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Matewis: Prepare for LOTS of reading, even for an infinity engine game! ;) Thankfully it's all excellent though (possibly the best I've ever seen in a game), and it's against a background of some incredible tunes.
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timppu: Yeah, so I've heard... Let's see if I will like that (lots of reading) because generally I prefer my RPGs like how Minsc in Baldur's Gate put it: "Less talk, more fight.". Which is why I generally liked the Icewind Dale RPGs.

At the same time though, I did enjoy the characters and NPCs in e.g. Baldur's Gate 2, so...

Once in the past, many years ago, I did install and ran Planescape: Torment, so at least I know the protagonist apparently wakes up (from dead?) in some kind of mortuary. The setting did feel quite different from Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate...
Oh yeah it's a very weird setting, but they clearly put a lot of effort into giving form to its madness. I found myself completely fascinated by it all. I only played through it for the first time a few years ago, as part of a larger infinity engine project aiming to play through all the titles in sequence. But that project's been on ice for some time :P Haven't mustered the courage to commit to the BG2 behemoth yet, but I do kind of look forward to finishing with IWD2 which I have played before. At least up to and including the Fell Wood I really enjoyed it.
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Matewis: I only played through it for the first time a few years ago, as part of a larger infinity engine project aiming to play through all the titles in sequence. But that project's been on ice for some time :P
You and me, buddy. :) In a way I tried to save "the best"(?) as the last one.

Of the Infinity engine RPGs I've finished so far:

- Baldur's Gate (1) was the most boring one

- Icewind Dale 2 was maybe the most irritating one (some parts of it); then again Battle Square is mostly optional, but I just had to finish it completely. It is a bit like fighting the Ruby Weapon boss in Final Fantasy 7, takes a lot of effort and is kinda irritating, but fully optional IIRC.

- The first Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate 2 are my two favorites so far, but mostly for different reasons. I enjoyed the tactical combat etc. in Icewind Dale, while Baldur's Gate 2 had interesting characters (and story, I guess), and still quite interesting combat as well (like the dramatic dragon fight, oh yeah!)

I presume I haven't forgotten any Infinity engine RPGs there...? At some point I thought Arcanum, Temple of Elemental Evil and maybe even Neverwinter Nights are also Infinity Engine RPGs, but I guess they are not.
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timppu: You and me, buddy. :) In a way I tried to save "the best"(?) as the last one.

Of the Infinity engine RPGs I've finished so far:

- Baldur's Gate (1) was the most boring one

- Icewind Dale 2 was maybe the most irritating one (some parts of it); then again Battle Square is mostly optional, but I just had to finish it completely. It is a bit like fighting the Ruby Weapon boss in Final Fantasy 7, takes a lot of effort and is kinda irritating, but fully optional IIRC.

- The first Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate 2 are my two favorites so far, but mostly for different reasons. I enjoyed the tactical combat etc. in Icewind Dale, while Baldur's Gate 2 had interesting characters (and story, I guess), and still quite interesting combat as well (like the dramatic dragon fight, oh yeah!)

I presume I haven't forgotten any Infinity engine RPGs there...? At some point I thought Arcanum, Temple of Elemental Evil and maybe even Neverwinter Nights are also Infinity Engine RPGs, but I guess they are not.
Yeah I think that's the lot of them, ending with IWD2 :) I kind of want to finish the series so that I can check out Pillars of Eternity, if only for the fact that I highly doubt that I would want to go back to the infinity engine games after PoE.

BG1 was pretty lackluster yes, so I think it was more of a breakthrough mechanics wise at the time. Still, even though the plot was really weak, the world was at least filled with tons of really interesting characters (like Boo!) and sub plots. I look forward to seeing a continuation of that in BG2, but with a decent plot this time round.

IWD2 was my first infinity engine game, which is perhaps why I have soft spot for it, and wouldn't mind at all to finish the series with it. And good god, the music in that game is incredible.

Neverwinter Nights 1 minus the expansions I finished (and loved, beyond Act 1 at least) but Arcanum I'm afraid broke me :P I don't know if I'll ever find myself in the mood for it again to try again. I kind of suspect that if I ever do, then I'll rather replay Fallout 2 instead...
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timppu:
Yeah, the IWDs are the "less talk, more fight" of the bunch, while PS:T is the exact opposite. And yes, has possibly the best writing in a game.

Fun thing in IWD2 with the Battle Square, there are enemies that may be too big for the door, so I kept reloading until I got one if I saw it was possible, got my ranger out and just pelted with the regular endless arrow. But not sure I could complete all of it actually, can't quite recall.
As for the final battle, it was less bad than I feared, but I might have just done the right things. Recall just having my cleric duke it out with one of the bosses while the others ganged up on the other, cleric sadly getting erradicated just before the other's health got low enough for them to surrender, but so be it.
Also believe the average party level worked in my favor throughout thanks to the party, wizard and cleric being tiefling and aasimar, for the +int/wis, and having the 1 level penalty. Also meant they didn't have level 9 spells by the end, but worked without.

