If you are interested in the history of CRPGs (primarily PC and western-style CRPGs - there is a section on JRPGS too but it's one one section out of quite a long book) then it is hard to imagine anyone ever writing a better book than this. It is fascinating to see how a style of entertainment has grown and even though most games don't get a LOT of attention, it is lovely to see that all of them have at least something interesting said about them.
Obviously not all CRPGs are covered which is only a shame if you (like me) get a lot of nostalgic pleasure from reading about many games you have played but then find one of your favourites (in my case "Albion") missing. But the range is as comprehensive as could be humanly expected - and you never know, there may be subsequent expanded editions.
Anyway, the above failing isn't worth docking this book a star for - in all respects it is a total pleasure to read (or just skim through to find titles you love) and deserves to be much better known.
I've thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Obviously the author knows his stuff, and the research that went into it includes personal communication with some of the developers of the games mentioned in the book. I would right away want to point to the author's YouTube channel youtube/user/blacklily8 where he does his thing in full colour and audio. Naturally, the book goes to a level of depth that one can't reach in streaming media - that was my personal reason for getting it.
When Matt writes about gameplay, he manages to touch exactly those points of interest that make or break a game, which is definately recommendable for any game developer to closely look into. Also for game developers: there have been many great ideas in the past, which have not returned in modern games (yet). There's a lot of inspiration to be found, and not just for digital junkies - the book starts off with the very root of computer RPGs which lies in tabletop simulation games and ofcourse the pen & paper RPG's like Dungeons & Dragons (duh). It's very interesting to read how (and why) a genre went digital and how (and why) it branched off in different directions, and how it could become in the future.
Beside all that it's well written too. It certainly keeps the attention to the essence of RPGs - entertainment. All in all it was an entertaining and very informative read, it feels like I've played many more games than I actually did, in the past!
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This book covers the history of CRPGs from the 70's to the late 00s, while also managing to trace the links between each game and how each and every one have influenced the next. If you played through these eras of gaming, you'll find this book, as I did, a nostalgia trip as well as a gap-filler for those times when you weren't quite on the ball with respect to games. Additionally it is well-written and well-presented; it's only flaw being that a lot of the screenshots are hard to read.
All in all, an excellent book, even for those who think they know the CRPG scene from front to back.