Zero Punctuation: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

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He didn't pronounce Amalur right once. Alamo. Alamur. Whatever it was.

I bought it, i'm enjoying it. It's less babby's first skyrim, it's closer to world of fablecraft with a bit of Gothic thrown in, don't judge it against Skyrim though...Skyrim will always win. Since i've wanted a good Fable game after Lost Chapters this is filling the niche nicely, the price could have been lower, but the map is effing huegmongous, the combat on Normal is challenging to a degree (As a finesse type some monsters are just too tough and heavy hitting to stunlock easily and if you try you will be steamrolled) though the sustained damage buffs do make the game a cake walk with a competant weapon (Protip, once you get purples/named purples from fetch quests, you can just not take them back to the owners like a thieving prick and cause obscene amounts of damage, so don't stop using purples).

And that is what i think of Amalur. Yhatzee is for the most part right as he always is, though.

I am playing it now, and it's fun. I just don't really care about anyone or anything. I walk around handing ass like it's christmas, and occasionally meet someone who i just as enthousiastic as i am in ass handing, and then we have a problem.

yeah i go for sci-fi more than fantasy now too but a well done elves and dwarves story can be good if done properly (see TES SERIES). As for camera being tilted down - THANK GOD FOR THAT. i cant count how many games i kept putting camera down because for some reason developers think that watching the sky is more important than where your walking.

Love him as always, tearing a new one out of games that deserve it.
I would say these guys seemed to be really trying though, if maybe there was a difficulty slider so you just couldn't two shot everything, and you could use your various movement abilities with your crowd control spells or movement+burst damage spells with some tactics, it could be rewarding gameplay. Seemed like it could be that way with that troll fight, if they would just get a bit harder, and if the dodge button wasn't spam-able.

Also, I never see much the point about complaining about using common "medieval" fantasy staples in a fantasy game. It's clearly a fantasy game, if you were tired of the genre (I mean did trailers tell you any less of it?) then pick another genre, go pick up some Mass Effect, Evochron, X3, or what have you. You go play a war FPS and complain about their being the same old assault rifles we see in every game? Er, play Borderlands (another example that applies to the first list as well :P )

Strazdas:
yeah i go for sci-fi more than fantasy now too but a well done elves and dwarves story can be good if done properly (see TES SERIES). As for camera being tilted down - THANK GOD FOR THAT. i cant count how many games i kept putting camera down because for some reason developers think that watching the sky is more important than where your walking.

It's not like you have to be forced to watch it all the time, but they built a world, when I'm not spamming dodge I'd like to get a good look at it, I didn't even find a look or camera option in the controls :(

I for one go knowingly into fantasy genre because it's fantasy, the story and then world matters to me, particularly as modern games go I like to stop and get a good look around.

Versuvius:
I bought it, i'm enjoying it. It's less babby's first skyrim, it's closer to world of fablecraft with a bit of Gothic thrown in, don't judge it against Skyrim though...Skyrim will always win. Since i've wanted a good Fable game after Lost Chapters this is filling the niche nicely, the price could have been lower, but the map is effing huegmongous, the combat on Normal is challenging to a degree (As a finesse type some monsters are just too tough and heavy hitting to stunlock easily and if you try you will be steamrolled) though the sustained damage buffs do make the game a cake walk with a competant weapon (Protip, once you get purples/named purples from fetch quests, you can just not take them back to the owners like a thieving prick and cause obscene amounts of damage, so don't stop using purples).

And that is what i think of Amalur. Yhatzee is for the most part right as he always is, though.

So I'm not the only player who cannot get away with merely spamming 2 attack buttons.

Although I wouldn't say the game is difficult even on hard mode, I'm not getting the easy mode other people are claiming here.
My first careful conclusion is that certain mage builds and some dagger users are stronger (than the pure fighter build that was my first early build) and that crafting can make a difference. What does surprise me is that you get something while still in normal mode.
It's almost like there's different versions of the game.

That is a very good point Yahtzee. Why are most games dealing with fantasy genre take place in the medieval times? Fantasy should be more then that, to Mass Effect or Final Fantasy standards. But that's just me, you never know..

This review was also pretty hilarious I must admit. Job well done man, got me laughing a couple of times with your clever timed jokes.

Caramel Frappe:
That is a very good point Yahtzee. Why are most games dealing with fantasy genre take place in the medieval times? Fantasy should be more then that, to Mass Effect or Final Fantasy standards. But that's just me, you never know..

This review was also pretty hilarious I must admit. Job well done man, got me laughing a couple of times with your clever timed jokes.

Strictly speaking the Iron Swords and Horsey Knights style fantasy is 'Low fantasy' while MAGIC AND DRAGONS is 'high fantasy'. A fantasy is whatever your brain is bubbling away but the genres i've just mentioned are categories for games/books and such.

