Late Night: True CRPG Confessions

lackblogger

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What were some of your favorite games from the 2000-ish "golden era" you speak of? I'm trying to remember what I was playing around that time, but I think I might have been mired in MMOs in general back then as nothing is jumping out at me.

My god, man, how long have you got :lol:

Oh well… deep breath and…

The triumvirate of the Infinity Engine games, that being the two Baldur's Gate games, the two Icewind Dale games and, of course, Planescape Torment.

Then there's Neverwinter Nights & it's universe, Divine Divinity, Jeff Vogel's Avernums, either original or remakes, all of which are truly epic games and masterpieces in their own right and I've only listed the specific ones I have found great joy in.

Of those that I wasn't fussed in, other landmark RPgames were also highly abundant, including but not limited to Diablo 2, both the Fallouts, Deus Ex, Wizardry 8, Arcanum, Bloodlines, Jagged Alliance 2, System Shock 2, the Gothic series, Morrowind.

And we're still just on RPGs, but the theme is continued across pretty much every single genere:

For Adventure Games there's all the Myst sequels, The Longest Journey, The Broken Sword series, the early Nancy Drew games, again, I'm only naming ones off the top of my head here.

For tactical games there was the fantastic Myth series, the Commandoes series, Robin Hood The Legend of Sherwood, Desperados, the Worms series, the Stronghold series, just dropping them right from instant recollection here.

For strategy gaming there was Civilisation 2 and 3, Alpha Centauri, the Heroes of Might and Magic series and in particular the stand-out HoMM III, the start of the Total War series, the Age of Wonders series, Starcraft, the Age of Empires series, please stop me if I'm going to fast for you.

And the start of the Grand Theft Auto series, Crash Bandicoot, Goldeneye, Half Life 2, Hitman, the Tomb Raider games, Resident Evil, Thief.

Oh yeah, and the city builders and the like, SimCity, the Caesar series, the Anno series, the Tropico series, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Theme Hospital, and my god I'm still forgetting shit loads of stuff. And I still haven't even discovered a huge amount of stuff for the first time.

I'll hit post and instantly regret not mentioning caseloads of landmark classics.

I'm still playing games from tht era as if they were newly released games and finding immense joy in game after game and in each game you can almost sense the joy the developers had in making all these products as they all ooze fun and experimentation out of every orifice.

You were playing MMOs? Like… forgettable trash? And you 'missed' all of this???? My god, man, but you have one of the most beautiful backlogs anyone could ever hope to have…

If you want me go specific on any one particular game or series I can use them also to further explain my premise, but for brevity's sake, I'll just take the Worms series as a golden example:

Worms 1 - came out in 1995 - poor graphics, miserable interface, terrible campaign mode, but a nice idea hampered only by the technology it was trapped in.

Worms 2 - 1997 and it's like a sea change. Amazing graphics, easy interface, interesting campaign mode, audible crisp sounds, but just as easy to learn but hard to master as its predecessor, nothing from Worms 1 has been 'sacrificed' to bring you a game that makes the previous entry entirely redundant.

Two more sequels that follow the same pattern of upgrading the joy while never sacrificing a single bit of complexity.

Worms 3d - 2003 and for some reason the game now has to be 3D instead of 2D because for no other reason than that is what everyone else is doing. It's like a husk of a game, or a completely different game entirely. The series instantly dropped from a guaranteed 8.5 standard series to a 7.0 forgettable sideshow series. The most complex thing about it being it's unwieldly and impossible UI.

Like a flash, true greatness shone out like beacon across innumerable game titles, as if someone had just cracked the ultimate gaming pinatar. Gone was the ugly impossible UIs and overly obtuse impossible games and suddenly we were knee deep in gaming perfection, so much so that one could try practically anything and have a reasonable expectation of gaming orgasms.

And then it all vanished one day in 2004 in a haze of 3D and game by committee design, and the stale old system of dire AAA garbage trains steamrolled everything into dull egregious putty. Games for dummies played by people who don't want to game but just want to 'interact' with something. Games where you could turn you head away and talk to someone for 5 minutes and when you turned back you'd still won the fight or completed the mission. Games like Oblivion, Call of Duty, Fable, Assassin's Creed, you know the kind of thing… complete dreck.
 
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My god, man, how long have you got :lol:

Oh well… deep breath and…

The triumvirate of the Infinity Engine games, that being the two Baldur's Gate games, the two Icewind Dale games and, of course, Planescape Torment.

Then there's Neverwinter Nights & it's universe, Divine Divinity, Jeff Vogel's Avernums, either original or remakes, all of which are truly epic games and masterpieces in their own right and I've only listed the specific ones I have found great joy in.

OK, so we have similar tastes in some games. I've played all of those - BG 1 & 2, Everything by Spiderweb software over the years, Neverwinter Nights I/II and DLC, Torment, Icewind Dale, etc. I never have played the original Divine Divinity, but I played OS 1&2.

