I announced earlier that my brother and I have moved to a new RPG series, the “Tales of” games, in order to take a break from the formulaic, traditional JRPG approach of the Dragon Quest series. Normally, every weekend, I write an RPGTrek entry describing the progress of my characters from these games. Unfortunately, I have not yet put enough time into the game to write a proper entry, as I had a ton of other activity going on this week. So, I decided to write about some of those experiences here.
First, I received a number of games this week. I have challenged myself to limit my spending on new games each month. I went a wee overboard this month (due, namely, to finding out about not one, but two limited edition game after my original expenditure…more on that in a moment), but I believe I got a good selection.
Word count limitations prevent me from reviewing each purchase decision in detail. However, I will share a few. First, The Guided Fate Paradox by NIS features a story where the main character wins a lottery and, as a result, becomes God. And to think, some people settle for a few million bucks! The grid based, “rogue-like”, dungeon crawling design resembles Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman, which I enjoyed on the Sony PSP. You can pick this RPG gem up on the cheap from Amazon.
Next, I should point our RPGTrek fans towards Tales of Hearts R on the Sony Vita. While I do not believe the game to have a limited print run, par se, one may only new, physical copies from GameStop stores. A quick search on Amazon, my normal source for new games, confirmed that they made it an exclusive release. I swung by a local branch and found a copy easily enough (though, not surprisingly, the experience left a lot to be desired. Count me among the throngs not impressed by GameStop’s serivce or policies). Of course, one may purchase the game directly through PSN if they have the memory to spare.
Finally, I also grabbed a copy of Class of Heroes 2G, which definitely qualifies as a “limited release”. With only 2,500 hard copies made, I had to find a distributor in Canada to snatch one up. For those not in the know, The Class of Heroes games lift many of its mechanics straight from the old-school dungeon crawler series, Wizardry, and puts a fresh coat of anime paint right over it all. I really enjoyed Wizardry 8, listing it as one of my top three RPGs of all time. While the original Class of Heroes and Class of Heroes 2 lack many of the improvements that last Wizardry entry introduced, I have enjoyed following this series. This latest entry, on the Playstation 3, allows players to use their PSP or Vita as a controller. More interestingly, the screen of that handheld console shows contextual information such as character stats, the dungeon, and more, giving the Wii-U’s controller functionality a run for its money. Even if you missed the opportunity to buy your very own hard copy, I expect it to hit the PSN soon.
Moving from the computer to the table, my friends and I got together all day Friday and Saturday for an RPG event we dubbed “W3.” We started a new campaign, Paizo’s “Council of Thieves.” (CoT, for short) I have run numerous conventions and events in the past, but I had more fun at W3 than most of those combined. Focusing on a small group of friends, rather than entertaining a larger group of mixed company, worked out very well. We originally planned to split our time before CoT and another campaign we have been doing for some time, “Reign of Winter.” However, once we started the first one, we could not stop.
Set in the Chelaxian city of Westcrown, CoT takes players through an urban campaign full of unique role play opportunities lacking in most pre-written campaigns. From taking parts in a play, to entertaining nobles at a dinner, and searching through an abandoned adventurer’s lodge said to be cursed, CoT offers something for everyone. I have run nearly half a dozen of Paizo’s pre-written adventure paths, and this ranks in the top 2 for me. The fact my friends sincerely enjoyed playing adventurers in the “city of devils” brought me much happiness.
We had plenty of joking, tough fights and great RP’ing. While I enjoy it, the complexity of Pathfinder, and a number of the subsystems we use, certainly could intimidate even the smartest of nerds. We do end up spending a bit too much time crunching numbers and the such. Despite this, we got in plenty of role playing opportunities, which I enjoy the most. As much as I love playing computer and console RPGs, they can never truly replicate the actual role play experienced at a table event.
I have some down time this week, so I expect to not only try out some of these new games I bought, but I also expect to get right back into our RPGTrek (bringing you, the reader, even more exciting adventures in the magical realm of retro RPG video games!). I should have the very first journal entry into the SNES Japanese classic, Tales of Phantasia, by next weekend. Until then, happy trails!