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My list changes all the time. The constants are NWN2(with expansions), Fire Emblem series, Fallout 2, and PST.

 

I don't think I can concisely explain why exactly I like the games I do, but I tend to prefer games in which I am able to consistently role play a character how I wish, are challenging without being insanely unbalanced or tedious, or possess interesting concepts.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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4. Alpha Centauri - Also amazing. Truly frighting science fiction narrative; up there with Heinlein and Clark, all in a Civilization game.

5. The Mass Effect series - yeah

 

 

Oy vey, putting AC right next to ME. Dem's fight words.

 

I don't follow.

He means ME is garbage. The way BioWare handled ME2-3 and its issues along with their fake choice system mkaes me inclined to agree.

Fixed that for you.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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Forking storylines (the more diverse, the better), walls of text, roleplaying your own character, and any medium that doesn't require massive funding. The last bit is so that there are more games, see? The worst thing is that there never was (to my knowledge) a game that fit all of these criteria. And since people don't like to make what other people aren't or weren't making at some point, there probably never will be. Terrible.

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I wonder... on many of your lists there is Fallout but not Fallout 2, why?

I always thought F2 was as undeniably superior to F1 as BG2 is to BG1... I must admit that I have never finished the original Fallout, it didn't engage me as much as F2, and the initial time limit bothered me greatly

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I accidentally pressed a button labeled post, and now I feel a bit silly.

Edited by TheTeaMustFlow

`This is just the beginning, Citizens! Today we have boiled a pot who's steam shall be seen across the entire galaxy. The Tea Must Flow, and it shall! The banner of the British Space Empire will be unfurled across a thousand worlds, carried forth by the citizens of Urn, and before them the Tea shall flow like a steaming brown river of shi-*cough*- shimmering moral fibre!` - God Emperor of Didcot by Toby Frost.

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@forfs:

 

The time limit isn't actually real, you know. They removed the effects of it with a patch.

 

I haven't played much of Fallout 2, but I believe the general feeling toward it among fans is that it's a lesser game despite being a better one in a lot of ways from a mechanical standpoint, because it's too jokey and unbalanced.

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I wonder... on many of your lists there is Fallout but not Fallout 2, why?

I always thought F2 was as undeniably superior to F1 as BG2 is to BG1... I must admit that I have never finished the original Fallout, it didn't engage me as much as F2, and the initial time limit bothered me greatly

I don't think thats true. Almost all people like both games. Sure, some prefer the one or the other but i think very few like the one and dislike the other.

Which you like more comes mostly to which you have played first. If you played 1, 2 dillutes the atmosphere will over the top jokes, some supernatural elements,New Reno doesn't fit in the setting despite being the most interesting area in the game etc. Fallout "purists" don't like that.

If you played 2 first, 1 fells smaller, worse mechanically, more serious/less funny etc.

 

Fallout 2 has more contend, and better gameplay, Fallout 1 is more focused and coherent. I prefer 2 myself, but only by a very small margin.

But as i said, most people like both games.

F3 on the other hand....

Edited by Malekith
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I wonder... on many of your lists there is Fallout but not Fallout 2, why?

I always thought F2 was as undeniably superior to F1 as BG2 is to BG1... I must admit that I have never finished the original Fallout, it didn't engage me as much as F2, and the initial time limit bothered me greatly

I can answer that for my part. I have two reasons I actively dislike FO2, despite having completed it a number of times. Short version: trash combat with crazy balance issues, and way too much carp for its own good.

 

Edit: and @Malekith by the way, I played FO2 first. I was startled by how good FO was in comparison when I played it later, after I had finished FO2 once or twice.

 

The combat system in the Fallouts isn't very good. It's very heavy on thresholds, which means that you either do zero damage, or a megaton of damage. Plus, the enemy AI is just plain bad. The upshot is that the difficulty is either "fall asleep on the keyboard" or "insta-death." These threshold effects get worse as you go up in level.

