sasshunter:

this is the kind of quality content I want to see

Advertisements

dragon-in-a-fez:

cispiciousblk:

slimy:

it shouldn’t surprise people that respecting a cat’s boundaries (i.e. ceasing to pet them after they paw at you) helps them trust you more

Bathbomb was dropped off at my apartment very abused and scared he hid in the bathtub for an entire 24hrs. he barely/if ever ate for about a week and didnt begin exploring the apartment until 3 weeks in

it was a month before he came up to me and it was hard but i sat kinda near him every day i would treat him like he was a new cat and let him smell me before trying to pet him and if he even looked uncomfortable id gently stop and just sing or talk to him

now he climbs on my back and jumps on my shoulder if i dont pay attention to him so it takes work and time

cats are like ppl and have triggers and quirks and trauma and we have to be respectful and gentle its not that hard of a concept

this is an Important Post but my favorite part is that your cat’s name is Bathbomb

Owl on Overlord: “evil pikmins and where the fuck is my third one i demand it”

So yeah now comes the so awaited oment I begin to ramble about stuff.

Before starting allow me to say I have played the main Overlord line demos back in the day when they released, but I never got to fully experience the actual games until now, years later :T

Look, it may not look like it at times, but I have quite a number of responsabilities. I can work under pressure but I’m still a mere mortal, so yeah eventually there is a point when one just cannot take it anymore and thus I need to wind out a bit. You can say “but couldn’t you use those hours for the pending projects?” Yes I could, but that wouldn’t have made me feel better at all. Life is more important, and so is to keep any executive disfunction away. Put it simple: I ain’t doing shit unless I feel like doing shit. My mood was literally on the dumps and that means no shit would have gotten done becuase I didn’t give a damn.

So, going through the games, now with a more free schedule waiting, a bit of spite towards everyone, a deteriorating mental stability, and an URGE to just fuck all, led me to install both games and play at nights.

So basically: it was so I could relax a bit and get back to work condition.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s start


The Overlord games, developed by Triumph Studios and published by Codemasters (who owns the IP as of current), are a series set on a dark-epic-fantasy world, and whose slogan “Be Evil, think Evil, control all!” very much sums up what is all about: you, as the eponymous Overlord, set forth on a quest of domination over everything by crushing any opposition that might arise. This is accomplished mainly through your army, which is composed of impish creatures simply known as Minions, whom also are the heart of the game and the base of the core mechanics.

In your quest you’ll be receiving instruction from Gnarl, an Elder Minion that apparently has been working with the Overlord ever since the first ruler arose and has quite some knowledge of the business as well.

Before going into details, let’s talk about the basics of gameplay for both games:

As the Overlord, you count with a basic three-strike attack that can be cancelled but packs a punch, and Spells to aid you and your Minions on the fray of combat, be it Attack Spells, Buffs and Combat Advantage. You can also target NPCs and objects as well. It might sound unimpressive but these are to be complemented by your army of Minions. The Overlord can stand his ground alone, yes, but there are times where he cannot progress alone, and thus come in the Minions.

The Minions, fervently and blindly loyal to their Overlord, can be controlled separatedly from the Overlord and be given specific tasks depending on the context. When giving them a task, more often than not it will be attacking enemies (or innocents hehe) and destroying things, but they can also bring you loot, grab equipment or use some mechanisms to allow you to progress. You can also send Minions to Guard Markers you give them and they’ll stay in position, on which they’ll attack any enemy that comes near them. Doing this also changes their behavior as well. When controlled manually, you make them “sweep,” moving them to enemies, objects or advantage positions as an horde of destruction and screams. When sweeping them, they’ll automatically attack any enemies, grab any loot or object, and use any mechanism you lead them to. Minions can also reach places and walk through paths the Overlord cannot.

Of course, you can also call back your Minions, to which there are two modes: group call or call all. Group call can be used to call back an especific group of Minions, be it on a targeted Marker or a Color (or a Color within a Marker).

Now that it was mentioned, the Minions are also divided on colors, each with their special abilites on the battlefield: the brawly Browns, the fiery Reds, the sneaky Greens, and the meeky Blues.

The Browns are your main force of attack, and can take care of most obstacles fairly quick; the Reds are like your archers, they will throw fireballs at anything flammable and can also absorb fire and clear your way, but they are also frail so you’ll be keeping them on the back while the Browns take the frontal assault.

