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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 to give it a long hard look:

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.​

Read the rest (and there's a lot of it) here...

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

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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:
<p style="padding-left: 30px;">Killap: 2005 was the year I started modding Fallout 2. I honestly don&rsquo;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.
<p style="padding-left: 30px;">[...]
<p style="padding-left: 30px;"><span class="postbody">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:
  • <span class="postbody">killap - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.killap.net/" target="_blank">Unofficial Fallout 2 Patch[/url]&nbsp;</span>
  • <span class="postbody">Quarn - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.tesnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=5296" target="_blank">Unofficial Oblivion Patch[/url] and <a class="postlink" href="http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=3808" target="_blank">Unofficial Fallout 3 Patch[/url]&nbsp;</span>
  • <span class="postbody">Agetian</span><span class="postbody"> - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.co8.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=35" target="_blank">Circle of Eight[/url] </span>
  • <span class="postbody">Shiningted</span><span class="postbody"> - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.co8.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=35" target="_blank">Circle of Eight[/url] </span>
  • <span class="postbody">Gaear - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.co8.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=35" target="_blank">Circle of Eight[/url]
  • <span class="postbody">Vaernus - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.witchermod.com/modules.php?name=News&amp;file=article&amp;sid=20" target="_blank">Deception[/url]&nbsp;</span>
  • <span class="postbody">Camdawg - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.gibberlings3.net/bg2fixpack/" target="_blank">BG2 Fixpack[/url], <a class="postlink" href="http://www.gibberlings3.net/bg2tweaks/index.php" target="_blank">BG2 Tweak Pack[/url], <a class="postlink" href="http://www.gibberlings3.net/cleric/index.php" target="_blank">Divine Remix[/url], <a class="postlink" href="http://www.gibberlings3.net/daletweak/index.php" target="_blank">Icewind Dale Tweak Pack[/url], <a class="postlink" href="http://www.gibberlings3.net/iwd2tweak/" target="_blank">Icewind Dale 2 Tweak Pack[/url], <a class="postlink" href="http://www.gibberlings3.net/pst/" target="_blank">Planescape: Torment Tweak Pack[/url]&nbsp;</span>
  • <span class="postbody">theacefes - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.gibberlings3.net/auren/" target="_blank">Auren Aseph NPC[/url], <a class="postlink" href="http://www.gibberlings3.net/sarah/" target="_blank">Sarah NPC[/url], <a class="postlink" href="http://forums.gibberlings3.net/index.php?showtopic=12947" target="_blank">Banana NPC[/url], <a class="postlink" href="http://forums.chosenofmystra.net/index.php?board=80.0" target="_blank">Skooter NPC[/url]&nbsp;</span>
  • <span class="postbody">Wesp - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.patches-scrolls.de/vampire_bloodlines.php3" target="_blank">Unofficial Vampire Bloodlines Patch[/url]&nbsp;</span>
  • <span class="postbody">Adam Miller - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.adamandjamie.com/mod/nwn_downloads.aspx" target="_blank">Neverwinter Nights Downloads[/url], <a class="postlink" href="http://www.adamandjamie.com/mod/dw_downloads.aspx" target="_blank">Neverwinter Nights 2 Downloads[/url]</span>

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 took a look at the Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion: Storm of Zehir. This is what he found:

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.​

Read on...

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 Mass Effect and then decided to inflict his experience on the rest of us.

Read on...

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

Edward R Murrow's Dissertation on Fallout 3

Review - posted by DarkUnderlord on Fri 21 November 2008, 01:58:52

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 3

What, just one review for the most widely anticipated Codex game in years? Not bloodly likely. Here now, gentle readers, is Edward R Murrow's Critical Dissertation on Fallout 3: Islands of Good Awash in a Sea of Mediocre, Time-Wasting Drivel:

Generally, it was pretty much what I suspected it would be, with a few pleasant surprises, and a few "How could they be that thick?" moments. It's a Bethesda game through and through, with all of their trademark flaws and few of Fallout's strengths preserved. Fallout 3 basically plays much like a post-apocalyptic Oblivion with guns and a few tweaks, despite what some might say. Bethesda did not stray far from their formula, for better or for worse. It does some things right, and it does a whole heap-load of things wrong. I wasn't exactly pleased with it, but it could have been a lot worse.​
How could it have been worse? Read on...

