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Tycho / on Fri, May 23 2003 at 1:19 pm

It’s Not Their Fault

You know how when we killed Jesus, he asked God to forgive us because we just didn’t know any better?  You need to show that brand of divine benevolence to these animals who mar gaming with their ignorance, with their sloth, and with their ineptitude.

So, they gave a game most people won’t play a bad score.  Why is that?  Well, you need to understand that “genres” are like deep grooves worn into a solid oak bar.  Think of Publishers as barmen, sliding beverage after beverage along those known channels, and the press are like the pretty maids that wait ready to receive them.  These sweet things are batting their eyes at the barmen constantly - understand, that’s how they got the job in the first place - and they’re ready to ferry the drinks out to you and me, just so long as they arrive along the expected trajectories. 

But sometimes something comes out that, gol durnit, just don’t run right on the tracks.  Maybe it slides right between two channels, maybe it’s not even on what you might call the bar, per se.  There’s no-one there to catch it, it just hits the lip and flings into the void.  And none of them care, because, why should they?  They have plenty to do already with just the games that fit the standard scheme.  They certainly don’t have time for some sort of Gaming Activism, finding and exposing games people might not have seen or heard of.  Gaming journalism today isn’t about journalism, assuming that it ever was.  It’s about people who don’t give a fuck reciting hip scripts from Industry one-sheets, hitting all the right notes until the next crate of games arrives.  I’m surprised that you’re surprised.     


Gabe / on Fri, May 23 2003 at 11:03 am

Why are these people reviewing games?

Apparently Gamespy slammed LK2 in its review as well. Tycho will you please explain to me what is going on?

-Gabe out

Gabe / on Fri, May 23 2003 at 10:41 am


Paul Byrnes is a liar.

So this guy writes a review of Lost Kingdoms 2 for that is not just incorrect, it is fucking criminal. Let’s take a look at it together.

Imagine Pokemon with a voluptuous sorceress instead of a spunky kid and horrific monsters replacing the cutesy furballs, and you’d have Lost Kingdoms II.

Imagine Pokemon, except take away everything that makes it Pokemon and replace it with a deep and engaging real time card battle game with RPG elements set in a fantastic world.

Light on story (even for a 10-hour game),

I am six hours into the game and I have only 52 of the more than 250 available cards. Levels have multiple paths that are available only once you have acquired certain cards. For example I was able to go back to the very first level recently with my new Hell Hound card. This card transforms you into a beast capable of tearing the shit out of monsters and jumping long distances. I used this ability to access a new part of the level which in turn opened up a whole new level on the world map. I tried going to this level right away but the monsters are super high level and I am simply not ready to do battle there yet. I seriously doubt that Paul went back through every level and tried each path to see if it would open new levels. It sounds like he decided early on that the game sucked and he blew through it as fast as he could.

LK2 instead emphasizes card collecting and tactical monster battles—which would be cool, if only those elements were robust enough to make the experience worthwhile.

Not Robust enough?

Cards fall into one of six categories, water, wood, fire, earth, mechanical and neutral. Water cards are best against fire and so on. Before each level the map screen will tell you the sorts of monsters you will fight in that level. It might say 80% water 10% fire 10% wood for example. This allows you to customize your deck accordingly. Each card also has a rating that determines it “difficulty” to play. As you play cards of a given alignment your “skill” with that alignment increases. If you try and play a five star water card for example when your water skill is only two stars you will find that it drains your magic power much faster. Cards are also divided into weapons, independent creatures, transformations, helpers and summons. A weapon card might be a lizard man who attacks with a large sword instantly when the card is played. An independent creature is a card that is tossed out and then a monster comes out of it and moves around on its own attacking enemies without your input. Summons are cards that call down giant monsters for one super attack. Helpers are cards that can do all sorts of things like healing you, placing discarded cards back into your hand or affecting the relationships of monsters on the field such as halving the power of one element while doubling that of another.

Cards can also be powered up. This means that the card will do double the damage it normally does but it will require twice as many magic points to play. Certain cards can also be combined to form combos. If the correct combination of cards is drawn they will be highlighted and the playing of any card in that group will trigger the entire combo.

I could go on and on about the intricacies of the card battle system but the fact of the matter is Paul is full of shit. Saying that the collecting and battle elements aren’t robust is a fucking lie. He either didn’t understand the full depth of the game or he didn’t care enough to invest any time in it. 

Amassing cards is relatively simple, but the game inexplicably encourages you to assemble them into themed decks

What? The game gives you the OPTION of creating multiple decks because as I stated before certain levels will require you to bring different cards. The ability to construct and name multiple decks is not “inexplicable,” it’s fucking obvious. 

—even though the enemy assortment in most areas demands a deck more like a Swiss Army Knife than a lightsaber.

The careful construction of your deck depending on the level your going to play is one of the biggest elements of strategy in the game. You need to carefully consider each of your 30 cards and how it will be used in a given level.

(You can test your decks in the vanilla Versus mode.) The combat is so-so; it’s tense and action-packed,

Huh? The combat is so-so AND it is tense and action packed? Do you understand that it can’t be both?

but unforgiving summoning and attack systems drain most of the fun. Your magic points run out far too quickly, and unreliable hit detection wastes your precious cards.

More lies from Paul. Summoning is not unforgiving. You push a button and the monster is summoned. It never doesn’t get summoned. It happens every fucking time. There is no trick to it that would lead to the occasional screw up resulting in the failure of the summon and the impression that the system is “unforgiving.” YOU PUSH ONE GODDAMNED BUTTON! As for the magic points, I think Paul might be an idiot. Here is a tip buddy. Every time you hit a monster gems come out. THOSE ARE MAGIC POINTS YOU DIPSHIT! Pick them the fuck up and watch your magic bar fill right back up. Not only that but if you run out of magic points you can still cast cards. The magic points required to play the card are simply taken from your health rather than your magic bar.

Unreliable hit detection? Each card has a very specific attack. It is important that you learn what these attacks are and that you get yourself in the right position before playing them so that their attack will be effective. This is not unreliable, this is tactical.

Despite a promising concept, LK2’s flawed gameplay fails to entertain.

LIE! LK 2’s game play delivers on every level. It is a tactial card based battle game with some basic RPG elements. If this sounds like something you might like then you will not be disappointed. If you are like Paul and you hate kittens and videogames then this might not be the game for you.

Ask Tycho he saw it!

-Gabe out

Tycho / on Fri, May 23 2003 at 10:05 am

Holy Shit

The Thickets are going to play at our thing?


Gabe / on Fri, May 23 2003 at 9:42 am

Another thing

Necrowombicon 2k3 in Vancouver (Burnaby) BC Canada
“This year we have POWER!”

Weekend of July 25th, 26th, and 27th.

Social gathering on Friday, with interviews with Gabe and Tycho, live performances by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, and The Tenant. Meet, Greet, Drink, have fun with your fellow PA fans.

Saturday is all day gaming day, 24 hours of gaming goodness.  LAN with High Speed Internet, LOTS of power this time (I assure you) plus Console games, tabletop RPG’s, card and War gaming.  With support from the Vancouver Gaming Guild

Sunday we’re planning a goodbye lunch or breakfast, but it is up to debate as of now.

Information is on the Penny Arcade Cult forums.  Specifically Here

Voice your opinions, help make decisions.  I should have Prices available sometime next week when the contracts are finally negotiated. Don’t miss out this year!  You’ll surely regret it!

We went to this last year and it was awesome. This year looks like it will be even better.

-Gabe out

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