Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Might and Magic X Legacy

Sometimes "Early Access" means you are getting a relatively complete game experience and they just need to iron a few things out.  Sometimes it means you'd better save your game a lot.  Might and Magic X Legacy is the latter.

I was lured in by the promise of an oldschool style grid- and turn-based RPG.  The Might and Magic name is a powerful one since I played Might and Magics one through four, and two was one of my favourite games of all time.

I didn't really expect that a contemporary remake of Might and Magic by a major game studio would be much like Might and Magic two.  That game had a lot of disturbing weirdness in it and was way beyond the capabilities of the majority of RPG players today.  I think it was probably beyond the capabilities of many RPG players when it was made, but the pool of people who play computer RPGs had grown substantially since then and the sort of people who would find Might and Magic one and two manageable are largely the sorts of people who would be early adopters of computer RPGs.  If you are that sort of person and you missed that era of computer games, I'd strongly recommend Might and Magic two if you want to see what people used to contend with.  Before you do, buy a pad of graph paper.

Because my expectations were low I wasn't disappointed, I might even say I was pleasantly surprised.  The game has two difficulty settings, one normal and the other hard, and the hard one seems actually quite hard while the normal one seems not actually all that easy.  The early access version is missing several classes and so far it seems like the balance between the classes in nonsense since, like in many RPGs, by far the most important thing is your hit point total, and one race gets way more hit points.

This is reflected in the enemies as well where there are mage enemies who are stupidly weak and fighter enemies who are brutally dangerous.  The mages have a spell that gives 25% damage reduction and still I would rather fight one mage and one fighter, both with that spell pre-cast, than I would two fighters.

Probably the best part of it so far is that there was a cruelly difficult boss fight on top of a tower after which you are stuck on the tower until you solve a riddle.  If this were an earlier Might and Magic game the riddle would have been broken up into eight pieces and scattered around the dungeon, plus you probably wouldn't be able to find the solution through trial and error, but I suppose these are the concessions we make so that people don't complain that the game is senselessly mean.

Only time will tell whether they sort out the bugs that make the game really frustrating, and if the game really lives up to its oldschool billing.  The fact that it is divided into acts instead of just being a big world to explore makes me think it will not.  I should do a quick check to see if indie developers have made any real oldschool RPGs in recent years.

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