 

The original Fallout was relatively short, which meant that things only got kinda wonky near the endgame, so most of the game you were experiencing something like decent combat. With Fallout 2, this system breaks down pretty quickly. The early game is both tedious and punishingly tough (especially if you're not powergaming), after which it switches to a state where areas are either fall-asleep easy or insta-death hard, right up to the endgame -- it's insta-death hard if you haven't done most of the optional content, and fall-asleep easy if you have.

 

So my experience with FO2 is that in the early game I'm playing kite + creep'n'save against trash mobs, which is tedious, whereas in the late to middle games I'm figuring out by trial and error which order I'm supposed to play the areas (and quickly getting bored because it gets so easy).

 

Second: there's too much stuff in the game. On the one hand they've made caps and loot matter by making ammo for the most high-powered weapons scarce and expensive, so there's a strong incentive to packrat; in addition, you get the car with the trunk where you can dump things. But merchants have limited caps & other lightweight loot. The upshot is that I spend way more time than is fun on inventory management -- just trucking stuff to merchants and sorting through the junk I have in the car, on me, and my mules. More tedium.

 

The same applies to the larger scale of the game as well. There's really no reason for me to visit many of the areas, other than metagame ones ("I need the XP"). When I last replayed it -- after an interval long enough that I didn't remember much about it -- I was just following the clues of the main thread and got my Advanced Power Armor before even having visited some of the main areas. There goes the challenge, and the incentive to visi them. Too much stuff, and it's not connected up properly.

 

Bottom line? FO2 could have been good. It has its moments, but it fails in the execution. The areas don't hang together, the level cap is high enough that the character development and combat systems collapse, and it's way, way too exploitable. It's not as much fun as FO in the narrative/story sense, it's much, much less fun in the combat/character development sense, there's much more tedious busywork, and to have any fun at all you need to "metagame" continuously -- by creep-and-save, by a priori knowledge about which areas to visit in which order, or with exploits that make you way overpowered for any point in the game. If the resulting gameplay was really good this would be tolerable, but it isn't: it merely switches from bad and frustratingly hard to bad and mind-numbingly easy.

Edited by PrimeJunta

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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PS:T, Shin Megami Tensei III : Nocturne, Shadow of the Colossus, Star Control 2, amongst others. There are other games I'm hesitating to put there, like Alpha Centauri, Dragon Quarter, FFVII, Dark Souls, Battle Isle 2, Kotor 2, 9 hours, 9 doors, 9 persons. When I look this list, the only line I can draw between them is how memorable they are for me (memory being heavily influenced by emotions.) 

 

All those game are doing something special, and they aren't doing it in a superficial way. Whether it's gameplay, story, presentation, there is something the designers did and didn't stop at the first layer : they dug deeper, and they make sure all the games components were working with each other. It's that special fusion that makes games special, at least for me.  Drawing as many lines between as many aspects of the game.

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I wonder... on many of your lists there is Fallout but not Fallout 2, why?

I always thought F2 was as undeniably superior to F1 as BG2 is to BG1... I must admit that I have never finished the original Fallout, it didn't engage me as much as F2, and the initial time limit bothered me greatly

I can answer that for my part. I have two reasons I actively dislike FO2, despite having completed it a number of times. Short version: trash combat with crazy balance issues, and way too much carp for its own good.

 

Edit: and @Malekith by the way, I played FO2 first. I was startled by how good FO was in comparison when I played it later, after I had finished FO2 once or twice.

 

The combat system in the Fallouts isn't very good. It's very heavy on thresholds, which means that you either do zero damage, or a megaton of damage. Plus, the enemy AI is just plain bad. The upshot is that the difficulty is either "fall asleep on the keyboard" or "insta-death." These threshold effects get worse as you go up in level.

 

The original Fallout was relatively short, which meant that things only got kinda wonky near the endgame, so most of the game you were experiencing something like decent combat. With Fallout 2, this system breaks down pretty quickly. The early game is both tedious and punishingly tough (especially if you're not powergaming), after which it switches to a state where areas are either fall-asleep easy or insta-death hard, right up to the endgame -- it's insta-death hard if you haven't done most of the optional content, and fall-asleep easy if you have.

 

So my experience with FO2 is that in the early game I'm playing kite + creep'n'save against trash mobs, which is tedious, whereas in the late to middle games I'm figuring out by trial and error which order I'm supposed to play the areas (and quickly getting bored because it gets so easy).

