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Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura (Windows)

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4.0
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Written by  :  Indra is here (19706)
Written on  :  Mar 07, 2004
Rating  :  4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars

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Summary

Almost PERFECT...if it weren't for those dang BUGS!

The Good

If there was one RPG game that deserves an award in originality, story, concept, and everything else you can think of...this would be it.

I feel in love with the game almost instantly. It was odd, weird, unique, different, that was the feeling I got while the first cinematics played. It was unlike any game I've ever seen before...and I haven't even started playing yet. The music sank right in.

I must say I'm impressed by the Arcanum world. For some odd reason, no one really actually imagined a "modern" medieval world. It was either future or medieval. A world where they combined a world where technology and magic exists caught me off guard. I thought the concept was brilliant. Well, technically not that original, but it's worth the effort in my book!

I thought I was in love the first time around. Then I saw the character creation part. I don't remember the last time I felt this exited as far as RPG's go. Wow! They may have something going here. I always felt that the soul of RPG's is in either character creation or character development. They overdid themselves in the character creation department.

Ah, now we start playing. Oooh, stuff to pick up. Just like Ultima all over again. I'm really liking this game. Haha. They did a good job with the story line too. I felt almost like reading a book while I played the game. Well, close enough.

The Bad

Unfortunately, as much as I have respect for the game, as always, I must focus on the bad stuff that almost ruined the game in my perspective.

Well, the first thing mistake is mine. I have a habit of downloading patches before I play the game, and unfortunately I read a little to much information about the game than I should have. I knew the existence of the NPC's before I even played the game. This got me to a lot of thinking and planning. The problem is, when it comes to games, I'm a perfectionist. I MUST have it all. The though that there were NPC's that I couldn't bring a long was TOO much for my brain to handle. So I had to narrow it down to a few NPC's. It seemed that any NPC that had a voice was invaluable not to have. Then that stupid dwarf started complaining about the death knight as company, I started to get irritated. Oh well, restart game...let's try to be careful handling NPC's.

The more I learned about the game, the more I was a little put off. The fact that I found out there was a level limitation on my character kinda put me in the fits. This means I have to PLAN my character development. If I didn't browse the net, I wouldn't have known. Oh, well, restart game. Time to plan ahead.

Oh, it appears that having this ability at the start is much better than the other one. Oh, well, restart game.

Oh, it appears I should've solve the puzzle this way rather than that way. Oh, well, restart game.

Do you know that being a perfectionist is absolute TORTURE? Try restarting a game for 7-8 times, each lasts more than 10 hours long. You'll understand what I mean.

Then I realized something awful. I started comparing the game to Fallout 2. It started going waaay down hill after that. I discovered that combat was BORING. I had a hunch brushed aside, but I'll get to that later. I remember the extreme joy in Fallout 2, everytime combat initiated. The smell of blood, sounds of crushing bones and spilled guts. Hey, what happened? Suddenly combat was Ho-Hum. I actually resented that I had to fight. They took the fun out of combat. Must be the lack of sound or something. Whatever it was, it didn't feel the same.

Now comes to my hunch. Hmm...why are they making this game semi-real time/turned based. Why not either real-time or turned based why don't you. Why did you have to have both? Then it triggered another fishy hunch I had. Then a word popped up in my mind! Gasp! Diablo 2.

My god, is it me or is this a little similar with Diablo 2? Hey, Diablo's a great game, but honestly, as an RPG...welcome to pre-school. Diablo has incredible cinematics, but as an RPG...a kiddies game. My second fishy hunch was on character creation. They had an option for "quick" character creation. It bothered me to think that someone would actually play this game without going through the detailed character creation. Oh my god! It occured to me...they wanted non-serious gamers to also enjoy the game! NO! The shock was to much for me. Now I see it. That's what's wrong with the game...they bowed down to capitalist demands of the market! Well...not that I blame them, but they sure hell screwed up somewhere. Enough drama.

Then comes the bugs. Had to restart 3-4 times just because I found so many god dang bugs, that messed up my saved games. Well, eventually, all the stress said above and the bugs finally popped my rocker. I was so dang pissed. I really tried to play this game, but it wasn't easy. I finally retired the game, fearing my high blood pressure would get the better of me.

When you play this game, you'll know that is one of those games that comes once in a life time...but it didn't become the perfect masterpiece because they with-held it to become the masterpiece it could, should or would have been...for the sake of...well...the common folk.

Well, I tried. I really really tried.

The Bottom Line

As I said. Almost perfect. But unfortunately, I am sad to say that Fallout 2 is better. Maybe after my temper cools down, I'll pick up this game again...and finish it.