Zero Punctuation: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

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arkwright:
Brian Blessed should be a class option in every game. The ability to shout all your enemy's to death and having an epic beard are a winner to me.

I guess you could get something similar from using shouts and having bearded character on Skyrim, but it wouldn't be the sa-

wait.

What if there was a voice mod for it?

It's a good game to play if you get it for 20.
First game I played where I can still not remember its name off the top of my head after three weeks of casual play.

Respawning enemies does annoy. I enjoy Genociding enemy NPCs and it's depressing when they respawn.

It's nice that there are villainous Elves for once. However it would be nice if there was more imagination involved with races in fantasy. Sticking an animal face on a human is a good start, TES.

I play as Might/Magic and Trolls are my bane. They are resistant to my magical weaponry. It's not even fun hard. It's just pain in the arse hard.
It would be nice if dodging felt like you dodge. Since enemies have auto aim bot, you must time it perfectly instead of realistically. Boo.

Casual Shinji:
Maybe they should make a Moomin game!

Moomin Vs The Wombles.... in space!

Let's start working on it at once!

quote="arkwright" post="6.352555.13976515"]Brian Blessed should be a class option in every game. The ability to shout all your enemy's to death and having an epic beard are a winner to me.[/quote]

Brian Blessed should be a option on everything ever!

bahumat42:

GeorgW:
I'm really loving this game so far, and I really want to give a complete and utterly detailed analysis of it, but it's just too damn long!! I'm 50 hours in and haven't even seen 60% of the world yet.
Anyway, Yahtzee makes some good points. Especially as a rogue the game is far easier than it should be, especially when it comes to certain bosses. It has its share of frustratingly hard parts, but they're far between. I plan to run around naked the last part of the game to see it's it's just my hoarding doing it.
Still, I like it better than Skyrim, and that's probably the best compliment I can give it.

no its just as easy for mages
blacksmithing/faction rewards really break the balance.

I'm playing a mage/rogue. Yeah... But you can create your own difficulties, like walking around naked.

I really wish I could get this game, put my gaming plate is so full already one more game could make it all spill over. :(

I read "Kingdoms of Amateur", and was really confused for a bit.

Ah, well.

It's Amalur, Yahtzee! Not Alamur.

I'd play a Moomin v Wombles games.

And he even used my favourite Womble, Orinoco!

Have a Jaffa Cake on me, Yahtzee!

superbowlbound:
It's funny because it was originally going to be a MMORPG until it was bought out by Curt Schilling. I did like the baby's first Skyrim comment though, that summed up my thoughts.

This game is meant to introduce the Franchise. The subsequent games will include, I would imagine most prominently, a MMO. This game introduces core aspects of that future world. Like two distinct sides. And now BOTH sides can resurrect after death so re-spawning "makes sense."

KoAtR does suffer from its name i think.!st go threw im 64 hours in an not even half way done.Which one part of the review buged me.Part of KoAtR strength is that you can make your own class... an he avoided it.Right now rocking a paladin like mage with sticky fingers.

Those who skip the story an voice work ( least on pc) are missing out some great story line.Not a Lotr knock off at all.Also wow did not invent characture grafics. Wows grafics is a cross tween gamesworkshop fantasy an disney .Where as KoAtR is more between Guild Wars an Age of Conan .

Maybe this is just me, but was anyone else distracted during the whole review wondering what "The Device" might be? I'll have to go back and watch it again. Maybe Yahtzee figured out how to get the Large Hadron Collider working.

Yahtzee, your dog's dead.

I heard some news that said that this was indeed going to be an MMO.
Because there's literally like a tons of writing already done, and you just can't abandon all that without pulling it into an MMO. This doesn't make me sad, because I don't care about this game. Just saying.

It's funny that people keep calling it a single-player MMORPG because that's essentially what it is: the single-player dry run for an MMO set in the same world that's planned for release next year.

