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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 December 2007
From Moses and Oliver Twist to BALDUR's GATE and FABLE, the story of the gifted orphan who has to fight hard to eventually find its niche has been told again and again. This one turns out to be a mage...Not that original a story but they manage to pull it off - as it gets really fun!

You may have no choice on your character and only limited customization options, but the novel gameplay and innovative controls will reward you. Tapping sequences for combo attacks and dodging in a PC cRPG?! I loved it!
You can opt for either Blood Magic (melee) or Soul Magic (ranged), but to mix-and-match from the skill trees is a solid advice.

As with another cRPG gem to come out of Eastern Europe this season (THE WITCHER), loading-delays are a nuisance; surprisingly, though, they are shorter than those encountered in games developed by much larger studios. The BALDUR's GATE Saga had long loading times as well, yet I hardly ever noticed.
What WILL get on your nerves though is the...camera. If you thought that NWN had bad camera movement, well, this is worse: it moves in a very limited range and will take some time to get used to and find a comfortable setting.

Graphically it would be placed just above DUNGEON SIEGE: the spells have been impressively designed and the cut-scenes have been done in stills of exceptional taste. Moreover, one has to appreciate the fact that all dialog is spoken, not just written. The music though is a collection staple cRPG themes that are neither annoying nor unforgettable.

The official Minimun Requirements will hardly ensure a smooth gameplay, so make sure your system at least meets the Recommended Requirements (provided below):
· P4 3GH (or AMD equivalent)
· 1GB of RAM
· nVidia 256MB 7600GS (or ATI equivalent)
· 4.4GB HDD free space
· WinXP

This is a long cRPG, spanning for over 20-25 hours if one undertakes all possible quests (ranging from funny to quite intense). Both cRPG fans and novices will undoubtedly enjoy this one!

RECOMMENDED!!
22 comments| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 December 2007
Did you know that with Avencast a small developer in Austria/Europe was aiming to challenge big names in the game industry (Diablo, Titan Quest, Sacred and the like) to a duel? Well, neither did I.

Nevertheless I bought the game and played it a lot. The first thing I have to say about the game: In it's handling it's very different from other Action-RPGs. The second thing: Once you get the hang of it, it's a lot of fun!

Even though the textures and leveldesigns sometimes seem to be a bit rough, the effects totally make up for that. Some of the highlvl spells have effects that just leave your jaw hanging open when you use them for the first time. Pretty impressive.

The controls are different from other Action-RPGs. You move your character around with the WASD keys and cast spells or melee attacks with the right or left mouse button. If you wanna use combos, you just press a simple combination of keys an execute via left or right mouse button. For example: You run up to an enemy, press "a" and "d" followed by the left mouse button and your character does a neat 360° swipe with it's staff. I haven't seen anything like this in other games I've played and I really enjoyed this new approach.

The only problem I had with the game was the handling of the camera. Very often it's just not where you need it. Allthough when I found out that pressing the middle mouse button focuses the camera behind the main character it made the whole game a lot easier to play.

Overall I loved Avencast because it offers a new gameplay approach in a genre that's dominated by titles where you continuously hammer on the left mouse button until the last enemy has fallen.
11 comment| 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 November 2007
I used to be quite an action RPG fan, but Avencast surpassed all my expectations. The game has quite an old school feeling, due to it's most about dungeon cleaning. Nevertheless the combat is so fun thanks to the combo based system, that it never becomes boring.

Two thumbs up, it's hell lot of fun.

On the bottom line, it was a big plus that even the last NPC has voice during the conversation, not just pure text. For such a low-budget game, it's a very respectable feature.
0Comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 January 2009
I didn't really know too much about this game when I decided to buy it, thinking it looked like a fun cRPG. And whal a pleasant surprise!

The story is somewhat generic - latest recruit of a magicians school ends up saving the world and closing the entrance to hell when the school is subject to a terrible surprise attack by the forces of darkness etc. etc. OK, formulaic, but interesting and well written enough to keep the player interested.

The reall draw of a cRPG game is of course the graphics and sound. And this is where Avencase scores very highly indeed. Activated using an innovative system of key and mouse combinations, the spells are all extremely pretty and represent every bit of the visual fireworks that they ought to. In other words, the spell effects are very pretty and looke damned good. The sound is also worth a mention, being very well crafted.

All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised by this cRPG. Without fuss, fanfare, massive hype or any (as far as I can tell) sort of DRM, this game manages to provide hours of entertainment.

One thing to watch for though - all the graphical niceties make it important to have a PC near the top end of the system requirements scale.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Avencast is a fairly typical Action RPG, it plays almost exactly as the original Neverwinter nights and is good simple fun. The story is the usual cliche of Good vs Evil, and orphan being raised to power etc and the voice acting is universally awful. However the game is good fun, there are a range of spells for you to select (and unusualy for an RG you have to play a mage) some based on blood magic (melee) some on soul magic (ranged) and finall some summoning spells. Strangely for PC game every spell has a unique keyboard/mouse combination so you can quick launch them at an time - initially I found this overly complicated and simply used the quick spell slots, but now I am used to it it is quite easy to use.

There is over 20 hours of gameplay here, it's enjoyable and the gameplay is good. It also plays on fairly old kit P4 3GHz, 4gb Ram, Radeon 2600 with no pausing, stuttering and precious few crashes on Vista. The camera is very poor, but despite that it is a good game.

I like it 8/10
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 March 2009
Bought this game on the strength of the reviews and wasn't disappointed.

An interesting game, not the usual type of monster bashing which it does as well but the unravelling of the puzzles set, which can be fairly simple to do, or seem to be, complex. Its all a matter of thinking how it could be done and doing a lot of saving in case.

The spells which are set by letters and click of the left or right mouse button can be awkward at start but the speed can be adjusted in the options, once I got used to the idea it became relatively easy.

Have not had to much of a problem running the game. The vsync had to be switched on in the setup screen so the video could be seen rather than just heard. There are odd parts where the NPC doesn't seem to update itself but saving before and reloading when that happens does seem to right itself.

So far it seems to be mainly a dungeon type game although at the present time I'm in the main academy.

Combat is relatively challenging, the NPC's are not that quick at moving at least not in the beginning, upgrades to the characters movement speed are available, along with a plethora of armaments so no shortage of equipment and money is easily accumulated.
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on 10 October 2009
Diablo or Diablo II is clearly the inspiration for this game, Avencast's graphics are far better but the loot is nowhere near as varied and it has no multiplayer option. Having said that, it's great fun - especially as a blood mage.

I notice that some of the other reviews complained about the camera angle, I just set the camera to always be behind my character and never once noticed any problem with it. It's not the mode that the game recommends but it worked perfectly for me.
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on 14 July 2014
An unusual and fun quest game this one. Very atmospheric in a different way.
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on 22 June 2010
Actually that is a bit harsh on old school type playing formats. The user interface is atrocious. WASD is fine but then having to manage function keys, number keys, etc at high speed just make it awkward. And the ...very..slow..spoken..dialog..with..terrible..writing..grates..awfully. Not for me sadly.
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