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 Post subject: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:10 am 
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And here we are at last, my official, full-lengthed review of QFG 2 VGA, one that I played with fair character development (mostly in order to fully experience the completeness of the combat engine development, and remind myself just how repetitive a true RPG must be in order to get a maxed out character), and all I can say is, the game was so impressive that it could blind an entire advancing army with it's rays of pure awesomeness... of course, if we can get solar panels right next to it, we won't ever have any kind of energy shortages for the next... I dunno, thirteen thousand years at the very least! :D

OK, so first things first, and even though I've mentioned it in my previous 'first look thread' I figure it needs to be restated again because it's just that good! Shapeir was amazing, a real bona fide living city with people and shops and life and everything. The fact that you see some parts of the alleyways messed up and broken, and other parts highly decorated and clean is just priceless. What's more even, there are shops (run by your generic Katta merchants no less) that pretty much took me by surprise. See, that's how you make a city that's down to earth and believable... have a few MORE shops around that you won't be able to buy stuff from. I'm serious, it was totally awesome, even the guy who sold wallets had a really witty air to it (“you don't need another purse, it'll be just like the one you have, except with less money”... true and funny!).

But the thing that took the cake, the whole darn thing for all this is... the random attack by the brigand. I don't know if it was supposed to be a once per game deal, but it was so shocking, and so damn cool it was amazing. Shapeir is a nice place to be, very peaceful, but it isn't perfect... and there are muggers out to getcha and here they are! Also I love how you couldn't kill him and he escaped in the end, quite simply put, that's an excellent touch to it since if you killed him, you couldn't just walk away from the scene since people would be asking questions (like I said, Shapeir is a city known for order, and is NOT the type of down-trodden cesspit of a town where you could kill someone and people would just go 'meh' and carry on their business). This also marks the FIRST TIME EVER that I decided to WALK around the alleyways instead of use the map for teleporation since I insisted on seeing everything first!

The other things about it that was a great touch, not just in the remake, but for all adventure games in general, is the fact that not all conversation options are available until either you've figured something out or a certain point in the game makes it known. Not only does this make it much more involving for the player, but makes for vastly better plot development. In most adventure games, you could ask anything, anytime, and this spoils the mood since you could inquire about things that most people would have no idea about (seriously, why would Harik want to make a dispel potion and why would the hero want it unless he saw a creature that might be enchanted, or why ask about elementals that people haven't seen yet or even know exist). I've recently played another adventure game, Altered Destiny (pretty mediocre overall, but not too bad) that had issues like that in some situations as well. The fact that you needed to wait till a certain point, explore, find justifications and evidence for something before inquiring makes it a lot more challenging. Heck, I didn't get a full 500 points this time, and I've always been getting full points since at least 1998! Kudos to you for making a game so challenging that even people who know everything in it by heart can miss something!

So what are some individual touches? Well, like in the movie industry, in which advances in technology made it possible for movie makers to put absolutely anything imaginable into film (with CGI, there is quite literally no more boundaries, anything can be put in), you people fleshed out so much more stuff. The inn not only closes at night (I made a suggestion like that years ago, but you people probably figured it before), but sometimes you see Shema and Shameen enjoying a little private time together, she even comes to listen to Omar when reads his poetry! She ain't some robot maid no more, and neither is Shameen, their relationship is definitely a lot more believable and realistic. Oh yeah, and the cool scene that was shown only in words in the original game was much better for it, especially with them actually waiting around to talk to you and encourage you.

So what else did I not mention about Shapeir? Truth is, I don't know if I said everything yet. My brain is so scrambled with the stuff to mention I don't know what to say next! I heard you people had a third thief mission, but I never found it, maybe I was thinking so much in terms of the original that I completely forgot!

The wizard game was one of the most engaging and innovative I've ever seen. It's gonna take me quite some time to get the hang of it and win on the highest challenge level, but I'm thinking my cognitive functions would probably be grateful for it. Seriously, how DID you program that?

The combat system, I already mentioned, was awesome... and you people even went so far as to implement a new system for the red saurus (another nice touch, BTW) and make it closer to what the original idea of what a saurus should be... a fiercely loyal beast that would not abandon it's owner and would assist him in battle by instinct even if it was not trained to do so. I only got into one fight, but all I can say is, you people have some serious dedication to work so much towards a feature that it would be used so infrequently and at a point in the game in which most people wouldn't bother to use it.