 

Second: there's too much stuff in the game. On the one hand they've made caps and loot matter by making ammo for the most high-powered weapons scarce and expensive, so there's a strong incentive to packrat; in addition, you get the car with the trunk where you can dump things. But merchants have limited caps & other lightweight loot. The upshot is that I spend way more time than is fun on inventory management -- just trucking stuff to merchants and sorting through the junk I have in the car, on me, and my mules. More tedium.

 

The same applies to the larger scale of the game as well. There's really no reason for me to visit many of the areas, other than metagame ones ("I need the XP"). When I last replayed it -- after an interval long enough that I didn't remember much about it -- I was just following the clues of the main thread and got my Advanced Power Armor before even having visited some of the main areas. There goes the challenge, and the incentive to visi them. Too much stuff, and it's not connected up properly.

 

Bottom line? FO2 could have been good. It has its moments, but it fails in the execution. The areas don't hang together, the level cap is high enough that the character development and combat systems collapse, and it's way, way too exploitable. It's not as much fun as FO in the narrative/story sense, it's much, much less fun in the combat/character development sense, there's much more tedious busywork, and to have any fun at all you need to "metagame" continuously -- by creep-and-save, by a priori knowledge about which areas to visit in which order, or with exploits that make you way overpowered for any point in the game. If the resulting gameplay was really good this would be tolerable, but it isn't: it merely switches from bad and frustratingly hard to bad and mind-numbingly easy.

I see your points. But to be fair, Fallout was broken as well. Power armor made you invinsible(which was the whole point by the way) and Turbo Plasme Rifle was combletly broken( Feargus even apologised for that, he is the one who put it in the game without checking it) 

Fallout series never had balanced combat.

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True, Fallout was broken too -- but it wasn't quite as badly broken, because (1) the main questline didn't leave a breadcrumb trail to the power armor and turbo plasma rifle, (2) even if you metagamed and beelined for them, you'd have to do a fair bit more adventuring on the way (compared to the scope of the game), plus the water chip time limit gave an incentive to focus on that for the early part of the game anyway, and (3) you never reached a level high enough to make things truly absurd.

 

Put another way, you were driving the same rusty heap in both games, but Fallout had you on a leisurely weekend trip on some scenic byways, while Fallout 2 threw you on the Paris-Dakar. It could handle the former but fell to pieces on the latter.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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bioshock, fonv, morrowind, baldurs gate, neverwinter nights 2, dragon age: origins, chrono trigger, ff6 (or in america ff3), f.e.a.r., psychonauts, and Alice madness returns.

 

Atmosphere, great writing and charectors, culture, and creativity.

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I liked all three Mass Effect games quite a bit, for what it's worth. Mass Effect 2 in particular was fantastic.

 

 

It was....well the best today's shooter/multiplayer games industry can spit out which isn't saying much at all. I enjoyed it to some degree but all you ever get are mostly fake choices without much impact on things....it's 95% shooter and 5% story. ME3 is 1,000% mindless "YAY MULTIPLAYER!!!" "Story what? Do you know about multiplayer? YAY MULTIPLAYER!!!" "Did you hear about our new multiplayer feature? You can teabag fools!! YAY MULTIPLAYER"

 

You haven't experienced awesome until you played an Obsidian game. Awesome story, great depth and choice....just overall amazing.

Edited by Darth Trethon

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Er, I like Obsidian games too. Thus my presence on the Obsidian forum. New Vegas, KOTOR 2, and Alpha Protocol are all games I love.

 

Doesn't mean I can't also like Mass Effect for what it is, right? I'm acutely aware of the series' failings and limitations, and have discussed them in great detail with plenty of friends of mine over the years. But I still think they're pretty damn solid games overall, and that they do what they set out to do quite well. Not perfectly, but quite well.

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Er, I like Obsidian games too. Thus my presence on the Obsidian forum. New Vegas, KOTOR 2, and Alpha Protocol are all games I love.

