Sunday, 6 October 2013

Amalur, Pokémon Ranger, Geneforge

Been a little while, so here's a little update.

Yesterday I beat Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It some ways it was a disappointment; the game world is beautiful, but everything else feels hollow. The characters, while sometimes having well-written dialogue, are rather flat. The game's typical smattering of Elf, Dwarf, Human does not serve the setting at all, and I feel it was somewhat a waste of the creators' talents. The combat is fun, but becomes repetitive fast, because even on Normal difficulty the enemies take forever to die unless I get a couple of critical hits. It took longer to clear some standard groups of enemies than it did to beat the final bosses! Nevertheless, it was quite fun, and I might revisit it again with a different build (I played almost entirely Finesse) or difficulty level some time.

I didn't even mention that I'd started playing Pokémon Ranger almost immediately after finishing Diamond. I'm still not thrilled with the idea after giving it a few hours, though it's short enough that at least it won't be a major blight on my life or anything. Drawing rings around the Pokémon is haphazard; it's difficult to tell exactly how long the capture line will be and even the tiniest movement can ruin it. Some bosses seem unfairly difficult to capture and require furious stylus use to pull off. Minun's partner power trumps everything else, so anything non-boss is a pointless waste of time. I'm Ranger Level 8, so there isn't much of the main game to go, but I would like that Manaphy egg to give to Diamond!

Biff's adventures through Geneforge continue, and the world gets more and more interesting. I feel like if Big Huge Games had asked the Spiderweb Software guys to write the plot instead, they would have turned out a truly excellent game! I'm torn between carrying as many supplies as possible and selling big chunks of them so I can pick up new stuff. The combat is brutal; it's starting to get hard to keep creations alive (I'm playing a Guardian, which aren't that great at shaping) and they don't hit enemies too hard, though my own damage is ridiculous. I'm not regretting joining up with the Awakened at all; they seem to be the most reasonable of the lot, though I was disappointed that I couldn't ask Ellhrah to do something about Astrov, but I guess he wasn't in anywhere near as good a position to help as Rydell is.

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