• Lethal RPG War review

    Lethal RPG War review
    By Rick Moscatello

    Song requests.....-lethalboxshot-jpg

    Role-playing games, RPGs, are a broad genre now. From massively multiplayer online games (eg, World of Warcraft) to deep world singleplayer experiences (eg, Skyrim) to dungeon-crawlers where your character barely sees the light of day (eg, Diablo), to party-based quest-a-thons (eg, Pillars of Eternity) to several other categories, there are too many ways to play a game called a “RPG” to expect to know what it is.

    About the only thing RPGs all have in common is character development: your character beats on monsters, and in exchange gets better at beating on monsters. The emphasis on combat usually means fighting in these types of games is pretty dull, with the end never in doubt: the ridiculously well-armed and armored hero has little trouble dispatching the vast majority of bad guys he’ll meet on his quest for more power.

    Past the combat, the next thing you find in RPGs is looting: you generally want to find better bling to complement your increased abilities to bash monsters. Beyond combat and loot, just about everything is up for grabs as to what’s going to be in a RPG.

    Lethal RPG War is a party-based RPG, cutting out most of the role-playing aspect in exchange for making the combats more interesting than usual for the genre.

    Song requests.....-lethaskills-png
    Your character alone can swap skills. Feel the power!

    Lethal is your character’s name. He also has a class, Guardian, but it’s really no big deal. All the characters in the game are pregenerated, the class just makes it easier for you to guess what they might do. As Lethal gains levels, you’ll gain access to more skills, which you can easily swap out. The other characters gain a fixed set of skills, along class lines (eg, your archer gets bow skills, while the wizard gets spells).

    You’ll meet seven other characters as you play, and they’ll all join the party easily enough (there is no character interaction in terms of personality, they’re all combat-assistants and nothing more). Party size is limited to 3, and you’ll always have to use Lethal.

    Song requests.....-lethalbattle-jpg
    Behold the screen of battle!

    Combat, usually the weak point of RPGs, is done well, if simplistically. Your party of three heroes will meet from 1 to 3 enemies, and face them off in turn-based combat, taking turns attacking away. While most party configurations will win most battles, you’ll naturally want to focus a party around, say, fire-based skills when meeting fire-vulnerable enemies, or magic attacks against physically resistant enemies, and so on.

    There’s no way to swap characters once combat begins, and you’ll likely lose if you have the wrong line-up for the monsters at hand. In fact, even with the best possible characters, you can lose, and you will lose often. A TPK (“total party kill,” death of all characters) is no big deal, you just lose some gold and return to the nearest friendly castle. Individual characters that are defeated in combat likewise suffer no long term effects, and you’ll often just barely win a fight with a single surviving character.

    Defying the next-most-common convention of RPGs after combat, there isn’t much treasure in the game. You can find/buy an array of potions and ailment cures, but not weapons or armor. Instead, character gear is crafted in game, and upgraded. It’s an ok system, although there are only a few occasions where you’ll decide to use old, upgraded, gear instead of the newest thing you just made.

    The game world and main quest is simplicity itself. Ye olde king sends you on a quest to bash monsters plaguing his kingdom. You basically follow the little railroad tracks to wherever the quest leads you, optimize your party to bash the monster at the end, and then move on to the next quest. You’ll adventure through the entire world, neatly divided into level-appropriate zones. There is a throwaway story in here, but a “skip” button will let you ignore it (you may as well, you won’t remember any of it beyond “monsters bad, kill them”).

    There are numerous side quests, usually letting you find the critical component to build better gear. You’ll pretty much have to do these, as sometimes a new piece of equipment can break the game open for you (such as when Lethal gets to make fire-resistant armor, key to winning when fighting the dragon keeping you from going on to the next quest).

    For all the simplicity and railroad questing, Lethal RPG War is an excellent piece of mental bubble gum. It’s no Elder Scrolls, not by a long, long, shot, but there’s a fun and semi-challenging game here that kept me coming back for more, and considering the number of RPGs I’ve walked away from out of sheer boredom, that’s an achievement.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Lethal RPG War review started by Doom View original post