Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Game Diary - Besieged by RPG's

I went on something of an RPG spending spree recently, picking up a whole bunch for the Xbox 360 that have been out for a while and are now nice and affordable.  I had played some of this a fair amount beforehand via my Lovefilm subscription but never got around to purchasing a copy for myself.  The full list is as follows: Blue Dragon, Infinite Undiscovery, The Last Remnant, Lost Odyssey, The First Templar, Venetica and Two Worlds II: Royal Edition.

This last one cost a bit more than the others, but the luxury Royal Edition from Amazon actually cost £5 less than the standard version.  It turned up in a huge box which contained a large plastic figurine of one of the characters, and a drawer containing a map, art book, mouse mat, playing cards, some codes for extra content, a bonus DVD and of course the game itself.  I've been playing around with the game for around 5 hours now and despite being a little hard to get into to start with due to the overwhelming size of the Savannah you get to explore and the large amount of hostile wildlife, I have to say I am quite impressed.  Obviously console RPG players have been somewhat spoiled over the last few months by Skyrim, but I have put that game on hold until patch 1.4 is rolled out (should be any day now) and all the quests that I am having issues with are fixed.  In the meantime Two Worlds II and a couple of other titles will tide me over quite nicely.

The other titles I'm referring to are Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, and the upcoming Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. I have recently picked up FFXIII again after getting distracted by other things during the busy Autumn/Winter season, and this time I plan to see it through to the end.  I have also just received my copy of the sequel, and I can't leave a new game unplayed even if I haven't finished the previous game.  I did get the gist of what happens at the end of XIII but not the finer details, so I will still enjoying seeing how things play out for the l'cie. This may be a fairly controversial thing to say, but I think FFXIII is my second favourite Final Fantasy after XII.  I love the stunning visuals, the amazing soundtrack, the cast of characters and the story.  It is very compelling and has kept me coming back for more, despite taking a fairly lengthy break.  My first impressions of the follow up are very favourable as well - the time travel conceit and monster training aspect both add a nice new twist to the mechanics despite being used many times before in other games, and I'm starting to like the new character Noel.  I have to put the game aside now until I finish the first part, but I am looking forward to playing more of it.

I'm also really looking to the release of Kingdoms of Amalur this Friday - this game has been on my radar for quite some time and after checking out the demo about a month ago I am confident it will deliver a unique RPG experience different enough in style and game play from Skyrim, so that fantasy fatigue does not become an issue. The way the demo played reminds me of Fable, in a good way, but looking at the range of options on offer in the various skill trees shows it to have rather more depth. I will do my best to return soon with reviews of at least some, if not all of the games I've mentioned here.