Retro Game Friday: Fable

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with another game from the now defunct Lionhead Studios. It’s Fable!

Plot Synopsis: On his sister’s birthday, a young boy’s village of Oakvale is raided by bandits; killing the boy’s entire family. An old Hero, Maze, rescues the boy, seeing great potential in him; Maze trains the boy to become a Hero at the Heroes’ Guild. Years pass; after honing his skills, Maze informs the Hero of a blind seeress living among a bandit camp near Oakvale, and advises the Hero to infiltrate the bandit camp.

Plot: The plot is decent, but so filled with stereotypical things that it’s also not that amazing. This is probably due to Molyneux over reaching again, but that’s more a fault of the actual game developers rather than the story writers.

Gameplay: The gameplay is okay, but honestly compared to the promises of what Molyneux wanted to include in the game, it makes this look like trash. Fable is often used as an example of never making claims of features before you’re sure of them being doable in the game, unless you specify that. Overall Fable plays like any other Action RPG , with a morality system that affects appearance and seemingly choices, but really doesn’t.

Art: The art has aged incredibly poorly, although I’ve heard it’s since been remastered in HD, so that remake might be worth checking out. Maybe.

Music: Standard Fantasy fare, it’s not all that amazing.

Overall: Skip this game, it’s one among many that tried to be amazing, but failed miserably.

For those who like: Action-RPGs, Adventure, Fantasy, Drama.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or tons of missing features.

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Retro Game Friday: Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the sequel to Paper Mario. It’s Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door!

Plot Synopsis: The game opens with an introduction about a seaside town which was damaged by a cataclysm and consequently sunk into the depths of the earth. A town named Rogueport was later built at this site, with the fortunes of the lost kingdom fabled to exist behind the eponymous Thousand-Year Door, located in the ruins of the old town. Mario becomes involved when Princess Peach contacts him about a treasure map that she bought in Rogueport…

Plot: The plot is okay, but this isn’t anything like a Final Fantasy game in terms of story telling. The story is definitely aimed at a younger audience, which is fine because this is a Mario game. If you’re expecting gritty and hardcore violence, I’m sure any Mario game will not be what you’re looking for.

Gameplay: It plays a lot like the original Paper Mario, with most of the differences coming outside of battle in the forms of powers Mario gets to explore and solve puzzles with his partners. In fact that fact is probably the only downside to this game, it’s really not that much different from the original Paper Mario.

Art: It’s aged pretty well, but the art style of the Paper Mario series has always lent itself a timeless quality.

Music: The music is very much a Mario score, but that again isn’t surprising, this is a Mario game. It’s going to have familiar sounds.

Overall: This is a good sequel, but not a great one. If you really loved the first game, then Thousand-Year Door will probably be something you’ll want to play. Otherwise this can be a skippable game.

For those who like: Mario, RPGs, Turn-Based Combat, Puzzles, Good Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

 

Retro Game Friday: Opoona

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a really obscure game. It’s Opoona!

Plot Synopsis: The planet Landroll was impacted by a large meteorite composed of crystallized dark energy. Half of the star, once lush and verdant, died from the impact, becoming the Deadlands. Life for the survivors changed drastically; the impact caused a shift in gravity, causing the sun to become tidally locked to the planet. Species died and vegetation withered in the heat; mysterious creatures, known as Rogues, emerged from the meteorite and began to attack people. Humans eventually built sturdy glass domes over Landroll’s surviving cities. Sanctuary, an island floating above the northern pole, was unaffected and habitable areas outside the domes became the wild lands.

Several hundred years after the meteorite impact, Opoona and his siblings, Copoona and Poleena, are on a family vacation from the star Tizia with their parents, Momeena, Dadeena and co-pilots Troc and Noix, travelling in a spaceship to Landroll. Momeena tells Opoona that her brother, Roidman, lives on the planet doing research on how to reduce the Rogue population. Shortly after, the spaceship is attacked by mysterious dark energy, and the three children are placed into separate escape pods before the spaceship crashes on Landroll.

Three days after the crash landing, Opoona awakens from a coma in Tokione Dome and is informed of the incident, and told that his parents are being treated by Sages in Sanctuary.

Plot: The plot is okay, but rather simplistic. It’s not super amazing or terrible, but mediocre. That’s probably why this game is so damn obscure.

Gameplay: The gameplay isn’t a classic turn based combat like you might expect of a JRPG. It’s closer to a Tales of Game, although maybe comparing it to Ni no Kuni would be better. If Ni no Kuni had no minions.

Art: The art hasn’t aged well, which is to be expected of both a game that was made in 3D and a game made for the Wii. Sorry Nintendo lovers, but almost every third party Wii game looked like crap.

Music: I don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: An easily skippable game, that being said if you get the chance to play it for cheap or free, you might as well give it a shot right?

For those who like: JRPGs, Simplistic Art Styles, Real Time Combat Systems.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Ogre Battle 64

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a really obscure title most probably forgot even existed. It’s Ogre Battle 64!

Plot Synopsis:  The story follows Magnus Gallant, a recent graduate of the Ischka Military Academy and fledgling captain in Palatinus’ Southern region Alba, as civil war erupts in the country.

Plot: It was pretty good and one of the first console games to have multiple endings that I played.