 

Doesn't mean I can't also like Mass Effect for what it is, right? I'm acutely aware of the series' failings and limitations, and have discussed them in great detail with plenty of friends of mine over the years. But I still think they're pretty damn solid games overall, and that they do what they set out to do quite well. Not perfectly, but quite well.

Mass Effect series, even with it's failings and limitations are not bad games per se. Most people who hate them are people who only play RPGs and view ME from an RPG ankle. And ME is not an RPG, or at least is a pretty bad one. IF you can excamine the game in it's own merits as a game and not as an RPG and you like other genres as well, MEs are fun games.

Edited by Malekith
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I didn't care much for ME, although it didn't evoke any huge antipathy in me either. I thought it was unimaginative and boring, except for a few bits very late in the game. Also repetitive, with tons of filler, and really boring loot (and too much of it). Never even bothered with 2 or 3. Nothing to do with the mechanics or the fact that it's a genre crossover; I often quite like those.

 

Nice voice acting though, especially FemShep.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Nice voice acting though, especially FemShep.

Strangely enough, MaleShep's voice, though not really... bad, was a bit... emotionally monotone? He kinda just sounded like he was in a museum through all three games, asking terminals about exhibits. Hehe.

 

For what it's worth, I actually recommend playing through 2 and 3, IF you like the gameplay. And though they could've been pushed a lot farther and done a lot better, overall, the continuous branches throughout all three games gave a nice effect. It was almost like quest customization. You know, "Oh, I put that handle on this quest, and made it long range, at the cost of attack speed." Heh...

 

But, yeah. I really enjoyed the third one the most, honestly, right up 'til the last 10 minutes (quite literally the last 10 minutes). I can't say it ruins the whole rest of the game for me, but it does for some people, I suppose. I actually really like the multiplayer, too. But I hate how they rammed the "necessity" for that into the singleplayer campaign.

 

Basically, I'd say they're good games, but wrapped in typical EA bullshyte.

 

Granted, there are much better RPGs out there. I wouldn't really put the ME games in the RPG display case, despite the fact that their great-grandparents were full-blooded RPGs, heh.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I didn't particularly like the gameplay, nor did I particularly dislike it. It's certainly nothing so special I'd play the game just for it. It would've been more than adequate had the game itself been more interesting. My problem is I thought the characters, universe, and story were bland, predictable, and generic, so it just failed to grab my imagination.

 

Come to think of it, that's more or less my criticism of Baldur's Gate -- not imaginative enought to grab my imagination, and the gameplay while "fine, I guess" isn't good enough to grab that part of my brain. Cf. Icewind Dale -- also fairly vanilla swords-n-sorcery-ancient-evil story and setting, but much more fun to hack through. On my second playthrough now; this time I'm powergaming with a F (greatsword), F/C (mace), F/C (hammer), T/F (large sword, locks), T/F (axe, traps), F/M (bow) party, and still having a lot of fun doing it.

 

Which makes me even more puzzled about why I can't like Arcanum, although it is the exact opposite -- it's a unique, imaginative, and unusual universe, characters, and story. I ought to like it. Why can't I?

Edited by PrimeJunta

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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@Lephys:

 

Yeah, those last ten minutes... I've likened them in the past to watching an Olympic gymnast perform a flawless routine, dismount, and fling herself down some stairs. It was just bizarre. I mean, Bioware isn't exactly subtle or ultra-original at the best of times, but that ending was such a colossal miscalculation in every concievable way that I simply don't understand how it happened. The Extended Cut DLC did do a good job of building an edifice of quality around the Space Magic idiocy, but it's still a stupid Space Magic ending.

 

The unpleasant EA wrapping paper around everything in 3 was also off-putting. That and the lack of exploration and real sidequests ultimately put it a notch below 2 for me, though still above 1.

 

What annoys me about ME1 (which I did quite enjoy as well, though not as much as 2 or 3) is that, as with Alpha Protocol, you could see the great game underneath the unpolished prototype that actually shipped, and yet they removed a bunch of nifty but rough features for the sequel instead of iterating upon them and polishing them. The Mako sections were relatively uninteresting filler, for example, but the idea behind them was sound, and one I wish they'd explored in more depth in the sequels. But no, it was chopped entirely.

