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I kind of think we need this as a few of us are talking about Western RPG's in differing threads. Risen gets talked up in Two Worlds II, and perhaps we want to ask questions there rather than then going to the Risen thread, then there's Gothic 4 talk...and then there's new releases and other bits and bobs et-ceteraaa, et-ceteraaa.

Including all olden/currenty RPGs just so we can compare em up. I'll start in a bit once this post has settled...

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Okay so here's a new one on me, Eurogamer review of Venetica:

Not especially worth starting a thread for this right now, it's a 6/10 from them

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2010-11-17-venetica-review

However 6/10's can mean anything in RPG-land, and at Metacritic it's sitting at 59 for Xbox and 65 for PC.

Yeah so it's not the most beautiful game ever, does anyone have any impressions; it's very actiony apparently.

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Next up is GOG.com

Firstly for them we've got Baldur's Gate 2 complete on sale there now for $9.99. Is it still viable and playable today?

I've also noticed Gothic 2 there; although it doesn't claim W7 compatibility on the info area - isn't it supposed to be pretty good?

Right thats me done :)

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Okay so here's a new one on me, Eurogamer review of Venetica:

Not especially worth starting a thread for this right now, it's a 6/10 from them

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2010-11-17-venetica-review

However 6/10's can mean anything in RPG-land, and at Metacritic it's sitting at 59 for Xbox and 65 for PC.

Yeah so it's not the most beautiful game ever, does anyone have any impressions; it's very actiony apparently.

Seen this pop up a few times recently, looks quite interesting very Fable like, be interested to hear any impressions could be something to consider picking up cheap. Some gameplay footage of it, think it looks quite nice, not the best voice acting though it has to be said.

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Nice thread Disciple

Yeah so it's not the most beautiful game ever, does anyone have any impressions; it's very actiony apparently.

I've played this (360 from Germany). The Eurogamer review seems fair in tone and the score depends on how much you like this sort of thing really. It's not a very big game but it doesn't feel rushed or incomplete. The setting, principally the city of Venice, is interesting compared to the norm, the combat is fun although you end up spamming one or two favourite spells throughout and using the fade into the etheral trick to get behind them. The lockpicking is fun too. There is a slightly underutilised function whereby after a certain point in the game you can speak to the dead (skeletons litter the areas) and sometimes they have useful information or items. There is some replayablity in a choice of three factions to join when entering Venice and then an overall good / bad type ending. Overall, I would say it's an RPG lite but worth checking out in my opinion. I'll certainly play it again if I have a barren period.

The review doesn't mention a nasty bug on the original console release whereby NPCs would disappear if you saved the game in their presence - basically you had to save only in unoccupied houses or other spaces such as mines to be on the safe side.

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I do think RPG's are a law unto their own somewhat when it comes to review scores. While it is a Square game, one of my favourite RPGs ever is Breath of Fire 3. I found it just magical, it really gripped me.

Then if we look at Arcania Gothic 4; well the demo was really very good I enjoyed it a lot! The comedy voice acting helped the game I felt.

Are RPG's the most subjective of all games; or do we forgive them more than others?

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I do think RPG's are a law unto their own somewhat when it comes to review scores. While it is a Square game, one of my favourite RPGs ever is Breath of Fire 3. I found it just magical, it really gripped me.

Then if we look at Arcania Gothic 4; well the demo was really very good I enjoyed it a lot! The comedy voice acting helped the game I felt.

Are RPG's the most subjective of all games; or do we forgive them more than others?

Well there is a subjective element to the experience for some games depending on how they are played - someone who immediately delivered the amulet and slavishly followed the main quest plot in Oblivion would have a very different perspective on the game from someone who joined a couple of guilds, visited all the towns, set up houses to store their stuff in etc etc. Equally the Eurogamer reviewer of Arcania seems to have sped through the game on an easy difficulty level and seems to have experiened a rather grey and totally undemanding hack n slash rather than the fairly tense dungeon crawl I experienced. I suppose this is the same for playing a FPS at extreme difficulty level too but in other respects the experience of playing the SP campaign is identical in all cases.

