Sunday, October 1, 2023

Just Discovered a New Console/Computer RPG for Under $10....

Just Discovered a New Console/Computer RPG for Under $10....
This weekend has been a pretty good one for me gaming-wise. Got to sling dice Friday night for a bit...and that'd normally be enough to record this as a good weekend (unless you have a shitty GM & group....been there, quit that, sorry if that hits close to home), but Saturday was a bit more game-filled than expected and this Sunday morning I'm dragging ass a bit because of it.

I know, I know, why should you care.....I'll get there...eventually.

So Saturday morning I managed to get a while hair up my ass and decided to finally break down and pick up a game I've been wanting to try for like, forever. Stopped in at my FLGS and they did not have a copy of HeroQuest. I've never played it, but it isn't a cheap game by any means, so deciding to pull the trigger on a $100+ game isn't something I take lightly.

Since that didn't happen, I drove around town, did my normal Saturday errands, and stopped off at my local Gamestop to look at used XBox games. That store did have a copy of HeroQuest, and it was $95! Online it's listed at $135.....yoinks, mine now. I haven't cracked it open yet because I don't need to see more minis I'm not going to paint and terrain I need, but am not going to build (I'll eventually do that is a lie I tell myself often). 

On a side note, I just did a HeroQuest google search and I think I may have started myself down a very dark and dangerous board game path.....holy hell there is a lot of add-ons and customization....this purchase may be my gateway drug to a new gaming addiction...(hope not).

While I was at Gamestop, well it was my main purpose for being there until I got sidelined by HeroQuest, I managed to pick up some games during a 4 for $20 (priced $10 or less). Normally it's hard for me to find enough games that I want to pretend I'll play, but I found three I liked & wanted to try, but I needed a fourth.....so I grabbed up Pillars of Eternity (Complete Edition).

Holy crap did I just luck out, and if you're anything like me you might be going, WTF is Pillars of Eternity? Hell, I didn't have clue.....just picked it up to round out my purchases figuring the $7 was essentially free. Now I had asked about the new Baldur's Gate game and Gamestop didn't carry codes or copies of the game. I liked the original Baldur's Gate game, have bought it like three time now, but the Xbox version.......suuuuuuuuuuuucckkssssssss. The controls are crap. I guess that the new Baldur's Gate 3 game isn't yet available for Xbox, and last I heard it will be download only and only available on the Xbox Series X. If you have a S or Xbox One, you're just SOL. Now that's just what I've heard....

Pillars of Eternity

If you don't want to wait and/or shell out $60 or like $560 if you don't have a Series X, and you liked the OG Baldur's Gate, then check out Pillars of Eternity. While it took a little getting used to, the controls (and graphics) are great and....well I'm impressed. It feels like instead of taking a tabletop RPG and forcing a console game over the top of it, they did the reverse. It's playable and a lot of the fiddly bits are pushed aside, but there if you need them. I don't quite understand the game mechanics 100%, but I don't need to. There's enough to get to just jump in and there's a lot of lore I can either dive into, or just gloss over.

I thought I'd just make sure the game ran, maybe see what character creation was like, and get through the intro. Next thing I know it's 1 AM. 

One thing I really liked it that this game doesn't coddle you and aside from a little necessary rail-roading during the intro, lets you figure things out on your own. A couple of barely-spoilery events in the first bits of the game:

  • You enter your first "dungeon" with a couple of NPCs....or maybe they'll be party members....and one wants you to do one thing and the other definately doesn't want you to do that one thing. If you do what the one character wants, which makes sense and is totally reasonable, the other character nopes out.
  • When you get past the end of the required adventure start railroad you're free to explore. You comes across a solitary character that is morning the loss of a friend to a bear attack. He warns you to not enter the cave to the North, which I promptly tried to do.....and got ganked hard. Well that dude did warn you..... My PC has leveled a couple times so I got back and try again. Oh hell no! That bear un-alived my group just as quickly as before, and this time I had tactics and everything. I'm not sure what level I need to be to overcome this brute, but so far the only way to survive this Kobayashi Maru is not to play.

There's a few game mechanics that I'm really enjoying, mostly because I have some pre-conceived notions that Pillars of Eternity is just not playing into. First is that I'm expecting party members to just come along for me to accept or turn down, so I'm talking to every character with a name. After a few hours of gameplay I've found one. That guy is an established new party member, but I could, and just did, hire an adventurer. When you do that you get to basically create them like you did your main PC, and so far there isn't really any difference between the hired gun and the discovered-in-the-wild party member.

The other new thing I like is actually kind of two-fold. When you level your character and get to add some traits/abilities, you can choose to add a low-level starting ability of another class. I haven't taken one of these options yet, but I'm hoping that can basically lead towards some sort of dual/multi classing. Speaking of classing, if you decided you don't like where your PC is heading ability-wise, you can pay to basically retrain (re-class) your PC. Again, not something I'm taking advantage of, but the fact it's there is pretty cool.

Pillars of Eternity was made by Obsidian Entertainment, who has done some damned fine computer games (pretty much too many to list) and this game was Kickstarted! I know, listing a successful big-budget gaming KS here at the Tavern is like almost unheard of. It's also available on Steam right now for a whopping $9.99 (for the version I have on XBox). I'm considering picking up the PC version as well for when I travel.

If you like isometric computer RPGs and don't want to (or can't) shell out $60+ for Baldur's Gate 3, then I highly recommend Pillars of Eternity.....for $10 or less....you'll defiantly get your money's worth!

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