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Tales of the Unknown 2003

Posted at 16:25 on September 30th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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http://www.gamespy.com/previews/september03/bardstalemulti/

No idea if you guys loved or loathed the original, no idea if you knew about this one, I had no idea they were beavering away it. Personally I loved the original and will almost certainly buy it, probobly n the release day :embarassed: .

I wonder if it will inherit the simplistic approach from the original :doubt:
Posted at 02:22 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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RPGs suck, that's a given fact. In today's gaming industry, however, seeing anything other than 'ego shooters' being developed is refreshing...
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 08:01 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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This is actually a great case study of how much new games suck. For those who are not aware, Bard's Tale was a turn-based roleplaying game, viewed in the first-person mode.

This new Bard's Tale will use a modified Baldur's Gate interface - it will feature an isometric view and real-time combat. Why? Because Brian Fargo is aiming at the console crowd, and PC is only an afterthought :angry:
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NetDanzr<br />
-The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog-
Posted at 08:18 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I haven't really been following the RPG market, so this is a serious question: How many games in first person view and round-based combat have been released in the last... let's say.... 7 years?
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Posted at 08:30 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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The last such game was the disastrous Might and Magic IX in spring of 2002. Before that, it was the awesome Wizardry 8 before Christmas 2001. Currently, only one such game is in production, the independent Devil's Whiskey (the demo is out already), which is hailed as the spiritual successor of Bard's Tale.

As far as RPG games go, however, everything has moved to isometric view, mainly to satisfy console gamers. The only two first-person RPGs of some consequence last year were Morrowind and Arx Fatalis, but both featured real-time combat, because both were also released for the X-Box. Then you have all those real-time third-person games, such as Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights and Icewind Dale, which play more like RTS games than RPG. One bright exception was supposed to be Temple of Elemental Evil, developed by the same guys who created Fallout and Arcanum. The game, published by Infogrames, is hardly playable, though. I tried it on all 12 computers in the office and at home, and it ran fine only on one, courtesy of the copy protection and other bugs. Yesterday, I printed out the list og gameplay bugs found by the players so far - with a 10px font, it printed on four pages.

As a result, computer role-playing is pretty much dead these days.
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NetDanzr<br />
-The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog-
Posted at 08:32 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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As a result, computer role-playing is pretty much dead these days.
That's one way you can put it. Or you can just admit (as it looks to me) that there is simply no difference between console and computer gaming anymore.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 08:36 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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In certain categories only. There are some niche genres that are still pretty much exclusive to PCs, such as historical strategies (I've been recently spending lots of quality time with War and Peace) and pure adventures. The former needs keyboard to control the game, and consoles with keyboards will not be a standard fare for years to come, and the latter is simply too passive for the action-obsessed console players.
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NetDanzr<br />
-The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog-
Posted at 08:38 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Wow, you've really picked some niche genres there - tiny niches with maybe 0.1 new commercial games being released for IBM each year. If that's the whole difference, there really isn't much to show...
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 08:41 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Actually, I don't know what's the situation in Germany, but here in the US adventuring is really picking up. About 10% of shelf space are pure adventures these days, and where you had only Dreamcatcher last year, not you have three companies publishing adventure games. As for historical strategies, they are still lagging, but last week was the first time this century that I've seen three recent games on the shelves at the same time.
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NetDanzr<br />
-The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog-
Posted at 08:43 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I'm always happy to admit I'm not really ever checking out the 'shelves' (or visiting computer games stores at all), but from what I always hear about, the last real Adventure was released a few years ago, and the same with any kind of strategy.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 08:52 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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As for adventures, Syberia is pretty much a pure adventure game. Then you have Post Mortem. Both are in third person, both concentrate on puzzles (even though Syberia's puzzles are quite inept) and neither has any action sequences. Then you have a small gem of a game called Dark Fall. Really atmospheric, really scary, good puzzles, no action. The only drawback is it's in first-person, which is something I don't like about adventure games. Runaway: A Road Adventure was finally released in the US, and there's also Omega Stone, Curse of Atlantis, Black Mirror and many more. Syberia 2 and Broken Sword 3 are coming soon. I also had lots of fun with a small independent freeware - Space Quest 0.

As far as historical strategies go, there's War and Peace, Europa Universalis II is still pulling impressive numbers, and SSG started developing wargames once again, recently releasing Korsun Pocket.

If you ask me about first-person shooters or how many Tomb Raider games there are, however, I won't be able to tell you.
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NetDanzr<br />
-The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog-
Posted at 08:55 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I've never heard about any of the games you mentioned (apart from EU2), and until a month ago, I was still subscribed to a PC games magazine, so they either were never released here or they simply weren't mentioned. Neither of these options would surprise me the least.

