Category Archives: RPG Games

Game of Thrones Ascent Review: A Facebook Game Set In The World of A Song Of Ice And Fire


Game of Thrones Ascent (developer Disruptor Beam) is the newest video game set in the world of A Song Of Ice And Fire, a recommended and extremely popular book series by George R.R. Martin. Game Of Thrones Ascent has been developed as a game for Facebook even though later in its life it might be converted to other systems. This however – contrary to popular belief – has not lowered its quality or made it a pay-to-win game. At the moment Ascent is still in beta phase.

Ascent is similar to other medieval browsergames like Grepolis or Tribal Wars: your goal is to build a city and destroy your opponents. You will able to add buildings such as a smithy, a sept, a market, and these can also be improved to increase efficienty. The game does not require you to wait immense amounts of time before certain actions are completed. Sure, sometimes you’ll have to wait some time, but it’s far better than in many other games in which you’ll buy speed-up items just because you’re irritated by the time that is left. This is definitely an improvement.

The game hosts a story similar to A Game of Thrones with some minor adjustments along the way, the story itself is cool and you’re really being involved in it as a random noble. You’ll be confronted with quests and you will need to make choices – what’s more important for you? The realm, your family, the olds gods, or the new? The choices you make have an impact on future happenings. Your quests will usually be completed by your Sworn Swords, units you can hire which have their own talent trees in which you will be able to invest points after they have ranked up. Your Sworn Swords can specialise in trade, intrigue, or brute force. They can then complete quests with actions such as “attack, swindle, steal, spy, harass” and so on.

A Sworn Sword working for me

A Sworn Sword working for me

You will be able to check your rank as a noble at the leaderboards. There’s also the option to create alliances, add/help friends, send messages, gain achievements and buy items in the shop with real money. All these systems work fine and you’re always confronted with a nice UI and every now and then a beautiful piece of artwork. The music isn’t bad either!

Questing

Questing

I really enjoyed playing Game of Thrones Ascent and I’ll not stop playing it soon. It’s a fresh and improved version over other similar games and most definitely not your average cheap Facebook game. A huge thumbs up for Disruptor Beam! On you go now, to defeat the challenges in Westeros!

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Review: Pawn Stars And Big Ugly Bosses – Dragon’s Dogma In A Nutshell


I read some good stuff about CapCom’s new game Dragon’s Dogma, and thought why not just e-mail the good fellows over at CapCom and ask them for a review copy? You’ll never get one if you never ask! Besides, this blog has grown immensely over the past few weeks follower and reputation wise and it isn’t the little kid on the block anymore (although it’s still miles away from the real bad boys). CapCom heard my prayer and whoopdiewhoop, a few days later a press copy of Dragon’s Dogma arrived at my place. My hands were all too eager to touch my first ever review copy so I grabbed it and started playing right away.

So Dragon’s Dogma is CapCom’s brand new game, and I’ve got to cheer at them for having the guts to come up with something new and creative in the already hugely competitive world of role-playing games and also for – excuse the premature conclusion – making it work. Because Dragon’s Dogma is one hell of a game!

We all know CapCom for being the Japanese mastermind behind Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry and many other great series. While Dragon’s Dogma is a venture into the unknown for CapCom there was a slight possibility of this turning into a Japanese RPG but that isn’t the case here. The game is perfectly enjoyable for Western players which proves that there are Japanese developers that can make good games for the Western market. When launching Dragon’s Dogma it’s right away clear that it concerns a CapCom game, hence the beautiful music.  Every time I launch DD and this comes up, grrrrrrreat!