Oh and speaking of nice touches, I love the character development in certain folk, and I'm referring specifically to a certain weaponsmith who seemed angry and anti-social towards you even after you joined his top secret club... but now has a highly appropriate change in attitude after a certain event. ;)

I won't even go towards Raseir right now. It's 1 AM over here and I'll write the rest of the full review later (in the same thread), but for now, I'll leave it at that, gotta either go vegetable shopping (at a 24 hour supermarket right next to here) or snooze to recharge my brain cells, I got a big day ahead of me tomorrow and I'm not sure if I'm gonna play QFG 2 VGA then... but next time it's definitely with a gamewizard involved! :D

And on a final note... Khaveen's voice, it sorta reminds me of Bill Gate's voice from a Mac Vs PC parody, mixed in with some early video games made in the early and mid 80's, and topping it with a bit of Richard Garriot's voice acting for Lord British. I don't know why, there's something deliciously amusing about a master swordsman and tyrant who has a voice like that, maybe that's why he's so mean... the poor fellow has to compensate for it! :p

Part 2 coming soon.

Till next time stay cool 8))


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 Post subject: Re: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:15 am 
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I think that was the first mention here about meeting a brigand in Shapeir. It's even cooler than you realize :).


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 Post subject: Re: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:36 am 
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Thanks for the kind words.

Quote:
But the thing that took the cake, the whole darn thing for all this is... the random attack by the brigand. I don't know if it was supposed to be a once per game deal, but it was so shocking, and so damn cool it was amazing.


His appearance is not random. He's part of a hidden sidequest.

Quote:
The inn not only closes at night (I made a suggestion like that years ago, but you people probably figured it before), but sometimes you see Shema and Shameen enjoying a little private time together, she even comes to listen to Omar when reads his poetry! She ain't some robot maid no more, and neither is Shameen, their relationship is definitely a lot more believable and realistic.


If you enjoy interaction with Shameen and Shema, go ahead and join them while they're having time off...whenever you can.

Quote:
The wizard game was one of the most engaging and innovative I've ever seen. It's gonna take me quite some time to get the hang of it and win on the highest challenge level, but I'm thinking my cognitive functions would probably be grateful for it. Seriously, how DID you program that?


Are you talking about Keapon's or Aziza's game?

Quote:
Oh and speaking of nice touches, I love the character development in certain folk, and I'm referring specifically to a certain weaponsmith who seemed angry and anti-social towards you even after you joined his top secret club... but now has a highly appropriate change in attitude after a certain event.


Thanks for noticing that. :)

Quote:
I think that was the first mention here about meeting a brigand in Shapeir.


LateBt mentioned in his video that one of the things that put him off is how you could get attacked in the city that was supposed to be a safe haven. My first reaction was: "Great...the first person to discover a major hidden feature and he has to complain about it."

Anyway I'm happy you're enjoying the game so much, seeing how long it took to create it.

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 Post subject: Re: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:02 pm 
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The Prince of Shapeir

Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 4:12 am
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Quote:
LateBt mentioned in his video that one of the things that put him off is how you could get attacked in the city that was supposed to be a safe haven. My first reaction was: "Great...the first person to discover a major hidden feature and he has to complain about it."


Heh, I was thinking the same thing, and on Youtube, no less. :rolleyes Now that the cat's out of the bag, I wonder who will be the first person to crack this egg *without* any hints whatsoever? :D

Quote:
And on a final note... Khaveen's voice, it sorta reminds me of Bill Gate's voice from a Mac Vs PC parody


Which part are you referring to here? His battle grunts during combat or when you 'take care' of him in the thief's ritual? I recorded all of the human and monster combat 'ouch' sounds and battle grunts for the combat scenes (yes, even Uhura's), and I based Khaveen's grunts off Marvin the Martian of, all things. I guess I wanted him to sound noticeably different than all the other male human opponents you face who all re-use the brigand's 'ouch' sounds.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Paladinlover. I'm sure you'll find much more in there on subsequent playthroughs, too.


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 Post subject: Re: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:03 pm 
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OMG - what is this sidequest, I must know!


