role-playing

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Matt chat 57: Tunnels of Doom

This week's show features Tunnels of Doom, an 8-bit classic rpg for the TI-99/4A. Enjoy, and please spread the word.

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Matt Chat 42: Dragon Age Origins

This week, I look at Bioware's new Dragon Age: Origins, a smash hit to join the ranks of earlier hits like Jade Empire and Knights of the Old Republic. Dragon Age: Origins is a dream come true for many fans of older, more tactically-oriented RPGs, though we're still far from the turn-based micromanagement of games like Pool of Radiance or Wizard's Crown. What I particularly like about DA:O is the emphasis on characters' feelings--which include romance and "adult situations!" Enjoy.

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Matt Chat's Legacy of the Ancients

This, week, I cover Quest Software's Legacy of the Ancients for the Commodore 64!

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Matt Chat 30: Fallout

This week's Matt Chat looks at one of my favorite CRPGs of all time, Interplay's Fallout from 1997.

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Thoughts on Crysis, Bioshock, Mass Effect, and Assassin's Creed

I've been slogging through a lot of games lately and thought it was time to try to post some thoughts on them. Instead of posting about them individually, I thought I'd discuss them together, comparing and contrasting.

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What's a CRPG? Some Thoughts on CRPG Genres

As you well know, I've been doing quite a bit of research into the CRPG, particularly the early years of their development. I just finished my "Golden Age" article that covers the years between 1985 and 1993, and I've been thinking more about what makes a "CRPG" a "CRPG," and how different developers have modified the concept over the years.

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The History of Computer Role-Playing Games Part I: The Early Years (1980-1983)

Welcome, brave adventurer, to the first of my in-depth feature articles exploring the history of our favorite computer game genre: The Computer Role-Playing Game, or the CRPG. For many avid gamers, the CRPG is the perfect storm of gameplay, story, and strategy. Whether we're talking about a randomized "dungeon crawler" like Rogue or a story-driven game like Betrayal in Krondor, a click-fest like Diablo or a stat-crunching Pool of Radiance, the CRPG has always enjoyed a tremendous appeal. Even today, when the first-person shooter and sports games seem to have crushed all opposition, everyday millions of players login to World of Warcraft, and each new installment in the Zelda series sends ripples throughout the entire game industry. Whether acknowledged or not, the CRPG will always play a major role in computer and console gaming. The CRPG is the spine of the electronic gaming industry--and it's not hard to see why. You just can't have more fun with a computer or a console than when you're engrossed in a well-crafted CRPG. But where did the CRPG come from? From what deep, dank dungeon did they crawl? How has the genre evolved into the amazing games we enjoy today? If you've ever wondered about these and other CRPG-related questions, of if you just like reading the very best writing you can find on the net about gaming--then grab a mug of your best ale and prepare to read an article only an author of Armchair Arcade would ever dare to draft!

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Review: Texas Instruments' "Tunnels of Doom" (1982)

Tracing the history of the modern computer role-playing game can take us to some interesting machines and even more interesting games. Tunnels of Doom, released in 1982 for Texas Instruments' TI-99/4A computer, is a very early attempt to adapt the conventions of table top D&D roleplaying games to the home computer. I was surprised to see how many of the game's features ended up in later games, especially SSI's popular Gold Box series. While the game is one of the less accessible titles for most modern gamers, it was one of the best-selling games for the TI-99/4A and is quite interesting from an historical perspective.

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Review: FTL's "Dungeon Master" (1987)

Dungeon Master: The Atari STDungeon Master: Dungeon Master (Atari ST Version) FTL's Dungeon Master, released in 1987 for the Atari ST and a year later for the Amiga, represents a defining moment in the evolution of the computer role-playing game. Although it is certainly not the first 3D real-time computer role playing game (see Dungeons of Daggorath), it's probably the first such game to really hit the mainstream. It was the #1 best selling product on the Atari ST platform, and remains one of the best-known and playable of the early CRPGs. Indeed, I've recently become addicted to the game and will probably not be happy until I've completed it! What I intend to do here is discuss some of the game's more innovative features and try to get at what makes this game so endearing and important.

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