Anybody played the following games?

Please help out a tattered gaming veteran. ;)

...Mount & Blade
...Mount & Blade: Warband
...Mount & Blade: Fire and Sword?

(My chief worry is whether it will manage to be engaing and avoid "farming" XP or gold or using recycled content since it's sandbox mode.)

...Shogun 2
(Dunno what to ask about. Just share how you find it please. I've recently discovered a love for samurai films in me and I like this game genre, so it might work.)

...Europa Universalis 3 with its countless add-ons
(Is it engaging? Is there irreverent content? Is it possible to have fun playing without setting out to conquer the whole map under the first lame pretence that pops up to annex everybody? What about relations with the papacy and influencing papal elections, if present, then how is it handled?)

...King Arthur: the Roleplaying Wargame?
(What about the presentation of Christianity in the game? Is gameplay engaging enough? What about difficulty balance? Is the game reasonably bugfree?)

...Dirt 3? Or any decent car racing game, anything? Preferably that doesn't use the cliche of illegal city racing at night and all that gangsta jazz? (I'm mostly in for the views while driving.)

...Age of Empires 3 (with addons) but seem from 2011 perspective: as in I've never played it yet, it has so happened, so I'm wondering if it'd be worth buying to through the campaigns (but no multiplayer).

...Alpha Protocol (just because it's ridiculously cheap online right now).

With any of these games, a very important issue is effectiveness of the time spent playing. I can and even should play computer games due to my specific job but I'd rather avoid having to survive prolonged dull moments. I also want to avoid occult content or irreverent use of Christian references or symbols.

Thanks!

[quote="chevalier, post:1, topic:252171"]
Please help out a tattered gaming veteran. ;)

...Mount & Blade
...Mount & Blade: Warband
...Mount & Blade: Fire and Sword?

(My chief worry is whether it will manage to be engaing and avoid "farming" XP or gold or using recycled content since it's sandbox mode.)

...Shogun 2
(Dunno what to ask about. Just share how you find it please. I've recently discovered a love for samurai films in me and I like this game genre, so it might work.)

...

With any of these games, a very important issue is effectiveness of the time spent playing. I can and even should play computer games due to my specific job but I'd rather avoid having to survive prolonged dull moments. I also want to avoid occult content or irreverent use of Christian references or symbols.

Thanks!

[/quote]

I don't know if you know the whole story behind the Mount & Blade series but it was created by a Turkish (I think) husband and wife team. For such a small group the end result was really well done. Mount and Blade will basically get you straight into the action, and within an hour or two. Gold or XP farming is not an issue whatsoever. In single player you just kind of go on your merry way and in multiplayer I believe you select kits ala Bad Company.

The gameplay is simple and engaging and you'll be happy to know that you can experience every style of play (that is to say you'll be able to do sieges, kingdom vs kingdom, ect) within two or three hours. I'd definitely recommend you give it a try, especially if you come across a Steam deal.

As for the Shogun 2, I would say it's the best new installment in the Total War franchise since Medieval 2 (which you should also pick up if you have the chance, also very cost effective and has a great modding community). Have you played any other games in the Total War series? I'll hold off on commenting until I know that. Anyways, I hope that helps a little bit.

[quote="Mungling, post:2, topic:252171"]
As for the Shogun 2, I would say it's the best new installment in the Total War franchise since Medieval 2 (which you should also pick up if you have the chance, also very cost effective and has a great modding community). Have you played any other games in the Total War series? I'll hold off on commenting until I know that. Anyways, I hope that helps a little bit.

[/quote]

I've played Medieval I and II. But I had some problems. In Mediaeval II, I didn't like the way papacy and similar religion- or Church-related issues were handled (crookery and all, although I do know how things often looked in the middle ages), or the zooms on a crucifix going on after burning a heretic (which you were forced to do because otherwise you'd get civil unrest from his heresies). It was too much for my nerve. I had a similar moment when I saw the animation of the army of the Kingdom of Jerusalem pushing the large Holy Cross reliquary on wheels to battle and IIRC it was an available unit. I didn't want to be doing that, even in a game. Ended up uninstalling to spare myself headaches, I think.

On the gameplay side, in the wider scenarios (playing either as Poland or France), there was always that moment when either the Mongols came (generally the end of me, though with some variation) and/or everybody around me (plus rebels) wanted a piece of me and I couldn't handle it. I also hated the absurdly high tech and obscene numbers of troops that heirs of destroyed factions were getting, which was killing the fun for me (because it had no justification and having been a programmer before, I could easily see someone just setting a variable like that to make it "challenging" or "fun", which it was not when a prince from nowhere suddenly had better toys than a large empire. Otherwise I loved the game, particularly the very idea itself, the way cities were handled etc, although I didn't like many of the aspects of change from 1 to 2.

I had better luck with the Britannia scenarios (playing as Wales), but eventually it would get boring after seeing the game as won but being far from the official victory. ;)

(If you enjoyed Mediaeval 1-2, I would like to recommend either Crusader Kings right now or the Crusader Kings 2 sequel when it comes out, supposedly some time soon. It was an Europa Universalis clone from its very own developer but more fun to play, I think. Certainly very unique. It also had a very feudal feel to it. And I could actually defeat the Mongols there. ;) Plus, it was fun inheriting counties, duchies and even kingdoms or raising them from ruin after reclaiming their vassal territories etc. I once started as a count of Flanders, (made duke for reasons of game mechanics so that smaller counts could be his vassals), ending up Byzantine Emperor without pulling off a usurpation. Poland reclaiming Jerusalem wasn't bad either. ;))

the only games i played was shogun 2 (only briefly at a friends house) and alpha protocol. i just want to say that one thing i like in shogun 2 is that you have the ability to embrace christianity (which i believe grants you european support) and it will make you hated in all of japan; but you can "rewrite history" to make a christian dominated japan.