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 Post subject: Re: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:06 pm 
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The sidequest is the brigand inside the city. His appearance is not random as was suggested. He only appears in the classic alleyway system. That's all I'll say.

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 Post subject: Re: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:13 pm 
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Quote:
His appearance is not random. He's part of a hidden sidequest.


You don't say... tell me about it. But don't totally spoil it, just drop a few hints and here and there, I want to uncover the majority of it on my own.

Quote:
If you enjoy interaction with Shameen and Shema, go ahead and join them while they're having time off...whenever you can.


I would love to... but how do you do that? Spoil this one for me, please. :)

Quote:
Are you talking about Keapon's or Aziza's game?


Keapon's... I asked Aziza about a game, she didn't seem to have one... or did she?

Quote:
Which part are you referring to here? His battle grunts during combat or when you 'take care' of him in the theif's ritual? I recorded all of the human and monster combat 'ouch' sounds and battle grunts for the combat scenes (yes, even Uhura's), and I based Khaveen's grunts off Marvin the Martian of, all things. :)


I'm refering to his battle grunts. I haven't taken care of him during the breakin to his house (is THIS what you were refering to? OR you have another thing added! :D ) but I will doing it later since I'm playing with a pure thief character.

Till next time stay cool 8))


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 Post subject: Re: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:29 pm 
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Quote:
You don't say... tell me about it. But don't totally spoil it, just drop a few hints and here and there, I want to uncover the majority of it on my own.


You must heed the word on the street.

Quote:
I would love to... but how do you do that? Spoil this one for me, please.


Shameen and Shema close down the inn as early night ticks over to midnight and take some time off. If you accept their invitation to join them, you'll have the opportunity to spend some time talking and sharing stories.

Quote:
Keapon's... I asked Aziza about a game, she didn't seem to have one... or did she?


She does...it's even a minigame that was originally designed (partially) by Lori Cole, but it was scrapped. She'll only play it with pure wizards who graduated.

Quote:
I'm refering to his battle grunts. I haven't taken care of him during the breakin to his house (is THIS what you were refering to? OR you have another thing added! ) but I will doing it later since I'm playing with a pure thief character.


Khaveen appears in the thief's end-game scenario.

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 Post subject: Re: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:39 pm 
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Quote:
Shameen and Shema close down the inn as early night ticks over to midnight and take some time off. If you accept their invitation to join them, you'll have the opportunity to spend some time talking and sharing stories.


Oh that, darn, I forgot to mention it in my review. Yes I loved that part. :)

Quote:

You must heed the word on the street.


Understood. I'll ask around for brigand and such and see what I can find.

Till next time stay cool 8))


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 Post subject: Re: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:52 pm 
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I want to stress again that you guys really should try to solve the Easter Eggs and side quests on your own without any hints whatsoever. You'll get a much better feeling of accomplishment if you do.

Even though it's tempting to want instant gratification when you know something cool exists in the game which you haven't seen yet, I feel this is something which has lead to the decline of adventures because players tend to want instant gratification and don't spend enough time exploring to find these things out on their own anymore. The longevity and replayability factor of the game will be severely shortened if every Easter Egg is uncovered and the game hasn't even been released for a week yet. Some of these things took years to collectively code into the game. I didn't see some things in QFG3, like the Rhino or the Hero's jaw dropping when looking at Johari, for many years after I first played the game. And that made some aspects of QFG3 feel fresh and new to me even years later.

Trust me, savour the experience and try exploring things without hints from us. Even if it takes you another 5 years to discover something, it will make the discovery all the more interesting and rewarding once you uncover it on your own.


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 Post subject: Re: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:55 pm 
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maybe that works for some, but that's not really how I enjoy my games.

I'm not going to debate the matter because I can see it's something you're passionate about.


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 Post subject: Re: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:02 pm 
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No need to debate it cause I'm keeping my lips zipped henceforth. Happy hunting. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: My full lengthed review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:09 pm 
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Lol, I didn't even KNOW the brigand-in-the-alley thing was a new feature. It happened to me once pretty early in the game, but didn't understand the battle system just yet, so I died. Later on, I needed cash and thought "oh well some brigands in the alley may do" and started roaming the streets at night, but didn't find any.

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