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Codex Review RPG Codex Review: Stygian Reign of the Old Ones

Deleted Member 22431

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That's a bad, infantile point. You don't have successful experiments without failed ones. The only world where all experiments are successful is where there are none - which doesn't mean anything. The only way to assure a success is to follow a safe formula ; in effect, to avoid experimenting. To value experiment independent of their success or failure is essential to creative processes. What your interlocutor is trying to say, is that the game tried something "new" - and that is good and should be recognized.

You talk as if the only way to succeed is by accident. The game failed because they didn’t anticipate how much work was needed and gave up halfway. In other words, they are not that different from dozens of other studios that disappointed their players with interesting conceptual promised and awful delivery. They failed and because of this their game will be forgotten. They have only themselves to blame. But then again we have idiots like you indulging them with the bizarre notion that is okay to release an unfinished game and that they deserve a participation award just because they were not trying to do a shooter with stats. It is the other way around: it is because they had a chance to make something special that they deserve even more severe criticism.

I also feel like the game should be recognized for one feature that should absolutely be picked up by future titles : a negative experience system. A system where you character gets worst over time. You gain "bad levels" in this game. This is in a way revolutionary and goes against the usual power-dynamic of cRPGs. The review only mentions it as an after-note to the playthrough, but from a design perspective this is a big deal, I feel.
It is not revolutionary by any means. Eternal Darkness (Gamecube) did this in 2002, and it was much, much better.
 
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Verylittlefishes

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too lazy to play the entire game because it's boring, someone tell me the ending
spoiler it if necessary
You enter the witch house looking for a way to be transported into Miskatonic University to find the dreaded Necronomicon. Instead you meet a Chesire Smile who cuts a deal with you to escape the house in exchange for your bloodletting, and then you're mindscrewed and wake up in an insane asylum with many of the NPCs as your fellow inmates. The doctor briefly appears as the Dismal Man but it's ambiguous whether or not it's real or a hallucination. The game could end here, but you convince the bartender to mix you up a drug concoction to transport yourself back to Lovecraft Land before you're wheeled in for brain surgery. You wake up on a moon of Yuggoth surrounded by Elder Things who are are apparently at war with the Mi-Go. After navigating past some Mi-Go, you meet up with the Chesire Smile again who says that this time he can transport you to Miskatonic U for real, but now you have to kill one of your companions. If you don't, you're trapped forever on Nithon. It's suggested the Chesire Smile is really the Dismal Man is probably Nyarlathotep the Crawling Chaos. You find yourself in the University, but it appears as though you've been transformed into something akin to The Thing on the Doorstep. The narrator asks you if you're a bad enough dude to find the Necronomicon. End.
I just read "The Thing on the Doorstep" cause of this post, and holy shit was it good. I see now why people always hyped up H.P Lovecraft. Any other short story suggestions?

I personally like his more romantic stuff, like The White Ship or Silver Key.

It is best to read HPL chronologically, starting with Dagon and The Outsider.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
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I just read "The Thing on the Doorstep" cause of this post, and holy shit was it good. I see now why people always hyped up H.P Lovecraft. Any other short story suggestions?

I reread all my Lovecraft collections in anticipation of this so I can state with certainty that in addition to The Thing on the Doorstep these are my favorite Lovecraft stories:

The Statement of Randolph Carter
The Picture in the House
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
The Outsider
The Rats in the Walls (based cat)
The Festival
Cool Air
The Call of Cthulhu
Pickman's Model
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Colour Out of Space
The Dunwich Horror
The Whisperer in Darkness
The Shadow over Innsmouth
The Dreams in the Witch House

And my favorite stories that he ghostwrote for other people (resulting in edgier tales and stories where women actually play a prominent role (!)):

The Curse of Yig
The Last Test
The Man of Stone
Medusa's Coil (based Marceline)
The Mound
Winged Death
 

luj1

You're all shills
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Stygian, on the other hand, went the route of having unique assets for every single fucking area, the only places where they could reuse some art are dungeons. And although artistically the result is fantastic,...

Artistically the result is "fantastic"? :lol::lol:Awkward perspective, flat palette and literally clipart characters give Stygian that early-2000 flash game look. Also animation is DOGSHIT.

