Knee-Jerk Reaction - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

The purpose of my Knee-Jerk Reaction blogs is to give a perspective of the first hours of a game, the ones that help define whether you will continue playing it or put it down in favor of something else. These are not any form of FINAL opinions on the game, but merely early observations that could or could not change through the course of more gameplay.

Total game time so far: 5 hours

THE GOOD

Kingdoms of Amalur takes out the stale combat of many RPGs and looks at it from a fresh standpoint like most action-oriented games would. If anything, I think the closest comparisons that can be made is a limited version of the systems found in Bayonetta with a flavor of the feel from El Shaddai. You have your primary weapon and secondary weapon, as well as spells, and you can pretty much combo those in any way that you want to take down an enemy. This type of "free-form combat" is something that many RPGs could take note of, as it would easily lift them up to a higher status.

The art design may feel a bit like Fable, but the package as a whole walks miles around Fable's art assets and presentation.

The game also does a great job of realizing its world. Despite the relatively linear way that things seem to feel (it's a bit more Fable and Dark Souls than it is Skyrim), the immensely large world is vibrant and well-stocked with some interesting people to talk to and enemy types that feel original. We've all seen kobolds before, but these kobolds don't feel like many of the others we typically see in RPGs. You can tell that Big Huge Games had a lot of fun developing the art assets for this game, as they are creative and unique to the world.

The other great thing about Kingdoms of Amalur is in how it handles classes. The Destinies system was one of the major selling points, and this could've been an easy hit-or-miss scenario. Luckily, having the ability to free-form my own class with the skills that I want and not have to rely on strictly being a warrior or strictly being a sorcerer is incredible. The actual Destiny cards themselves are little more than some stat bonuses (more crit chance, more melee damage, more spell damage, etc), but you feel unique regardless of it all. Kudos to the developers for this.

There are a lot of little things that Kingdoms of Amalur also gets right. There are bags already given to you for holding onto reagents, crafting materials, and other things to help keep your inventory space a bit freed up. Also, there is no encumbrance in the game, but instead it is handled by inventory spaces (you start with 70 and can buy different backpacks later with more spots available). The dungeons are well-designed and rarely feel like you are walking into something you've already seen. The faction side stories are just as well-told as the main storyline, something that Skyrim cannot say for itself. I also give mad props to the developers for having a plethora of different weapon types to play around with. Despite having points in greatswords and faeblades at the moment, that hasn't stopped me from playing around with chakrams, bows, daggers, longswords, and even staves. Giving a player variety in a game focused on role-playing is necessary to keep a player intrigued in your combat as well as the gear they pick up.

THE BAD

None of that is to say KoA doesn't have its problems early on. While the combat is more action-oriented, it never feels like the breakneck pace that you WANT it to be. There are also times where you feel like something should've connected in your combo, but it didn't. Some of this could be faulted to the relatively wonky camera that the game uses, as it gets rather scatterbrained and never seems to focus on the combat at hand. This leaves you swinging at things that are somewhere off-camera and wasting precious time fiddling with the camera angle rather than kicking ass. That same camera also could do for being pulled back a little bit, as the up-front style of it really makes me think of Fable a little more than I'd like to.

My other major issue with Kingdoms of Amalur is that a lot of the game feels like it is filled with all the tropes of an RPG...solely to be filled with those tropes, like there was a checklist that said "yes, we have crafting...yes, we have socketing...yes, we have alchemy...yes, we have persuasion and lockpicking and blah blah blah". Some of that stuff is very under-realized. The lockpicking in particular feels a bit clunky and generally easier than you would find in a Bethesda game. I can think of only three times that I've actually had to move the lockpick from its starting position. The magic lockpicking (called dispelling) feels like it was added as a form of variety to the traditional lockpicking mechanism, but it becomes rather irritating because of what feels like a relative amount of inaccuracy when trying to activate the lockpicking runes in the little mini-game it presents.

He walks softly, but he carries a big sword.

