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Really Obscure RPGs

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Lord_Potato, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. fantadomat Arcane Edgy Wumao

    fantadomat
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    Spellforce 3 is competing with ELEX for the best rpg of the year for me. Certainly the best writing in the past few years,far above PoE,DOS or the millions of words Numenera. Anyway i played Grotesque tactics 1 and 2 years ago and still remember it strangely. I never had any problems with both games,but you know how PC gaming is,some people are lucky and some are not with the bugs.
     
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  2. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    Fuck. I just made a long post with new obscure titles, from Defender of Boston to Betrayal of the Obsidian Baboon. With screenshots. And some fucking error deleted it completely. Well, you just have to believe me that it was there. I will post it again, once I find the strength to search for all the screenshots once more :)
     
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  3. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Defender of Boston is my Moby Dick. On paper, it looks like the perfect game for me, but I could never get into it despite several tries. The UI is just way too weird.
     
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  4. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    Ok, I'll try again.

    My last effort got obliterated by some bug, so now I will place only 3 games per post. Maybe this way I'll manage to get something across. Anyway:

    Abaddon (2000) - amateur made pseudo-japanese RPG. Sounds scary? Actually, some people say it's not so bad. The story is set in a postapocalyptic world and you are an evil and old ruler, who searches for a secret of immortality. At least the premise seems original enough. The visuals are what you would expect from a JRPG and a quite ugly one. So, don't expect much. But at least it's free.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    Ascii Sector (2007) - Space, the final frontier... imagine cosmic exploration, trade, combat, adventures... and everything in ASCII! If you cannot imagine that, check out the screenshot. In a way it's art.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    Bazooka of the Red Dragon & Betrayal of the Obsidian Baboon - you've got to be really bored to play these titles. Seriously, what's wrong with you?
    I read these are simple RPGs where you walk, fight, get loot, improve and repeat the cycle. I guess there is some fun to be found here. I just don't see it yet.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    It worked. So, we move on!

    Broken Land (2000) - and check out of the shitty, unoriginal and uninspiring Diablo clone. BTW, it's also fucking ugly.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    Chosen: the Well of Souls. Also called Frater: the Well of Souls. (2006) - ok, this is actually pretty embarrassing. This pile of stinking action RPG shit was produced by a Polish studio. I guess they can't all be CD Projekt Red.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    Cops 2170: the Power of Law (2004) - a tactical RPG from the creator of Paradise Cracked (not cucked). I might just try it. Storyfags beware: it's very combat heavy.
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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    Crusaders of Might and Magic (1999) - a game noone asked for, but still got it. Who came up with the idea to make M&M and action RPG? Dunno, but it did not work well.
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    [​IMG]


    Defender of Boston (1992) - a detective story with story set in the 20s. From what I heard, it's decent, but the interface can destory your enjoyment.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    Legend of a Silver Talisman (1996) - an action RPG, visually somewhat similar to Ultima VI, which you can play with a friend. Plus, it's freeware now.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. jungl Liturgist

    jungl
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    I enjoyed crusaders might of magic on the ps1 a lot. Visually it was pretty impressive for its time. 3D platforming is always fun.
     
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  8. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    Crusaders of Might and Magic was gr8 :smug:
     
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  9. Citizen Guest

    Citizen
    Tried to play that when someone gifted me a cd, game is even worse than you can expect from a diablo-clone.

    John Van Caneghem. M&Ms were action rpgs since Mandate of Heaven, Crusaders are just pure action.
     
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  10. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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  11. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    Frankly, Harbinger was already mentioned in this thread, in post #103. But I appreciate the opinion :) I might try it out soon!
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  12. Fowyr Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Fowyr
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    Nah, check my thread. It uses a DOS utility that is not present in the WinXP and above. Works like charm on Win98, though. :M
     
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  13. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    I'm pretty sure I ran it on XP...
     
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  14. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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  15. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    Ok, today we return with another episode of Obscure RPG. This time we actually managed to find some interesting examples. So, let's begin!

