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LONG BLOG

Cblogs of 02/06/14 + The Fateless Swiftmage-isms

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Were you expecting more Pokťmon? I bet you were expecting more Pokťmon. Well, itís not quite that. Make no mistake, Iím still massively addicted to cramming elemental warriors in tiny balls to have them slavishly obey my every order, but another game came around that got me at least just as addicted.

That game is Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.



For those of you who missed it, last week this game was on sale on Steam, for the first time in fuck if I know how long (not to mention that Iím not even sure who has the rights to this game anymore; who authorized this?). †Now Iím normally not into WRPGs for a number of reasons. Nonetheless, I had been waiting for this game to go on sale for the longest time. Why? Because if the things I had heard were right, Kingdoms of Amalur would be a WRPG unlike any of its kind, one that fixes the greatest problem I tend to have with the genre.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a WRPG where the combat is NOT SHIT.

Donít get me wrong here, Iím not faulting anyone for liking WRPGs as a genre, but you canít honestly tell me that the combat is the highlight in most WRPGs. Sure, Skyrim is probably great for its huge world, massive number of sidequests and all the customization options, but its combat? Not so much. Tried some of The Witcher and Divinity II: both have the same problem. Theyíre probably good, but definitely not for their combat. Fable, Gothic? Same deal, as far as I know. The only exceptions I can think of are Mass Effect, Fallout and Borderlands, but thatís cheating because they stole all the good parts from shooters anyway. †

So basically, Kingdoms was the one WRPG I was waiting for, and boy did it pay off. In fact, this game went further in making its combat satisfying than even I had thought it would.

You see, if and when I play RPGs, I like to be a Mage character. Thereís just something about slinging fireballs and lightning bolts around thatís incredibly satisfying to me, at least much more so than any sword. There is one problem with most Mages, however: itís all fun and games until an enemy gets all up in your grill. And they will come all up in your grill because thereís no way youíre going to have enough mana to take out an enemy horde before it gets to you, and thatís not even taking into account Cooldown time. At such a time, youíre stuck bashing peopleís head in with your staff, a tactic that is usually only slightly more effective than politely asking them to leave.

Not so in Kingdoms of Amalur. In this game, Mages and Rogues can fight on equal terms with any Warrior, albeit using different weaponry and being less durable. Magesí staves, for instance, arenít simply for bashing peopleís heads in anymore. In this game, each staff has an elemental effect that has great spread and range and can do a significant amount of damage. Itís definitely not second best to a sword or axe anymore. Second there are scepters, which are your ranged weapons of choice (unless you do something rather unique, which Iíll come to later). Finally, there are the chakrams, and these things are fucking rad is what they are. Basically, theyíre magical ringshaped blades that you throw in front of you to make what may as well be a whirlwind of sharp metal. Itís hard to describe, but take my word for it that theyíre cool as all hell. Which, obviously, is why Iím using them.



But Kingdoms allows you to go further than even that. It is no doubt common in WRPGs that you can mix and match skills and abilities in any way you desire. You can buff your Mage or make your Warrior faster. In Kingdoms, however, you can indulge in any class combination you desire; you wouldnít simply be making a slightly faster Mage anymore, youíre making a full-on Rogue/Mage who is equally skilled in sticking a knife up some dudeís backside as in making him explode with his mind. This mechanic opens up some neat possibilities that other games donít usually have. I mean, in how many games can you be a Rogue/Mage or Warrior/Rogue?

Myself, I went with a Rogue/Mage build, with an ever so slight emphasis on Mage. Iím investing rather heavily in Rogueish bow-based skills, because BOWS, and in the Mageís spells and Chakram damage. By now, what usually happens to the enemy is the following: I see him from a distance, pump his ass full of arrows (thereby also poisoning him), hitting him with some magic, and should he have the strength left to get anywhere near me killing him with the Chakrams. Chakram combat is really fast, and combine that with some shortrange teleports and the enemy wonít even know where to look half the time. I love it.

Iím officially dubbing this class the Swiftmage, because they're fast buggers who'll kill you before you even get a lock on them. I donít care what the game says itís called. I also know that name sucks, but then there's nothing you can do to stop me, is there?

Finally, as for the story there isnít much to say yet. Iím not all that far into the story yet, being sidetracked by OCD sidequests all the time, but I liked what I saw so far. At least the basic premise of the game; that everyoneís fates are already set in stone except yours, is very promising. As "the Fateless", it allows you to do things other people couldnít ever do, and it allows you to mess with the story to save people from their foretold death or killing them when they shouldíve lived. You not only get to save lives, you get to give people lives they never shouldíve had. Iím not sure if this will be explored further later on, but it has promise in spades. I hope it pays off.

I did encounter a weird little thing in the story though, although I admit that it was technically my own fault. You see, very early in the game you meet a mysterious Dark Elf Dokkalfar, who has ďplot-relevantĒ written on her forehead (well, that and ďfanserviceĒ). The thing is though, by sheer happenstance, this woman looks EXACTLY LIKE MY CHARACTER. That is to say, the character I made in the Editor at the start of the game is just...HER.



I mean, really look at us!



If I lost the bitchiní facial tattoo and like five layers of clothing Iíd BE HER.

Of course, the game expects me not to notice anything, and how could it do anything else? Alyn Shir seems to be made up off the same Character Editor parts as I am, and I just so happen to have chosen exactly the same ones for my character as the devs did for theirs.

