If you’ve known me for awhile, you’d know that I’m a pretty avid gamer. I’ve talked about it here on the site a lot, on twitter, facebook, the works. The problem is, real life took a turn for the crazy back in February with some heavy duty job changes. This in turn lead to working heavy hours for a few months which then begat me getting home and not wanting to sit in front of the computer. At all.
Thankfully, and just in time for the recent Steam Sale no less, all that has started to change as I’ve found myself with a game that’s grabbed my attention in a forceful way and convinced me that playing video games as a stress release from work, is in fact a good thing again!
When last I stepped away from the keyboard around February, I was at the tale end of a long standing love affair with Roguelikes. They were quick and easy to pick up, I could play in chunks of thirty minutes or so and due to their nature, I could play without too much mental investment. Here as of late, I’ve tried picking up those same roguelike games to rekindle the love affair, but it just wasn’t happening. As it turns out, apparently my brain was craving something far more substantial. It also proves that the new job responsibilities have finally settled into a solid rhythm, which allows me to get back to video games, which are a big tool in my fight against anxiety, stress and depression!
Enter the Steam Sale! Generally a joyful occasion, this year seemed to be pretty low key. Nothing too exciting as far as discounts go, but perhaps that is also a byproduct of me having entirely too many games in my Steam library already. Combine that with my recent reluctance to play much of anything, I had in mind a handful of titles I was looking for in this sale and allowed for a few extra’s that might have caught my eye.
Which is awesome, because though I’ve heard of The Lords of Xulima before…I had only given it a passing glance and threw it on my wishlist, then promptly forgot about it. When it popped up for 50% off, I went ahead and grabbed it. After installing, I fired it up and the next thing you know… I had lost three hours to my first day of playing and oddly enough…I felt like I had arrived back at home once again.
So at this point, I imagine you’re scratching your head and wondering what this “Lords of Xulima” business is. What it is is a throw back to classic computer RPG’s filled with over world exploration and turned based combat. It’s also pretty great and managed to grab me near instantly. Perhaps my own brain was craving something a little slower paced, something it could sink it’s teeth into. Lords of Xulima provides a hell of an environment for doing just that.
If you’re looking for a good comparison, the old “Baldur’s Gate” games are about the closest that I could recommend off hand. You traipse about the country side by holding your mouse button down and essentially hope that nothing pops up to surprise you before you’ve had a chance to rest your party. There are marked creatures on the map as well, that are easy to spot. They’ll get you with the surprise guests as well. From there, you continue to undue the fog on your mini map as you explore every nook and cranny of the map, solve a few puzzles, kill some princes and in general, save the world!
Not bad, huh?
I can’t say for sure what’s drawn me into this game that promises sixty plus hours of game play. Typically, games of that sort scare me off for fear of losing interest half way through it. But, with a week of playtime and ten hours under my belt, I can say it’s grabbed me for much longer that I expected it to. The combat is fun; traditional turned base RPG system filled with hot keys, spells and special attacks for each member of your party of six. It’s also a style of combat that allows you to kick back and take it easy, not having to rely on twitch reflexes and the like, which makes for a nice change of pace. Granted, the combat is very old school, so expect long fights, enemy’s with a mountain of hit points and each of your attacks seeming to do very little damage. All of which was a pretty basic tenet of these types of games in the past!
So to recap; old school. RPG. Pretty high difficulty level. 60 hours of game play. A lot of fun if that’s what you’re in the mind set to play.
I’m pretty sure this game scratches a couple of itches for me, which makes it so appealing. It has a slower pace, so I don’t feel rushed or stressed in trying to keep up. It’s got a pretty solid story sprinkled throughout the game, one that you can follow without having to read every tiny bit of flavor text you stumble across in the game to understand the whole gist. There’s the sense of adventure as you travel about this grand map trying to discover where you’re heading. (I forgot to mention, no way points!) There’s a sense of challenge as you work to figure out your strategies with your six person team to get through each battles. Sometimes, you make big mistakes and you learn from them to get through a fight on the next try. There’s a sense of accomplishment as you clear out a castle or take out a big bad prince. Hell, it’s fun to get into the old school grind of RPG and not worry about complicated controls, mechanics and taxing graphics requirements. And, the fat loot that we’ve become so engrossed in with today’s modern RPG’s is so spread out, it truly feels special when you come across something new, and not a chore trying to sort out your inventory.
So really, now that I’ve written it out, it really does have all the tenet’s of a great game! I think I just get so caught up in being able to bring myself to sit down and play on the computer at the end of a long day again, I get lost in the details!
Which is the point. We all need to get a bit lost in the details from time to time and get away from the drudgery of every day life. Lords of Xulima is a great way to do it!
What’s your favorite Computer RPG’s? Hit me up on twitter and say hey!