During my very relaxed Christmas hols I had some spare time to get some more XBOX 360 playing done. I went on a big download binge. I grabbed any demo, arcade and indie trial that grabbed my attention and played through them in a few days. Seeing as it had been a long time since I have last done this I had quite a lot to get through. It was an enjoyable session, most games were pretty good with luckily only a couple of turkeys.
During this time I developed a need to play some light RPGs, something that I could play through and level up in but nothing that required too much thought or attention to a storyline. What can I say, it was a very specific need! I stumbled across Vandal Hearts: Flames of Justice.
I do like the grid based tile map RPGs, I think they appeal to my pen and paper/tabletop mind. The night I downloaded it I might have accidentally stayed awake till 11am the next morning playing it. I can’t work out if I found it just that engrossing, if the need to level my characters dragged me along or if the game caught me at just the right time. Anyway I got a few hours sleep, woke up and completed it, so you get at least 11hours out of this title!
First impressions I got of this title were that I didn’t really like the character art all that much. Backgrounds and everything were fine, its just the characters heads look far too big for their bodies and its slightly odd/creepy looking. If you are a massive loot whore don’t get too excited either, that aren’t many different pieces to choose from and a lot of the time your characters will be wielding/wearing the same things. Weapons are the only visual things to change on the characters also, their appearance doesn’t change when you equip them with new armour, so be prepared for that.
Combat is great however and works just how it should. Team combos can be performed if you characters are placed correctly. There isn’t a massive selection of spells but it wasn’t too much of an issue. I would suggest that you play through the trial of this game and see for yourself that it is a pretty solid title.
It seems that completing this fine game did not satisfy my RPGlight mood. So I caved in and bought a game I had been considering for quite a while and have heard many good things said about it: Deathspank.
I read on the Consoling Gamers that someone thought that the humour was a bit weak with a few zingers. I tend to agree with this, but I kind of took it as read that the fromage would be heavy in this title and just rolled with it. Basically this is your typical hack’n’slash RPG set in a vibrant cartoony world setting with silly humour. Character customisation through leveling isn’t anything bar choosing a small bonus to armour or damage so if you are looking for deep talent trees look elsewhere.
All armour and weapons are displayed on the character, most of them pointing out the sillyness of traditional RPG gear with implausible spikes all over the place. The gear has elemental bonuses and resistances which is something to think about when fighting certain enemies. My favourite weapon of all was the chicken laucher, which fires a whole flock of angry chickens to peck furiously at your foes ankles, great for boss fights.
Another late night was had with this game, about 4am, and again I completed it the next day. I had a great time and I’m considering picking up the sequel when I get a chance.