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2009: The Year in Review

Editorial - posted by DarkUnderlord on Thu 18 February 2010, 12:35:33

Tags: The Year in Review

In the time-honoured tradition of reminiscing about the year just gone, we take a look at 2009:

Another thing that didn't happen in 2009 was Obsidian's much talked about RPG set in the Aliens universe. Josh Sawyer's run of bad luck heading up projects that get cancelled continued. Rather than being released or even having development continue at a merry pace, it was cancelled in early February... or later in June depending on who you want to believe. Staff were laid-off, assets may have been disposed of and children may have been harmed in the end of production.

2009: The list of things that didn't happen.

There are 3 comments on 2009: The Year in Review

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Let's Review Dragon Age: Origins! (again)

Review - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 8 February 2010, 04:05:11

Tags: Dragon Age: Origins

Elzair takes a stab at reviewing Dragon Age:


Well, the game finally made it to stores last month, so it is time to talk about it. Since Bioware claims that it is a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate II, I will make comparisons between the two. While it is a somewhat decent game, I do not think it meets the (admittedly low) standards set by Baldur's Gate II.

There are 27 comments on Let's Review Dragon Age: Origins! (again)


Review - posted by JarlFrank on Sat 6 February 2010, 02:35:41

Tags: Venetica

Venetica is the first RPG of a German adventure game developer. You're playing the daughter of Death and have to stop the Undead Lord who tries to enslave nations with necromancy.

The game is very action-focused and has a good story with interesting characters, but the RPG elements are light and the game suffers from a multitude of bugs and performance problems.

Read our review here.

There are 25 comments on Venetica

Dragon Age: Choices and Consequences

Review - posted by DarkUnderlord on Sat 23 January 2010, 06:35:41

Tags: BioWare; Dragon Age: Origins

Vault Dweller reviews BioWare's Dragon Age and takes a look at its choices and consequences. Here's a snip: [INDENT=1]It's hard to find a better way to introduce a game world, its different races and customs than by tasking the player with seeking allies and offering several gameworld-affecting options, which, in essence, give you an opportunity to tweak the gameworld to your liking.[/INDENT] [INDENT=1]Can't overcome your dislike of the nature-dwelling, freedom-loving elves? Replace them with werewolves (by convincing the werewolves to wipe out the elves). Think that nothing good comes from meddling with magic? Let the Circle die in the tower and tell the templars to imprison the rest. Or, if you're a blood mage practicing the forbidden art, use this opportunity to wipe out both the templars and the Circle mages while they're weakened. A goal as flexible and generic as "gather allies" works perfectly with this design by encouraging you to understand your potential options, giving you the appropriate choices, and generating the logical outcomes and consequences.[/INDENT] [URL='']Read the rest here[/URL].

There are 26 comments on Dragon Age: Choices and Consequences

Risen – probably the strongest deja-vu you’ll ever experience

Review - posted by DarkUnderlord on Sun 13 December 2009, 14:39:33

Tags: Piranha Bytes; Risen

Darth Roxor takes a look at Risen, Piranha Bytes spiritual successor to the Gothic series. Is it all it's cracked up to be? [INDENT]Now that we’re done with the background, I believe it’s time to focus on the meat of the game. Risen is divided into four chapters, and saying that they’re a mixed bag is an understatement. In the first one, you’ll need to swear allegiance to one of the factions, and generally, this one is the best from the ‘roleplaying’ perspective. I believe it has the most sidequests, and many of them have a few ways of approaching and finishing. Basically the whole Harbour Town is an exercise in choosing sides – the major quests found there are possible to finish in two ways, either for the inquisition or the Don. They mostly arise from a common problem, but then have multiple ways to do them, two ways to finish and different outcomes. For example, five pieces of valuable ceremonial armour have been misplaced somewhere. Both the inquisition and the rebels are looking for them, but only one man associated with the rebels knows where they all are. Three different people have the pieces, and you can either steal them, if you have the skill, beat them up if you feel capable, or buy them for insane prices. After you have them all, you can take the armour either to the inquisition or to the rebels, which yields you reputation, gold (the rebels usually pay better) and utility items (potions, scrolls). Depending on who you choose to support in these quests will also unlock new quests and teachers – for example, aiding the rebel Delgado not only gives you another, otherwise unavailable, quest, but he’s also the only person in the game who can teach you the third level of pickpocketing. [...] If you join the inquisition, you’ll end up in the monastery, where you’ll need to finish your basic training first. The monastery is also home to some of the most interesting quests in the game. For example, the first test you’ll have to pass, is the test of combat. You’ll need to beat three recruits first, and in the end challenge Master Aric, the combat trainer. You can approach Aric in two ways – if you grasped Risen’s combat really well already, you can try beating him fair and square, but it’s a tough fight. However, if you get beaten once, you can ask the other recruits for advice, and you’ll be able to drastically tip the scales in your favour by getting Aric drunk and replacing his fancy sword with a weak one. Another well done quest is the murder investigation – you’ll feel like in The Name of the Rose, gathering clues about the murder, interrogating witnesses, and eventually pretending to be a weed trader to lure out the murderer, who’ll turn out to be, well… someone you probably didn’t expect.[/INDENT] [URL='']Read the rest here[/URL].