I should also mention something about loot here. I love loot. Loot in games is one of the biggest reasons I play RPGs. Yes, I dig the stories that they present and want to know about the world and the inhabitants of that world. However, when it comes down to it, we all just want to look like badasses and chop heads off. The biggest problem with many RPGs comes in devaluing the "carrot-on-a-stick" mentality that most RPGs need in order to continue progressing. For example, I should not have purple gear by level 10...from doing story quests. That's just a bad way of handling your color grading, and in turn, you have now devalued the color grading completely by giving me these epics at a low level. I also should not be getting "set bonuses" by level 10. Throwing out sets all willy nilly at early levels makes a lot of other armor completely worthless to a person. Someone took time to program that stuff, and it will more than likely never be seen now. In turn, this means you as a developer have now made it to where people are going to say "I'm not going to replace my purple with a green, even though that green has some more damage than this does".

There are also a lot of other things that hold Kingdoms back from giving me that super tingly feeling of absolute, unadulterated awesomeness. Jumping is handled via a Zelda-esque "jump point" function, meaning that you can't just scale up a few rocks to get to the path you want and instead have to travel an arbitrary distance. This is also something that helps make the game feel a bit more linear than it actually is. The inventory system is relatively clunky, as if it were designed sometime around the end of the PlayStation 2 era. It's serviceable, but there have been great strides made in something as simple as inventory management. There's also an unnecessary density of side quests that feel like little more than menial tasks that you would find in an MMO - get this many of this item, go fetch this, go do things for me because I'm goddamn lazy. Mind you, there are plenty of times that the NPCs you receive those quests from will make fun of the fact that they won't go do these menial tasks themselves, so the self-awareness is nice. However, there's this feeling brewing up in me that thinks all the side quests are eventually going to feel like artificial padding for gameplay time. Maybe it's because I'm not approaching Kingdoms of Amalur like an MMO, which a look at the world map will tell anyone who has played an MMO before exactly the design philosophy of the game. Crafting feels nigh useless so far, especially if we go back to the whole idea of "devaluing" your gear by giving out epics through the main and side storylines. Even then, it never feels like the crafting system is superbly explained, and something that feels completely unexplained are the different diseases, curses, and other status effects that pop up on the right hand side of your HUD. I know that I'm picking up these buffs from different shrines around the world, but what the fuck do they do? TELL ME WHAT THEY DO!

KNEE-JERK VERDICT

I like it...a lot. Despite all the negatives I can give about it, it's an RPG and I'm only five hours in on a character that is melee-focused. The combat and world more than make up for dealing with nearly decade-old mechanics. The Destinies system raises the bar for all RPGs beyond this to give players more freedom in their "role-playing". If anything, I think that's what I can best classify Kingdoms of Amalur as for me right now: it's a game that's more about playing your role and kicking ass than it is about all of its "RPG checklist" systems. We'll see if these opinions stay the same when I hit over 50+ hours in the game.

What about you? How are you feeling about the game? What are YOUR knee-jerk reactions? Do you agree or disagree? Keep the discussion going.

Until next time, piece.

28 Comments
29 Comments
Posted by jakob187

The purpose of my Knee-Jerk Reaction blogs is to give a perspective of the first hours of a game, the ones that help define whether you will continue playing it or put it down in favor of something else. These are not any form of FINAL opinions on the game, but merely early observations that could or could not change through the course of more gameplay.

Total game time so far: 5 hours

THE GOOD

Kingdoms of Amalur takes out the stale combat of many RPGs and looks at it from a fresh standpoint like most action-oriented games would. If anything, I think the closest comparisons that can be made is a limited version of the systems found in Bayonetta with a flavor of the feel from El Shaddai. You have your primary weapon and secondary weapon, as well as spells, and you can pretty much combo those in any way that you want to take down an enemy. This type of "free-form combat" is something that many RPGs could take note of, as it would easily lift them up to a higher status.

