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Subject: Descent, a poor review in english/Spanish rss

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Salvador Santacruz
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First of all, I beg your pardon for my poor english.

Descent: a tiresome entertainment
After playing a few sessions of “Descent: Journeys in the Dark” –which might be more of 16 hours of gameplay- I’d decided writing this poor and lack-of-basis review of the game.
Thruth be told I’m one of those AD&D roleplaying-gamers, so this was nothing new for me. Plus having experience as “game master” put me in the awkward position of being the Overlord –owning the game also helped on that. But let’s focus on the task ahead, the review.

Contents
The box contents are more than acceptable, though being an expensive game –for standards- the price covers and justify the contents of the box. Perhaps there is no point in commenting the box contents because you can read about them in the game “contents of the box” in the editor or distributor’s web. Though, one thing about its contents is important. Given the quantity of contents and its nature would be wise to organize them properly to speed up the setting of the game.

Gameplay
Let’s see, the game is for two to five players, being one of them the Overlord –the game master of this one. The mechanic is like one classic D&D or Heroquest. Those who don’t play as the Overlord are the Heroes, and they have 20 characters of heroes to choose. The objective of the game is determined by the scenario you are playing but it’s always one of those “clear the zones and kill the big boss”. That one was for the Heroes. The Overlord obviously gets another objective, drain the Heroes’ conquest points –which are like the “credits” on a coin up videogame. The conquest tokens –or whatever- are the key to both parties’ victories. When a Hero dies the group of heroes loses an amount of tokens equal to the value of his current character –usually from 2 to 4. Also when the Overlord finishes picking up the last of his cards the heroes lose 3 tokens. The tokens can be earned by multiple ways, opening treasures or mostly activating glyphs –town-portal like spots. The thing is, for the Heroes, during the first third of the gameplay gain enough “momentum” by earning enough conquest tokens to cover their loses, and by the way equipping with more powerful objects and weapons. As the game advances –and if the Heroes move in the right way- there be more difficult for the Overlord to stop the Heroes –note the “momentum” word- but he still might have some chances to flat-foot the Heroes advance, though it be harder for him.
So, thinking in retrospect, the gameplay acts like a “balance” which declines in the favor of the Heroes as the game advance.

What you fear most
Given the nature of the game, when the Overlord “wins” you have to reset the level and play it again. ‘Oh, well, no problem’, you think… at first. The “what you fear most of this game” is nothing but the game you spend playing it. I mean, and sure you might’ve heard about it, its ages long for a dungeon-like game. Being beheaded after three hours of gameplay is nothing fun, plus foreseen another three or four hours of game to reach at the very same 2 zone where you were finished. Its some bitter-sweet for the Overlord to win unless you’d be some hardcore player and you have enough time to replay it.

So, though threatening to become a bit tiresome game for its duration I really enjoyed playing the game, but maybe that’s because I’m a big fan of the RPGs and have some experience playing it. I recommend this one for dull Sunday’s mornings –o Saturdays’ evenings or whatever- but perhaps once at month, anyway we own to many games for being playing the same all over again.

...................................................

Descent: Un cansino entretenimiento
Tranquilos, no es una critica negativa del juego, pero hay que admitir que su punto débil son las horas que se invierten por partida.
Tras jugar tan solo dos veces –o dos sesiones- ya acumulo casi dieciséis horas de juego. Y eso que mis jugadores tan solo han completado el primer escenario –cayeron en el segundo. Por todo esto me atrevo a hacer esta pequeña e insulsa “revista” de lo que es el juego.

Cosas cositas
La edición de Edge es más que correcta, a pesar del precio. Si, se puede argüir que se trata de una compra cara (80€), nada que se pueda hacer en un calentón. Quizás un regalo de cumpleaños, Reyes o un capricho –una canita al aire? Pero señores, tengan en cuenta que los videojuegos ya están por los 60 euros y no van solos, requieren una videoconsola u ordenador para funcionar. De todos modos, fijándonos en lo que tenemos delante, si no es un “precio justo”, sí se le acerca bastante. Los contenidos de la caja –en la propia página de Edge lo podéis consultar- caben ajustaditos, y eso que la caja no es pequeña. Las reglas se entienden a la perfección, lo cual quiere decir que la traducción está bien –bien bien bien- hecha. Pegas tiene, como todo, pero una vez puestos sus pros y contras en la balanza ganan los puntos a favor… creo –después de todo esto no es más que una opinión.

