GinxTV: RPGs and Kingdoms of Amalur

RPGs and Kingdoms of Amalur

Ginx Spin takes an in-depth look at what makes RPGs so addictive.

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Good video, it was hard to tell if they were leaning for or against Amalur though xD i still dont know if i should get it. Though the footage i just saw kinda made me want to ._. anyone got an honest pro and con review for it?

This is basically the opposite of in-depth. Contributors like MovieBob and Jim Sterling actually take the time to discuss a topic, even briefly... but in a video under five minutes, about half the run-time is EXCITING TECHNO and the other half is uninspired sound-grabs that really say nothing at all that's new. Sorry Ginx, I won't be coming back.

cricket chirps:
Good video, it was hard to tell if they were leaning for or against Amalur though xD i still dont know if i should get it. Though the footage i just saw kinda made me want to ._. anyone got an honest pro and con review for it?

I found the plot quite mediocre, and the questing quite bland.
The economy of the game is also completely broken, as at the beginning of the game you can find yourself scrounging for pennies, mid way through you'll react to quest rewards of 5k gold with "really? I'm carrying 2 million on me"
It also suffers from the usual RPG thing of unrealistic NPCs. People shouting the same remarks every time you visit the town, etc. At least in this game the dialogue changes somewhat depending on your accomplishments .. some people will know you're the arch sage of the scholia arcania, while that one crazy girl will keep on yelling "we will prevail!"

Where the game is really nice is the system mechanics.
You get "tiers" of actions you can perform:
Basic attacks are just that. Basic. You can cancel into defenses (dodge/block), special moves, or spells at any time.
Special moves can't be cancelled into defenses, so are generally unsafe .. note that the final attack in a basic attack chain counts as a special move. However, you can cancel specials into spells (anything that uses mana) ... some of which (particular from the finesse tree) are very fast and have potentially evasive properties.
All these specials, spells, and such are unlocked via three ability trees, which, for a bit of cash at a fateweaver, you can completely respec (even the 3 automatically assigned points a new character gets in longsword, assassin, and storm bolt).

So personally, as someone who's heavily into fighting games such as street fighter, the ridiculous combos and such is what keeps me playing.
Sure, it's possible to win by mashing attack and chugging potions, but I think that might be a bug (potions go on cooldown if use them from the consumables screen, but don't seem to have cooldown if you hit quick heal).
The art assets help, too. The game looks great in a somewhat quirky cartoony way, with the IMO exception of mage armour. Until you get top tier stuff, the robes are hideous.

I reckon, while I don't think this is an amazing game, I find it more fun than Skyrim ... which while the exploration is epic, has rather bad combat mechanics.
Particularly the ability to change from a greatsword wielding tank into a meteor summoning mage any time you want (ok, it doesn't make much sense, but summoning meteors indoors doesn't make any sense to begin with).

It feels like you ripped all of the reasons why RPGs are addictive from old Extra Credit epsiodes that used to be here on the espcaist.

I haven't played KoA nor do I plan to, but I'm a fan of Skyrim. More than the random loot, what I like most about Skyrim is the large world and being able to create a character where I decide his/her strengths and weaknesses. Their system isn't perfect, but it keeps me playing existing characters and building new ones.

cricket chirps:
Good video, it was hard to tell if they were leaning for or against Amalur though xD i still dont know if i should get it. Though the footage i just saw kinda made me want to ._. anyone got an honest pro and con review for it?

I highly recommend trying out the demo if you're really unsure. It gives you around 45 minutes to wander around the game world so you can get a good idea of how the game performs. Personally, I was all up for buying the game day 1 until I played the demo and realised it wasn't really the game for me. I'm not a fan of the unlimited stamina combat, nor the WoW inspired world and overall I just wasn't impressed. I liked the levelling system though and I'm interested in exploring a new world, so I might pick it up when it's cheaper. The combat, a big selling point of this game, is nothing like Skyrim or Dark Souls and has a lot more in common with games like God of War/Fable. So worth a look if you like fighting games.

I for one really really like this game. I find it to be a faster paced, dumbed down(for lack of better words) version of Skyrim with AMAZING battle mechanics. Or perhaps more accurately, if Fable and Skyrim combined to form a game, it would be KoA. The skill tree and cross class builds offer a lot of variation and its still worth it to go see a Fateweaver and reset your points just to fiddle with them.

I personally felt the video did a disservice to KoA by comparing it to Skyrim especially because I thought they used Skyrim's standards as the be all end all standards of RPGs, if that makes any sense. Compared to a standard RPG(which Skyrim ISN't IMO) KoA is pretty awesome. I have never played WOW so I don't know how it compares to that.

The downsides of the game are the camera angles can be pretty shoddy, the characters tend to be quite bland and as has been mentioned the world economy is a bit off. You start off dirt poor and about halfway through you're loaded with more money than you know what to do with.

I found the game to highly enjoyable though. I liked most of the quests, event he standard go here, steal this, kill that quests. I would recommend it most definitely, but you should try the demo if you're unsure.

Personally I favor the immersion/survival/exploration side of the equation. It's why there really hasn't been a "perfect" game for me yet (although Risen came close) - too much emphasis on either leveling (most games), combat (Amalur), or items (Diablo). Let me cook my own food, set up shop in the local village, and build a house (maybe even farm a la Harvest Moon), and I will be a happy gamer.

Off topic: Will someone please kill the spam-captcha? I do not want to buy a toyota, nor to be told to do so every time I try to post.

60 hours in and the combat is only now starting to reach a point of difficulty for me (playing at the normal difficulty level). However as has been mentioned the underlying mechanics are good. Being able to easily use the three main branches of combat (Might, Finesse, and Sorcery) without feeling any real penalty for not specialising is a bonus for me; as is being able to completely reset my character to the basics and rebuild them if I do choose to alter my path.

Combat does need work in that as I said I did find it a little easy; but it was fun and easy to use. Currency is definitely broken; I'm walking around with a million gold with two completed quests giving me a regular income and a never-ending task that hands out an insane amount of money just for taking care of re-spawning enemies any time I pass through that area. With the addition that once your skills are high enough in certain areas you can see all loot drops and enemies in an area and build your own armor and weapons; money simply doesn't become a problem about 10-20 hours in.

Story-wise... sigh it's a little "Call a Rabbit a Smeerp" at times and conversationally I've had topics appear about people or places I've not heard of before. Never liked having a mute protagonist that can 'talk' to people it just makes it harder to engage with the characters. Throw in all the Smeerp and I ended up tuning it all out; particularly given the sheer verbiage they can come out with highlighting its novelist origins.

But I'm still playing, because it's kind of fun. The play areas are large and vary; the enemies don't level up with you so you can go back to earlier locations and just kick some arse with zero worries. Fast Travel means you don't even have to retread the same path over and over again; but the journey is nice enough that sometimes you just want to.

Skyrim-lite? Well as I've not got that one yet (waiting for the GOTY with all the bug fixes) perhaps Oblivion-lite; certainly not as epic or enthralling; but more fun and less po-faced.

 

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