Apparently me and the Kingdoms devs have an eerily similar taste in Elf women. I donít know if I should find that disturbing or strangely reassuring.

* - I love these "video game lifestory" blogs. Major Grimbly's isn't all that pleasant all the time, but that just makes it all the more amazing how much of an influence video games have had on his life.

A - We don't always appreciate what we have here as gamers. The past, while nostalgic for good reason, has nothing on the present.

A - SSG Gambit shares some thoughts on where Nintendo went wrong with the WiiU, but reinsures us all that they're not going anywhere anytime soon.




- Also, this game be pretty




- Alyn Shir? Or me after getting that tattoo removed and apparently my fashion sense with it? We may never know....

R - A straight-up review for an old game. It's alright though, because it's X-men.

R - And a review for a not-old game: White Knight Chronicles. Realtalk: I cannot BEGIN to tell you how much I hate the term "white knight", so this game already lost me there.




- Oh, and then there's these guys. There's not much to tell about them as of yet, but I may have kinda sorta accidentally/deliberately killed a bunch of them to become their queen. I swear that wasn't my fault.

R - Blizzard is releasing a new pet on their store to aid charity...great right? But what if they ARE the charity!?




- Finally, buttshot. And also Chakrams again.



- ShadeOfLight
May you always find water and shade

FPotD
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About CblogRecapsone of us since 11:27 PM on 07.02.2008

About Cblog Recaps

Schedule:
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Reserve Recappers:
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Current "Bloggers Wanted" assignment
Fake it until you make it

This month's bloggers wanted prompt is something we stole. You see, by stealing this idea, you have no idea how truly inept I actually am. By pretending to know what I'm doing, I have clearly used my ill-gotten status to meet such big-time celebrities as Darlington Woolie "Pie Stealer" Madden or Sara from [insert pixel indie game studio here].

This month's bloggers wanted was inspired by the internal enjoyment we had at reading TheBlondeBass' promoted blog on faking conversational anime knowledge. And now it seems as good a time as ever to pretend to know what's going on since the new Fate/Grand Order game launched and qtoid is talking about it. I am a big fan of the character design of Artoria in the blue dress, or Artoria in the suit, or Artoria in the red dress. But seriously, we enjoyed the format so much that we want to ask the community for their own ideas at faking it at all sorts of things.

But this prompt is not just for anime, of course. The video game industry is fractured with all sorts of niche interests that only an insane rich person with no job could realistically know everything about. This month's bloggers wanted is about taking a subject you want to offer advice on faking knowledge about in order to help the greater community, for better or for worse. If this doesn't sound serious, don't worry, you're not supposed to take it seriously. You don't have to be an expert in whatever you talk about any more than Bass is an expert in anime.

I seriously don't know if that was a compliment or an insult.

Offer advice on anything you can expand your mind on. Want to help people get into character action games? The more Ss you put into its grading system, the cooler it is! Want to convince people to get into the Neptunia series? Just say "Nep-Nep!" and you're all set to convince people of your technical knowledge! Can you get someone into RTS game by just talking about your APM? Someone's bound to believe some random technical jargon you made up!

To get started, start a blog and title it "Faking it: [your blog title here]." Then you can be as serious or facetious as you want as you provide advice on any number of things: learning how to play fighting games, trying a long-running franchise you've probably neglected, or even explaining a game's timeline. Heck, you can probably seriously try on that last one and we still wouldn't believe you.

Good luck this month. Only true cowards rely on facts. Real heroes pretend to know what they're doing!



Current Community Contests
PREPARE TO CONTEST - The Master Gaming List Birthday Giveaway!

Good Morning/Evening/Yesterday, my Friends/Robots/INSERT WAIFU HERE,

More or less a week ago, the Master Gaming List turned one year old. I had a speech prepared, but the blog editor ate it four or five times over the last few days, so I'm kind of winging it now.

Despite all of the threatening and cajoling I initially made to get you all on the list, I never imagined I'd still be adding names a year later (and by "you all", I mostly mean GajKnight). It was kind of a ridiculous undertaking at first, trying to make a semi-permanent, easily-updatable list of everyone's contact info. I'm not even sure what everyone was being hyped over last year that got me to do this.

That said, I'm glad it came together, and this list has lead to many other things for me on Destructoid; whether it was me becoming our laziest, cuddliest Community Manager, or our laziest, cuddliest Reviews-type-person, I have always enjoyed the full love and support of this community.

In thanks, and with the assistance of quite a few others, I've gathered up a number of game keys to give away to you all.

The Contest

I've never run a contest before, so let's keep things simple. Write me a haiku about your favorite game.

Rules

1. The haiku must not include the title of the game.

2. I will accept any other form of structured poetry if you are unable to haiku but can iambic pantameter (you monster).

3. Please state what key you are going for, and a backup if that one is taken (admittedly, it's quantity over variety here)

4. The tentative end date of the contest will be August 13th, and will be bumped at least once during that time.

Available Keys

-Stellaris
-Aporia: Beyond The Valley (Multiple Keys)
-The Witness
-Citadel: Forged With Fire (Multiple Keys)
-Armello
-Undertale
-ABZU

Thank you to all 282 of you who have made the Master List a successful project over the past year! I will continue updating it into the forseeable future.


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