CRPGs

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sunface
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CRPGs

Post by sunface » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:20 am

Let's discuss Computer or Console RPGS (CRPGs) here! I'm going to start with a rambling post about things.

Recently I upgraded my aging MacBook Air for a newfangled MacBook Pro. It's incredible that this thing is smaller than the MBA and yet has way more power, comparable battery life, and a much improved screen, trackpad, and keyboard (I have the 2018 version with the rubber inserts that apparently prevent dust from blocking keys, but at work I have the late 2016 MBP version that allegedly has this issue but I've never experienced it. In any event, I love the keyboard on this thing and can type extremely quickly on it).

I'm digressing. Time to discuss a few games that I'm playing on it.

Baldur's Gate (Enhanced Edition): The enhanced editions of the various D&D games have been shit on a lot by the internet, but I can't help but see that these are the definitive editions of the classic games. Let's argue about that if you'd like, but I don't want to fuck around with a bunch of mods to basically make the original into essentially the enhanced edition. Plus this has cloud saves and works well on my Mac (easy install, auto-updates, cloud saves, etc).

That said, the game is fucking boring. I never played BG 1 or 2 back in the day and have had it on my list for a long time. Instead, I played Icewind Dale 1 & 2 way back when and enjoyed them although they're pretty hollow experiences. Those games are all about combat, and this one, I don't know. It has these random little interactions that mainly lead to combat anyway, or they lead to kind of nothing. There's no real direction beyond a vague sense of "go here and kill this" and that somehow leads you to somewhere else. At this point I think my character would just retire and go open a bar somewhere, but I don't think the simulation extends that deeply.

The game runs well and doesn't seem to have any material bugs, can be played in a window, blah blah. I prefer a true turn-based combat solution to this and ultimately think a game like Pool of Radiance, the first gold box game, is way better. I played POR a few years back on an Amiga emulator (I think the Amiga version is the best, though tell me if I'm wrong), but didn't finish it as somehow my save states got corrupted and I was never bothering to actually save the game, so I need to replay those. I have them from GOG but they're the much shittier PC versions. I don't know why GOG doesn't pick the best version of a game and emulate it instead of typically choosing the PC version.

Bard's Tale 4 & Remasters: So anyone that knows me well and has discussed CRPGs with me may know that my favourite old school CRPG is Bard's Tale. This isn't really because it's the best or anything, more just that it was the first CRPG I really played. When I was a kid I had a cracked copy of it where the characters had already won the game, so I'd walk around and nothing would really happen except for combat because all the story triggers had already been activated. But I'd spend hours trying to map areas, find areas (which was random, as again no story prompts), and primarily engage in a million pointless combat encounters.

Anyway, they're coming out with BT4 after 30 years or whatever it is, and I'm pretty excited to get it. It finally releases Tuesday. I rarely Kickstart games but I did do BT4 to get a physical box, manual, and so forth, as I'm lucky to have the boxes for BT1-3 and want a full set.

The remasters only run on PC, and I'm hoping this changes, but they're a solid way to play the originals. I think they're probably the best way to play as you can easily migrate your characters from game to game, should you be willing to play all 3. The first has a lot of "quality of life" improvements made to it such as a pervasive automap with a legend, easy to reach menus, and what appears to be save anywhere functionality. The art is not overly professional but was apparently done to match the original games, and is competent. Thus far the game runs really well and I think I'm going to play through the trilogy in Boot Camp on my Mac. On that note, I have used Parallels in the past but it's not that great as it layers a virtual machine over the Mac, so nothing runs extremely well in it. It might be OK for a classic game or one or two applications, but for anything processor heavy I think you're better off using Boot Camp.

Anyway, BT4 comes out Tuesday, so hold on to your butts.

Anyone else playing CRPGs (either Console- or Computer-)?
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Android
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Re: CRPGs

Post by Android » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:36 am

I recently tried Icewind Dale enhanced edition, and it's pretty good. But as it often happens, it goes on FOREVER and I lost my interest when I couldn't get past some hard fight with some snakepeople and their evil goddess or whatever.

Remember when we complained about games being "too short"? What idiots. Now I want games to be short. If I cannot complete them in 4-8 hours, it's bye-bye game!

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sunface
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Re: CRPGs

Post by sunface » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:06 pm

Yeah games are too long. I do like from time to time really getting into one, but overall I think I'd prefer games that are more like 2-3 hours in total length. So I can sit down and get through it in an evening. For really popular games they could do more episodes but whatever. The problem too is that games really vary in quality across their length; an obvious way this happens is where a game makes you backtrack, but diversity in games is oftentimes a mixed bag.
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Feasoron
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Re: CRPGs

Post by Feasoron » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:05 am

I got the new Torment. I played through the entire thing without breaking for other games. I also can't tell you whether or not I actually LIKED the damn thing. My wife hated it, but that's not worth a whole lot either, she doesn't like RPGs. I don't know why I'm bothering to post this complete lack of content.

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sunface
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Re: CRPGs

Post by sunface » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:14 am

Why did she hate it? Were the two of you playing it together, or were there just sounds and whatnot that she kept getting irritated by?

