Buyer's Remorse - She Burns!

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#101 Edited by NaDannMaGoGo (338 posts) -

@Tennmuerti said:

@Seppli said:

Main difference. The Witcher 2 is a beautiful game and it's character-driven with a strong 'chose your own story' element. Both of which KoA:R is not. Many of the Witcher 2's other aspects are found in KoA:R though. Infinitely more of it and so much richer. More combat. More loot. More dungeons. More enemies. Simply more.

And that's one of the core problems. More isn't better. Sometime even more is in fact worse. (Jeff perfectly brough it up as a main concern Amalur would have benefited from being more focused)
More dungeons but so what? They are all similar.
More combat? Sure but it boils down to doing the same thing over and over for a 100 hours.
More enemies? Just like dungeons you only actually have a few types and models. There are more only in overall number.
None of these more in numbers make up for the focused quality, story, choices of Witcher 2.

What it does best is being Diablo with a 3rd person action twist. All the rich content around that (which I like well enough and many seem to dislike) are the icing on it. At its core, KoA:R is about braving dungeons, kill the shit out of enemies, loot their riches and becoming a powerful hero. I do enjoy that a lot. Combat is fun. More so than most RPGs. It feels snappy and tight and just deep enough to allow me to dispose of my foes in style.

IF you are comparing it to Diablo. It's a very very shallow poor mans Diablo. (lets be clear we are talking at least Diablo2 here) Much less depth in character progression. Much less depth in loot. No balance. No real difficulty. No boss loot runs. No newgame+ for more and more challange. Those are the core tenents of a dungeon crawler like Diablo. People who play games like Diablo play them for those merits. Reckoning has these but again it comes up against the same barrier. It's simply not good enough in those areas. Again the jack of all trades problem. It apes Diablo but fails to achieve the same level of depth/complexity/difficulty.

KoA:R attempts to mix exactly the elements I like the most from Open World RPGs, MMORPGs and 3rd Person Action games. I totally agree that its far from perfect in execution, but it's successful enough at everything it attempts to be the game that's the most how I want modern action RPGs to be. For my taste, it has the perfect template. It's a perfect 10 in premise, a 7 in execution and my personal appreciation is a enthusiastic 9/10.

That's a problam for me. I play deep story focused RPGs like Witcher. I played MMOs like WoW. I play action games like GoW. I play dungeon crawlers like Diablo. They all scratch their specific itches and above all excel at what they are doing. In their context Amalur does all those things but falls short, making it kind of a stitched together zombie. It's like playing an inferior version of everything. None of the hooks work on the same level as those other games. In theory it's a grand idea. In practice it just doesn't work out. I can only kill the shit out of so many enemies before it becomes a boring repetative thing. (MMOs deal with this by having player interaction and shit to do/talk while you're in the grind, Dungeon crawlers deal with it by keeping the challange ramped up and loot lust always relevant, action games have more technical/difficult combat that doesn't go on for so long) In the end I guess Reckonings failing imo is not that it fails at perfect execution of all of these (that would be insane to excpect). It's that it fails at proper execution of at least one of these.

Man I love it when people argue like a boss and know their shit.

Replies like those restore my faith in (gaming) humanity! (That said I had restore faith in.. comments... *punch myself*)

Edit: Unfortunately it mostly isn't people like you who do reviews these days :/

#102 Posted by niamahai (1405 posts) -

After 30 hours I decided to fuck it and just finish the main quest. 

 
Playing Amalur made me realize despite how simple a conversation system is, its not one of the easiest thing to do well. 
38 Studio created a fantasy world where the statue quo is different enough to make it interesting, sadly there is nothing in the game that makes you want to explore more of the world's lore. (Lorestones for some reason don't exactly get the message across like the audio tapes in Bioshock)
 
But I am still interested to see a KOA2.

#103 Posted by honkyjesus (132 posts) -

It seems like it wasn't something you wanted it to be, you played through the whole thing thinking at some point it would be TES?, wondered where the damn Dragon Shouts were... and then came here to talk about your feelings.

#104 Posted by Yummylee (21297 posts) -

@honkyjesus said:

It seems like it wasn't something you wanted it to be, you played through the whole thing thinking at some point it would be TES?, wondered where the damn Dragon Shouts were... and then came here to talk about your feelings.

Yes, exactly, you've cracked the code.

#105 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (1096 posts) -

Instead of trying to make an open world and bloated 60 hour adventure, they can make a really tight 30 hour adventure. That is what I took from my experience in the game, and have faith in the studio in their future releases.

#106 Edited by mandude (2669 posts) -

Disappointing. Even with it's polarised reception, I want this so bad. I guess I'm just a whore for Irish mythology, though...

#107 Posted by Vash108 (153 posts) -

PC version here so was unable to return on Steam. I played for about 3 hours giving it a good try but I could not get hooked and never came back to it.

#108 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Having finally played some of it I can agree with most of this.
 
