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Latest Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition & General News Headlines:

» Albion - gets a Windows/Linux port - May 23, 2015, 7:41 pm
» One Samurai: Dusk - Announced - May 23, 2015, 7:41 pm
» Life is Strange - Episode 3 released - Review @ IGN - May 23, 2015, 7:41 pm
» Witcher 3 - Review @ ActionTrip - May 23, 2015, 7:41 pm
» TechRaptor - The Etymology of RPGs, Part 2 - May 23, 2015, 7:40 am
» Might & Magic Heroes VII - Semi-Open Beta Trailer - May 23, 2015, 7:40 am
» Hero-U - Now @Steam Greenlight - May 23, 2015, 7:40 am
» Telepath Tactics - Patch 1.031 Released - May 23, 2015, 7:40 am
» Telepath Tactics - New Patch 1.032 - May 23, 2015, 7:40 am
» Van Helsing III - Released - May 23, 2015, 7:40 am


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Albion - gets a Windows/Linux port (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
One Samurai: Dusk - Announced (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)

Albion - gets a Windows/Linux port
Posted: May 23, 2015, 7:41 pm by RPGWatch

One of the best RPGs of the 90s - Albion - gets a Windows/Linux port. A BIG thanks to Indie Retro News for reporting this:
What a great start to Friday as we've just come across a fantastic bit of news of which may send a slight tingle down the spines of retro gaming RPG players across the globe! And that news is a fan based release of the Windows/Linux port of Albion; one of my all time favourite RPG's released by Blue Byte Software in 1995!

From the moment you start the game with the beeps and bops of the ship, to the crash of your shuttle into the supposedly desert world you knew you were in for a treat. The graphics for it's time were incredibly lush with vivid landscapes of intense flora and textured rocks. But what really set the game apart from most RPG's and not just the amazing characters you could talk to, was the interactive 2D top down view and 3D first person dungeon crawling combat. It was as if it was two games moulded into one, and two great games at that. The immersion of Albion was also top of it's class, with sound effects such as the local wildlife, or from eery cave dwelling beasties.

I could go on and on about this game and how it's stuck in my mind as one of the best games I ever ever played, but I wont spoil it any more for those of you who haven't played it. It's time for you to enjoy the game as much as I did, especially now as the Windows and Linux port has been released.
You can download the mod - click on the English flag (Albion is required).

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One Samurai: Dusk - Announced
Posted: May 23, 2015, 7:41 pm by RPGWatch

The first part of the One Samurai: Dusk was announed at Flaming Eye studios. Trailer:

OneSamurai: Dusk is a turn based tactical RPG set in the Kamakura Era of Feudal Japan. Experience a choice based narrative In the Shogunate of Kamakura, quarrelling clans war against one another and on the silk road the eyes of Kublai Khan and his Mongol Empire turn east.

Story
The year is 1274 and the Kamakura Shogunate is celebrating the 82nd year since its establishment by Minamoto no Yoritomo. The current shogun Prince Koreyasu is also celebrating his 10th birthday under the regency of Hojo Tokimune. But all is not as stable as it seems. Only 16 years earlier the ruling Goryeo dynasty of Korea was forced to swear fealty to Kublai Khan the grandson of Genghis Khan and his Mongol Horde. Kublai Khan has aspirations to conquer from the coast of the Atlantic to the coast of the Pacific and his gaze may soon fall east. Inside Japan's borders itself many different clans vow for land, power and strength and some for the chance to eventually rule the land of the rising sun for themselves. You start as a single man with no clan, land, power or strength but in end may have the potential to divert the course of Japanese history.

Features
  • Turn based tactical combat.
  • Stats based levelling.
  • Open world with over 50 unique villages, towns, cities and castles.
  • Over 150 quests covering events of Kamakura shogunate and clan quarrels.
  • Over 30 Different Clans who you can both help and oppose.
  • Different classes with different play styles.
  • 3 different companions with different play styles to complement your own or oppose it.
  • Decisions system which can change the outcome of the final game.
  • Ability to import character from this game to next.
  • Chance to help clans in territorial conflict and increase their personal strength.
You can help the indie studio with a GreenLight vote on Steam.