Medieval fantasy getting boring? I don't know what to really say about that. I guess it would get tiring to always run into those creatures if you happen to play almost every western fantasy game that comes out. But such is the case for the man who decided to never give Japanese fantasy games a try. Those games while also grounded in some typical cliche go through great straits to make themselves cosmetically different. When the light strikes it just right they are very interesting and unique but I guess because of its quirks it's just far too much to deal with.

Personally I'm not bored of medieval fantasy. But then again dragon age and radiata stories are the only medieval fantasies I've played since the mid 2000s. I don't think there's a real option in making fantasy, not medieval fantasy standard other than not buying them anymore and investing in something that is obviously gunning for a different experience.

Well, it was written by RA Salvatore... you have to expect pretty standard fantasy stuff.

Anyway, with the demo all I could think was "meh". Zero motivation from the story, and frankly, I'm not all that attracted to "shinies". Not anymore, my time is more valuable to me than a virtual item. I do like a good story/experience, though... sadly, KoA:R does not provide.

Great game, imo, but doesn't sound promising as an MMO. Sounds like it was a lot better on PC. Monsters stay dead too-- at least I haven't seen any respawning mobs.

Is it just me or was this video not as funny as they normally are?

What, no mention of the atrocious dispel mechanism?! And I was so looking forward to such a comment.

I swear, I almost gave up at the end. I rushed through the last few story quests just to get it over with.

In the demo feedback thread everyone was saying have awful the camera was then a guy came along and said 'Fear not mortals, I am they guy in charge of the camera, and I shall make it my main quest to fix this before release'... and then didn't. And they still haven't patched it either.

OuendanCyrus:
I'm going to use "Babby's first Skyrim" to describe certain games now.

its a pretty actuate description actually, i call it 'TES light', for the people who like the general idea of wandering around a small country's worth of game map, but hate TES combat system

IE, ME

side note, the gnomes in this game piss me off and I'd love nothing more then to butcher that entire gnomish city :/ if i had the levels and gear to allow it :/

Agreed on most accounts (especially that DAMN camera!), but I must be the only one that actually liked what the setting was doing.

It has thoroughly undisneyfied fair folk, to the point where they better represent what the original legends were about (immortal alien beings play incomprehensible games with mortals and regard them as curiosities at best, and food at worst). In modern times, they were replaced by UFO sightings and abductions (they're essentially the same thing, but for a post-industrial society where nature isn't ominous anymore, but space is), and fairies got demoted into cartoon extras.

I really liked how "fae-physics" worked, especially in the House of Ballads storyline - the fae would take the roles of famous heroes/villains and reenact old legends, which would then come true as a result (e.g. you go looking for a magic sword and it spontaneously appears to you, as does the ogre that you're "fated" to slay with the sword); naturally, a fateless person like the protagonist throws a wrench in that cycle. Also, incorporating finishing moves and class changes into the narrative was a nice touch.

Yahtzee, THANK YOU for your comments on the fantasy genre. I am so sick of the medieval setting! I remember way, way back in middle school I wrote several short stories and the only genre that seemed to fit the stories was fantasy. At the time I didn't know what the fantasy genre was, the word just seemed to fit. I wasn't writing anything about magic or dragons so I was really confused when everyone I talked to kept asking about those things.

Yahtzee, THANK YOU for your comments on the fantasy genre. I am so sick of the medieval setting! I remember way, way back in middle school I wrote several short stories and the only genre that seemed to fit the stories was fantasy. At the time I didn't know what the fantasy genre was, the word just seemed to fit. I wasn't writing anything about magic or dragons so I was really confused when everyone I talked to kept asking about those things.

The part about KoA wanting to be an MMO, but chickening out when it saw all the skulls around WoW's lair, is gold. =D

"here comes the magic missile"
I lost it.
Fricking hilarious.
Great review as always Yahtzee.

One of my biggest problems with Amalur is how it handles its story, actually. Skyrim knows to let the environment speak and to present its fiction in digestible chunks. On the other hand, Amalur is bloated with exposition that's delivered in a fairly lifeless manner. It doesn't help that while Skyrim's world design ensures that there's always something around the corner, Amalur is mostly lifeless until you run into some other town or encounter the same mob for the -nth time.