    Nemezis: the Wizardry Adventure (1996) - the titles might be suggesting something else than you'd expect. And the company - Sir-Tech does the same. This is however not the classical hardcore blobber, but rather an adventure game with light RPG elements. You control just one character. The battles are waged in real time. Most of the time is devoted to puzzle solving. The graphics is quite impressive for the era though.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]



    Neuro Hunter (2005) - game advertised as part System Shock, part Deus Ex. Action RPG set in cyberpunk antyutopia. I heard levels are vast and enemies numerous. The revies suggested it is not so great though. I guess it might be worth a try if you already finished the above titles 5 times each. There are not so many Deus Ex clones out there.
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    [​IMG]


    Original Mulan (1998) - a chinese RPG, in which you spend most of the time in turn-based combat. There is some story, but it's secondary to the battles. The visuals are really nice, at least on photos (there are very limited animations for characters). Plus it does not look like shitty Japanese RPG!
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    Prince of Destruction (1995) - an RPG with arcade combat, speaking to NPC by typing key words and visuals slightly similar to Ultima 6. A nice visit from a slightly earlier era.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]



    Ring Cycle (1996) - an RPG-strategy hybrid with story based on the Ring of the Nibelungs opera by Wagner. Plus, it gave the players a huge open world and numerous ways to deal with it. It also delivered hundreds of bugs that severely diminished the players' enjoyment.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    The Spirit Engine (2003) - another RPG-strategy hybrid. This time mixed with a platformer. Made by amateurs but despite that, I heard it's somewhat decent.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Grauken King of October Patron

    Grauken
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    Spirit Engine is great, sequel is even better, looks like a platformer but has zero platforming elements
     
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  18. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    This will propably be the last installment of Really Obscure RPGs in 2017. More to come in 2018, hopefully!

    Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator (1999) - an interesting story, good visuals (despite manga characters), tactical, turn-based combat. What's not to like? BTW, it's on GOG.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    Silver (1999) - a console style action-RPG on PCs. Heard it's ok. Also on GOG.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    Sniper: Path of Vengeance (2002) - ok, away with those actually playable titles! As one reviewer said: "derivative, homely, tedious and buggy". It's about a sniper (surprise, surprirse!) working for a gang. You've been betrayed, so now you seek vengeance (surprise, again!).
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    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    And because it's the last installment in 2017, I'll add something new: an after action report/review!

    Yesterday I finished the Polish infinity-engine wannabe, "Another War". Basically, it's supposed to be Planescape:Torment meets Indiana Jones. The idea is really charming and the graphics encourage you to hope for the best. It's really good in an infinity engine way, rendered backgrounds (although usually green, brown and grey) and nicely drawn characters:
    Show Spoiler
    a fire in the communist guerrilla camp. They're mostly drinking slivovitz and cure hangover by killing Nazis.
    [​IMG]


    The adventure is set during the second world war and you will visit numerous locations:
    Show Spoiler
    a quiet town in Nazi-occupied France, a village in Yugoslavia, where communist guerilla fighters battle the Germans, a town and a labour camp in Germany, where dr Mengele conducts his experiments, the outskirts of besieged and starving Leningrad, and even for a moment you'll find yourself in Iceland.
    During your travels you gather a party of unusual characters and uncover
    Show Spoiler
    a nazi conspiracy to summon an ancient god taken directly from lovecraftian dark fantasies.
    Or at least you try to understand what the hell is going on, because the story is incoherent and poorly written.
    Show Spoiler
    But you don't have to follow it too closely. Just kill Nazis. Here, in the snow-covered ruins of Leningrad.
    [​IMG]



    The style of the game is similar to Planescape Torment: it's basically an adventure game in RPG disguise. You get experience points, obtain new levels, improve stats and get new abilities - mostly useful in combat - but apart from fighting legions of German soldiers, German guards, Waffen-SS, and later also grotesque monsters (respawning while you leave a location, I hate that!), you mostly solve item-based riddles. The dialogues are long, unfortunately the writing is incompetent. They tried to be funny and sometimes you see their poor effort at humor, but usually it fails miserably. The characters don't really have a backstory and I scratched my head in amazement why they follow me at all.
    Show Spoiler
    There is a German deserter I released from prison, who joins me in killing his compatriots. A Yugoslavian guerilla and a drunk who joins me when he cures his hangover. A Polish woman who was a lover of a chief of a force labour camp in Germany, who joined me God knows why (and why she's so proficient with handling big guns, while she mostly handled the chiefs little dick). And a Soviet soldier who joined me because I promised him to find some German tanks to destroy (I did not fulfill that promise, didn't even had a chance, around Leningrad there was not a single fucking German tank!).


