Hi, guys, it's been awhile since we had a new podcast up, so here's one I recorded today about the epic Legend of Grimrock and some of the latest Kickstarter news. Are we experiencing a fad--a brief phase--or on the cusp of a gaming revolution? I also chat a bit about Grimrock, though I stick to basic points since I plan to do a Matt Chat on it soon. As always, feel free to comment, ask questions, or do whatever it is you do below.
Download the podcast here.
Bill, a challenge? I ACCEPT :P
What the hell am I talking about? After I finish the game on hard/hard-core mode (which isn't too tough), I intent to play it semi-permadeath - meaning,
no saving except at soulstones (or whatever they are called). Might even video it, and put on a youtube channel...P.S. how is your darklands slogathon going? (If your resolve had weakened - I urge you to try again - it really is one of the best of the bestest...)
And speaking of slog-a-thons, when is Matt going to organise the next one? It cannot come too soon!!!
Sorry for my enthusiasm, but I am an old school fanatic, and this website had become a kind of a temple for me :P
I scheduled the other one during the Christmas holidays, since that's when most folks have at least a few days off to commit themselves fully to it. If you have other ideas for dates, lemme know.
Don't know when, I reckon Easter would have been a good time but that is now gone past us...
You have inspired me though to organize slog-a-thons here locally among my friends,
we try to have one once every month on a weekend. And we all play the same game so that we can help each other if stuck,
or just have that interesting 'shared' stories...
I think that dungeon crawler genre had some core features that don't quite fit in the modern world and without them, it not the same thing. In my opinion, modern games beat Wizardry in all, but one way - the sense of danger. When you think: " Maybe cast another dumapic( yes, I remember almost all spells from Wizardry)), because if there mistake, you can die.". When you fear to do one wrong step, because it can lead to your grave. Well I can't explain it right, but don't sense it here and without it, Grimrock is just is just useless pack of maps to me. And I'm not claiming that game is bad! I just don't like it. Very different things. Also I’m played only Wizardry 1-5 and then turned into MightandMagic \Ishar zombie, so maybe I don’t have right to say on this matter.
I did get the same anticipation I got with Wizardry, which, by the way, I was never able to beat. There are definitely moments when you're down to one party member, barely alive, trying to get back to a save crystal before you get game over. There were many close calls!
There were many other things to wizardry (and some dungeon crawlers) as well that can't quite be beaten by modern games:
1) No subquests - mate, in some of these modern games I am more scared of the subquests than of the monsters populating the world. That is part of the reason I stopped playing modern games, is because I can't quite feel the immersion when I have to save yet another of somebody's cats/dogs, while on my way to mount doom.
2) Cohesive story/plot/theme - again, and probably more relevant to the later Wizardry (the dark savant trilogy). That is also related to the no subquests issue - with none present, everything in the game is related to the main story/plot/theme in some way or another - nothing feels besides itself. Hence, you are very likely to complete it much more than any of the other games (I know too many people who just played elder scrolls for fun/modding/subquests/exploration and never finished it - that is FINE, but it does not make for a cohesive story/plot/theme driven play).
3) A focus on the micro - (and I don't just mean real time micro like in DM/Grimrock), I mean a simulationist approach to the game (some would say in an unfun way, but I really like it). That is why you often control more than one person, as well as having an intricate trap disarming system (wiz7), or mapping system, or lighting system (I actually find the way light works (albeit primitively) in even wiz1 far more realistic than in many modern games that don't even require you to carry a light source).
4) Difficulty - well that is kinda related to the argument of 'make a mistake and you die', but not quite - you can still have an extremely difficult game without being too punitive with your save system (Icewind Dale 1 comes to mind, I found it extremely difficult, but you can save scum the hell out of it - then again many argue that ID series are just isometric dungeon crawlers anyways). And although Wiz1 was both difficult and punitive, it is the difficult part of it that I am missing in modern games, and to that extend Grimrock does not disappoint. It manages to be difficult (at least on the mode I am playing) without being punitive (due to Rez crystals).
I could go on, but the thing is that Wizardry style game (though dungeon crawlers) are very much different than Dungeon Master style games (though also are dungeon crawlers) - and if you want to try a dungeon crawler (in the spirit of DM/Grimrock) done right to the extreme and is still quite playable to this date - try Lands of Lore : Throne of Chaos (from gog.com). IMHO it is the end-all of DM style dungeon crawlers.
Playing it right now and having a blast. There hasn't been anything like this for at least a decade. I really like that they took a risk and used tile-based movement . Even the precious few 1st person dungeon crawls over the past few years like Arx Fatalis or King's Field used fluid movement which is OK, but I think there is a place for tile-based as well.
I'm really excited at the apparent success of this product, because the 1st person dungeon crawl genre has been dying (aside from the DS which is seemingly keeping it alive all by itself)and this product has some new life into it.
The 1st person dungeon crawl is my favorite genre. Sadly very few have been made in the last 10 years aside from the DS platform. Those that were made outside of the DS platform are closer to the 10 year mark than they are recent There are of course a ton for DOS and older systems, but this is a list of relatively modern ones if anyone is interested. Feel free to add more if I have forgotten any.
King's Field (ps1)
King's Field 2 (ps1)
Shadow Tower (ps1)
King's Field TAC (ps2)
Eternal Ring (ps2)
Wizardry Tale of the Forsaken Land (ps2)
Arx Fatalis (PC, xbox)
Hellgate London (pc)
Might and Magic 9 (pc)
Wizardry 8 (pc)
Legend of Grimrock (pc)
Etrian Odyssey 1 (DS)
Etrain Odyssey 2 (DS)
Etrian Odyssey 3 (DS)
Fighting Fantasy The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (DS)
Orcs & Elves (DS)
Shin Megami Tensei Strange Journey (DS)
The Dark Spire (DS)
Hi, Matt! I saw this podcast posted on a site I sometimes goto called RPG Watch. I really liked your podcast! You seem like a nice, laidback guy who actually knows something about what he's talking about.
I was looking at the other posts here at this site and looked at the about us pages and so on. I was thinking of setting up my own retrogaming site and was wondering how you guys do it. Do you meet up regularly to discuss the site? Maybe use skype to stay in touch? What are the duties of the editors and such? I would like to know how you guys operate behind the scenes! are you all friends in real life? How did you meet each other?
Nice and Laidback? Matt is an OldSk00l GOD! We're not worthy!!!
(J/K, he is pretty nice and laid back...), check up his youtube videos on 'Matt Chat'
(just youtube search it), some very good interviews/retro-views in there.