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Life is Strange - Episode 3 released - Review @ IGN
Posted: May 23, 2015, 7:41 pm by RPGWatch

Episode 3 of the best Adventure released in 2015 so far is out:

Review by IGN:
This is the third of five chapters of Life Is Strange, an episodic game that sets out to revolutionize story based choice and consequence games by allowing the player to rewind time and affect the past, present and future.

(...)

Life Is Strange's greatest success is in how grounded its world is, despite Max's mysterious time-rewinding powers and the imminent end of the world. Episode 3 gives us time to breathe after Episode 2's intense drama, but it finishes with something similarly bold. By the end of Episode 3, developer Dontnod takes an enormous and ambitious risk that succeeds in not only setting the story on a strong new path that broke my heart, but also left me ecstatic for Episode 4.
-> Metacritic user reviews.
-> RPGWatch Steam curation.

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Witcher 3 - Review @ ActionTrip
Posted: May 23, 2015, 7:41 pm by RPGWatch

Uros "Vader" Pavlovic (ActionTrip) has reviewed The Witcher 3. A snippet:
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt continues the tale of the Witcher, Geralt, goes on a personal quest to find Ciri, a friend and an extraordinarily gifted swordfighter. On his travels to locate Ciri, Geralt stumbles upon on a mysterious force known as the Wild Hunt that had begun to ravage the Northern Kingdoms, laying waste to every town or village. During his journey through perilous lands, the Witcher now must face this formidable new foe as he heads out to search for Ciri.

So when they said that the map in this game is 20% bigger than Skyrim and both of the previous Witcher games, they weren't ****ing kidding. To put it as briefly as possible, I've been playing The Witcher 3 for well over 5 days. My attention was focused on one very large area, where I explored, went on random side-quests, and of course, tried to complete as much story-related quests as possible. After that, I was shocked to find just how insanely large the world in this game is. Initially I was overwhelmed by the kind of experience I haven't felt since Skyrim, or to be fair, the more recent RPG, Dragon Age: Inquisition. However, The Witcher 3 has more appeal to me - certainly more so than both DAI and Skyrim. So, again when the developers said a few months back that the in-game world is huge, they were serious. It could take you anywhere up to 200 hours of play time to finish it, providing you stick to cleaning up every single quest that comes up.
Final Score: 9.4 Excellent

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TechRaptor - The Etymology of RPGs, Part 2
Posted: May 23, 2015, 7:40 am by RPGWatch

More RPG history on TechRaptor - part 2. Robert Grosso explains the origins of WRPGs and JRPGs. A snippet:
During the early 1990s, there were some attempts to innovate the genre further. Quest for Glory incorporated role-playing mechanics into a point-and-click adventure game. Betrayal at Krondor, based on author Raymond Feist's Midkemia setting, featured a turn-based, semi-tactical system coupled with pre-determined characters and a skill-based experience system. Legends of Valour was the first sandbox style role-playing game without a non-linear plot line and would later be named as one of the primary influences of the Elder Scroll's series.

All of the above games were criticized as role-playing games in the West upon release. Notable problems included a poor user interface, unusual gameplay mechanics, bad graphics or lack of depth found in most other CRPGs at the time. Essentially, they deviated too much from the winning formula. Even Quest for Glory was considered more of an adventure-game than a true RPG and much like Times of Lore, was relegated to "novice-level" status rather quickly.

This stagnation led to the major decline of the CRPG market. As reviewer Mark Walker put it, "During the now-infamous mid-nineties CRPG lull, the toughest dungeons were the bottomless pits of failed designs, and the fiercest beasts the deadly-dull CRPG releases." Many issues stemmed from ballooning budgets for software development, longer development times, and heavy competition not only from other PC games, such as more fast-paced first-person-shooters and strategy titles. Tastes were also shifting to Japanese role-playing games, leaving many western RPGs with a shrinking audience. By 1997, Western RPGs were at their all time low.

