Avencast

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 Post subject: Avencast Review Jan 2011
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:21 pm
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I want to start this by saying that Avencast is a pretty amazing game. I found it on Steam for sale, and thought it definitely looked worth checking out. I'm about 15 hours into the game as a Soul Mage, and I absolutely plan on playing through a second time as Blood Mage. (From what I can tell, a great way to level Blood Mage will be 10 pts spent as: spell +1 health +1 mana +2 blood magic; or +3 health +3 mana +4 blood magic, every level).
As a fairly avid player of World of Warcraft and City of Heroes/Villains in 2006-2009, I've been looking for games that were nearly as in-depth that don't require a monthly fee. I've found the Diablo series to be nearly intolerable beyond a single play through given the lack of respec for such complex character designs. (As an example of what I'm referring to, check out Loki: Heroes of Mythology). The need of respecs in Avencast was a feature that doesn't feel "missing" because the character development in Avencast is exactly straight forward: put more points into Soul to make your Soul Magic stronger, and same for Blood Magic. If you want a true dps/attribute puzzle, look up how to maximize the attribute points and DPS of a dagger/axe rogue in Dragon Age Origins haha.

Anyway, now onto my pros/cons discussion about the deliciousness at hand: Avencast, Rise of the Mage.

I'll start with the controls. In comparison to WoW and Dragon Age, I really found the "follow cursor" option for Avencast to be the only control setup that I could tolerate. It's pretty close to what I find to be the ideal game setup (camera slightly tilted following above and behind the hero) but the simple and advanced control setups I couldn't do. I tried playing Simple controls (fixed camera, using north/south/east/west movements) and about 2 minutes into the game I realized I needed to try something different. The option to turn on "camera follows the cursor" was truly a saving grace. Side note here: setting the camera to move to what you're looking at can give other players a real perspective of the depth and beauty of all the details of the world of Avencast. Part of this opinion is the heavy influence that Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2 and Soul Reaver 2 had on my early gaming days.

Next, I'll mention the spells selection. I didn't take all of the Soul Magic spells (I plan on skipping the Flame Spear and Flame Wall, Ice Shards got terrible reviews on here, and Fire Wall / Fireball). I generally stick with Ice Bullet (full upgrade), Ice Meteor (full upgrade), Nova Circle thingy (full upgrade), Flame Wave spell that leads into Flame Spear (full upgrade), and Soul Mage ultimate (the laser blast). I also have the Shield spell and all of the Soul Mage summons (obelisk, scorpion, and seahorse). I LOVE playing a soul mage, and I expect that playing a Blood Mage will be just as fun because Avencast is just a really fun game.

Moving on to the puzzles. I'm just going to throw this out there, haha... two of the puzzles in the Crypt came straight out of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I found the throwbacks to be amusing but equational. I will admit that I've never had the task of creating puzzles for a computer game, and I can imagine that using all available influences and references is pretty important to getting the most of each in-game area. The time travel puzzles were pretty awesome to figure out, and the Giant Crab was such a huge pain that I actually had to find the solution for that guy in the forums. Overall, very well done.

Lastly, I'd like to make a nod to game play. The spell casting system is completely unique, and totally awesome. It would have been an epic fail, if there had not been 8 slots on the user interface where I could keep references for how to cast all of the spells that I would need (ice bullet, soul chalice, ice meteor, nova circle, flame wave, and the three summons). But, the guys at Clockwork were expecting a guy like me to find this game, and I did. With a PC that doesn't have any trouble with meeting system reqs, Avencast is going right next to Dragon Age Origins on my short list of "coolest games that will never be replacable." I really look forward to seeing what else is going to come from Clockstone, and I look am really keeping my fingers crossed for a multiple-class adventure Avencast 2. [Suggestion - keep the Mage exactly the same but add a Warrior class that has 2 talent trees, maybe Slaughter skills and Guardian skills (Slaughter being 2-hand sword or dual wield while Guardian is mace-shield, etc)... or a Ranger/Rogue-ish class that can spec to use bows or daggers]. Just a thought.

My criticism may sound a little harsh, but I'm just trying to provide as much input as possible for the guys at Clockstone. My overall rating is Awesome Sauce, and I've already plugged the game on my Facebook to tell all of my gamer friends to get it off Steam like I did. To the guys at Clockstone: Thank you for the time, development, love and care that went into this. I can't wait to see what you're going to do next!


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 Post subject: Re: Avencast Review Jan 2011
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:38 pm 
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Kyranian Master

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:21 pm
Posts: 353
Hi Lilnukboy!

Thanks for this comprehensive and useful feedback! We are currently gathering ideas for the concept of our upcoming title (there's a good chance it will be a sequel :) ). It's very helpful for us to know what people liked or disliked about Avencast so we can make the best out of ClockStone's upcoming production!

Have fun playing again with a Blood Mage,

Cheers,
Michael


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