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Reply 4220 of 6086, by thepirategamerboy12

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Well, this really fucking sucks. My Beyond Oasis playthrough has come to an abrupt end. All of a sudden when playing the game, the audio got distorted for some reason, so I saved and re-inserted the cartridge. That fixed the sound issue, but now when I load my save I just get a black screen.

I'm very upset to say the least, that's hours of gameplay down the toilet.

Reply 4222 of 6086, by newtmonkey

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Avadon: The Black Fortress
I completed this now, after years of on-and-off playing. The game took me 50 hours to complete, but I had to restart partway through due to losing my saves when I got a new computer. I reckon it actually took about 40 hours, though I skipped a lot of the optional stuff.

The game excels in exploration and questing. Individual locations are massive and full of content. It's always a lot of fun arriving at a new location and seeing what's there. Exploration is almost always rewarded, with some good loot or even an entire side-quest. What's even better, is that many quests (even the main quest!) offer multiple solutions. Granted, most of the time you simply have two choices: follow your orders to the letter, or side with a local power. Your decisions will even affect your companions during the endgame.

There is a ton of loot to find in the game, and equipment can really make a difference with some good choices to make (for example, do you choose a sword that simply does more damage, or one that is weaker but adds a valuable point to one of your key skills?).

Finally, the story ends up being pretty interesting. There is no "evil empire" here, just rival powers trying to do their best to keep their people alive. You are tested throughout the game on your loyalty to Avadon, and while a lesser game would have made the decision black-and-white, this game provides good arguments for either side.

However, a few things kept me from really getting into this game:

  • The main quest is quite linear and the game seems to be story-focused, but the story goes absolutely nowhere for the middle 30 hours, during which you are just getting sent from one kingdom to the next settling disputes. Until the last 5-10 hours of the game, you don't really feel like an elite representative of a hegemon, but instead just an adventurer going around solving quests.
  • The game was allegedly balanced for the Normal difficulty level, but I found the game to be ridiculously easy. Most enemies just run straight at you. Combat becomes very tedious and boring, not even halfway through the game. Then, during the last 25% of the game you become basically immortal, yet every single enemy is hasted/frenzied so you are forced to watch every single enemy attack (and miss) twice before you get to do anything.
  • The three-person party is really a drag. There is no room for tactics, but on Normal, anyway, you don't really need any. Stand back and use ranged weapons, then switch to melee once enemies are within range (or step one square away and just keep using your ranged attack). I rarely had to use any special abilities or even items; I ended up with a massive stock of potions, scrolls, and wands. But even without using any of this stuff, I never used a resurrection scroll (there's an achievement for that!) and never saw a game over.

Overall, this was a decent RPG to play while doing other things, such as listening to music or watching videos. Although that sounds like damning the game with faint praise, it's not my intention. Not every RPG needs to be a total struggle that commands your attention at all times.

I liked it enough that I'm definitely interested in playing through the trilogy. I've heard that the second game is a big improvement, and am looking forward to playing it.

Last edited by newtmonkey on 2023-02-02, 15:53. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 4223 of 6086, by newtmonkey

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Geneforge (PC)
The original, not the remake.

The concept here is that you are a "shaper," basically a wizard crossed with a genetic engineer. Your race has developed magic/technology to create life, and everything from your servants to your tools and machinery are living things (serviles) your civilization has created. Creations that have been given intelligence see your race as gods.

One day while traveling you get shipwrecked and end up on an island full of serviles, mysteriously abandoned by your people many years ago. You discover that the serviles have split into three factions: one group still worships you and wants to keep things as they are, one groups feels that by being abandoned they are now free and want to deal with you as equals, and another has rebelled and is hostile to you and your people.

It's a great concept, and the writing is also really good so far. There's a lot of text when gathering information in towns, but it's broken up well with plenty of exploration and combat in between town areas. The area design is really great, too. So far, each area is really memorable with plenty to discover and do. There are very few restrictions on where you can go, so as long as you can survive the trip you can explore to your heart's content.

I'm very impressed so far. It has a huge open world, multiple factions to ally with, a fascinating concept/story, and some really great writing. Geneforge was released 20+ years ago, but has aged pretty well graphically. The interface looks awful thanks to the developer's strange choice to go with a "neon slime" theme... but luckily there's a fan patch available that replaces it with some sort of granite/stone theme that's much nicer to look at. It runs in 800x600 only, but I'm using Dxwnd to force it to run in a window, and then an integer scaling app to scale it up to fullscreen cleanly. I'd go so far as to say that it looks better than Avadon and Queen's Wish, released by the same developer in 2011 and 2019 respectively!