And I also played IWD2 first out of the IE games. Then had a look at IWD1, saw the smaller inventory space and said nope, loot management was bad enough in 2, and this combat-heavy approach wasn't enough of a motivation to struggle with another frustrating element.
Played PS:T in 2009, finished at the start of 2010. Some months later started BG1, struggled with it on and off for some two years, been abandoned since then, thinking I may return to it but probably not by this point. Didn't play BG2 yet. As for ToEE, just had a quick look and gave up after one fight, not keen on how it worked.
Morrowind, probably started in 2008, if not 2007, definitely stopped in 2008 the first time, then continued for a little while in 2012, and just like BG1 it's been waiting eversince, though I have some more intent of eventually continuing it... maybe... if the constant respawns and low vendor gold wouldn't annoy me so much. Didn't try Daggerfall. Tried Arena a bit back when it was initially made free, made it out of the starting dungeon, wandered through the city a bit, went into the wilds, found another dungeon, decided it was too simple and random and pointless and gave up.
NWN, started in 2007, finally finished all of the Diamond edition content on Dec 31 last year.
The first Witcher, ah, still fond but also frustrating memories of that one. Started in 2013, finished in 2015, kept feeling that if I did one thing I broke three later, but sure liked how combat flowed (though many dislike it) and how it showed it was a labor of love.
As for Arcanum, played way back, in 2002 and 2003. Sure restarted it lots of times, optimizing the levels, since companions annoyingly need to be recruited right at the proper time, seeing as their starting level is fixed, they won't join if you're more than one level below when you ask and will level when you do, so if you're above them they'll lag behind throughout. Bad memory of Black Mountain Clan Mines, quite a slog there, but nice otherwise... Until I got stuck in Tulla, simply could find no way to complete something and advance. Pity... (But watch for bugs, Troika style. Also had restarts, or at least reloads from several hours back since I had been overwriting saves, because of cursed items that left the stat drop permanent after removal.)

Overall, I'd say you're in for some good experiences, if you can put up with some of the frustrations :)
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Leroux: Hard to judge. I liked AER well enough myself, and there aren't *that* many puzzles and activities in RiME either, but it's definitely more focussed than AER, and nicer to look at, too.
Bit discouraging to hear but as I have it I will try it for sure to see how I feel about it.

I finished Clive Barker's Jericho.
It was good game that with some improvements could be great. It has quite unique story and atmosphere and the idea of having several different characters to switch whenever in FPS was interesting. Unfortunately it didn't work as well as it could have. It could do of slowdown of time when switching and also characters should maybe be more diverse as I had little need to switch into some of them. While I get why the game looks how it does, it is just too brownish and it's monochromatic looks gets old soon and most of the time makes it too easy to have no idea what's going on in battles as everything looks the same. You barely get to see your team-mates and often enemies as well which is problematic. The game could also do without its QTE with those ugly arrows. Also the ending wasn't of the strongest ones.
But the general feel of the game made up for all of that and I enjoyed playing it a lot.
7/10

Then I have finally beaten Unreal Tournament 2004. I mean it's singleplayer portion, I have never played it in multiplayer.
I played the game when it was new and then to compensate for not owning it back then, it was second game I bought here on GOG. It will actually be 12 years in 10 days. But I have never been able to get through the final arena of the game and I always got so destroyed I simply gave up and abandoned it. This time I cheated, turned Auto Aim for that fight and finally won.
It is certainly enjoyable game but bots are not a great substitute for real players and it was not as good as it could be. I didn't have as much fun as I had in 2005 or 6 or when I played it originally but I still got some decent time with it and with its crazy shit.
Solid 6/10

Yeah and I also completed Wish. Why do I have to be so gullible and believe that because it has good reviews it should be at least decent game. Not it has good ratings only because it is has boobs and is cheap. It doesn't matter if the game is shit. And it is. It is poorly made fantasy Hunie Pop with bad wiriting, poor translation, not-too-appealing visuals and worst of all, weak gameplay. Mechanics are never explained and there is item that allowed me to win most fights on Turn 1. Not worth even the low amount (1-1,5 Euro) I paid for it.
2/10

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Cavalary: Fun thing in IWD2 with the Battle Square, there are enemies that may be too big for the door, so I kept reloading until I got one if I saw it was possible, got my ranger out and just pelted with the regular endless arrow. But not sure I could complete all of it actually, can't quite recall.
Yeah I got that too, and you don't even need to use a bow. I had a paladin with a longer range melee weapon like a spear, and it was enough to hit the big enemy behind the door, without it being able to hit back.

Unfortunately, in later rounds of the Battle Square, it doesn't work anymore. Later all enemies are small enough to fit through the door.

However, at some point you get, IIRC, some kind of Club of Disruption, which again gives you a possibility to reload until you face a demon or other unearthly monster, and that club has the ability to (sometimes) destroy such creatures with one hit. So after getting that, it gets a bit easier, but oh boy lots of reloading and reloading is still needed...

But as said, it is mostly optional. You have to win only the first set of Battle Square fights IIRC, in order to proceed in the game story. The rest of the Battle Square is optional, for boneheads like me who don't know when to give up. I spent ages of time finishing all the Battle Square fights.