You rock Yahtzee, you really do! As for the game, I don't see anything special in it really.

Caramel Frappe:
That is a very good point Yahtzee. Why are most games dealing with fantasy genre take place in the medieval times? Fantasy should be more then that, to Mass Effect or Final Fantasy standards. But that's just me, you never know..

This review was also pretty hilarious I must admit. Job well done man, got me laughing a couple of times with your clever timed jokes.

Fable does a good job of avoiding the medieval part - British Empire era fantasy was what I'd wanted for a long time.

Though Yahtzee does make several good points about the game it is still enjoyable and not quite as generic a fantasy (being based on celtic and irish mythology) as others since I had to look up some of the monster types and actually getting a little freaked out by them, the Leanashe springs to mind, after reading which getting a bit more freaked out by them. The last time I did that was for The Witcher.

Fantasy is elves and dwarves and the good old days and a wizard. What he did was confuse fantasy with fiction.

Psychotic:

Therumancer:
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.

More words go here...

Brilliant post. It's a shame that science fiction works like this though; As much as I enjoy the medieval fantasy games, I would still like to see more science fiction enter the fantasy genre. Mass Effect did this particularly well, Mass Effect 2 did this alright but not as good as its predecessor (I don't expect ME3 to do much better).

Yahtzee:
You might almost think Kingdoms of Whatever It Was was at some point planned to be a MMORPG but chickened out when they saw all the skulls piled up outside World of Warcraft's cave.

It's funny he says this, because Kingdoms of Amalur is the "prologue" for an upcoming MMO, codenamed Copernicus. It's still in the works and is now being developed by 38 Studios (who also worked on KOA: Reckoning).

Source: http://38studios.com/products/copernicus

That however, doesn't justify the repetitive and tedious quests and general progression that KOA: Reckoning provides. Just because it's the precursor to an MMO doesn't stop it from being a singleplayer now. Being a singleplayer it should've aimed to please the group of people who play singleplayer games, not those who play MMOs, since the latter would be playing MMOs right now anyway.

Overall, KOA: Reckoning isn't an entirely bad game. I mean, I've played much, much worse. It's just not particularly "good". I felt that gameplay wise, games like Skyrim were much better (though honestly, Skyrim is just as easy as KOA is - the difficulty sliders only increase health and damage, as well, not the actual AI mechanics) but story-wise, KOA kicks the crap out of Skyrim (Skyrim's story had so much potential that it never used).

Only real issue I had with KOA's story was the whole paradoxical effect of being separated from Fate. You have this whole thing about your character NOT being driven by Fate, yet obviously Fate had to decide that you would be reborn and your powers unfolded in the first place (this is implied about 30-60 minutes in, in fact).

Thank you. I am glad someone else pointed out this history. Check out the plans for 38 studios and it's history. 38 was Curt Schilling's number (American Baseball), and has Todd Mcfarlane (Spawn) and R.A. Salvatore (Drizzt/Icewind Dale Trilogy) behind it. They all became friends and wanted to do something in the genre (announced 5+ years ago). Schilling is a big MMORPG fan, in fact he got me into the genre 10+ years ago, as in an interview he was describing how pissed he was at Doug Glanville (another Phillies player) who kept getting him killed in Everquest.

The plan is to do several thing based on this setting and an MMORPG is one of them. Salvatore doing the writing (I believe their are books planned too), McFarlane artist and Schilling inspiration, money, spokesman. I am paying attention.

Also note.. the Demo is not like the game.. the game has about 30% better graphics, sounds, movement etc. I think it shows a bad side.

Been playing KoA for about 15 hours. Really enjoying the action component of it and the faction quests. The world is a little contrived, but the visual style is a refreshing change for me. I don't think it's a great game, but I'm having fun and right now that's what I want. For a greater challenge I'm playing Divinity II The Dragon Knight Saga. And somewhat on topic, KoA has some eerily similar gameplay and RPG components to it...hmmmm...

Now that you say it, I am getting pretty freaking tired of "generic" fantasy.

I want to see a game about two rival space factions battling it out economically with some minor violent conflict breaking here and there. One faction being an allegory for Indian/Hindu mythology and the other being an allegory for a mix of Ancient Somerian and Thia mythology. With absolutely no recognizable alien races, and humans neither being considered a power or the most balanced race. No recognizable planet themes, or ships, or anything. I want everything about this game to make the player wonder about it's practicality.

Game is a perfectly decent RPG timewaster. Nothing truly exceptional, but still a fun way to burn several tens of hours of that spare time everyone has just waiting around. I'm not sure I could recommend buying it for $60, but if you can catch it on sale for $30 or even $40, or wait until the price drops that far, then you'll probably have gotten your money's worth.

