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Nov. 13th, 2006

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Review: NeverWinter Nights 2 (PC)

This is something of an early review as I’ve far from completed NeverWinter Nights 2, but I think I’m far enough in to be past the “first impressions” stage and I know enough about myself to say that this game is good enough for me want to play it through to the finish.

Despite my initial excitement over Neverwinter Nights when it was originally released, the game failed to capture my imagination. The lack of a full party system didn’t help, but the game on launch really only was doing lip service to the single player with a greater focus on multiplayer. Unfortunately, on the 3rd or 4th play through of the initial chapters of the game, the imbalances of certain classes in a multiplayer group were clear and the games challenge dropped considerably.

Further problems were created by the single player campaign’s toolset origins being very apparent, with many areas appearing vert boxy and samey. The ferocious danger presented by traps also meant that your character either had to have some thievery skills or have a thief in tow to handle such dangers. Alternatively, you could just have a mage blast the crap out of all the very, very frequent traps.

For me, NWN amounted to a lot of frustration and tedium in what should have been a delightful 3D rendering of the forgotten realms. Watching a lone fighter go through the motions of fighting multiple mobs soon got dull as there wasn’t the micromanagement of a full party to keep things busy engaging. Finally the single player campaign plot was dull and while it placed the character in the role of “hero” it was done in such an “everyman” unremarkable way, that I simply couldn’t engage with the protagonist in any real way.

So it should be apparent that NWN2 was not a title I could initially work up much enthusiasm about.Collapse )

Nov. 9th, 2006

Tiny Benethyarr


Review: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC)

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC)
Review by Robin Derwent

It would not be completely unreasonable to accuse Relic of playing it safe when they developed Dawn of War: after all this was no Homeworld. Homeworld, the game that made Relic famous, broke into wholly new RTS territory by presenting a fully 3D take on space combat, with a persistent fleet and an epic, artistically-told story. Dawn of War instead took an established license and furnished it with tried and tested mechanics borrowed from classics of the genre such as Starcraft and Total Annihilation. Still, the end result was definitely pleasing – though the story was unremarkable and the gameplay unoriginal, it was visually impressive and a heck of a lot of fun to play.
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B&W Benethyarr


Review: Ring of Red (PS2)

Ring of Red (PS2)
Review by Robin Derwent

When it was suggested that each reviewer should pick one classic game to review to get the site up and running, I immediately thought of Ico. No, wait – that’s been done to death already. Ok, how about Ring of Red then? I bet most of you have never even heard of it. Ideal.
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