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Darklands

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Uh-oh...

אולג 小奥 (171551) on Sep 07, 2013


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I know this is not a popular opinion among RPG fans, but I've been playing this all day long and for the love of all saints can't connect to it at all. I don't even understand why it is considered an RPG, because it totally has the vibe of a simulation game. Yes, it's interesting, but I'm just not having fun at all.

So, does it mean I'm disqualified as a RPG lover, or is there a fellow RPGer out there who has had a similar experience?

Edit: Rabbi Guru says "Sadly, it can get boring" in his article. I wonder if he is being polite, because it totally is boring for me, or maybe he has been able to connect to it since?..

(Edited by אולג 小奥 (171551), Sep 07, 2013)

Re: Uh-oh...

Indra is here (19781) on Sep 07, 2013


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If you're looking for a story, you won't have fun. If you're looking for character development, this is bliss.

Does this disqualify you as an RPG lover? Dunno. Try asking this question:

If from all the gaming genres, ranging from adventure games, to simulation games, to RPGs, to strategy games, etc. If you had to live with only one of the genre, hence eradicating all the games in the other genres into oblivion (including the hybrids that may have two or more sub-genres in them), which genre would you choose to live with?

I've made peace with mine.

Re: Uh-oh...

אולג 小奥 (171551) on Sep 08, 2013


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If from all the gaming genres, ranging from adventure games, to simulation games, to RPGs, to strategy games, etc. If you had to live with only one of the genre, hence eradicating all the games in the other genres into oblivion (including the hybrids that may have two or more sub-genres in them), which genre would you choose to live with?

RPG, without a shade of doubt. Western RPG, to be more specific.

So yeah, I am an RPG lover. But it's still annoying when there is an important game everybody praise in a genre you like most, and you simply don't get it.

Re: Uh-oh...

Indra is here (19781) on Sep 08, 2013


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Then you deconstruct which characteristics are mandatory, which are optional and when I say optional, I mean it can be removed entirely in its extreme.

In my case, for example, it's character development, preferably repetition based. Everything else is optional (story, inventory, NPCs, quests, etc.). Only additional requirement for my taste, is just what type of combat it uses. Diablo/console style combat doesn't bode well for me.

After recognizing that, I realized I'm not really into RPGs. I'm obsessed with certain character development features. RPGs just happened to accommodate those features.

Re: is it always about the story?

Rola (7388) on Sep 08, 2013


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What is the question: "is Darklands a good RPG" or "is Darklands a good game"?

Surely there are games which focus on building your character, with minimum story, which are popular. Like roguelikes.

I used to like games with little story and high replay value, like simulations with dynamic campaigns. Now I'm leaning towards games with a story & ending, which I can mark as "completed".

Re: is it always about the story?

אולג 小奥 (171551) on Sep 09, 2013


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Exactly! It's a good game, without doubt. As an RPG... Tends to be boring. Maybe I need to work on the right mood to connect to it.

Re: Uh-oh...

Happy Rabbi (1305) on Sep 08, 2013


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So, why western rpg's?

Re: Uh-oh...

אולג 小奥 (171551) on Sep 08, 2013


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Deeper gameplay, much more content, higher replay value, more variety... Japanese RPG as a whole is a pretty sad genre, but I love to see how some particularly talented designers (Atsushi Ii, Kazuma Kaneko, Prince Hiroi, different Square teams, etc.) circumvent the genre's stupidity and do something creative with it.

Re: Uh-oh...

Happy Rabbi (1305) on Sep 08, 2013


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I like Tales of... games.

(Edited by Happy Rabbi (1305), Sep 09, 2013)

Re: Uh-oh...

Happy Rabbi (1305) on Sep 07, 2013


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אולג 小奥 Wrote:
Rabbi Guru says "Sadly, it can get boring" in his article. I wonder if he is being polite, because it totally is boring for me, or maybe he has been able to connect to it since?..



That's a pretty honest statement. I liked the setting, even lost some time into it... but then, that's it. Not anything more to it. Would definitely like more historical rpg's.

P.S I like how I keep saying Micropose and not noticing any problems with it. I like how my editor failed to see that too. :)

(Edited by Happy Rabbi (1305), Sep 07, 2013)

Re: Uh-oh...

vedder (20203) on Sep 08, 2013


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I missed it even now as I read this.

I am inclined to start a company called Microposse now, though.

Re: Uh-oh...

Indra is here (19781) on Sep 08, 2013


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Not entirely sure if playing whilst not in possession of the manual decreases gameplay value. I had the hardcopy manual, which felt like a hundred pages. I vaguely remember they described the game as "not like just another action RPG" or something like that.

