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    Margrave 4: The Blacksmith's Daughter

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    genkicoll

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    Margrave 4: The Blacksmith's Daughter

    Post by genkicoll on Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:17 pm

    Margrave: The Blacksmith's Daughter
    by Inertia Game Studios - September, 2012

    Series links: Margrave 3: The Curse of the Severed Heart, Margrave 4: The Blacksmith's Daughter

    Available at:
    Alawar as Premium Edition /
    Big Fish for PC as Collector's Edition / Standard Edition
    Big Fish for Mac as Collector's Edition / Standard Edition
    GameHouse as Premium Edition /
    iWin as Premium Edition / Standard Edition



    Embark on a thrilling rescue mission in Margrave: The Blacksmith's Daughter! The town of the Cyclops appears for a single day once every three hundred years, on an island lost to cartographers. On this Day of Alignment, the town rises and sets with the midsummer sun. As the Margrave saga nears its devastating conclusion, Edwina Margrave embarks on a rescue mission into the town. Her only chance of escape is to return life to the arcane machines, and hope to the sole survivor of an ancient war, in Margrave: The Blacksmith’s Daughter.

    Prepare yourself for the adventure of a lifetime: the legacy of an entire civilization depends upon your cunning and compassion.

    The Collector’s Edition includes:

    • Integrated strategy guide
    • Bonus gameplay
    • Developer notes and trivia

    Click images to enlarge



    Last edited by genkicoll on Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:40 pm; edited 7 times in total


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    bribling

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    Re: Margrave 4: The Blacksmith's Daughter

    Post by bribling on Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:13 pm

    This is a gorgeous game which made me feel, well, stupid. I played the Demo. I solved some puzzles and skipped some that made little sense to me. It has a map but I found the map of little help. I reached a point where I needed to return to the first mask (or whatever it's called) and even with the map I could not find it to save me. Could be that I solved that puzzle earlier and forgot, I have no idea. This is a CE. Although the graphics are outstanding and I own other Margrave games (2 I think), this just is confusing for me and I am not buying it. I will try it again when the SE is offered.

    _DD_

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    Re: Margrave 4: The Blacksmith's Daughter

    Post by _DD_ on Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:05 am

    bribling wrote:This is a gorgeous game which made me feel, well, stupid. [..snipped..] I reached a point where I needed to return to the first mask (or whatever it's called) and even with the map I could not find it to save me.
    LOL! know exactly how you feel! if it helps: I read at BFG that the map becomes available for travelling only after you've opened one or several certain doors (in the town). So that might be the solution...

    genkicoll

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    Re: Margrave 4: The Blacksmith's Daughter

    Post by genkicoll on Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:24 pm

    Margrave: The Blacksmith's Daughter (IHOG)

    I thought I had the CE of this one, but alas, not yet!

    This is one of only three games (that I've played) that has someone singing a song during the opening scene, the other two being Margrave 3: The Curse of the Severed Heart and Charlaine Harris: Dying for Daylight.

    This is the fourth installment of the Margrave-themed series, as I'm sure you've guessed from the fact that the number "4" is in the title of this thread Number 1, The Secret of Margrave Manor, was a straight HOG, which I didn't play. Next was Margrave Manor 2: Lost Ship, an IHOG-lite which is VERY heavy on the HOG scenes. I bought it and played it through because I enjoyed the story. For me it was a play-once game, and simply because I liked the story. Margrave: The Curse of the Severed Heart was simply wonderful, and this one definitely lives up to the #3.

    There are separate sliders for sound and music, plus options for full-screen, maintaining aspect ratio, custom cursor, and the ability to turn the voice overs on or off. If you uncheck the aspect ratio option, the game plays beautifully in wide-screen mode. There are two difficulty modes to choose from, and the tutorial is optional.

