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    Why You Should Try "Two Worlds"

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    Paeter
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    Why You Should Try "Two Worlds"

    Post  Paeter on August 1st 2011, 10:59 pm

    Copied from my blog at: http://paetersbrain.blogspot.com/2011/08/why-you-should-try-two-worlds.html

    Recently I was looking for a new Xbox 360 RPG to play and picked up "Two Worlds" to try out (with a seven day return option). This game came out about a year after "Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion" and shamelessly rips off of it in a number of ways. Before Two Worlds came out, it was being hyped as an "Oblivion killer" and had so much anticipation attached to it that when it came out and ended up being a seriously mediocre knock off instead of all it promised, fans were angry. (As evidenced by the extremely bitter reviews of the game on Youtube.) Most reputable reviewers, who were a bit more objective, gave the game lukewarm reviews, but few considered it a truly bad game. Personally, I'd recommend it to anyone in the same boat with me. First, let me describe that "boat" a little bit more, and then I'll tell you why I think this one is worth trying.

    My Boat:

    Play only RPGs or action RPGs because my hand-eye coordination sucks and I can "level grind" my way out of trouble if I need to in RPGs. Burned out on Mass Effect 1&2, Dragon Age 1&2, Oblivion, Torchlight and Fallout 3. (Fallout New Vegas won't load my saves.) Not into Fable 2 or 3 that much. Grew up playing and loving RPGs with no voice acting, where you had to read all the dialogue. (Some of which was translated poorly.) Think nice graphics are nice, but not necessary for a great gaming experience. Found a used copy of "Two Worlds" at my local Gamestop for $6.99, with a seven day return/refund policy if I don't like it. Didn't ever have my hopes dashed by Two Worlds when it came out and went into the playing experience with low expectations compared to other games I've played.

    If you're riding in a different boat, read no further. But if that's your boat too, I'd HIGHLY recommend giving this game a shot. Here's why:

    Two Worlds has a visual design that is serious in tone. If you like the semi-dark "D&D" tone of Oblivion or Dragon Age, the tone here is similar. (No spunky youths, purposefully comical moments or cute monsters.) The graphics are 360 quality, but not by much. There are also a number of stutters in frame-rate performance, even including some quick pauses now and then in combat with multiple opponents or while exploring the countryside. But if you can get used to this (which I have) the hack-n-slash combat is very satisfying. (Though I'd recommend the "easy" difficulty.)

    The controls in general are not intuitive, but not prohibitive either. It wasn't long (a couple of hours) before I stopped experiencing frequent missteps in button pushing and have now settled into comfort with almost every aspect of the controls. The Horseback riding is also less intuitive than in Oblivion, but not terrible. In fact, I can almost say the developers succeeded in their aim to create a sense of accomplishment and skill when learning to control the horse, which has a mind of its own and must be "guided" with the controls. It sounds more complex than it is. The difference for me is that in Oblivion, the horse is the fastest way from A to B when not using the fast travel feature, and that's about it. In Two Worlds, riding the horse is like a mini-game in itself that I've come to enjoy and take satisfaction from! (You also don't have to ride it if you don't want to, and there are numerous teleport points.)

    It can't be avoided. The dialogue is poorly written/translated (Polish developers) and also badly performed (by the development staff instead of actors!). I found it especially rough at the beginning. But thankfully, the game allows you to lower or completely mute the volume of dialogue in the game, which I have done. Since then, I've been able to make the dialogue sound/work better in my head, a skill developed from playing RPGs questionably translated from Japanese for most of my life. And I've found that the story, while not great, is still interesting and more than the sum of the dialogue.

    The music has been a surprising point of pleasure for me. It has an interesting blend of orchestral and synth sounds that give it a unique flavor. The gentle exploration theme has a dissonant chord in one progression that grabs me every time I hear it. What it lacks in polish may even contribute to its original sound.

    Looting...is...a BLAST in this game! Not only do you have an alchemy pot with you at all times for item creation experiments, but you can "stack" equipment of the same type to instantly increase its stats. You'll likely leave no chest unopened, no plant unpicked or body clothed as you explore and hack your way through this world.

    And the world is HUGE! There is so much to do in this world and so many quests to undertake. There aren't near as many random dungeons as Oblivion has, but the number of quests to do easily makes up for it. The magic system, which I've barely tapped into, is also very original, involving spell creation mechanics that are easy and fun.

    There are also competing social groups that you can choose to align yourself with. The kingdom is almost up for grabs and you can choose your side or play the middle ground, working both sides (at least for awhile). I'm not usually taken in by political stories, but being part of the struggle for power and making choices that significantly effect the game world has been a lot of fun.

    There are more ways than I can count in which this game attempts to mimic Oblivion (despite being 3rd instead of 1st person). But if something works, it works, and the game feels different enough in a number of ways that it is still a very different experience from Oblivion. If you played Oblivion for its open world exploration, questing and looting (as opposed to the story/character interaction, like you may have played Dragon Age/Mass Effect for), then you'll find that itch scratched with Two Worlds. I'd even go so far as to say that I'd pay more than twice what I did for this game and when I'm done with it, I'd be willing to pay full price for the second one if I had to. (Though luckily I really doubt that will be the case, given the price of Two Worlds 2 at Gamestop right now.) RPG nerds, check this one out!


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