This would change with a trio of games that would change the landscape once again, this time borrowing from less traditional sources. The first would be Blizzard's Diablo, an action RPG that was heavily influenced by the roguelike Telengard from 1982. Eschewing the slower pace of a dungeon crawl, Diablo was quick and accessible, heavy on combat and action, and had a vibrant online community when it was released in 1996.

A year later, Interplay, with a new developer called Black Isle Studios, would release a game called Fallout. Based on a previous Interplay title called Wasteland, Fallout was set in a post-apocalyptic future ravaged by nuclear war. The game would feature an open, non-linear world, heavy emphasis on character interaction, turn-based tactical combat system, and distinct aesthetic presentation. All of this allowed Fallout to stand out and further revitalize the CRPG market with a fresh approach to the genre, both in terms of mechanics and presentation.
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Might & Magic Heroes VII - Semi-Open Beta Trailer
Posted: May 23, 2015, 7:40 am by RPGWatch

Might & Magic: Heroes VII is going into a semi-open beta later this month. Every pre-purchaser will get beta access.



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Hero-U - Now @Steam Greenlight
Posted: May 23, 2015, 7:40 am by RPGWatch

The Quest for Glory inspired Hero-U is on Steam Greenlight now. Here's the description:
Hero-U is both like and unlike Quest for Glory. If anything, the story is richer because we have had more time to craft it and no restrictions on memory. There is more conversation.

The new game is less puzzle-intensive than old Sierra games. You can get through Hero-U without very many head-scratching moments... but you will want to play again to experience a different path through the game and do some of the "quests" you bypassed the first time.

Combat also has a different feel. In Quest for Glory, it was real-time, so you didn't have much opportunity to use tactics. Combat in Hero-U is turn-based, and Shawn has a variety of tricks and traps to help him win.

We've also cut down on deaths - loss in combat results in a trip to the infirmary and some wasted game time, but not a "restore game". Time is an important resource in Hero-U, so it will still be a fate you will try to avoid.
Current Kickstarter status is 61.5k out of 100k with 24 days to go.

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Telepath Tactics - Patch 1.031 Released
Posted: May 23, 2015, 7:40 am by RPGWatch

Sinister Design released two new patches for Telepath Tactics. The patch log for v1.031 says:
Telepath Tactics v. 1.031 Patch
Hey folks! Telepath Tactics was selected for the indie expo in Power of Play this weekend, so I was out there showing off the game. This cut into bug-fixing time somewhat, but I still managed to squeeze in a cluster of bug fixes and improvements for a new update:
  • newly spawned reinforcements can no longer attack on the same turn they spawn (though they can still move around).
  • you can now increase the size of the font that appears in those little pop-up info boxes when mousing over characters, objects and interface buttons.
  • info boxes now dynamically resize vertically (they already did that horizontally) to accommodate the larger supported font sizes.
  • increased the font size in the detailed character screen from 11 to 12.
  • the game now ties changes made to character inventories in the reserve supplies screen to the individual characters' names rather than saving them numerically by character slot. (This is me taking another stab at killing the inventory swapping bug-hopefully this was of the "fatal backstab" variety.)
  • fixed a bug in which changes made in the reserve supplies during battle would be saved even if were in the middle of a battle, long after you finished deploying characters.
  • fixed some more edge cases where it could end up glitching out the game if an enemy was killed by wandering into a trap.
  • fixed a bug in which Louise could show up in the ending even if she died or left the group earlier on.
  • fixed the scripting in the chat immediately preceding the caravan battle so characters who may have died at Adelbrae don't show up and talk.
  • you can now right-click the portraits of characters who've been recruited but haven't appeared on the battlefield yet (like Meridian right after you rescue her) during deployment / in the common inventory.
  • pulling the lever on the ground-floor Coria Dogs battle now spawns a chest with special loot inside.
  • expanded the range on psy user buff abilities (blinding cloak, frost armor, etc.) from 1 to 0-2.
  • added a new legendary weapon to the game: the bow Lyrio. Strength 11, Accuracy +100, gives Range +1 to all ranged attacks. Can only be found as a rare spawn in chests / in the crypt mission.
  • added flails to late-game stores.
  • added a sound effect for Hover.
  • the game now supports a new type of custom variable: arrays! This is big news for modders who want to script more complex content.
  • There are a bunch of new script actions relating to the creation, pruning, and general usage of arrays: SetArr, GetArr, DelArr, ShuffleArr and ForArr. More info on how to use those here and here!
  • changed ITEMVAL format from -ITEMVAL:X- to ITEMVAL[X] to make it easier to nest the -STR:- and -ARR:- special characters inside it.
  • created a store with randomized item selection inside it in the Recruitable Chars stub campaign using custom arrays; feel free to steal it!
That's all for now. More bug fixes and improvements are in the wings, so stay tuned!
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Telepath Tactics - New Patch 1.032
Posted: May 23, 2015, 7:40 am by RPGWatch