The game feels and looks like absolute shit. Hipsters and peasants alike need to learn that "hand drawn" doesn't automatically mean "WELL drawn"!
 
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ItsChon

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Stygian, on the other hand, went the route of having unique assets for every single fucking area, the only places where they could reuse some art are dungeons. And although artistically the result is fantastic,...

Artistically the result is "fantastic"? :lol::lol:Awkward perspective, flat palette and literally clipart characters give Stygian that early-2000 flash game look. Also animation is DOGSHIT.

The game feels and looks like absolute shit. Hipsters and peasants alike need to learn that "hand drawn" doesn't automatically mean "WELL drawn"!
I'm glad someone said it.

When your game just feels like shit to play and look at (movement, combat, zone transitions, graphics, everything), it's over. In the case of Stygian, even if the combat system was somehow actually really deep/fun, and the writing was also a lot better, the game would still be subpar because the systems which facilitate the player's enjoyment of these things are fundamentally flawed, and not enjoyable to interact with.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
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The game feels and looks like absolute shit. Hipsters and peasants alike need to learn that "hand drawn" doesn't automatically mean "WELL drawn"!

The backgrounds and portraits are both fine. Though I like comic books, maybe they don't have the appeal to non-fans.


Plot coupons are any item you need to move the story forward. In one of the big quests, you get coupons by buying one, fighting or sneaking through a combat crawl to get another, and a somewhat-more ambitious area where you either kill everyone there for it or poison them if you have the skills to sneak or talk past them.
 

Verylittlefishes

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Stygian, on the other hand, went the route of having unique assets for every single fucking area, the only places where they could reuse some art are dungeons. And although artistically the result is fantastic,...

Artistically the result is "fantastic"? :lol::lol:Awkward perspective, flat palette and literally clipart characters give Stygian that early-2000 flash game look. Also animation is DOGSHIT.

The game feels and looks like absolute shit. Hipsters and peasants alike need to learn that "hand drawn" doesn't automatically mean "WELL drawn"!
I'm glad someone said it.

When your game just feels like shit to play and look at (movement, combat, zone transitions, graphics, everything), it's over. In the case of Stygian, even if the combat system was somehow actually really deep/fun, and the writing was also a lot better, the game would still be subpar because the systems which facilitate the player's enjoyment of these things are fundamentally flawed, and not enjoyable to interact with.

As every grownup knows, expensive graph is the first priority in RPGs.
 

Forest Dweller

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Plot coupons are any item you need to move the story forward. In one of the big quests, you get coupons by buying one, fighting or sneaking through a combat crawl to get another, and a somewhat-more ambitious area where you either kill everyone there for it or poison them if you have the skills to sneak or talk past them.
Wait, they're actually called "plot coupons?"
 

Zed Duke of Banville

Dungeon Master
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too lazy to play the entire game because it's boring, someone tell me the ending
spoiler it if necessary
After a lengthy series of quests, you manage to obtain the fabled armoire, but when you attempt to use it on Cthulhu, he stomps the armoire, flattening it to a pulp. However, you find amidst the wreckage of the armoire an undamaged Necronomicon, which is now revealed as the true destination of your quest...


VggZYI8.png



...oh wait, that's the ending of Cleve's next game, Armoire: Heralds of the Eldritch Abomination.
 

Rahdulan

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I'm not that far into the game, but review seems pretty spot-on. Some things like totally obfuscating passage of time from the player when it ties into [light] resource management and very tangible stat hits simply has to be one of those developmental oversights and demo didn't last long enough to notice, for example.

Some might take issue with how "pitch-black" doesn't appear as such to the player, but I don't see it as a big deal; my character is not me.

