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It’s Snowing Again

January 31, 2014

Dear Reader,

Just that, really.  That’s what’s on my mind.  It’s snowing.  Again.  This winter has, without any close second, been the worst I’ve experienced, and it’s not even February yet.

Okay.  Enough griping about the weather.  Far more importantly, I’ve started playing a new game that’s kept my attention for the five or so hours I played it yesterday.

You may remember the kerfuffle over 38 Studios’ shutdown due to mismanagement.  They had planned to develop an MMO off of the sales of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, their standalone single-player RPG, but the sales were wildly overestimated and fell far short of what they needed to continue.  As a result, the company had to shut down and a lot of good people lost their jobs.

Also as a result, I believe that Rhode Island, who had funded 38 Studios through a new business loan, became the proprietor of KoA:R.  I expected that we’d never see a sale afterwards, since RI was going to want to make as much money back on the game.  Consequently, even though I’d been quite interested in it when it was first released but not willing to pay sixty bucks for it (I know, it’s partially my fault that 38 Studios failed, but I blame Steam for lowering my cost expectations), I mentally wrote it off as one that slipped through the cracks.

Instead, Steam has put KoA:R on sale this weekend for 75% off, a mere six dolalrs.  I went ahead and bought the DLC, as well, even though I usually refuse to, because I wanted to help out Rhode Island and all.

So far, it’s been a steal.  There’s a ton of character optimization in it as well as the opportunity to generalize or specialize as you see fit.  It’s got a basic skill system similar to Dragon Age where each level you can increase a single skill like alchemy, persuasion, or stealth.  The game includes a crafting system, as well, though I haven’t played with it yet.  The game play is mostly like Oblivion, with a close-behind camera and action-oriented combat.  Lastly, it’s been following a decent story (that I believe was partially done by R.A. Salvatore) and has an absolute ton of quests.  I’ve only done the tutorial area and the first town, and I’m four to five hours into the game.  When you’re reaching your “Ed Value” (1 dollar per hour of enjoyment) after one play session, that’s pretty good. 

In summray, it really seems like a nice old-school single-player RPG on par with Skyrim but with slightly worse graphics.  It’s more cartoony than photorealistic (like Skyrim), but I enjoy the divergence from photorealism to get some more fantasy art styles and silly creatures like the wooden boggarts or surprisingly ferocious pixies who apparently don’t want their magic well fumbled with.

So at the moment, I’ve found a new game to play.  Hooray!  Hopefully it sticks.  With my wife out of town this weekend and it snowing again, I expect I’ll log quite a few hours over the next few days.

Sincerely,

Stubborn (Sneaky Bow/Daggers Rogue)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2014 1:16 pm

    I beat that game a few months ago, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. Though I doubt I would’ve gotten it for $60 either.

  2. Samus permalink
    January 31, 2014 10:32 pm

    I actually prefer the more stylized graphics like WoW. Every zone in WoW has a unique “feel” to it, and the zones are quite diverse. In realistic games like Skyrim, everywhere has the same “feel.”

  3. February 3, 2014 11:14 am

    I look forward to any future KoA:R posts, it’s on my short-list of games to play next, picked up the boxed version for $10 a while back on a whim, figuring it would be worth at least that even in its orphaned state.

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