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End of Year Wrap-Up?

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Jed, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Jed Cipher

    Jed
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    I really enjoyed the RPG Picks of 2002, and I'm wondering if there's plans to do one this year. If so, who will be the reviewers this time around?
     
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  2. Dan Liturgist

    Dan
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    Yeah, that would be neat.

    Site staff probably?
     
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  3. Transcendent One Liturgist

    Transcendent One
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    Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. Though this year was pretty crappy for RPG's, it still would be interesting to see what the Codex staff liked the most.
     
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  4. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    This year's theme would be "we had to think hard to come up with 3 rpgs". Damn those lazy ZeroSum guys, where is the expansion? :)
     
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  5. chrisbeddoes Erudite

    chrisbeddoes
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    No i want a big thematic "INTERLAY THE BAST***RS RAPED AND KILLED FALLOUT 3 " section. ;)

    And I am still mourning and wearing the black for the death of Fallout 3.

    I am not in the mood to read about daz besten yearez konzolez portez RPG "elementz" gamez.
     
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  6. Spazmo Erudite

    Spazmo
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    This has indeed been a very lean year for RPGs. I'm not sure we should do a traditional Best 3 RPGs because we'd have mediocre games like KotOR winning by default. I figure we should do one of those sassy Award things with stuff like "Shitties Company" and everything goes to Interplay and stuff.
     
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  7. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    KOTOR-the-interactive-adventure winning by default? When there are titles like Geneforge 2 and Teudogar, and, yes, ToEE?
     
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  8. EEVIAC Erudite

    EEVIAC
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    If you're going to include KOTOR in the running, you may as well include Silent Storm. Fuck it, why not include Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 - how's that for a top three? :roll:

    I think that last sentence sums up the year perfectly, with only one of those games being (partly) released by a major publisher. Perhaps we should all just forget that 2003 ever happened... At least next year we get Restricted Area, Rift Runner, The Fall, The Bloody Magic, plus hybrids like the S2 expansion, Freedom Force 2 (or FF+ or whatever its called,) Vampire Bloodlines, and Fable (for XBox.) Then again, maybe that's what people were thinking last year.
     
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  9. Jed Cipher

    Jed
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    My picks (in order): Geneforge 2, Silent Storm, & ToEE.
     
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  10. triCritical Erudite

    triCritical
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    Is Silent Storm out yet in the US?
     
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  11. Jed Cipher

    Jed
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    I'm not sure. Sad that I have to pick a game as one of my faves of the year based soley on playing the fuck out of the demo, but there ya go.

    Any standout rouge-likes or similar games I'm missing out on?
     
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  12. Sol Invictus Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    My picks this year include KOTOR and TOEE. I can't really think for much else and haven't had the chance to play Teudogar as much as Saint has to be any judge on that game.
     
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  13. Psilon Erudite

    Psilon
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    What? No Escape Velocity: Nova?
     
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  14. Jed Cipher

    Jed
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    Ooh, that's a good one. The only thing holds me back on that one is the crap combat. I don't think I ever killed a single ship on my many, many attempts at playing the game. It was, however, quite excellent on most other points.
     
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  15. Otaku_Hanzo Erudite

    Otaku_Hanzo
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    Yeah, I definitely think the Indie developers win in 2003. With those to fall back on, they could still do a year end wrap-up.
     
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  16. Psilon Erudite

    Psilon
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    The combat isn't especially bad for former players of SubSpace. The role-playing really isn't that deep, but among the games covered here it's a very respectable offering.

    I'd probably pick EVN, Geneforge 2, and TOEE as my Big Three this year. As for roguelikes, NetHack's always nice. I discovered ADOM this year, but it hasn't been updated since 2002.
     
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  17. Sheriff05 Liturgist

    Sheriff05
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    Jed and TriC,

    Silent Storm is out Jan 20 in the US

    I bought mine from the UK and have had shorty after its release, if your still playing the demo and loving it, your going to soil yourself over the full game-

    It's game of year for me as well
    Followed by ToEE, then..I don't know what-
     
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  18. Jed Cipher

    Jed
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    Glad to hear it's that good. I'll be sure to pick up some extra laundry detergent in anticipation.
     
