dkirschner's Overlord (PC)
| [July 18, 2010 05:15:35 AM]
| Finished Overlord today. By finished I mean lost interest and don't intend to play anymore. I'm on the next-to-last boss and just don't feel compelled to try and beat it. This boss requires that I grind for minions. Since I hate straight up grinding in games unless it serves a purpose other than leveling up or progressing in the game, and since x hours of grinding for extra minions will net me about two boss fights and an ending, it's just not worth it.
I feel like Overlord was fun in large part for its minions. They are entertaining to watch because they're so silly and adoring of the Overlord. Over time, they become less interesting, and since I feel there's not a strong story line or anything else to keep me interested, I became tired of the game. It doesn't help that I began Rogue Galaxy and am enjoying it far more than Overlord.
So I found the last boss and the various endings on YouTube. I was close enough. I experienced winning vicariously through YouTube videos.
One expectation I had for this game was that I would be able to command a vast army of minions. '100 or so' was what I was thinking. I made it up to 35. On the YouTube videos, the players had up to 45. Speaking of grinding, the way to increase your minion pool is to sacrifice minions to upgrade your helmet. How many minions does it take to upgrade your helmet all the way? About 2000! Want to grind for 2000 minions to sacrifice? Mmmm, no. I have this tension playing games because I'm somewhat of a completionist an perfectionist, but I hate wasting time. I would love to upgrade all my weapons and armor to max everything out, but there's no way I want to spend the time doing it. At the premature end of a game like this, I'm just irritated that if I want more minions, I have to spent way more extra time to get them. Of course it's an extra challenge, and it's a way to get people to spend more time with the game, and it's rewarding. Anyway, I'm glad I checked this one out. Controlling allies in this way was new to me, and it was a creative game. It just got a little boring after a while and I lost interest.
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| [July 5, 2010 09:16:44 AM]
| Played a couple hours of Overlord today and am just before the end of the game. One more short session should do it. I'm struck every time I turn it on by how good it looks. Overlord is 3 years old, but looks better than some newer games. Seeing 40+ minions each in various stages of equipment, today seeing the worms blown up by eating the bugs that blow up, the desert level...Everything has these soft, glowing edges.
I enjoyed the desert level very much. The deadly sand worms get agitated when you cross the sand, and emerge to feast on minions in range. They quickly wiped out my army a couple times, so I reloaded until I figured out what to do. Actually I looked it up because I didn't think to lure the bugs with eggs onto the sand. I didn't even think the worms could necessarily be killed, but I knew I had to get the bugs to move somehow to blow up the bone barriers blocking my passage. If I had shifted around, I would have seen I could pick up eggs, and the game certainly had me shifting to pick up other eggs and things before. I wasn't thinking I guess. So you have to take a minion (brown or green to withstand attacks), steal an egg, and lure the bug onto the sand. When the earth rumbles, drop the egg and run back. The bug will stay and protect the egg, and the worm emerges and eats the bug, which explodes in the worm's belly. 2 bugs kills a worm.
This was a cool idea, but I found the controls of moving the minions with the mouse to be a little difficult because I simultaneously had to move my Overlord behind the bug and the camera was fixing in front of me. I had to move my lure minion out of my sight some and try to edge it around rocks without knowing exactly where he was going. Twice, my minion got stuck on some rocks and couldn't move, and died, and then there was another area where a bug kept pinning my minion down. Overall, I like the controls for this game, sweeping the minions by holding down both mouse buttons and moving the mouse, picking up an egg and then moving the mouse as if it were the minion, but sometimes it's a bit wonky and doesn't respond how I want it to, or minions don't go quite where I'm trying to direct them. Get a minion to pick something up by holding shift to target the object, then left click to move the minion to it, then continue to hold shift the entire time the minion is moving with the object, and simultaneously move the mouse as if it were the minion. It's tricky. Easier with practice, but still tricky.