Gameplay: This was a RTS, instead of a turn based strategy game like Final Fantasy Tactics, which made it a bit more hectic. Frankly at the time I preferred turn based combat, and for strategy games I would say that still holds true for me. That said this was one of the more obscure games and getting a copy to play wasn’t exactly easy. I only played it a couple of times.

Art: The art is mostly 3d in an isometric perspective, so while it hasn’t aged very well, it’s aged better than more fully 3D games like Perfect Dark or the like.

Music: Don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: If you get the chance to play it, go for it. It’s pretty interesting, although the gameplay may seem somewhat simplistic now.

For those who like: RTS, Strategy Games, Good Plot, Decent Gameplay.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Mario and Luigi Partners in Time

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the sequel to Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga! It’s Mario and Luigi Partners in Time!

Plot Synopsis: During Mario and Luigi’s infancies, Shroobs from a withering distant planet find the Mushroom Kingdom and invade it. The invasion forces Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach, Toadsworth the Younger, and Baby Bowser (who had been attempting to capture Baby Peach at the time) to flee in the Koopa Cruiser. In the future, Princess Peach, Toadiko, and Toadbert travel to the past via Professor E. Gadd’s time machine, which is powered by the Cobalt Star. But when the device returns, it is occupied by a hostile alien, forcing Mario and Luigi to use a newly-formed time hole in the castle gardens to go to the past and find Peach.

Plot: The plot  was okay, but it wasn’t super spectacular like a Final Fantasy Game. It was humorous though, like most Mario RPGs are.

Gameplay: Like other Mario RPGs this game is turn based, but if you input certain commands at the correct time you would be able to do more damage. It’s decent gameplay, but looking back on it I really don’t find it super amazing either. I guess the Tales of games have influenced my taste in RPGs a bit too much.

Characters: It’s a Mario game, so expecting incredibly deep characters would be kind of silly. The cast was fun though.

Art: Thankfully this game is like it’s predecessor in that it’s 2D so it’s aged much better than 3D games from the time.

Music: It’s Mario, through and through.

Overall: A decent sequel, it added enough new features that it didn’t feel like a repeat of the prior game with new paint.

Retro Game Friday: Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance II

This week for Retro game Friday I’m covering the sequel to Dark Alliance. It’s Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II!

Plot Synopsis: The game begins by revealing the fate of the three protagonists from the first game; after jumping through the portal at the top of the Onyx Tower, Vahn, Kromlech and Adrianna are taken prisoner by the vampire Mordoc SeLanmere. Meanwhile, outside Baldur’s Gate, fate brings Dorn, Vhaidra, Ysuran, Borador and Allessia together. Upon meeting on the Trade Way, they learn that since the collapse of Xantam’s Guild, the route has become increasingly dangerous due to the rise of the Red Fang Marauders, a goblin army who prey on travelers. After infiltrating a nearby Marauders cave, and freeing the caravan guard Randalla, the heroes head to Wayfork Village, a nearby fiefdom. There, they rescue the village from the Marauders and kill their hobgoblin leader, Harnak.

Plot: The plot was okay, but due to certain circumstances I can’t really count it as being good. I won’t mention what they are, but play through the game and you’ll understand.

Characters: We get 5 new characters to play as initially, personally I played as Vhaidra, the Drow Monk. There are also two secret characters, Drizzt and Artemis Entreri, but those are unlocked after beating the game and Extreme mode respectively.

Gameplay: It played a lot like the first game, and was fun to play co-op with a second person with. I think my brother was the Human Barbarian Dorn when we played together. There were some additions, but really it’s not that much different from the first game.

Art: It’s aged poorly, but was pretty amazing back in the day.

Music: Don’t remember a whit, sorry.

Overall: A great sequel if somewhat lackluster in the plot department.

Retro Game Friday: Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a spin off of the Baldur’s Gate series. It’s Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance!

Plot Synopsis: The game begins with Vahn, Adrianna and Kromlech arriving in Baldur’s Gate, whereupon they are attacked by a group of thieves led by Karne. The thieves are about to kill the trio when they are interrupted by the city watch, who take the newcomers to the nearby Elfsong Tavern to recover. There, the bartender, Alyth Elendara, assists them in earning some money by giving them the job of clearing the tavern’s cellar of rats.

Plot: The plot is pretty decent, not the most amazing story, but definitely not the worst either.

Characters: The characters are pretty interesting and while they aren’t super deep, there is enough to them to keep them from being dull.

Gameplay: The game plays a lot like Gauntlet in that it’s very linear,and while there are some sidequests they are few and far between. It’s a hack and slash style game, so don’t expect to be entering intricate combos to rain destruction on your enemies. It can get repetitive, although with each of the characters playing very differently it doesn’t mean you can’t switch it up by starting a new file. You do have the option of playing local co-op however which was pretty fun.

Art: It’s definitely aged poorly, but was pretty decent back when it was first released.

Music: I honestly don’t remember any of it, sorry.

Overall: If you want a game that you can play pretty mindlessly, this isn’t a bad choice. That being said there are better choices like Diablo.

For those who like: Hack and Slash Games, Linear Gameplay, Okay Plot, Co-Op Gameplay.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.