Each review should be able to identify the extent of the following key features which are not subjective

  • degree of character customisation
  • degree / flexibility of character progression through game
  • degree of and rewards from exploration
  • nature and sophistication of combat and whether difficulty can be changed
  • quality / variety of loot
  • quality / variety of writing and design of subquests
  • main quest arc

and probably a few more, to give folk some idea of what to expect.

I know I am personally forgiving of many short comings such as poor voice acting, synch, ugly NPCs, fetch quests and the like so I wouldn't necessarily mark a game down for these.

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I'm currently fallout 3-ing and loving it to bits. I had tried to play it when the game first came out and just completely failed to get on with it - from memory I just didn't get the importance of regularly saving, especially in the early part of the game, got pissed off by being attacked by what could easily have been the whole population of megaton just for nicking a spoon (to be fair the owning npc then attacked me and I had to murder her in self defense), didn't much like the first person view point, experienced one or two game freezes, found megaton to have a megaton of npc conversations to wade through and hadn't properly read the manual about VATs, the repairing of guns and armour and several other things to boot.

This time round though its all going swimmingly - I don't even find the wastelands and the post nuclear shitholeness of it all in any way depressing; if anything I feel fairly superhuman and very rarely find myself dying, even in the tricky fights, largely because I can put everything on hold while I leasurely bring up my pip boy and use a stympac or a snorter of jet and/or psycho before jumping into VATs and sorting out whatever the hell is attacking me.

Some time several yonks ago I simililarly tried and failed with Balders Gate 2 and I am now tempted to load that again on my now creaking at the seams PC and see how I get on. I'm playing fallout 3 on my PS3 so could do with something else to play in tandem when I can't use the TV. Having played Dragon Age through twice over about 150 hours, I have to think I'll like BG2 now :)

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I do think RPG's are a law unto their own somewhat when it comes to review scores. While it is a Square game, one of my favourite RPGs ever is Breath of Fire 3. I found it just magical, it really gripped me.

Then if we look at Arcania Gothic 4; well the demo was really very good I enjoyed it a lot! The comedy voice acting helped the game I felt.

Are RPG's the most subjective of all games; or do we forgive them more than others?

I go into open ended RPG's expecting bugs, and then pretty much dismiss them when they occur. Why? Don't really know. You could create a bug list for Oblivion that would have stretched around the world twice, but none of them affected my enjoyment. It's like your brain says, that's a given.

Assuming you have no problem with the Infinity engine then BG2 is a must although imo, Torment has the better writing and is probably the better game if you've never played it.

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I'm currently looking at picking up Sacred 2 secondhand - because it has local co-op! It also has online co-op which I probably realised, yet didn't know how great that could be.

Anyhow; thoughts. One to play with the gf I'm thinking...?

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WRPGs are a strange beast, and I do think there is a higher tolerance to bugs/glitches etc (certainly in the Eastern-European developed titles); the only reason I can think of is that it's because of the level of control you get over your character, how you want to play and what you want to see outside of the main quest.

And besides, things like polished graphics, steady framerates, intuitive UI are all secondary to the feeling of being in complete control of creating a badass and massively overpowered character, right?

I'm actually playing Risen at the moment, and whilst I'm not feeling the love that many in the thread did, I'm still playing it - so it must be doing right. I do like the fact that it is quite brutal at times, and I have died plenty.

I've also got Sacred 2 and Divinity 2 in my pile, and am thinking about Arcania and Two Worlds 2 as well. Venetica I had read about ages ago when it was announced, and it seems a bit too RPG-light for me, I think.

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WRPGs are a strange beast, and I do think there is a higher tolerance to bugs/glitches etc (certainly in the Eastern-European developed titles); the only reason I can think of is that it's because of the level of control you get over your character, how you want to play and what you want to see outside of the main quest.

And besides, things like polished graphics, steady framerates, intuitive UI are all secondary to the feeling of being in complete control of creating a badass and massively overpowered character, right?

That is a part of it, but it's mainly the fact that a lot of these games are quite open world. When you compare something like the freedom to where you can go in something like Fallout or Oblivion compared to FFXIII (first ten hours in a straight line lol) there is a pretty obvious reason why usually JRPG's are more polished. They're usually far far more linear.

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