Archive for RPG

Outward or Unforgiving, Clunky and yet Fascinating – At Times

Posted in Hands On, Played & Explained with tags , , , on April 22, 2019 by Rabidgames

Imagine you get thrown into a game where you have exactly zero clue what’s going on. Imagine you can’t really die but you simply wake up somewhere. Imagine Piranha Bites (Gothic, Risen, Elex) create a world with their clunky combat system but take away each and every comfort; you can easily bleed or freeze to death, and fights can be over almost as quickly and as mercilessly as in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. That’s Outward in a nutshell.

But let’s start from the beginning. Your ship wrecks somehow, you’re on an island, you roam around … and quickly you notice how fucking ugly everything looks. Really, Outward is often an ugly game on the PS4 (seems to be a bug, but hasn’t been fixed yet)! It sometimes rather looks like a PS2 game, truth be told. Some levels look nice in the right light, sure, but that won’t happen too often. Speaking of light, what good is a torch or a lantern if it doesn’t illuminate your way properly at night? Good luck falling from a cliff because you can’t see it …

Anyway, once you die or sleep in the prologue part, you wake up in your house and you get sent on a quest to get some money or your house is gone. Skill-wise, you’re a nobody in Outward. You can’t really fight, no one likes you (well, not enough to pay your debts at least) etc. Well, thing is, you partially can’t fight because of the narrative, but for the most part, the fighting system is just awful or below average at the best of times. It’s like Gothic or Risen, just worse, more tedious, and even less fun. Outward rarely lets you feel comfortable, simply because it wants to be a survival RPG. Especially the first 5 hours are a big pain, which is rarely ever a good sign for a game.

 

Another problem Outward has is that its world is incredibly bland. From its landscapes (greenery, snow, desert, name it) to its systems to its enemies, you’ve seen it all before. And often better implemented with better lore. Speaking of lore, it also doesn’t help that the English subtitles often don’t match the audio. Sometimes, the audio is shortened, sometimes it’s entirely different. So it’s hard to immerse in the world from a story perspective when the fighting system is clunky and stuff such as crafting and skills are also just there, because they have to be there in a game like Outward.

Technically, the game also has issues. Graphics and audio issues aside, you sometimes happen to lose your inventory. Yes, the one thing that can outright kill you – or “only” ruin you in Outward – can happen here. It may get fixed soon, but who cares after having lost 5 hours of progress? Also, whenever you go to sleep in Outward, it makes you sleepy in real life, too. why? Because the loading screen is on-screen forever – for no apparent reason. And here’s the thing – you’ll sleep a lot to heal or to pass some time until the quest giver or target shows up. That’ll add up to a lot of time spent watching loading screens.

So, does Outward have any redeeming qualities? Well, it tells you the story of a nobody from a perspective of a nobody. It’s not entirely new, but still rather rare. The backpack system is also interesting: the bigger the backpack, the more you can carry – but the bigger the penalties, too. This gives Outward a somewhat strategic layer to balance loot and manoeuvrability. Same goes for the magic systems: you have runes you can combine for different effects. It’s a nice system once you get used to it, even if it feels a bit clunky, too.

Also, the map is just a map in Outward. No other indication on it related to your position. No hand-holding or icons. If you want to know where you are after waking up, well, consult the map, take a good look around and good luck. Hope you have some skills navigating your way around. It’s a nice little feature of Outward that enhances the adventure feeling, and this is actually a feature that more games should have.

At the end of the day, Outward is a game of missed chances: The bugs should have been fixed, the fighting system should have been fun and the game should have presented itself as a game that’s worth playing. At the current stage, Outward lacks too many things, especially in the bland beginning. There’s some fun to be had for those who can see past all of this, but there may not be many who feel that way if better games are released left and right.

Rabidgames’ verdict: GO BUY if you’re itching for a hardcore survival game where you are on your own without a friendly UI and if you don’t mind the rather generic and way too clunky nature of the game. WAIT if you want some bugs to be ironed out first.

DO NOT BUY if you want a flawless and  unique experience. This game lacks an identity of its own in many aspects, features terrible melee fights and it has quite a few technical issues on top of it. Close to full price seems a bit much for this experience.

 

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South Park: The Stick of Truth Delay Hurts … Cause It Looks Awesome!

Posted in News with tags , , on November 2, 2013 by Rabidgames

As we all know, the ambitious RPG South Park: The Stick of Truth, aka Skyrim with swearwords, bad graphics and jews, has been delayed until March 2014. Shame, but if it’s about a bug free game, all the better.

However, the issue is South Park: The Stick of Truth looks fucking amazing. The game is full of awesome ideas, and it looks like great fun with a South Park twist, as the following seven minutes of hilarity prove:

Rabidgames laughs: Damn, that looks fun. Let’s hope four more months of waiting will result in a polished ride to South Park.

