Published on April 6th, 2020 | by Chris O'Connor
The CRPG Book: A Guide To Computer Role-Playing Games Book Review
Summary: Whether researching the history of Computer RPG titles or having a trip down memory lane, The CRPG book is a fantastic resource.
Other than Adventure games, I think some of my earliest memories of computer gaming were RPG titles. Some of my fondest memories of early gaming were Eye of the Beholder, Lands of Lore and the Ultima games. It wasn’t until I flicked through the pages of The CRPG Book that I realised all the other games that I had played or at least been enamoured with.
The book spans more than 500 pages and is a beautiful hard cover that “uses thread sewn binding for extra durability”. I’m used to only receiving digital copies of review titles so this was a lovely treat to begin with, but the quality workmanship of this tome is exceptional and a true beauty to behold.
The book is comprised of reviews of over 400 seminal games from the time frame 1975 to 2015. But beyond telling the reader what the game was all about there are articles on the genre and perhaps even more importantly, mod suggestions and tips on how to get the games to run on modern machines. The book is written by “fans, AAA developers, , indies, journalists, modders and industry personalities such as Chris Avellone, Ian Frazier, Scorpia, Ferhegón, Richard Cobbett, Brian ‘Psychochild’ Green, Durante, George Weidman and Tim Cain, to name but a few.” This is both good and a little bad in that there are some pretty horrific typing/grammar issues throughout that suggest proof reading was not a high priority. Now I’m normally the sort of person who would put a book down if there are more than a few errors and this book has well more than a few, but it’s testament to the content in general and the passion of it’s writers that I can overcome my usual frustrations and still find immense enjoyment perusing it’s pages.
Along with the heavy dose of nostalgia I am certainly interested in the mod suggestions and may just have to track down some of my old games to see what sort of new life can be breathed into them… or see if I can find some of the fan creations inspired by some of the great RPG’s of computer gaming history. My son was also quite intrigued by it and got a lot of joy just flicking through the pages and seeing what games have made their mark in RPG history… some he was familiar with but many he can now learn about and we can share the joy of reading about them together.
A great book to put pride of place in your gaming room, a fantastic reference and a cheerful walk down memory lane!
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