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  19. Spazmo Erudite

    Spazmo
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    I'm with Psilon here. Those are my three picks, again because there's really nothing better. EVN is hardly an RPG--Saint only reviewed it in the first place because the game calls itself an RPG. ToEE is great and all, but it also is lacking in the RPG department and probably isn't the game I was building it up to be in my mind. Geneforge 2 is neat, but why is the only game released this year that's really good not a major box-on-shelves title?

    Bah. Here's hoping 2004 knocks our socks off... though there's nothing on the horizon that really looks neat. Vampire might be good, but it's still not my dream game. Granted, there's a bajillion unannounced projects we're all salivating at, but given that they're still unannounced, the odds of them coming out in 2004 are slim. Frankly, I think the coming year will probably suck, too, barring something really unexpected coming out of left field (Troika: "Hey, guys! We made Fallout 3 after all. It's PC exclusive, single player, turn based and we're distributing it free via the web! Enjoy!"). Strap those RPG belts tighter and think up yet another variant you haven't played in Fallout yet.

    So basically, when people talk to you about how Fallout and Diablo revitalised the RPG genre, giving us the vigorous genre we all enjoy today, punch them in the face. Frankly, the vaunted RPG renaissance lasted from Fallout to Fallout 2 and then pretty much fizzled out. Yeah, Planescape Torment was good, but it was more of an adventure game with bits of horrible combat tossed in. Ditto Arcanum, though with some more freedom and probably a worse interface. There are isolated bits of goodness here and there, but make no mistake: this remains an extremely lean time for quality CRPGs. Were I more inclined towards dramatics, I might even say it's a fucking Dark Age.

    The cause for this, I think, certainly does not lie in a lack of titles being produced. Looking only at the sheer volume of games being made, you'd think RPG fans would be hopping with joy. The problem is more that the bar seems to have been lowered. RPG-starved gamers played Baldur's Gate waaaaay back in 1998 and, since they didn't have anything better to play with, loved it. BioWare, seeing how well received their frankly average game was, started getting full of themselves, thinking they were pretty hot shit when it comes to making CRPGs. Other developers follow suit: How hard can it be to make a completely linear game in a hackneyed fantasy setting where plot holes aren't a problem ("Hold on, Writer Ted. This part makes no sense." "Don't sweat it, Writer Tom! We'll explain it all away with magic! That particular character happened to have an appropriate kind of Talisman at the time." "Hey, great, Ted! Let's go have a drink at the bar downstairs to celebrate mediocrity!") and all you need to keep the player's attention is lots of overpowered magical items (see how handy magic is?) and elaborate spell effects (the infamous particle effecks)? Not very fucking hard at all, they say!

    CRPG developers think they can get away with making CRPGs that are really just adventure games (though, hell, those could stand a touch of freeform gameplay, too. What if Guybrush wants to join with LeChuck and conquer the Carribean, huh?) with combat tossed in. Why? Because BioWare has distilled it to a science and all their products sell enough copies that if you lined them up and stacked them up into a neat wall in orbit, you could block out the very sun. And that's why we're just not getting the games we want to play.

    The problem here is that unlike problems in BioWare's games, nobody's left us a convenient journal or datapad explaining exactly what we have to do to get past this challenge. Right now, all the big name developers are, well, BioWare. With Black Isle dead (hey, I thought they could have made something decent, given the chance), the only places we might get any decent games are Troika--who can't get a decent publisher to save their lives--or Russian/Polish/Whatever companies who all seem to want to make ripoffs of Fallout but with a twist--horribly broken English! Ausir rocks pretty hard, sure, but he can't translate all these games. And I don't even want to think of mentioning the reprehensible Japanese developers. The less said about them, the better.

    So, what's our goal: good RPGs. How do we get those? Well, we need companies to make good RPGs. Fine, but how do you make a good RPG? Ah, that's where it gets tricky. People who know what they're talking about can tell you what makes a good RPG. We've gone over it endlessly all over these forums. But the people who are essentially leading the CRPG genre at the moment don't know. All BioWare can do is make the same game again and again with different names for NPCs and items. What we need is a breath of fresh air into the genre, something that's not a real time combat focused fantasy CRPG. And yes, folks, Star Wars most definitely counts as fantasy. We need developers to have freedom to make the game they want to make: no publisher, manager or liscence owner should ever be in a position to limit a development team in the production of their game just because they're looking for a SLAM DUNK instead of an actual good game. That leads to Icewind Dale games aplenty. And we need publishers, developers, reviewers, retailers and most importantly consumers--hey, this whole economy revolves around those of us actually exchanging money for products and services, right?--to understand what a real CRPG is, because it sure as hell isn't what we're getting now.
     
