deadfire would be my recommendation for best all-rounder. it’s great-looking & well-paced, and it combines “an actually good implementation of FFXII party AI scripting” with “an actually good videogame narrative about colonialism,” neither of which had ever been done successfully on their own, let alone together.
new torment is utterly terrific other than its combat which is hilariously bad but mostly avoidable and it does still very much scratch that CRPG itch so I can’t fail to mention it
original sin 1 is a bonafide heir to ultima 7 (with some chrono trigger thrown in for good measure) and is challenging and hilarious and incredibly generous but deadfire’s story and characters edge it. the sequel takes a modern classic and makes it both better and worse, I’d definitely recommend you start with the first, you’ll probably want more of it eventually.
witcher 3 is “do you want a perfectly executed combination of morrowind and red dead” – probably yes, but I’m working under an expectation of isometric party-based CRPGs.
shadowrun dragonfall is also very good, came along before a lot of these, and gets nothing really wrong, though it’s like a lite version of any of them at best.
go with deadfire imo, the only qualification I will make is that the first real dungeon is the same formulaic baldur’s gate stuff as the first pillars, but it’s like half an hour long and not the first thing you’ll do in the game so it doesn’t have much opportunity to warn you off
OK, it’s useful to know one of Deadfire’s first areas sucks, I generally do not hesitate to quit games forever if they leave a bad first impression and I hear defenses along the lines that “it gets good in the post game”", but if it’s only half an hour I can work through that.
Original Sin looks superficially quite similar to Pillars and I can’t really tell them apart except that Pillars is prettier and I’m told it’s bigger/more ambitious. Aside from that, is there anything Original Sin is specifically trying to deliver that Pillars doesn’t go for?
I might give that some serious consideration too because I prefer the setting
pillars (1, not deadfire) is the most tediously literal fan sequel to infinity engine era stuff imaginable, the writing is like being beaten over the head with a 3e rulebook, the combat is immensely tedious, and the game’s scope feels small in a not good way
original sin is dollhouse-level simulationist, builds an incredibly open-ended/silly/challenging sRPG combat system on top of that, has actually engaging mysteries and lore without taking itself too seriously, and is hugely generous without being overwhelming
that pillars 2 turned out as good as it did was shocking to me, they are very little alike. but pillars 2 still isn’t going for the same level of simulationism or silliness as original sin, it’s more conservative in its design while being incredibly good at it.
dragonfall’s combat is a little mushy to the point where it feels a bit of a shame to recommend when the others are out there but that’s my only other criticism.
Original Sin is the best modern CRPG
original sin 1 opened with a murder mystery and seemed great but I never finished it. original sin 2 kept killing characters or letting me kill characters just to bring them back a loading screen later and killed any sense of simulationism for me, nothing seemed to matter and it just kept doing oddball ass things. I literally killed a guy in the last fight and then the ending screens talked about the great things that guy went on to do, like the game was just mocking me at that point.
2 shipped with a lot of quest flags broken & is a lot flabbier than 1 in parts & a lot of narrative threads just get dropped if you aren’t using specific characters (similar to one of the two middle act routes in Witcher 2). I played through it again after they called it remastered a few months ago and it’s definitely better now but it does make a poorer impression than 1.
Also the combat is even crazier which makes you appreciate that 1 is somewhat balanced in spite of the wonderful Rube Goldberg-ness of it, 2 is more daring you to break it. Which the engine does rise to the occasion of but it’s a slightly harder sell.
Also just fyi Felix is a huge nu-Torment booster but opinions differ widely around here
I think just Tulpa hates it?
I think I have a code for one of the new Shadowrun games you can have.
It turns out I already have Returns and Dragonball in my Steam library and didn’t really remember (especially that I bought the latter, I thought I only had one Shadowrun)
I haven’t played it yet, I just pre-emptively bag on it because I hate the source material (Monte Cook is a hack and so is Patrick Rothfuss!!!)
I tend to assume that compared to you I’m a lot less interested in source material / setting / genre eclecticism and a lot more willing to credit [my own highly opinionated version of] small tragedies and humanness / ambitious prose / scope, and new torment is somewhat widely criticized on the former elements but transcends most of the medium on the latter, so I was happy to agree to disagree when I thought you’d played the damn thing. Get on it!!
Its strongest elements are a lot closer to being pure IF than the other games mentioned here but I don’t mind that because I like my IF with a little bit of RPG
like, I would say that it extrapolates its setting out of its characters to a degree that probably reads to some people as incoherent; the individual NPCs literally contain entire worlds. this wouldn’t be any good at all if it lacked for imagination, but it doesn’t.
honestly I think it’s up there with Mother 3 and it’s a real shame that it’s dressed up in these layers of “I’m not sure I want this” because it’s a great great work
the combat is dogshit though
any good movies about baking/bakeries?? or just good baking scenes in non baking movies
Kiki’s Delivery Service?
Does it have to be a movie
not rly no, will read a book about a baker too or whatever you have in mind