Posts Tagged With 'RPG'

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the Wii U? Yes, Please!

So, in a hypothetical situation, lets say that you are the head of a big video gaming business whose sales are currently starting to drop just a wee bit. Then, lets say that you have the brilliant idea of breaking into a new gaming demographic for your company by upgrading the technology of your gaming consoles to current standards. Then, let us say that a big time, video game developer suggests the possibility of developing their newest, hit game for your new system, a game which boasts some of the most breathtaking graphics, game play, and story currently in the business. What do you say?

HELL YES!

Bethesda, developers of the vastly popular Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises recently suggested such a thing. Bethesda’s Vice President of Public Relations, Peter Hines, recently sat down with Official Nintendo Magazine to discuss the possibility of bringing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to the yet to be released Wii U.

Hines said, “It’s definitely a possibility for the future. We’ll look at any platform that will support the games we’re trying to make, but that’s the key thing – the console has to support the game as it is designed.

For those who aren’t familiar with Skyrim, it should be known that it is set to be one of the biggest video game blockbusters of the 2011 Holiday season. It is the 5th installment in the wildly popular Elder Scrolls RPG series and the sequel to Oblivion, which garnered near endless praise and awards. However, once again, Nintendo doesn’t get any portion of that blockbustery goodness, being that the game is only currently being released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. However, if Nintendo plays their cards right and puts together a strong console, thus getting Bethesda to put Skyrim on the Wii U, this could be the opening of the floodgates for other big name developers to start developing for the new next-gen console. Exactly what Nintendo needs right about now.

The key factor in all of this is for Nintendo to put together a solid console though. In reference to the vast process which a game developer must go through in order to port their game to multiple consoles, Hines stated, “Making a game is an enormous process. Just doing 360, PS3 and PC – I don’t think people understand the amount of work that goes into that. All of the localization you have to do … It’s a pretty huge undertaking. You aren’t just supporting the Wii U; you’re supporting it in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

If Nintendo should have a single standard for it’s Wii U, it should be getting Bethesda to want to develop for it, thus ushering in other developers. The number of game play features which their touch screen controller could bring to a game such as Skyrim would be massive: map navigation, armory management, item organization, quest management. All at the tap of a finger. It would be an experience which the other consoles just couldn’t bring to the game.

Now we all just have to keep our fingers crossed that Nintendo gives the Wii U enough juice to run the thing.

Posted by Mr. MITTH 27.09.2011 in News, Nintendo, Nintendo Wii U
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Review: Dragon Warrior (NES)

Dragon Warrior deserves thanks from so many gamers who are now RPG fans. While the game itself is far from perfect, it stands in video game history as THE chief ambassador of console RPGs, bridging the gap from a previously computer-driven genre.

Dragon Warrior was one of the first RPG’s to come out on a gaming console (not a PC) in North America. It was also one of simplest role playing games ever to become popular. It’s success was not based on breath taking scenery, realistic combat scenes, or a story line that would be suitable for a block-buster movie. Instead, it captures, in the simplest form possible, the most basic features of the RPG genre that inspire the imagination of the player.

The game’s graphics are not at all the focus of the game. The mountains are simple gray jutting images, and the plains are just green blocks with little black dots sprinkled on top. The enemies, on the other hand, look pretty good.  Ranging from the lovable Slimes to the nefarious Skeletons, are well drawn. They lack animation, but this WAS the early 8-bit days so this was largely forgivable.

It would not have been that much harder to add a few more tiles and have smooth coast lines, so this suggests that the designers of the game actually liked the blocky look of the game and wanted it to be a consistent feature. The graphics are intentionally designed to come right out and say to the player that this is an incomplete representation of an imaginary world. The player has no choice but to fill in the blanks the developer intentionally left.

The music in Dragon Warrior isn’t exactly orchestrated and classic, but it has this charming and demanding tone that deserves your attention. It’s very medieval and bleak. The music playing while you wander through caves and dungeons is always the same, and although it is nicely done and has this claustrophobic feel, it isn’t really enough to hold your attention after the tenth or so time hearing it. The battle music is decent, and the sound effects that accompany it are vintage old NES.