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  20. DarkUnderlord Professional Throne Sitter

    DarkUnderlord
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    The RPGCodex Inaugral Best Indie Game of the Year Award.

    How's that?
     
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  21. chrisbeddoes Erudite

    chrisbeddoes
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    Spazmo view is the glass of wine is half empty.

    My view is that the glass of wine is half full.

    Very simply.


    Making rpg the way we want them is a form of art.

    Art needs artists.

    Really talented artists in this industry are few.

    They can make the best rpg .

    Others only copy this form of art and make a mediocre rpg.


    Managers seeing that true rpg artists are fiercely independent spirits do not want to have anything to do with the true rpg artists.

    As a result they only hire the people that are good at copying . The truly original artists either have the willpower and luck to do it alone "Troika games"

    or are making budget pc games alone making few money but having creative freedom.


    So what or who is wrong ?

    Are the managers wrong ?

    No they are not.


    It is the consumer that is wrong.


    What you say are you mad ?


    It is the consumer that believes the bullshit media when they say that this casual game gets 95 %

    It is the consumer that instead of supporting software titles like Arcanum warez them because they say
    Sierra is 3 months late !!!!! oph and i wanted that title so bad oh and now Sierra why dont you make Arcanum 2 ? so that we can warez that again if say the color of the box is not right because we want to play the game so much !!!!!!



    It is the stupid consumer that says that game play RULEZ but when he goes to the shop he forgets about game play and buys the game with the flashier graphics in the BOX.


    In other words you and me we are the problems and not the game company managers.

    They have an obligation by the law maximize the shareholder profits and if they do not do this
    they either lose their job for ever or the law says that they go to jail.
     
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  22. Psilon Erudite

    Psilon
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    The RPG genre right now is facing the same sort of glut the RTSes did a few years ago. Not long after WarCraft II and Red Alert, we had an RTS from practically every developer. There was Z, Army Men, Age of Empires, Close Combat, Total Annihilation, and of course the later installments from Blizzard and Westwood (mainly expansion packs and StarCraft). The SLAM DUNKS outnumbered the decent efforts by quite a margin.

    What were the true RTS fans playing, though? StarCraft and Total Annihilation, even after all the half-baked competition came out. People no doubt mocked them for sticking with their favorites even when Age of Dark War Battle Craft III came out. (Also note the shitstorm over StarCraft: Ghost. Setting changes, a platform change... Sound familiar?)

    Eventually the sheer glut of titles caused a genre collapse, and now we've got just a few established franchises. Age of Foozles, WarCraft, and so on.

    Look at FPSes. The overrated Halo notwithstanding, there hasn't been that much lately outside of the Unreal lines and the upcoming Half-Life 2 and Doom 3. Most games are now straight clones of Quake 3/UT2003, Counter-Strike, or Battlefield 1942. The WWII setting is just as overused as any Tolkienian high fantasy.

    Things will get better eventually, just probably not next year. We need the real-time D&D market to collapse first.

    Until then, look at the bright side. We've got at least a few competent independent developers. There aren't nearly as many decent indie RTSes.
     
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  23. Jed Cipher

    Jed
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    What about space sims? I plan on checking out the Flatspace demo once I finish this really kewl adventure game I'm playin, Knights of the Old Republic--anyone here heard of it? Is there an opinion here as to whether X2 or SE: Star Fury is the better game?
     
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  24. Diogo Ribeiro Erudite

    Diogo Ribeiro
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    I'm usually not an optimistic person, but i think this year's poor crop in RPG goodness might be offset next year with all these indie CRPG projects we've been shown, specially the sci-fi/post-apoc CRPG projects. :drools:
     
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  25. Deathy Liturgist

    Deathy
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    I haven't tried X2, and, hopefully, I may soon do so, but, SE:Starfury is a fairly mediocre game. Basically the developer didn't understand what makes a good RPG, and instead attempted to focus on an action strategy hybrid with some small RPG elements. Very linear, also.

    I want some old style space sims with joystick control and mission based campaigns, but they are long gone, apparently.
     
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