RPGWatch Feature - Black Geyser Review

lackblogger

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To be perfectly honest, I find the review way too positive

And I'm going to find your post way too negative, if I'm perfectly honest. Which is ironic, as I do highlight negativities, where as you don't care to highlight any positives. As if you imagine the game to be a completely devoid blank screen with just the words "fuck-you" embossed on a permanent loading screen. Which is absurd.

as some of games most glaring issues aren't even mentioned or downplayed:

Really? Let's have at it then:

One thing the review completely leaves out is the absolutely atrocious ability bar. It's so bad and wastes so much of your time that it made me uninstall the entire game almost on its own

You 'almost' uninstalled a game because you didn't like something about the ability bar? Ok bro, *steps slowly back and looks for a potential exit, just in case* Well, erm, er, what can I say. I guess I shall endeavour to find out what your gripe about it was:

here's a copy-paste of mine from the game's forum:

The standard in games like this is to have one bar (or multiple ones that can be toggled) which can contain all your "usable" skills, items, etc. and you can arrange as you see fit.

Is it? I can't say I've ever arranged my ability bars in any 'games like these', ever. Never even crossed my mind. How on earth did some optional personal UI tinkering suddenly become you're big uninstall issue?

And that post actually found a lot of people had the same qualms with it before it was drowned by other posts with other issues in less than a day…

I guess not all of them consider it a rage inducing uninstall issue. Sure, it's always nice to have options in games, the more the merrier as they say. But uninstall because of it? I dunno, maybe drink less coffee? or Cocaine? Or whatever it is?

If you spend most of the time in the already super short battles fighting not the enemy, but the UI, something foul is afoot.

I'm going to hold this sentence back for use in a later reply where you mention another 'big flaw' with the game.

Talking about battles, another issue is that the game is just WAY too easy. You have all these theoretically awesome tools for combat with brewing and buffs and debuffs and abilities and magic… but practically all fights are over in less than 10 seconds with just standard attacks and maybe an occasional spell. All of those additional mechanics seem superfluous.

Ah, here it is, I shall now reply to your uninstall rant about the ability bar here. So, let me get this straight, your two biggest complaints are that:

1. The ability bar has no customisation options and is therefor too 'clunky' for you to physically cope with.

and

2. The combat is so easy that practically all fights are over in less than 10 seconds.

Hmmm. I'm sure it doesn't take a genius to the see the immediate contradiction here.

So, erm, if you're barely ever required to use the ability bar, how have you become so frustrated by it since you rarely have to use it anyway. Something smells fishy here, and it ain't the stolen fish side quest.

I was also swimming in gold after barely 8 hours of playtime - I know the player swimming in gold near the mid-end game is par for the course for games of this style, but this fast?!

Well done you. If only the game had a mechanic which had a plot-related use for any excess gold you collect. Hmmm. I wonder. Oh, yes, it does!

And that's on the Hard difficulty, I don't even want to know what the lower ones do.

There are four difficulty settings, are you referring to the third or fourth setting? Not that it matters, it just shows your preference for supplying as little detail as possible while maximising your preference for rantology.

Automatic story mode? I find it interesting that the author even had the motivation to play through it completely on normal.
The story isn't bad, but really not THAT intriguing, either.

I have no magical ability to know what you do and do not consider interesting when it comes to computer game stories. But I do now know that you weren't taking the least bit of interest in the setting from the get go if one of your complaints is "I have too much gold during the early game". But then I have no idea what "8 hours in" means in an open world'ish kind of game where bee-lining the main quest is vastly different in term of time to completionist exploration. Did you play the whole 8 hours with the Benny Hill button turned on? Who the fuck knows. And who the fuck cares anyway whether you personally don't like carrying gold in RPGs.

I do agree that the combat would be better if the game had more monsters to encounter, as mentioned in the review, as it's normally the monsters who have unique immunities and more unique powers than simply to-hit and armour class. The potential here is seen late in the game, as mentioned in the review. You'll notice that was in the 'negatives' section of my supposedly over-positive review.