Last edited by newtmonkey on 2023-02-02, 15:54. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 4224 of 6086, by NovaCN

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Still picking my way through Final Fantasy XIV. Finally finished Stormblood and reached the start of Shadowbringers. What I heard was right: it's better than ARR but not as good as Heavensward. Still, it was enjoyable and I'm excited to see where things go next.
I've also started messing with macros. Set up a little button that uses hidden hotbars to pop up a menu for quickly switching jobs, plus some emote animations on change for added flair. I've been leveling in a few jobs besides my main a little bit at a time to try them out, just a few minutes a day so it doesn't keep me away from actually doing content and I don't burn out. Here's a Twitter link with a video because I am proud of how this came out.
Overall, I'm really enjoying FFXIV, even if it has been keeping me away from other games for a few months so far.

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Reply 4225 of 6086, by liqmat

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clueless1 wrote on 2022-09-03, 14:07:

Ultima VI: The False Prophet
I'm still getting a hang for the controls in this game. I've sunk about 6 hours into it, but most of that time has been talking with NPCs and figuring out the controls and lay of the land. I finished up in Britain and took a short trip to Cove and the Shrine of Compassion. Battled a couple of gargoyles on the way to Cove, then spoke to some folks in Cove, got some free healing, bought a spell that I can't use yet (Great Heal), some reagents, and learned how to meditate at the shrine. Went back to the shrine, battled a couple of more gargoyles, then did the meditation thing. It was not obvious how to get the spell I bought written into my book but I eventually figured it out. And it wasn't obvious how to meditate properly either (you have to be exactly in front of the shrine, not even one square in between you and it).

I'm enjoying the experience so far, but I'm still not invested to the point where I'm confident I will play it through to the end. I may, but that remains to be seen. I've played several RPGs that I've sunk significant time into and decided not to finish (Betrayal at Krondor, Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, Albion, Eye of the Beholder 1 and Avernum: Escape from the Pit), so I'm now wary about sinking too much time into a game that I'm not excited about from the get-go.

Hey dude,

I just may have to install and fire up my GOG version of Morrowind this weekend. Morrowind Rebirth 6.0 got released the other day. Never did finish that game. Not even close. They've been working on that mod since at least 2012.

Reply 4226 of 6086, by DosFreak

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It should work with OpenMW but I've never tried it with it. I played and finished Morrowind when it first came out, definetly a game you should finish.
I get overwhelmed by so many mods and since there are so many other games to play that I haven't already beaten then revisiting games I already have is way down on the list.

I faintly remember that Morrowind like most of these types of games allowed you to be way too powerful so if I were to revisit I'd look into see if there were any mods to "fix" that. The magic system in Morrowind was the best and worse of the series in the aspect.

heh
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Reply 4227 of 6086, by clueless1

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liqmat wrote on 2022-09-09, 23:33:
clueless1 wrote on 2022-09-03, 14:07:

Ultima VI: The False Prophet
I'm still getting a hang for the controls in this game. I've sunk about 6 hours into it, but most of that time has been talking with NPCs and figuring out the controls and lay of the land. I finished up in Britain and took a short trip to Cove and the Shrine of Compassion. Battled a couple of gargoyles on the way to Cove, then spoke to some folks in Cove, got some free healing, bought a spell that I can't use yet (Great Heal), some reagents, and learned how to meditate at the shrine. Went back to the shrine, battled a couple of more gargoyles, then did the meditation thing. It was not obvious how to get the spell I bought written into my book but I eventually figured it out. And it wasn't obvious how to meditate properly either (you have to be exactly in front of the shrine, not even one square in between you and it).

I'm enjoying the experience so far, but I'm still not invested to the point where I'm confident I will play it through to the end. I may, but that remains to be seen. I've played several RPGs that I've sunk significant time into and decided not to finish (Betrayal at Krondor, Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, Albion, Eye of the Beholder 1 and Avernum: Escape from the Pit), so I'm now wary about sinking too much time into a game that I'm not excited about from the get-go.

Hey dude,

I just may have to install and fire up my GOG version of Morrowind this weekend. Morrowind Rebirth 6.0 got released the other day. Never did finish that game. Not even close. They've been working on that mod since at least 2012.

Hope you have fun with it, man. Keep us posted! I could never get much into the Elder Scrolls series. I bought Arena, Daggerfall, and Morrowind when they came out and played each of them for about a week or so. Never bought another Elder Scrolls game til modern times on GOG on steep discounts. 🤣. I own them, but haven't played them. Maybe some day!

