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Review Avadon: The Black Fortress Review Bonanza

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by VentilatorOfDoom, May 13, 2011.

  1. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
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    Tags: Avadon: The Black Fortress; Spiderweb Software

    <p>A few reviews of Jeff Vogel's latest RPG, <strong>Avadon: The Black Fortress</strong>, surfaced on the web.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p>RPGFan <a href="http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/Avadon_The_Black_Fortress/index.html" target="_blank">totally like the old school</a>, handing out a massive (Dragon Age-like) rating of 90%.</p>
    <blockquote>
    <p>Let me be blunt as early as possible. If you fall into any of the following categories, you need to play Avadon: The Black Fortress <em>yesterday</em>: <br /><br />1) The streamlining of RPGs irks you. <br /><br />2) You like gigantic narratives with choices that are distinctly in the "gray" area of morality. <br /><br />3) You remember Baldur's Gate 2 as one of the best games ever. <br /><br />4) You remember Planescape: Torment as one of the best games ever. <br /><br />I'm telling you this right now so you can go over to the website and start downloading the absolutely huge demo (I'm talking hours) immediately. In fact, you should probably do this even if you <em>don't</em> fall into any of the above categories because maybe you'll learn something about the way the old school rolls.</p>
    <p>...</p>
    <p>Whatever road you decide to walk towards the conclusion of your story in Avadon, you get the feeling that this game only scratches the surface of the narrative possibilities in Lynaeus. I enjoyed every second I played of this game, so much so that I played it again. Although I've made a number of comparisons to Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment in this review, it is difficult for me to say if it is as <em>good</em> as those games. I suspect not, but anything seen through the lens of nostalgia will always have an advantage. <br /><br />But nobody else seems to be making games like this anymore. I've read many poor reviews of games like Dragon Age 2 and heard a lot of complaints (on this website and others) about the state of gaming and how it either won't evolve or has evolved in ways that perhaps we don't want. Anybody who pines for the days of the older, massive classics and decries the state of the new streamlined, big-budget RPGs needs to put their money where their mouth is and buy this game or at the very least spend a couple of hours with the massive demo.</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p><a href="http://games.on.net/article/12472/ber_Review_Avadon_The_Black_Fortress" target="_blank">GamesOnNet rate it 3/5.</a></p>
    <blockquote>
    <p>As old-school as <em>Avadon</em> most assuredly is, Vogel has <a href="http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/2011/05/avadon-out-for-windows-responding-to.html"><strong><em>copped a lot of flack</em></strong></a> from some quarters for it not being old-school <em>enough</em>, which is a complaint I find hard to swallow. The introduction of turn-based cooldown timers, an entirely optional &ldquo;casual&rdquo; difficulty level and a class-based skill tree makes for an exciting change from &ldquo;I hit it with my sword&rdquo; or &ldquo;I cast the spell which does the most damage&rdquo;, and if that is somehow "dumbing down the game", then I cannot help but despair. There have also been complaints that party members simply go unconscious and are revived after the battle ends, rather than the apparently old-school approach of lugging-the-corpse-to-a-priest. Dang, really?</p>
    <p>...</p>
    <p>That said, it&rsquo;s not all candy canes and gravy. Abilities use stamina, which does not regenerate on its own unless you return to the point at which you began a particular mission to rest, or if you head back to the central &ldquo;hub&rdquo; of Avadon. This can be frustrating at times, as you essentially have to consider your stamina a limited resource. Additionally since the only way to discover if a room has lootable items is to open your inventory (where, bizarrely, the room&rsquo;s contents are displayed), you&rsquo;ll spend a lot of your time walking around and hitting &lsquo;i&rsquo; just to see if you&rsquo;ve missed anything. I&rsquo;m not advocating a &ldquo;twinkling-loot&rdquo; system that so many games seem to have included, but it would be nicer if I didn&rsquo;t feel like I actually had to roll to search each room. The map overlay is also confusing, often overlapping with other elements of text on the screen making it hard to figure out exactly where markers have been placed.</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p>Yes, party members actually dying (instead of auto-healing+ auto-resurrecting) is an outdated concept.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p>And finally, PlatformNation <a href="http://www.platformnation.com/2011/05/12/avadon-the-black-fortress-review-pc/" target="_blank">rate the game</a> 1/10.</p>
    <blockquote>
    <p>I&rsquo;m not going to lie to you here, I only played the game for about six hours because I could not bring myself to play anymore. How about I talk about the gameplay first, it tries to be just like Diablo or the more recent Torchlight. I don&rsquo;t know how to tell you it&rsquo;s not like Diablo, when you get into combat you use a character to attack, move, or whatever. That part is as bland as ever, I mean there are abilities and spells you can use, but you will mostly end up just attacking because the game is pretty easy (on the normal setting).</p>
    <p>While that may not be the most exciting combat system, it at least is organized and works, I can&rsquo;t say the same for the rest of the game. The inventory system is a mess in that you can&rsquo;t (or at least I couldn&rsquo;t find out how to) organize my items, so everything is just jumbled up in each character&rsquo;s inventory. Here&rsquo;s something I don&rsquo;t understand, when one of my character&rsquo;s inventories is full and you try to pick up an item it doesn&rsquo;t go into another character&rsquo;s inventory it just says inventory full. We are in 2011 are we not? Yes, Spiderweb is an indie developer, but I don&rsquo;t believe that having an item going into an unfilled inventory on it&rsquo;s own without having to control that character should be that hard to program.</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p>Sounds like Jeff Vogel has a lot of things to improve until his games are welcoming enough for his new target audience.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p>Spotted at: <a href="http://www.gamebanshee.com/news/102848-avadon-the-black-fortress-reviews.html">Gamebanshee</a></p>
     