The art design may feel a bit like Fable, but the package as a whole walks miles around Fable's art assets and presentation.

The game also does a great job of realizing its world. Despite the relatively linear way that things seem to feel (it's a bit more Fable and Dark Souls than it is Skyrim), the immensely large world is vibrant and well-stocked with some interesting people to talk to and enemy types that feel original. We've all seen kobolds before, but these kobolds don't feel like many of the others we typically see in RPGs. You can tell that Big Huge Games had a lot of fun developing the art assets for this game, as they are creative and unique to the world.

The other great thing about Kingdoms of Amalur is in how it handles classes. The Destinies system was one of the major selling points, and this could've been an easy hit-or-miss scenario. Luckily, having the ability to free-form my own class with the skills that I want and not have to rely on strictly being a warrior or strictly being a sorcerer is incredible. The actual Destiny cards themselves are little more than some stat bonuses (more crit chance, more melee damage, more spell damage, etc), but you feel unique regardless of it all. Kudos to the developers for this.

There are a lot of little things that Kingdoms of Amalur also gets right. There are bags already given to you for holding onto reagents, crafting materials, and other things to help keep your inventory space a bit freed up. Also, there is no encumbrance in the game, but instead it is handled by inventory spaces (you start with 70 and can buy different backpacks later with more spots available). The dungeons are well-designed and rarely feel like you are walking into something you've already seen. The faction side stories are just as well-told as the main storyline, something that Skyrim cannot say for itself. I also give mad props to the developers for having a plethora of different weapon types to play around with. Despite having points in greatswords and faeblades at the moment, that hasn't stopped me from playing around with chakrams, bows, daggers, longswords, and even staves. Giving a player variety in a game focused on role-playing is necessary to keep a player intrigued in your combat as well as the gear they pick up.

THE BAD

None of that is to say KoA doesn't have its problems early on. While the combat is more action-oriented, it never feels like the breakneck pace that you WANT it to be. There are also times where you feel like something should've connected in your combo, but it didn't. Some of this could be faulted to the relatively wonky camera that the game uses, as it gets rather scatterbrained and never seems to focus on the combat at hand. This leaves you swinging at things that are somewhere off-camera and wasting precious time fiddling with the camera angle rather than kicking ass. That same camera also could do for being pulled back a little bit, as the up-front style of it really makes me think of Fable a little more than I'd like to.

My other major issue with Kingdoms of Amalur is that a lot of the game feels like it is filled with all the tropes of an RPG...solely to be filled with those tropes, like there was a checklist that said "yes, we have crafting...yes, we have socketing...yes, we have alchemy...yes, we have persuasion and lockpicking and blah blah blah". Some of that stuff is very under-realized. The lockpicking in particular feels a bit clunky and generally easier than you would find in a Bethesda game. I can think of only three times that I've actually had to move the lockpick from its starting position. The magic lockpicking (called dispelling) feels like it was added as a form of variety to the traditional lockpicking mechanism, but it becomes rather irritating because of what feels like a relative amount of inaccuracy when trying to activate the lockpicking runes in the little mini-game it presents.

He walks softly, but he carries a big sword.

I should also mention something about loot here. I love loot. Loot in games is one of the biggest reasons I play RPGs. Yes, I dig the stories that they present and want to know about the world and the inhabitants of that world. However, when it comes down to it, we all just want to look like badasses and chop heads off. The biggest problem with many RPGs comes in devaluing the "carrot-on-a-stick" mentality that most RPGs need in order to continue progressing. For example, I should not have purple gear by level 10...from doing story quests. That's just a bad way of handling your color grading, and in turn, you have now devalued the color grading completely by giving me these epics at a low level. I also should not be getting "set bonuses" by level 10. Throwing out sets all willy nilly at early levels makes a lot of other armor completely worthless to a person. Someone took time to program that stuff, and it will more than likely never be seen now. In turn, this means you as a developer have now made it to where people are going to say "I'm not going to replace my purple with a green, even though that green has some more damage than this does".