Now that I remember, when I complained about IWD2 magic not feeling quite "potent enough" against e.g. bosses, another thing I felt was missing was getting some quite kickass weapons. "Holy Avenger" was maybe closest to that, but it was for paladin only, and overall it still felt mostly just "a bit better sword than the rest of the swords". Later you find also some couple of +5 two-hand swords which seems quite good, but IIRC they could be used only by evil characters, which I didn't have.

I recall at least in, I think Baldur's Gate 2 that there was e.g. some big sword which was almost like a gamechanger at least in the hands of a Paladin, making him quite a dragon killer.

And then it was either in BG2 or BG1 where I recall a flail weapon which you could enhance several times during the game, after which it could deal several kinds of elemental magical damage at the same time, making it very useful overall, especially against monsters which were vulnerable only to certain kind of damage.

It was "special weapons" like that that really spice up some of the RPGs, and I didn't feel IWD2 had much of any of that, or then I just missed them. Even in the last chapter, almost all the weapons I found where totally meh, and I felt I already had better weapons from way earlier chapters. And even those were just generic melee weapons which were good mainly because they were +4 or +5 weapons.

EDIT: Oh, and what's with the helmets and hats in IWD2?!? I don't recall if I saw or found any "headwear" in IWD2 that would have been much of use. At the end of the game, I was still using mostly the same helmets I had found early in the game, the helmets which apparently offered no extra armor, but were just for decorative purposes.

I think one of my members might have had some fur hat that offered slight extra protection against ice damage. Pfffft...
Why was there even an option for helmets and hats, when there weren't much of any such useful items in the game? Maybe the same for boots, but there were a couple of good boots, like the ones which made your character faster.

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Cavalary: Overall, I'd say you're in for some good experiences, if you can put up with some of the frustrations :)
While I overall like CRPGs, I can't think of any I'd like to e.g. replay again. They are generally just so massive, and have some frustrating or boring parts I just don't want to experience again. Too bad... Well, the first Fallout maybe or even the first Gothic game, which weren't quite so massive and I don't recall if they had any such frustrating parts... But I guess even instead of them, I should just try something "new" I haven't played yet like Gothic 2 or Fallout 3...
Post edited 4 days ago by timppu
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timppu: EDIT: Oh, and what's with the helmets and hats in IWD2?!? I don't recall if I saw or found any "headwear" in IWD2 that would have been much of use. At the end of the game, I was still using mostly the same helmets I had found early in the game, the helmets which apparently offered no extra armor, but were just for decorative purposes.

I think one of my members might have had some fur hat that offered slight extra protection against ice damage. Pfffft...
Why was there even an option for helmets and hats, when there weren't much of any such useful items in the game?
There seem to be a few...
Dominique Pamplemousse 1 and 2, June 13 (Itch)-The first game was a weird, musical, detective story. The second game was a weird, musical something. The first game was kinda fun but by the second game it was all getting a little stale.

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A Short Hike, June 13 (Itch)-A short game but a long hike. Its a relaxing game of exploration, collecting, and light puzzle solving. Reminded me a bit of Mixed Up Mother Goose. There's a goal but you can take as long as you want to reach it.

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MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries (XSX Game Pass)

Lackluster story campaign. Luckily for me I rate story as the lowest measuring stick in video game quality. Otherwise this game is excellent. The combat is spot on, slow and very tactical and heavily dependent on how you set up your Mech. In the early stages you can just get by playing it by ear with the stock Mech you begin with, of course with the help of your AI Lance mates. I used my starting Centurian all the way until campaign mission 8 before finally swapping it out for a 90ton Assault Mech with a Gauss Gun. The Mechs control like huge hulking machines, not exactly agile but you can feel a huge difference between a 20ton agile light Mech and a giant 90 ton Highlander.

The campaign is nothing more than an excuse to work your way around the galaxy taking mercenary jobs and upgrading your Lance with bigger and better equipment. I found the game play loop to be highly addictive because the combat is so good and the upgrades can make such a huge difference.

The game also pays respect to the licensed world it is set in. The well known Mechs are present and new ones become available when they historically should. The universe has all the factions battling it out and you, as a Mercenary, can help or hinder them as you see fit.

It runs and looks mostly quite well on XSX, except for frame drops when you use maximum zoom and have a screen full of particles- otherwise it runs well and looks good without setting any visual benchmarks. After about the first 20-30 hours it starts to feel like it could do with a few more world classes and mission types. Also, the weapons feel okay and tend to impact nicely, but I think the collisions between Mechs should have more crash and bang- given these things can be over 90tons and be moving along at a good speed, I think there should be more impact when they run into each other.

Modifying Mechs is fun and becomes more important the deeper into the campaign you go. You can swap out weapon configurations on hardpoints, move armor around etc. No modifying power plants which is actually cannon for the time period- it's set early in the Battletech universe before factions started really deep level modifications.

If you're a story person I doubt you will like it. But if you want a very open ended mercenary simulator set in the MechWarrior universe then this one works well.