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Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:25 am
by BoneSnapDeez
Looks like a cool game. I've been meaning to get it , but I think it's one of those digital games that's like $19.99? I always have a hard time making that plunge.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:27 am
by Exhuminator
BoneSnapDeez wrote:I think it's one of those digital games that's like $19.99? I always have a hard time making that plunge.

Nope, Crimson Shroud is currently $7.99 on the 3DS eShop.

There's another not-$20 RPG on 3DS eShop I think you'd like too: ... BmmbS4G53f

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:29 am
by BoneSnapDeez
Doh! I was thinking of Unchained Blades. Thanks dawg.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:54 am
by Sarge
I loved that PA strip. :)

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:25 am
by prfsnl_gmr
Exhuminator wrote:

The Keep is going to be discounted today from $12.99 to $7.99. I am definitely picking it up (along with a few other discounted games).

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:06 pm
by Ack
1. Metal Slug (MVS)(Run and Gun)
2. Puzzle Link (NGPC)(Puzzle)
3. Illusion of Gaia (SNES)(RPG)
4. Warhammer 40,000: Rites of War (PC)(Strategy)
5. Shadowrun: Dragonfall (PC)(RPG)
6. Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss (PC)(RPG)

Man, Ultima Underworld I is a blast. The plot is simple: you get called to Britannia, but a Baron gets mixed up and thinks you kidnapped his daughter, so he throws you into the Stygian Abyss because either a) you're a kidnapper or b) you can rescue his daughter. Once you're tossed in...good luck! At this point the game stops holding your hand, and you're off on your own. If you find the map, great! If you figure out the magic system, awesome! If you finally learn how to up your stats, wonderful! And the game will totally tell you those things...if you can find the scrolls that say it or ask the right people. Good luck finding them though. You're on your own.

As simple as that is, there is a lot of complexity in the progression. I highly recommend playing the game with a notebook for transcribing your notes, because you'll need to take a lot of notes. One really nice thing about the map is that it lets you write on it and delete what you wrote as needed. It also apparently has an infinite number of pages, so you can record every single note right there and carry it around in game if you need to. I cannot convey to you how crucial this is. Tell you what, put it this way: you have to translate a language to progress. You learn cryptic clues at the very beginning that are important at the very end. Every slice of info you find is critical to getting through, so you better make damn well sure you pay attention!

That said, as impossible as Ultima Underworld may seem at the outset, it's actually surprisingly easy to break too. I played a fighter, and by about midway through the game, enemies stopped being able to penetrate my armor with physical attacks. I could stand there and let enemies hit me, and they would do no damage. And magic casters stop casting if you get too close, so all I had to do was rush the mages and I was fine. Combat became a sort of joke that I would just walk through without issue. As for the magic system, it's an interesting idea(you build spells out of runestones you gather, up to three runes per potential spell), but I hardly ever used it. Heck, the game only ever tells you what a couple of the spells are anyway, so you'll have to explore those too...and one of them causes the apocalypse, so maybe don't mess with them too much. I mean that, you can cast a spell that gives you an instant game over. God, how cool is that?

Control-wise, Ultima Underworld came out around the same time as Doom, so 3D movement hadn't really been figured out yet. As a result, it's got an interesting control scheme that takes some getting used to if you've built WASD into your muscle memory. That said, find a control scheme online, and give yourself an hour, and you'll be ok. UU uses the mouse for navigating your inventory, your action menu, and for interacting with the world in ways that a few other games tried. If you have any experience with Realms of the Haunting, it's a bit like that, though not as refined yet.

One thing I do need to knock is the audio, because there is no volume button and the music is LOUD. I turned it off because I couldn't hear sound effects with it beating my eardrums into submission. Hilariously there is a bug with the sound effects too on the GOG version, which renders them as MIDI files and makes them sound like piano notes. Every time I take a step, a piano note plays. This both made up for the lack of music and enabled me to easily hear nearby critters, but I seriously started humming concertos to myself any time I ran down a hallway. I think I appreciated the levity within the darkness of the abyss.

The game is cryptic, mysterious, ahead of its time at its release and dated in some aspects now yet still very fresh in other ways, with ideas that are both incredible and solid yet strange. I beat it and explored it thoroughly, yet I feel like there are secrets I missed and ways to play that I never realized. I believe I love Ultima Underworld, but I also believe it to be unknowable, an elemental gaming force that I could never fully describe or understand. Ultima Underworld is like the perfect woman: dark, inscrutable, with curves in the right places and a spirit that both seductively calls me in and yet runs as untamable as the wind, leaving me breathless and floundering in its wake but happy to have known it. I feel both strength and weakness playing it, and while I cannot say it is without error or issue, I still want to label it perfection.


Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:19 pm
by Sarge
I'd be surprised if you couldn't go into the DOSBox config files and fix that issue with the GOG release.

Like many WRPGs, UU is a set of games that I've always been interested in playing, so I may need to give them a go sometime. Pretty sure I've got both of 'em on GOG.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:30 pm
by Exhuminator
UU1 is good. UU2 is great. UU3 (AKA Arx Fatalis) is divine.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:40 pm
by Sarge
If you want to change the sound device on UU1, try editing the UW.CFG file from "6 -1 -1 -1 sound" to "4 -1 -1 -1 sound". Also, you can change the sound card in the config file to "sb16" instead of "sbpro1", although I'm not sure that makes an appreciable difference.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:08 pm
by Xeogred
Excellent review Ack. Was level 8 really that hard? Maybe I was just tapping out in general by then haha. I too never really touched the magic system. Wonky as hell, but kind of neat. It was a very cool experience and I'm glad you got to play with the piano notes too, that was hilariously charming and I ended up loving it about it haha.

EDIT: Looks like you posted about level 8 in depth in the RPG Progress Report. I'll check that out.

Exhuminator wrote:UU1 is good. UU2 is great. UU3 (AKA Arx Fatalis) is divine.

So how does Arx compare to like, System Shock 2? Since they're probably pretty comparable style and release date wise. I'm an absolute sucker for these types of games, so yeah I really need to get Arx installed again and see if it works now.

I still need to go back and try the updated version of SS1. Pretty stoked for the remake too, but I do want to give the original another shot. Naturally I should like it even more than UU since I'm sci-fi biased, but that interface and the controls were pretty damn daunting. :lol: