A4 Review. (link)

AuthorTopic: A4 Review. (link)
Shaper
Member # 247
Profile Homepage #0
Here:

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The Knight Between Posts.
Posts: 2395 | Registered: Friday, November 2 2001 08:00
Agent
Member # 4506
Profile Homepage #1
quote:
Avernum 4 takes place in the the underground city of … you guessed it … Avernum.
Avernum's a city? :o
Are you sure this guy played it? I mean, he is right about the graphics, but still...

A 7.4 rating? I'm not sure whether to be impressed or not.

- Archmagus Micael

[ Wednesday, April 26, 2006 11:13: Message edited by: Archmagus Micael ]

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"You dare Trifle with Avernum?" ~ Erika the Archmage
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Posts: 1370 | Registered: Thursday, June 10 2004 07:00
Warrior
Member # 961
Profile #2
I think the rating is pretty fair. Avernum 4 is very much above average. It's no Exile...but it's definitely fun and worth playing. I'm not regretting spending the money.

---Zelda

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Hey, where are we going? And what's with the handbasket?
Posts: 63 | Registered: Friday, April 12 2002 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #3
I'm inclined to agree with the review, too. It's good... but I think it has unfulfilled potential.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #4
I actually find the review to be a little generous. If I were judging this game, I would probably give it a 5 out of 10. There is nothing horrible about the game, but there isn't much that is fun either.

As I've mentioned before, I bought the damn thing. That probably says more about me than about the game.

Anyway, here is the Avernum 4 review I would write:

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Review of Avernum 4.

Spiderweb Software, a shareware development house best known for its three franchises of Avernum, Geneforge and Galactic Core, has released its 5th game in the Avernum series - Avernum 4 (the forth actually being "Blades of Avernum", a scenario editor best known for its difficulty of use, especially when compared to its predecessor, Blades of Exile).

The stories of the Avernum franchise follow the rise of an underground nation of exiles, called the Kingdom of Avernum. The games track the nation's early struggles for survival in a hostile environment, its subsequent war with the surface empire, and finally its return to the surface. In this fifth chapter, the Kingdom of Avernum is once again threatened by enemies, and your group of adventures must find these enemies and kill them.

The first Avernum, released in 1998(?), sported a retro RPG feel and graphics about 5 years out of date. The dated graphics did not detract from its excellent game play and sheer "fun" factor. Unfortunately, the basic game engine and graphics stayed the same in subsequent releases - including the 2003 Blades of Avernum. By that time, the graphics and engine had lost a lot of their retro charm and felt tired and clunky. PC Gamer described Blades as "rehashed" and gave it a mediocre score, something with which I agree,

Avernum 4, on the other hand, boasts an entirely new engine, borrowing extensively from Spiderweb's Geneforge series, with updated graphics, a seamless world (in previous Avernum games, the world was divided into "outdoor" sections and "towns") and many under-the-hood improvements. Are the new improvement enough to revive the stagnant franchise?

Sadly, the answer appears to be "no". While many of the improvements do allow for less tedious game play (such as not having to worry about arrows and a far more friendly "death" system), the story feels hackneyed, the characters are uninspired and the game is unengaging. While Avernum 4 does an admirable job of eliminating common retro RPG annoyances (such as running into walls looking for secret doors), it does not deliver enough action to make up for the loss of puzzles. Basically, we're left with a turn-based Diablo.

In the end, Avernum 4 falls between two RPG molds - its combat is too slow-paced to be an action RPG, and its characters, dialogue and general feel isn't engaging enough to be a story-driven RPG. This results in an experience that is unsatisfying for fans of either genre.

While not totally without merit, Spiderweb Software's latest offering will do little to revive the stagnant Avernum franchise. This is especially sad when you consider the vibrancy of Galactic Core. We expect better.

Z

[ Thursday, April 27, 2006 06:09: Message edited by: Zorro ]

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #5
quote:
Originally written by Zorro:

As I've mentioned before, I bought the damn thing. That probably says more about me than about the game.
Seriously, dude, the whole idea behind "try before you buy" is that if you try it and don't like it, you don't buy. Are you just buying new games out of fear that you'll spend all your disposable income on a drug binge if you don't pre-empt that by wasting all your money on games you don't particularly like?