There's nothing really innovative about it (the whole deal with fate and you being immune to it is interesting, but I'm sure it's been done before by now), but there also isn't anywhere where they really drop the ball either. Oh, and there are a lot fewer bugs in it than in most modern games.

enzilewulf:
Baby's first skyrim? Eh. Personally I love KoA:R much more than skyrim and mainly just because it looks a lot better than white black and a red dragon all the time. Oh and the brown samey Nordic dungeons. Although I am running into the same problem with KoA:R, thats for sure. In skyrim I got through the whole story no problem. Then I got so bored that I didn't even do probably half the quest I could have. Same shit happened in KoA:R except I still haven't completed the story because it is long as hell. Now I am bored with it, but I am sure I will pick it back up eventually (yeah right.)

Wait, Amalur has the same problem with samey dungeons as Skyrim AND you can't be bothered finishing Amalur because it's too boring to justify it's length - but you prefer AMalur more?

Want to qualify your statement a little bit?

AgentNein:
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.

1. Read the following authors: China Miéville (Perdido Street Station, The Scar, or Iron Council), M. John Harrison (Viriconium), K.J. Bishop (The Etched City), Jeff VanderMeer (City of Saints and Madmen), Gene Wolfe (Book of the New Sun or the Wizard Knight books), and Michael Swanwick (The Iron Dragon's Daughter).

2. Prepare to have your mind completely freaking blown.

This goes for all of you (Yahtzee included, because he TOTALLY READS THESE COMMENTS RIGHT LOL) who protest the abundance of depressingly generic kings-n'-elves-n'-dwarves fantasy. Miéville in particular has emphasized over the years that his work is in many ways a reaction to the tired traditions of Tolkienesque fantasy, which he dislikes not so much for its milieu and world-building (which remains excellent) as its overwhelming sameness, and the drabness of copypasta works that have followed it.

Granted, literature is a very different narrative vehicle from videogames, and as Therumancer cogently pointed out earlier, there's a way in which the storytelling of generic fantasy meshes well with traditional videogame progression structures, making a change unlikely (there's also the fact that sword-and-sorcery fantasy remains a profitable enterprise; some people, it seems, never tire of elves-'n'-dwarves). Still, my hope is that one day there'll be some spillover. A videogame based on Miéville's world of Bas-Lag would be absolutely nuts, an surrealist RPG-horror mashup that would, were it done well, easily stand as one of the most cerebral and terrifying videogame experiences ever. It would also be unbelievably difficult, given that the monsters of Miéville's world are all horrible abominations, some of whom are essentially Lovecraftian gods who can warp reality at will. It's also not likely to happen, given Miéville's decidedly anti-capitalist views. Still, one can dream.

Zachary Amaranth:
OMG, Yahtzee spoke bad of a game I like! I disagree and I find this review unfunny and poorly reviewed. Yahtzee was clearly playing it wrong or something!

I've been itching to do that for a while, but since Yahtzee has stubbornly refused to review games I actually like, said joke has been sitting in my inventory like a useless quest item in KOA:LA.

I think I love you man.

Full homo 'n all.

That part about learning a new language immediately reminded me of FF XIII. I swear I opened the glossary thing after every cut scene to remind myself what the difference between a Cie'th, l'Cie, fal'Cie and all the other similar sounding fucking terms. Half the time in that game I didn't even know who I was supposed to fighting against because I couldn't keep the names straight.

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.

Actually, Mr. Schilling himself has stated that the MMORPG is still in development, and this single-player campaign was created as a way of introducing players to the world of Amalur. The Mamorpaguh is still to be released.

lysanderprophet:

1. Read the following authors: China Miéville (Perdido Street Station, The Scar, or Iron Council), M. John Harrison (Viriconium), K.J. Bishop (The Etched City), Jeff VanderMeer (City of Saints and Madmen), Gene Wolfe (Book of the New Sun or the Wizard Knight books), and Michael Swanwick (The Iron Dragon's Daughter).

2. Prepare to have your mind completely freaking blown.

Above: trufax.

lysanderprophet:
A videogame based on Miéville's world of Bas-Lag would be absolutely nuts, an surrealist RPG-horror mashup that would, were it done well, easily stand as one of the most cerebral and terrifying videogame experiences ever. It would also be unbelievably difficult, given that the monsters of Miéville's world are all horrible abominations, some of whom are essentially Lovecraftian gods who can warp reality at will. It's also not likely to happen, given Miéville's decidedly anti-capitalist views. Still, one can dream.

ALL OF MY MONEY. (Irony)

Meh I prefer Amalur much more than Skyrim... Got bored of Skyrim after the main quest wich was pretty bad..

lysanderprophet:

AgentNein:
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.

