Neverwinter and Shining Force

I can’t say I understand the angst OR buzz for the new Neverwinter game. First, it’s not an MMO. Second, it’s being made by Cryptic. Third, little real detail has been revealed and the game is a ways off. Could the concept of an online RPG work? Sure. I mean an online action RPG worked well enough (Diablo), so why not a ‘real’ RPG, right? Is it kind of nice that a famous IP is not outright trying to be ‘familiar’ to WoW players while selling you on a 4th, 5th, 93rd pillar? Yup. Does Cryptic have an awesome track record of awesome? No. So in the end, as of right now, we know a D&D title is in the works using a famous and beloved IP by a studio with a meh-at-best track record that may or may not do something kinda MMO-ish but not really.

What I can tell you with absolute certainty is that Shining Force for the iPhone is amazing. Yes, it’s a straight port of the Genesis classic, and yes, my first-gen iPhone occasionally stutters a bit when running it, and yes, it’s a very easy game overall with a plot that makes generic WoW quests look like epic (not that ‘epic’) novels, and yea, occasionally the controls get in the way a bit, but look, it’s amazing. Now I know part of all this is nostalgia, because every time a battle loads up or I enter a new town, I go “oh yea, I remember this”, and the game has me right back to humming along with its simple yet brilliant 16 bit-era soundtrack, but I refuse to believe its ALL nostalgia. No no, something about the gameplay, or the flow, or whatever, just feels right. It has that ‘something’ that few games have where if you break the game down into plus/minus rating, the overall score does not add up. It’s has that rare and unquantifiable ‘fun factor’ going for it that every game tries to achieve and few succeed. Do yourself a favor and pick it up, because at just over 1/10th of a pony reskin ($2.99) it’s an absolute steal.

Chuck-o-the-day: The book The Worst-Case Survival Handbook discusses many ways to run from deadly animals. The page entitled “Running from Chuck Norris” simply says, “Good luck”.

8 Responses to Neverwinter and Shining Force

  1. Phedre says:

    Cryptic’s latest games Champions and StarTrek are rather disappointing, but City of Heroes is a brilliant game. It has features and concepts that many MMOs are still struggling to duplicate. So they can do things right and yet different. So maybe they won’t screw this one up as well.

  2. Drew says:

    More than anything, I’m curious to see how they’re going to manage the cost to play. While their track record on the whole is pretty “meh”, as someone who’s never played a Cryptic game, the biggest concerns I’ve seen generally involve the infamous C-Store.

  3. sid67 says:

    I have found memories of the original NWN on AOL, so undoubtedly I’ll play it on that basis alone.

    But I have to say that I am a bit excited because I’ve long thought that the best all-around IP for any game in this genre is Forgotten Realms. The world is immense, diverse and entirely based on AD&D paper rules that are the foundation for pretty much every RPG that exists.

    But then there is Cryptic… which is not exactly the developer I would pin my hopes on for the next great MMO. Any guesses on how the interface will work?

    111111-2-11111-333-1111

    • SynCaine says:

      NWN on AOL was good stuff. Hardcore PvP too. Too bad it cost an arm and a leg back then to play it or I would have really gotten into it.

      As for the new game, you could do a lot worst than aim to make a Diablo-like game in terms of lobby/game but with less action and more RPG. I’m thinking something even less MMO than DDO would not be a bad direction to go in.

  4. Bhagpuss says:

    SynCaine and Tobold in agreement, in opposition to the rest of the MMO blogosphere?

    Truly we are coming to the Last Days.

  5. Mala says:

    The reason people are getting all in a twitch over Neverwinter is because Emmert tried to play off a normal online multiplayer game off as some sort of exciting new genre breaking new ground. If he hadn’t been such a fucking dumb ass with that one comment the reception would’ve been 100 times more friendly.

    Whether or not the game will be good has more or less nothing to do with it that I can tell.

  6. Yak says:

    Hey man, loved hearing you on Ryan’s show! I was a huge fan of NWN and all the custom modules people use to make. I had a blast with that game but as long as their is online play it could be cool, has to be better then DDO for sure! ZOMG, that rocks that they are porting the classics to iphone. Of course it helps to have one. Keep it up man!!!!

  7. [...] Syncaine says, Is it kind of nice that a famous IP is not outright trying to be ‘familiar’ to WoW players while selling you on a 4th, 5th, 93rd pillar? Yup. Does Cryptic have an awesome track record of awesome? No. So in the end, as of right now, we know a D&D title is in the works using a famous and beloved IP by a studio with a meh-at-best track record that may or may not do something kinda MMO-ish but not really. [...]

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