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March 23rd, 2009
Geneforge 5 Review
by Scorpia

Geneforge 5 splash screenClosing out the series, Geneforge 5 at last brings an end to the terrible struggle between the Shapers and the rebels. Of the several factions involved, only one will achieve victory. Which one triumphs will be determined by the side you choose to support.

And no matter to whom you pledge loyalty, grim deeds are ahead. As I mentioned once before, no one’s hands are clean in a war. The question is, how far are you willing to go to bring lasting peace to the land?

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March 20th, 2008
Avernum 5 Review
by Scorpia

Avernum 5 character creationAvernum is Spiderweb’s flagship series, a remake/enhancement of the earlier Exile games. Set in a huge underground area of connected caves, they naturally bring to mind Ultima Underworld, especially as Avernum was previously a dumping ground for criminals, eccentrics and anyone else the Empire didn’t like.

Of course, Avernum is much more developed, as we are now up to the fifth installment of a continuing story. After much battle and bloodshed, a tenuous peace has been worked out between Avernum and the Empire, headed by the moderate Empress Prazac.

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December 11th, 2007
Eschalon: Book I Review
by Scorpia

Char generation screenAs many know by now, Eschalon is billed as an “old-school” style of game. That’s certainly true. It brings back several features that are rarely, if ever, seen in the modern crop of CRPGs.

Foremost is character creation based on dice rolls. The last game I recall with that is Wizardry 8, so it’s been awhile. These dice generate a spread of 7-14, and can be re-rolled as much as you like. Then you augment the results from a pool of 15 points, along with a small bonus to two stats by choosing one of four backgrounds.

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September 23rd, 2007
Geneforge 4 Review
by Scorpia

The GeneforgeA fierce struggle is going on between the Shapers, who want to keep their special power to themselves, and the rebels, who believe that power should be open to all. You come in on the rebel side…and the rebels are losing.

So begins Geneforge 4: Rebellion, which drops you in the middle of a very nasty war. At first the rebels were doing well, but now they’ve lost much of what they had gained in territory. The only hope may be the secret project of the Drakons, hidden away up in the northern mountains.

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June 7th, 2007
Fate Review
by Scorpia

fatetown.pngTake the original Diablo, add in a couple of bits from Diablo 2, top that off with a few original features, and you have Fate.

The game’s lineage is evident immediately, from the single town with dungeon below, to the point-and-click interface, the merchants with their variable inventories, the capacious (this time) stash, the randomized dungeon levels, and the usual list of “search and destroy” quests.

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March 12th, 2007
Neverwinter Nights 2 Review
by Scorpia

the king of shadows Just a warning at the start: this article contains a number of spoilers about the game. There was no way I could avoid that. So if you’re already playing it, you may not want to read much farther.

Neverwinter 2 was highly anticipated, but while I enjoyed the first one, held off until a stable patch was available. So this review covers the 1.04 version.

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December 2nd, 2006
Nancy Drew: The Creature Of Kapu Cave
by Scorpia

The Hardy BoysI’ve always been curious about these Nancy Drew adventure games, and finally got around to looking at one. Creature of Kapu Cave, however, may not have been the best one with which to start.

In this outing, Nancy flies off to Hawaii for a working holiday as field assistant to Dr. Quigley Kim, entomologist. She soon comes across Joe and Frank Hardy, here on a working holiday of their own. They’ve been hired to do a background check on “Big Mike” Mapu and his daughter Pua. A company is thinking of using Pua in a commercial, and want to be sure there are no “skeletons in the closet”.

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September 8th, 2006
Barrow Hill Review
by Scorpia

A lonely roadDriving through the nighttime countryside of Cornwall, your car crashes. Shaken but unhurt, you get out and begin walking down a dark and lonely road.

Finally, up ahead, you see a gas station/motel. But it seems deserted. No one is around. A car is parked with the motor running and doors open, and items scattered around it, as though someone left in a hurry. A big hurry…

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