The Greens can jump on the backs of enemies where they cannot be reached and give them a good stabbing that can take them down in a matter of seconds, they are immune to poison, and can also turn invisible if positioned on a Marker but because they smell so foul this only works if the enemy cannot smell things; and finally there are the Blues, not precisely of the combatant type and also very frail, but they can swim on water bodies (the rest are remarkably good at drowning in an hilarious manner, Gnarl says) and, more importantly, resurrect your fallen Minions. You’ll be keeping them near the rest but out of danger, so they can giddy up the fallen ones for one more fight.

The best part: you can combine every single thing of the mentioned at any given moment and approach things the way you see fit. For example, you can position your Reds on an advantage point and your Greens behind you ready for an ambush, your Blues hidden but close while you charge with your Browns and lure the enemy close, only for your Minions to attack it and because there’s no kill like overkill you buff your Minions and cast a shield only to later begin to either flamethrower the enemy’s faces or just give them the good ol smashing.

However, with all things considered, Minions can still die, and you got a limited amount of them. So, there’s this thing called Lifeforce. You gain Lifeforce by collecting it from destroying or killing things, and that Lifeforce has a color too for the respective Minion tribe. More Lifeforce gathered equals more Minions waiting for carnage. You can also collect Gold to invest on equipment and upgrades as well.

With the core play explained, let’s proceed to the games


Overlord

Released on 2007, Overlord was conceived as an action RPG game that would help Codemasters to branch out of racing games.

The game starts with the Overlord being resurrected by Gnarl and suit up by the Minions. It doesn’t take long before the game gives you control and Gnarl starts telling you who they are and what is up, before giving you the option to take the tutorial or just go out and start smiting. You soon see yourself on the Dark Tower, the old position of power of the Overlord and the Bastion of Evil in the world, now in ruin as it was looted by the heroes that defeated your predecessor. In order to rebuild your empire of evil, Gnarl informs you about the missing Minion Tribes and the Tower Heart, the latter being an ancient artifact that holds incredible magic power and basically powers up the entire tower, but now has been lost and is your first and foremost duty to retrieve it from its last known location.

You and Gnarl are soon traversing the Mellow Fields, filled with sheep, sunflowers, pumpkins and a cutesy tone of tranquil playing while sending your Minions to kill everything in sight. Its not long before you see some Halflings (lets call them Hobbits, its easier) and discovering the town of Spree. The Hobbits have been using the Tower Heart to grow pumpkins to ridiculous sizes on a ridiculously short amount of time on a ridiculous quantity. So, of course, you take back the Tower Heart while smiting the Hobbits trying to stop you on your way back to the tower.

Once the Heart is on its rightful place, everything begins to unfold and you can start moving freely through the visited regions: You begin your quest to reestablish your Dark Domain by means of helping people with their problems thanks to your charismatic prescence (and that is, smiting your way through) or just hear them out so you can reap all the benefits (aside of ransacking, killing and subduing them), and searching for the lost Minions while also collecting some other Tower Objects that can increase your power (like Spells, Smelters for the Forge, Health, Mana, and Horde Size upgrades).

Without spoiling anything, you soon defeat the other evils that rule and terrorize the land and take their domains for your own rule of terror, eventually uncovering something hiding in the shadows and menacing the stability of your empire.

The game, as mentioned, features upgrade systems for your health, mana, horde size and armor. For health, mana and horde you have to collect pieces of their respective totems that are scattered across the land, but this is no simple task as some of them are guarded either behind environment traps or enemy patrols. For the Spells you collect Stones of their respective types, the more you have the higher Spell of that type is avaliable. The effects of the totems and the stones once acquired are immediate.

The smelters for the Forge however are guarded inside dungeons, so in combination to the before mentioned hazards you’ll also have to venture your way through caves and such. Once you retrieve a smelter you’ll be able to forge weapons and armor, increasingly better and costly depending on the smelter you use, but the interesting part of forging is Imbuing. You can use your Minions’ Lifeforce to give your forged equipment different properties and effects depending on the color and quantity of Minions you imbue it with, as well as the type of the equipment, which adds a nice layer of (useful) customization.

