Posts Tagged ‘Role Playing Game’

Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Mass Effect games have become a staple in every RPG gamers library. It’s an epic sci-fi tale, where your choices and actions can have drastic, or minor effects. It’s an RPG where you have to make life or death choices. Choices that will not only affect that game, but future Mass Effect games as well.

The third Mass Effect game brings to an end the Sheppard Saga. The story of Sheppard and his crew aboard the Normandy. I say the Sheppard Saga, because I have a feeling that Bioware wont let this franchise go. Please note, the rest of this review may contain spoilers, however I will keep it to a minimum.

One of the biggest things I had doubts about was Mass Effect 3’s Online mode. It seems like EVERY game is releasing more and more online play dependent games. Games that don’t have a story, they exist for the sole purpose providing you with a game to play online to frag your friends and enemies.

This bothered me, because the Mass Effect games have always been about story. It worried me, that Bioware may shift the games focus to more online fragathon gameplay. They didn’t. Granted, the game is shorter than I had hoped, however it’s not due to the online play. The online play is basically a co-op game, where you play with others to secure documents, fights off enemies and so forth. It plays just like Mass Effect 3, but with more of an emphasis on combat, and absolutely none on cut-scenes and dialog choices. It’s a fun and smooth combat experience that fans of the ME series will no doubt love.

The actual game however was a bit of a disappointment. It is nothing like I expected. You choices seemed to have less of an impact on the universe than it did in past games. In fact, you would think that the game would have multiple endings, branching off from your major choices. It didn’t. There’s a total of two endings. Your final choice. Both endings are also a bit of a letdown.

OVerall I was disappointed with the single player story and choices, however the amazing graphics and fun online play made up for it. The game however is more of a rental than a buyer. As I mentioned, it’s short. So unless you are a hard-core Mass Effect fan, and NEED it to complete your collection, I highly advise renting it before buying it. If after you finish it, you still feel you need to own it, you can buy it then.

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A screenshot of the character creation and ext...

Image via Wikipedia

For many people, when they hear the words “Solo” and “MMORPG” used together in the same sentence, they tend to go bat-shit insane. They react as if someone just said their momma wore combat boots! It’s actually quite scary. However, Scary or not, Let me be clear on one thing: I am an MMORPG Soloist. Let the Bat-shittery commence!

Wait for the crazies to settle down. Wait for it.

Ok, I am assuming the lunatics had time to calm down, so I will continue.

Why do people get so worked up about someone playing an MMORPG solo? I don’t know! If they want to group, more power to them. Me playing solo has absolutely no fucking affect on them, since they will be in a group and I clearly will not be. So why get all worked up? Many people will say it pisses them off because it ruins the spirit of the MMORPG, and that if you want to play Solo, then go play a Solo RPG, like an elder scrolls game or something similar. These same people also fucking love to point out the word “Multiplayer” abbreviated in MMORPG.

These same people of course, are also douchebaggy dumbshits.

“Multiplayer” means more than one person playing the game. Last I looked, there is more than one person playing the game even if I am doing it solo. multiplayer does NOT mean Grouped. If it did, clearly it would be called “Group Required Online Role Playing Game” and while GRORPG may not be as catchy as MMORPG, it would still get the point across.

Bottom line, you can enjoy the multiplayer aspect of an MMORPG without being grouped. For instance, Even though I solo I still enjoy multiplayer activities that can’t be achieved in single player games. Examples are as follows.

PvP – I like to enter not just arenas, but also if I spot a lone adventurer adventuring that’s about my level, I like to engage them in combat. I also enjoy having to watch the area, and pay attention to my surroundings in case of a surprise player attack. This couldn’t be done in a single player RPG.

Role Playing – Yeah, the OTHER abbreviation in MMORPG that douche bags tend to have no problem ignoring, since it doesn’t fit their ideal of game play. I like to take on the role of a character, and play it, interacting with others along the way. Can this be done in a single player? No! (On a side note, this is also another reason I solo. I play games for the story, and groups tend to want to rush. I like to read the quest dialog, and appreciate it. Soak it all up, so that I can get a feel for the setting, to better evolve my character. This doesn’t tend to sit well with groups who are in a rush for their epic lewtz)

Crafting & Auctioning – I like to craft things, venture to the auction house and sell my things that I have made. Also, to sell items I have found, for more than what the vendor will buy it for. It gives me an alternate way to make money.

Occasional Grouping – I like to occasionally group up with a friend who might play on the rare occasion. However, I also want to be able to play on my own, whenever I want. I just want the OPTION to include my friends in the adventure with me, not be FORCED to run with people I hardly know, just to get some quest done.