There are also a lot of other things that hold Kingdoms back from giving me that super tingly feeling of absolute, unadulterated awesomeness. Jumping is handled via a Zelda-esque "jump point" function, meaning that you can't just scale up a few rocks to get to the path you want and instead have to travel an arbitrary distance. This is also something that helps make the game feel a bit more linear than it actually is. The inventory system is relatively clunky, as if it were designed sometime around the end of the PlayStation 2 era. It's serviceable, but there have been great strides made in something as simple as inventory management. There's also an unnecessary density of side quests that feel like little more than menial tasks that you would find in an MMO - get this many of this item, go fetch this, go do things for me because I'm goddamn lazy. Mind you, there are plenty of times that the NPCs you receive those quests from will make fun of the fact that they won't go do these menial tasks themselves, so the self-awareness is nice. However, there's this feeling brewing up in me that thinks all the side quests are eventually going to feel like artificial padding for gameplay time. Maybe it's because I'm not approaching Kingdoms of Amalur like an MMO, which a look at the world map will tell anyone who has played an MMO before exactly the design philosophy of the game. Crafting feels nigh useless so far, especially if we go back to the whole idea of "devaluing" your gear by giving out epics through the main and side storylines. Even then, it never feels like the crafting system is superbly explained, and something that feels completely unexplained are the different diseases, curses, and other status effects that pop up on the right hand side of your HUD. I know that I'm picking up these buffs from different shrines around the world, but what the fuck do they do? TELL ME WHAT THEY DO!

KNEE-JERK VERDICT

I like it...a lot. Despite all the negatives I can give about it, it's an RPG and I'm only five hours in on a character that is melee-focused. The combat and world more than make up for dealing with nearly decade-old mechanics. The Destinies system raises the bar for all RPGs beyond this to give players more freedom in their "role-playing". If anything, I think that's what I can best classify Kingdoms of Amalur as for me right now: it's a game that's more about playing your role and kicking ass than it is about all of its "RPG checklist" systems. We'll see if these opinions stay the same when I hit over 50+ hours in the game.

What about you? How are you feeling about the game? What are YOUR knee-jerk reactions? Do you agree or disagree? Keep the discussion going.

Until next time, piece.

Posted by Gav47

Knee-Jerk Reaction is such a good name for a blog. As for KoA: Reckoning, its pretty good from what I have played of the demo but I don't have the time to sink into it right now. I've been playing SWTOR, my first MMO, with has made me realise that I don't like MMOs very much so KoA is probably more up my alley. Also, all the wood elves all have the worst Irish accents I've heard in any video game ever, and I find them pretty grating.

Are you going to play The Darkness II, any thoughts on the Vita?

Edited by Seppli

@jakob187:

Was pissed at not seeing what buffs and curses do via HUD too, when playing the demo. Though I've seen Jeff in the quicklook check some obscure submenu for the specific effects of a curse he's caught failing to open a magic chest. It's in there somewhere, like 2-3 submenus in. Not elegant at all.

Getting my copy tomorrow. Too bad it's a day with tonnes of chores, so it'll be evening before I get to dig in. Looking forward to it more than ever. Can't wait to get started.

Posted by jakob187

@Gav47: Eventually, I will play The Darkness II. My former roommate, who loved the first Darkness as much as I did, is playing through it and her exact words were "DOOD, WHORE HOUSE CHAPTER, OMFG, YOU NEED TO PLAY THIS SHIT NOW! JACKIE FUCKING ESTACADO". That pretty much translates to "yeah, you should've bought this also".

I'm sorry to hear you aren't digging SWTOR. I just hit 50 the other day, and I'm running Hard Modes now to get geared up for some raiding eventually...if I have the time for it. I've enjoyed that game thoroughly so far, although there are a couple of things that I'm really wishing they had implemented in there (like auto-queues for finding groups).

As for Vita, I could give a fuck less about Sony products. Kaz Hirai can eat a dick.