There are 35 comments on Edward R Murrow's Dissertation on Fallout 3

Chefe does Fallout 3

Review - posted by DarkUnderlord on Sun 9 November 2008, 03:05:24

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 3

Codex forumite Chefe decided to actually buy Fallout 3 and play it. He also decided to write a review. I decided to publish that review here. You get to read it and decide whether that was a good thing or not:

Fallout 3 is a very enjoyable hiking simulator. This title has been bestowed by many upon Bethesda’s titles, and their post apocalyptic wonderland takes the cake. It’s fun, silly, odd, engaging, and engrossing. Much has been said about this game from both camps; the lovers and the haters. I consider it a worthwhile investment if discovery is your thing and you’re willing to take a break from the high fantasy worlds and high-tech sci-fi environs that populate most of today’s industry. Fallout 3 is down to earth while still being crazy. It’s difficult and accessible. It’s gory and humble. It’s the sum of gaming paradox.
But above all, it’s a post nuclear role playing game.​
You may also wonder why the screenshots don't match up with the text but hey, I can only work with what I'm sent.

There are 128 comments on Chefe does Fallout 3

Cyclopean Interview

Interview - posted by Elwro on Wed 8 October 2008, 03:18:30

Tags: Cyclopean; Iron Tower Studio

An interview with Scott, the Lead Developer and Writer of the Lovecraft-inspired cRPG "Cyclopean" from the Iron Tower Studios.

There are 14 comments on Cyclopean Interview

Uberlong Fable: The Lost Chapters Review

Review - posted by Role-Player on Tue 2 September 2008, 13:43:49

Tags: Fable: The Lost Chapters; Lionhead Studios

So, there's this game called Fable: The Lost Chapters that lets you choose hats and deal with the consequences of flatulence. That guy who thinks he knows what a role-playing game is takes a look at it:

Since the Hero never displays any kind of motivation behind his actions we're left with an empty shell that is given a fixed semblance of a personality, one that sometimes may not even correspond to the personality we try to imbue in him. There are also a couple of situations where the game doesn't seem to know how to handle the freedom it offers. During the training in the Guild I repeatedly assaulted a roommate, only to be called to the presence of a Hero which grew irate with every new attempt of mine and warned me not to repeat this, or else I'd suffer the consequences. Well, the consequence here was that the same warning would be repeated on and on without the main character being punished in any way. The most powerful wizard in the guild threatened to snuff out my life force if I kept beating him but as with most dogs, it was all bark and no bite. And after the 73rd crotch punch with no punishment, it was time to move along.​
Goddamn you, so-called "Role-Player". Is there nothing that pleases you?!

There are 8 comments on Uberlong Fable: The Lost Chapters Review

Mount & Blade MS Paint Competition

Competition - posted by DarkUnderlord on Sun 24 August 2008, 03:47:07

Tags: Mount & Blade

Score yourself a free copy (downloadable Gamer's Gate version) of Mount & Blade by entering the Codex' MS Paint competition.

View the gallery of entrants here.

Winners will be announced here.

If you'd like to enter, just send your entry to darkunderlord at rpgcodex dot net or PM me on the forum or just post it in this thread or one of the news threads and we'll dig it out from there. We'll also accept multiple entries from people. We're very generous really.

All you need to do is send in something Mount & Blade related that you've drawn in MS Paint. It can be really good or just really funny or just down-right awful. Our panel of esteemed judges will review all entries and choose a handful of winners based on the images we think are worthy.

Competition closes on September 16th and judges' decision is final, though bribery may be accepted.

