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Review Forgotten Gems: Might & Magic III, IV, and V

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Jason, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Jason chasing a bee

    Jun 30, 2005
    baby arm fantasy island
    Tags: Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra; Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen; Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen; New World Computing

    Local forum dweller <b>Wyrmlord</b> has submitted a review of New World Computing's <b>Might & Magic III</b>, <b>Might & Magic IV</b>, and <b>Might & Magic V</b>.
    <blockquote>Skills also influence exploration of certain terrain. There is a Swimming skill which allows you to navigate shallow waters (It is innate to Humans), a Mountaineering skill to navigate mountains, and so on. But apart from skills, you will also need spells to explore the world. A fascinating thing about this game is that there are high towers in them, and if you reach their rooftops, you will be right inside the skies and can use Levitation spell to walk on clouds. If there is a large sea of lava between you and your destination, you use Teleportation. If you want a simultaneous top down view of the area, you have to use Wizard's Eye. Please note that these spells aren't merely helpful, they are essential. Sometimes a combination of spells will be needed. And you won't be told how or when to use them.</blockquote>
    <a href="">Read on for more.</a>
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  2. WanderingThrough2 Scholar

    Mar 17, 2008
    Who knew that "everything a gamer would want from a good roleplaying game" didn't include story or C&C? Fascinating.
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  3. Silellak Liturgist

    Aug 19, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    For example, the Thievery skill will only give the ability to pick a lock, but the success of that lockpick will depend solely on the Luck attribute.

    Eh? That seems silly. Why does my abiliy to pick a lock depend on how lucky I am? Shouldn't it depend on the Dexterity attribute, maybe slightly modified by Luck?

    There will be zero logic behind its location. And yet, it's amazingly fun. Because this is not a linear game. When you receive a quest, just forget about it and explore the world, and eventually, what you need will be in your hands.

    No offense, but this sounds like the opposite of fun. I don't need a magical quest marker or mini-map or in-game journal, but telling me about where to start looking would be nice. "Just search the whole world until you find it" sounds incredibly unappealing.

    You will have little trouble convincing a non-gamer to play and enjoy this game, and all the same, he will still be able to derive the enjoyment from the challenge in the game.

    I know a lot of non-gamers and casual gamers, and based on that, and your description of the games, I find this incredibly unlikely.


    However, this part DOES sound cool:

    This extends to the main quest as well. You see, you don't know what the main quest is. You have to *find* it. The way it works is - you just keep exploring around the world, and eventually you will find pieces that point to a common end, and that end will lead you to the locations where you finish the game.

    I remember trying to play Clouds of Xeen a few times, getting frustrated and confused, and quitting.

    Of course, I was also about 11 years old.

    Regardless of my nitpicks: thanks for the review!
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  4. Erebus Arcane

    Jul 12, 2008
    I found M&M 3, 4 and 5 to be pretty fun when I played them (quite some time ago !). The total freedom of exploration, the large variety of monsters, the many quests, the diverse environments and perils, the non-combat spells, etc. made them entertaining.

    Of course, the plots are weak, the NPCs have zero personality and there's no dialogue whatsoever. But they're still nice exploration games... Better ones than SoZ, in fact...

    I've never cared much for the sci-fi stuff and the overarching plot.
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  5. Disconnected Scholar

    Dec 17, 2007
    Instead of a handful of all-purpose attributes, MM uses a mix of general and class-specific attributes. Speed and Accuracy would be the equivalent of a Dex score, but Luck is more of a thief skill than a general attribute. The system's a bit odd, but it is really fucking simple.

    I'm not very far into the game yet, but it doesn't seem to be like that at all. Mostly you're told where to go look for for shit, and even in the case of objects scattered around the world, the game usually lets you know when one's nearby.

    They're strictly for people with OCSCD*. But if you suffer from that, they're great.

    Some of the low points:

    There's no story to draw you in. What little is there is mostly cheesy as hell, and almost exclusively there because it's part of some puzzle or other.

    Though there's an automap, it is anything but informative, and if you'd like to look at it and move at the same time, you're out of luck.

    There's no detailed information available in the game. If you want to check out your phat loot, you need to go visit a shop, and even then, trying to compare gizmo 1 to gizmo 2 is a major pain, because the information is only available in a second window (that costs money to open), and you can't have more than one open at a time. Same goes for spells, though you'll need a guild (and membership, and the right time of day) for those.

    Basically, the interface is almost entirely stripped of information, and just like modern day console interfaces, anything but the simplest of operations requires a small novel worth of keypressing. Oddly, the games actually do have mouse support. But using it will drive you slowly insane.

    There's a hell of a lot of encounters in the game, and though fights are quick and 99% are trash encounters, the fights aren't easy, often force you to backtrack just to get rid of unpreventable and otherwise incurable status ailments, and similar ridiculous shit.

    Certain areas are, in themselves, elaborate traps, and it is fairly easy to innocently wander into, and save your game in, a situation of inevitable death.

    If you're an OCSCDer*, they're great games. But between the sucky interface and the "Haha-Gotcha!" Crawler gameplay, I'm pretty confident everyone else would consider them digital punishment.

    *OCSCD: Obsessive-Compulsive Spreadsheet-Crawler Disorder.
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  6. Luzur Prestigious Gentleman Good Sir

    Feb 12, 2009
    Swedish Empire
    *thread necromancy*

    if my love for the Might and Magic makes me sick, so be it.
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  7. Troll Scholar

    Sep 14, 2007
    OCSCD? what's that? obsesive completion syndrome or something like that?
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  8. Wyrmlord Arcane

    Feb 3, 2008
    Somebody invented a word!

    Haha, I love it.
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