And the second new patch for Telepath Tactics:
Telepath Tactics v. 1.032 Patch
Hey folks! I just pushed another quick (but important) update:
  • fixed a bug that I accidentally introduced in version 1.031 where the game would not save changes to your characters-or their equipment-in between battles. (For players starting new games, this manifested in the form of Emma being back to level 1 with 0 experience and not having her swords available at the start of the fight with Zash and Red.)
  • new script action: GetCharsDist. Finds the distance in spaces between two named characters, sets the custom value _Dist to that number. Two parameters: the name of the first character, and the name of the second character.
  • new script action: GetCharSpaceDist. Finds the distance in spaces between a named character and a given space on the battlefield, then sets the custom value _Dist to that number. Three parameters: the name of the character, the space's y coordinate, and the space's x coordinate.
  • added a script to the training battle with Emma and Silithis so that if the _Dist between them is 1, it skips the instruction "To attack, move Emma right next to Silithis."
  • added documentation of all the new array script actions to the manual.
Sorry for making you update again so soon! Now, it's back to work on performance improvements and Mac compatibility stuff.
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Van Helsing III - Released
Posted: May 23, 2015, 7:40 am by RPGWatch

The final episode of the hack'n'slash adventure has been released on Steam:



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Witcher 3 - Patch 1.03 Released
Posted: May 22, 2015, 7:30 pm by RPGWatch

CD Projekt Red released patch 1.03 for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Here's the patch log:
This update introduces a range of stability and performances enhancements as well as allows users to take advantage of some additional graphics settings.

Please find the detailed list of fixes below:
  • Improves stability in gameplay and the UI
  • Improves performance especially in cutscenes and gameplay
  • Fixes grass and foliage popping that could occur after density parameters were changed
  • Improves Nvidia Hairworks performance
  • Boosted texture anisotropy sampling to 16x on Ultra preset
  • Sharpen Post-process settings extended from Off/On to Off/Low/High
  • Blood particles will now properly appear after killing enemies on the water
  • Corrects a bug where player was able to shoot bolts at friendly NPCs
  • Improves menu handling
  • Corrects an issue with Stamina regeneration while sprinting
  • Fixes a cursor lock issue that sometimes occcured when scrolling the map
  • Generally improves world map focus
  • Improves input responsiveness when using keyboard
  • Corrects some missing translations in the UI
  • Corrects an issue in dialogue selections
  • Rostan Muggs is back
  • Minor SFX improvements
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Moonrise - early access trailer
Posted: May 22, 2015, 7:30 pm by RPGWatch

Originally announced for iOS, the monster collection game Moonrise is now also headed to PC through Steam early access.

