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#87741 - 10/17/01 04:28 PM Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magic Obscura
Debra Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 05/30/99
Posts: 2320
Loc: Central Texas
Arcanum is an RPG, but very different from
any that I've played. It combines the Victorian Industrial Revolution 1870's with
the traditional RPG armor/sword/magic approach.
The story is as follows:
You are riding in a Zepplin (such a cool opening movie) when it crashes. As you search
the wreckage for survivors, you see a gnomish
man reaching out to you. He gives you a ring
with instuctions to, "Give it to the boy."
Before you can say Beginning Quest, your first NPC appears and you are off to try to
solve the mysteries of the game.
Along with the main plot there are over 100
side quests to do and I did most of them.
It took me about 2 months to finish the game.
I love the way you could mix and match magic
and technolgy in your character. The points
you receive from quests or monster bashing
can go to either one;magic, in the form of
colleges or technology. Magic Colleges are
for things that have to do with spells. Technology has to do with repairing things,
picking locks, using/making firearms, etc.
So, your character can end up wearing armor
and shooting a rifle at the same time, if that's your pleasure.
I'm not going to get into graphics here. I
thought mine were fine on my machine some
"real" RPG'ers might not agree. I've heard
some say they thought they were dated. You'll have to decide for yourself.
I think the only thing that really took away
my game playing pleasure was having to trek
up and down this huge country of Arcanum without the ability to just click on something that would take you to the places
you'd been before.
I know at first you want the points from offing the bad guys, but later it's a real
drag. You can buy a ship in the later part
of the game, but it doesn't go everywhere and
the teleportation spell only takes you places
you've already been to.
One thing I really loved was the end game sequence because there you found out what
happened to the land and it's people based
on the decisions that you had been making.
One city thrived or perished, one king rose
or fell based on what you did (and a lot of
other things). They take you on a pictorial
trip of these things while the narrator discusses the effects of your choices. Very
If you are an adventure gamer don't be turned
off by the action because it can be set to
easy. It was so easy it was boring, BUT you
can change the difficulty level at any time
during the game.
It just occurred to me today, that the difference in finishing an RPG game and an
adventure game is that now that I know the
outcome in the RPG, I want to go back and
change my character and some of my choices
so I can see where that would take the storyline. With the adventure game, sometimes I'm just glad I'm done. Few exceptions to that, but not many.
Rating for this game from me 8 of 10.

#87742 - 10/17/01 11:40 PM Re: Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magic Obscura
syd Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/12/99
Posts: 12307
Loc: Body in California/Heart in Ha...
Debra thank you for the review. I have yet to take the plunge into the world of RPG's. I have a few sitting around just waiting to be loaded in. My son keeps telling me I probably won't like them because there is fighting in them lol.

This sounds like a terrific game - what other RPG's have you played?
Dark Side : Risen
Light Side:

I can only please one person a day. Today isn't your day. Tomorrow's not looking good either.

#87743 - 10/18/01 09:45 AM Re: Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magic Obscura
Debra Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 05/30/99
Posts: 2320
Loc: Central Texas
I haven't played all that many; All the Zeldas, Planescape Torment, Lands of Lore: Throne of Chaos, Arcanum, Diablo (both). I am
starting to collect them because I have really enjoyed playing them. I am about to
start on Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor as soon as the save game patch comes out.
Don't pass by trying one sometime. It's a lot of fun just not as cerebral as adventure


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