Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Old-School RPGs Revisited – Blog Recommendation

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 8, 2010

As much of a fan as I am of old-school western RPGs, I can’t hold a candle to this guy. I discovered him recently and have been going through his candid play-throughs and semi-reviews of old computer RPGs, and have enjoyed them thoroughly. Even when he completely disses on Ultima II (I never played the first two Ultimas, so my fanboy hackles weren’t raised).

I think this is also a great companion piece / counter to the articles from a couple of weeks ago about how Ultima IV is “unplayable” by modern gamers.

You can check it out here:

CRPG Addict Blog

What I’ve really enjoyed about CRPG Addict is that heย  “gets it.” He can compare The Bard’s Tale in the same paragraph with Neverwinter Nights, and it’s not necessarily the oldest game that comes up wanting.ย  As he is giving all of these game “the old college try” in a reasonable approximation of their original environment in which they were released – and refuses to use any form of cheat or or walkthrough – he’s basically recreating the experience of players a quarter century ago, and taking the games at face value.

The rose-colored glasses come off, but then so does the modern bias. He “gets” why not being able to just reload a saved game or respawn a few feet away makes for a more entertaining challenge, though he’s also frustrated when it gets to be Too Much. He enjoys a good, solid challenge, but also resents it when the game just becomes unfairly punishing just to extend the gameplay. He re-experiences why we loved these games, and also gets reintroduced to the things we hated back in the day.

In-between games, he offers commentary on RPG design, which as an indie RPG designer I find invaluable. Even if I don’t necessarily agree with him on everything, it’s a valuable perspective.

Anyway, I just thought I’d pass along this recommendation.

Filed Under: Design, Retro - Comments: 9 Comments to Read

  • Adamantyr said,

    An awesome site, and a great guy.

    I think his GIMLET metric scale system for rating CRPG’s is great too. I’m using it myself to rate some games I’m playing, as well as rate my own vintage CRPG work, so I can see weak areas I need to expand upon.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Yeah, I used it against Frayed Knights, which was a little bit painful, actually. I’m doing some things great, but things like having a pre-built party from the get-go is going to ding me hard on that system. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I figure we probably won’t see a “great” score on that system until he gets to Fallout or something, which is probably a decade away…

  • Adamantyr said,

    He’s clipping along pretty fast, but I imagine as he gets into the early 90’s games, it’s going to take longer and longer to play them.

    And yeah, in GIMLET my weak spots will be the lack of character development and interaction. Because, you know, you can only do so much in 32k. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Andy_Panthro said,

    It truly is a fantastic blog.

    I’ve been following it for a while now, and it’s opened my eyes to the cRPGs that preceded the ones I started with.

    I kinda got into cRPGs through Ultima 4 and later games like Eye of the Beholder and Ishar.

    I can’t wait to see his opinions on those, but there are plenty of others to come!

  • Shaf said,

    Good call on the Blog, I remember playing Oubliette and Starflight on my C64. I played a lot of SSI games but never got Shard of Spring, But remember Phantasie and Demon’s Winter.

  • MalcolmM said,

    Thanks for providing a link to this blog, it’s very interesting to read.

    I would be interested to read his comments on my favourite RPG from the early 80’s, Dark Heart of Uukrul. I should replay it myself to see if it stands up, but I’ve got so many modern games to finish.

  • WCG said,

    Yes, it’s a great blog. I’ll never go back and play – or re-play – those old games, but I love reading about someone else doing it.

    Later,… well, I just might be tempted. Man, I’ve got some great memories of those old games!

  • CRPG Addict said,

    Thanks, everyone, for all of the comments and encouragement. Malcolm, I show “Dark Heart” as 1989, and it’s coming up in a few games. Well, a few dozen, actually–but I’ll get there.

  • sascha/hdrs said,

    Hey I love CRPGAddict’s blog! The only let-down is that he’s hosting it on BlogSpot, the poor man’s blogging service. He could do much better with a WordPress blog with some decent plugins, for example the series plug-in and then bind all entries that belong to a particular game together into a series so it would be easier to find them all, and in the correct order. Currently the way how his entries are organized is a hard to look through hodgepodge.