(… or are there any existent?)
I am a huge fantasy fan – I like good fantasy movies, TV series, books or games. The last two are easy to find, but same doesn’t count for the first two. I was always attracted to different kinds of pen’n’paper role playing systems such as Dungeons & Dragons, I’ve read tons of gamebooks (time, which should be probably well spent doing some better and useful stuff), but my current experience with real pen’n’paper RPGs ends with playing only 3 gaming sessions of ‘Endival’ (the first Bulgarian pen’n’paper RPG)…
… until my friends and I found out as already grown men the guilty pleasure of playing board games – Small World, The Settlers of Catan, Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition). And, as I already wrote, my friends and I are slowly but steadily turning (no, we are not werewolves) into old grumpy men, whose life is full with the joy of working late or on shifts, life where wife and kids always should and have priority and where doing the home work along with the gf, fiancée or wife is a must. As you see, the time left for being werewolf… I mean knight, smuggler, sorcerer or great ruler is not that much, as anyone would love to.
Recently we are playing Descent: Journeys in the Dark (a review in progress). We’re managing to get together about every second week for about 4 – 5 hours playing sessions. Time, which most of us don’t find enough to please our hunger for adventure or to kick the Overlord’s butt, to get all of the best gear or just to slay countless times Overlord’s minions. Getting together is a though task – board games should not be priority in real life, but just a pleasant way to be with the friends and have couple of beers.
And so next workweek is coming and we could not continue looting chests or being terrorized by the Overlord for a good week or two and the hunger for more of the same grows. And so I start to wonder how I could feed it.
As there are no such PC or console games! End of story! There is not a single video game (with or without internet connection required), which could bring the emotions of playing together with the lads. Because I am not with them – face to face. If I like, I could not slap the Overlord, which is a huge pleasure loss. So, in order to make it possible, I should accept that I need to play over the net or versus AI. Before someone starts to point at several such game, I should tell you that I am a huge WRPG (western role-playing games) fan. JRPGs, or the typical Japanese RPGs (Final Fantasy series for example) are not for my taste – starting with anime and going all through lots of tearful melodrama. You can tell me that I am prejudiced, you might be right, but it is how I see these types of games.
So, it seems I am looking for a strategic/tactical/turn-based (grid) WRPG – with good setting, story/plot, world and quests, main hero development, stats, skills and gear. It should not be old or at least it should be played at 720p so I don’t ‘grow’ my already ‘well grown’ near-sightedness. And of course it should be either for PC or PS3 – the gaming platforms I currently own. Google, as a good old lad is here and holds my hand for the right direction. Here is a list of what it told me:
– XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PC/PS3) – ok, we might have a direct winner, except setting is not fantasy;
– The Last Remnant (PC) – looks like JRPG with mediocre at best review scores;
– Silent Storm (PC) – again, setting problems for me;
– Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes (PC) – good setting, humor, but again – low scoring reviews, but I will have it in mind in a moment of utter despair;
– Valkyria Chronicles (PS3) – if we don’t count the anime and setting it looks like a gorgeous game. I might think about it if I get it for a reasonable price;
– Avernum – Escape From the Pit (PC) – it might be the winner – a good indie game. Only not so appealing because of the visuals and no voice over and other goodies and luxuries of modern gaming;
– Rainbow moon (PSN) – it actually is what I am looking for, a bit afraid it might turn into a JRPG grind fest;
– Dungeonland (PC) – (Coming on 29.01.2013.) – not a tactical RPG, but looking so much like playing board games, nice art and funny atmosphere. Added instantly to my Steam whishlist.
So I knowingly avoid classics as Temple of elemental evil, Icewind dale, Neverwinter nights, Baldur’s gate, Dragon age (1), Arcanum – I just don’t think they fall under these categories or I have already played some of them.
And so the ‘drama’ goes on – what should I play? Ideas?
P.S. I just found out Chaos Chronicles (http://store.steampowered.com/app/223120/) – it might be the answer of my pleas – we will find out as developers say – early 2013.
My best bet goes for Q1, but having in mind that they’ve just recently released a trailer, it might pop up Q2 2013 or even on later stage, who knows.