We’ve added a couple of our other long-term projects to Voidspiral. Pixol is in the process of being ported to Android, and we’re finally working the kinks out of Exonomicon: The Ritual. Bounce on over and check them out.
Also, we’re in the process of getting some Trello boards up to date with our backlog of projects, so people can see where we’re at.
A while back, in July, we posted about a game called Don’t take it personally babe, it just ain’t your story. What we didn’t realize at the time is that the game was created for a “contest” of sorts called NaNoRenO. NaNoRenO is the visual novel version of NaNoWriMo, which we are now in the process of wrapping up. Due to DTPB, we started working on our own visual novels, specifically the ones in the world of Poethulu (terrible name subject to change). After working on The Ritual and The Darkness Cannot Touch Her, we heard about NaNoWriMo and decided to enter. Recently, we spotted a game called Digital, A Love Story, which was made by the same person as DTPB. We realized that the game was created for NaNoRenO, bringing us full circle.
Have you been on the “Internet” in the last 5 years? Yes? Obviously. Then this game will appeal to you. Chock full of cultural references, internet humor and a cutting sense of wit, DTPB was recently talked about in a very interesting Gamasutra Article. And for good reason. The game is a very thought provoking game, both content-wise and narrative-wise.
I reviewed Final Fantasy XIV a few months ago when the game was still relatively new and was mostly not impressed by what I saw. Go here to read my first review. Now that Square Enix has made a number of updates, I wanted to review the game for a second time.
I have been putting off this review for the past month, hoping that I could find some interest and fun in FFXIV, but I am giving up at this point. To be brutally honest, I feel kind of cheated about this game. Square had a good opportunity to make a beautiful and interesting game, but instead released a half finished game that is not really worth the time and money that I am spending.
To be fair, there are a few things that I like. The variety of choices that is included in character customization is wonderful. I really enjoyed making different characters and tweaking their looks. I enjoyed it so much, I would just keeping making characters over and over if that was the only thing to do. I also am in awe of the gorgeous scenery and cut scenes in the game (another reason I enjoy making new characters over and over.) There is an enormous level of detail put into the art in this game and it is the only reason I keep coming back.
The list of what I don’t like is unfortunately more extensive and is best presented in bullet points.
Getting anywhere is time consuming and tedious. There is too much open, empty space in this game. Sure, the scenery is pretty, but that doesn’t alleviate the boredom after a few hours of playing.
Combat is also very tedious, partially because enemies are few and far between and most because there is not a large variety of enemies in the game. I can only kill so many star marmots before losing interest in combat.
Gathering isn’t so bad…just a little time consuming. I guess I don’t have much to say about gathering, which says something about gathering. Meh.
Crafting is completely annoying. First, you have to find the right ingrediants (which are either scattered across the entire world or extremely expensive). This often involves a large amount of work to track down everything needed, plus having a bunch of friends who specialize in other crafts. Then, you have to make the parts of the item–spin the thread, make ingots, etc–and hope that doesn’t blow up in your face. Then, assemble the thing, once again hoping that it does blow up in your face. In the end, it is usually less expensive to take the time to search through the markets (see below) and buy the item. Plus, things like this happen: (http://www.arcandio.com/2010/11/ffxiv.html)
The markets are confusing. At least you don’t have to stand around selling things yourself, but it is impossible to locate anything. You could spend an hour clicking on individual retainers and still come away without finding one item that you need.
I can’t sort my items. Why can’t I sort my items?
And much more….
I am aware that Square has promised to fix a number of these issues, but I really don’t feel like I should have to wait about 4 months to be able to sort my items. I would much rather have purchased a complete game in 2011. If you haven’t bought this game yet, save your money. Check on it in early 2011, maybe it will be worth the investment then. If not, try Kitsu Saga instead.
Here it is, Vindictus, yet another game published by Nexon. I was hoping it wasn’t going to smell too badly of cash shopitis, but I was disappointed. Vindictus, previously titled “Mabinogi Heroes” is a pretty standard fare in terms of a fantasy setting with all of the accompanying themes. You choose one of three characters (soon to be more, and hopefully won’t require a cash shop purchase), a female magician, a male dual-wielder, and a female sword-and-shield fighter. You are immediately thrust into a tutorial session once confirming your character selection. It involves a giant spider, which is apparently the city guardian, that is going berserk and must be defeated while treading the halls of the bell tower.
Character customization once the tutorial is concluded is rather impressive. You are still locked into your gender and class role, but an array of options can be tailored to suit your particular style. The areas you can customize are height, bulk, chest/bust size, eyes, eye color, hair style, hair color, facial features. Once again though, most of the avatar items are locked until you purchase them in the avatar cash shop.
The city layout of the game is also pretty impressive. It easily could have been just a series of menus to navigate through, but they have a small(ish) city framework you can interact with others in. When you enter buildings for in-game purchases or quest gathering, it is quite anime-like in its presentation. A fully detailed 2d rendering of the speaking character is shown with a panning camera displaying a 3d model of the interior with a menu overlay.
Into combat, the visuals of the game still remain rather impressive. The characters feel like they have weight and react accordingly when hit. Most items are destructible in some form or another, such as stone pillars. Pillars can be destroyed through repeateded hacking with sword or shield. A few of the resulting pieces can be picked up and hurled at enemies, which deal a nice amount of damage. Be careful though, if you don’t hit the pillar correctly, the debris may fall on you instead! Even with all of the extra destructible and interactive items, the game feels similar to Dynasty Warriors. While you are not hewing through wave after wave of soldier minions, it is still quite repetitive to maim gnoll clones.
I like the direction the last class went in with the Demonhunter. I would really prefer a single crossbow to dual hand crossbows, but meh, she still looks good slaying demons with their own teeth. It has nothing to do with the fact that I played Hellgate: London recently. BEWARE the explosive bola launcher!!!