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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done spell based action RPG
In Avencast - Rise of the Mage, you play as a young mage recently enrolled in the Avencast school of magic (think Hogwarts). Found in a basket along a riverside you were raised as an orphan by a kindly old mage. As you grew older and yearned for more knowledge, your tutor decides to send you off to Avencast Academy. The game starts with your character preparing to take...
Published on June 25, 2010 by Media Man

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The game can be a bit difficult
I don't mind the game, as I love RPG's, but it is slow-going and a tad difficult for someone like me. Still, I find it worth playing.
Published 12 months ago by Cara Davin


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done spell based action RPG, June 25, 2010
By 
Media Man (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Avencast: Rise of the Mage [Download] (Software Download)
In Avencast - Rise of the Mage, you play as a young mage recently enrolled in the Avencast school of magic (think Hogwarts). Found in a basket along a riverside you were raised as an orphan by a kindly old mage. As you grew older and yearned for more knowledge, your tutor decides to send you off to Avencast Academy. The game starts with your character preparing to take final examinations in order to obtain the official title of Mage. Unfortunately, just as you finish your final test, events occur (I'll keep it vague but it's not good) that forever changes the day to day life at Avencast. It's up to you, as a newly titled mage to uncover the truth of these mysterious events. Here are my thoughts on Avencast - Rise of the Mage;

Pros

+ Beautiful spell effects. Each effect is graphically crisp, clean, unique and a sight to behold. Clearly the developers spent a lot of time on this aspect of the game. They definitely realized that people who enjoy being a spell caster would be playing this game.

+ Most of the games npc dialogue is spoken by voice actors.

+ Plenty of unique environments to explore and dungeons are well laid out.

+ Summonable pets are useful and fun to use. The winged seahorse was my favorite pet. Very useful!

+ Respectable number of enemies to combat and defeat.

+ All spells overall are fun to cast and useful.

+ Highlight examinable items/objects key really helped and saved me a lot of time searching needlessly.

+ Storyboard cut scenes looked great and noir/parchment graphic novel feel.

+ Nearly all of the puzzles required actually reading the quest and or items picked up.

+ All backgrounds had a very high attention to detail. Rooms were populated with detailed furniture, dungeons had rune covered stones, crystals etc. and all of the architecture were quite impressive.

+ Plenty of skill points awarded upon leveling allowing you either upgrade your character stats or choose spells.

+ Some nice ambient music. Music is very important to me in games as it allows for immersion, especially the ambient score.

+ Great first game developed by an independent studio. Kudos to Clockstone.

+ Separate backpack for quest item drops.

+ 3 camera control/view options. Enough variance to fit most play styles.

+ Ability to summon an astral projection/doppelganger of the merchant anywhere via an unlimited use scroll he gives you.

+ Enemies don't respawn in areas once they're cleared. This is very nice considering you have to do a bit of back tracking for some of the quests.

+ Many items have cool but simple particle effects when worn or wielded. Important only if you enjoy those sorts of little touches.

Cons

- Character models were bland and overly blocky, especially up close.

- Spell casting combos on the keyboard can often be challenging and frustrating during panicked combat.

- Some mediocre voice acting. Also, a lot of the voice acting sounded like it was done by the same person, even though the credits list plenty of people. Although, this is expected from a small studio who can't afford to hire a plethora of voice actors.

- Rather cliché story. The Harry Potter comparisons can easily be made if you so choose. Avencast is Hogwarts, Gorlin is Dobby etc.

- Only 2 main schools of magic to chose from (Blood = Melee, Soul = Ranged) with Summoning as a small addition.

- Bad and extremely repetitive combat music.

- Inventory space is rather limited.

- Pet summoning is limited to only 1 at a time. If you summon another, the first disappears. Disappointing but understandable as it would most likely unbalance the difficulty of the game.

- Limited number of weapon drops. Since staves are the only weapons you can use in the game besides spells they could have increased the drop rates of these items. I found enough belts and bracers to shake a stick at but barely any sticks themselves! Robes also seemed a rarer drop.

- Combat can get a bit repetitive.

- Some quests require a fair amount of back tracking.

- Many of the spells, once upgraded simply replace your earlier version. It would have been nice to see a bit more variance in the spell system.

- World of Warcraft style weapons and armor. Everything is oversized, exaggerated and ugly. This could be a plus if you enjoy the WoW style.

- Boiling Pots quest was a total pain. I was never able to complete it.

In the end, Avencast - Rise of the Mage was a satisfying caster focused dungeon crawl. The game was the perfect length for me. I finished the game primarily as a L38 Soul Mage with a few Summoning powers (Shield, Obelisk, Seahorse and Golem which I regretted choosing). This game is clearly geared towards those who enjoy playing spell casters, so if this is your thing definitely give Avencast a go. Overall, I was extremely impressed with the quality of the game considering it came from a small and independent Austrian studio. Clockstone should be very proud of their work and I look forward to seeing more games from them in the future!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE cRPGs ARE BACK: ANOTHER GOOD ADDITION TO THE GENRE!, April 4, 2010
By 
NeuroSplicer (Freeside, in geosynchronous orbit) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Avencast: Rise of the Mage [Download] (Software Download)
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 3GHz (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!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars The game can be a bit difficult, December 28, 2013
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This review is from: Avencast: Rise of the Mage [Download] (Software Download)
I don't mind the game, as I love RPG's, but it is slow-going and a tad difficult for someone like me. Still, I find it worth playing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice game...., July 18, 2013
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This review is from: Avencast: Rise of the Mage [Download] (Software Download)
Easy to use controls and an enjoyable story line and plot.... Great game for fans of hack and slash with some puzzles and magic thrown in.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good game, May 31, 2011
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This review is from: Avencast: Rise of the Mage [Download] (Software Download)
I usually play a warrior, so it was a nice change to have to play a magic user. The fight mechanics were good even though it was all magic user. Graphics were pretty good. All in all a nice little game.
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Avencast: Rise of the Mage [Download]
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