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:: RPG Source :: View Review :: Champions of Norrath: Realms of Everquest

Champions of Norrath: Realms of Everquest
Game: Champions of Norrath: Realms of Everquest
Platform: Playstation 2
Players: 1-2 w/o multitap, 1-4 online or w/ multitap.
Genre: Hack n Slash RPG
Price: 50$ish
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment

[B]About the Game[/B]

Pretty much, if you are at this site and are reading this review, chances are you have at least heard of Everquest, if not experienced it for yourself. This Massively Multiplayer Online RPG for PC, Mac, and PS2 is among the most successful online games in the world, and for a good reason. Three reasons for that: 1) The ability to customize your online persona 2) the tons of community features in the game itself and 3) the rich history and lore you can discover in the game. These things aside, it is known to be a very addictive game, taking over the lives of people or even making them kill themselves, as they are so drawn to it. I played the game for a while, and I thought it was fun, but the extremely long time it took to level and the "Camping" for monsters got old quick, so I quit.

Sony apparently has become aware that some people just aren't campers, and so they decided to make a quicker paced, more exciting game. To do this, they recruited Snowblind studios, known for making the original Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, to make a game of Everquest based on the adaptation that Baldur's Gate received. After they threw in some online play and such, this game popped out.

As for storyline, in the beginning, it's pretty much some wood elf king telling you that the orcs have taken over and you need to go kill them. The plot thickens though, as you encounter the Orc King, who has some dark agenda that spans way beyond simply conquering the Elf kingdom.

Gameplay

If you played Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, or even Diablo, you will be able to pick this game up pretty easily. The control scheme is the exact same as BG:DA, except that the jump button has been replaced with a 2nd shortcut spell, which is much more useful, but it is also needed to be noted that many of the "traps" in BG:DA that were aided with jumping seem to be absent in this. In other words, it seems as though the programmer replaced the jump button cuz they implimented no use of it on purpose. Oh well.

The game plays very well. The action is very fast, with only occassional drops in framerate. And it is a blast to play in 4 players, if not a little hectic at times. Simple gameplay that never changes really, except for an instance that involves handling a vehicle. In other words, if you dont like mini games or just dont miss them, you will love it.

Online play is a little different, as some slight changes may be done to the game which can affect the game a bit from playing offline. Also, it is broadband only, because you need a voice headset, keep that in mind.

Graphics

Some of the best graphics you can find on the PS2. This game isn't just a minor upgrade to BG:DA. The textures are higher resolution, the animation is very well done (Except in the lame cutscenes), and the game shows off a lot more particle effects and action onscreen than before. Also, the water effects have been improved a lot, with more realistic motion in the water, and there are even 2 dungeons that are underwater, and the graphics for these are quite well done, as in the lava. Occassionally though, the game has kind of a "draw in" problem, I only encountered this twice in the entire game, its no big deal though.

Sound/Music

Solid sound effects that makes it easy to distinguish uses of different weapons, spells, and so on. The voice talent is also quite good, similar in quality to BG:DA. The music scores could be a little better, they are mainly atmospheric and orchestral scores, although they are done pretty well, and are much better than anything from Everquest for the PC.

Overall

If you like Hack n Slashers, this is the best to come for a long while. Well there's Crystal Chronicals as well, but that game plays very different from this. If you want a solid adventure with focus on action, or you just dont have GBAs to use for linkup, this is the better choice.

Graphics *********
Sound/Music ********
Gameplay *********
Overall *********
Difficulty Rating (1 being Mario is Missing, 5 being a typical game, and 10 being like... something hard)******* (playing in Easy mode) to ********** (Hard mode, which you have to be lv 35 to get to BTW)


     
By Ancient (26/3/2004)




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