Your pal and mine, Power Button podcast co-host Brad Hilderbrand, has a new project which has just given rise to its first review of a recently released video game. Over at Brad The Broke Gamer, readers are invited to vote for which game they want to see Brad play and review next as well as donate a few dollars to the purchasing fund to help cover the cost of that game. First out of the gate is Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning from Electronic Arts:
The gameplay elements of Reckoning are also highly enjoyable, but the major drawback is that they lean far too heavily on the games that have come before. The real-time combat system is very reminiscent of a game like Fable, where varied timing and charged attacks dominate most encounters. The ability trees seem to have been stripped out of just about any fantasy MMO on the market, and the quest structures and exploration elements bear all the hallmark’s of Rolston’s time with The Elder Scrolls, both for good and ill. Nearly all of the quests fall into the rote pattern of talk to Person A who orders you to retrieve Important Item B from Dangerous Location C, and the system for managing loot could use a lot more streamlining considering the extreme number of drops. Sure, it’s nice to be able to group all my unwanted stuff into a junk pile and sell it all with a single button press at the nearest merchant, but having to dive into the menu every time I want to compare a couple swords or helmets can eventually grow annoying. One major point in Reckoning‘s favor though, at any time players can visit a Fateweaver, pay a few coins and completely reassign their skills and ability points. It’s a wonderful bit of flexibility in a genre which normally forces you to choose a path and then deal with the consequences of your actions from that point on.
The next games up for review consideration are Asura's Wrath, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and SSX. I suggested to Brad that it would be too easy for readers to stuff the ballot box with suggestions for horrible games. Left unchecked, he would end up having to review copious amounts of uDraw titles and the latest in Nintendo Wii shovelware. Then again, having to play titles like Kingdoms of Amalur and Final Fantasy XIII-2 that aren't my genres at all feels like a punishment to me, so what do I know? The point is that Brad has a new project. Check it out.