Jab that shit in. :lol:
 
Self-Ejected

A_boring_GOG_bot

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I reread all my Lovecraft collections in anticipation of this so I can state with certainty that in addition to The Thing on the Doorstep these are my favorite Lovecraft stories:

The Statement of Randolph Carter
The Picture in the House
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
The Outsider
The Rats in the Walls (based cat)
The Festival
Cool Air
The Call of Cthulhu
Pickman's Model
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Colour Out of Space
The Dunwich Horror
The Whisperer in Darkness
The Shadow over Innsmouth
The Dreams in the Witch House

And my favorite stories that he ghostwrote for other people (resulting in edgier tales and stories where women actually play a prominent role (!)):

The Curse of Yig
The Last Test
The Man of Stone
Medusa's Coil (based Marceline)
The Mound
Winged Death

Hmm . The complete works of Lovecraft ( released in here as a 3 books series ) are sitting on my bookshelf . Maybe i should start reading them .
 

Van-d-all

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Standin' pretty. In this dust that was a city.
Hey, I put points into subterfuge. I even avoided a fight near the end because I was able to steal a thing instead of fight for it.
Thing is, Subterfuge is meant as a combat alternative, so it's pretty much redundant. The only weirder skill to choose would be Athletics. IMO a serious part of the game comes from dialogues unlocked by Speechcraft, Occult, Psychology, Science and Medicine.

The backgrounds and portraits are both fine. Though I like comic books, maybe they don't have the appeal to non-fans.
I don't mind the style as it fits the atmosphere and makes some optical illusions like Shroeder's stairs easier to draw, but still, the visuals are rather close to a good Flash game, when they were a thing, than some graphical masterpiece.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
Staff Member
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Messages
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demo didn't last long enough to notice, for example.

The rations and fatigue systems didn't exist at all in the demo.

Thing is, Subterfuge is meant as a combat alternative, so it's pretty much redundant.

? That's stealth. Subterfuge is the lockpicking skill, you typically use it to acquire more and sometimes special stuff.
 

V_K

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at a Nowhere near you
I actually kinda get the idea behind not having a visible hunger/fatigue counter - it's precisely so you couldn't prepare for it. Like, you're getting so overstressed from all the bad shit happening all the time that you can't be bothered to notice the signals you're body is sending you until it's too late. That said, it works a lot better with exhaustion, the food is just way too plentiful.
 

Fenix

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I actually kinda get the idea behind not having a visible hunger/fatigue counter - it's precisely so you couldn't prepare for it.

Agree, i's what Elex did to an extent.
I think, games should NOT have every thing listed in numbers, it make game too dry, too game-y, and deprives it from it spirit (unless it's Railroad Tycoo and the like) whenever it has it.
I think devs should be actually VERY careful in what parts of game they allow to see, and what parts they want to obfuscate.

Otherwise games tend to turn into Elaborate Excel Game (tm).
 
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PhantasmaNL

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Messages
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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria
I reread all my Lovecraft collections in anticipation of this so I can state with certainty that in addition to The Thing on the Doorstep these are my favorite Lovecraft stories:

The Statement of Randolph Carter
The Picture in the House
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
The Outsider
The Rats in the Walls (based cat)
The Festival
Cool Air
The Call of Cthulhu
Pickman's Model
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Colour Out of Space
The Dunwich Horror
The Whisperer in Darkness
The Shadow over Innsmouth
The Dreams in the Witch House

And my favorite stories that he ghostwrote for other people (resulting in edgier tales and stories where women actually play a prominent role (!)):

The Curse of Yig
The Last Test
The Man of Stone
Medusa's Coil (based Marceline)
The Mound
Winged Death

Hmm . The complete works of Lovecraft ( released in here as a 3 books series ) are sitting on my bookshelf . Maybe i should start reading them .

Alternatively i recommend the audio books narrated by Wayne June.

I got em all on audible. Some of them sometimes surface on YT.
 

Comte

Guest
Thanks for doing this Roguey. I hope you didn't lose SAN points. Has there ever been a good CRPG that used the Cthulhu mythos? I played Cthulhu saves the world, but that doesn't really count and was only enjoyable for the tongue-and-cheek novelty.

Darkest Dungeon?
 

Iluvcheezcake

Prophet
Joined
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Thanks for doing this Roguey. I hope you didn't lose SAN points. Has there ever been a good CRPG that used the Cthulhu mythos? I played Cthulhu saves the world, but that doesn't really count and was only enjoyable for the tongue-and-cheek novelty.

Darkest Dungeon?

Thats one shit game. UBER GRIND
 

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