There are 31 comments on Risen – probably the strongest deja-vu you’ll ever experience

Codex Good Old Games Short Story Competition

Competition - posted by DarkUnderlord on Tue 25 August 2009, 13:47:22

Good Old Games thought it would be a great idea to give us #10 games to give-away as part of some sort of competition. To show them how stupid that was and in order to make them regret it, we've come up with the Codex Good Old Games Short Story Competition. Follow the link for details and entries received so far.


Thanks to all those who entered. The winners are:

  1. Speculative fiction set in a future society based around the teachings of Volourn.

    • Darth Roxor. For a r00falicious Volournian poem.

    • Quilty. While the judges weren't entirely certain of it's relevance to the topic, the visual imagery was hard to pass up.

  2. Why/How Age of Decadence should be made into an MMORPG. Entrants are encouraged to include hypothetical gameplay examples and prototype screenshots.

    • Silellak. How could we pass up the MMOARPG or screenshots accurately typifying the average MMO experience?

    • Annie Carlson. Someone else's breadcrumb trail came close but Annie's revolutionary click combat "where whichever opponent is able to click their mouse button the most times is declared the winner" won the day.

  3. Developing Grimoire: A Day in the Life.

    • Elite. A clear judges favourite for conveying Cleve's endless suffering as an intellectually talented developer.

    • Seymour. This was difficult as the judges were going for Darth Roxor but his Volournian poem took the prize, leaving Seymour to collect on his entry here.

  4. DarkUnderlord

    • POOPERSCOOPER. Truly, a visual masterpiece.

    • Shannow. Ultimately for mentioning Fez, just pipping spacemoose to the prize

  5. Attack of the 50-foot Multi-Headed Dick.

    • Data4. A clear winner in this category for his lovecraftian epic. Though the judges insist he complete his masterwork before collecting his prize...

    • Occasionally Fatal. A struggle in this category with many winners considered but OF coming through in the end, possibly because of cigars.

There are 0 comments on Codex Good Old Games Short Story Competition

NWN2: Mysteries of Westgate Review

Review - posted by baby arm on Sun 17 May 2009, 01:58:05

Tags: Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate; Ossian Studios

Our dear Ubersturmfuhrer Vault Dweller plunked down his ten bucks to get a crack at Ossian's Neverwinter Nights 2 adventure pack, [URL='']Mysteries of Westgate[/URL]. [URL='']Here's his review.[/URL]

There are 17 comments on NWN2: Mysteries of Westgate Review

Ron Gilbert - the DeathSpank Interview

Interview - posted by baby arm on Tue 12 May 2009, 07:10:58

Tags: DeathSpank; Ron Gilbert

Ron Gilbert gave us the whys, wheres, and whatfors on his upcoming action RPG, DeathSpank.


Read on...

There are 0 comments on Ron Gilbert - the DeathSpank Interview

Andhaira finds out about Knights of the Chalice

Interview - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 11 May 2009, 11:32:00

Tags: Knights of the Chalice

Local Codexian Andhaira sent some questions to Knights of the Chalice creator Pierre Begue. Here's what Pierre said about his upcoming indie RPG:

Knights of the Chalice is a traditional 2D RPG where you create a party of heroes and embark on a series of adventures in a fantasy world. The game features tactical turn-based combat, a good AI and user-friendly interface. It is based on the Open Game Content 3.5 from Wizards of the Coast.

If that sounds like something you might be interested in, be sure to read the rest.

There are 19 comments on Andhaira finds out about Knights of the Chalice

A few words with Michal Kicinski, Co-Founder of CD Projekt

Interview - posted by DarkUnderlord on Wed 29 April 2009, 11:22:45

Tags: CD Projekt; Michal Kicinski; Witcher, The

Some months ago (before CD Projekt were rumoured to be facing imminent doom), we asked Michal Kicinski, Co-Founder of CD Projekt a few questions about RPGs, hype and what Cd Projekt were up to. A few months later and with issues of timing and translating Polish out of the way, here it is:


Lastly, I'd like to send greetings from the CD Projekt team to the Codex community. There's no denying you are very demanding, but these demands are seldom baseless. Even though we do not post here very actively, we often browse the Codex, trying to draw conclusions from the discussions here and amend our projects if we decide it's needed. Of course, substantial points are the most useful; but reading some hearty bitching and creative invective-hurling is an interesting diversion :)


Oh I'm sorry, did you want me to quote something more interesting? You'll have to read the interview for that.