1. Read the following authors: China Miéville (Perdido Street Station, The Scar, or Iron Council), M. John Harrison (Viriconium), K.J. Bishop (The Etched City), Jeff VanderMeer (City of Saints and Madmen), Gene Wolfe (Book of the New Sun or the Wizard Knight books), and Michael Swanwick (The Iron Dragon's Daughter).

2. Prepare to have your mind completely freaking blown.

This goes for all of you (Yahtzee included, because he TOTALLY READS THESE COMMENTS RIGHT LOL) who protest the abundance of depressingly generic kings-n'-elves-n'-dwarves fantasy. Miéville in particular has emphasized over the years that his work is in many ways a reaction to the tired traditions of Tolkienesque fantasy, which he dislikes not so much for its milieu and world-building (which remains excellent) as its overwhelming sameness, and the drabness of copypasta works that have followed it.

Granted, literature is a very different narrative vehicle from videogames, and as Therumancer cogently pointed out earlier, there's a way in which the storytelling of generic fantasy meshes well with traditional videogame progression structures, making a change unlikely (there's also the fact that sword-and-sorcery fantasy remains a profitable enterprise; some people, it seems, never tire of elves-'n'-dwarves). Still, my hope is that one day there'll be some spillover. A videogame based on Miéville's world of Bas-Lag would be absolutely nuts, an surrealist RPG-horror mashup that would, were it done well, easily stand as one of the most cerebral and terrifying videogame experiences ever. It would also be unbelievably difficult, given that the monsters of Miéville's world are all horrible abominations, some of whom are essentially Lovecraftian gods who can warp reality at will. It's also not likely to happen, given Miéville's decidedly anti-capitalist views. Still, one can dream.

Thanks for the tips!

Sonicron:
Ha! Another one for the 'awesome quotes' list:
"That's like breeding a fly that eats rolled-up newspapers." xD

I'm getting kind of interested in this game, but I can already see I probably won't have the time to play it due to piles of extra coursework. Meh.

2nd week in?

Ouch.

Plenty of good games for me in the meantime, and the thought of '200 hours of gameplay' (or so I heard a few months back) reminded me of the Witcher 2 (where I hated the combat), except with a worse story.

Instead, I shall be playing:
Planescape Torment
Skyrim (if I ever get around to it, seems pretty meh)
Mass Effect 3
Stalker series.

rapidoud:

Sonicron:
Ha! Another one for the 'awesome quotes' list:
"That's like breeding a fly that eats rolled-up newspapers." xD

I'm getting kind of interested in this game, but I can already see I probably won't have the time to play it due to piles of extra coursework. Meh.

2nd week in?

Ouch.

Actually, the semester break just started, but I've got loads of side projects, such as a 20-page preparatory paper for this fall's geographical excursion to West Canada, or another one due in about 5 weeks on global care chains. Our profs are kinda big on us not slacking off during breaks... ^^°

Btw, I thought Skyrim didn't look all that great, too, and then it took away four weeks of my life on a single playthrough. I say give it a chance.

Casual Shinji:
Maybe they should make a Moomin game!

You don't live in Scandinavia, do you?

For once I'd like to see an Urban Fantasy game, but not like Harry Potter because that's an alternate world to ours (read: taking a train to the opposite realm).

Scorekeeper:
I tried the demo. While it certainly seemed competent, it didn't make a strong case for why I should spend $60 on it.

That's what I thought too, but it gets really fun once you get an hour or two in. Set the difficulty to hard, though. It is pretty easy.

I want him to do the PS Vita next. I love my vita, but i just want him to tear the s**t out of it. Anyone else? or is it just me.

Hey Yahtzee, can we go to the pub? I'm buying.

Holy crap. I did NOT expect that. I've been saying how bored I am of "elves, dwarves, chainmail, repeat" RPG's for EVER now and people just call me a JRPG fan, when I only play them because they're miles ahead of WRPG's when it comes to imagination.

If WRPG devs could get out of the "fasntasy = elves and dwarves!" state of mind, I might actually start playing WRPG's.

To all the people wondering if he liked it he obviously doesn't and I agree with him. Generic story and characters = meh for an RPG.

If Yahtzee likes the game he usually comes right out and says it like he did with his Infamous and Batman AA/AC reviews. He really doesn't say anything positive about the game, and saying you should buy the game if you put a contract on your life and your hitman will be 36h late and you already burned your house down doesn't leave me with the impression I should buy this game. And I shouldn't have.

Yeah amalur sucks, but fae or whatever are not elves, dökkalfar and ljosalfa are elves, it means dark elves and light elves translated from norse, not norwegian it's a huge diff.

Am I the only one who wants to tell Yahtzee "The camera isn't fixed"?

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