    Show Spoiler
    The inventory screen.
    [​IMG]


    The ending is equally pitiful.
    Show Spoiler
    When I finall managed go get to the Nazi excavation under Leningrad and got teleported to Iceland, I could witness some unnamed German general summoning the nordic god (which looked like a giant set of tentacles). The monster killed all the Germans, propably with it's lame joke. Anyway, I reached it with one party member, the German Johann. He got angry at the ancient god and threw... a potato at him. The god died. My characters were teleported to some piece of ice floating on the sea, where they discussed what happened. "Everyone has his weakness" observed my PC. Obviously, the nordic god had really low ressistance to potato attacks. And it's the end. Fucking kill me already.

    Show Spoiler
    Character sheet with stats, weapon abilities and special combat skills.
    [​IMG]


    The RPG elements: you have the stats that influence how you fight. I guess intellect allows you to get more dialogue options and charisma is only useful to get lower prices in shops. All the skills and abilities are combat based. In your party you only control your created PC. All the other party members are controlled by AI, like in Fallout. Battles however are waged in RTwP. The pause is fucking stupid, because you cannot really give orders while you stopped the time. The battles are numerous, but the difficulty level is uneven and the learning curve steep as fuck. In the 1st Act I could go through legions of Nazis with a knife or even bare hands. In Act 2 enemies become gods of war and kill you in an instant. It stays so until the end. However, the combat is poorly designed. Everyone is running around in a big clusterfuck. They shoot, change position, shoot, change position, use the gun as a melee weapon, change position to shoot again. When you have 20 characters on screen, it becomes a terrible mess. And you have to target enemies very precisely in this mess, because otherwise your character just stands there and lets himself get killed. The AI of the companions is also shitty and sometimes they stop to fight, letting the Nazis to slaughter them. It's all terribly designed, and I played the patched version, where there was a "lazy mode" (you pick an enemy and your hero attacks him until one of them dies; before the patch it was like Diablo: you had to click for every hit or fire).

    There is no C&C. Some quests can be completed in different ways, but it does not rely on your actual stats but on the class you chose in the character creation. Intellectual completes everything with his wits. Thief with his rogue skills and strongman with his sheer power. Despite the fact I played with a very intelligent thief, unfortunately I did not receive the options of the intellectual. So, I basically wasted some of the points I received at level ups.

    It's really a pity that the game is so bad. Under all the misguided choices there was a potential for a great adventure RPG. The visuals are really decent, sometimes charming. The story could be good in the hands of a competent writer. The battle system could be acceptable if it would be more similar to infinity engine games ,or perhaps to Fallout. Unfortunately, the game is utterly dissapointing.

    And the fucking potato. Look, I know, it's a Polish game, but fuck me... there is a reason we brag about the Witcher and not this pile of steaming shit.

    Show Spoiler
    One of the few redeeming qualities of the game: alcohol plays a major part in it. You use bottles of vodka to complete quests and heal your wounds. So, basically, it's pure realism.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  20. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    What killed Septerra Core is mostly the Capital battle map. ITs sudden spike in load demand simply drag lesser rigs down to scrawl. Good games, steampunk mixed with magic mixed with sf. nice graphic. Pity the gameplay feature of running around big maps, even revisit one several times, is not a good design.

    Silver is nothing memorable so it's deservedly obscure.
     
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  21. MarkedOne Educated

    MarkedOne
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    https://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/ind...lable-on-steam-gog.110953/page-4#post-5119657

    http://web.archive.org/web/20050317093624/http://www.bradmcquaid.com/WarWizard.htm
    https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7927
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  22. Fowyr Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Fowyr
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    Necrotech. Mldly enjoyable combat, but overall pretty bad game.
    [​IMG]
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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  23. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Oh yes, I tried to remember that weird shit's name.