There are 5 comments on A few words with Michal Kicinski, Co-Founder of CD Projekt

A Long Hard Look at Mount & Blade

Codex Review - posted by DarkUnderlord on Tue 21 April 2009, 18:30:48

Tags: Armagan; Mount & Blade; TaleWorlds

The final retail release of Mount & Blade has been out for a while now, so what better time than now [URL='']to give it a long hard look[/URL]: [INDENT]Yes, it seems that despite all the trade caravans running about the place, you are the single driving force behind the entire economy. Of course the trade skill helps reduce purchase prices significantly but as you really need money to get the decent equipment (which unlike most games, you'll have to buy rather than find from killing stuff) you need a lotta cash. Where do you get cash from in a world that has none? How am I supposed to make that kind of money if I can't sell any of my expensive goods to anyone? More to the point, how can an item be worth 80,000 denars if no-one on the planet even has that much cash to pay for it? It's like selling a loaf of bread for a gazillion dollars. It's asinine. [...] That leaves you pretty much making your own story up. You'll join a Faction and decide that the Rhodoks will pay for defeating Lord X in battle and so after them you go. You'll gain the support of your Khan and get elected as War Leader. You'll call the other Lords to your aide and you and groups of other War Parties will ride into enemy territory to lay waste to all before them. This is the meat of Mount & Blade and it's quite fun. However your battles will almost always result in victory and with a bit of luck, the Khan may even reward you with a Town, Village or Castle for your efforts. ... and like all rewards in Mount & Blade, they're entirely worthless too.[/INDENT] [URL='']Read the rest (and there's a lot of it) here[/URL]...

There are 18 comments on A Long Hard Look at Mount & Blade

Interview with Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software

Interview - posted by baby arm on Mon 30 March 2009, 03:54:09

Tags: Jeff Vogel; Spiderweb Software

Indie RPG mainstay Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software gave us his opinions on Geneforge 5, Avernum 6, recent RPGs, and why Macs suck.

Read all about it here.

There are 9 comments on Interview with Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software

Lingwe talks to some modders about modding

Interview - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 2 March 2009, 02:46:53

In some cases they're the people who make the extra content, the new quests or total conversions we enjoy. In other cases, they're the ones who fix the bugs the developers left behind. We're talking about modders. Lingwe interviewed a swath of modders on behalf of the Codex. He spoke to them about their motivation, the technical challenges they faced, community reception, their expectations and experience. Here's a bit of what they had to say:


Killap: 2005 was the year I started modding Fallout 2. I honestly don’t recall what truly pushed me to modify the game, but I do remember having a craving to play Fallout 2 again at that time. I remember coming across an unofficial Fallout 2 patch by a modder named Seraph. He had fixed quite a number of bugs in the game and was still actively working on it. It was at this time that I also came across the amazing Nearly Ultimate Fallout 2 Guide by Per Jorner. Not only did this guide list everything that one could possibly do in the game, but it also had quite an extensive list of unfixed bugs. Seeing that these bugs were still not fixed in the unofficial patch by Seraph, I decided to sit down and have a go at it. Programming was something that always interested me and seeing an opportunity to put it to some practical use, I began to create my own unofficial patch. And thus began my quest to make Fallout 2 into the game it should have been from the very beginning.


Wesp: I would do it all over again and the result is worth the effort! I have a lot of fun doing the patch and obviously a lot of people have fun using my patch and it keeps a very old game alive or maybe, more fitting, undead wink ! Looking back I would probably have created a basic and plus version right from the start to avoid any of the conflict that arouse because of the patch/mod issue, if I only had known that people had it in the first place.


There are 10 interviews in all thrown together in one great big article for those of you who may wonder what it's like to mod your favourite game. From the Fallouts and Infinity Engine games to Neverwinter Nights, ToEE, Bloodlines and Oblivion. In order of appearance:

  1. killap - Unofficial Fallout 2 Patch 
  2. Quarn - Unofficial Oblivion Patch and Unofficial Fallout 3 Patch 
  3. Agetian - Circle of Eight
  4. Shiningted - Circle of Eight
  5. Gaear - Circle of Eight
  6. Vaernus - Deception 
  7. Camdawg - BG2 Fixpack, BG2 Tweak Pack, Divine Remix, Icewind Dale Tweak Pack, Icewind Dale 2 Tweak Pack, Planescape: Torment Tweak Pack 
  8. theacefes - Auren Aseph NPC, Sarah NPC, Banana NPC, Skooter NPC 
  9. Wesp - Unofficial Vampire Bloodlines Patch 
  10. Adam Miller - Neverwinter Nights Downloads, Neverwinter Nights 2 Downloads

There are 0 comments on Lingwe talks to some modders about modding

2008: The Year in Review

Editorial - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 19 January 2009, 10:28:40

Tags: The Year in Review

In the grand tradition of summarising the year's events into some kind of summary, here's our summary of the events of 2008 in a summarised fashion. What did 2008 bring in RPGs?