The Stick of Truth Hurts

Posted in News with tags , , on December 11, 2012 by Rabidgames

At least those with a politically correct mind.

If you’re not, you’ll enjoy that insanely hilarious new trailer for South Park: The Stick of Truth, THQ’s and Obsidian’s RPG adventure in Colorado’s most famous town:

As it seems, the weird story of seems to be about a simple stick humans and elves have been fighting for since the dawn of time … or something.

We can also choose between the following classes in South Park: The Stick of Truth: Warrior, Paladin, Princess Kenny, Fat Grand Wizard … and High Jew Elf! Sadly, we don’t get to see any gameplay material.

Rabidgames prepares some spells: If it is done right, South Park: The Stick of Truth could become an amazing RPG which combines Lord of the Rings, South Park and maybe even some Star Trek … if THQ gets it right. Please, we want the complete game at launch, not 40 biblical weeks of DLC crap!

Dragon’s Dogma: First Impressions

Posted in News with tags , , , on May 24, 2012 by Rabidgames

Yes, Rabidgames did it. He bought Dragon’s Dogma.

And yes, Rabidgames knows Capcom has put some fucking DLC (as disc locked content) in there; the first ones are 8 hair styles and some armour for 160 MS points and some quests for 80. Worth it? Who knows … but it surely can’t be any worse than THQ’s lousy Penthouse crap!

OK, here’s a word of advice: Before you want to start playing the 360 version of Dragon’s Dogma, you might want to install it to prevent lags, tearing or realising you’re in the middle of 20 enemies …
However, the first thing you hear when installing then is a terrible noise – it sounds as if the 360 wanted to eat the game. Nothing else happens at first.
Don’t worry, it’s fine. Apparently, your 360 needs to index files or something … keep calm, everything’s fine after 10 minutes.

In the meantime, you can watch the Launch trailer for Dragon’s Dogma:

Alright, Dragon’s Dogma installed, let’s go!

After the intro (known from the demo version), you start with building your character, and a short while later, your pawn.
There are tons of options how to build a character in Dragon’s Dogma, apparently even height and weight matter in terms of stamina! Later on, you can branch out your specialisation (actually, Rabidgames is not even there yet). You’ll have one pawn as your main pawn and two replaceable ones. Even at the beginning, you can hire powerful pawns from the online community, although that would take away the fun, wouldn’t it?

About that “short while later” … well, Rabidgames spent actually almost 2 hours scavenging the village where you start – and doing so, you get a grasp what Dragon’s Dogma is all about: Exploration. You can climb roofs and cliffs, you can explore the beach (although the water is not accessible because of some micro bacterial demons; that’s an original way to hide you don’t want us to swim), you can shoot seagulls and gather fish … and you will find tons of items. Yet, you have no clue what to with them initially.

The same goes for your equipment: You cannot only equip your usual armour, but also clothes as well. Your character might not always look better, but he will survive. You can also upgrade your equipment – while the first upgrade only requires money, later ones also require certain items.

When leaving the peaceful village, you meet your first enemies: Wolves and goblins. A word of warning: In Dragon’s Dogma, Wolves can kill you within seconds. Be careful. The key to battles is preparation and a balanced party. A couple of hours, Rabidgames went to explore the lands … the pawns were talking about “don’t go there” – and indeed, one bandit almost killed off the party.

The fighting system itself is really good: All 3 basic classes of Dragon’s Dogma play out completely different: While the fighter is all about giving and taking damage, the strider is a quick blade-and-bow wielder and mages cast their powerful spells from afar. Sadly, mages miss out on the fun that is climbing enemies and slashing at their ugly faces (they can do it but it’s a waste of time since the damage is close to none). There are quite some tactical things to take into consideration and many, many options available (you can hurl water, oil or rocks at enemies, a fighter can call for the attention of enemies etc.). It will take time get to know all the small and useful things the battles in Dragon’s Dogma can offer.

Rabidgames could write on and on, but bottom line is: While the quests are rather mundane, the dialogues rather weak and the narratives hardly develops, Dragon’s Dogma is a dragon-given gift for fans of huge, open worlds. Think of a hybrid of Dark Souls‘ tough battles, Skyrim‘s open worlds and Kingdoms of Amalur‘s quickly accessible fighting system. If you don’t mind adventuring yourself instead of being guided by the game itself, if you can stomach some unexpected and sudden deaths in the wilderness and if you can overlook long loading times and occasional frame rate crashes and San Andreas like pop-ups, Dragon’s Dogma definitely is your kind of game.

Rabidgames is content: So far, Dragon’s Dogma has been even better than expected. Capcom really managed to create a fresh franchise. Taking into account the various reviews that said the game gets good after the first couple of hours, Rabidgames might well be a happy adventurer in Dragon’s Dogma’s world for quite a long, long time …