Posts Tagged ‘action rpg’

Restricted Area

February 2, 2008

The second of the three games I bought, Restricted Area, is a game made by a company called Master Creating. I mentioned it in irc.starchat.org/#gamedevelopers and gbgames mentioned that he knew them before they got big, and was talking about a game they made before they got big a long time back. Since I’m reviewing my first impressions of Restricted Area, I’ll stick to that for now – but now I have two more games I want to collect.

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The best way I can explain Restricted Area would be that it’s a mix between Diablo and Shadowrun SNES. It’s set in a future where the 5 Big Companies have pretty much taken over govornment, and the quality of life has fallen through. There are four characters you can choose from, each with their own story. All four play differently enough to be called classes, but I only tried out the shotgun guy so far.

Gameplay is pretty simplistic. You find the guy in the suit at the top of the town map and accept a new mission, then you go to the guy with the transportation at the bottom to fly to the mission location. So far I’ve only had “just kill everything” missions, but I think there’s escort missions too – which tend to be not much more than “kill everything and make sure npc doesn’t die”.

The game has a skill tree you can advance through to specialize your character, much like other modern actionRPG games do. What really makes this game interesting to me though, is the equipment system:

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Your inventory fills up with equippable body parts! Look at all those arms! I should have started a new character and ran around a little bit – you start off getting very meaty-looking arms and legs. They even make splat noises when they fall to the ground. I don’t know if I want to be wearing an arm that fell off of a mutant into the dirt. And then think of what a bag of said meaty arms and legs would smell like! The flies, oh god THE FLIES

All 5 of the a-fore-mentioned Big Companies produce these cybernetic parts. The Cyber Heart that I have selected is made by the company Life Tec. If you have equipped parts from the same company, you’ll gain stat increases in the same way as multiple Set Items in other actionRPGs. The difference here is that there’s only 5 sets, and all items belong to a set – so you’re bound to gain Set Item Bonuses at a much higher rate. If for nothing else, this game merits reward for being unique in that respect.

Aside from that there isn’t much for me to talk about. It’s a plain vanilla actionRPG. The graphics are pretty nice, but somewhat repetitive. So is the gameplay. They didn’t deviate from the norm much, and in many ways that’s a good thing. When I’ve tried out the other characters a bit, I’ll probably have more to talk (or complain) about.

Dungeon Seige II

February 1, 2008

I installed Dungeon Seige II first, and played it for about 6 hours. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: I fucking love this game. I probably won’t find myself saying I love it more than I love Diablo, but I’ll still say its a pretty great game. I’ll comment in the order that topics come into my head.

Sound 

The voice acting isn’t great most of the time, but it’s bearable enough. One (maybe two) of the voice actresses are awesome, though. I’ve found myself clicking on girls and canceling the conversation repeatedly, just to hear their voicing. In the dryad town you start in, for example, one of the guards are named Helpful Dryad Guard or something like that. She asks you if you know where you’re going in this really sweet voice. I love you, Helpful Dryad Guard. I’ll be watching for the voice actresses’ names when the credits roll.

Graphics

The rig I got from dad seems to be holding up fairly well. I think I’m at maximum graphics minus shaders, and I turned the filtering down to bilinear. It looks great to me. Right at the start I realized I wasn’t even paying attention to the graphics and I stopped where I was and took a look around. They had a dead dragon making up part of the wall of the ‘room’ I was in! Cool!

I also appreciate that they’ve got the map transitions (somewhat) seamless. Maybe I’m not used to seamless map transitions yet? Final Fantasy XII and Odin Sphere didn’t do it, and those are probably the newest games I’ve played. Titan Quest does, and it might be newer.. Anyways, I’m still not used to it. And its in this, a 2004 release, which says all sorts of things about games released post-2k4 that still need to do a hard-clear of memory to get the next section of the game loaded up.

Interface

There’s alot to take in when you’re faced with a new UI, but they took quite a few cues from the standard as I understand it. The point-and-click on things interface provides you with nice icons and text telling you what you can do. The stats, inventory, and skill windows are also self-explaining. They provide you with tips, and a journal that tracks all sorts of stuff for you so you always have a place you can go to immediately when you need info.

Learning new key mappings is never fun, but finding out very useful key shortcuts is also rather rewarding. I’m still having trouble with quickly switching between characters, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before I get used to it (or learning more of the shortcut keys).

One of the things that detracts from the experience for me is the fact that there’s just so many things to have to juggle. In Diablo, you have one character and maybe some pets, but you don’t have to give the pets stat points or work on them like you have to with your main character. The most you have to do is manage their equipment, and I really don’t mind that at all. When I play Dungeon Siege, I have to remember what kind of character I’m trying to build multiple times over. I may appreciate later on that I can build two or three characters at a time, but they just dump all of it in your lap right away. It’s overwhelming.

Overall

I’d give this game a 9/10 rating right now. Did I mention I really like some of the voicing? Well, I really do.