They try, goddamnit they really try, but the world is so fucking cliche it just hurts.
 
It's satisfying my needs to mash buttons and pretend I'm some dagger wielding heroine right now though, since Fable seems to be MIA and not looking good.

#109 Edited by TheAcidSkull (248 posts) -

Finally built up the balls to finish the game, just so I could say that I beat the story. Look I'm a bit new to RPG's, but are side quests supposed to be this boring? I mean, I honesty turned off the sound and just walk around doing random quests while watching something else on my lap top. It's THAT boring.

Hope Witcher III finally wins me over because character building and looting is fucking fun as hell.

#110 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

That double post at the beginning of the thread is mesmerizing. Amalur is alright, just kinda loses steam halfway through.

#111 Edited by thomasnash (539 posts) -

@theacidskull said:

Finally built up the balls to finish the game, just so I could say that I beat the story. Look I'm a bit new to RPG's, but are side quests supposed to be this boring? I mean, I honesty turned off the sound and just walk around doing random quests while watching something else on my lap top. It's THAT boring.

Hope Witcher III finally wins me over because character building and looting is fucking fun as hell.

There's not a simple answer to this. The side quests in Amalur are exceptionally boring though.

I think all RPGs walk a line between how interesting the side quests are, the resources available to make them, and the volume of optional content that consumers expect out of these experiences. I think a lot of projects end up being stuffed with meaningless or boring side content where the resources are an issue, because the expectation with these games is that there will be a lot of it. Amalur is a really prime example of this kind of shovelling because the amount of content severely unbalances the game.

When I think back to some of my favourite RPG games, I think what really makes the quality of a games side content stand out is when the majority of it is built around thematic and geographical centres - preferably both. Fallout 3 has the issue of the volume of quests unbalancing the game (or would, if there as no level cap) but avoids the problem of it feeling meaningless because a lot of the time you discover a location, learn about a set of issues affecting that place, and then complete a sequence of quests (generally) revolving around that quest. This is a formula that holds with the old Infinity Engine games, with Dragon Age and with Mass Effect (slightly more guided by the main storyline). By contrast, Amalur has you roaming so far afield from the very start, and although quest lines are often linked to a storyline, they aren't often linked to a place in any meaningful way. It doesn't help that the design of each individual quest is often boring, boiling down in a very obvious way to "go here, kill dudes, kill bigger dude." Weirdly, the DLCs manage this much better, as they take you to smaller, more thematically consistent locations.

I would expect that the Witcher will be a much better experience for you. The Witcher 2 was absolutely one of the best games I've played for tying everything together in a way that makes it feel meaningful. Even the ones that are essentially the kill 5 rats quests, are rendered meaningful because of the lore of the universe and your character, and the fact that each one involved a "non-combat" portion (research, tracking) that enhanced those story elements.

#112 Posted by TheAcidSkull (248 posts) -

@theacidskull said:

Finally built up the balls to finish the game, just so I could say that I beat the story. Look I'm a bit new to RPG's, but are side quests supposed to be this boring? I mean, I honesty turned off the sound and just walk around doing random quests while watching something else on my lap top. It's THAT boring.

Hope Witcher III finally wins me over because character building and looting is fucking fun as hell.

There's not a simple answer to this. The side quests in Amalur are exceptionally boring though.

I think all RPGs walk a line between how interesting the side quests are, the resources available to make them, and the volume of optional content that consumers expect out of these experiences. I think a lot of projects end up being stuffed with meaningless or boring side content where the resources are an issue, because the expectation with these games is that there will be a lot of it. Amalur is a really prime example of this kind of shovelling because the amount of content severely unbalances the game.

When I think back to some of my favourite RPG games, I think what really makes the quality of a games side content stand out is when the majority of it is built around thematic and geographical centres - preferably both. Fallout 3 has the issue of the volume of quests unbalancing the game (or would, if there as no level cap) but avoids the problem of it feeling meaningless because a lot of the time you discover a location, learn about a set of issues affecting that place, and then complete a sequence of quests (generally) revolving around that quest. This is a formula that holds with the old Infinity Engine games, with Dragon Age and with Mass Effect (slightly more guided by the main storyline). By contrast, Amalur has you roaming so far afield from the very start, and although quest lines are often linked to a storyline, they aren't often linked to a place in any meaningful way. It doesn't help that the design of each individual quest is often boring, boiling down in a very obvious way to "go here, kill dudes, kill bigger dude." Weirdly, the DLCs manage this much better, as they take you to smaller, more thematically consistent locations.

I would expect that the Witcher will be a much better experience for you. The Witcher 2 was absolutely one of the best games I've played for tying everything together in a way that makes it feel meaningful. Even the ones that are essentially the kill 5 rats quests, are rendered meaningful because of the lore of the universe and your character, and the fact that each one involved a "non-combat" portion (research, tracking) that enhanced those story elements.