I honestly think I just forgot that all those games came out right around 2000. :D

Of those that I wasn't fussed in, other landmark RPgames were also highly abundant, including but not limited to Diablo 2, both the Fallouts, Deus Ex, Wizardry 8, Arcanum, Bloodlines, Jagged Alliance 2, System Shock 2, the Gothic series, Morrowind.

Of these, I played everything you've listed here except Jagged Alliance 2. Deus Ex and System Shock 2 were less my types of games, but I loved W8, Bloodlines, and I consider Arcanum to be one of the best games of its kind to have been made so far. (I was also quite fond of Temple of Elemental Evil.)

And we're still just on RPGs, but the theme is continued across pretty much every single genere:

For Adventure Games there's all the Myst sequels, The Longest Journey, The Broken Sword series, the early Nancy Drew games, again, I'm only naming ones off the top of my head here.

The adventure games were really not my style, I've only played a few over the years.

For tactical games there was the fantastic Myth series, the Commandoes series, Robin Hood The Legend of Sherwood, Desperados, the Worms series, the Stronghold series, just dropping them right from instant recollection here.

For strategy gaming there was Civilisation 2 and 3, Alpha Centauri, the Heroes of Might and Magic series and in particular the stand-out HoMM III, the start of the Total War series, the Age of Wonders series, Starcraft, the Age of Empires series, please stop me if I'm going to fast for you.

Not at all! I loved Civ 2&3, still play C6 to this day. Loved HoMM, esp 3 yes, LOVED Age of Wonders 1-3 and played it compulsively with my wife in the early days of our marriage, I'm not too into "tactical" or 4X RTS games. I like my strategy games turn based in general. (The exception was the RTS Dune 2000 which I liked a lot.)

Huh I guess I played a lot more of the 2000 era gems than I thought. :)

And the start of the Grand Theft Auto series, Crash Bandicoot, Goldeneye, Half Life 2, Hitman, the Tomb Raider games, Resident Evil, Thief.

Meh here for me. GTA 4 and 5 were kinda cool, not really into the action nature of the others.

Oh yeah, and the city builders and the like, SimCity, the Caesar series, the Anno series, the Tropico series, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Theme Hospital, and my god I'm still forgetting shit loads of stuff. And I still haven't even discovered a huge amount of stuff for the first time.

These were fantastic!

You were playing MMOs? Like… forgettable trash? And you 'missed' all of this???? My god, man, but you have one of the most beautiful backlogs anyone could ever hope to have…

I will say that I made some friends in MMOs that I have to this day, so I don't feel like it was all "forgettable trash" but the gaming experience was more based on social interaction than the game itself. I played Dungeons & Dragons Online for years and had a lot of fun with it, made some great memories and met some fantastic people I still talk to, even though I no longer play the game.

And then it all vanished one day in 2004 in a haze of 3D and game by committee design, and the stale old system of dire AAA garbage trains steamrolled everything into dull egregious putty. Games for dummies played by people who don't want to game but just want to 'interact' with something. Games where you could turn you head away and talk to someone for 5 minutes and when you turned back you'd still won the fight or completed the mission. Games like Oblivion, Call of Duty, Fable, Assassin's Creed, you know the kind of thing… complete dreck.

As somebody who really doesn't like the 3D-isation of gaming, who preferred isometric games like BG 1 & 2 etc., I agree with a lot of that. I liked Oblivion, though I found the level scaling to be annoying.
 
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I've never got more than a third into The Witcher 1! I bought the collector's edition with all the books and stuff, so I've made a few attempts at getting into it.
I don't even own Witcher 3 :(

Weirdly, I played the Witcher 1 and 2 and thought they were OK, but I didn't like the Witcher 3. I have it, and the DLC, but I just can't really get into it. I have no idea why but I generally don't "force entertainment" on myself :D
 
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lackblogger

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I played Dungeons & Dragons Online for years and had a lot of fun with it, made some great memories and met some fantastic people I still talk to, even though I no longer play the game.

I shall page @Corwin; for you in case you change your mind.
 
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Corwin

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Yes, we have our own RPGWatch Guild on Khyber server to which every registered forum member is welcome!! :)
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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I can recommend the DDO RPGWatch guild !



Regarding games, there are actually very, very, very few games which I have actually finished. Most of them were so much diametral to my own taste even within the fist few hours that that abamdoned them even very early. PS:T is such a case, Pillars Of Eternity I is a very similar case, Baldur's Gate 2 as well.

What all these 3 games have in common in being extraordinarily effective in chasing me away are :

- almost obsessive focus on death - be it with the main protagonist or party members or the whole environment
- so dark coloured that I can only play then in the night - grimdark colouring
- dreadful beginning - dreadful story overall
- no humour
- some other RPGs are too difficult for me

The only RPG I can say to have finished within these last 10 years is Drakensang 2 … and that without the expansion. Drakensang 1 is very close, only the end fight is missing.

At one point I have switched over into MMORPGs, as these seemed to fit into my personal taste so much better (DDO & SWTOR).