The control is simple, the usual menu surfing and turn based battle systems that are now standard with most RPGs. The only real difficult part of the control is that in order to perform any action as you walk about in towns and dungeons, you must press A to access a subscreen of commands. This doesn’t sound too bad, until you realize that in order to ascend/descend a flight of stairs, you must stand directly over them, hit the A button, and THEN choose the ”STAIRS” command. This chunky interface speaks of an early system that still has a few kinks to ironed out.

Dragon Warrior is addicting because you slowly get more powerful throughout the game, and the amount of territory that you can safely explore is dependent on your strength. Like other RPGs, strength grows in several dimensions — weapon, armor, magic, hit points, and the vital statistics about the character such as strength and agility which rise with levels of experience. Of course, the main enjoyment is seeing your character get stronger and stronger, until he’s an UBER PWN3R. (Sorry, had to joke on you WoW players.)

Despite these flaws, Dragon Warrior manages to be a unique and enjoyable experience from start to finish.  Never before had a game allowed me to fight, cast spells, travel to uncharted lands, and search for my true identity as a hero in the way that Dragon Warrior did. Sure, you may not want to play through this one again after you beat it the first time (this was, after all, and early and linear RPG), but as a chunk of gaming history Dragon Warrior holds up. It is the reason we can enjoy Final Fantasy and bash its pretenders like Beyond the Beyond. It opened up the console RPG market, and for that it can’t be appreciated enough. That, combined with its solid mechanics and great plot, make it a memorable experience.

Review Score: 7.5/10

Buy it here.

Posted by thesocialrockstar 27.11.2010 in Original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
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Review: Willow (NES)

Willow borrows heavily from The Legend Of Zelda style gameplay, adding a few RPG elements. Unfortunately, it fails to capture the essence of fun from either. You walk around on the outskirts of towns, find foes wandering aimlessly in forests and fields, and kill them with your sword or magic, gaining you experience.  Sound typical enough? It is.

I suppose the backstory of Willow might make a bit more sense if one has seen the movie of the same name. Or, who knows, maybe it wouldn’t. I’ve never seen the movie, so I can’t really judge that. Regardless, the end result is, you’re on a mission to defeat an evil person, and save other people (isn’t that always the case?) You start out in the middle of your town, wander around getting a sword and some magic, and then head out on your journey.

Just like in other adventure/RPG games, you wander from town to town, talking to various NPC’s to gather what you hope will be useful information. (hint, it usually isn’t) On your journey, you’ll also pick up a variety of different magic spells, better swords, and equipment to provide defense. There are no “shops”. You obtain items and spells from NPC’s or from loot found from battle.

You gather information from various people in every town you visit. There is no mapping system, which is very frustrating because the game world is rather large. Of course, if you’re reading this you can also find maps online, but nonetheless. It can be a bit confusing at times to figure out what exactly you need to do or where to go next, but, usually a bit of wandering around can fix that.

The save system is rather butched. Due to tech limits and costs of the time, there isn’t a typical “select save file” system in Willow. Instead, you receive a code, “passwords” which you write down to save your progress. When you return to play later, simply input the code and you have your game save.

The graphics in Willow are very good. The towns have a number of houses and other things scattered around, all of which look nice. When you enter a house or talk to a person, you’ll enter a screen where you’ll see you and the person next to each other, and a close-up view of the person’s face. This has the effect of really pulling you in to the conversation you’re having. There are a good variety of enemies you’ll encounter, which all look interesting as well. Sound is rather good, the best aspect being that it changes often to fit the mood. That is, if you’re walking around outside, it will have a relatively calm tone to it, but when an enemy enters the screen, the pace will quicken. There isn’t too much variety in the music, but, the use of what’s there makes it stand out.

This game will definitely take a while to complete. It is a long and challenging game, and the controls do not help that. It never really gets too frustrating, but it will sometimes. Some of the bosses are tough, but the toughest part is trying to find all the items during this long quest. It will definitely take quite a few days to complete, but this is certainly not the most challenging game of all time. It is a decent challenge, however.

