Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Bound by Flame - Xbox 360
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Platform: Xbox 360|Change
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on May 9, 2014
After reading reviews about this game around the net, I am surprised by how divided the reviewers feel about this game. To start with, the graphics are a bit dated, OK, very dated, especially on the XBOX 360 version, but this experience isn't about flashy graphics. Once you get past the rough visuals, what you have is a solid combat centered RPG that is actually an RPG. You have actual freedom in what order you choose to tackle quests and sidequests, with consequences based on your decisions.

The combat system took a little getting used to, but after a few hours (and three restarts to get the look of my character right) I found myself slipping into it nicely. The radial system (LB) is intuitive and easy to customize, so in no time you can have your shortcuts arranged to your liking. There is a robust upgrade system too, for both abilities and equipment. I really like the way you can choose the hilt and handle of your weapon, with cosmetic and functional customization.

I am not all that far into the game yet, and only have one companion, so I can't really comment on the companion system, but I can say that it is nice that you can modify their behavior by talking to them (like in Dragon's Dogma) and by interacting with the radial menu in combat, which not only drastically slows down the game allowing for tactical planning, but lets you give further orders to your companions (like in the latest Star Ocean).

So far, I am really liking the game. You just have to understand that it is very much an indie budget game. This is not the Witcher or Skyrim. It would be much more at home compared to elements of Venetica, Kingdoms of Amalur, Game of thrones, or the more recent (and much worse) Demonicon. As a whole, however, I feel that Bound by Flame surpasses all of the aforementioned titles with little quirks that really shine. The menu system, for instance, is very deep, but at the same time very accessible. The map can be viewed in two different ways, or not at all if you prefer.

The thing that kills me is all the sheep who have never even played the game, who then chime in on the review comments saying asinine things like "glad I didn't preorder this" or "I knew it would suck". The bottom line is you never know until you try it for yourself. I did and I like it. You might to, but first you have to give it a shot. Considering most of the games it reminds me of came out with $60 price tags, this baby knows just what it is and isn't trying to be anything it isn't. What it is is a darn good budget game from an indie developer that deserves at least a playthrough.
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on May 9, 2014
Bound By Flame probably won't make a lasting impression in the RPG world like Dragon Age or Witcher but for an indie game made on a budget it's pretty good and worth playing.

The story while kind of generic is still decent enough where you don't lose interest as you progress. The graphics may not be comparable to some of the big budget games out now but is still good and I really like the art style of the characters and monsters. The voice acting is ok but the lip syncing is off. I've seen enough foreign films with english dubbing that, that didn't bother me at all haha. The thing I like most about RPG's is the character and equipment customization. When it comes to the character itself all you really have to choose from is gender and about 5 different faces and hairstyles. The equipment customization on the other hand is really cool. You occasionally find a piece of equipment here and there throughout the map but you mainly loot material which you not only use to make potions, traps, and crossbow arrows from, you also use them to form enchancements for your armor and weapons which will increase damage, resistance, etc., and also change it cosmetically as well.

The combat in the game is really fun. It took me a little to get used to it but once I did I really liked it. You have 2 stances. A warrior stance and ranger stance. Warrior stance will let you wield either a sword, ax, or hammer and allow you to kick enemies to break their guard. The ranger stance will allow you wield daggers which are weaker but faster, and your kick is replaced with a backwards dodge. It was fun getting into battles where there would be a few enemy types and I would switch between my daggers and sword. With enemies in the distance you can switch to a stealth mode which will boost your damage to enemies if they don't see you. It seemed though with multiple enemies you hit one in stealth and they all become aware of you. Would have been cool if you could keep sneaking around taking them out (maybe it does, I didn't play around with the stealth too much as I got further in the game). Your character is also possessed with a demon which grants you pyromancy (hurl fire balls, add flame damage to weapons, etc.). I tried to not use much pyromancy in my playthrough because I wanted to keep human form but I heard that with the more pyromancy you use the more your character makes a Fable-esq change into a demon growing horns and getting a firey aura that affects which armor you can use. On top of all that you also have access to explosive traps that you can set during fights like in Witcher. The only thing that really gave me trouble in the combat was the lock on. You can lock on an enemy sort of like in Dark Souls by clicking the R3 joystick and you're supposed to be able to cycle through the enemies on screen but that didn't always work for me. There were a few times where I couldn't change the enemy I was locked on to so I had to click the R3 stick to disengage the lock on, position myself better to the enemy I wanted to fight, and lock on again.