Well, you make a lot of valid points, but thing is, the side quests wouldn't be a problem if the main story of the game was interesting, but Kingdoms of amalur didn't have an engaging story, hell it took me 2 years to beat the game, not because it was tough, but because for the first time in years, I was so bored with a game that I didn't want to really finish it. When a game feels atmospheric and engaging you tend to ignore the sometimes boring side quests because at least the main story-line was good or or at least the game created it's own identity in terms of fantasy worlds ,but amalur never gave me that feeling, I wasn't excited to explore new caves and areas because a lot of them looked the same(and empty) which is probably why I'd rate it as mediocre, and that's only thanks to it's fun combat system.

And I am very glad that you praise the Witcher so much, makes me even more eager and excited for it's release, It looks really meaningful and quite frankly cool, and I've heard that despite the fact that the main protagonist is an established one, you still basically write your own story by making many different choices. Plus, I've only seen Demo footage and it's already more interesting than the stale environments in amalur.

#113 Posted by thomasnash (539 posts) -

@theacidskull: yeah you're totally right! I did think about saying something to that effect but I was (honestly!) trying to keep from rambling too much.

I'm trying to sort of consider the way side quests are constructed in a vacuum, but the main narrative is really important to that, of course! There's a structural issue - if good side quests are (or can be) borne out of creating interesting locations with solid, coherent design, then part of the job of the main story is to guide you to those places and make you interested in going to there.

However, the more important thing that this kind of points to, is that as much as the side quests in a location need to have strong links to that location, each location needs to feed into the main story. I guess what I mean by that is that if your game has a story of monumental, cataclysmic events, the struggle being caused by those events needs to be visible. Obviously this means that the main story is kind of the base stone of an inverted pyramid of interesting quest design!

(Then again, this also doesn't always have to be true. While you can see this sort of design in Skyrim and Baldur's Gate 1, Baldur's Gate 2 is nothing like as cohesive as this and I still really like that. Then again you could say that Baldur's Gate is a bit closer to tabletop D&D - each location functions as a small module with one major quest line).

PS I agree that Amalur's main storyline was deeply uninspiring!

#114 Posted by TheAcidSkull (248 posts) -

@thomasnash: Yeah, exactly! Not like each side quest has ALWAYS to add something to the main narrative, I mean, I'd be fine with it if it was just interesting and diverse, because that way it gives you a good look at the lore and the universe you are playing in! The quests in amalur are dull and they have you traveling to distance and different yet similar looking locations, and sometimes quests only involve talking lol, which not only kills the whole flow of the game but it makes the whole experience feel...disjoined.

Plus the lack of atmosphere and dull main story really don't help improve anything. I've only seen videos on the quests in skyrim and even watching that feels more exciting than running around like an idiot lol.

Funny thing is, this talk is oddly making me more excited for Witcher III :D

#115 Posted by thomasnash (539 posts) -

@theacidskull: I'm glad it's getting you pumped! If you have the wherewithal to do so, I'd really recommend playing the Witcher 2. Some people find the actual gameplay a bit sluggish - I don't know what you're used to - but it's a really involving game!

#116 Posted by TheAcidSkull (248 posts) -

@theacidskull: I'm glad it's getting you pumped! If you have the wherewithal to do so, I'd really recommend playing the Witcher 2. Some people find the actual gameplay a bit sluggish - I don't know what you're used to - but it's a really involving game!

I ordered it a while back....it was region locked -_-

so glad Xbox One has gotten rid of that.

#117 Posted by thomasnash (539 posts) -

Oh bummer! Just out of interest where do you live that it didn't come out?

#118 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Amalur is a fine game, that could have been great if it had been tighter balanced. Action combat is kinda pointless when it's lacking in challenge. I still think the melding of character action game and sprawling exploration based RPG is a great idea, it just needs to be balanced more tightly, so it remains challenging throughout, and it certainly could have been more dense mechanically - i.e. I'd have enjoyed it more, if there was less talking, and a lot more fighting - less Elder Scrolls, more Diablo in 3rd person.

Also - here's a Dubstep montage somebody made of its Arena quest...

P.S. I spent like 100 hours with the game, 60+ of those hours were spent listening to every line of dialog in the game. Yeah - I probably shouldn't have done that.

#119 Edited by TheAcidSkull (248 posts) -

@thomasnash said:

Oh bummer! Just out of interest where do you live that it didn't come out?

Georgia(tbilisi), and bought my 360 In turkey.

#120 Edited by Yummylee (21297 posts) -

Wuuh...

#121 Posted by TheAcidSkull (248 posts) -
#122 Posted by Yummylee (21297 posts) -

@theacidskull: The blog is over 2 years old, so I was perplexed at finding myself receiving a bevy of notifications related to it.

#123 Posted by TheAcidSkull (248 posts) -

@yummylee said:

@theacidskull: The blog is over 2 years old, so I was perplexed at finding myself receiving a bevy of notifications related to it.

Oh, that's kinda on me, it took me 2 years to beat the game lol :P

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