I also found the class system somewhat lacking.
All wizardly classes are basically the same, with the only difference being a somewhat different spell selection. It's more or less the specialized wizard classes from BG1 - at that point, why not just have one class instead?

Are you really asking why Baldur's Gate 1 had specialised wizard classes rather than just 'wizards'?

You pick "Necromancer" and think "cool! I'll get to have minions!", except you are really just a normal wizard casting normal spells and your "minions" last like a handful of seconds in battle before they unsummon themselves.

Yes, in this game they did something differently. Summons last for a few turns instead of lots of turns or until dead. Oooo. Different! And yet, oh dear, your previous point was "oh no, it did something the same as another game, big rage". Ho-hum.

Wow, we really discussed the rage inducing nature of the class system there didn't we, I mean we went through the whole entire Wizard section! Case closed!

There are also no feats that would allow you to customize your class somewhat. Leveling up feels empty, as all you do is add a few % to the same things every single time you level up, and sometimes selecting a spell/ability which then gets marred by you rarely needing those and the UI issues.
Even BG1 had more impact when you could add a dot to proficiencies.

Feats didn't exist until 3rd edition. AD&D was more bare bones at level up. As mentioned in the review, that is supposedly not coving the things you wanted covering. If you feel adding a dot is more impactful than adding numerical numbers, what can I say, hooray for you. I mean, you're factually wrong, this game has 'more to do on level up' for some classes than old AD&D, but who's to stop you getting orgasms over dots rather than numbers. Life does take all sorts, which is a good thing. Three cheers for the dots, hip-hip!

It's not worse than the BG1/2 D&D implementation all in all, but really not better, either. I find that cRPGs of this kind need more meat on their bones nowadays to be interesting.

Hmm, I get the impression here that you're not overly invested in the idea of enjoying RTwP type IE-likes anyway. Like, you know, that 45th line of cocaine just doesn't hit like that first one did, huh.

Fewer, but more distinct classes would have been a much better choice.

I disagree.

Also "Surprisingly, bugs don't play too much of a role in this game." is just flat out wrong.
I'm happy the author didn't have many of them, but a lot of people are having a lot of very serious bugs.

Yes, it's difficult to write about things you don't experience. Write what you know, that's the old saying isn't it.

For me, for example, the entire screen would occasionally appear in LSD-trip-like colors, which could only be fixed by many reloads - and you know about the loading times already.

Ooo, that's a rare one. Nice find. Did you attempt to find out how rare it was before trying to murder the game for it?

Also, just because a bug doesn't cause the game to crash doesn't make it minor. A bug that forces you to reload to fix it is not "minor", either. This is (at least officially) not early access anymore.

Really stretching now huh. Trying to think of another bug you had that might be common to others? Nope, just trying to make an appeal to semantics regarding the occasional but of sticky UI pop-up.

I also see the potential in the game, and the devs are actively patching, but the lack of response or communication regarding the real big issues of the game is somewhat discouraging.

There is a dev replying to most steam issues, as you are aware as one posted to your almost illegible rantathon only the other day. But, of course, you didn't rush to tell us.
 
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TheSHEEEP

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And I'm going to find your post way too negative, if I'm perfectly honest.
Holy shit, you have to be the most thin-skinned drama queen I've witnessed in a while.
Anything but praise is a personal attack on you, huh?
Must be pretty hard being close to you without really good sucking up skills…

Which is ironic, as I do highlight negativities, where as you don't care to highlight any positives. As if you imagine the game to be a completely devoid blank screen with just the words "fuck-you" embossed on a permanent loading screen. Which is absurd.
That's because I did not write a review. Duh!
Why would I need to mention the positives you already did (that I don't disagree with btw)?
I just mentioned some of the negatives you conveniently left out or never noticed, those that were particularly disturbing to me.

You 'almost' uninstalled a game because you didn't like something about the ability bar?
Yes. Because I have no time to waste on games that very much waste my time with stuff that annoy the hell out of me.

That you are so hung on up on my analysis of why the ability bar in this game is terrible is honestly just weird.