Posted by McGhee

I've only played couple hours. I've been bothered by how ugly most of the character models look, but even more importantly, the whole third person, silent protagonist thing. In this day and age it's just weird to be picking written dialogue while looking at your character just staring blankly. I wish they'd have completely gone the Mass Effect route with the dialogue.

But I do like the combat and the leveling up. Overall, I am enjoying the colorful, almost cartoony looking world. Some are saying that it looks too much like WoW, but I never played Wow. So what do I care?

Posted by kiwi_whisker

To find out the effects of stuff go menu->status->effects (I believe). Useful information that is buried way too deep IMO.

Posted by Shun_Akiyama

Yes, I like it a lot too. The only thing I actually hate is the white text on black background. For some reason that really strains my eyes.

Posted by jakob187

@kiwi_whisker said:

To find out the effects of stuff go menu->status->effects (I believe). Useful information that is buried way too deep IMO.

Definitely not how that should be handled.

@McGhee: Are you playing on 360 or PS3? I'm curious if it's only a 360 thing and whether it is improved by installing or not. As for the dialogue, I'm fine with my guy not talking.

Edited by McGhee

@jakob187 said:

@kiwi_whisker said:

To find out the effects of stuff go menu->status->effects (I believe). Useful information that is buried way too deep IMO.

Definitely not how that should be handled.

@McGhee: Are you playing on 360 or PS3? I'm curious if it's only a 360 thing and whether it is improved by installing or not. As for the dialogue, I'm fine with my guy not talking.

I'm playing on the PS3, although I'm not sure what the thing is that you are talking about improving.

Posted by joshth

Still downloading on Steam. I simply can't wait to get into it...

Posted by jakob187

@McGhee said:

@jakob187 said:

@kiwi_whisker said:

To find out the effects of stuff go menu->status->effects (I believe). Useful information that is buried way too deep IMO.

Definitely not how that should be handled.

@McGhee: Are you playing on 360 or PS3? I'm curious if it's only a 360 thing and whether it is improved by installing or not. As for the dialogue, I'm fine with my guy not talking.

I'm playing on the PS3, although I'm not sure what the thing is that you are talking about improving.

The muddy look of the graphics at times.

Posted by McGhee

@jakob187 said:

@McGhee said:

@jakob187 said:

@kiwi_whisker said:

To find out the effects of stuff go menu->status->effects (I believe). Useful information that is buried way too deep IMO.

Definitely not how that should be handled.

@McGhee: Are you playing on 360 or PS3? I'm curious if it's only a 360 thing and whether it is improved by installing or not. As for the dialogue, I'm fine with my guy not talking.

I'm playing on the PS3, although I'm not sure what the thing is that you are talking about improving.

The muddy look of the graphics at times.

No, I've not seen anything look muddy. It's more just the way that the character's faces are modeled that bothers me.

Posted by AgnosticJesus

I'm 13 hours in and finding it quite enjoyable. Only issue I've had is for the first 10 hours I did nothing but side quests. This leveled me up quickly so when I finally jumped into the main quest it was too easy. Mt guy is absolutely just mowing through enemies.

Posted by jakob187

@McGhee: All I know is that I've got a bitchin' moustache like Bronson.

Posted by AlisterCat

The screenshots for this game always look great, but what do they all have in common? No UI. Slap that ugly thing on there, as you will while playing the game, and it looks a bit rough. Well, more than that it makes the limited view offered by the camera even more limited.

Glad you liked it. I can't wait to get it when I finish The Darkness 2.

Posted by jakob187

Looks like I'll be putting some more time in tonight, as Bioware can't seem to stop shutting down the servers in order to let me run Hard Modes. Grrrrr... I WANT MY TIONESE AND COLUMI GEAR, GODDAMMIT!

Posted by Brodehouse

I way agree that it feels like they put in the RPG story tropes first and then added everything else later.  There's something about the writing that clearly lacks the BioWare naturalistic touch, characters don't talk like they're people in a living world, they talk like they're characters in a fantasy world.  That works great for the Fae, they should feel alien, but even the supposed common folk don't talk naturalistic.
 
