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Recommend me a Wizardry ripoff

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Zomg, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Zomg Arbiter

    Zomg
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    By Wizardry ripoff, I mean a blob-with-arms-and-legs game where you mostly move through block mazes, stepwise, in a first person view. If the combat goes to another "playing field" like Ultima III or RoA, that's fine. I've played only a few of them, so there should be plenty left. I don't actually like the minigenre that much, but I figure I'll probably like whichever one is considered the shining example.

    My needs:

    1) Automap
    2) Sufficient friendliness to be played with zero FAQ reading, character advice, etc. A quality manual that I don't have to supplement by reading dusty FAQs from the mid-'90s is a necessity.
    3) Clean graphics, particularly no shitty early 3D viewed through a postage-stamp-sized hole in the UI or monsters that look like a triangle and a dog fucked. No shitty early '90s eyecandy where I have to watch the same lengthy, shitty animation a million times, either. Wireframes are OK, no monster graphics at all would be fine also.
    4) Controls must allow sidestepping/strafing in addition to turning. Not having that drives me crazy.

    Previously played, and so out:
    Gold Box games (liked, although the blobber elements were usually very light)
    RoA games (disliked)
    Might and Magic II (mediocre)
    Ultima I-III (mediocre)
    Bard's Tale I (can't recall)
    I've also played and enjoyed most of the "action blobbers" like Eye of the Beholder, but that's not what I'm looking for in this case.
     
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  2. afewhours Scholar

    afewhours
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    If you're willing to tolerate something from Japland, you could give Shin Megami Tensei 1 or 2 a test-drive? They're first person crawlers as opposed to FF style JRPGs and you get to breed your own personal demon army. There are translations for both games, and IIRC they both run fine under SNES emulation.

    You get to smack God around as well, which is amusingly blasphemous.

    EDIT: Isn't Jasede an ardent supporter of "arrow" RPGs? Perhaps he has some wisdom to impart.
     
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  3. dragonfk Erudite

    dragonfk
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    Might & Magic VI & VII
     
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  4. Zomg Arbiter

    Zomg
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    Jap games are fine. As I understand it they thought the early Wizardries were digital love and they kept the same formula for longer than Westerners did, like Appalaichian hillbillies keeping premodern Scottish accents longer than the Scottish.
     
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  5. afewhours Scholar

    afewhours
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    Hmmm. If you can tolerate cutesy graphics, Shining in the Darkness for the Genesis is an honest, no-nonsense Wizardry clone. You have one town and one massive labyrinth to fight through - that's pretty much it.

    Only thing is, you can't pregen your party. You get a fighter, a cleric and a mage. You may find everything a bit dumbed down if you cut your teeth on Wizardry, but it's a good, honest time-killer that does exactly what it says on the tin.

    Its sequel, Shining: The Holy Ark was good, simple fun as well. But the monged-up 90's jerkathon 3D graphics would be a turn-off to you. Also good luck finding a ROM and a Saturn emulator to run the damn thing.
     
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  6. Zomg Arbiter

    Zomg
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    No, I didn't cut my teeth on Wizardy, that's just how I recognize the genre. Hardcoreness is not necessary.

    Might and Magic VI and VII: Screenshots make these look like they're from my least favorite graphical eras (everone thinks they need to use renders for everything, yet everyone sucks at it). Next.
     
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  7. afewhours Scholar

    afewhours
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    Oh yeah, I forgot. Shining in the Darkness doesn't, strictly speaking, have an automap. One of your characters very quickly learns a cheap spell called 'View' or something that fulfills the same function. It gives you a top down view that shows all the areas you've explored. So, it's an automap, but one can you only check sparingly. The first part of the dungeon where you don't have the spell is dead easy to navigate, so it shouldn't be a problem for you. I thought the system made for a nice tradeoff myself.

    Anyhoo, my knowledge of dungeon crawlers is embarrasingly limited, so I'll stop there.
     
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  8. cardtrick Arbiter

    cardtrick
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    Well, Wizardry 8 is probably the obvious choice. It's one of the more recent games that are truly in the genre with decent early-but-not-too-early 3D graphics and an exceptionally excellent interface including an automap, plenty of remappable hotkeys, full and intuitve mouse support, a great 3-slotted quicksave system, etc. It's also got a very deep (and fun) character development system, an unusually good plot for the genre (featuring multiple paths, multiple endings, several factions, and choices & consequences), and great phase-based combat that's somewhat more tactical than most in the genre. The voiceovers are fun too (same voice actors as JA2, if you like that kind of hammy over-acted style, which I think fits the plot and setting perfectly).

    Downsides:

    It is pretty complicated. Almost any party is workable, so you don't need to read FAQs or character development guides, but you will want to thoroughly read the manual.

    Ludicrously high and unchangable respawn rate. It's good that the combat is fun, because there's tons of it, even in towns. This can be pretty annoying until you get some good mass damage spells.

    Not available as abandonware.

    We have quite a lengthy review of it in the Content section that you could check out. I don't remember who wrote it -- Saint P., maybe?

    Other things that come to mind are World of Xeen (Might and Magic 4 & 5), which is older but has the advantage of being abandonware, still looking reasonably decent, and being simpler than Wizardry.