¡A jugar!
El juego es para de dos a cinco jugadores, uno de los cuales será el Señor Supremo –el machaca que monta el tablero dirige los monstruos y se lee las reglas para explicarlas a los demás-, los otros actúan como los Héroes –los guapos de la partida. Hay veinte personajes de Héroes entre los que elegir, cada cual con sus particularidades y su valor en puntos de conquista –más adelante lo explico. Una vez montado el tablero y distribuidas las fichas de juego –recomiendo catalogar y organizar todo en bolsitas para agilizar esta parte a cada comienzo de partida-, que no son pocas, elegidos los héroes con los que se juega y demás preliminares –comprar equipo, repartir fichas de conquista, etc.- se empieza a explorar. El objetivo es, para los Héroes, matar al jefe del escenario –normalmente- e ir ganando puntos de conquista –puntuación común para todos. El objetivo del Señor supremo es dificultar el avance de los Héroes y eliminar sus puntos de conquista. Así pues, los puntos de conquista son la clave, son como los créditos de las máquinas recreativas para los Héroes. Seguramente al hacer el juego se dieron cuenta que la cosa era muy “gore” y que era inevitable que murieran los Héroes, así pues los puntos de conquista permiten que los Héroes puedan resucitar. Esto funciona así, cada personaje tiene un valor de conquista que los jugadores pierden si este muere, el personaje resucita inmediatamente, pero el caso es que si al morir este se quedan sin puntos de conquista, los Héroes pierden. Esto no es muy difícil, por lo menos en la primera mitad del juego. Claro que el Señor Supremo debe saber lo que hace. Mi experiencia es que, incluso jugando cuatro contra uno, los Héroes no lo tienen fácil al principio del juego. Lo cual no deja de ser un aliciente.
Lo malo es que la partida suele durar mucho y la muerte de los Héroes no resulta agradable –ni para el Señor Supremo- cuando llevas cuatro horas jugando y tienes que repetir todo, si estás cansado, claro. Si realmente te gustan estos tipos de juegos, disfrutarás de la tensión y volver a jugar para “mejorar lo presente” también es otro aliciente.
No me extenderé más aquí, lo mejor para saber de qué va el tema es probar el juego, si se puede.

Así pues sus partes flojas son, que es largo –que puede ser bueno en noches solitarias o de mal tiempo-, que el modo campaña es algo flojo –en parte para equilibrar la balanza, pues los Héroes suelen acabar las partidas más dopados que en una partida de Munchkin- o que si no te gusta el sistema mazmorra o tu Señor Supremo no se entera, estás fuera de lugar.
Pero por otro lado puede resultar muy divertido si eres un fan de este tipo de juegos pues el sistema es muy completo y roza casi el juego de rol interpretativo –algunos los juegan así, a matar monstruos.
Y oye, no gasta luz.
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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Motherwell
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The title says it all...
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Edgar Gallego
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Perhaps the title should be changed to "A really direct review". But I agree with the main point: it's fun, but the game needs time like a wargame, at least in the first plays.
 
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Snowball
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Well I do not think it is a poor review, you should change the title because I think that's not what you meant
I also find the game is too long, and wholeheartedly agree with your conclusions about the overlord role.
 
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Salvador Santacruz
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Well, thanks everybody.

About the title, I don’t know if I should change it, after all is an honest title. I put it because I didn’t go very thorough on the mater. Maybe I should put as title something like “A direct approach” (same as “a really direct view”), or being more pretentious “what you really should know” or “the truth be said”.
But after all this is just a review and I believe that a review should be something brief and avoid a full rules’ explanation if possible. The meaning of a review if let people know how many people like it and how much, so the more they can read, the better.

So, the conclusion stands: fun (or "wholly entertaining"), hard (when intelligent people is on board) but dangerously long enough to become tiresome.
Or I’m too old for this.
 
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Nathan Johnson
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If you really don't like the game--I get it--it would be tiresome to not want to play.

But if you genuinely like the game here are 2 suggestions:

1) make your own quest with the free scenario editor. SInce you have an AD&D background this should be a breeze.

-OR-

2) Peruse the tons of quests at the FFG site to see a more fitting length of quest for your group.

 
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Salvador Santacruz
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Oh, I love the game.
My problem with the time is helpless. Sure there is fun in playing the game for 5 hours, but me and my co-players don't have the luxury of time. I find that the bad thing about the game lenght is that we are too tired of re-playing when we finish. There are many solutions to make the game shorter but that would also turn the game dull.

Perharps that's just a collateral bad point of the game.
 
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