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Reply 4228 of 6086, by liqmat

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Admittedly, most open world RPGs end up as walking simulators for me. I start out very optimistic. I leave the first dungeon and see the beautiful world graphics. Dungeon stomp for awhile and then... yawn. From there comes the roaming around without direction for the sights, sounds and a little experimentation. The end. <sigh> I'll go as far as my ADD will allow me. I can be a very "Oooh look! It's a squirrel." kind of person.

Reply 4229 of 6086, by retrogamerguy1997

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Started another New Vegas playthrough, this time finally using the Jsawyer ultimate mod and other mods listed in the overhauls section on the viva new vegas guide (normally I skipped that section pretty much). It is certainly more difficult, but I've most managed so far.

Reply 4230 of 6086, by Sombrero

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retrogamerguy1997 wrote on 2022-09-10, 21:31:

Started another New Vegas playthrough, this time finally using the Jsawyer ultimate mod and other mods listed in the overhauls section on the viva new vegas guide (normally I skipped that section pretty much). It is certainly more difficult, but I've most managed so far.

Don't know what other mods are on that guide, but I've been using JSawyer Ultimate Edition mod ever since I found it years ago, it's great. I don't find it hard at all, even with hardcore mode on which I always use, but it does make the game more enjoyable for sure at least for me. In fact in a way it can actually be easier, the first time I played the Old World Blues DLC I wasn't using JSawyers mod and therefore was at level 50 or thereabouts, as a result the enemies were horrifict bullet sponges in that DLC. It was so bad I just gave up and walked away.

But with JSawyers mod you level at much more reasonable pace and max out at lvl 35 (IIRC), no more bullet sponge enemies in Old World Blues and had no trouble at all finishing the DLC or the other DLC's.

Reply 4231 of 6086, by liqmat

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Welp, that lasted but an hour or so. It's probably me, but Morrowind has not aged well imo. I tried the mod I mentioned above and there are some nice improvements, but like all Elder Scrolls games I just have a very hard time getting into them. Can't quite put my finger on it. They just don't hold my interest. Anyway... I ran across this yesterday.

Halloween season is about to start again here in the U.S. and a rather cool point and click indie adventure game based on Alfred Hitchcock's movie Psycho was just released. I've only played it a tiny bit so far and it's very well done. Dripping with atmosphere like the movie. Worth checking out. Free download for Windows and macOS systems.

https://mathieu-ratier.itch.io/psychoadventuregame

Reply 4232 of 6086, by Shagittarius

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liqmat wrote on 2022-09-11, 15:36:

Welp, that lasted but an hour or so. It's probably me, but Morrowind has not aged well imo. I tried the mod I mentioned above and there are some nice improvements, but like all Elder Scrolls games I just have a very hard time getting into them. Can't quite put my finger on it. They just don't hold my interest.

I like the Elder Scrolls games but I think the pace of the games are all weird. It easy for it to feel meandering and meaningless because of how open ended it is. They could have made more of an effort to present a better guided main story line and I think it would broaden the appeal.

Reply 4233 of 6086, by retrogamerguy1997

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Sombrero wrote on 2022-09-11, 04:08:
retrogamerguy1997 wrote on 2022-09-10, 21:31:

Started another New Vegas playthrough, this time finally using the Jsawyer ultimate mod and other mods listed in the overhauls section on the viva new vegas guide (normally I skipped that section pretty much). It is certainly more difficult, but I've most managed so far.

Don't know what other mods are on that guide, but I've been using JSawyer Ultimate Edition mod ever since I found it years ago, it's great. I don't find it hard at all, even with hardcore mode on which I always use, but it does make the game more enjoyable for sure at least for me. In fact in a way it can actually be easier, the first time I played the Old World Blues DLC I wasn't using JSawyers mod and therefore was at level 50 or thereabouts, as a result the enemies were horrifict bullet sponges in that DLC. It was so bad I just gave up and walked away.

But with JSawyers mod you level at much more reasonable pace and max out at lvl 35 (IIRC), no more bullet sponge enemies in Old World Blues and had no trouble at all finishing the DLC or the other DLC's.

Well one of the other mods makes loot rarer (and in lower condition) and another mod makes healing from food less effective. But yeah I will agree that playing the dlcs vanilla does tend to be a pain in the ass in higher levels. But now I'm almost tempted to start dead money at a lower level than usual (even though I hate that dlc due to some of the things it does)

Reply 4234 of 6086, by clueless1

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Shagittarius wrote on 2022-09-11, 21:05:
liqmat wrote on 2022-09-11, 15:36:

Welp, that lasted but an hour or so. It's probably me, but Morrowind has not aged well imo. I tried the mod I mentioned above and there are some nice improvements, but like all Elder Scrolls games I just have a very hard time getting into them. Can't quite put my finger on it. They just don't hold my interest.