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  2. ortucis Prophet

    ortucis
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    1/10??

    Codex and 4chan strike again.
     
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  3. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman Don't call Abigail Patron

    MicoSelva
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Obviously, Avadon deserves 1/10 rating.
     
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  4. Hysael Novice

    Hysael
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    Regardless of the qualities ( and flaws ) of the game, the last review is plain stupid.
     
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  5. Carlos' Bitch1 Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Carlos' Bitch1
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    1/10 is stretching things a bit too far. While I find Avadon to be the weakest of the Spiderweb CRPG's, it isn't the worst CRPG in history. Not by a long shot.
     
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  6. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    The PN review is barely worth paying mind to, but it's the kind of review Jeff Vogel risked by trying to appeal to a bigger crowd...

    Still, it's a horribly argued, shoddily written piece. This...
    What the hell is that supposed to mean? I have no idea what he's trying to say. When reviewers stick to vagueness like this rather than explaining their opinion clearly the review essentially becomes worthless, since all I now know as a reader is that he didn't like it, not really why he didn't like it, other than weird complaints about inventory management.
     
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  7. sgc_meltdown Arcane

    sgc_meltdown
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    This is the biggest lesson for small developers. People who review games are a tiny, tiny portion of your audience. Read them occasionally. Pick through them for the rare tidbit of good feedback. But otherwise keep a respectful distance.
     
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  8. Micmu Magister

    Micmu
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    In his next attempt, Vogel must make a simple listbox inventory!
    No slots, no limits, absolutely no individual art for each item!
    Just a plain simple listbox. It's next-gen times.
     
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  9. sgc_meltdown Arcane

    sgc_meltdown
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    I think he should follow market trends and remove the inventory altogether. Since when were inventories part of roleplaying?
     
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  10. PrzeSzkoda Augur

    PrzeSzkoda
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    Here's an idea. Two different types of loot: loot-bags and bling-bags. Whenever you get bling that is only good for selling to a merchant for money, you get bling-bags = you get cash. When you get a loot-bag it means there's useful loot in it (unspecified). But here's the next-gen: once you amass enough "loot points" (for collecting loot-bags) you get to choose from a list of level-scaled items, and then you get that item. You can save loot-points to get better itamz. No need to delve through endless loot anymore! You just magically amass all the stuff you find and then you choose whatever you need! It makes sense (if you are seriosuly stoned), is streamlined and fuck that shit lawl.
     
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  11. Topher Cipher

    Topher
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    Please stop now before somebody happens by and reads this.
     
