Hi everyone. I’ve just finished to play the whole Aravorn trilogy, Loren, Seasons of the Wolf and Cursed Lands in a row and, since this is the most recent feedback topic, I’ve decided to put all of my thoughts about the three games here together, also because I see them as a single entity or, to say better, I consider them to be 3 different chapters of a single saga.
But first of all, I want to thank you all for everything. I am a veteran RPG player and a sucker for great stories and I must say that it’s been a while since I’ve been hooked by a game like this, at the point that sometimes I even forgot that I had to eat or to go to sleep, lol.
Now I am eager to play Loren 2 and while I am waiting for it, I’m going to have a good look at your other RPG games like Queens of Thieves and Planet Stronghold. I am sure I won’t be disappointed.
Now, on the games:
Loren is by far the most epic of the three, the large scale of its event is unmatched by SOTW and CL and of course this reflects a lot on how I perceived the characters, which I consider blessed by that aura of legend that of course the other protagonists could never achieve. I also have the feeling that that “sense of grandeur” is something that you purposely reserved for Loren and its sequel because it is rightfully the central pillar of the saga and you had to be sure that the other games, good as they may be, would not steal the spotlight. Therefore for SOTW and CL you put more emphasis on other aspects like world building or combat, which is not a bad thing because by doing that you gave each game a different purpose and you made them shine in their own way. The major flaw that I found in Loren is that the game is a little too easy, and once I found the right pattern even the most difficult combat became a cakewalk. By using the same formation and strategy my party never even got close to be wiped out once, with the only exception of the battle at the Amazon Citadel, but only because your party in that specific occasion is limited to Eleanor (which I built 100% support/heal) Karen (that I almost never used so she was quite underlevelled ) and Breza which imho is not strong enough). It took me a couple of tries and a bit of luck to finally get to the bottom of it, but I seriously regretted that I didn’t stick with Loren in Hammersfield like I did during my first playthrough. Loren has also my favorite single romance option of the saga which is Chambara, but that falls on personal tastes area, therefore I wouldn’t put too much weight on this aspect.
Seasons of the Wolf is hands down my favorite game of the trilogy. The balance between story and combat is almost perfect and I totally loved the interactive map feature. I really hope that you plan to bring it back someday. The battles are engaging and unlike Loren you need to strategize carefully many encounters, especially the most difficult ones. While someone could see the small sized roster as a step back from the previous game I like it more, because knowing that you are going to need everyone you never leave out anyone. Every character must be levelled and ready to face any danger but since you are almost forced to rotate them during battles the amount of grinding that you need for that is kept at minimum. Not only but the smaller the number of companions is, the more they are going to grow on you. Unlike Loren and CL, where among the companions I beloved there was also a bunch of characters I couldn’t care the less, I treasured every moment with each of SotW companions. Here’s also why I was hit really hard by some of the later events of the game. Thankfully I was able to get the happy ending for my Chalassa romance because otherwise I think I would’ve been depressed for days. Speaking of romances I would have preferred a romance system which was a little less trickier, because even if in the end everything went well, I have still to understand if it was either thanks to my ability or luck that I was able to make the right choices.
Cursed Lands is by far the most complex of your games, with a lot more of freedom and many ramifications to the story, something that for every RPG lover is always a bliss. The amount of choices and of possible outcomes is so huge that I could easily overlook some small inconsistencies (like a companion who mentioned another companion like if he was already in the group when as a fact I had still to recruit him) because I suppose that it must have been really hard to keep track of everything while writing the game in order to put everything together. Heck, I also had a nasty bug during the final boss battle, that entered in an endless loop forcing me to restart it when I was halfway done but during my life as a gamer I have seen far worse things. Apart from freedom I loved this game for the great amount of topics that it brought on and that my character had to deal with. I really enjoyed wandering the lands and meeting a lot of character with whom I could exchange opinions on a lot of subjects like politics, economy, philosophy and many others. There’s a lot of world building in Cursed Lands and I like how my character was always questioning herself and her beliefs. Here’s why I consider it to have the best writing so far and I hope the incoming Loren 2 will live up to it in this regard. Oh, and suffice to say that it also has the best romance system so far. I had to deal with a lot of jealousy because my character was a little er… too easy sometimes and this was a nice change of pace especially if you consider that I am usually the monogamous kind of player (and now I am pondering if I am like that only because games usually force you to be like that lol
). About the cons, I am sorry to say that the combat system is a huge step down when compared not only to SotW’s but also to Loren’s. Not only it was over simplified by removing the front/back line system and by reducing the jewelry from 3 pieces to 1 a character but I found the whole system to be a little.. flawed. The amount of dealt damage and the SP points are too few when compared to the vitality points. Every combat was reduced to spend a certain number of round in buffing and healings my characters until the enemies were out of stamina and after that all that was left was to bash them in a slow and endless process. The social skill is a nice feature indeed, but it was either too powerful to use (if you managed to get the pre-entive strike it was an instant victory) or useless because of immunity. In the end I switched to easy settings for the first time, not because I felt that the battles were too hard but because they were too long and tiresome.
Well, I think that to sum up, the game of my dreams would include the epic of Loren, the writing of Cursed Lands and the combat system of Season of the Wolfs, but even if you take them individually they all provide an amazing experience.
That's all I think, thank you again and keep up the good work!! <3 <3 <3