    When the game came out, I saw a lot of posts from people who did not care for the cyclops theme, but it was easy (for me) to see past the oddness of idea and enjoy the game. These are not the type of cyclopes that I grew up seeing -- like the gigantic brute in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. The version the devs chose for this game are just like humans, they simply have one eye instead of two. There IS a point to the devs' choice to use cyclopes in their games, which you will discover if you read all of the papers that we find during gameplay.

    Speaking of these tidbits of story, I must warn you that though this is, in general, not a dark game, some of the things we read about (which happened in the far distant past) are quite gruesome. The cruelty of humanity is a difficult thing to face, and though these are not about real events, such atrocities have certainly peppered the past of our race.

    Moving on, this is a beautiful game with excellent gameplay and an interesting story. I chose to go with Casual mode, and despite doing so, I did not suffer from an abundance of hand-holding or sparklies! One of the first puzzles we do is a bit on the lame side, but not to worry! This particular mini only shows up once more during the game~ We have a return of the card game-mini we played during the last game, but this time there are two parts to it. The objective of the card game is to match up the symbols on the sides of the cards to create the shapes shown at the top of the screen (this will be more clear when you actually play the game.) The second part is a tracking/matching game with stones, rather reminiscent of the old find-the-pea shell game, but you have to track two things at once. Definitely challenging, but doable! These aren't the only mini-games, of course, I just mention them because we saw them in the last game.

    We have two inventory bars that we can switch between: One for "keepsakes", which is both clues and story tidbits that we have found, and the other is our actual inventory with items we will use during gameplay. There are five mini-slots at the top of the inventory bar for things quick access to things we will need multiple times. Nice, because we don't have to search through our inventory to find them this way! Two of these slots are for creatures that will help us through during our journey. No worries, those of you who are tired of cutesy helpers -- the focus is on their helpfulness, not how they look.

    There's a side quest of finding 60 strawberries during gameplay, and doing so will unlock a book on the menu page. What's in this book, I don't know, since I got so caught up with playing the game that I forgot to find them all!

    The voice overs are well-done, and continue throughout the game. You can't stop the voice overs by clicking on the screen, but if you don't like them, you can turn them off via the main menu.

    Something that I LOVE about this game is that there is an explanation for items being scattered about (during HOG scenes.) The main character gets aggravated by delays, she addresses all of the little things that players often complain about when playing these games, and I think it's just great that the devs added that in there!

    There is a MAP, but there is no jump-to option. There are two parts to the map, and you're likely better off with the second tab, which is easier to read than the main map. Later on there will be shortcuts that GREATLY reduce travel time, and these are nicely integrated into the gameplay in a believable way. It WILL show you active areas (where actions need to be taken.) The HINTS, when used during the adventure portion of the game, will remind you of things that you have seen, or simply tell you exactly what you need to do. I'd have preferred a directional arrow, so when I was unsure what to do, instead of using a hint, I'd look at the map to see where the active areas were. Much better option for me, personally.

    The end of the game left us with an opening to the next game in the series... or so I thought, until I remembered that there is a Collector's Edition of this game! I'm betting that little thing I saw leads us to the Bonus Chapter, rather than a new game.

    Overall, this was a truly enjoyable game, and the next time there's a sale, the CE will definitely be mine! Muwahaha~


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    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Margrave 4: The Blacksmith's Daughter

    Post by JustTheFacts on Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:14 pm

    Complex & Captivating ****

    BASED ON COMPLETED GAME

    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    We open with a beautiful song (yes, lyrics) in the background, and a delightful cut scene that sets the mood and the pace of the game. This is a sweet sorrowful kind of game, at the end of which, you’ll feel you’ve watched a moving film. You know the sort, the ones that you sit staring at the screen for a while before you can shake off the atmosphere of the game and return to the real world.

    SIGHTS & SOUNDS
    This game is a sequel, and the first thing I noticed was the vast improvement in the graphics. They are now delightful in every location, HOP scene and cut scene. Hand painted with just a touch of impressionist about them. There remains very little animation, particularly compared to other recent games.

