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GrimGrimoire and a look forward on the PC front

My GameFly games are in, and suddenly my cup runneth over with quality gamage. Not only do I have GameFly setting me up with current and previous console games but it looks like PC Gaming is about to get a much needed shot in the arm.

GrimGrimoire is a cute little real time strategy game with very nice production values. As with Odin Sphere, VanillaWare continues their trend of making 2D games that look so good as to make 3D games look like a fad. The game itself is relatively simple, especially compared to advanced PC RTS games like Supreme Commander or Company of Heroes, but I suppose this can't be helped considering the hardware limitations involved with making a RTS on a PS2.

GrimGrimoire GameTrailers review

GrimGrimoire is especially heavy on the micromanagement. For example, my latest mission required me to do silly things like order my "Morning Star" unit to produce the very ammunition they need to attack. They could only hold 5 shots at a time, so replenishing this was a constant effort. Yet, despite the problems that micromanagement brings to the RTS formula, the game manages to remain entertaining thanks to the sheer joy of interacting with such an artistic collage. Perhaps GrimGrimoire is more fun than I give it a credit for, as I effortlessly managed to invest 8 hours in it.

On a final note on this game, I'll say that the overall plot seems to be something designed to fish in 10-year-old girls. The dialog can get a tad naughty, and the characters are named after alcoholic beverages, but that doesn't seem to have bothered the ESRB who gave it an "Everyone 10+" rating. Boys can enjoy the game too (thanks in part to the presence of fairy creatures beating the tar out of each other) but it's interesting to consider that the developers seemed to have targeted this niche in the development of their game. Is there really a market for RTS in the 10-year-old girl demographic?

I just received my second GameFly game, Super Paper Mario, and look forward to giving that a spin as soon as I take a little jog. If it's anything like the original Paper Mario series, or the Thousand Year Door, I should enjoy it extensively. I'll write up a little something about that on my Blog for the uncaring world.

It's only July, but it feels like Christmas. Especially with good PC games just around the corner: BioShock, Tabula Rasa, and HellGate: London. All of them are somewhat slated for a Summer-Fall 2007 release, with BioShock being the closest at August 22nd.

I've already vented my adolation of BioShock adequately a couple blog entries ago. It'll be good. Good enough to set me pining for another that'll probably never be made. It's works of art like this that are the reason I can still enjoy gaming.

Though I just called them "good PC games," Tabula Rasa and HellGate: London I've yet to make any lasting conclusions about.

I've seen the recently released E3 videos of Tabula Rasa and it's pretty much what I had expected months ago: The players are dropped in a warzone of aliens which they dispatch in a somewhat militaristic manner with the action feeling somewhat isolated by a barrier of RPG stats.

What surprised me about seeing Tabula Rasa in execution is how much the gameplay seemed to resemble Guild Wars. This is not to say it is identical Guild Wars which is unique in many ways. The resemblance I saw in the videos was in the general flow of the game and how the interface was being utilized. It might feel derivative at first, and that's unfortunate, as players will draw false conclusions.

Another GameTrailers video, this time on Tabula Rasa.

The videos were of people running around with cheats enabled, they didn't seem to be taking damage, and so I'm not sure how reflective it is of actual gameplay. Really, this first impression of Tabula Rasa based off of gameplay videos is somewhat worthless until I can see how deep it really is in the RPG mechanics and activities they have me do. That's unusual, because I can usually make better predictions than that from seeing the gameplay alone, and I hope to get invited into the beta soon to make a better judgment. (Of course, such a judgment would have to stay in private until the game's NDA drops.)

The HellGate: London footage has improved noticeably from before. The early footage from two years ago looked vapid, just hordes of zombies walking straight at you getting mowed down with no apparent difficulty at all. The latest footage detail shows a variety of interesting skills you can employ, such as drones or arcs of lightning, and genuinely strong and challenging foes overcome. I think I'm looking forward to Hellgate even more than Tabula Rasa.

Comments

josiah_august said…
See, now you have fun games to enjoy. Anonymous heckling FTW!!!

Earlier post removed due to a spelling error. I couldn't let that stand.
That I cannot deny, GameFly is pretty awesome and I should have started an acct with them months ago.

Also, I like being able to edit, too ;P

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