Carl Batchelor


33 games reviewed
80.8 average score
85 median score
63.6% of games recommended
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Feb 8, 2014

It certainly has its downsides, as most games of this type often do, but if you are used to sketchy difficulty and paper thin dialog and just like the character building/dungeon crawling of the genre's storied past, then Legacy is what you'll be spending your next 50 hours worth of free time playing.

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7.4 / 10.0 - Blackguards
Feb 19, 2014

What it all comes down to is this: if you enjoy your RPGs as challenging as possible without being so difficult they are impossible, then Blackguards was made especially for you. If you have the patience to work hard at finding the correct strategy to win each battle and enjoy obsessing over character builds, you may have just found the gaming equivalent of the Holy Grail.

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Jul 8, 2014

If I was Swen Vincke, I'd make sure to work on this engine and release a few more games using the same exact gameplay scheme. What he has here is the basis for a very lucrative new (old?) breed of CRPG and it would be criminal to not take advantage of it. Original Sin is his masterpiece, and with it he has filled a void that a lot of old school RPGers came to Kickstarter looking for. Congratulations Larian, you did the impossible. Now make more.

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Through it all though, Trails is a great example of why the PC needs JRPGs and why the genre doesn't deserve the negative connotation it often gets stuck with. Buy it, support the genre, and hope this convinces other Japanese companies to release their games on digital services like Steam and GOG as well.

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9.3 / 10.0 - Risen 3: Titan Lords
Aug 21, 2014

Risen 3 is a triumphant return to Piranha Bytes' golden age and a fantastic CRPG in its own right. An open world epic that is guaranteed to get better with each passing hour you put into it and won't let you go until the end. With its long 60+ hour quest, well over 300 side-quests and a very easy to grasp combat system, it's by far and away the most approachable of Piranha Bytes' games – and perhaps its most enjoyable one as well.

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9.8 / 10.0 - Wasteland 2
Oct 4, 2014

 As much negativity as Kickstarter has been saddled with over the past year, I feel reassured that good things can come of it thanks to this game here. Though Divinity and Shadowrun were also big successes that were funded through Kickstarter, it almost felt for a while there that Wasteland would get lost in their shadow. That thankfully isn't the case, since in this gamer's opinion, Wasteland 2 is a much bigger and more varied CRPG than either of those two titles. Fargo & Co should be proud of what they have here, and I sincerely hope that the market allows them to make a Wasteland 3.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Legend of Grimrock II
Oct 31, 2014

This year has seen a lot of great modern CRPGs impersonating old school titles, and Grimrock 2 is yet another in that long list of spiritual successors to long dead franchises that have been begging to be resurrected. If you want to lose a couple of weeks to a good dungeon crawler with a thriving community and some very un-indie-like bells and whistles, Grimrock 2 is a sure way to scratch that itch.

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Nov 30, 2014

Those who are used to the slick action RPG combat of Diablo, Titan Quest or Sacred will probably come away with the same assessment I did, while those who are more interested in Planescape-style questing will find the patience necessary to trudge through the combat to get to the game's tasty dialog-saturated center. Since I am firmly in the former of those two categories, I walked away feeling very disappointed with Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms, and wish more than anything that I could be a member of the latter group.

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8 / 10.0 - Blackguards 2
Feb 4, 2015

In spite of these small gripes, Blackguards 2 is a much more complete and better-playing game than its predecessor and will no doubt please all of those who loved the first. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you are a hardcore fan like me), the game has not been streamlined enough to attract casual CRPG fans and will still be far too complex and challenging for those not accustomed to the difficulty of a dyed-in-the-wool European game like Blackguards.

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9.5 / 10.0 - Pillars of Eternity
Apr 8, 2015

With its well fleshed-out world and clever twist on classic Dungeons & Dragons-style rules, Pillars of Eternity could be the next big RPG series that people have been wanting from the genre for the past decade. As for me, I'm already working on a second trip and still gloating over the success of my dwarven Paladin to anyone who will listen.

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