There are also companions that you'll get in the game. The typical RPG bunch. Mage, warrior, archer, healer. You can talk to them when you're in town and form relationships with them. Not as deep as something like Mass Effect though. You can also take one of them out with you when ever you leave the little hub area. Unfortunately (in my opinion) they aren't that helpful at all. Even when I would tell them to defend more they would get taken out quickly and once they're down they're down until the fight is over. You can't revive them. When the fight is over they pop back up with full health again. So, more or less they're just cannon fodder.

I didn't come across to many hiccups in the game. Once in the beginning I was fighting and both allies and monsters vanished from the screen for a few seconds before they popped back in. When I was in a town I looted a crate in a corner and a npc walked up behind me trapping me against the wall for a minute until he walked off again. And once or twice I went up to talk to a npc and I'd hold a conversation with him/her standing awkwardly on the other side of the room with my back towards them staring at a wall as I talked. Besides those few things I didn't experience any freezing or any other glitches.

All in all Bound By Flame is a good game for the price. It may not be the best RPG but it's definitely a fun one. There's also different endings which make playing it again worth while. Replayability is always a plus in my book.
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on March 23, 2015
Humanity is on the run. The Undead have conquered almost all of the continent. All that stands between the undead horde and complete victory are groups of ragtag human mercenaries and the till now neutral Elven kingdom. As the frozen lords, the commanders of the undead horde, gather their forces for the last fatal push against the Elven kingdom, a faint hope is discovered by the order known as the Red Scrolls.

With time running out and the undead threat rising, a mercenary group called the Free Blades is hired to escort the Red Scrolls to an ancient shrine. The shrine may hold clues that explain how the Frozen Lords obtained their power and more importantly on how to stop them. The story begins as the Free Blades reach the shrine, just ahead of the undead patrol that has been tailing them for several days.

The Story:

You are Vulcan. At least that's what you call yourself these days. Your past is something you would rather forget and that was the biggest draw to the Free Blades. No one has a past and the only future is the company. If anybody questions further though they may find out why you are the Free Blades explosive master.

Your assignment starts out simple enough. You are given the task to secure the area and prepare for an assault from the undead that have been stalking the company for the last several days. Of course the Undead don't follow anyone's schedule but their own and they soon attack, driving the company back into the shrine they were trying to protect. Eventually the company is forced to fall back to where the Red Scrolls are trying to unlock the secret of the shrine.

During the fighting, the ritual that the Red Scrolls were performing is interrupted. A sudden burst of energy rocks the shrine and everyone is knocked to their feet. Before you can recover you are engulfed by the energy blast and absorb... something. Without any time to think about what's happened a massive beast breaks into the shrine and begins to attack. You hear a voice in your head telling you that you have the power to defeat this beast, if you will accept it.

Not seeing any other choice you allow the power to flow through you and dispatch the beast with ease. Unfortunately, even with your new strength you can't take on a whole patrol by yourself. The captain of the Free Blades orders a retreat and you soon find yourself on the run again to a town that is so remote that most people have forgotten it. Hopefully this means that the Undead have too.

This is where the main story begins and this is where you begin to get an idea of who or what your unwilling and unwanted guest is. A demon of flame has been bound to you. It's bossy and insulting. It considers you in your current state to be just above useless. It also says that it can help you win the war if you'll let it. It just needs control. Of you.

Will you sacrifice yourself for the power to defeat your enemy or will you stay human and find away to beat the overwhelming odds?

It's up to you.

Game Play:
The game play in this game is interesting. It really does give you a lot of different options on how you want to play. When you start off you are more or less cast as a low level rouge, that is good with traps. That being said you are given the option fairly early in the game to customize your character with three different skill trees. My best advice here is to more or less dual class and be either a rouge / mage or a warrior / mage. If you try to focus on just one or try to keep them all equal you are going to run into to trouble later in the game like I did.

You are also able to customize your weapons and armor with the various resources that you find in the game.

The game also features a relationship system with your various companions. While it seems to be possible to keep everyone happy for a little while, towards the end of the game your going to have to make choices that have permanent consequences and can change the course of the story.

The game also gives you the choice of accepting the demon's power which can give you additional advantages / disadvantages. These choices also influence the path of the story and it's conclusion.