    Speaking of barely playable shit, here goes Shattered Light
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    In theory - a good-looking isometric open-world stat-heavy RPG with a construction set and a possibility of online coop.
    In practice - uninspired Diablo clone with barebones mechanics and plot, a quest system that only supports fetch quests and, despite that, tons of scripting and other bugs.
     
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  24. MotherMachinae Arcane

    MotherMachinae
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    There is Sabotain - Break the Rules, another rusian RPG in first person.
    Also - there is some game on Silent Storm engine in some kind of post apo setting, some "rusty can" name, can't remember details. Not sure if it was released, just some screenshots and that's all I guess?

    Harbringer? Looks cool, but remind me a bit Restricted Area, which is irredeemable pile of shit.
    Another War? How about the sequel - http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/jak-rozptaem-ii-wojn-wiatow-nieznane-przygody-franka-dolasa

    I saw that video, I felt pride and accomplishment (and surprise) when Ross show my video :love:

    The same studio that created Grom - Terror in Tibet made 2 awful action RPGs and shut down. Thing is - there are 3 classes in Frater but only one is playable (shooting gal), p. sure they not tested other classes, at all.[/spoiler]
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  25. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    After a brief, 3 months long pause, caused by the obligations of private life and lack of time for gaming, I come back to the "Really Obscure RPGs" thread with a review of Gorasul: Legacy of the Dragon! I finished the game yesterday and had some time to gather my thoughts. So, here it goes.

    Gorasul: Legacy of the Dragon is a game made by a German studio and released in November 2001. It is one of the few games that can be considered as clones of Infinity Engine RPGs. It was always surprising to me that Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale franchises, while successful, did not spawn more clones. Diablo had a lot of wannabes. Infinity games not so much. Gorasul, Prince of Qin, much later Legends of the Sword Coast. And that seems to be it? So, despite the mediocre reviews, I decided to try Gorasul.

    The intro is nothing special, but neither was the original Baldur's Gate one. It presents the barebones story just fine. A baby is left in front of a house. He is later taken care of and educated by a dragon. Several decades later, the world is invaded by demons and our PC, now a grown man, named Roszondas is one of the champions in the war against them. However, he is slain. And that's it. Basic character creation (in which you create both your PC and his special weapon) and the game begins.

    And it fucking begins in style. You wake up without any memories, in a strange, alien place, surrounded by undead. Yes, it begins like Planescape Torment. Well, not quite. The undead are aggressive, and you need to fight them. And the 'morgue' seems more like a laboratory of sorts. But there is Morte! In this role, your weapon, given to you by the same god that ressurected you after 10 years, because the world (Gorasul) needs you again.

    First location, the morgue (actually, Roszondas' tower):
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]



    As I said, the character creation is quite basic, but can take some time. You choose one of several professions: fighter, magician, judge of swords (Paladin), banisher (magician more suited to summoning monsters), cleric, scout (Ranger). You set 5 basic stats: strength (influences melee damage, unfortunately does not influence carry weight), dexterity (chance to hit and to evade hits), endurance (hit points), charisma (how NPCs perceive you, completely useless, I never place any points in it and had no problems with interactions) and intellect (mana points and how fast they are replenished). You can also increase attack or defense (working similar like dexterity). However, being a pupil of a dragon, Roszondas inherited several dragon skills , which you can also increase. They are: Dragon sight (the range of sight), Dragon strenght, breath and fear. The last three are combat abilities that activate when Roszondas is close to death. Then all the shit happens. His blows become much more powerful, and aura of fear makes lesser enemies flee and fire breath kills the rest. It can make wonders when you need it. Later you create your special, thinking and talking weapon. You can choose what will it be (a dagger, sword, bow, or something else; each type of weapon has different experience level requirements, and also enemies he loves and hates). Your weapon also has 5 stats, 4 of which you can shape. They are: ability to strike, acquire critical hits, replenish your mana, oppose weapon damage. The last one is "ego" and it increases with experience levels.

    Character sheet looks like this (presenting dragon abilities, interchangeable with stats):
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    The weapon stats sheet looks like this:
    Show Spoiler


    [​IMG]


    So, the weapon starts talking to you and becomes your first companion. You will meet more on the way, but they are not very memorable. Nothing compared to guys and gals from BG or BG2, not to mention Planescape Torment. When you leave your tower, the map of the world appears. The game world is composed of a set of islands, two large ones and several smaller ones.

