Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Two Worlds II Giveaway, The NGP Appears, and Some Torchwood Talk  

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Games: It's been a while since I had a contest here at Coffeecola, and seeing how I’m enjoying Two Worlds II as much as I am, this seems like the perfect time to rectify that. So, thanks to GameCritics.com and the wonderful people at Southpeak Games, I've got a 360 copy of TW2 to give away to one lucky reader.



How do you win it?

Post a comment here and tell me what the worst RPG you’ve ever played is, and why.

The more descriptive, the better, and bonus points if it makes me laugh out loud. The winner will be drawn at random from everyone who enters, and the lucky duck’s name will be announced here early next week.

If you're even vaguely thinking about maybe playing this game, go ahead and enter... it's definitely one of the most impressive redemption efforts I've seen in quite some time, and it's a totally enjoyable adventure in its own right -- if you can get it for free here, hey, why not?

(Oh, and if you don't win? Buy it anyway!)

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Games: So it took a few hours off of Twitter tonight, and when I got back, my feed was absolutely exploding with talk about the announcement of the NGP – Sony’s next-generation successor to the PSP. This information is literally minutes old at the time I'm writing this, so I'm going to reserve most of my thoughts for later.

…However, I will say that I could not be happier that someone at Sony R&D finally realized the catastrophic error of their ways and added a second stick to the hardware. I mean seriously, how did the PSP ever get out the door with just one in the first place? Additionally, although I know that neither franchise is very popular here in the states, the announcement of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd and a new Yakuza title both got my attention immediately. Between the two of those titles, that's probably something like 300 hours of play right there…

Anyway, I'm rambling on. No further comment at the moment, but you can click on over to the good people at GameFocus to get a quick run-down of the NGP’s tech specs.

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TV: The wife and I recently finished the first two seasons of Torchwood, and without any spoilers, I will say that the "series finale" was a little emotional… I wish I could go into it further, but I would hate to ruin anything for those of you who haven't watched the show yet.


Anyway, it's very true that the writing was often hit-or-miss and could be quite inconsistent in terms of characterization at times, but we still really enjoyed the show regardless. In fact, it's a little sad to know that there isn't much left for us to actually watch. Well, at least not right now, anyway.

(On a similar note, we're also getting perilously low on unwatched Doctor Who episodes as well… it may be time to start watching some of the old stuff!!)

At the moment, the only thing left available to us is the “Children of Earth” five-part miniseries and the thing that sucks is that it's really, really good. In fact, although we haven't completed all five episodes yet, what we've seen so far has definitely been some of the best Torchwood overall. Tight scripting, plenty of action, and lots of twists and turns -- this is great TV.

It's really a shame that the earlier installments weren't up to this same level, frankly. From the beginning, I felt as though the series had not lived up to its full potential, but Children of Earth is going a long way towards making up for that. Hopefully the new crop of episodes currently being filmed as a co-production of the BBC and Starz will be of a similar quality -- after all, if there's one thing the world needs, it's more quality time with Jack Harkness.

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10 comments: to “ A Two Worlds II Giveaway, The NGP Appears, and Some Torchwood Talk


  •  

    I've played a lot of RPGs, so it's difficult to say for sure if the worst one that I've ever played is Beyond the Beyond, but I do know that for years that's the game that has come to mind when the topic of bad RPGs arises.

    Beyond the Beyond was an RPG that knew how to take the least enjoyable aspects of the typical JRPG and build an entire game around it. The visuals and sound weren't so bad for a first-generation RPG on the limited hardware, but things went immediately downhill from there.

    Consider that for a large portion of the game, one of your party members is cursed and takes damage as he fights. This is commonly known as a "status ailment," only there's no immediate cure and you must endure it for many, many fights. That's because random encounters, usually not a problem at all, are quite common in Beyond the Beyond even when you're in the middle of a dungeon solving devious puzzles.

    Imagine that you're working through a pyramid in the middle of a desert and you have to step on all sorts of switches that will change the position of other plates and switches throughout the tower. Now imagine that as you work through the dungeon and try to keep straight in your mind which switches affect which other switches and which ones you've already pressed, you must deal with random encounters that will almost certainly cause you to forget everything that you almost had managed to keep straight up to that point. Now play the game and save yourself the trouble of imagining things, because that's the precise Beyond the Beyond experience.