I've been playing NES Legend of Zelda on my Switch. I wasn't going to use a walkthrough but other than drawing a map or just systematically using bombs/candle on every screen I don't really see how you'd ever figure out where all the secrets are. So I'm very loosely using a walkthrough - ie, to tell me where to go next, not how to solve the dungeons or anything like that. It's a pretty good game, but I think if you're only ever going to play one Zelda game I'd recommend Breath of the Wild, or even an SNES game as the formula kept getting improved. There was a long period where Zelda was very stagnant - Ocarina of Time was a hit, so they kept remaking it with different skins for the next 5 or 6 games - but they're all pretty good. In any event, I'm glad to be finally playing the NES game as I've never really done so.
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Feasoron
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Re: CRPGs

Post by Feasoron » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:06 pm

No, she didn't play it with me, exactly. She just around in the room a huge chunk of the time I'm on the PS4, so she has opinions over which games she finds interesting, or boring, or annoying or whatnot.

My favorite Zelda is Link to the Past on SNES. The graphics have aged well, the mechanics are solid, and all of it CAN be figured out through gameplay. I agree - part of original Zelda is "do everything everywhere and see what happens." If you like that one, the new 3DS Link Between Worlds did an AMAZING job recreating the spirit of LTTP.

I'm actually playing through Ocarina of Time on my 3DS b/c I never had a N64. It's not bad, but I hate that evey time I turn off the system I load back up in Link's home village. What a pain.

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sunface
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Re: CRPGs

Post by sunface » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:10 am

I find that with my wife also, if a game repeats something too much that's where she'll get annoyed by it. Or, more likely, ask me to put on headphones.

Does Ocarina use the second thumb stick that's on the New 3DS? If not, I imagine it's a bit frustrating to play it. I played it on the GameCube when it was a throw-in with the purchase of Wind Waker. It's a pretty good game but I really don't like N64 graphics, as they all look dark and muddy. That game is also extremely linear, though it tries to trick you into thinking it's open world, and I still have the song that plays when you're in the opening village in my head and I really don't like it. Overall I don't think Ocarina is going to age well and be remembered as a great game, more of an interesting and successful 3D translation of a 2D game, which was ultimately usurped by much better later games. For what it's worth, Wind Waker is a materially better game than Ocarina of Time, but Breath of the Wild is just unsurpassed.

Do you have BOTW?

And I'm kind of lukewarm on the SNES-style Zelda games. I played a couple of them on the DS... the Haunted Train or whatever. I think they're OK. Is Link Between Worlds the port of Link to the Past?
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Re: CRPGs

Post by Wizard in Glass » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:56 pm

Have you had time to sit down with Bard's Tale IV, sunface? I've seen a mix of review scores on different sites and was wondering what's your take on the game. I haven't actually read through all the reviews, but did notice the lower scores mention technical issues in their bullet points. I'm going to pick it up eventually, I'm just curious if it captures the feel of the old games.

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Re: CRPGs

Post by BigDaddy » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:56 pm

Divinity Original Sin 2 is pretty amazing, the definitive edition was released for PS$/XBOX1 and the PC graphics updated to match. Really deep conversation and quest modes, tons of crafting and magic - tons of modding. The game is beautiful AND fun, but you have to enjoy turn based/initiative based combat.

Battle Tech has RPG elements in the pilot advancement system, and it also has turnbased/initiative based system. The mod called RougeTech takes the game to the next level in a 4,000+ planet sandbox universe.

I never played the original Skyrim, but I bought the 64bit SSE version and am enjoying it a lot.

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Re: CRPGs

Post by sunface » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:35 am

I haven't even installed BT4, so nothing really to report on that front. I feel that I need to keep plodding through Baldur's Gate which, admittedly, I do enjoy somewhat but I just find it a slog so often. I'm going to finish it and then consider my next game, which admittedly might be Octopath Traveler as that's gathering dust for my Switch. Anyway with BT4, I've heard the same complaints - most of the bad review scores seem to be around the game being buggy, so I think waiting a few months before starting it is prudent. I have lots of other shit to play, to which the rest of this post will attest.

Speaking of dusty old games, I have what I think is the entire Professor Layton series for my 3DS (original games are just DS, but it's backward compatible), so of course instead of playing the cartridge I own I downloaded Professor Layton and the Curious Village for my iPhone. It's a fantastic port. I love these games and it's awesome to have on the go. Downside? 10 hours and I finished it. My wife originally played all of the DS games (she's not really a gamer, but got hooked on the puzzles in these titles) and I'm curious whether the next game is coming soon to iPhone or if I should start carrying a 3DS with me.

Divinity 2 kind of bugs me because the original is available for both Mac and PC (maybe Linux), but the sequel is currently PC only. That said I've barely scratched the surface of Divinity 1 and really need to get into it. I thought it was pretty awesome but have heard nothing but good things about the sequel, so maybe I'll switch onto Divinity 1 next and make my way through that.

Of course, this is all assuming that when Baldur's Gate ends I don't say, "Hey Sunface, you fat bastard, that was awesome. Let's start the sequel!".

BigDaddy what's a 64bit SSE? Is that like the one that came out recently for Virtual Reality rigs? I was playing Skyrim on my Switch and played for many countless hours and then for no good reason just stopped playing. I should pick it back up as I really love that game.

OK, I think my decision is made: next game is FINISH SKYRIM.
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