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #6
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:


Seriously, dude, the whole idea behind "try before you buy" is that if you try it and don't like it, you don't buy. Are you just buying new games out of fear that you'll spend all your disposable income on a drug binge if you don't pre-empt that by wasting all your money on games you don't particularly like?

Are you telling me you're able to control yourself when skribbane is available?

Actually, I found the demo area to be lackluster, but thought it would get better after the shareware barrier. I was wrong.

Also, I've made it a habit of buying Jeff's games because they are silly cheap and some of them are really good. So (to mix my metaphors) I chalk up the lemons as donations to the Vogel foundation and hope for a better harvest next spring.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Guardian
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #7
By Zorro:
quote:
Spiderweb Software, a shareware development house best known for its three franchises of Avernum, Geneforge and Galactic Core
You forgot Nethergate. Prepare to be attacked by a blue-skinned Tyranicus.
quote:
"Blades of Avernum", a scenario editor best known for its difficulty of use, especially when compared to its predecessor, Blades of Exile
I hereby declare the new slogan of the BoA editor to be 'No Pain, No Gain'.

Ah well. Good review anyway.
(Lack of Vision?)

EDIT: Typo.

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[ Thursday, April 27, 2006 08:18: Message edited by: Dintiradan ]
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 125
Profile #8
quote:
Originally written by Zorro:

Unfortunately, the basic game engine and graphics stayed the same in subsequent releases - including the 2003 Blades of Avernum. By that time, the graphics and engine had lost a lot of their retro charm and felt tired and clunky.
*gets out some marshmallows and a good, long stick*

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Posts: 256 | Registered: Monday, October 8 2001 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 6652
Profile #9
quote:
Originally written by Zorro:

Spiderweb Software, a shareware development house best known for its three franchises of Avernum, Geneforge and Galactic Core,
Stop right there. Do not, my friend, completely ignore the entire Exile series (including Blades), in favor of Galactic Core. Exiles 1-3 are huge, immersive RPGs. Blades of Exile is several hundred huge, immersive RPGs. While I don't agree with the rest of the boards that the mere mention of "Galactic Core" and "good" in the same sentence is a felony, it's really not comparable to Exile. Exile, for one, has a story.

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But I don't want to ride the elevator.
Posts: 420 | Registered: Sunday, January 8 2006 08:00
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #10
quote:
Originally written by I Would Have Been Your Daddy:

quote:
Originally written by Zorro:

Spiderweb Software, a shareware development house best known for its three franchises of Avernum, Geneforge and Galactic Core,
Stop right there. Do not, my friend, completely ignore the entire Exile series (including Blades), in favor of Galactic Core. Exiles 1-3 are huge, immersive RPGs. Blades of Exile is several hundred huge, immersive RPGs. While I don't agree with the rest of the boards that the mere mention of "Galactic Core" and "good" in the same sentence is a felony, it's really not comparable to Exile. Exile, for one, has a story.

You, dear friend, need to have your implants checked. Or at the very least, read the following to better understand why Galactic Core was flourishing before Jeff was even born.

The Cult Codex

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 6652
Profile #11
Aaaargh. I should have guessed.

We need either a sarcasm smiley or a special title for cult members. It gets hard to keep things straight. Even my implants don't help.

...wait...

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But I don't want to ride the elevator.
Posts: 420 | Registered: Sunday, January 8 2006 08:00
Warrior
Member # 3610
Profile #12
If I recall, a review of the Notary Public's Handbook once began something along the lines of 'I am about to review the Notary Public's Handbook. This review would have been much easier had I actually read the book I am reviewing, but that doesn't seem to have stoppped anyone else, so with that in mind, here we go...'

This review is clearly in the same vein, I'm not sure there is anything factually acurate about this review.
Posts: 129 | Registered: Tuesday, October 28 2003 08:00