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”.