But music is not the only thing in which DD excels, after the tutorial in which you get to kill a half lion half deer (?) creature using tactics (yes, tactics!) you’ll get to create your very own character and this too is done great. Your character will never entirely reflect yourself but it can come quite close to the real you. You can also edit your main pawn, pawns are summoned at “Riftstones” and they will always be at your side and help you throughout the game, it’s a quite interesting concept, really. They’re like party members in an MMORPG game, but these speak far more than your average MMO gamer and it seems they are so eager to defend you that they will almost continuously scream things to you about the environment. They make you feel less lonely though :)

They do have a use, if not too make them fight hordes of goblins in the night while you run off to the castle (cough, COUGH). I kind off stayed outside of the main city for too long together with my pawns while hunting bandits for some magical tome and just doing random shizzle out in the world when I noticed it was growing dark. While I did have a lantern with me and a bit of oil it was too dark to see the road so I went off in a straight line to the city. First my pawns warn me of a stench but alas I ignored them, and next thing I know big fat zombies are digging through the earth and attack me. God, I’ve never fought a more intense battle in a game, ever! I did kill them after a few tries (DD is harder than Skyrim, but easier than Dark Souls) and went off towards the city again but when I found the road again I noticed these tiny figures walking around with torches. Turned out they were goblins and while my pawns ran off to fight them I fled through them straight towards the lights of the city. I managed! But I had been chased by I don’t want to know how many goblins and worse.

So yup, I quite enjoyed the open world aspect of Dragon’s Dogma. There’s a ton of things to do and some side quests really offer a nice variation from the main story which is great and original too (I won’t spoil a thing!). There certainly isn’t a shortage of things to do in Dragon’s Dogma, whether it concerns killing huge bosses while utilising tactics, running on castle walls, driving people away or what else, DD’s got it!

And while there are some darker sides to DD they are pretty straightforward: the graphics aren’t that great and the pawns WILL break your ears, but if you’re in for a great and long RPG experience that can compete with Skyrim (yes, it can!) and requires some skill, Dragon’s Dogma is waiting for you! Nothing beats walking around a lively world filled with creatures, quests and the sound of great music.

 

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King Arthur 2: The Role-playing Wargame Review


I’ve played around with King Arthur 2: The Roleplaying Game for a while and I’m most happy to be able to present you my review of this medieval game published by Paradox Interactive and developed by NeoCoreGames.

King Arthur 2

King Arthur 2 is one of those games that has a light and a dark side on the internet. Positively, the game is a great mix of real time battles, an interesting storyline and beautiful graphics. Negatively, the real time fights themselfs have been very badly optimized, the controls are clumsy and the fights aren’t close to reality at all. This made me somewhat less tempted to try out the game but considering the storyline and the Rome Total War gameplay style I was tempted to test it anyway.

The Story

Once installed I put the graphics on medium to be able to fluidly do my playing and reviewing and started a new campaign. I was greeted by a very well narrated story that told the background story of what I was doing in the campaign. Apparently some Witch Queen decided to invade my country with her dragons and what else and she managed to deal the almighty Arthur a mortal wound. It is your job to assemble a great army and destroy the Witch Queen’s armies. It’s basically the old and well known “super evil villain, kill it!” concept but since that has always worked for other games why should King Arthur 2 be any different? The whole Arthur theme should be appealing enough.

Gameplay

So when I was done with the cutscenes it appeared some high born friend had been captured in his own castle by rebels and it was my, William Pendragon’s job to save the lord. The game’s events are happening as they are in Rome Total War, not in real time. You get a mission and you will have to move your army to the destination point to do something. This is something you’ll either love or hate, but the next part is sure to delight everyone! When I arrived at my destination I was presented with a very fun and well written story where I would make choices and the results of those choices are reflected in the story itself. For example, would you lead your army through dense woods or would you prefer to keep to the high road? I did not make the best choice I could have done, I ended up in the same prison as the great lord himself, but in the end I managed to escape and needed to fight a battle. So far King Arthur 2 seems to be an excellent game fit especially for gamers who love storytelling.

King Arthur 2

But I’m afraid it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with King Arthur 2: The Role-playing Wargame, as I entered this huge battlefield filled with soldiers my fears were realised and the complaints of the internet community were comfirmed. The controls are clumsy, check! Poorly optimized: it’s not great, but you should be able to live with that. An extreme lack of realism? Check. I led my cavalry into a charge against enemy archers but before my horses slammed them to the ground they almost halted completely and the archers were relatively safe. They should have been flung into the air! Buggy? My soldiers often wouldn’t listen or listened poorly and it would take some time before they would run away. I can say one positive thing about the battles: the animations and graphics are top notch if you can handle them, really! But that’s about it.

