The cartoon splendor and gameplay of Banner Saga

Title The cartoon splendor and gameplay of Banner Saga
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Games
When January 14, 2014

Banner Saga is out today. It's certainly lovely, and any turn-based game should be proud to have artwork this nice..

Read the full article

Still waiting for this to unlock, but it's a tad disappointing to hear your review.

Side note: how terrific is Expeditions: Conquistador? I discovered it during the Steam sale and for the life of me can't figure out why that game isn't a bigger deal. It's like an Age of Discovery-era XCOM with a plot!

Oh. Maybe that's why. :(

I know, right?

Are you doing a longer write up on this when you've played it more? The
buzz made it seem like a game I'd like, but I'm starting to wonder if
I'm more interested in what I want it to be than what it actually is.

I'm afraid to say I think I might be done with it unless I hear that it opens up substantially as it progresses. I still have the Enemy Within content for XCOM and I'd love to make more progress in the main campaign in Expeditions: Conquistador. So in this situation, I sort of feel like life is too short for Banner Saga...

They pitched the Kickstarter citing "an emphasis on story", and nothing I'm hearing suggests they've deviated dramatically from their original pitch. Whether the end result is any good, of course, is another matter entirely.

Edit: So far so good. There's been maybe like 5 minutes of story in between each battle so far which doesn't strike me as particularly interminable, and although I agree that the early battles are pretty simplistic, they're adding elements with each one that seem like they -could- transfigure into a rich complexity - people who've played the multiplayer spinoff (Factions) certainly seemed to think there was some there. The writing's a little iffy, I have no idea why the voice acting was directed to fake a bad Swedish accent (yes, Scandinavian setting but, c'mon. bad fake accents are bad fake accents), and the first couple chapters haven't gotten into the promised hard decisions, but then, it still seems to be tutorial mode.

The voice acting is actually decent, and that's probably a real Scandinavian accent. It's definitely not Swedish though. It's actually an accent I've heard enough times in real life to vouch for, it reminds me of a roughed up/gravelly Norwegian on Icelandic accent. It's fine.

Story is fine so far, but I am mostly done with turn based tactical combat, primitive or otherwise. Expedition Conquistador is good, but the tactical combat makes me want to beat my head against the monitor, Card Hunter is fine, but turn based meh. It's not because it's difficult, it's just tiresome and feels time-wasty. Why do I have to go through this rigamarole of a combat that has no meaning (E:CQ lose -> reload, CH you only lose expendables etc.) to get at the possibly interesting narrative decisions. At least in this time the reload is far enough back that it may not be worth doing when you make a decision you didn't like - you have to go back to the last chapter start which can be 30-40+min of game time if you had a couple of tactical battles.