I quit playing today because I was near the end, had spent a long time blowing up worms and losing minions to these assassins that toss fire and wipe out 5-10 at a time, and came across a part where I basically had to stop to go farm green essence to get more green minions. The last levels, these beholders are flying and can only be taken out by reds or greens. I have plenty of reds but no greens. These beholders spawn assassins, either melee ones or fire throwing ones. The fire throwers are particularly deadly. To kill the beholders, you have to move your minions above them on conveniently placed ramps and throw fire (reds) or leap on them (greens). Then you and the rest of your army must guard the reds from assassins, watching out not to get hit by the beholder aura, which will instantly kill minions. I guess I was tired of losing minions, feeling the game was being a little cheap with those fire throwers because they like to hang around the minion aura and kill you from range, and if you go closer, your minions get caught in the aura. Also I need more greens and will have to just go grind them in the Evernight swamp. I could use more browns too.
I'm going to test out writing more thematically next time, maybe take a few notes during play. I have this nice set of questions for MMObility I could use to frame these entries.
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| [July 4, 2010 09:13:40 AM]
| I began Overlord Monday and planned on finishing it by Friday, but I haven't yet. I skipped a couple days to deal with taxes (yuck). Everyone says Overlord is like Pikmin. I never played Pikmin. It reminded me of Fable from the beginning. The art looks like Fable and human NPCs might as well be plucked from Fable. Fable was a year ago for me, so it's not degenerated too much in memory.
My first impressions were loving the minions and finding them a bit difficult, but fun, to control them. Now, they are entertaining as ever. I love sending Browns on a rampage through a room, smashing up crates, furniture, enemies, and informing me that they've brought me treasures. I've gotten more used to guiding them where I want them to go, especially the Blues through water. I find little need to micromanage the different minions. I generally swarm with Browns and Reds, and have no problem simply replacing the dead. Swarm, minion berserk spell, win. I actually think it's more efficient to run in with a billion Browns than have a varied army. Who cares if they die. They like dying for me, and I can just summon more. On the other hand though, I think it's a weak point in the game that I can swarm like that. I rarely use blues or greens unless the environment says I have to. There's little actual need to be strategic, and although swarming makes me feel powerful like an overlord should, I wouldn't mind using my overlord brain a little more.
The animations are great, all except the overlord's. He's really clunky, which is weird because everything else is so nice. Another thing I don't like about the game is the forging/upgrading items system. I've played almost the whole game with my original armor and weapon, and done fine. I finally got the third smelter and upgraded everything, but haven't imbued them. Sacrificing minions is a serious commitment because it takes so many to upgrade an item! I think this helmet I was upgrading takes like 1100 minions. Man, i have like 200 and I need them. Gold is a bit more plentiful. I've been spending it on making my tower look cooler, completely pointless, but fun. Again with the upgrading, it's something in the game that I don't need to do to succeed. Like it doesn't even make it difficult if I don't use the forge. I would have liked to see a little bit more in-depth item creation system, maybe even a little personal inventory.
So playing today, the Overlord faced a moral dilemma at the end of a quest. I was to find the elven women (the last in existence in fact), and free them to their menfolk so the elves could continue as a race. When I get there, I have the option to rescue them or NOT rescue them, and take gold instead. I found this a bit disturbing that someone would choose gold over keeping the race of elves alive. That's basically extinction through nonaction. Usually in these 'moral' choices in games, I'll think about it, and usually side with good. This one though, it was like "What?!" There was no considering not rescuing the women. Overlord makes fun of the fantasy genre by casting you as evil and maintaining a humorous tone throughout, but this quest ending, even though my adviser made a joke about how great it would be if there were no elves, just hit me as a serious topic. I mean, do I let people die for wealth and personal gain?
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dkirschner's Overlord (PC)
Current Status: Stopped playing - Something better came along
GameLog started on: Monday 28 June, 2010
GameLog closed on: Sunday 18 July, 2010