Final verdict: King Arthur 2: The Role-Playing Wargame has its pros and its cons, the narrative is great, the storyline is awesome and it graphics surpass the beauty of the latest Total War games. If you’re interested in buying this game for it’s huge battles however, don’t, (unless you’re an Arthur fanatic :), because while this is one of the bigger Paradox titles, this game stands less chance against the big series then this archer does against an horde of enemy knights:

Please note this review was based on the first official release build. Bugs might have been corrected in future patches but they refused to install.

King Arthur 2: The Role-playing wargame

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Ogres are Dangerous Fellows: Warlock: Master of The Arcane Review


Paradox Interactive was so friendly to supply us with a copy of Warlock: Master of the Arcane to review and this is the result. Warlock: Master of The Arcane is a strategy game developed by Ino-Co Plus that has a big similarity to the Civilization series and the Catan board games, only Warlock is a fantasy game filled with ogres, dwarves, magicians and goblins. Just like Catan, the game features hexes on which units might move

The king of Ardania has fallen and three factions fight to decide who will be the new king. This is merely an excuse to rain fireballs on spiders, however, and the latter is quite satisfying. I started a new game (a multitude of difficulty options!) and instantly spotted a range of buttons to tell me what was going on in my “kingdom” and what I needed to pay attention too. So as I was told I constructed a  building for recruiting rangers and recruited a bunch of those jolly fellows to help me conquer new land. I moved them over a couple of hexes (limited amount per round) and discovered some monsteres which I killed. In my next turn I spawned some warriors which I send further down the road, I kept the hunters close to me. And soon my help was requested in the form of a quest, I needed to root out a bunch of goblins. Luckily enough, my warriors took quick care of them.

And on and on I conquered and fought and completed requests. I even conquered a fortress or two while being chased by a mad ogre. The spiders were taken care of very quickly but I made the mistake of sending my warrior squad against the ogre and SQUASH! Warriors gone. These are mean creatures and I was lucky it didn’t attack my fortress some hexes nearby. Which is either a failing AI, or perhaps the ogre wasn’t as aggressive as it seemed.

Leaving the dead behind on I progressed to conquer more land and kill more enemies and I noticed my army squads could raise in rank and be assigned perks (e.g. +10% damage) and I could research spells for my Magician. This was all efficiently explained every turn at the sidebar buttons and I couldn’t thank them more for helping me with my turns every time. I even captured a fortress near the sea and build a harbor with some ships. On I ventured into the wild sea but where I thought would be a quiet sea with dolphins racing near my ships, there was a massive beast and monsters near the coast almost anywhere. I wouldn’t go there just yet. But the land I had conquered for quite a bit was still filled with enemies so I fought and fought and used my spells.

At one point I even encountered a ratlike unknown magician and I offered him a peace of arms (Civilization, anyone?), later in the game I decided to honor his request of a parley and I had one less faction to worry about. Great!

Final verdict: combining Catan with Civilization seems to have worked quite very well for Warlock: Master of The Arcane. It has fine graphics, addiciting gameplay, enough dept for a game of this sort. Hell, I can even summon imps and unleash them on my enemies! One of the finest hex-based strategy games out there.

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Putting My Brain To Work: Crusader Kings II Review


In the middle ages (500-1500) it was common for a king to divide his land and lend pieces of land to his dear vassals. These vassals would in turn offer the king economical and political support and what else. Those vassals were dear to the king for his land was usually too big to rule all by himself and therefore he needed to keep them close to him and treat them well. This is what Crusader Kings II is. You play a feudal lord and must control your land and gather as much wealth and land as you can before the game ends in a specific year. You have multiple “diplomatic” options in hand to reach those goals including ordering assassinations, arranging bethrothals, educating your children, handing out or removing titles and using your vast (or not) army. There is no -goal- and when the game ends it’s up to you to decide wether you like your result or not.