Alpha protocol sucks

[quote="chevalier, post:3, topic:252171"]
I've played Medieval I and II. But I had some problems. In Mediaeval II, I didn't like the way papacy and similar religion- or Church-related issues were handled (crookery and all, although I do know how things often looked in the middle ages), or the zooms on a crucifix going on after burning a heretic (which you were forced to do because otherwise you'd get civil unrest from his heresies). It was too much for my nerve. I had a similar moment when I saw the animation of the army of the Kingdom of Jerusalem pushing the large Holy Cross reliquary on wheels to battle and IIRC it was an available unit. I didn't want to be doing that, even in a game. Ended up uninstalling to spare myself headaches, I think.

On the gameplay side, in the wider scenarios (playing either as Poland or France), there was always that moment when either the Mongols came (generally the end of me, though with some variation) and/or everybody around me (plus rebels) wanted a piece of me and I couldn't handle it. I also hated the absurdly high tech and obscene numbers of troops that heirs of destroyed factions were getting, which was killing the fun for me (because it had no justification and having been a programmer before, I could easily see someone just setting a variable like that to make it "challenging" or "fun", which it was not when a prince from nowhere suddenly had better toys than a large empire. Otherwise I loved the game, particularly the very idea itself, the way cities were handled etc, although I didn't like many of the aspects of change from 1 to 2.

I had better luck with the Britannia scenarios (playing as Wales), but eventually it would get boring after seeing the game as won but being far from the official victory. ;)

(If you enjoyed Mediaeval 1-2, I would like to recommend either Crusader Kings right now or the Crusader Kings 2 sequel when it comes out, supposedly some time soon. It was an Europa Universalis clone from its very own developer but more fun to play, I think. Certainly very unique. It also had a very feudal feel to it. And I could actually defeat the Mongols there. ;) Plus, it was fun inheriting counties, duchies and even kingdoms or raising them from ruin after reclaiming their vassal territories etc. I once started as a count of Flanders, (made duke for reasons of game mechanics so that smaller counts could be his vassals), ending up Byzantine Emperor without pulling off a usurpation. Poland reclaiming Jerusalem wasn't bad either. ;))

[/quote]

I will check out Crusader Kings, it sounds very interesting. I do agree that there are a number of problematic issues with the way that Medieval II handles the Church. From a gameplay perspectives it seems like the payer is really supposed to hate the institution of the Catholic Church. Actually, I'm hard pressed to think of a single positive portrayal of... well... anything religious in the Total War series. But, I'm going to be fairly generous and say they're reflecting the fact that there was a lot of corruption in the Church during the Middle Ages as opposed to simply portraying them poorly for the sake of portraying them poorly.

From a gameplay perspective I do think the first Medieval is superior to the second gameplay wise. My biggest issue in that game is charging - no joke. Trying to get knights to charge can drive me up the wall.

Some of the mods are amazing though, if you're in that. Broken Crescent (as an example) is a particularly stellar example.

[quote="Mungling, post:5, topic:252171"]
From a gameplay perspective I do think the first Medieval is superior to the second gameplay wise.

[/quote]

Yeah. And the simplistic map interface was more immersive than the colourful replacement.

My biggest issue in that game is charging - no joke. Trying to get knights to charge can drive me up the wall.

Can't recall my "favourite" battle problems, it's been too long and all, but I can imagine how annoying that must be.

Some of the mods are amazing though, if you're in that. Broken Crescent (as an example) is a particularly stellar example.

Never played a single mod, perhaps my loss. ;) I've been into mods for RPGs though and played around with RTS map editors back in the time, and I like the concept.

Incidentally, one thing I didn't like, that was probably as annoying as the charge issue to you, was the names. The names of Polish commanders were totally off... probably in Mediaeval I rather than II. As in modern-sounding and not having a noble ring to them (Europa Universalis was good at names of people and lands and Crusader Kings at lands but not people, at least in some countries, as in others it wasn't bad).

If you do have the time to try out Crusader Kings, I'd recommend not even trying it until patching to the latest. Much more fun that way, not only technical issues etc.

Get Mount & Blade Warband, dont worry about the original, its basically warband minus the good parts. Fire and sword is broken as anything, better off getting a mod. Warband itself is simple, here is your character, ehre is some money and equipment, do what you like. Its a 'pick your own adventure game'. Do you hunt bounties? do you become a mercenary company? do you join one of the warring factions? or do yo umake your own?. The game is played fro mthird person percpective and relies heavily on mounted combat. honestly, download the demo, it caps at level 8 but by then youll know if you like it or not.

Shogun 2 is awesome, basically medival but in Japan. Only down side is the ammount of updates for it. Didnt plan for a week, came back, 15 gig download of updates :eek:.

Europa 3 is fun IF you are willing to learn micro managment. its a game of dedication, not a jump in straight off the bat game.

cant comment on arthur.

Brother plays Dirt 3 and enjoys it greatly, once again though cant comment, i have no patience for driving games.

Age of Empires 3...cant help ya.

Alpha Protocol (aka how to be a complete d**k). This is a highly under rated game (Which is sad as the storyline is great and the character both likeable and love to hate types. plus Nolan North plays Steven Heck. If you've seen him do Deadpool you know what to expect.) There are some issues with control and other minor problems but most of em are easy to fix. If you like mass effect type gameplay mixed with a James Bond like story then go ahead.

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