RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Warlock: Master of the Arcane

Genre: RTS, Strategy
Release Date: 08 May 2012
Platforms: PC
Score: 6/10
Similar Titles:  Battle for Middle Earth 2, Battle for Wesnoth

Warlock is an indie game. I started playing it on a whim, and it didn't catch my attention very long purely because I had other things to do. Whilst I never really expected this strategy title to invoke my passion for gaming, I certainly got my money's worth. Turn Based Strategy games have always been a fetish of mine, ever since Final Fantasy Tactics.

Warlock menu screen.

What you shall find upon booting up your copy of Warlock: Master of the Arcane, is basic mechanics, some customization, a plethora of units, and simple graphics. It meshes together brilliantly, causing the game to have quite some depth. Build your armies, develop some powerhouse cities, and crush all the other Warlocks on the map using powerful researched spells. It's easy enough to get started, a little intuition will take you a long way.

Anyone with a little strategy experience will pick up the pace immediately. Resources are managed with a simple gold, food, and mana system. Certain units consume resources differently. The general consensus dictates gold is used to buy new units and upgrade your strongholds, food is essentially an upkeep mechanic, and mana is used for your Warlock and his spells.

Campaign creation is surprisingly adjustable.

Starting a new campaign will allow you to pick World settings, customize your Warlock and pick a race. Editing the world scenario is a great feature. It's possible to change the world size, difficulty, continents, enemies and even tack on some extra maps. This means you can adjust how long and challenging you want the campaign to be.

You may select some abilities for your Warlock at the beginning of your game. There is a range to select from such as increased money or mana, powerful starter units for early game dominance, and some devastating spells to wipe out encroaching armies. As the game progresses you learn new magic so a wide amount of utility comes available.

This army crushed a fair few enemies to say the least.

Races aren't a prevalent part of Warlock. There are three to choose from. Human, Undead and Monsters. However, you can access all types of units by controlling the right places. Each race has some variety to what units you may spawn, but they are all quite similar to keep the game balanced.

The entire game is played on the world overview map. I cannot stress how easy this game is to drop into. It's like playing Mario or Rayman. The UI is easy to adapt into, the mouse-over hints provide all the information necessary. Units can move or attack with the click of the mouse; they duke it out automatically and the animations quickly show the victor.

The UI is informative.

After spending approximately a dozen hours on this game, I found it unbelievably easy. Maybe that's due to my experience with the genre. Warlock: Master of the Arcane is definitely a nifty little title. Certainly a valued asset in your gaming repertoire, grab it on sale if you don't feel like throwing money around.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Last Story

So I recently grabbed a copy of The Last Story for the Wii at my local Gamestation. I was there to pick up a new copy of Smash Brothers Melee, but that's beside the point. It caught my eye since the music was created by Nobuo Uematsu, my favorite video composer. Nobuo has worked on many of the good Final Fantasy games, and intelligently avoided many of the bad titles in the franchise. When I hunt for games around town, I always search incessantly for Japanese Roleplaying games, it's been my favorite genre whilst growing up.

Your party members. They all have a traumatic past. What a surprise.

I adore all of the music by Nobuo Uematsu, and it was the only reason I bought the game. It was not an expectation of mine for this seemingly generic JRPG to actually be something worth playing. Upon first inspection, The Last Story is actually a brilliant game, albeit short. I shall be putting up a full review in the future.

For those of you that like a little JRPG action (or lack of it, by definition)- The Last Story is a step in the right direction for Wii RPGs. I really have no idea what is going on in the plot thus far; which is slightly ironic considering the title. However, the combat is excellent and engaging. I was genuinely surprised and addicted by fighting in this game.

Your party members can be pretty useless, unless you're fighting weaker enemies.

The system works in a way that feels interactive, you'll find yourself rolling around the battlefield resurrecting your party members and blocking dangerous attacks. When broken down it's pretty hack and slash, but that doesn't change the fact it's fun to play.

The reason I'm publishing this quick article is in the case somebody is contemplating whether this game is worth buying. It's short; around 20 hours of play- but The Last Story is definitely a title you can add to your collection without regret. So consider it if you're an avid fan of this type of game.

Bosses often have some kind of trick to defeat them.

Nobuo Uematsu didn't create that many tracks in the end, there are only 6. Although that's a very small amount, his first submission of compositions were denied by his partner Hironobu Sakaguchi. They tried very hard to create music that would keep the player in the fray and more enticed than the traditional set of fanfares and melodies that accompanies the stereotypical definition of a Japanese Roleplaying game.

Anyway, spend a little time researching this game if you feel it might be something you're interested in. As for me, I'm going to go play it now- writing about it has refreshed my desire to press on with the game.