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Review Knights of the Chalice – A Heroic Fantasy Adventure

DarkUnderlord

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Tags: Heroic Fantasy Games; Knights of the Chalice

Darth Roxor takes a look at Knights of the Chalice, that turn-based indie D&D game which has been known to rape the less experienced:

Next thing that deserves mentioning is the enemy AI, as it really is top notch. It adapts to your party tactics and line-up well, effectively uses spell combinations and abilities. For example, is everyone in your party engulfed in web? You’re bound to have a fireball going your way to achieve extra fire damage. Some of your party members are protected by death ward? Archers with slaying arrows will be less likely to target them. It’s also common for pretty much your whole party to be completely disabled, due to good choosing of priorities and abilities among the enemy. The knight? Grappled and pinned by a giant. Wizard? Counterspelled. Cleric? Three archers are ready against his casting of spells. Second knight? Charmed. Have fun, you’re doomed.​

But is the game fun? Read the rest to find out.
 

Zed

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Cool review bro Roxxor. Shit, I haven't played this game yet. This just bumped it up my to-play list. And I only read half the review because now I gotta sleep. Will read the rest tomorrow.

By the way, with the exception of the news post, there's no author, "written by" or anything like that. Shouldn't there be a "MAED BY ROXORZ" somewhere in the article?

Also http://www.rpgcodex.net/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=48145

Oh and when I look at screenshots I get ads.
 

Jason

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By the way, with the exception of the news post, there's no author, "written by" or anything like that. Shouldn't there be a "MAED BY ROXORZ" somewhere in the article?
You're right. Is fix.


And I really do need to buy that fugly piece of shit one of these days. Maybe pick up the GBA port.
 

thesheeep

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All in all, a very good review.

There are only a few points I don't like or cannot agree with.
First, the bashing of ToEE for the encounter design. Fighting "waves" of bugbears in a bugbear cave seems rather logical to me, and not a point to criticize. Even more, I think it simply belongs into a fantasy combat game to fight against large numbers of enemies from time to time.

Next, not mentioning the fucked up perspective.
The perspective of characters looking right compared to those looking up/down/left is not correct, all of this compared to the perspective of the walls, compared to the deco stuff, etc., etc.
All of it just looks wrong, as if everything was not standing normally, but somehow leaning to a random direction.
Since that is the only reason I will never play this game, I find that somehow noteworthy.
 

Radisshu

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Played through the demo, and really liked the battles (had some trouble with a few of them), but the lack of classes and skills are a huge minus for me. Not much party diversity, no pre-buffing, no scouting ahead (there seems to be many battles where you automatically are "ambushed", even though you could see it from miles away, which seems kind of silly).
 

Grunker

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No pre-buffing is a HUGE plus. Not only is it, rather unimportantly, more realistic - it removes one of the most tedious portions of combat-oriented RPGs!

It added tons of strategic value too, because you had to think about what you spent your turn on, and which buff was actually most important.
 

Darth Roxor

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thesheeep said:
First, the bashing of ToEE for the encounter design. Fighting "waves" of bugbears in a bugbear cave seems rather logical to me, and not a point to criticize. Even more, I think it simply belongs into a fantasy combat game to fight against large numbers of enemies from time to time.

It wouldn't even be that bad if it was just fighting waves of bugbears in a bugbear cave. What happens in ToEE, however, is fighting waves of bugbears in a ruined temple, not to mention there is absolutely no friggin variety there. Gimme some shamans or something, goddammit, give me WHATEVER, just something other than another bland mob of 15 bugbear warriors (WOWOWOWO, TWO OF THEM HAVE BOWS!!) in 5 consecutive rooms.

Next, not mentioning the fucked up perspective.

I didn't find it fucked up at all, or at least, it didn't bother me at all.
 

Radisshu

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Grunker said:
No pre-buffing is a HUGE plus. Not only is it, rather unimportantly, more realistic - it removes one of the most tedious portions of combat-oriented RPGs!

It added tons of strategic value too, because you had to think about what you spent your turn on, and which buff was actually most important.

No pre-buffing makes no sense. If your adventurers know there's something big ahead of them (by listening in, or knowing otherwise), why wouldn't they want to prepare themselves? This doesn't mean using every buff you've got - in fact, doing that is a pretty bad move, since the short-term duration buffs will wear off when the battle has just started.
 

Grunker

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If you allow pre-buffing the player can pre-buff before every single battle in the game, even the ones he didn't anticipate, by saving and loading.

Does it make sense for a party of adventurers tp have this kind of precognition?

Not in a bit. So see, your argument of "pre-buffing makes sense" is faulty. Allowing pre-buffs makes as little sense as does the alternative.

Furthermore, what makes sense doesn't really matter in a game like this which is all gameplay. So the dev took the decision of "no pre-buffing." What does this mean for the gameplay? It means that there's an extra strategic layer. It also means the game isn't balanced for handling an überbuffed party, which means you don't have to rely on one of the most tedious mechanics of old RPGs ever.

No pre-buffing is epic win. No more, no less.
 

Lightknight

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Nov 26, 2008
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This is all well and good, but why does it have to be so damn ugly ? Dwarf Fortress is prettier than this game !
Maybe in the 80's the craaaaazy perspective shtic was "trendy", but come on ! And thats not to mention the INSANE color scheme, i swear, when i look at some screenshots i am being hypnotized by the random brightly-colored blotches.
 

Archibald

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Pre-buffing, most of the time, is exploit. You can argue all you want but most of the time it goes something like this:

Go into dungeon->Get ambushed->Get raped->Load game->Go into dungeon->Pre-buff->Get ambushed->Rape enemy.

This is wrong.
 

BethesdaLove

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My review:

good
- nice ai
- tactical dnd
- fingered mephistor to death on low level with reloads, he could not get out of the chamber

bad
- cant attack people
- combat comabt comabt... its good for what it is but if could have been more
- cant maneuver before combat wizard always ends up under fire
- cant rename savegames
- enemies move to slow in their turn
- high level combat is boring, to easy
 

Morkar Left

Guest
Nice and informative review.

Radisshu said:
Played through the demo, and really liked the battles (had some trouble with a few of them), but the lack of classes and skills are a huge minus for me. Not much party diversity, no pre-buffing, no scouting ahead (there seems to be many battles where you automatically are "ambushed", even though you could see it from miles away, which seems kind of silly).

That´s why the game is not appealing to me (plus the low resolution) :(
 

Elwro

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Cool review, ziom!

Hope the 2nd part comes out with some sort of module creator and the world is flooded with high-class Dark Sun adventures.
 

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