The only thing Amalur has going for it is the combat. Not to piss on anyone who appreciates R.A. Salvatore, but cribbing from Celtic mythology for a change doesn't save what's ultimately a fairly bad example of kitchen-sink design. Amalur's been competently put together, but there's just no uniqueness or personality to it all.

On a personal level, I also think the interface design is fairly horrid, as well. Why do I need to hit B three times every single time I leave my weapon selection screen or switch apparel?

great video

sadly other than the specialized subclasses there there is nothing that makes me want to go out and get this game...oh well another on the wishlist to wait for a steam sale

I love these reviews where he's so excited, this one actually had me in tears throughout the entire thing.

I actually welcome the resurgence of "standard" fantasy settings in games right now. For a long time I've been left cold by games with alternate settings that just didn't move me, like the settings of Mass Effect, Fallout 3 and NV, and Fable 2 and 3. But I agree that the way the game drowns you in incomprehensible lore terms pretty overwhelming at first. I'm starting to get a hold of it now, but it seems they could have made it a lot easier than they did.

Aprilgold:

superbowlbound:
It's funny because it was originally going to be a MMORPG until it was bought out by Curt Schilling. I did like the baby's first Skyrim comment though, that summed up my thoughts.

But it goes deeper then that, since Skyrim's Baby's First Oblivion, which is Baby's First Morrowind.

But yeah, that makes sense, because thats basically what it is, a singleplayer MMO.

Remember that Yahtzee quote long ago about people who say Halo is better than current gen shooters and are wrong, that's you. Oblivion is almost unplayable compared to Skyrim and Morrowind... that's like a poor man's KOTOR

I can't really find fault in this game really, but in the end, it just feels pretty standard. While I can't call a lot of other RPG's drastically more complex and advanced, Kingdoms just doesn't have a lot of innovation behind it. The game itself, has great combat, the story while trying is still decent, but there just isn't anything that really makes this game awesome rather than good. In the end, after completing the main story and doing the majority of the factions, I didn't have any motivation to do the rest, much less ever starting a new game to try a different build. I wish it the best, but hope it comes with more to offer if there is a sequel.

Totally with this whole "sick of the standard fantasy model" thing. There's so much potential to create new and fantastic worlds and (almost) everybody in the fantasy world from books to games to movies just wants to riff on Tolkien.

I think it's a decent game, like a Fable-WOW love-child, which is good because I find it hard to into MMO's, and I agree with the end bit, if any enemy appears at any time, my camera is shoved down like a abused child, I can see nothing but floor.

The reason why you have "traditional" sword and sorcery dominating so much of game design is that it's probably the only real genere where the tropes reinforce relatively deep game design and progression.

In a fantasy game you have a relatively uncivilized world dominated by magic, where typically allegedly there was at least one age prior to the current one where magic was more advanced and powerful.

This creates an enviroment that can easily explain why you need to explore and find things for yourself, and why you could have one "good" kingdom that is still warlike and violent, and fighting enemies on all sides largely due to being slightly more advanced at least on the level of modern morality. Knights Vs. Barbarian Hordes (optionally dressed up as Orcs) so to speak, with a goodly amount historical material providing fuel that can be applied to just that.

Most importantly however is that magical items are an easy way of gradually accumulating power, as there can always be something more ancient and powerful than what you have, waiting to be recovered from some monster infested tomb (with it's very nature justifying the location). This allows for people to constantly strive for upgrades within the defined concept with minimal difficulty.

With science fiction games, this isn't the case, despite what you might think. It's why despite numerous attempts fantasy has almost always dominated RPGs and deep gaming experiences despite numerous attempts to change it.

Science fiction generally involves there having to be a civilization that built up and maintains all of this technology and spaceships and such. In a situation like that "exploration" is kind of hard to justify outside of a very specific fronteir enviroment and, since logically you could just pull out google maps. What's more it's not the kind of situation where a bunch of young wet behind the ears adventurers are going to go running out into the unknown, being civilized they are liable to be in school or working regular jobs, and the actual exploration is going to fall to well funded professionals with the guys backing them giving them everything right off the bat. It's hard to justify National Geographic sending someone out into the horrible nebula of death, and saying that once they prove themsevles able to survive using the issued BB guns they might give them a better weapon.