Activities – Let’s be honest here folks! MMORPGs will always be larger than a single player RPG! It will have always increasing content, and also have special holiday events. This is something that doesn’t happen in single player games. A single player game does not evolve with or without you! It does not have new quests just suddenly appear that weren’t there before or programmed to be there.

Bottom line is this: No matter how advanced a single player RPG is, it will NEVER provide the continued growth or entertainment value that an MMORPG will.

Lastly, let me just say this — You don’t like that I play solo, even though it has no effect on you? Well, Fuck you. I don’t like that you don’t Role play which DOES affect my characters enjoyment. Do you see me bitching and whining? NO! Why? because your 15 bucks a month is worth just as much as mine, and vice versa. We each pay the same, and have the right to BOTH enjoy the game that we pay for, however we see fit.

That’s all I gotta say about that.

I always told myself, that when I got older, I wouldn’t be one of those people. I wouldn’t go around saying, that back in my day we had things harder than todays children, because at the time, I figured that there was no way kids could get things easier. I mean, we could watch movies in our house whenever we wanted, which was pretty damn cool.Hell, We could even play video games at home without having to go to the arcade! Shit, we even had the fucking internet pop-up in my childhood!

Hell, we even had light-up shoes, cause we were bitchin' like that.

So, taking all that into consideration, the last thing I figured I would ever think, is how we had ANYTHING harder than any generation that would come after us. If anything, I figured the next generation would have it harder, because I assumed that by now, we would be living in an atomic wasteland, because that seemed to be the route the world was taking at the time.

In the end however, we didn’t end up nuking ourselves to Timbuktu, and somehow to my amazement, certain things got easier for the next generation. Not everything mind you, I mean back in my day, I remember when gas only cost like a buck fifty, and now look at how much teens are having to pay for gas! Ha-ha-ha-ha! Suckers!

*points and laughs*

Anyway, the point of this post is so I can do, what I said I would never do, and say the following phrase; Things are so easy now! You know, back in my day shit was so much harder to do!

This time I am going to focus on video games, because video games kicks much ass!

Believe it or not, video games have changed a LOT over the years, not just in terms of graphics and sound, though those are the biggest and most obvious changes, but that’s to be expected! It’s part of technology progressing, but there are also smaller more subtle changes in modern video games, that are in no way associated with the advancement of technology. Changes that were put in place purely to make your video game life that much fucking easier!

Changes like:

RPG Leveling up process

Growing up, I was a huge RPG fan! I loved Pen and Paper RPGs, so it was only obvious that I would try Computer/Console RPGs. When I did, I was hooked! I lived and breathed games like; Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, Willow and Phantasy Star.

I remember popping in an RPG and spending a full day practically just walking around the first town, killing monster after monster, building up my experience points so that I could level up enough to take on some tougher monsters that were surrounding the second town.

Days were spent just killing monsters, all so you could get powerful enough to kill more monsters! basically, it was a total grindfest! People complain about how MMORPGs have a lot of grinding, but that’s pretty much how many RPGs were back in the day. Nowadays, you don’t even need to grind! Just start your RPG of choice and move from area to area. By the time you reach your next location, just from “Exploration Experience” you are practically level up enough to take on the boss, if you killed some things on your way there, then you are not only leveled up enough, but probably over-powered!

You don’t need to grind anymore in RPGs, which is a good thing in a way, because it means you don’t need to tear yourself away from the epic story being told. You can remain immersed in the saga. So, I see why it’s that way, but still, it makes RPGs so much more easier!

Passwords

When I first started gaming, many games didn’t have a battery back-up, which meant that you couldn’t save your game! So, in order to allow gamers to play huge epic sagas that took weeks of gameplay, they created a password system. When you went to “Save” your game, you were given a password! Then, when you turned your game on again, you would go to the password screen and input your password to continue your saga.

By the way, when I say password, I don’t mean something like “Heartbeat” or “Horseback” or even multiple worded passwords like “Goat Mountain thunder”. No, that would have been too easy! They were crazy passwords, that used letters, numbers, symbols, lower and upper case sensitivity. Like this password screen:

unfuckingbelievable!

Now, not ALL passwords were that long and insane, some were shorter, some even longer and crazier, but either way it was always a pain in the ass! Especially compared to todays gamers who just needs to press a button and poof! All saved! In my day, most gamers had a notebook, that had all their game passwords scribbled down! Some gamers, like yours truly, had multiple notebooks, because just one wasn’t going to be enough.

Now, that’s just a thing of the past, but….

Speaking of Saving!

…It’s not like you need to anyway! Not only do you not have to fiddle with passwords, but most of the time, you don’t even need to choose a save option! Most RPGs and even non-RPGs have a built-in “Auto-save” feature, which saves the game for you every 5 mins it seems like!

