Neverwinter Nights 2 Screenshots

I just found these, two, first screenshots of NWN2 over at NWN2NEWS. The screenshot was taken from a NWN2 ad that can be found in the manual of the D&D real time strategy game, Dragonshard.

Anyways, I'm really excited about this game. I hope that the Aurora Toolset has improved a lot without sacrificing its ease of use.


RPG Spree

It's been months since the release of any decent RPG, and that is why I had the time to work with my module, Heroes and Renegades. But now two games are released, Fable: The Lost Chapters and Neverwinter Nights: Kingmaker. As a Best Buy Reward Zone member, I got them both for a reasonable price (50$ for both instead of $70).

Fable: The Lost Chapters is an extended version of a XBOX rpg, Fable, that was released a year ago. It's quite a good game though I'm a bit disappointed because it plays more like an action/adventure, with skill development, rather than a RPG. Nonetheless, the game is very enjoyable.

On the other hand, Neverwinter Nights: Kingmaker will put Neverwinter Nights back into its lifeline. Kingmaker is a premium module, which means it's not fan made. So far, I only played the first part but it seems the module is very well written.

Now that I have lot of games (I haven't finished Dungeon Siege II...yet) to occupy me, I don't know if can spare some time to work on my Neverwinter Nights Module. Also, I'll try to write a review for the three recent games, I have, sometime soon.


First Impressions: Dungeon Siege II

I received Dungeon Siege II for my birthday last Friday. I really didn't like the first one and I still consider it as the worst game I've bought and played. So I didn't really expect something from its sequel. But to my surprise the game has improved a lot, and I actually had fun playing it.

Anyways, that's my first impression on the game. I'll finish it and write a review some time soon. So stick around.


Arcanum, a Diablo clone?

I read a couple of Dungeon Siege II reviews so it might convince me to buy the game and use an almost expired gift check. When I was reading reviews, I found a rather stupid one by GamePro. It says:

"This formula may be simple, but judging by the sheer number of Diablo clones on the market, it works. PC players have Nox, Arcanum, Sacred, and most recently, Divine Divinity (what a name!)."
Arcanum was far from being a Diablo II, and I'll enumerate a few of these reasons:
  1. It has a deeper storyline and a richer gameworld that a player can discover.
  2. You can interact with people and not just kill them. Talk with them, gamble with them, or have sex with courtesans.
  3. Better skills like crafting weapons or chemicals.
  4. Diablo don't have guns.
Even Divine Divinity, although still a Diablo clone, has a better storyline and a richer gameworld than that of Diablo.


The Aurora Toolset

The Escapist Magazine, an online magazine, has released an article, What Manner of Game is This?, which gives a positive look at Neverwinter Nights (NWN) and its Aurora Toolset.

A couple of lines in the article captured my eye and heart directly. Here's the line:

"I feel Neverwinter Nights is a medium[...]Consider the difficulty of writing a novel and trying to get it self-published. Yet, in NWN anyone can easily write their "novel" as a series of adventures, and then actually watch people play it online."

That's how I feel too. In the career path that I've chosen, where there is no room for creativity, Neverwinter Nights and its handy Aurora Toolset is the only outlet of my imagination.


Music Review 090505

I've been caught up working on my game module, clinical rotations, and school lately that I haven't got the time to write a quick review on music. But now, that I have time, I guess I'll write a couple.

Opeth - Ghost Reveries
(9 out of 10)

Opeth is finally back with their newest album, Ghost Reveries. They really showcased their talents in this album, and did a sterling job on the seamless transition between the brutality of their metal riffs and the beauty of ethereal sound (especially in songs "Ghost of Perdition" and "The Grand Conjuration"). The only thing I didn't like about this album is the dark fantasy inspired lyrics (which is really expected). Nonetheless, Ghost Reveries is a metal album that stretches beyond its genre.

30 Seconds to Mars - A Beautiful Lie
(8 out of 10)

30 Seconds to Mars returns with their sophomore album, A Beautiful Lie. In A Beautiful Lie, 30 Seconds to Mars eschewed, most of, but not entirely, the spacey and atmospheric sound of their first album, Capricorn. Their music this time is more direct and generic but their signature sound is still present in songs like "From Yesterday" and "Was It a Dream?". The lyrical content is also different from, Capricorn, in which is more about outer space and the universe. This time, it is more -emotionally- mainstream. Still, A Beautiful Lie, although a much different from Capricorn, is worth listening to.

Every Time I Die - Gutter Phenomenon
8.7 out of 10)

Gutter Phenomenon
is a follow up to Every Time I Die's successful release, Hot Damn!. It's a different album compared to the older ones, they have mellowed down a bit, and I bet a lot of Metalcore fans will be turned off with this album. Still, I think it is a very good, and well produced album. The guitar riffs are more distinct, and the screams and singing parts are all in place. In addition, Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) and Daryl Palumbo (Glassjaw/Head Automatica) lends their voice in the album (to attract more fans probably). All I can say that the album is an organized chaos.


Module Maker's Journal #2

I've finally finished the prologue of the module and uploaded the demo. You can find the download and information link in the navigation bar, entitled Heroes and Renegades Demo.

Anyways, In one week I've only managed to work on the prologue. I'm not happy with the progress at all. But between my clinical rotations in the hospital and school, I can't do anything about it.