Given that your dealing with a civilized enviroment, your also looking at a time of manufactured goods. It's not likely that your going to find a nearly infinate number of guns, especially in the hands of the same groups of enemies. Weapons are generally going to be standardized regionally, and fairly equvilent. Like in reality we have AKs and M-16s in the hands of vast numbers of people because those are the kinds of guns that are effective and mass produced. This can make it rather difficult to justify progressively better gear, especially seeing as it raises conceptual questions as to why nobody was using these better weapons when your characters happened to be lower level. A question that doesn't really apply when the primary way of finding upgrades is to recover it from the bottom of some abandoned monster pit what nobody has been in for thousands of years yadda, yadda... which is pretty silly on it's own but reinforced by the basic tropes of the genere.

You'll notice that science fiction RPGs, tend towards a mechanism that causes problems where you might only have so many guns, but they come in "Mks." which works, but doesn't quite flow with the game, and has you wondering why some guy handed your star fleet officer a straw and a bag of dry rice in comparison to the universe to fight the Borg initially, when you would think anyone wanting to seriously win a war would do like a SERIOUS militay organization and standardize the best equipment that can be mass produced. In a fantasy RPG it's far easier to work around the needs of game progression than in a science fiction game.

This is incidently why I was kind of irritated with Bioware killing the itemization system, it's an area of game design I want to see developers work on trying to find a way to deal with, rather than saying "frak it, we're going with a weapon loadout system" because really experimenting through trial and error to find a good way of handling problems like this both conceptually and in terms of game advancement is going to be one of the keys to seeing more diverse generes. Fantasy dominates because it works.

Or in short it's like Gary Gygax's old explanation of why he hated science fiction games which was basically "The differance is that if you ask a wizard who roasted 20 orcs with a magical wand where he got his wand he'll tell you he recovered it at great cost from the bottom of the tomb of horrors, and it's also his mosrt valued and irreplacable possesion. You ask a space advenuturer who killed 20 enemy aliens where he got his gun he'll tell you either it's just like the one he was issued when he first started, or he bought it from SEARS for $19.95 and has it covered on the the replacement policy". You might also be saying "Gary Gygax hated science fiction games?" reportedly yes, though his position waffled like it did on a number of things such as "house rules" and the rights of other people to add to Greyhawk without his direct approval. I always suspected this story was larely based around the relative failure of numbers sci-fi game attempts like "Star Fronteirs", "Metamorphisis Alpha", "Gamma World", and "Cyborg Commando", none of which were successes anything like
D&D and at best kept bouncing in and out of print as oddities and nostolgia value. Of the lot "Gamma World" being perhaps the biggest success because it set things up where lost technology and the odd inventions of hyper-intelligent mutants (given the passage of time) could be used in much the same way as magical items, and the apocolyptic nature of the setting justified exploration and the kind of unprepared adventuring the genere demands.

At any rate, I'm rambling, but think about it, even if you want to disagree with me this is exactly what you see in games. It sounds simple, but developers really do keep hitting those same walls, and nobody really wants to take much risk in terms of development. I suspect one of the reasons why Bioware sold out on Mass Effect was not just that shooters sell better to a larger, more casual audience, but because it was going to take a lot of work to make it a deep RPG experience in that setting, and there was no way to justify that much effort when they could actually make more money by doign a shooter conversion and dealing with the conceptual design problems while drawing in a wider array of gamers.

Simply put, science fiction works beautifully for shallow, action oriented gaming experiences where there is intended to be very little in the way of progression or growth in the actual abillities of the character. In some ways a shooter is fairly realistic in a soldier remaining more or less the same, and using the same weapons and equipment, throughout an entire war or series of battles. Fantasy works far better for a game where you want a character who starts out as being a wimp and then turns into a dynamo over time, with a bit motivation being on finding better and better gear and toys to play with through proactive exploration.

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