Guest Post: Three top RPGs and why you should love them, too!

This week Gareth  of Fresh Tech Solutions has written a great post for CTVG on his top 3 RPGs complete with recommended system requirements. Remember to check out his blog for more fun PC games-related articles and if you’re in the market for a custom-built PC have a look at the services they offer too! Enjoy! 
What’s not to love about role-playing games? A game that allows you to control and build your own character, and take them on adventures, battles and quests? It’s like watching an epic movie, only you’re the protagonist, and you get to decide the outcome of the narrative. Whether you like to stick diligently to the main story quest, take your time exploring the world or compulsively complete every side quest you come across, RPGs have all the necessary ingredients for hours of high-quality entertainment without awful endings and ridiculous popcorn prices. So as you can imagine, choosing my favourite three role-playing games was no easy task.
Here, I give you three modern classic RPGs worthy of the ‘top three’ accolade, and the system requirements needed to play them. As someone who builds custom PCs for a living, I’d say that  in order to become fully immersed in (read: addicted to) a game, it almost goes without saying that you need a rig that’s up to the job.

Mass Effect 2 (2010)

The second instalment in the Mass Effect trilogy takes place in deep space during the 22nd century, so not the usual genre of fictional world I’d normally go for. It rates highly for me due to the fact that it isn’t really like any other game out there. As players who had completed the first Mass Effect could import their saved games to join Commander Shepard where they left off, I was one of the smug PC Gamers who played Mass Effect and mocked the console kids for their lack of knowledge on the series when ME2 came out. Naturally, since completing ME2 I have gone back and started from scratch, just to see what it was like. What can I say? I enjoy intense third-person combat too much. In comparison with Mass Effect, ME2 has increased intensity with precision shooter controls, location-based damage system that lets you target the weak points of your enemy and an entire galaxy to explore. It would be a waste to play it just once.

Recommended system requirements: ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT video card (or equivalent), 2.6+ GHz Core 2 Duo Intel (or equivalent), 2GB RAM.

I recommend: This fierce Rampage AMD FX Quad Core 4.2GHz gaming PC will more than fulfil your requirements- and let you enjoy Mass Effect 3 at its highest setting, too!

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)

The fifth main title in the Elder Scrolls repertoire is set in Skyrim, the wintry homeland of the Nords – a fierce warrior people living on spectacular mountainous terrain in the bitter cold. Great to play if you’re British (or Scandinavian) as you’ll be comfortable in this climate. The truth is, you’ll need to make yourself at home because this is one mammoth adventure. A friend once wrote that playing Skyrim made him feel like his childhood dreams of discovering Narnia at the back of his wardrobe had finally come true. One of the less technical reviews I’ve heard, but I can see where he was coming from. You have the ability to mould your character into any hero you desire and to roam the vast, dangerous landscape at your leisure – the possibilities are endless. This fifth instalment of The Elder Scrolls wins a slot for freedom of choice, overwhelming quantity of content and irrepressible sense of adventure, as well as much-improved engine.

Recommended system requirements: Quad-core Intel/AMD CPU, 4GB RAM, 6GB of free hard drive space and an NVIDIA/AMD ATI graphics card with 1GB RAM.

What I recommend: The Neptune AMD Bulldozer 6800K 4.4GHz desktop PC – worth every penny! It’ll also cope with the downloadable HD textures that Bethesda have made available to download for free!

Bastion (2011)

Bastion’s perhaps my favourite RPG that’s been released in recent years. It’s an action RPG with an unremarkable combat system, it’s short in length and the graphics are rather basic. Despite all its distinctly average attributes, Bastion is an incredible game. The beautiful watercolour style graphics, heartwarming story, fantastic soundtrack and one of gaming’s most loved narrators combine perfectly to create a truly unique RPG experience. I couldn’t help but get sucked into the story – even with a cast of just a few characters, only one of whom gets more than a couple of lines of dialogue, I was completely emotionally invested in Bastion. RPGs don’t need the budget of Skyrim or Mass Effect to succeed – they just need heart.

Minimum system requirements: 1.7+ GHz Dual Core CPU, 2GB RAM, 512MB video card.

What I recommend: Bastion doesn’t rely on stunning graphics, but to ensure you’re ready for Supergiant Games’ next release – Transistor, you might want to think about upgrading your rig.

Whatever your RPG preferences, I think these three deserve to be on everyone’s must-play list. Disagree? What would your choices be?

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Daniel Prejean on Apocalypse Blade, a Strategy Melee Game

Sooo I’m finally back from GDC (I literally just stepped in the door about an hour ago and exhausted doesn’t even begin to cover it. It was basically 24/7 every day for a week, but I’m back now and this week I’ve got another interview for you guys and I’m particularly excited about this one. I’m sure there are others of you out there who, like me, love melee combat in games, but wish it was more than just mashing buttons like in your standard hack’n’slash, but at the same time somehow retain its excitement and fast pace. Daniel Prejean has come up with a solution that should help scratch that itch! The result is a melee fighting game called Apocalypse Blade that combines the fast-paced action of a hack’n’slash with deep strategy and sophisticated levelling that mimics real combat. Most martial arts fans like me have no doubt that swordfighting, like any type of fighting is extremely tactical. If you’re still unconvinced, check this out:

It’s a shame then that games that involve melee combat don’t tend to reflect this, which is why Apocalypse Blade seems to fill a much needed niche. Here’s Daniel explaining more about his concept in his own words:

Excited yet? Good, because Daniel agreed to do an interview to let you know why we should all be excited by Apocalypse Blade. Continue reading

Exciting post next week!

Hi all! Unfortunately, there won’t be a post this week, but there will be one next week even though I’ll be GDC. Videos will also continue as normal. I know right? What’s this sorcery?!? But yeah, I guess I’m just mysterious that way. Anyway, next week’s post will be an interesting one, so watch out for it!