The last question is pretty simple to answer, though: 9999999999999 Billion.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 08:55 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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hehey, i was just lurking around reading your discussion here.

i pretty much share your opinion, games are starting to suck, movies already do :D

fallout is one of my favorites, planescape torment closely followed.

rpgs nowadays are for a different generation, guys. 5-10 years ago only 20 year olds were playing around with video games, but nowadays there are a lot of kiddies in the communities!

same goes for movies.

the cartoon audience doesn't consist of 12 year olds anymore, it's for 6 year olds.

sorry for my bad grammatics, i'm from germany, and in a real hurry :)
Posted at 12:35 on October 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Posted by NetDanzr at 16:01 on October, 1st 2003:

This new Bard's Tale will use a modified Baldur's Gate interface - it will feature an isometric view and real-time combat.


Oh shit, Ive never played Baulders gate, it sort of passed me by, hence when I read its using the engine in the preview I never realised it was going to be real time combat AARG! How naive of me to think anything else from a modern release :angry:

Trust you to go and spoil it for me NetDanzr :)

I wonder if El Cid will be in it with a magic fire horn?

And, from the original, what the fuck does "The Stone Golem is said to be two-fold" supposed to mean??
Posted at 02:37 on October 2nd, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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hehey, i was just lurking around reading your discussion here.
Welcome :)

Quote:
5-10 years ago only 20 year olds were playing around with video games, but nowadays there are a lot of kiddies in the communities!
I'm not sure I can agree with that. 10 years ago, the average age of people playing computer games was increasing, because IBM crushed all other systems, and thus, all the office-type people got into gaming. I don't think much has changed during the last 5 years at all, but that's again subject to my uninformed opinion about this period.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 08:10 on October 2nd, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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pepsiman: Welcome :)

fretz: Good to know that I spoiled it for you ;). No, really. I was very disappointed to find that many people got enthusiastic about the game only after they found out that it would use the BG engine. I'm starting to worry for the gaming industry...

Mr Creosote: As far as I know, the average age is measured only for the PC platform. Without any serious numbers and only anecdotal evidence, I must agree with pepsiman that a lot more kiddies play video games than ever before, as they pretty much dominate the console platforms. And since that's where the money is, Fargo is developing BT primarily for Playstation 2 in a format that will please these kiddies, with the PC version being only an afterthought.
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NetDanzr<br />
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Posted at 08:21 on October 2nd, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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the average age is measured only for the PC platform
Probably in the USA, where these typewriters had been the dominant systems since the mid 80s. It's a given fact at least for Europe what I said is pretty accurate. During 1990 and 1995 (approximately of course), the average age of gamers made a leap upwards.

Edited by Mr Creosote at 16:28 on October, 02nd 2003
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 07:04 on October 6th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Anyway, touching on the issue of less mature players these days, I've got a story for you. Recently, I got a new cable service installed, with a much larger range of channels. I'm now also getting TechTV and G4tv (a gaming channel). There is this show on TechTV where they review games. They were talking about a console version of Syberia, and their main highlight was that the puzzles are simpler than those for the PC version. I played the PC version, and even though the graphics and atmosphere are unsurpassed in adventure gaming, the puzzles flat-out suck; they are way too easy. Now more "modern" gamers say that they are glad that the game was dumbed down even further.

Then there's G4tv. On a talk show, they were talking about Laser Squad Nemesis. This one chick was saying how much fun it is to play against others over e-mail. Everybody else in the studio started arguing with her that it's too complicated and that when people want to have fun they simply boot up the *insert random console game here*.

I think pepsiman was right. The gaming audience is getting seriously dumbed down and immature. I guess in a couple of years the only entertaining games out there will be independent titles like Bridge Builder...
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NetDanzr<br />
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Posted at 09:34 on October 6th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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You're confusing two things here: dumbing games down and the age of the audience. There was a very good article about this in a German computer magazine in the early 90s. It basically said that since now (referring to the present 'then' of course) more and more older people start playing games, they were starting to get simpler and flatter. The reason given was the following (and I wholeheartly agree with it): 'Older' people (i.e. the 'newer' gamers then) just want to have a little distraction from games when they come home from work in the evening/afternoon, so they don't want to be stuck at (for example) one puzzle of an Adventure game all the time. They prefer something easier which will just let them advance (while still providing some simple and easy to understand challenges of course). The gamers before were young geeks with much time on their hands. They could 'afford' thinking about one puzzle in Zork for weeks.

Now your argument is the complete reverse. While it may be true for the current market (which I've already admitted I don't follow), it's certainly wrong for the situation ten years ago.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 15:22 on October 7th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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You're right, in the past few years i've seen many more "old" people playing games.

It's funny, because especially from the old people you'd expect "class", but my english teacher was writing down cheats for "vice city" in class today (i think he's 35).

For all i care he can play doom3 when it comes out, but i was really wierded out. All my classmates were in complete awe of him, they called him "cool", and when students call teachers cool, then there's definitly something wrong.

And another odd thing is, that people talk more about videogames than sex! The kiddies in my school are real proud of spending 7 hrs a deay on a 17" screen. Like little fishies in their tanks.

I've never seen fishes who were proud of being in a tank.

(got myself an account :), hope you guys don't mind having "kids" ruining the interlectual atmosphere here ;))

Edited by pepsiman at 23:25 on October, 07th 2003
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