 

@Prime:

 

Eh. Didn't grab you. No shame in that.

 

People have tried to get me into the show Jackass on multiple occasions, because it's exactly the sort of thing I usually like. And they're right; it is. I like dumb humor, I like videos of people getting hit in the junk with golf balls and so on, and I like toilet humor. But, for whatever reason, I find it dull, off-putting, and unfunny. Dunno why.

 

Sounds like you have a similar problem with Arcanum. You like the idea of it, but the reality does nothing for you.

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I didn't particularly like the gameplay, nor did I particularly dislike it. It's certainly nothing so special I'd play the game just for it. It would've been more than adequate had the game itself been more interesting. My problem is I thought the characters, universe, and story were bland, predictable, and generic, so it just failed to grab my imagination.

 

Come to think of it, that's more or less my criticism of Baldur's Gate -- not imaginative enought to grab my imagination, and the gameplay while "fine, I guess" isn't good enough to grab that part of my brain. Cf. Icewind Dale -- also fairly vanilla swords-n-sorcery-ancient-evil story and setting, but much more fun to hack through. On my second playthrough now; this time I'm powergaming with a F (greatsword), F/C (mace), F/C (hammer), T/F (large sword, locks), T/F (axe, traps), F/M (bow) party, and still having a lot of fun doing it.

 

Which makes me even more puzzled about why I can't like Arcanum, although it is the exact opposite -- it's a unique, imaginative, and unusual universe, characters, and story. I ought to like it. Why can't I?

How far have you played? I put Arcanum down 3 times because i found it boring. That it has one of the worse opening areas in history of gaming doesn't help either. But the forth time i pressed on and after a while i was hooked. The atmosphere of that game needs time to grow on you. Gameplay is terrible and completely unbalanced. But it has it's own charm and some very interesting ideas. Try to press on a little, let's say 5 areas. If by then you aren't having fun, the game is not for you.  And don't feel bad about it, Arcanum is the definition of flawed gem. The flaws realy bring the game down if you can't ignore them.

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I got up to about level 15 FWIW. Shrouded Hills, Blackthorn, Tarant, that one decaying fief down south, that one town at the coast with the statue problem, and a bunch of dungeons including the one with the annoying golems that wreck your swords if you try to h2h them. Think I ground my way through that one once too, but I still wasn't having much fun.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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We always seem to be on opposite sides of any one issue huh Prime ;).  Funny that.  Anyways, i would say that there's only a few things to keep in mind for Arcanum.  For one, the combat generally is only balanced for tech characters.  Apparently, playing a mage or a melee makes the game a cakewalk so any variant of that would probably make the game more than a little boring if you actually desire some challenge in a game at all.  I remember you saying you took the advice of someone and used a character that could use Harm on enemies then watch as your minion horde wiped them out.  I can't imagine how that wouldn't get stupidly boring, stupidly quick.  It'd be the equivalent of putting auto-battle on in Fire Emblem (assuming I actually had that option that is).  Secondly, i'd say that in order to make any connection to the Arcanum universe it would certainly help to make a character *you* want to play.  Not a character recommended by a guide or someone else, but a character *you* want to play.  That certainly helps in Baldur's Gate as well I think.  Arcanum probably has the single most compelling character creation i've ever seen.  Every single choice you make at creation has an influence on how the rest of your game will play out and the varying backrounds you can choose not only give you additional depth to your character but also give you a starting point if you wish to roleplay it.  What's not to like?

 

Generally, i'd say if you don't care about the character you created you're probably "doin it rong" with these types of games.  Without any real feeling for your character you'd generally have total apathy for other facets of the Arcanum world.  I felt terrible delivering that letter to the train station guard in Tarant only then to have to do a fetch quest of finding him a good coffin maker.  It sure as hell didn't feel like a fetch quest when I was delivering to him a tool that would put the love of his life into the ground for the rest of his days.  I might even have been the reason for that.  If it's "just another quest" I have to do then yea it's not going to be a very fun game but I rather liked that appeal to my emotions because i'm not a robot.

 

I'd say Arcanum requires a fresh set of "eyes" if you will Prime.  You might want to try it again at some point.

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