You can also go on and just not retrieve any objects, however it is highly advisable to collect the items and assure the success of your campaign. Besides, is not like the objects are complicated to find but how to retrieve them is where the point lies in. At least on what mandatory objects pertains, the Minion Hives are at the top.

Your Mistress gives you upgrades for the Tower as well for your Minions. The Tower upgrades are purely cosmetic but since the Dark Tower acts as your main hub you surely won’t like to see a decrepit structure as the representation of all you Evil. I know I like chimera statues on my throne room and high reaching spikes on the crown of the Dark Tower…

The Dark Tower also has a Dungeon that serves as your Arena mode: in there you can go and re-fight enemies you’ve already defeated at least once, and also can serve as a chance to get Lifeforce, which means more Minions.

There is also a Corruption system, so you can either be evil or eviler. Depending of your choices your power can increase and your appearance can change, this of course if you choose to be increasingly evil. The more evil you are, the more powerful and monstruous you become. You can “cleanse” some corruption but is not much. Still, there’s that choice.

Graphically speaking is not a marvel of its time, but considering the possible quantity of NPCs on screen sacrifices surely had to be made. Still, the game looks good and serviceable, with that gritty fantasy touch that sets up the mood for it.

The game is not free of issues though. Even with all considerations taken sometimes the framerate drops when there’s too much going on, at some points the game’s pacing drops to a halt and those parts become a tad tedious, and the PC version has issues with modern systems as well.

All in all, Overlord is a game with a gameplay that’s accessible but entertaining. Its a grim but fun tale of revenge of an evil ruler eventually becoming an evil(er) emperor, and although it has some issues, that’s to be expected from a new IP and overall I had a grand ol time playing.


Overlord: Raising Hell

Though an expansion for the original game, it adds a new epilogue quest with some little extras in it, a new difficulty setting, minor improvements to the game, 5 unique items to forge and new enemies to fight.

Raising Hell, as said before, happens after the Overlord establishes his domain. Gnarl informs the Overlord that there have been massive spikes of evil energy surging from several parts of the Dark Domain, so the Overlord goes to investigate what could be causing this and, if possible, take advantage of this energy and expand his empire further.

Not long passes before finding the first of several Gates, luring the peasants and transporting them into another dimension with promises of Heaven. The Overlord ventures into the Gate and finds a twisted and hellish version of the world heavily guarded by dark wraiths simply called the Abyss, where everyone is tortured and killed at all times (in very particular ways depending on the region) just to resurrect and repeat the process again. Further down his way he finds out that even his former enemies are within this realm as well, being each punished for their sins. Of course, the Overlord keeps going deeper and seizes control over each one of the Gates, later discovering a threat more ancient than Gnarl himself and far more powerful than the Overlord himself if let loose.

The expansion also serves as a tie-in between the first and second games.

As I said before, I had a grand ol’ time here as well. The Abysses added a new challenge by being a bit more puzzle oriented rather than only horde survival, with each one having a particular theme that affects the way to solve the puzzles, as well as expand the lore of the game. The wraiths are tough enemies to face and never felt too cheap or too easy and the new enemy it introduced is quite amusing as well. Legendary difficulty, although just a buff to enemy damage and life, does make you approach things differently to how you did it the first time, making you think carefully how to accomplish your tasks while trying to keep your Minions and yourself alive. At points it is cheap but never too punishing, so I can excuse it. At least it doesn’t cheat like other games I know…. I’m looking at you Halo 2.


Overlord 2

A direct sequel to the first game released on 2009, Overlord 2 introduces some new elements as well as making some changes to the core formula.

The game takes us a few years into the future on a winter land. The Minions have been on a quest to find a new Overlord since the previous one was out of commission. The Tower was destroyed and thus they had to return to the Netherworld to seek refuge. While on their quest, they found a very unusual child which at the moment was having some trouble with other children, who called him “the Witch-Boy” and promptly casted him away, well- except for one girl named Kelda who seemed rather interested on him instead.

This Witch-Boy though seemed unfazed but retribution was due. The Minions began to follow the Witch-Boy as he made it through terrorizing the children and destroying their snowy contraptions and buildings along the way, only to join him on the mayhem later on as well as Kelda, aiding him to get through. With the help of his new friends, the Witch-Boy plotted to crash a party the town nearby was about to start. Not too long after he quite literally lit up the ambience, an army of silver-plated soldiers arrived, demanding the town to give up their magical users.