I like the Elder Scrolls games but I think the pace of the games are all weird. It easy for it to feel meandering and meaningless because of how open ended it is. They could have made more of an effort to present a better guided main story line and I think it would broaden the appeal.

This is *exactly* how I feel about them. Couldn't have put it better.

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Reply 4235 of 6086, by newtmonkey

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Geneforge (PC)
I've become quite addicted to this over the last week. Based on how much of the the map I've explored, I'd say I'm about halfway through the game at 20 hours in, though I'm sure there's lots of hidden/optional stuff I've missed. The story has been unfolding bit by bit, and it's been handled extremely well so far.

The game also appears to be highly replayable, as there are three factions (all opposed to each other) to join, and I'm pretty certain joining one prevents you from working with the others. There is also a fourth "faction" that I think you can't join, but you can choose to deal with them peacefully or simply fight your way through them. Finally, you have three classes to choose from, with each playing quite differently (basically, a fighter, a wizard, or a summoner). I doubt I'd ever replay a long RPG like this, but I will definitely get the remake one of these days and play through that using a different class and faction.

Really fantastic game! If I had to nitpick, I'd say that the combat is not particularly deep. It's fast and somewhat satisfying, though.

Reply 4236 of 6086, by Shponglefan

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Shagittarius wrote on 2022-09-11, 21:05:

I like the Elder Scrolls games but I think the pace of the games are all weird. It easy for it to feel meandering and meaningless because of how open ended it is. They could have made more of an effort to present a better guided main story line and I think it would broaden the appeal.

The flipside is the fact the games were so open-ended is probably a reason why they were so popular in the first place. They were doing the "sandbox" thing long before that became a trend.

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Reply 4237 of 6086, by Shreddoc

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It seems that some people have the proclivities to enjoy open world games, but on the other hand they simply don't work for some other people, the way their minds and preferences work.

As a kid I ate up all SSI/Goldbox type of RPG, ravenously, but would confusedly quit Ultima games after a disappointing and frustrating hour of doing nothing in a very pretty way. Just the way my individual mind works (and doesn't).

Personally I excel (in life) by observing examples and bettering them. I expect that people who enjoy open world games, conversely, excel through exploration and discovery, or some other suitable means.

Reply 4238 of 6086, by clueless1

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Shreddoc wrote on 2022-09-13, 00:43:

It seems that some people have the proclivities to enjoy open world games, but on the other hand they simply don't work for some other people, the way their minds and preferences work.

As a kid I ate up all SSI/Goldbox type of RPG, ravenously, but would confusedly quit Ultima games after a disappointing and frustrating hour of doing nothing in a very pretty way. Just the way my individual mind works (and doesn't).

Personally I excel (in life) by observing examples and bettering them. I expect that people who enjoy open world games, conversely, excel through exploration and discovery, or some other suitable means.

I think it's what you're exposed to first during formative times. I started on Apple II and played tons of Ultima 1-5. When I got my first PC it was already 1991 and Goldbox games had been around long enough to seem "old" even when there were new releases. So I never bought any Goldbox games (my first RPG purchase was Ultima 7 shortly after getting my PC). I admit the graphics didn't seem "worthy" of the upgrade I made from Apple II to IBM-compatible, so I never gave them a chance.

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Reply 4239 of 6086, by newtmonkey

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Geneforge (PC)
I'm hopelessly addicted to this now. I've put 22+ hours into this over the last two weeks, with a big portion of that over the last week. It's just such a joy to play, that it's easy to put an hour here and an hour there into it. The game tracks quests for you, but you can also copy any dialog into your own in-game log, which is perfect for tracking useful information without having to write down your own notes.

The game is split into dozens of multi-screen areas accessed through a world map that slowly expands as you explore it, and each sub-area is auto-mapped as you explore. I was concerned at first that the game would be somewhat linear due to having to "unlock" exits on each side of the sub-areas (similar to Baldur's Gate), but in fact many of these areas have been designed with multiple paths through them. You can often bypass difficult sections through stealth or dialog, or even by completely skipping that sub-area and simply going through some other sub-area.

Very impressed with this! There are five games in the series, so playing this game is a bit like finally playing and getting addicted to the first Wizardry game, knowing that I have an entire series of games to look forward to!