    The intro is not the only time we hear vocals, and certainly not the only time we’ll be hearing peaceful pleasant music. This game is more wistful than adventurous. There is extensive voiceover work, both for our character and the many she meets. They are all fantastique British and Scottish accents, with excellent acting. It is this aspect that gives the game its movie-like quality. Some are not going to like so much blather, but unlike other games, the blather goes on without interrupting the gameplay, so I just enjoyed it.

    WHAT’S HAPPENING?
    I admit to being confused about the story. First, exactly how it connects up to the previous game, which I played immediately before this one. That it is connected is obvious if you played the bonus chapter of The Curse Of The Severed Heart CE. But then, I had trouble connecting it to the main game as well.

    We meet Miss Thorn at sunrise and see an amazing sight – a city appearing out of the mist. It is the legendary Cyclopean City, which appears just once every 300 years. But why did Miss Thorn let a cyclopean man creep up behind Tom (the boyfriend) and grab him? Now we must enter the city, use our magic to get answers and open locks, to find him and escape before sunset.

    GAMEPLAY
    The gameplay is very complex. There are list HOPs, not animated and not interactive. These are visited twice. And there are puzzles galore ranging from easy to impossible (more of the latter than the former). There is a hefty adventure component, and you will spend a lot of time searching for objects and clues and answers, to and fro all over the map. The map itself is made up of 3 maps, and all 3 will be used for a portion of the game at least, and are very helpful. But no jump facility, so lots of walking. The hint system gives you a suggestion. For part of the game, hint is actually one of the characters you meet, and talks to you. There is no diary, instead there is a keepsake inventory where you keep any notes or clues.

    The game is really about the specialised mini-games though. There are half a dozen of these ones, each connected to a magical tool or assistant that you acquire. You have your Dream Cards from the previous game, which are cards which you must match up in order to make a series of given symbols. The other “divination tool” requires you to follow up with a version of the shell game, but much more complex, and shuffled slowly, so you have got a chance *hee hee*. You will also have the help of a mechanical spider and a mechanical bird, each with their own specific uses. Likewise, a magic rose emblem and “See-charms”. These last unlock the consciousness of various character/locks.

    There are 60 strawberries to collect and finding them all unlocks an extra on the main menu. I didn't get even close, so I don't know what it is.

    COMBINED IMPACT
    It is hard to explain the gameplay to someone who hasn’t played this or The Curse Of The Severed Heart, because it is all thoroughly original and unique to this series. This was a very hard game for me to play. The mini-games associated with magic got harder and harder, likewise the puzzles. I skipped far more of the game than I am happy with.

    It is also a very long game. Even with skipping as much as I did (and most of the puzzles took much longer solve than skip took to fill), I still had to play this over 2 sessions, and must have put in at least 6 hours on it.

    An extraordinary game, but one I found too difficult for me to completely enjoy it. A 5 star game for sure if puzzles are your thing, but for me, just 4 stars.

    I recommend this game!

    RenaissanceMom

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    Re: Margrave 4: The Blacksmith's Daughter

    Post by RenaissanceMom on Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:22 pm

    I  Heart   Heart   Heart  this game!!!!
    And I adore the puzzles.  Wub   Nice review!

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Margrave 4: The Blacksmith's Daughter

    Post by JustTheFacts on Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:52 pm

    Thanks RMom. I loved the atmosphere of the game, and its originality, but I did get fed up with having to skip so many puzzles, and asking for directions so many times.

    RenaissanceMom

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    Re: Margrave 4: The Blacksmith's Daughter

    Post by RenaissanceMom on Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:30 pm

    JustTheFacts wrote:I did get fed up with having to skip so many puzzles..
    Hehe, that's exactly how I feel about HO scenes.  Big smile

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Margrave 4: The Blacksmith's Daughter

    Post by JustTheFacts on Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:32 pm

    Oh I'm the HOP queen! It's not so much that I love them, which I do but not over the top, it's that I find them so easy, compared to just about any puzzle. I'm not usually into straight HOGs, I like my adventures and stories, but the puzzles are often a tedious part of the game for me.

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