Crusader Kings II is a game published and developed by Paradox Interactive and anyone familiar with the developer/publisher will know what to expect: a very, very deep medieval game. Included with the game is a multiplayer component and extra content for purchase. And deep it was, for when I launched the game and tried my hand at it for a while I just did not know what to do because the amount of buttons at hand was just too big and even the hints did not manage to explain much. So I went back to the main menu and tried my hand at the tutorials section and oh boy, three tabs full of tutorials labeled basic, intermediate and advanced and while I tried the basic tutorial this made me only slighty more wise about what I had to do and really, I’m not dumb or impatient at all!

So I just fiddled around assassinating someone I did not like, I arranged a marriage between my character’s son and some girl and enjoyed the superb music while not knowing exactly what I was doing but enjoying the process of gradually learning the game.

Final verdict: I had hoped to write a better review than this, but playing this game is worse than playing a Games Workshop wargame without having read the rules and as we all know you can’t grasp the rules without hours and hours of reading and thinking I know this game is like heaven for any fan of a real deep experience and this game does give you a real experience. You get to be a medieval lord with all pros and cons of that combined and while I like history and like medieval games, this is just too much. Something I did not like though was the inavailability of real time battles so you are constantly looking at a map. But for the real Paradox Interactive fan and intense Risk players who can stand this behemoth simulation game, heaven has arrived, but it’s not as relaxed as you thought it would be.

Crusader Kings II

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Muskets and Sabres – Mount & Blade Napoleonic Wars Review


Published by Paradox Interactive, M&B Napoleon Wars is a multiplayer only DLC expansion pack for the original M&B: Warband which is well known for it’s historical accuracy and multiplayer sieges. The original M&B: Warband took place in a medieval setting but this DLC package takes place during the Napoleonic Wars and looks to be somewhat based on the popular M&B mod “Mount and Musket” as it looks and feels the same.

Not being interested in the Napoleon era at but being a real Mount and Blade fan I entered the game in a mixed state, but as soon as I saw the great M&B artwork we’re so used to and the marching music kicked in, my doubts were taken away.

As I’ve already said Napoleon Wars is a multiplayer only addon, it’s not like Warband which has a separate singleplayer campaign but this did not remove any of the fun I’ve had. As soon as you start the game you can pick the looks, name and flag of your own soldier. You can then join a multiplayer server (there’s even 200 man battles!), pick your regiment (!) and class (infantry, cavalry & specialist) and spawn. The original Warband did not have the option for choosing a regiment, rather only a class but the mm_russia3 addon did.

Graphics wise the game is more or less improved over it’s precedessor (although the performance wasn’t too good as of yet), but you don’t play M&B for its graphics, you play it for it’s gameplay, and if possible, the teamwork. And teamwork there was! The addition of horses that can carry flags is great for it seemed mounted players carrying flags were barking orders and the footsoldiers listened. People were also making very good use of (destroyable) cover.

Mount and Blade Napoleonic Wars - Making Good Use Of Cover

While the footsoldiers were on foot hiding behind cover and the cavalry was riding around barking orders, the artillery stood at the end of the map shooting cannonballs over the map, and these are definitely a reason to keep into cover. These tiny things prove M&B NW is working!

Artillery - M&B Napoleonic Wars

There’s a multitude of maps and modes and players can make their own if they want. There’s players who can play marching music for the rest to hear, there’s players who can built fortifications and there’s the necessary fan base that provides organized events.

Final verdict:

Mount and Blade: Napoleonic wars is once again a great M&B game and it’s working as it should! Never will you see another game like this were people are actually working together to drive the enemy outside their fort and not randomly walking about. The fights are accompanied with great recognisable tunes you can’t resist to whistle. Negative sides include the lack of top notch graphics and an average performance, but these should not be a problem for the hardened Mount and Blade veteran. If you’re not acquainted with the series however, this is your time to get in!

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