    Part of the game world:
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    Despite a feeling of choice you quickly learn that it is an illusion. The game is quite linear, you rarely have more than two or three locations to go to, appearance of the next ones is triggered by specific conversations or meeting new companions. Hence, you are lead along the way invented by the developpers. So, you explore the world, solve quests, gather clues concerning the world that has quite change during your decade long death (not to mention you have amnesia, so you need to learn a lot again - that's how they justified the fact, that the former champion of humanity starts as a complete wimp). Soon you learn that the islands are covered by a "soul net" which does not allow the souls of the diseased to reach heavens - they come back from the graves as undead. To break the soul net you need to create a circle of five powerful mages. Roszondas is the first one (despite the fact that you can make him a fighter or a scout...), the four others you need to find during your journeys...

    I will not spoil more of the story (you learn about the soul net after 1 or 2 hours). You will travel to different parts of the world, meet many of its generic races and have numerous typical adventures (clear the mine, catacumbs, graveyard etc). The world is quite vast but unfortunately poorly described and quite shallow. The lore is somewhat lacking, despite books you can read in several libraries and the monster compendium that also offers some info about the locations. What starts like Planescape Torment quickly descends into a typical fantasy story about a guy fighting undead/demons/evil wizards/worshippers of an evil god. The quests are also very linear and can be achieved in one way only. There is almost no choice and consequence. Any immersion that could be built is ruined by German efforts at humor and from time to time by a misguided breaking of the fourth wall.

    You will spend most time exploring the maps, solving the riddles and fighting. At the beginning of the game you can choose the difficulty of fights and riddles and it shapes your experience. For example, if you choose hard riddles you need to type the responces yourself. If you choose medium, you can choose among several options. Battles are usually quite easy, but there are several difficult encounters, especially with one nasty banshee and several angry lindworms. Unfortunately dragons are complete pussies here. You face 2 or 3 of them and usually they go down without much of a fight. If you create a magic user, like me, the early game might be more challenging, because you need to kite a lot, while your mana replenishes (the first companion you meet is also a spellcaster, so until later time you have no meaty tank to hold the enemies in place). Later it becomes a walk in the park. Except for the fucking banshee that can really get on your nerves.

    Despite a paper-thin story and world creation, the production values are quite good. The visuals are nice, some locations look atmospheric and nice:
    Show Spoiler


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The spell effects are nice, I think nicer than in the original BG (I know, it was published 3 years earlier). The cutscenes are acceptable for time of the production of the game. The music, while forgettable, does not offend the ears. It is quite obvious that they planned more content (locations of the first island are much more numerous and closer to each other, than on the second one) and needed to cut corners in the end. That's perhaps why the endgame feels very rushed. A pity, because the engine and the RP system could support a much better game than the one that we finally got.

    The game takes about 30 hours to finish, and I was not bored during this time. However, my enjoyment could be much greater if the developpers created a better product. I played a heavily patched version (1.06) and still had to deal with constant CTDs. In some battles I had to change tactics because casting some spell or going melee caused a repeated crash. Fortunately, each time I managed to advance despite the programmers poor job. The translation from German to English was quite a weak one (but the first translation, shipped with version 1.0 was an atrocity, from what I've heard, they changed it completely in the patch).

    Gorasul is an uneven experience. Sometimes it charms you, sometimes it irritates you, sometimes it makes you sad for the lost potential and wasted effort. There are really good ideas here (like the companion weapon, which is btw the only "real" companion in the Baldur's Gate sense, one that has mind of his own, initiates conversations and has a strongly defined character), but they are buried under a lot of poor design decisions. It can only be honestly reccomended to people craving an infinity engine clone game, who completed all the real infinity engine games 10 times already and do not need the 11th run. Others would propably do best to avoid it.

    So, with this review the thread is back to life. If you have ideas of obscure RPGs, bring them on! Propably I will post some myself during the weekend. And soon I will undertake a new obscure challenge. I'm considering Heath: the Unchosen Path (Russian Golden Land) or Metalheart: Replicant's Rampage.
     
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