In 2004 Bethesda Softworks decided that what the world of Tamriel needed was guns. Only they couldn't bring themselves to just add guns in and call it a day. Oh no, instead they decided they needed another name for it... so they bought the Fallout 3 license. D-Day arrived on the 28th October, 2008. After years of speculation and false starts, ITZ had finally happened. That of which we dared not dream had finally been born... Fallout 3. Sure, it may have been born as the bastard son of Oblivion but it was born none-the-less.

If you're feeling nostalgic, catch up on previous years below:

There are 4 comments on 2008: The Year in Review

Going Down to Hinterland

Review - posted by baby arm on Thu 1 January 2009, 23:21:45

Tags: Hinterland; Tilted Mill

JarlFrank had a go at Tilted Mill's Hinterland to find out what this RPG/strategy hybrid is all about.

Read on...

There are 7 comments on Going Down to Hinterland

Darth Roxor reviews NWN2: Storm of Zehir

Review - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 29 December 2008, 03:08:32

Tags: Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir; Obsidian Entertainment

Darth Roxor [URL='']took a look at the Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion: Storm of Zehir[/URL]. This is what he found: [INDENT]As I stated in the introduction, Storm of Zehir and Mask of the Betrayer are two completely different games. I could even say, that the only thing they share is the engine. While MotB was an epic journey to save yourself from (or embrace) a curse, SoZ is centered around something someone might call ‘generic adventuring’. Indeed, the focus is put mainly on exploration and going through various dungeons, while at the same time having a continuous income of trade bars from your evergrowing merchant company. Actually, for most of the game, you can completely ignore the main quest, and focus on finding new treasures to uncover. Most of the time I spent in the game was on the overland map, and not because I was fighting all the time, but because I wanted to visit every single corner, to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Every gamer who wants his RPG to have a lot of exploration, will definitely find SoZ to be very enjoyable.[/INDENT] [URL='']Read on[/URL]...

There are 11 comments on Darth Roxor reviews NWN2: Storm of Zehir

Fallout 3 - The Third Degree

Review - posted by baby arm on Sat 20 December 2008, 23:06:55

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 3; Gareth Davies

Our own Section8 is next at bat with his take on Fallout 3.
Have a look...

There are 32 comments on Fallout 3 - The Third Degree

Mass Effect Reviewed

Review - posted by baby arm on Mon 15 December 2008, 01:48:38

Tags: BioWare; Mass Effect

Local forumgoer/Clash afficianado Andyman Messiah took a trip or five through BioWare's [B][URL='']Mass Effect[/URL][/B] and then decided to inflict his experience on the rest of us. [URL='']Read on...[/URL]

There are 42 comments on Mass Effect Reviewed

Fallout 3 - the nth opinion

Information - posted by Elwro on Thu 11 December 2008, 10:02:32

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 3

Read Elwro's opinion on the Bethesda's new "ambitious" FPS, with surprisingly bad shooter elements and surprisingly good RPG-related features.

There are 11 comments on Fallout 3 - the nth opinion

Forgotten Gems: Might & Magic III, IV, and V

Review - posted by baby arm on Tue 2 December 2008, 23:10:40

Tags: Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra; Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen; Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen; New World Computing

Local forum dweller Wyrmlord has submitted a review of New World Computing's Might & Magic III, Might & Magic IV, and Might & Magic V.
Skills also influence exploration of certain terrain. There is a Swimming skill which allows you to navigate shallow waters (It is innate to Humans), a Mountaineering skill to navigate mountains, and so on. But apart from skills, you will also need spells to explore the world. A fascinating thing about this game is that there are high towers in them, and if you reach their rooftops, you will be right inside the skies and can use Levitation spell to walk on clouds. If there is a large sea of lava between you and your destination, you use Teleportation. If you want a simultaneous top down view of the area, you have to use Wizard's Eye. Please note that these spells aren't merely helpful, they are essential. Sometimes a combination of spells will be needed. And you won't be told how or when to use them.

Read on for more.

There are 7 comments on Forgotten Gems: Might & Magic III, IV, and V

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