Anyway, objectively possible the good and bad based on my experience:

Good
  • Detailed skill development.
  • Historical RPG theme (hence high educational value) with minor fantasy elements. An extremely rare theme in this genre.
  • Lovely oil-paintings for interactive fiction with graphics events.
  • Tough enemies, hence any encounter should be treated with caution.
  • Stuff to collect for OCD gamers, including several alchemy recipes and what seems like hundreds of saints.
  • Local and global reputation. Yes, hardcore mode means you aim to achieve positive reputation and every city or town.
  • Weapons and armor with different quality, including depreciating armor. You know, the last game group we talked about which eventually got ignored (again).
  • Random events, many of which are rare.
  • Several alternate choices to approach an event e.g. use skills, call a saint, fight, etc.
  • Armor and weapons equipped have a visual representation.
  • Loot everything used by the enemy after combat. An enemy knight displayed to wear plate armor actually has plate armor in the loot when defeated.
  • Many towns and cities to visit.
Bad
  • Extremely lousy combat.
  • Not enough random events.
  • Main story not entirely obvious. More focus on the sub-quests than the main story.
  • Annoying time limit which involves characters getting old which means abilities will degrade over time.
  • Main attributes cannot be increase other than via random event.
  • Limited selection of equipment and armor.
  • Sub-quests tend to be repetitive after the hundredth time with no unique rewards other than florins.
  • Exploration in castles or caves are dull with no interesting loot.
  • I still have no idea what boar tusks are for.

(Edited by Indra is here (19781), Sep 09, 2013)

Re: Uh-oh...

Rola (7388) on Sep 09, 2013


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^^ maybe you should copy&paste this to your review?

(Edited by Rola (7388), Sep 09, 2013)

Re: Uh-oh...

אולג 小奥 (171551) on Sep 09, 2013


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Agree with Rola, you should revise your review with this list - it's very clear and helpful!

Currently traveling with 20 boar tusks... :) I love how the game says the party made some bacon or whatever after we killed the boars :) That's what I always think whenever I kill such enemies in any game, but Darklands is the only one describing this in text!

Speaking of main story: is there one?? Where?! How do you trigger it? Don't tell me I need a high reputation or whatever... I killed enough pesky friars to secure a place in hell :)

Is there any cave you can actually explore? I found about ten caves, but the game didn't let me enter any of them - except one, some mines of sorts, I went in and killed some bears or whatever.

(Edited by אולג 小奥 (171551), Sep 09, 2013)

Re: Uh-oh...

Indra is here (19781) on Sep 09, 2013


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אולג 小奥 Wrote:
Currently traveling with 20 boar tusks...

Speaking of main story: is there one?? Where?! How do you trigger it? Don't tell me I need a high reputation or whatever... I killed enough pesky friars to secure a place in hell :)

Is there any cave you can actually explore? I found about ten caves, but the game didn't let me enter any of them - except one, some mines of sorts, I went in and killed some bears or whatever.

I think the only practical use I found for boar tusks is a 'bumper' between items you want to keep and items you want to sell. Since you can't sell those tusks, you can just click sell and it automatically stops at the boar tusk when everything is sold, without fear of accidentally selling items you want to keep.

Yes, there is a main quest. Or something like that. Considering that many of those random or not so random events have several possibilities to choose from, perhaps one of them will offer a subtle hint. See, now you have something to look forward to.

Don't feel bad. The first time I played it, I had no idea either. Like I said, it's not that obvious.

Yeah, several caves. Though the ones you can explore I think has to refer to sub-quests. I remember mining quests where you have to deal with annoying little dwarves among others. I think you can check for 'unique' quests via gossip in town or something like that. Can't remember squat.

Too bad I never finished this game.

Re: Uh-oh...

אולג 小奥 (171551) on Sep 09, 2013


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So many hours of playing flew by before I realized I was actually loving the game. Heh, typical me.

Re: open-ended versus storyline-driven

Rola (7388) on Sep 09, 2013


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IIRC this is even mentioned in the readme - they say the game is designed for endless play, but there are a few main quests (that may be considered main storyline) after which you can mark the game as completed.

Maybe they should've made it more like Wing Commander Privateer - also endless play, but the storyline can be triggered for a nice endgame (when you are so rich and powerful and the game has no more challenges, you want to go for the finale, not just quit playing).

After reading Indra's ancient review: you guys are playing with the last patch, right?

(Edited by Rola (7388), Sep 09, 2013)

Re: open-ended versus storyline-driven

אולג 小奥 (171551) on Sep 09, 2013


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Yup, seems to be the latest version here.