Friday, 29 May 2015

A Town Called Malice

Yes, Prophecy of the Shadow does indeed contain a town called Malice. This one's full of mad monks, I'm not sure if it's the same one Paul Weller sang about. Anyway, I have finished the game. It's a bit of an odd one. It's presented as a bit of a 'starter RPG', with only a couple of stats for your character and a very short and straightforward quest. It was okay, but a little boring, and very, very slow...mainly just in the speed that your character walks. And, of course, there's a lot of backtracking across the map at this slow speed. There is a transporter system built in, but the gates themselves are so far off the beaten track that it's often quicker to just walk between the two points anyway. Bit of a waste - it would have been a great shortcut if it had worked. There's also a spell you can use to mark a place on the map and then teleport to that point at any time. This is good on the few occasions that you get to use it, but you only get to place one marker, which meant I tended to keep the one marker back in the middle of the map when it would have been nice to have a temporary one to be able to jump back to the start of dungeons after I'd finished them. The game also allows you to choose the path of a fighter or a mage (or both), and it kid of steers you toward mage being the one you were destined to take, but actually, mages are rubbish. Well, they might be good if the combat system gave you any chance at all of getting off spells before you're slaughtered. As it is, it makes much more sense to focus on being a pure fighter. That way you get a decent stat boost in your health/strength stat and you can actually hold your own in a fight. The couple of times you actually need to cast spells in the game can be done without much magic training, so there's little reason at all to follow the mage path. It's a shame, because there are actually some quite cool spells that are completely wasted. Oh, the story's also eerily reminiscent of Baldur's gate at the beginning...you live a sheltered life with your mentor until one day he's mysteriously killed and you have to head off on your own to find out what happened while being pursued by assassins...that's about as far as it goes, but it's enough to bring both games to mind.

Next up on the randometer is...Limbo! It's a beautiful looking silhouetted platformer from a few years ago. I played the demo on the PS3 a while back. Should be fun.

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