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  12. PrzeSzkoda Augur

    PrzeSzkoda
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    Come to think of it, maybe I SHOULD copyright it as the "Omniloot Generation System" and sue anyone who dares to use anything similar.
     
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  13. sgc_meltdown Arcane

    sgc_meltdown
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    sending this thread to feargus
     
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  14. Awor Szurkrarz Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    For fucks sake, don't give them ideas :x .
     
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  15. Raapys Arcane

    Raapys
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    Yes, limited resources are horrible creatures!!!

    Seriously, where the fuck do they find these guys? These represent three completely different reviews and scores, yet all three reviews are equally crappy and full of stupid. Someone kill this shitty industry already.
     
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  16. mlc82 Scholar

    mlc82
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    This is an example of Mr. Vogel's "new target audience" after all... I really enjoy Spiderweb's games and will probably give Avadon a go eventually as well, but I really don't think trying to appeal to those seeking Bioware Soap Opera with Stats games on the Spiderweb budget is such a great idea.
     
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  17. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    I found another blog from that Platform Nation guy.
    I wonder if he's a poor writer, a kid or just... challenged?
     
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  18. sgc_meltdown Arcane

    sgc_meltdown
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    games journalism is a very competitive field where only the best make it to the top
     
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  19. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Damn you're right.
    Platform Nation is always looking for new writers to complement our already great staff. But do you have what it takes?

    Here are some of the requirements:

    -Must be 18 years of age

    -Be able to work with some of the most talented writers on the web.

    -A commitment from you to post six articles a month.

    -Commit to a day of the week to write on (you choose the day of the week).

    -Be able to provide Platform Nation’s readers with news, reviews and the freedom to write what interest you in the gaming world.

    -Work on a volunteer basis. No one gets paid here at P*N we do it for the love of gaming and informing gamers like us.

    So if you feel you have what it takes to be the newest addition to the Platform Nation writing staff send an email to editor@platformnation.com and let us know a little bit about yourself from how long you have been gaming and some other qualities that will make you stand out from the rest. Also be sure to add a writing sample preferably something about gaming or even the latest tech device.

    You do not have to be a US resident to apply.

    Some of the perks here at Platform Nation

    -Attending some of the premier events under the Platform Nation Banner.

    -Having your work seen by the masses.

    -Receiving review copies of games. (After displaying good writing habits)

    -Being part of the best community out there, the Platform Nation community.

    So are you still interested and do you have what it takes? If yes, then our editing team is looking forward to hearing from you.

    United We Game
     
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  20. Nim Augur

    Nim
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    I love that PlatformNation guy :D
     
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  21. Kalin Arcane Zionist Agent

    Kalin
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    It is blatantly obvious that the "people" who wrote those horrible reviews never played a single game from the Geneforge, Exile or Avernum series. If they had been at least somewhat acquainted with Spiderweb Software's products, they would not have praised a dumbed-down title for offering "old-school" dialogue and choices, nor would they have complained about the classic inventory system (which, for the record, is a whole lot more convenient than those in games such as Planescape: Torment and Baldur's Gate).

    Subhuman scum!
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
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  22. SkepticsClaw Potential Fire Hazard

    SkepticsClaw
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    Oh. My. God.

    I must say those snippets represent three shockingly bad reviews, for which I can only salute our intrepid newsposter for his impeccable taste in the macabre and gruesome. Seriously, whether it's 'OH MY GOD AMAAAZING AAAAAH i've never played an RPG before', or 'zomg this game would be good if only it was more retarded!' to 'this is shit cos it's so oldschool and outdated and haz no headshots', we find three shining examples of what I suppose is the decline everyone keeps talking about.
     
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  23. deus101 Never LET ME into a tattoo parlor!

    deus101
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    Is this what we must deal with?

    People that lack the ability to place similar items next to each other?
     
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  24. Charles-cgr OlderBytes Developer

    Charles-cgr
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    I'm loving the common enemy effect in theis thread. :smug:
     
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  25. glasnost Augur

    glasnost
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    "We heard you like removing from inventory so we removed your inventory from your inventory so you can remove from inventory without an inventory."
     
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