Whereas in my day, if we got too fucking lazy to grab our pen to write down a password, we could lose hours of gameplay due to our characters untimely demise.

Damn Slackers!

Too easy!

Video games nowadays are just way too easy! Sure, some have an option that allows you to choose a difficulty setting, however those same games also have an “Easy” setting in their difficulty list, which basically plays the game for you! Seriously, just set the game to easy and walk away for a half hour, and when you come back, there’s a good chance that you will have finished the damn game!

When I first started gaming, games were nearly impossible! It’s why so many old-school gamers have the konami code burned into their memory! After all, most of Konamis games were impossible to beat without the damn code! Games so difficult, that you literally had to fucking cheat to play it! Even with the cheat, the game was still a challenge!

Watchout for the lazer!

Sure, we had some games that had difficulty settings, and sure they had an “Easy” setting, but most times, unless you were playing a Disney title, even “Easy mode” would be frustrating enough to make you want to rip your hair out!

Clearly a fan of the Contra series!

Take Cover!

Most games started you off with “Three Health Bars” back in the day, which basically meant you could get shot three times, before you came face to face with the dreaded “Game over” screen, which i wouldn’t be surprised if most modern gamers have never seen in their life.

For modern Gamers

Sure, after you got hit and lost a health bar, you could come across a health pack to heal yourself up, but those were few and far between. Your best bet, was to just do everything in your power to avoid getting hit at all!

Gamers today rarely care about any of that, since a lot of modern games don’t even have a health bar! Just run out into the open and shoot shit til your screen is nearly red, then run behind a wall for a second til your case of extreme red-eye goes away, and yer perfectly ready to do it again!

Riddled with bulletholes? Nothing a few seconds rest won't cure!

I’m not saying that all of this is bad! In fact, I understand why games are made easier! Games today focus a lot on story! back when i started gaming, a story consisted of something like this:

Epic saga right?

So, back in the day, stories were more of an after thought! Most gamers didn’t even pay attention to a story, myself included! What would be the point, you see what our stories were! Most of the time, it was better to fabricate your own story in your head as the game moved along!

Nowadays, you have great stories with good voice acting and incredible cut-scenes! Games are made easier, so people can fully enjoy the story of a game, rather than be held back for weeks at a time, while the story is basically paused until you are able to advance it.

Even I play modern games the first time on “Easy”, just so I can experience the story first hand, and then play again on the harder settings.

So, as I said; I get it! That doesn’t change the fact that games in my day were ape-shit harder though. Just sayin’.

Once upon a time, I used to subscribe to this online service called Gametap, and it was good. The service really had everything a gamer like myself could want. What attracted me most to this service however is the fact that they included a good number of AD&D games. The Baldur Gate series, The Icewind Dale series and even Torment(Which is an extremely difficult to find dungeons and dragons title, but is oh so good!). Like many of you already know, I am not just a game junkie, I am a Role Play junkie as well, and my main love has always been dungeons and dragons. I mean I played the pen and paper version way back in high school, so it has a lot of fond memories.

Recently however Gametap got a huge smack from…someone! Im not sure if it’s the developers, or what but whoever it was forced them to pull down all their AD&D titles! Not just that, but also a good number of other major licenses like Homeworld, Incredible machine and so fourth.

So, now there REALLY isn’t a reason to be subscribed to Gametap. They lost their hottest titles, and while they do still carry some incredible games, like the fallout series and the Space Quest titles, it’s really not worth the subscription cost, at least in my eye.

Fable 2 came out last week, and I just have been so occupied with the game, that I haven’t had anytime to even write about it! Therefore, I shall correct that issue now and write a little something about this RPG title.

Where to begin? Well, the game is VERY similar to the first Fable game, so if you loved the original, there is also a good chance you will like FABLE 2. The game starts out similar to the original. You are a child, and several occurances occur where you can choose the “Right” thing to do, or the “Wrong” thing. The choices are small, but they are to show you how the game allows you the freedom to play how you want…Good or bad.

There are a few differences in FABLE 2 that help it stand out from the original. For instance in FABLE 2 you can choose to be either Male or Female. On top of being able to pick your gender, another difference is that you don’t travel the world of Albion alone this time. You always have your Trusty dog with you. Also, on occasion you will be joined by NPCs that will help you along the way.

In Fable 2 I set out thinking “The first Fable I played evil….This time Im gonna be a good guy dabnabbit!”..Although that thought process didn’t last very long, and my character has turned to a life of crime…..and has gotten quite fat.

Bottom line however, the game plays the same as the original, it has all the charm as the original and most of all it has all the excitement as the original. IF however you were one of the few who didnt like Fable…Then FABLE 2 probably isn’t for you…Me however? I love the game!