Rock Paper Shotgun reports that:
Battles involve "real-time speed" but, thankfully, appear to be similar to Final Fantasy's Active Time Battles rather than scrappy clickfests. There's a full singleplayer campaign, taking place in a world with all kinds of different scenery - forests, deserts, villages clinging to the side of enormous land-spires - and PvP battling.
Moonrise is Undead Labs' followup to their pretty great 2013 survival horror sim State of Decay.

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The Witcher - was almost a Diablo clone
Posted: May 22, 2015, 7:30 pm by RPGWatch

Former project lead Ryszard Chojnowski has taken to YouTube about his time with the franchise in its early days.

Kotaku reports:
The demo was a point-and-click action game directly inspired by Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance,which itself was a riff on Diablo. CD Projekt RED was shopping this around to publishers, and hastily built their prototype using the engine for Mortyr, a World War II shooter from 1999.

The original plan was to have players create their own characters, rather than play as Geralt. Instead, Geralt would show up as an NPC for players to talk to and interact with.
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Knights of Pen & Paper 2 - Review @IGN Africa
Posted: May 22, 2015, 7:30 pm by RPGWatch

If you roleplay roleplaying is this called 'meta-roleplaying'?

Cam Shea (IGN Africa) has reviewed the upcoming game Knights of Pen & Paper 2:
A snippet:
What better way to have some fun with the traditions of fantasy video games and nerd culture than through a game where you role-play as a role-player? That's the premise of the Knights of Pen & Paper games, which see you gather up a brave party of adventurers... then sit around a table and tell the dungeon master what you want to do. It's a strong central conceit, adding a meta-commentary to what would otherwise be a solid but familiar RPG backbone, and this sequel expands neatly on the systems and presentation of the original. It's not quite as tactically deep as it could have been, nor does it have the end-game I would have liked to see, but Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.
The PC version is coming soon.

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Technobabylon - Review & Interview @ TechRaptor
Posted: May 22, 2015, 7:20 am by RPGWatch

Cyberpunk comes back. Don Parsons from TechRaptor reviewed the excellent Point&Click Adventure Technobabylon. A snippet:
I've taken my time getting to gameplay because there isn't a ton to talk about here. It is mostly traditional point and click adventure game play with some time sensitive events (not traditional QTEs as you can just wait and try again for the right pattern spot). The puzzles in Technobabylon are a breath of fresh air. They are challenging at times but logical in almost all instances. There were one or two that had me feeling it stretched logic some, but by and large the puzzles in this game were of very good design, logically proceeding from the story and fitting into it, rather than puzzles for puzzles sake, or puzzles that make no sense. A lot of the puzzles even have multiple solutions to them, which also helps mitigate a traditional adventure puzzle flaw where if you aren't thinking exactly the same way as the developer, you can't solve it.

The inventory interface is clean and works well, and in more modern traditions it gets rid of items that you won't need for future puzzles. That makes it easier to know what your options are, which means that even if you get stuck, you can probably eventually brute force your way through the situation. The game wouldn't hurt with a bit more feedback at times during puzzles, but it does pretty well most of the time with the world around you having hints on occasion.
He interviewed developer James Dearden too:
TechRaptor: Technobabylon was originally released as freeware, what was the hope in revisiting and updating it to release as a commercial product?

James: Way back in 2010, I'd started making Technobabylon as a practice attempt at making adventure games. Before that, all I'd done were a couple of simple puzzle and strategy games, and I wanted to get better before tackling a longer narrative. However, Technobabylon turned out to be more popular than I'd expected, so as the narrative grew, I thought it might benefit from being all together as one large project, rather than a series of episodes with sharp quality changes.

I'd seen the success that other commercial projects like Gemini Rue had had with Wadjet Eye, so I thought it'd be worth a chance by showing Dave the demo at AdventureX in 2012. Apparently my pitch succeeded, so this is my opportunity to turn indie games into something more than just a hobby for me!
There's a demo on Steam to test the game.

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