Combat:
The combat in this game is fun and you have the option of mixing three different combat styles to take on enemies. The combat reminded me of Dark Souls since rushing in swinging will generally get you nowhere fast. To win the battles in this game you have to learn the enemies patterns and their weaknesses. To help your odds somewhat your character has a crossbow and the ability to lay explosive traps as well. Don't forget them as a few "impossible" battles become quite simple with their use.

Controls:
For the most part they worked well for me. Sometimes the camera got a little wonky when there was a lot of action on screen, but that only happened a couple of times.

Graphics:
They looked good to me. There are some areas that can be a little bland, but overall they get the job done.

Sound:
No complaints from me.

Conclusion:

This is one of those games where I really liked the setup, but I ended up not finishing the game because I either leveled or choiced myself into a corner. This is also one of those games that I may replay one day to see if I can have a better run. The story in this game is really interesting and for the most part it is presented well.

I get the feeling that if the game had been allowed to bake a little longer and had a little bigger budget that allowed all of it's elements to be filled out a little more then this would have been a title worthy of taking on the Dragon Age's and the Dark Souls of the world. As it stands it's still an interesting story, it just seems a little slim in some places and transitions from plot point to plot point can be a little jarring.

My biggest problem with the game, and most likely its in the way I played it, is that it ground to a halt around the end. I just was not having any fun slogging my way through the last dungeon or two. It just started taking forever to get past the enemies and the story twists were not what I was going for. The biggest mistake I made was in the way I leveled my character. I was going for well rounded and that doesn't really work for this game.

In the end I do recommend giving this game a look. It falls in the same category as Dragons Dogma and Divine Divinity: DKS. Its a fun game to play if your looking for something different, just keep in mind that it has a few rough edges. m.a.c
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on November 22, 2015
For the most part, the game is playable but it has too many flaws that keep it from being an enjoyable experience.
Do understand that it was made by a small unknown developer; so just don't expect too much nor try to spend to much time/money on it for that matter.
It seems like they had really good intentions for this game, but everything just kinda fell short of expectations.
My main gripe about this game is that it doesn't offer very much in the sense of 'free roam' exploration.
The area maps are very small and limited.
Load times are considerably long for a game with such small areas and so few enemies.
Oblivion and Two Worlds may be considered very old games by now, but hey at least they offered HUGE areas for you to explore, with TONS of items to be found and MANY enemies to do battle with.
Once you've already completed one chapter, you won't be given the option to re-explore the previous areas anymore which makes the game feel very linear.
For first-time players, this can often result in many missed sidequests and missed opporunities.
Enemies are few and far between, plus the item drops are totally random.
The ability to instantly craft your items and equipment on-the-fly at anytime/anywhere is a nice touch not seen in too many other games, but due to the situation I've already mentioned above; expect to do LOTSA of tedious hunting around just to get all of the necessary ingredients you'll need for perfecting a certain weapon or piece of armor.
Now onto the combat system, the WEAKEST aspect of this game...
The parrying feature is perhaps the heart and soul of this game.
A well-timed block or dodge grants you a temporary invincibility window to unleash a combo counter-attack.
But some enemies are VERY CHEAP and will still manage hit you almost everytime.
And when they hit you, they hit HARD...
We're talkin' CHUNKS of health coming outta your life meter.
Even at like level 30 you'll still always feel hella weak and under-powered.
Add to the fact that the camera angle isn't very intuitive; so you'll need to constantly adjust the camera manually in order to get the best view of the action, or risk getting flanked by enemies who sneak up behind you.
The companions in this game each have unique personalities and powers, but in actual combat they're nothing more than just slaughter bait.
Randval the Knight, is one of those companions in the game who is always looking to get himself killed and it really shows when you observe him in combat.
Talking to your companions and NPCs is often necessary to progress through the story, but one single question could produce paragraphs and paragraphs of boring and unskippable text.
About 40% of the time in this game will be spent on talking.
The graphics are OK, but the colors are a bit washed-out.
The voice acting sounds mostly uninspired; offering some heavy doses of profanity and dry bathroom humor.
It all sounds very forced/tacked-on and not like they're genuinely angry or in any kinda mood for sex.
Overall, a cheap an pathetic excuse of an action-RPG that might've fared a whole lot better if it was released 10 years ago instead as a launch title or a free pack-in game.
But as a 2014 release (when so many other games before it have already set the standards), it just doesn't cut it!
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on June 8, 2014
First of all, it should be known that this is a budget title from a small studio. That being said, this game is very well done. The game is a good length and filled with interesting characters and stories. The graphics are good and the gameplay is fun. The more I played the more I was hooked. Looking forward to see what their next game is and hopefully it is available on the Xbox One!
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on October 15, 2015
I really enjoyed the game content, but the fact that it ends so abruptly is the downside. I felt like there were far too many things left with no explanation. More fights that you never got a chance to do. What about the other Ice Lords? I only killed one. I'm hoping for a next installment or something. I'm a little disappointed.
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on May 31, 2014
Let me start by saying I'd really rather give this a 3 1/2 star rating but Amazon doesn't let you do that so I went with 3 because I thought the game didn't quite deserve the 4.

