sword on one of your opponents, which will cause much more damage than a normal blow would. There will be skills in the game that will improve your abilities using the jet-pack. To not overpower the jet-pack too much, it has an amount of energy that will deplete when being used and it will take some time for it to reload again. If you are not on the ground when the jet-pack energy has been drained, you will crash down and loose HP or even die, depending on the height you fall from. The jet-pack is seen as an essential part in the movement of the player. They are thinking about the option to level the jet-pack up by going higher or being able to use it longer, but nothing on that has been decided yet.
A House of Many Doors - Development Update
Posted: Aug 26, 2016, 03:22 pm by RPGWatch
In a new development update for A House of Many Doors, we learn that there now can be muliple save slots, autosave was added, a memory issue was fixed and the final NPC vehicle was added: The Principate Dirigible
Yes! HOMD now has multiple save files! And autosave whenever you enter a city.
I thought this was important for an RPG - and it turned out to be much easier to code than I expected! Now you don't need to worry about saving every five seconds, and you can keep multiple save files in case something goes wrong.
Diablo - Most Important PC Games
Posted: Aug 26, 2016, 03:03 am by RPGWatch
PCGamesN has a feature on the most important PC games. The latest game featured is Diablo.
Full disclosure: Blizzard's Diablo, released in 1996, is a game that has been very good to me.
My first published book was Diablo: Demonsbane, an e-book that launched the entire Blizzard fiction line. My 2000-2002 column, Garwulf's Corner, ran on Diabloii.net, and used Diablo and Diablo II as a jump-off point for almost every topic. So Diablo and Diablo II have a very special place in my heart, and I am admittedly somewhat biased towards them.
They are also two of the most influential multiplayer games ever made.
It's easy to take internet multiplayer for granted today. But in 1996, the internet was uncharted territory. Most multiplayer play took place over local area networks and modems, and whether the internet could be a successful venue for multiplayer games was an open question. A lot of companies thought it could, and were willing make huge gambles on it - both Origin and Verant were working on massively multiplayer games (Ultima Online, released in 1997, and EverQuest, released in 1999, respectively) that would launch over the internet, as opposed to directing players to connect to their own servers via modem.
It also had an often unrecognized level of depth, which the game trusted players to take or leave as they saw fit. Scattered throughout the dungeon were various tomes, telling the backstory to the game and the world. If there was an overriding theme, it was corruption, carried through the backstory, to the dialogue of the NPCs, to the fate of the player character. If anything, the story dramatized the famous quote by Nietzsche: "He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into you." Diablo is not a game with a happy ending - having fought his or her way through the dungeon, the player character is so corrupted by the end that rather than destroying the soulstone through which Diablo has taken over the young prince's body, they drive it into their forehead. Instead of being defeated, the game ends with Diablo freed from the dungeon and in an even stronger body than before.
The Hive - Released from Early Access
Posted: Aug 26, 2016, 03:03 am by RPGWatch
The Hive has a launch discount of 20% on Steam. The game is described as a story driven fantasy game where you control the Insectoid Hive mind. Its a strategy RPG type affair with some nice visual flair and a unique premise which promises many different endings.
About This Game Game setting
The Hive is story-driven fantasy game. Assume control as the Insectoid Hive mind. Captivating back-story and a beautiful visual design takes the player to a fantasy world, which offers new surprises and challenges as the game progresses.
Through strong storytelling and a broad world, Hive offers the player a diverse exploration ground. Having many different endings and possibilities, the player can create their own unique route, strategy, and story.
The barren and deserted surface of planet Eden hides springs full of life underground. Travel through ancient temple cities, sunken ruins, desert oasis, swamps, volcanoes and underground fountains, facing the dangers of the environment, floods and other species.
The calming serenity of the blooming springs, the aggressive heat of volcanoes and the ruins holding a story of a sad history make up the world of Hive. Filled with exotic animals, plants of varying sizes and little details like colorful fish swimming in the springs and hieroglyphs in the ruins, this game offers a wide and interesting visual look while combining many different styles of environments and eras.
We have some good news and some news that are less exciting. Would you like to sit down and grab a cup of coffee first?
(This is what PR people tell to the attendees if they can't show them the game straight away, e.g. if the rig is already occupied. We've been told that coffee works wonders.) The release of Pathologic will be postponed until Autumn, 2017.
Is this a fake FAQ now? Okay.
The original plans for the release date were set with the basic scope of the game in mind. It seems a bit immodest to admit, but we did include our first stretch goal, the Town Expanded, into that; but not the rest of them. The game has grown in scope now, so developing it properly requires additional time.
Also, the vision for this version of Pathologic has shifted during the development. What started as a humble rejuvenation of a classic beloved by the studio turned into a full-fledged reimagining rather quickly, but it took us time to realize what that truly entails. The corners that we were planning to cut turned into diamond quickly. However faithful to the original vision, this Pathologic is a new game in many aspects, from the engine to the concept art.
Oh come on. You just bit more than you can chew. Admit it.
While we are-and always will be-vehemently defending our chewing abilities, there's no denying the fact that we are facing technical challenges. Creating an open-world game in Unity is trying. We are solving the riddles the game's code throws at us valiantly, but then again, there's no point in releasing a pretty, but stuttering thing, right? And teaching it proper enunciation turned to require a bit more man-hours than we were hoping.
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