    Like I said, I've played many RPGs. It has been quite awhile since I've touched Beyond the Beyond and I've managed to block some of its other offenses--and I know that there were plenty of them--from my mind. I did manage to complete the game, which is actually quite difficult, and then I wound up selling it to some other poor fellow who probably has come to the same conclusion that I did: despite its promise, Beyond the Beyond is beyond bad.


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    Surprisingly enough.. or maybe not so much, the worst RPG that I have ever bought and paid for was the original Two Worlds. I bought the PC copy and loaded it up thinking it would be a blast to play since I spent over 100+ hours in Oblivion. As soon as I get the game loaded, talk to the first guy and grab a horse, a wild boar charges out of the woods, gores my horse and proceeds to pummel me to death all in about 10 seconds. I tried my damndest to get into that game, but it was a series of incidents just like the one I've mentioned.

    Gothic III also ranks pretty high on my list because despite wanting to enjoy the game, it simply would not run. Can't really form a gameplay opinion about something that won't run at all.


  •  

    Final Fantasy XIII may be the worst RPG I've ever played, because it spectacularly fails to be one.

    Final Fantasy XIII is linear—linear to the point that the whole game is, in essence, one environment. The environment may look differently as you progress, but it's the continuation of a single tunnel. A tunnel you cannot explore, where there are no alternative routes to take, where backtracking is minimal. There is no interaction with or within the tunnel, and nothing to gain from looking anywhere apart from straight ahead.

    There are no inns, no shops (except in a menu), no world map, no wandering around talking to NPCs. These are RPG staples—even clich├ęs—but they perform important tasks: to immerse you in the world, to allow you to meet its inhabitants, and most importantly, to set pacing. There is no sense of development in FFXIII, no learning about the world, no moments of pause to take stock. It's a never-ending stream of battles, battles and more battles, with the odd cutscene thrown in.

    Our only method of learning about the world is from our characters. Unfortunately, they're an unremarkable bunch. I didn't care about them and I couldn't tell you much about the world they're trying to protect, or why. Conversations seem to consist in saying "L'Cie, Fal'cie, Pulse, PSICOM, Purge, Sanctum" ad nauseam. Antagonists are barely introduced. Humour is reduced to a black dude with a bird in his hair.

    I stopped playing FFXIII at around the 30-hour mark. I realised that the game wasn't going to get any better. Up to that point, the enjoyment factor had been almost non-existent, the only thing carrying me forward being a desire for the game to open up. Unfortunately, that desire never materialized.


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    Oh dear, your asking for the worst RPG people have ever played? Well I have one worth sharing, and you can blame Mac for sending me this gem.

    Last year, I was asked to play West for review. West's plot is by far the most baffling thing I've ever encountered in an RPG. The game is about a little boy named James who parents whisk him away to a deserted idea so that way he'll never experience what sin is. One day, the people of the small town James lives in, decides they are going to have a pie eating contest to celebrate happiness. One of James' little friends decides to enter and lo and behold he chokes on a piece of pie. James screams, asking why no doctors are helping him to which James's father says "We can't save him, for he has preformed the sin of gluttony." James cries and cries because no one is saving his friend's life.

    The next day, James decides to ask about sin, and decides he's going West. His father says he can no longer shelter him from sin and that he should be careful along the way. As James picks up new party members, each of them tells him about an evil corporation who happens to make toys. Well, toys are the devil in this game, and James decides he must stop this evil toy corporation along the way he'll meet random hippies who will say things like "Save the environment!" or "Banish all sinners!" -- it's really bizarre.

    So James meets the head of the toy company, fights him, and then realizes that he too has committed a sin. Suddenly a volcano that is about the city erupts, and everyone in the city is killed by hellfire (yes, HELLFIRE, those words). There's NPC's saying likes like "No, I was good my entire life and now I am being punished!" and everyone dies.

    ... then we learn it was all a dream and it ends.

    ...yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I haven't recovered from this one since it's been so recent. x_x


  •  

    The worst RPG I've ever played is an easy choice - Tecmo's Secret of the Stars. Graphics that look closer to a NES title than a SNES title (despite coming out towards the end of the SNES's life) start you out. The story and dialogue is pathetic, characterization is non-existent, and the gameplay is as barebones and generic as it comes. The worst part of the game is probably the fact that you control two parties all the time - although this could have been potentially cool, in actuality, all it means is that you have to repeat most dungeons twice and you have to do twice as much grinding.