I can tell that Brad will have a problem with it, because Brad definitely feels that naturalistic = good.  Final Fantasy is essentially epic poetry in the style of the Oddyssey and he can't stand it... meanwhile Rockstar's last two games relied entirely on naturalistic performance and he loved them.  What Brad calls "grounded, character-driven" is just naturalism, the comparison is essentially between Elizabethan theater and Victorian theater.

Posted by stryker1121

Disappointed to hear about the loot issues...i'm a loot whore, too, and Skyrim has not filled my lustful needs. Good write up, OP. I look forward to continued updates as you get deeper into the game.

Posted by Apollo87

Definately agree with the loot issue, I'm lvl 8 and I've played for about 7hrs. and I already have pieces for 4 different sets, and recently had to change my armor that was very cool looking for a green one that looks exactly like the one you get from the tutorial area, what I'm hoping is that they have either tons of sets, which seems unlikely, or have the sets acquire different levels, say you could find the Stern set from lvls 10-35 or something of that fashion.

Putting that aside I'm definitely liking the game, the possibilities with the different builds and the amount of freedom is pretty awesome though in all honesty I would like more permanent decisions when it comes to the skill points, let's say if you already spent 10 points in might and you reset you still have to put those same 10 points there though you can place them in different skills in the same tree, the fact that you can be a pure might character and on a whim be a pure magic makes seems a little odd to me.

Can't wait to put more hours in it, it's definitely very addicting.

Posted by Alexandruxx

Knee-Jerk, meet Arrow in the Knee.

Posted by joshthebear

A good read and some interesting points. I was really looking forward to this but after watching the QL and reading some opinions it's looking like I'll be waiting until a good sale down the road. Plus I've still got Skyrim to pour through and Mass Effect 3 coming up, so RPG's are in full force.

Posted by GetEveryone

Great article/blog-thing. Also, inspired name.

*would use again*

Edited by makari

@jakob187 said:

Looks like I'll be putting some more time in tonight, as Bioware can't seem to stop shutting down the servers in order to let me run Hard Modes. Grrrrr... I WANT MY TIONESE AND COLUMI GEAR, GODDAMMIT!

Stop slackin' and get Rakata'd son. Nightmare Mode Soa isn't gonna kill himself!

I agree with most of your points. I'm having fun with it. The PC version runs smooth as butter and the environments look fantastic... shame about those character models. That could be in part that the engine is probably going to house the MMO as well and the weirdly low-fidelity character models in comparison to the environments makes more sense in that context.

The drop rate seems a bit high, but I have no problem getting lots of different set pieces and a handful of low level purps, but the volume of them is what feels weird. It's nice to go 'zomg a purp!' at any point, but it diminishes the feeling when there are so many. A lot of the purples and sets have lore attached to them and with the way this game beats you over the head with its backstory (even to the detriment of what's happening at any given time) I guess they just wanted you to see more of it. In any case, loot in a game like this is less about effort and more about luck so having high-grade stuff at low levels isn't really that big a deal as opposed to a system that wants you to put in a lot of time and effort to get the best gear (like an MMO).

I guess you could call leveling the crafts to max and getting billion-socketed purple stuff and filling them with epic gems effort enough if you really want to be kitted out in the best stuff available but the crafting systems feel very MMO-like as well, in that you can't really sustain making great stuff as you level because you lose out on more practical skills and the materials require an element of luck/grind that feels worse than the drop rate from chests and hidden caches.

Still, enjoying it so far.

Posted by PenguinDust

Very enjoyable read. Thanks for the post. That's all I've got to say.

Posted by jakob187

***UPDATE***

15 hours played now.