Controlling Willow is an exercise in frustration at first, but once you get used to the rather unique sword system than you should be good to go. I think the biggest flaw comes when you are battling enemies. When you go to face them, the game won’t let you turn, and you end up getting hit. This happened to me several times throughout the game, and it got more and more annoying each time. Also, you can’t jump, which is a minor complaint, but still a complaint nevertheless. The menu system can get a tad confusing at times, but for the most part, it is satisfactory. Needless to say, the control was not the best part of Willow, but it wasn’t totally horrible, either.

Overall, Willow is certainly a solid Adventure/RPG game that any fan of the genre should enjoy.

So, review round-up:

* Concept: RPG/adventure where you control Willow, a hobbit on a mission to save the world.
* Graphics: Very detailed, especially the NPC’s conversation. A true beauty on the NES
* Sound: Music is very mood appropriate. Sound is decent.
* Playability: Can be frustratingly hard sometimes, but overall solid.
* Entertainment: LONG adventure, but worthwhile.
* Replay: Low

Review Score: 7/10

Buy it here.

Loved this game? Hated it? Tell us!

Posted by thesocialrockstar 17.11.2010 in Original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
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Review: Ultima: Exodus (NES)

This is a hardcore, Dungeons and Dragons style RPG. So if you don’t like RPG’s, you won’t like this game.

Your goal is to defeat the evil Exodus and restore peace to Lord British’s kingdom, but in order to do so, you’ll have to beef up four warriors and collect a handful of key items scattered across the world. The item-finding part only takes up a small portion of the game; most of it will be spending grinding and amassing the money you’ll need to prepare for the final battle. Sound familiar?

Ultima: Exodus plays a lot differently from most JRPGs, though; for starters, you can choose your race and your class for your four characters. You can play a human, a dwarf, an elf, a “bobit” (I suppose that’s something like a hobbit) and a “fuzzy” (don’t ask, I have no idea), and you can select from one of eleven classes. The “pure” classes are fighter, thief, cleric, and wizard, who behave as you’d expect, and the other seven are various mixes of those abilities.

Once you’ve picked your characters and stats, you find yourself in the middle of the game’s map with no directions or hint as to where to go or what to do next. This is pretty normal for a game this old, and not a problem in and of itself; however, it’s extraordinarily easy to screw oneself over by following the logical and intuitive path of RPG progression, unaware of the potential long-term consequences.

The common sense thing to do at the start of any RPG is to run around and kill a few monsters, right? The enemies you’ll be fighting early on are easy to kill, particularly so if you have spellcasters in your party (which you should). Wizard-types can cast “repel,” which can insta-kill goblins and orcs, and clerics can destroy skeletons and ghouls with the “undead” spell. Both of these are free to cast, and rather potent to boot; with these you can easily wipe out early foes without receiving so much as a scratch.

Once you gain 100 XP, you can go to Lord British and level up; for every 100 XP you have, he’ll power you up a little more. Sounds reasonable enough, right?  But leveling up only increases your max HP; in order to raise your other stats, you have to go to a special area and donate large amounts of money to these special shrines. So how do you get there? Well, you’ll need a ship, which you’ll have to steal from some pirates… but pirates won’t start appearing until you hit level 5. You’ll have to level up a bit before you can even consider boosting your stats… but that shouldn’t be a problem, right? After all, those first enemies are pretty easy!

After reaching level 5, you not only start seeing pirates, but more powerful monsters start appearing. These are much to strong for you to kill, especially with a team of spell-casters. But you still need a ship to get anywhere. If you don’t have it, you are stuck with crap stats. It’s advisable to separate party to obtain the ship, or one to raise money on the trip to the shrines….either way, you’ll have to cheat the system a bit to make things work. That, and you’ll need pure luck to find a ship that isn’t surrounded by enemies that will eradicate your party shortly after getting the ship.

Rinse and repeat, and that’s basically 90% of the game; the real trick is figuring out how to do it faster, or in a way that’s not as likely to get you screwed by overpowered foes (the strongest ones appear when you’re level 9… out of a max of level 25!) You have to make sure you don’t run out of food or else suffer starving and watching your HP bleed away. Add the slow regeneration rates and turning a profit is quite difficult if you level up legitimately.