    I mean, look at it! Even the title is awful! Easily the worst RPG I've ever played and one of the worst games of all time.

  • Alec

     

    Enchanted arms has the most annoying gay stereotype that has ever existed in any form. For a start Makoto has the most ridiculous outfit, a sort of colourful suit that exposes only his six pack and is cut off above the ankles.

    He pops up occasionally to get bitchy with the games main character because you are friends with his love interest, who seems to be as interested in him as we are.

    The painfully obvious stereotype is borderline offensive as it is just so crude. I think the game playing public will have more respect for a game that has openly gay characters, for more than just comedy value, and bad comedy at that.


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    The worst RPG I have ever played was Dragon Age: Origins, the console version. So Bioware wanted to make an RPG that would cater more towards the so-called hardcore, old-school RPG players who have played such masterpieces as Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment. As we all know, these games work and play fine on PCs, but it would be nigh on impossible to get them to work well on consoles. Well, DA:O played similarly to those two past games, as in it required strategy and the pausing of time to do well against enemies, but on a the console I played (360) with the methods of imput I had (controller) I could just not play the game how I should have been and instead had to force a console minded approach to gaming onto an obviously PC-centric game.


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    Brad: Please don't include me in the giveaway - I don't have time for a huge RPG right now! - but I did want to share this hilarious take on the worst RPG I've ever played, Drakkhen: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/rom-pit/snes-drakkhen-rpg.php

    A choice excerpt: "If you consider terrible games to be accidents then Drakkhen is a car crash where four vans collide at ninety degree angles, a cruise ship comes in and drops anchor on the car, and then everyone gets crushed by a meteor."


  •  

    Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter was extremely disappointing for me as a lifelong fan of the series. I expected another game much like the previous titles, but what I found was a completely different experience that tried in no way to be anything like its predecessors.

    Instead of a traditional RPG, it made you start over repeatedly, in an effort to do slightly better each time. You had slightly different options each time, but the game still forced you to watch essentially the same cutscenes over and over again, which left me with the same feeling I get whenever I'm faced with a particularly difficult boss fight and I have to watch the same cutscene each time. It felt like a punishment, not an "experience".

    You were also basically timed in beating the game, because each time you used your dragon abilities, a meter would start to run out, and if you let the meter drop before you escaped the cave (which was the whole point of the game), you'd have to start over again anyway.

    A lot of people really enjoyed the game and praised its uniqueness, but a Breath of Fire title it was not. As someone who expected another great game in a series I'd enjoyed since childhood, you can imagine why this title's "innovations" really rubbed me the wrong way.

    I never even came close to finishing it.


  •  

    RPGs are more or less my favorite genre so I've played my fair share of good and bad. However, my tolerance for bad ones seems to be getting shorter as I grow older so I don't usually waste much time on them if they're really bad. There's one fairly recent exception though and that's Last Rebellion for the PS3. I had the misfortune of playing this for review so I couldn't toss it aside like I normally would.

    It was published by NIS America and developed by Hit Maker (not to be confused with Sega's former Hitmaker studio). The irony, of course, being that most of their games have been anything but hits. A lot of the stuff NIS has published hasn't really been the greatest, but this game takes special honors since NIS America's president literally apologized for it's release because it was so crappy.

    Oh, how crappy it was. I honestly believe it began life as a sub-par PSP game and someone had the bright idea to throw it onto PS3, probably in a cash-grab to fill in for the lack of JRPG's at the time. Low-polygon everything, barren landscapes, bad animation, lame dialogue, ill-fitting voice acting, you name it. This game wouldn't even look at home on PS2. The only semi-redeeming qualities are a few of the music tracks and some of the artwork. Battles were especially tedious, using a system to target enemy body parts and giving you bonuses if you attacked parts in the correct order. If you didn't, you wouldn't do as much damage making the beginning of the game overly difficult and the pace excruciating. Halfway through this travesty, I went to GameFAQs and found someone had listed the attack order for most of the enemies. Following that made the rest of the game a breeze since I ended up way overpowered by the end of it.

    Yes, I finished it. Last Rebellion stands as one of the two Platinum Trophies I have on my PSN account. It wasn't fun and it wasn't worth it. I assure you, I platinum'd it purely out of spite.