Review: Two Worlds 2

What makes the Two Worlds 2 world turn?

What makes the Two Worlds 2 world turn?

Game: Two Worlds 2
Developed by: Reality Pump
Published by: Topware Interactive
Release date: February 28, 2011

Two Worlds 2 is your bread and butter 3rd person RPG. Created by Polish developer Reality Pump and published by Topware, it stands as the sequel to the first foray into role playing games by a developer who’s meal ticket has previously been real time strategy. According to the official website it offers “A perfect mix of story, atmosphere and technology promises a fascinating new RPG experience.” Ambitious.

I came into this one with pretty high hopes. I’d been in the market for a juicy 3rd person RPG for a time now and though I hadn’t played the first installment in the Two Worlds saga, games aren’t a medium that should require the experience of a prequel to be enjoyed. The screenies I’d seen looked entirely edible, the action looked crisp and exciting and my Steam client reliably informs me that the video game cognoscenti gave the game a solid rating of 76 on metacritic. Differences of opinions are the fuel that keep the world spinning, but surely the collective opinions of such a large body of experts couldn’t steer me very far from the mark could they? Could they?

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Retrospectives: Heroes of Might and Magic IV

The winds of change touch the Heroes of Might and Magic series

The winds of change touch the Heroes of Might and Magic series

Game: Heroes of Might and Magic IV (Vanilla, The Gathering Storm, Winds of War)
Developed by: New World Computing
Published by: 3DO
Release date: March 28, 2002

The five games in the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise are like a demographically diverse set of siblings. They all look different, but have a similarity of features that confirm their parentage. The eldest is starting to show his age, but a quick glance at the younger ones will confirm a deep respect for his achievements. The second is quirky and charming, though his looks are also fading he still has enough in the bag to impress people at parties. The third was the sibling that had it all. Looks, strength of character, friends, fame. His popularity spread beyond the family to anyone he touched, to the degree that all other siblings pale in comparison. The fifth wanted to be so much like the third that people can’t look past the similarity, now despite his youthful appearance and noble characteristics no one takes him seriously because all they see is his older brother.

Given that this venerated, slightly dysfunctional family will soon be getting a new brother/sister from a different parent (in this case the hard work of the folks at Black Hole Entertainment), I thought it would be a good time to look back at the fourth, and least understood child of this series. The red headed stepchild that was always teased about being adopted if you will.

Heroes of Might and Magic IV was a game that came at a difficult time for it’s developer, publisher and indeed the franchise as a whole. Heroes III had brought the series into the bigtime. It fleshed out the gameplay that had proved so popular in the second installment, added a deeper layer of strategy, covered itself with shiny state of the art graphics, a well worked UI, pretty much bug free engine, a mountain of content on release followed by 2 content bloated expansion packs. It was well received by fans and critics while hitting sales numbers not seen by any turn based strategy game outside the Civilization series. In short it was a winner on every conceivable measure and, as games like that have a tendency to do, it made it very hard for any sequel to tread the hallowed ground it walked upon.

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Review: Blood Bowl

What does a zombie know about glory?

What can a zombie teach us about glory?

Game: Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition
Developed by: Cyanide
Published by: Focus Home Interactive
Release date: October 22, 2009

Alright, enough of this dry bookish crap. Lets crack some skulls eh gents.

“Why can’t anyone ever summon me a Balrog?” Thought Lahkasz as he surveyed the pitiful Undead army his obedient Necromancer had raised. He looked into the man’s pale eyes, entirely devoid of expression or sanity. The thought of having to use this savant halfwit as the teams assistant coach made him endlessly exhausted. The man’s lips appeared to go slightly more vapid as if in answer to his disparaging thoughts. “Perhaps I should have held off on the lobotomy.” ┬áHe thought ruefully. He turned to his new team.

“My but aren’t you all a sad sack of sluggardly crumbling marrow. If I had a choice I’d dig you back into the ground that spewed up your repugnant slothly forms. You’re not a Bloodbowl team, you’re a disgrace to a sport built on the blood and death of it’s combatants. Look at you, there’s not a pint of blood between you!”

The Undead remained silent. One particularly obnoxious skeleton chose this moment to have his leg detach from his body. In an abandonment of balance Lahkasz’ starting kicker was reduced from a mindless structure of bone and rotten flesh held together by dark magic into a foot high heap of bone and rotten flesh held together by precisely nothing, the dark magic that bound him deciding that its animatory talents were required elsewhere. His necromancer whimpered.

“Completely devoid of thought, like putrid clay in the hands of a tactical genius.” thought Lahkasz. “Perfect.”

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