    Alternately, you could go with Wizards and Warriors. Read Lonely Vazdru's recent Let's Play thread to see if you're interested in it. I'm playing it now (almost done). It has some advantages over Wizardry 8: combat proceeds much faster due to quick/skippable animations and sounds, respawn rate is lower and also adjustable, character/party development is even more complicated (good for me, maybe not for you), pretty 2D painted in-town graphics, extremely fun dungeon design that makes each one a treat to explore. On the other hand, it also has its cons: slightly uglier 3D graphics in the world and in dungeons, stupid interface, cliched plot, slightly less interesting combat, but worst of all -- it's way, way, way too easy, at least for me. There are also some pretty annoying bugs that have never been fixed. It's too bad the game was rushed out the door at the last minute -- with bug fixes and some serious combat rebalancing, this could have been a real gem. If you just feel like exploring some fun dungeons and don't care about a challenge, then I can definitely recommend this.
     
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  9. Raapys Arcane

    Raapys
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    M&M World of Xeen ( IV + V )
     
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  10. WalterKinde Scholar

    WalterKinde
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    The Fan Made Might And Magic Swords of Xeen, since it was fan made it should be available on any M&M fan site and perhaps a few Abandonware sites.
     
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  11. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Jasede
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    Lands of Lore has everything you want, and more.
     
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  12. cardtrick Arbiter

    cardtrick
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    Everyone says good things about Lands of Lore, but I just can't excited to try it. I wish I could -- it seems that there is a lot about it to like. Unfortunately, a big part of the fun of these games for me is creating and developing my party . . . I just don't think I can get past the lack of that in LoL.
     
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  13. abstract Scholar

    abstract
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    Stonekeep, Black Crypt(no automap though), Anvil of Dawn, Amberstar & Ambermoon if you're willing to mess around with an Amiga emulator.
     
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  14. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    Amberstar/moon play really differently from your typical crawler, though. But it might be a welcome change. Albion is another game of the Amberstar/moon series.
     
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  15. abstract Scholar

    abstract
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    Well, they're not that different from Wizardry 7&8 or the Gold Box games - you got dungeons interspersed with towns and NPC interaction. The keywords system utilized in conversations is pretty similar to the one in Wiz8, and the combat moves to a tactical grid, like in the Gold Box.
     
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  16. Binary Liturgist

    Binary
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    There's Amberstar for the PC.

    I think that any game from M&M3-6 would fit the OPs wishes.
     
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  17. abstract Scholar

    abstract
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    Yeah, the emulator comment was in regards to Ambermoon. Amberstar for the PC was real buggy for me, though; crashed regularly in the Crystal dungeon.
     
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  18. Andhaira Arcane

    Andhaira
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    World of Xeen
    Wizardry 8
    Wizards and Warriors

    Out of these you can get Worlds of Xeen as soon as you read this messagae from abandonia. The game is fantastic,starts you at level 1 and you can get to level 255 by endgame if you do everything and kreeping.

    Lands of Lore is real time not turnbased, just like Eye of the beholder which he specifically said he doesn't like!! Anvil of dawn is also real time/.
     
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  19. Zomg Arbiter

    Zomg
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    Lands of Lore was the last PC game I played prior to Fallout that I thought didn't look hideous. Everything went from colorful, attractive drawn sprites to eye-poison 3D and rendered sprites, and neither technique stopped looking like shit for quite a while. Normally I wouldn't be so focused on avoiding ugliness but the graphics are so superfluous and unintegrated into gameplay in the traditional blobber that there's no reason to cut them any slack.

    World of Xeen and Shin Megami Tensei it is. I'll move up to Wiz 8 and W&W if I get hooked.
     
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  20. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    All those are grid-based and turn-based (well, some may have real time outside of combat). In order of importance:

    Might & Magic 3-5. Cult classics. Well, it has "early 90's eyecandy", but unlike Wizardries, you don't have to wait for animations to finish in order to do something.

    Grimoire - unfinished straight-away Wizardry 6-7 clone, a playable '98 beta demo was floating around a couple of months ago.

    Disciples of Steel is an all-around Goldbox clone, with tons of features (like taking over cities as alternative to proper storyline, or atypical skills-directly-for-xp levelless system) and lots of bugs.

    Fate is an enormous game where you can control up to 4 parties of 7 people each and mostly have to talk to random people for rumours in order to advance the storyline. Amiga only, works with UAE. You WILL have to read manual and FAQs a lot though, the game is very complex.

    Amberstar - first person dungeons/towns, topdown outdoors, pregen character and NPCs, varuios travel means. Combat is chess-like over a 3rd person simplistic grid, more like Wizardry turned bird's eye than true tactical like Goldbox games. It's sequel Ambermoon (Amiga only) has same kind of combat and general gameplay, but first person mode is gridless and realtime.

    Legend of Faerghail is Bard's Tale-style game with Amberstar-like, "row against row from bird's eye" combat.

    Spirit of Adventure is a precursor to Realms of Arkania series, but with Bard's Tale-like combat.
     
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  21. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Jasede
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    I never heard of this Fate, can you show me a screenshot?
     
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  22. OccupatedVoid Arbiter

    OccupatedVoid
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    Unlock code please!
     
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  23. Hazelnut Erudite

    Hazelnut
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    Dungeon Master's not on your played list... :shock:
     
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  24. Andhaira Arcane

    Andhaira
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    lands of lore had ugly grafix?? Really? I think maybe you are mixing it up with lol 2 or 3.

    Anyhow, let us know what you think about xeen
     
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  25. Zomg Arbiter

    Zomg
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    I played the EoBs and LoL1, is there any pleasure of DM they failed to elaborate on?

    @Anhaira: This thread has shown me that my writing is hard to parse.
     
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