There are 1 comments on Mount & Blade MS Paint Competition

Forgotten Gems: Roxoring Betrayal at Krondor

Codex Review - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 11 August 2008, 06:20:24

Tags: Betrayal at Krondor; Dynamix; Sierra Entertainment

As part of our Forgotten Gems series, Darth Roxor takes a look at the old classic Betrayal at Krondor:

As I said before, the game is mostly based around exploration. The world really is huge, and the goodies hidden throughout the map are worth the effort. By venturing too far from the road, you might find chests with basic supplies like food rations, torches, whetstones or herbal packs that speed up the healing rate while resting, or maybe powerful potions that drastically boost your statistics, or simply a new sword or a set of armour if you are not satisfied with your current one. Normal chests can be either harmless, or locked, or trapped, or both. Many traps are lethal, and they can be ‘sensed’ only through a spell, so if you stumble upon such, but you are not quite confident about your lockpicking skill, it’s just better to let it be. Apart from these ‘normal’ chests, there are also Moredhel chests which have a wordlock upon them. When using such a chest, you are presented a riddle, and a few slides with letters. To open the chest, you must make the slides show the password (some of the riddles are really hard, believe me).​

Check the rest here.

There are 17 comments on Forgotten Gems: Roxoring Betrayal at Krondor

A long-winded rant about BioShock

Review - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 28 July 2008, 11:01:23

Tags: BioShock; Irrational Games

In the spirit of "there's no point writing a review for a one year old game unless you whinge about everything that's wrong with it", here's the long Codex whinge on BioShock:

... and it doesn't end there. BioShock also uses audio superbly as well. Beyond the audio diaries, the monsters you're fighting often have conversations with each other before they realise you're there. Then when they attack, they're using phrases that relate to the game-world rather. As you walk passed the in-game vending machines, they kick into life and start playing a cheery song. Video screens will display short movies as you walk by on occassion and some rooms even have speakers with audio advertising. As you find and collect Plasmids (the game's "magic spells"), you're shown a short video. Again, it's simple stuff but it makes you want to listen to the world and think about what you're hearing for at least a while before you go ahead and blow the next monster's brains out.​
Sound makes BioShock good. Read more here.

There are 20 comments on A long-winded rant about BioShock

An interview with Vince D. Weller

Interview - posted by JarlFrank on Wed 23 April 2008, 18:18:43

Tags: Iron Tower Studio; The Age of Decadence; Vince D. Weller

We asked Vince D. of Iron Tower Studios a few questions about founding your own indie game studio. Here's a piece:

I've started with the setting, main story overview, and major design elements (character system, combat, multiple ways to handle quests, non-linearity, etc). I didn't do all the quests or ways to solve them, of course. I'm talking about the concept phase here. For example, one way to keep the main quest non-linear is to have multiple factions interested in it. These factions shouldn't want the same thing as that would make your choice of a faction less important. So, they should want different things which would give you different reasons to pursue the main quest and would require you to make very different decisions once you are at the end of your journey. At the same time you can't be sent to several different directions at once, so your final destination should be able to offer and support different outcomes, etc. In other words, you develop the frame of a game first and then fill it in with the actual content.​

There are 20 comments on An interview with Vince D. Weller

Eschalon Review

Review - posted by Elwro on Sat 29 March 2008, 20:08:54

Tags: Basilisk Games; Eschalon: Book I

Basilisk Games are newcomers to the indie RPG development field and their debut title, Eschalon: Book One, shows a lot of promise - if you like games with a definite oldschool feel. It's far from perfect, though. Read our review to learn our thoughts on the game.

Read the full article: Eschalon Review

There are 12 comments on Eschalon Review

2008: On the Horizon

Information - posted by Elwro on Mon 14 January 2008, 19:16:40

Since 2007 marked a definite upswing in the prevailing hivemind opinion on the state of PC CRPG's (apart from The Sequel That Shall Not Be Named, of course), we have a look at what to expect from 2008.

There are 10 comments on 2008: On the Horizon

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