So how are you supposed to find anything useful? Beats me; most of the hints I got from NPCs were insightful gems along the lines of “There’s a mystic sword somewhere!”; “Buy my poetry book”; And my personal favorite, spoken by several six-year-old girls in various locations: “Please don’t forget about me.” Even the bartenders don’t give you good hints, and you have to pay them to get them to talk. And the townspeople who talk for free are usually hidden in some maze of bushes or trees where you can’t see them, and you have to walk through each and every square to find them.

So yeah! That’s Ultima: Exodus for you. Sounds riveting, doesn’t it? To top it all off, the graphics are a bland, flickery, unpolished mess.

If you hate old-school RPGs, stay away from this one. If you love old-school RPGs, I’d  pick up a copy of Dragon Warrior. But if you really really really really REAAAAAAAAALLY like old-school RPGs… well, you’ll probably like this.

So, review round-up:

* Concept: Old school RPG, much like Dungeons and Dragons.
* Graphics: Pretty ugly. Not gonna lie.
* Sound: Simple and entertaining.
* Playability: Grinding your way through can be tedious.
* Entertainment: If you LOVE RPG’s, buy this game. If not……
* Replay: Low

Review Score: 6/10

Buy it here.

Love old-school RPG games? Hate them? Tell us!

Posted by thesocialrockstar 15.11.2010 in Original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
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Fire Emblem Overview- Introduction

Fire Emblem Overview- Introduction

What does every Fire Emblem game have in common? Some sort of dragon cult manipulating a warlike nation into attacking the lesser nations, an idealistic young prince/mercenary heading up the resistance against the warlike nation, the nations being named after somewhat obscure city states from ancient history, and great turn based strategy gameplay. After twelve games developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo, and released on the NES, SNES, GBA, Gamecube, Wii and DS, this formulaic approach has proved to be both the first and best of its kind.
In all Fire Emblem games, players take control of a hero leading an army of ragtag freedom fighters trying to retake their homeland. Theses soldiers are controlled in a grid based tactical, each with a set number of movement points. All soldiers also have statistics that are determined by the Random Number Generator, a key component to the Fire Emblem formula. The Random Number Generator produces hit and critical numbers when a character engages in battle with an enemy. The hit percentage is scored out of a hundred, so for example, if the hit number was 74, and the RNG produced 72, then it is a hit. The same process is used for determining critical hits, except that a hit is required before a character can have the chance to perform a critical.
Each character belongs to a character class such as the sword wielding Myrmidon, the horse riding Cavalier, the heavily armored Knight and the axe wielding Warrior. In each game, different character classes prove better than others for balance purposes. Each character class can also promote to a second tier class through promotion items, with the latest non-remake, Radiant Dawn, introducing third tier classes and discarding the use of promotional items. The weapon triangle also has a place in each Fire Emblem title, although it has decreased in prominence in more recent titles. In the weapon triangle, swords have favorable outcomes over axes, axes over lances, and lances over swords. This also applies to magic, where earth magic has a better chance over light magic, light magic over dark magic, and dark magic over earth magic.
Fire Emblem was not released to American audiences until after the release of Super Smash Bros. Meele, which introduced the characters of Roy and Marth to Americans. As a result of increased American interest in these characters, the 7th game in the franchise, Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, was given an international release in 2003. This was thirteen years after the 1990 release of the original Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragons and the Blade of Light, which starred Marth. Increased demand for a Fire Emblem game starring Marth eventually led to the 2009 international release of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, a remake of the original Fire Emblem.
The franchise is divided into five different universes: Shadow Dragons and Blade of Light, Gaiden and the remakes Mystery of the Emblem, Shadow Dragon, and New Mystery of the Emblem are all in the continent of Akaneia, Genealogy of the Holy War and Thracia 776 both take place in the continent of Jugdral, Sword of Seals and Blazing Sword are set in the continent of Elibe, The Sacred Stones is the only Fire Emblem to take place in Magvel, and Path of Radience and Radiant Dawn both play out in the continent of Tellius. Using this division, the following posts in the Fire Emblem Overview series will be divided by continent.

Posted by Horowitz 16.07.2010 in Uncategorized
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