Of course, the town promptly threw the kid over the wooden walls that kept them safe from the exterior, sending him to his more than certain death. As the troops began advancing to take him, the Minions found a escape route for him, so witch-boy began running where the minions pointed him, smashing his way through several soldiers. Along the way they found wolves that could be of use to break through the army, so the Minions mounted on and along this Witch-Boy Overlad they made their way on a flurry of carnage and destruction until they found a Yeti to join on their lines. The Yeti cleared the larger obstacles on the way, but just as they almost reached their exit, the soldiers managed to strand them on an ice lake, with both the Witch-Boy and the Yeti going down the cold water (but not before Witch-Boy made a lil temper tantrum atop the Yeti’s head).

As luck would have it, both of them ended up frozen in ice, and in the Netherworld, where the Minions got them to safety. The Witch-Boy, still frozen, was presented to Gnarl and after hearing what he did on the surface he became joyous to finally find a new candidate for the title of Overlord. He unfroze the Witch-Boy and raised him as a proper Evil entity, while on the Surface magic became more and more endangered: as years went through, the Glorious Empire made itself known and conquered most if not all the world, wiping out magic and evil as they advanced.

But as Gnarl says, Evil always finds a way. And with a now grown Overlad, the time to reclaim the land was at hand.

As the Overlord goes through conquering the lands by means of either mind-fucking everybody or killing, he little by little discovers a hidden plot that connects with everything that had transpired, as well of his own origin.

Once again, your quest has you dominating everything and collecting items along the way in order to become more powerful. However, there are certain differences.

For starters, your Minions (except the Blues) can now get Mounts to become faster and more lethal than before, and you can also possess them in order to reach places you couldn’t normally. The Blues get the ability to “blink” past enemies and become invisible as long as they are sweeping. Mentioned before you can also find totems on certain places, which allows you to possess a Minion and lead your horde upfront for sneak attacks or puzzle solving.

The Overlord also gets a small upgrade in that you can now do a Spin Attack aside of the three-hit attack, giving you a relatively nice area of effect, depending of the weapon you use. You can also regenerate your health and mana just standing near a teleporter, which now you can also use to move freely across every single one of them, with the ability to warp to any one of your choice.

The Forge has seen changes as well. Now instead of getting Smelters you collect Forge Stones, each containing recipes to create weapons and armor with unique properties, making the process pretty straightforward. Once again you need Lifeforce to create these unique items, but you also need some materia as well in the form of Dark and Red stones. The Red stones can be found easily, and some enemies drop them as well. The Dark stones however are scarce and finding them all is not as simple as it may seem.

Your Minions can also be all upgraded on the Tower (before they could only be upgradede by your mistress and only two tribes) as well as resurrected in it too. You can resurrect your fallen, stronger Minions using the Lifeforce of the newly created ones, and they all have names too.

This time around, there’s no corruption but rather a ratio of tyranny type: do you like to dominate the will and soul of people? or maybe you prefer complete destruction, mayhem and carnage? each has its own benefits but how you go about is your choice.

The Overlord now starts out with a basic Shock spell but he can obtain other 3 spells, the catch is that these work differently depending on your alignment and cast time. If you have strong affinity to Domination your spells will perform better at the moment of casting passive abilities, such as buffs and slowing down enemies for example. On the contrary, if you favour Destruction, your spells will become better when used on offensive ways, such as electrifying enemies into dust or turning a Minion into a balanced meal. However, the desired effect depends of how long you keep charging your spell, offensive spells need to be charged longer and passive spells can use small charges or button taps. Each spell can be upgraded with Catalysts, which are spread across the land and allow you to increase the range and power of them, each can be leveled up to level 5.

This Overlord now gets to keep 3 Mistresses each with their own Tower upgrades. Of course, the upgrades for your new Netherworld Tower are cosmetic but its always nice to have a presentable place for an Emperor of Evil. Depending of which one you have as First Mistress, you’ll hear different dialogue and objectives, as well as a different mount for the final raid. You can also have a foursome with them too :y

The game also gives us some segments where the gameplay changes a bit, like sailing through the map or using war contraptions like catapults for example. Though a bit barebones, I never felt these overstayed their welcome nor distracted a lot from the core play.