Is it? I can't say I've ever arranged my ability bars in any 'games like these', ever. Never even crossed my mind.
That just tells me that you have a very limited experience in RPGs.
Free arrangement of "usables" in bars in addition to multiple bars is a standard in the genre, easily seen in probably hundreds of games by now from NWN to D:OS to BG3 to MMORPGs to….
And standards are standards for a reason in games - they work, and many people that know the genre prefer them to work like that.
Maybe you don't - good for you, but doesn't make my points any less valid.

Not going more into detail than this because you completely failed your reading comprehension with what I wrote. Or willfully misconstructed every single point and meaning into handy strawmen to tear down.
Probably due to your awkward rage at someone daring to have a different opinion or criticizing you or your darling.

Maybe take a step back and breathe next time before going all drama queen on people?

I made a post under a blog criticizing your lack of negatives in the review (small hint, the game sits at 60% recent positive reviews, you don't get that low without messing some stuff up seriously…).
Never meant to be taken as a full analysis of the game's numerous flaws in all detail.

Either way, I see little point in putting more effort in just to supply you with more straw to set on fire.

There are four difficulty settings, are you referring to the third or fourth setting? Not that it matters, it just shows your preference for supplying as little detail as possible while maximising your preference for rantology.
I said Hard. I meant Hard. It is called "Hard". Why would I need to list the names of other difficulties? Again, not writing a review.
You don't even know what the difficulties of the game you reviewed are called? Ouch! ;)

Btw… "my" preference for rantology?
I mean, I love to rant, but you clearly blow me out of the water here… I take my hat.
 
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Nereida

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Well, that's one poor, biased and atrociously structured review, if I ever saw one.

Apologies beforehand for not joining the herd of +1's and having my own opinion.
 

lackblogger

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thin-skinned drama queen sucking up skills I have no time to waste waste my time with stuff that annoy the hell out of me so hung on up on just weird limited experience in RPGs NWN to D:OS to BG3 to MMORPGs to standards standards for a reason many people doesn't make my points any less valid
Not going more into detail than this failed your reading comprehension willfully misconstructed every single point strawmen awkward rage a different opinion your darling step back and breathe all drama queen numerous flaws little point in putting more effort in straw to set on fire blow me out of the water my hat.

Sorry, what?
 
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lackblogger

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Well, that's one poor, biased and atrociously structured review, if I ever saw one.

Apologies beforehand for not joining the herd of +1's and having my own opinion.

Thanks for your opinion.
 
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arthureloi

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I will join Nereida and sheep in the opinion that this is a terrible review. Extremely biased, poorly written and organized. There's not much to salvage here.
 
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rune_74

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So....this is what the rpg watch is now? Snipes and sillyiness?
 
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bjon045

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I think it would be much more useful if they posted an alternative view rather than just poke holes for sure.

Personally I just started playing (3 hours in) and I am certainly enjoying it. There is some jank for sure but I find myself agreeing with many points of the review already. The ability bar is certainly oldschool more BGate1 than kingmaker!

I am really liking the graphics and world design. I find the sounds acceptable.

Fights do seem somewhat basic but the isn't really detracting from the overall experience much yet.
 
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Couchpotato

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I can simply sum it up the game as a poor mans alternative to Baldur's Gate or Pillars of Eternity. That's not bad for a small budget first game developer. No sir it isn't.

Two areas I wish it was improved was the GUI and crafting.

Pick it up on a sale you will probably enjoy it.:)
 
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vanedor

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Two areas I wish it was improved was the GUI and crafting.

Personally, I don't care much about crafting. I always find this somewhat silly in RPGs anyhow. But the GUI definitely needs some improvement... And so does combats that almost feel like some game story mode.
 
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Andrew23

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Personally, I don't care much about crafting. I always find this somewhat silly in RPGs anyhow. But the GUI definitely needs some improvement… And so does combats that almost feel like some game story mode.

I also dont appreciate crafting if its implemented as timesink to extend gameplay or moneysink to regulate game economy. But I actually like it if its limited and meaningful. Like in BG2 where it was possible to find parts of the equipment and smith put it together to get some of the best pieces in the game.
 
