“Logs, rocks, and a sense of dread.”

I’ve been here before. The good news is that I got my camp fire ready before night fell and the nasties came out…

While you may notice that I deeply enjoy RPGs there are other genres I will dip into every so often. It’s true that for many years on the PS1 I would enjoy racing games and action adventure games (mostly because they seemed to be available by the score) and on the Wii I did enjoy sports games. That said, my days of virtual tennis are behind me. I haven’t played in years and if I lose even one match against a highly skilled opponent my Pro status is gone! Y’hear me? Gone! I can’t have that.

I sometimes enjoy dropping into and out of a game of something without feeling the need to build, develop, or plan out a character. For senseless violence or racing. To play a virtual board game or try not to starve or get eaten.

Rogue Legacy is a pretty funny title and fits right in with that old SNES game feel. The visual style, the development, and the quirky nature of the environment and the enemies give it a long lasting appeal without bogging you down with all the customisation. That said, unlike most rogue-likes, death is not completely permanent as such. Your character dies but their gold allows you to develop the next in their legacy. By unlocking runes, upgrading their manor, buying equipment, and so on. Therefore the threat of death is very much real (and you can just pop into and out of it at will) but you still retain some development for the next character.

Don’t Starve is a pretty odd title. I got this as a gift over the festive season, and, while I knew very little of it, it actually fit a particular type of game I wanted to buy. Something survival based. I like the mechanics behind this one as it is quite skill based. Once you have an idea of what you’re doing, what to avoid, what to collect, and how that character works there is a lot better chance of you making it through several days. It has a quirky art style and a generally interesting set of themes and development ideas. It’s also really good for killing some time here or there as you can create multiple save files.

Trine is certainly beautiful but also boasts a number of mechanics that are not readily apparent when you first pick up the game. Besides the choice of different characters with unique skills, puzzles, challenges, and bosses there are a number of RPG mechanics involved that allow you to develop each individual character. Not to mention loot to find, equip, and take advantage of along the way. Death is handled in a rather standard checkpoint fashion that once all of your available characters are down you respawn at the nearest checkpoint. From there you can either save your progress or push on further.

Dungeon Dashers is an Early Access title. This is one that could very well be dead at this moment in time (there haven’t been too many updates recently) but if you can pick it up cheaply, and/or it ever is finished, then it is certainly worth a look. It plays out a little like an old fantasy board game and combines classes with unique mechanics to solve problems within levels, defeat enemies in encounters, and offers the classes unique equipment and skills. It’s actually a pretty polished title thus far it just lacks content. Certainly has a lot of ambitions and great ideas fuelling it at the moment!

Have a nice week, all!


Games Like Those of Yesteryear

You ever get that nostalgic itch that you scratch and scratch but it never goes away? I do. Oh the itchiness.

Years ago, when I were a wee nipper, I made the discovery of a lifetime- gaming! Which in turn led to my creative pursuits. It’s a funny world when you consider everything is interconnected, or, if you will, tangled like a ball of twine.

Over the many years and the many systems I have played I have uncovered a number of gaming gems. Classic titles that boast mechanics and stories unequalled. However, these days, it seems to be hard to find a really good RPG experience like those of yesteryear.

So here are a few titles that offer those experiences of yesteryear without needing to be run in 800×600 resolution.

Legend of Grimrock was a rather spontaneous purchase late last year and if you can get past the grid based movement and combat system then you’ll probably enjoy it immensely if the above tickles you. Or if you enjoy grid based movement and combat systems you’ll probably enjoy it, too. One thing I really love about this title is, while there isn’t an open world, or any kind of world map for that matter, there are a number of things to explore and puzzles to solve. There is a lot of content and party management as each of your party members is required to successfully overcome the dangers you’ll face along the way.

The sequel Legend of Grimrock II takes an almost opposite approach to the basic elements. Now you have more classes, more races, an entire island to explore, lots more loot, lots more customisation, and more varied encounters. It’s an amazing step up from the first and will take you some time to work through the puzzles, traps, bosses, and the secrets hidden along the way. You will probably really enjoy it if you enjoyed the first- but there’s no requirement to play the first- save one achievement and secret found in the game. Really. It’s one of the best RPG experiences I’ve had in a good long while.

Lords of Xulima, an indie game, if I am correct, is a title that throws back to the days of Icewind Dale. You create your party of people, start with limited equipment, control each in turn in battle, and you explore the island you have sailed to. There is an enormous amount of content and the classes are quite interesting. There are many different takes on the development of each class and the battles are balanced but tough. You will get killed more than once and there is a little luck to it. However, for the price, you are getting an experience which boasts a number of developed systems and delivers on each one without fail.

Divinity: Original Sin is a game you have probably heard a lot about already if you’re following RPGs. If, however, you don’t like the Divinity series in general, or you live under a rock- this game is an absolutely stunning experience. The music, the visual style, the party banter, the questing, the exploration, the inventory management, the crafting system, the need to uncover every string of conversation, and to explore every last location is without equal. It starts a bit slow and features sometimes unforgiving combat but it also gives you a lot of freedom of choice and offers a lot of additional experiences if you explore.

If you’re in the mood for something of an RPG nature and don’t know what to get- give these a try. You might be surprised!

Have a nice week, all!