Graphically speaking, the games is more detailed than its predecessor, though it runs on a tweaked version of the original engine it does function smoothly. It looks nice  and very serviceable so you won’t be too distracted… unless you are watching the in-game cutscenes with the engine, as most characters were made to be looked on from afar and not close. The music is more frequent here despite the fact that its an even bleaker world than before, but it does set the mood quite nicely for the different sequences. It may just be me, but the whole set up of the feeling really hits home, more often than not I just wandered around looking at the world, feeling like a badass and waiting impatient for the next bunch of idiots that dare to oppose me.

Like everything on this world, the game does have some issues. Although the Minions got tweaked becoming faster and snappier, as well as their path processing became better, they are a bit hard to control now, specially when sweeping, as it has become kinda finnicky or picky on how the direction decides to work. Although some new mechanics were introduces, I was saddened that these weren’t fully realized to their max potential. I won’t tell you which ones, but it would have been incredibly useful to have them. Though there are now more unique weapons and armor, customization of the armory is gone completely, and though the tyranny ratio does affect your spells it is more noticeable if you go all Destruction. Speaking of, there are only 9 catalysts in the main game, with another 6 on the Battlerock Nemesis Arena on consoles, since it was never ported to PC. Its kinda sad to see that we are no longer facing magical creatures but soldiers and variants. In a way, is like the game made 3 steps forward and 2 steps back.

As a personal opinion, this game could have been so much more but it was released on the worst year it could have: its a little period I call The Rush Age. A sad time where publishers only cared about pumping out games quickly no matter the sacrifice. Overlord 2 was sadly one of those games that was figuratively butchered and released. But I see it this way: I had the same if not more fun with this entry compared to the first, and even on its current state, I can recommend it. Now, if it was complete, it could have EASILY been one of the best games of 209 or 2010. The foundations are there, but it had to realize its full potential.


Overlord: Dark Legend and Overlord: Minions

Released for Wii and DS specifically, Dark Legend and Minions were developed in conjunction with Overlord 2, both being spin-off prequels to the first game and being released almost at the same time as Overlord 2.

I haven’t played them but from what I’ve seen Dark Legend is like a more straightforward version of the Overlord gameplay and tells the story of the young First Overlord, Lord Gromgard. Minions is a change of perspective, as you now control your Minions with the stylus and overall the gameplay is pretty similar to the Zeldas for DS. It serves as a sequel for Dark Legend and is overall a serviceable game.


Overlord: Fellowship of Evil

The most recent entry of the Overlord series, released on 2015, with a complete gameplay change as you now are on an isometric perspective, similar to games like Diablo or classic Fallout.

Fellowship of Evil is a spin-off sequel to Overlord 2. After a group of heroes managed to take down the Overlord from Overlord 2, a plague known as The Golden bega to spread quickly across the land, turning everything into a cutesy sugary version. This time around not even the Minions were safe, as most of them ended up being “cutiefied” and no longer serving their cause. Even Gnarl got the disease, but managed to retain his lucidity, or at least enough to summon the Netherghouls, fallen warriors that could be able to take down the heroes and restore the rightful order of the world. These Netherghouls are also being tested to see who succeeds to Overlord.

Bleieve me, cutified Minions are stuff of nightmares. I don’t know how to fell about that.

The game had the really tough luck of being released after an absence of main titles, and with the teasing for this game pointing at an Overlord 3 instead of a top-view dungeon-crawler with 4 candidates to Overlord. The fact that it seems to be poorly balanced and with boring gameplay did not help it as well. The spirit of the series is still there, but the game does seem to be dragged down by the choices made.


Afterword

So yeah, I’ve been having a number of ideas for a game that won’t came out anytime soon. I want Overlord 3, and especially, ESPECIALLY NOW that everything can come together: consoles and PC have not been easier to port before, we got a fairly decent amount of processing power and graphical fidelity and not only that but its been a nice season for new IPs and retakes of older ones. It could be amazing and, if done right, it can even become a strong contender for a GOTY. Not many games like this are out there, being the only real competitor the Pikmin series as its the one that shares the most similarities.

But for how things seem for the series, looks like Evil won’t find a way anytime soon 😦