To start with, the character customization is a bit lacking. You get to choose between male and female and then you have several options for face and hair and you can pick a name but in the end most of your customization is for naught. The dialogue quite often leans toward a male character and the subtitles lean way into male character. Plus, the rest of the characters in the game refer to you as Vulcan regardless of what name you choose so it doesn't make a difference what you pick.

The story itself was engaging enough but there were times I think everything could have been fleshed out better. Sometimes things happened that just didn't seem to make sense or just happened with no lead in or resolution. Many of the choices and actions you make mold the gameplay, but there were times that the game "decided" for you and I wish I'd had a choice between what transpired and what I would have wanted to happen had I been given a few options. The voice acting was not terrible but not spectacular. There were times subtitles and speaking didn't match up - and I felt the cursing was overused and mostly unneeded. Some things also seemed tacked on because it's what other games are doing - for example there was a random moment of "romance" between my character and one of the companions that was just one dialog and a cut scene that was never expanded upon or revisited in any way. And there were a lot of events "off screen" that you just had to be like "oh, well that happened...okay..." and roll with it.

Graphically, again, the came is not spectacular when it's compared to other games currently coming out but it's not bad. There were some scenes that looked stunning and others that fell flat. The characters and their movements sometimes had a jumpy quality while at other times they moved fluidly and objects tended to look not well designed but like I said, it wasn't terrible.

As to gameplay itself, there were goods and bads. I wish there had been more armor options and weaponry options. I also wish there had been an option to quick travel. The game is VERY linear for the most part with the map pieced out in sections - as you leave one area of the map another opens up. It made it easy to know where to go but sometimes I had to travel pretty far to get to the location of one of the sidequests. Then I had to travel the opposite way to get back. As to your choice of companions, I felt they were a little weak in the help department. Most of the time the companion I had with me served as a distraction for the enemy rather than any real help in the battle. I also didn't like that apart from a few quests that allowed for it, you only got to have one companion at a time so if you wanted to switch you'd have to travel back to the camp to change.

The major major issue I had with this game was the length. Even on the easy setting which is of course going to go quickly, I was still surprised to find myself done at around ten hours - if that. I was literally shocked to find myself at the end of the game. And there was NO end game sequence to tie things up. It was "defeat final boss then credits". I know not all games can be hundred hour powerhouses but this was ridiculously short.

Overall, I'd say it was a worthwhile game with some level of replayability so it's certainly worth getting and playing. I would, however, wait until it is cheaper or buy it used as it really isn't worth the new price at the moment.
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on August 15, 2014
Bound by Flame is in no way a bad game, but it is also not a very great one. The dialogue often seems misplaced and the combat system for any class with the exception of Rogue is extremely tedious. The game does however provide a decent RPG adventure/leveling experience. I would only suggest it to people who need a quick RPG fix and have nothing better at hand.
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on November 11, 2014
I am a huge fan of RPGs, particularly of the medieval and fantasy genre (the Fable series, KOA: Reckoning) but this one left me disappointed. It is heavy on the cut scenes and the game play was too slow for me. I gave it several hours worth of playtime and felt I really wasn't as far along in the game as it seemed I should have been. The story is interesting but with the drawn out nature of the game play, it was just too much for me.
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on May 20, 2014
This game strikes me as a poor man's Dragon Age...or Witcher, or Dragon's Dogma. It is the little brother to a long line of fantastic games, while enjoyable, it's not quite there. Still worth a play though. If I had the option, I'd give it 3.8 stars. Like I said, it'd hold you over until the next of the aforementioned games is released.
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