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Can anyone recommend a top-down RPG?


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I've read some pretty scathing reviews of Original Sin. I remember thinking the first Divinity had some good aspects, for its time - but again, no respawning monsters, which was a problem for me given the way they implemented shop stocks. IIRC, they were set when you level up, if you reached the cap and never got the spell or item you wanted, too bad, learn to savescum. I hate metagaming - which was also an issue in the otherwise superb Wizardry 8. It set legendary treasure chest contents when you entered an area.

Beyond Divinity had a place you could go for more monsters, but heavens, it was painful to even walk in that game.

Larian often has decent ideas and intentions, but their execution is startlingly bad.

Edited by Megan
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Ancient Domains Of Mystery

http://www.adom.de/

good old ASCII roguelike. lots of story and multiple possible endings... and graphics?!? wow, just checked the link again after years... I can recommend the ASCII version. Seeing the graphics for the first time...

a bit more on the wacky side but fun:

DOOM - the roguelike

http://doom.chaosforge.org/

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How about a clarification of what you mean by a "party"? In the old, classic games, there were several members of the party, but they were all directly under the player's control. I consider this good. Later games often have that awful mess in which the party members are semi-autonomous, are always doing stupid stuff like running in front of you in the middle of fights, conversing with each other, or leaving the party due to plot reasons. I consider this unbearable.

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How about a clarification of what you mean by a "party"? In the old, classic games, there were several members of the party, but they were all directly under the player's control. I consider this good. Later games often have that awful mess in which the party members are semi-autonomous, are always doing stupid stuff like running in front of you in the middle of fights, conversing with each other, or leaving the party due to plot reasons. I consider this unbearable.
Agreed. Things I dislike about a "party":

  • Semi- or Fully-autonomous members.
  • Backstory that unlocks special quests/items/abilities.
  • Excessive dialogue (I don't mind dialogue, just not with my party).
  • Deus ex machina members.

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Have you played Bungie's fun old creation called Myth (actually there was a trilogy)? Let's see: not heavy in graphics and is not an FPS. Its at least as open world as the screenshots I'm seeing of various suggestions. Most gameplay is had "outdoors" and the maps reveal as you explore them. However, you usually have a group instead of one character to manage. It does take a certain character to "win" the campaign (not so with most online play). The characters that survive earlier events continue in later play and they gain experience and become better at their tasks. You can, with a a few clicks, control ALL your units, or one Class of unit, a group of selected units (any combination of class) or an individual unit. You do get a strong sense of progression in throughout the game. It is not endless combat (though some moments are intense) and there is very little dialog. There are some cutscenes and each map has a chapter narration. It was a groundbreaking game in its day and I've never heard of any comparison with Rogue. The game has many a humorous element throughout, if you enjoy a good laugh now and then. Also, if you like a good plot and story driven action, this game, like all of Bungie's early games, may be for you. Edit: Trivia-- Jason Jones called Halo "Myth on steroids".

Learn about it and get it here for modern OSes: http://www.projectmagma.net/what/ Note that the demo files are available there. Information on where to get the full game is there as well. Nothing underhanded there, you'll see.

The game includes a tutorial level, which is quite useful. Here is a Myth (II) trailer; the graphics are a lot nicer in game than this video would suggest:

Check it out!

Edited by Dispatcher
Added a little about the story aspect.
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Hmm...have you heard of Age of Decadence? Great game, great story. Horrible graphic though, if you can't stand that. Also, early access for a looong time, which does give me some doubt.

That said, it has potential and is quite fun to play. One of the RPG where you are not a superhero. You are just a normal person.

Combat is turn base, and is very hard. Even though I took an assassin as my starting character, meaning they are already combat-trained, every fight is a fight for my life, even against mediocre enemy, because being careless will get me seriously wounded, possibly killed. And when it comes to a 2vs1 situation, you will require a lot of tactical wits to stay alive. Combat is not discouraged though, just require some thinking and preparation. Like stocking up on poisons as an assassin will make things easier, for example.

You can also simply not fight, as the game allow for a completely pacifist playthrough if you so wish, and it depending on the character and the path you choose. It has a diplomatic path that you can use to resolve situations without combat. Doesn't mean you can't get killed going that path, because saying the wrong thing to the wrong person will often lead you to your death.

Edited by RainDreamer
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Have you tried Rogue? I've never seen it described as "roguelike", so it technically meets your specs. :)

But seriously folks... Have you tried "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning"? It was officially a flop, so you can pick it up cheap. I found it to be a fun implementation of a relatively generic fantasy RPG world.

And then there's my favorite RPG of all time: System Shock 2. The trick to enjoying SS2 is to immediately remap the keyboard settings. It's an old enough game that our current PC gaming standards hadn't evolved yet, so their key commands are a mess. Trust me, it's worth the hassle. :)

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But seriously folks... Have you tried "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning"? It was officially a flop, so you can pick it up cheap. I found it to be a fun implementation of a relatively generic fantasy RPG world.

Have it, haven't gotten around to playing it yet, it's meant to be reasonable though.

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Try Tales of Maj'Eyal.

It's built straight out of D&D and is pretty fun, but extremely difficult. It can be roguelike if you want, or it doesn't happen to be. It's all about your own character development. There are plenty of races and classes to choose from and best of all - its free! No harm in trying it.

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Hmm...have you heard of Age of Decadence?
I just took a look at that and I might have to drink the Kool-Aid, thanks for sharing!
Try Tales of Maj'Eyal.
Already played a ton of that, still have it installed.
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  • 2 months later...

Heya, anyone suggested Tales of Maj-Eyal yet? A top-down Rougelike RPG (but with settings to keep your character from getting deleted rouge-like style, if you wish) that's pretty darn easy on the CPU. It's one of the very few 2D games to get more than 100+ hours (and counting!) out of me. Tons of classes, races, weapons, talent trees, etc etc, enough so that I haven't even unlocked all of them yet (I think I'm only missing like 6 classes still) I believe it's usually about $7 on Steam, and less if it's on sale. Has a pretty large modding community, and tons of player-made content to try out.

Edit: Oops, I can see it was already suggested. Never mind! :P

Edited by Slam_Jones
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