As long as I cannot find any game in the style of Drakensang 2 , I won't play any.

The next game I'll try out is Naheulbeuk, or how it is spelled. It's beginning is very complex, though, which also drives me away.

I prefer good stories - not dreadful ones ! - over battles in games.
 
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Philistine

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@Alrik Fassbauer; I never understood why you don't play jrpgs. I think a lot of them have what you are looking for.
 
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Zloth

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I finish most my games. Not all, though.

I tried to go through Morrowind twice. I don't think I ever made it half way through.

I've never played a "gold box" game.

The only Bard's Tale I've played is 4 and that game's combat got too dull for me (though the music was awesome).

The only Wizardry I've played was 8 and I didn't get through all of it.

I never got through Arx Fatalis. I tried Arx Fatalis for the 2nd time a few months ago. I can't get through it! Got to the "castle" after escaping the jail cell and the level below but can't get back through the second level. I know I got further than that way back when I first played it.
 
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Caddy

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We need more games like Out Of This World / Another World. Just enough detail and length to be memorable, but short enough that everyone can finish it.
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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@Alrik Fassbauer; I never understood why you don't play jrpgs. I think a lot of them have what you are looking for.

It is just not my graphics style. That's purely a matter of taste in my case. Nothing more.

What I do not understand, however, is, why no-one has tried so far to do an jrpg in medieval european graphics style (but with much lighter colouring, of course).
 
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Couchpotato

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It is just not my graphics style. That's purely a matter of taste in my case. Nothing more.

What I do not understand, however, is, why no-one has tried so far to do an jrpg in medieval european graphics style (but with much lighter colouring, of course).
Sounds like you never played the Dragon Quest games?

Link - https://store.steampowered.com/curator/26522447-Dragon-Quest-on-PC/list/31737

Also plenty of other older JRPGs on older consoles & Steam.:)

Link - https://www.slant.co/topics/5874/~jrpgs-on-steam
 
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JFarrell71

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It is just not my graphics style. That's purely a matter of taste in my case. Nothing more.

What I do not understand, however, is, why no-one has tried so far to do an jrpg in medieval european graphics style (but with much lighter colouring, of course).

Because Japanese people aren't europeans?
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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No, I mean, there's a difference between Drakensang graphics style and JRPG graphics style.
Or, to put it differently, there is a difference between Asterix, Lucky Luke or Tintin comics graphics style and U.S. comics graphics style and Japanese Manga graphics style.

Regarding JRPGs, I just can't stand these big eyes, for example. And these hair styles. And cat ears. As I said, it's a matter of taste in my case. Drakensang looks completely different. It has a competely different graphics style.
 
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JFarrell71

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No, I mean, there's a difference between Drakensang graphics style and JRPG graphics style.
Or, to put it differently, there is a difference between Asterix, Lucky Luke or Tintin comics graphics style and U.S. comics graphics style and Japanese Manga graphics style.

Regarding JRPGs, I just can't stand these big eyes, for example. And these hair styles. And cat ears. As I said, it's a matter of taste in my case. Drakensang looks completely different. It has a competely different graphics style.

That's all obvious. What's not obvious is why you "do not understand" why JPRGs, made almost entirely by Japanese companies, don't use a medieval European art style.
 
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Yeah, the Dragon Quest games (I started the latest one on Steam) are pretty standard medieval/fantasy style art. Art is subjective, though, so I get why some people might not prefer Eastern styles. It's like not preferring pepperoni on pizza. To each their own. (I like extra cheese, myself.)

And Bard's Tale 4 had AWESOME music, I don't think I've ever enjoyed a soundtrack more in a game. Just perfect, environmentally appropriate music that really set the mood. I think that was my favorite part about the game until they remade it with the "screw all the puzzles" mode, which is when I finally was bothered to play it and beat it. Not a big fan of "puzzles" ...
 
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crpgnut

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Ok, my confession: I rarely make it to late night. In bed by 9 is not unusual.

Hmmm game confessions: I am very unlikely to finish a game. I'm all about starting over and don't care if I see the end credits. That said, I've finished Skyrim, Fallout 4, Fallout 3, Oblivion, Risen 3, Two Worlds II, every Might and Magic well not that last stupid dungeon in IX, every Wizardry, Icewind Dale, Fallout, Blade of Destiny, Path of Exile, Diablo III, Dungeon Siege II, FNV, Deus Ex, and DEHR and probably a couple hundred others. I would estimate that I game more than most folks that have a 40+ hour work week.

I was an avid supporter of shareware back in the day and I support EA to the tune of a couple grand a year. Note: a lot of this is purchasing friend copies too. I've written music, dialog, and have done minor amounts of voice acting in games. If you look really hard and at really obscure stuff you might even find it, but I wouldn't waste my time if I were you :biggrin: I do a ton of beta testing/bug hunting.

I've been crpgnut for 24 years. I had a few nicknames before this, but it seems to be a weird stat. I know for a fact that @Corwin; has been online even longer than me with the same nick!
 
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