8/28/14

Divinity: Original Sin

Divinity Original Sin Logo Title

In the last year the rise of Kickstarter brought to us what I could only define as an “Isometric rpg renaissance”, if not in quality (which is hard to define since most of the games are still in development) at least in quantity. Thanks to the huge quantity of “old school gamers” attracted by the promise of re-living the games of their youth, projects like Wasteland 2 and Pillars of Eternity were able to be funded with impressive budgets. It’s exactly from this wave of crowfunded nostalgia that Divinity: Original Sin, the latest game by counter-culture rpg director Swen Vincke, comes from.

While Vincke’s love for classic isometric rpg has never been a secret, Divinity: Original Sin is his first attempt at a “pure” example in the genre. Where Divine Divinity was more akin to a Diablo-style hack and slash and Divinity II took an action-oriented, almost Gothic-esque, route, Divinity: Original Sin’s inspiration comes quite clearly from the Ultima series, particularly, as stated by the same Vincke in his blog, from Ultima VII.

8/6/14

On Early Access and Criticism

What is Steam Early Access

A couple of days ago the rhythm-based custom music-driven action roguelike Crypt of the Necrodancer was released in its alpha state on Steam Early Access. I usually don’t pay much attention to early access releases (I have my share of problems with the type of development that it implies), but Crypt of the Necrodancer had a concept behind that was interesting enough to make me really want to try it.

The game is, in fact, quite good, even in its alpha state. The core mechanic of rhythm-driven grid combat is fun andall of the content is elegantly designed to work with it (unlike games like The Binding of Isaac, whose content is purposefully designed to heavily twist the core gameplay). Even when played with custom music their import algorithm seems to do a decent job in detecting the beat of the tracks.

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