Well, Kingdoms of Amalur has gotten SIGNIFICANTLY better. I'm currently lvl 17 and just finished the Warsworn storyline. It was excellent. ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT! Now I have two save files going, one with the evil Twist of Fate from that story and one with the good Twist of Fate. I'm pretty sure I will keep going forward with the evil side on this character, as the stat changes are more beneficial. I will say that the evil choice on that storyline is waaaaaaay more interesting as well, but be forewarned: if you want to continue doing quests with the Warsworn, do not make the evil choice. = D

I've also warmed up a bit more to the inventory system, especially after watching the Quick Look and realizing I can just throw stuff into the junk pile when I'm looting it (that's what I get for paying attention while playing the game, right?). I've also pretty much given up on grabbing alchemy mats, since I'm not making potions anyways. I don't really do alchemy at all in these kinds of games, and so I'm just going to stick to that creed for the time being.

I also respec'd a bit. I'm split down the middle on Might and Finesse, and it's become a lot more fun now that I've unlocked some of the additional charge moves, dodge moves, and others. Frost traps are also super fun, even if they aren't exactly very powerful in the late game. I'm pretty much only using them to get the "kill 25 people with traps" achievement, then I'll end up dropping it as the damage just isn't satisfactory to me. If I were a sorcery hybrid, it might be more worthwhile. Meanwhile, I took Jeff's tips and beefed up my Detect Hidden skill. Ladies and gents - you should beef up your Detect Hidden skill. Money is rarely a problem for me now, and mixing that with a beefed up Mercantile skill makes shit much easier for you.

That's what I'm starting to see with this game that pleases me so greatly and makes me say "Kingdoms of Amalur has gotten SIGNIFICANTLY better": upgrading skills ACTUALLY FUCKING MATTERS! You feel an absolute change in how your character works, plays, controls, and all the little things that miffed me a bit in the beginning are starting to become far less bothersome.

I still feel the same way about how loot is devalued, though. I'm not really aware of what can be made with blacksmithing for high level gear, but I just don't feel like it'll match up to the stuff I'm getting in drops and such. I've definitely upgraded my gear, but it's been with nothing but set pieces and epics. I'm currently using Havoc (greatsword), some epic daggers that has fire damage, Helm of the something-or-another-Visage (drops from the guy you fight at the end of the Warsworn storyline), the "Warsworn set" (which is miscellaneous pieces that happen to look fucking badass while also sharing set bonuses), and some blue Fine Leather Boots that I crafted because I was originally wearing leather gear (Captain's set) and haven't found any boots to replace these yet. I've picked up greens and blues end on end, and they all just go straight to the junk pile. That...kind of sucks. At the same time, it means I've always got crafting mats if I want them, and I've definitely always got income sources coming in.

What about you guys? With more time in the game now, how are you feeling about it? Has your opinion changed a bit?

Posted by jakob187

Also, I wanted to point out to the few that have said "great name for a blog, would use again"...

I've been doing the Knee-Jerk Reaction blogs for a while now. It was something of an experiment that I started up. I've changed the format of it quite a bit though, and I'm happy with the results.

It's not so much of a review. It's more just a way for me to capture those early thoughts in the first hours of a game, then look back and say "man, that really improved over the course of the game" or "yeah, that never really changed".

Posted by Demoskinos

I think I might just start over once I'm done with Final Fantasy XIII-2. I can't seem to get into KoA right now XIII-2 has me completely sucked in.

Posted by jakob187

@Demoskinos said:

I think I might just start over once I'm done with Final Fantasy XIII-2. I can't seem to get into KoA right now XIII-2 has me completely sucked in.

I owned Final Fantasy XIII for about four months. I never once plugged it in. I should borrow my brother's copy at some point.

Posted by me3639

Great Blog Jakob. As i am only in the very early stages i totally agree with a lot of your bad points. I really dislike the inventory, and lockpicking. Also, though i love RPGs, when they get deep into the lore, the names of people and places are really difficult to keep straight. The high point for me is combat, and story both of which will keep me playing until the end.

My Knee jerk, single player RPG combat has finally become fun.