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vanedor

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I also dont appreciate crafting if its implemented as timesink to extend gameplay or moneysink to regulate game economy. But I actually like it if its limited and meaningful. Like in BG2 where it was possible to find parts of the equipment and smith put it together to get some of the best pieces in the game.

Yeah, I have to agree with this. BG2 is one of the few rare games that made it right. It makes sense. Just like they made it right for the keep management. They didn't try to do a too complex strategic layer.
 
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lackblogger

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I can simply sum it up the game as a poor mans alternative to Baldur's Gate or Pillars of Eternity.

While I fully agree with the rest of your post, I'm not a fan of this kind of terminology.

Poor man's? Not really. It's not some half-baked steam asset flip or budget one-man mod type deal. This is a normal looking game that someone who is not specifically expert on all RPG games ever made would assume is a normal AA title.

alternative? Not really. Another game in the same vein, and that is all really.

And then combining those two phrases with the implication that BG1 and PoE1 are somehow automatically 'richer?' seems like over the top opinion really.

As if the only audience for this is people who want a 'worse' BG1 or PoE1. When the reality is that this game is unique enough to stand on it's own with regard to game-to-game comparison and can be compared to many and varied titles, and that I'm a good example of someone who might be put-off by comparisons to those games but actually found this game to be much more entertaining than those games.

I know what you're saying, but I find that framing of the rest of your narrative to be unduly patronising and, from my point of view, not very accurate.
 
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Andrew23

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So….this is what the rpg watch is now? Snipes and sillyiness?

One would expect that if you want to get slapped by your review, written in spare time, for fun of it, you should publish it on codex, but here we are. Also its possible that "friendly feedback" means different things to different people, in that case I surely deserve "friendly correction".
 
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largh

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Why is every RPGWatch review I can find always giving "Very good" (I assume 4/5) as the overall score? Because all games watchers bother to review are very good?
 
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JDR13

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Why is every RPGWatch review I can find always giving "Very good" (I assume 4/5) as the overall score? Because all games watchers bother to review are very good?

I think it's a combination of that and some Watchers having subpar tastes. ;)
 
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lackblogger

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Why is every RPGWatch review I can find always giving "Very good" (I assume 4/5) as the overall score? Because all games watchers bother to review are very good?

The nature of the process.

Since no-one's paid to do it, it'll likely to be games the person has enjoyed and wants to write more about. If someone didn't enjoy the game how would they get to the stage of reviewing it?

One the review has been made, the site demands a score to be selected. 5/5 will be rare because, well, it's doubtful the game will be perfect, and who trusts people who give perfect scores anyway. But the 3/5 option's wording suggests there's a lot wrong with the game, which, again, would be unlikely if the person got all the way to a review.

Hate reviews might be possible, but we haven't really had games that are so bad that they're actually enjoyable to hate review since the Dragon Age II era.
@forgottenlor;e had a phase where he approached it sort of like a job and tried to review every indy game he tried, giving out a few 3/5s, but, as you can imagine, the motivation to keep doing that wasn't very strong.
 
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bkrueger

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Why is every RPGWatch review I can find always giving "Very good" (I assume 4/5) as the overall score? Because all games watchers bother to review are very good?
I assume the explanation is simple: People who review games here are volunteers. So they only review games, which they have completed, and they only complete games, which they like.

To change that you would have to pay people for first completing and then reviewing also the games they don't like. Or you need to find some masochists who do that for fun.

Edit: Lackblogger already said something similar, while I was writing my post.
 
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Nereida

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I said it before and I'll say it again. One does not go to jail for having poor taste in video games. Which is the proper way to say what others disguise with polite canned statements like "tastes are a personal thing" or "if you're having fun, and you're not hurting anyone, then it's all good".

A lot of poor tastes around here, but they are not harming anyone, so knock yourself out.

That's until they try to force sell those poor tastes as the superior ones, but I suspect those people are not only like that around videogames, and luckily they can't get away with it for the last few decades or so.

Black Geyser is a poor game that just uses a formula that a certain type of player likes. To some, that's enough, and I'm fine with it.
 
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