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Review RPG Codex Review: Might & Magic X: Legacy

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Crooked Bee, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Tags: Limbic Entertainment; Might & Magic X: Legacy; Ubisoft

    In January Ubisoft and Limbic Entertainment released Might & Magic X: Legacy, the newest installment in one of the most venerable RPG series. In a detailed review you've all been waiting for, esteemed community member and Might and Magic connoisseur Sceptic examines just to what extent MMX departs from or improves on the previous games in the series. I'll quote his conclusion here, but be sure to read the full review for his analysis:

    There is no doubt about it: MMXL is an excellent game and the best turn-based blobber for the PC since forever, and not only because it has very little in the way of competition. It is obvious that Limbic put much love into making it and despite many flaws it stands as proof that turn-based gameplay is not and will never be passé. Only one question remains: how does it compare to the previous entries in the series purely as a Might and Magic game?

    [...] In summary, MMXL does not quite live up to the expectations that I had when reading everything that was released by Limbic about the game, as well as the Codex previews. Perhaps no game could have lived up to the expectations one builds after 12 years of waiting for the next entry in a beloved series, an entry that no one ever expected would see the light of day. The game departs from the M&M formula where it matters the most, the overworld exploration. Additionally, it has quite a few flaws in its combat system. But it also preserves and improves core M&M tenets. The character system, the dungeons, the puzzles, the Relics, and yes, even many aspects of exploration have been lovingly recreated to please fans of the series, but also improved - something that the old series excelled at doing in almost every new iteration. Despite its flaws, the game's combat can be a lot of fun and it is certainly the most serious attempt at tactics that the series has attempted in a very long time. What matters is that none of the game's flaws are serious enough to warrant depriving oneself from the pleasure of playing it. After all, the Codex's favourite games are all flawed gems. We have always preferred games that try for challenging and tactical combat and for meaningful non-linear exploration, to ones that give up and go for typical modern formulae and restrictive cinematic experiences. MMXL certainly tries very hard, and it often succeeds. Even the exploration, despite being such a departure from what M&M did best, is excellent if divorced from the series' expectations and taken on its own terms.

    The final verdict should be obvious by now: MMXL is a must-buy and a must-play. Limbic did a superlative job in bringing together many beloved elements from the series, improving where they could and not dumbing down where it matters. The flaws are immaterial in the grand scheme of things; Limbic have proven they can make a real (and good!) M&M game, and they have certainly proven that they can make an excellent turn-based tile-based blobber with all the joyful gameplay elements that entails. All Ubisoft needs to see is that there is a market for this kind of game, no matter how niche. MMXL may not be the best M&M game to date, but it's more than good enough, and if Limbic can iron out the flaws in the combat system and improve exploration and other aspects, then MMXI will really be something special. I'm certainly looking forward to it.​

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Might & Magic X: Legacy
     
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  2. Zeriel Arcane

    Zeriel
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    Good read! Definitely more balanced than the previews.

    I actually liked the fact that the overworld felt like one large dungeon to be mapped out, but then I am a fan of Demise/Mordor 2, so dungeonfaggotry is in my nature.
     
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  3. Monty Arcane

    Monty
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    Great read Sceptic. :salute:
     
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  4. bot Unwanted Dumbfuck Queued

    Unwanted
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    Shit review, learn to write.
     
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  5. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    ^ Bothurt detected.
     
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  6. bot Unwanted Dumbfuck Queued

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    Just bein' Sceptical of the quality, is all.
     
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  7. Blaine Cis-Het Oppressor Patron

    Blaine
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    [​IMG]

    You'd have to close your eyes in order to get lost in the simplistic series of sparse rooms and corridors this game offers up as "dungeons." Calling them on par with motherfucking World of Xeen is either purely delusional, or else none of the reviewers responsible for that portion of the review actually played MM4-5.
     
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  8. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    RPG Wokedex Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Sceptic is the only reviewer.

    Now you see why I was doubtful of that claim.
     
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  9. Blaine Cis-Het Oppressor Patron

    Blaine
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    I have no way of knowing how much input any of these people had, otherwise I would have simply said "the reviewer."

    It looks like I'm gonna have to screenshot and annotate the dungeon maps in order to back up my purely slanderous and not at all accurate claims.
     
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  10. evdk comrade troglodyte :M Patron

    evdk
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    Codex 2012 Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    Please don't?
     
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  11. Black_Willow Arcane

    Black_Willow
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    :butthurt:
     
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  12. Blaine Cis-Het Oppressor Patron

    Blaine
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    It's too much trouble anyway. The reviewer the Codex selected is either unqualified to judge dungeon design or out-and-out deceitful (the comparison to MM1-5 has me leaning toward deceitful)—and clearly certain persons are more interested in spamming smiley faces than in fact-checking.

    It's really no skin off my back if the Codex has declined to the point of endorsing embellished linear corridors with treasure nooks as good design, though I'd prefer they be referred to as such rather than erroneously compared to earlier games that showcase good design.

    Those of you who haven't played it will find out soon enough once you get to the fifth or sixth babby dungeon layout and realize that, no, those weren't just the starter dungeons—it's all of them, though some are larger and a couple are marginally more environmentally complex (only in comparison, however).
     
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  13. Broseph Fabulous Hoosier Patron

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    I have played Terra and Xeen recently, and while those games in general do have better dungeon design than MMX, I don't think I've ever been "lost" in a Might & Magic dungeon.

    Anyway, excellent review Sceptic. :salute:
     
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  14. SuicideBunny (ノ ゜Д゜)ノ ︵ ┻━┻

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    many brofists shall be yours if you do it. even more if you include isles of terra dungeons as well.
     
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  15. Zeriel Arcane

    Zeriel
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    God, not this again. It was bad enough this retarded non-debate already took over the MMXL thread for pages and pages.

    For what it's worth:

    MMXL is worse than Xeen in a lot of ways, but Xeen is hardly typical of the series. It's by far the best game in a lot of design-y ways. 6-8 are filled with dungeons that are simplistic as fuck, and in many cases have zero decoration, being little more than Quake-esque oblongs and rectangles. Then again, I feel like if Might & Magic 7 were released today, people like Blaine would decry it as "decline", "popamole", and "banal shit boring".
     
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  16. Loriac Arcane

    Loriac
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    The dungeon complexity is also a function of the relatively much harder individual fights and resource management constraints I suspect. I'm currently close to ending act 3 of my playthrough, so have seen most dungeon layouts now except for the 1000 terrors and other act 4 quests, and what I've noticed is that most dungeons scale about right for the number of provisions you have at that point in time. For example, the lighthouse map isn't complicated by any stretch, but I would expect that you would go through 6 provisions if you did it without any breaks. Similarly, the castle dungeon is about right for going through 9 provisions from start to finish (for a challenge, try incorporating both the castle and the first foray into the elemental forge).

    Of course, this is a bit of a chicken-and-egg argument in that if the dungeons were more complex the number of provisions you could buy at one time could be increased, but I guess fatigue also plays a part in this - a really long, complicated dungeon could take hours opening up two 'design' issues under modern day criteria: i. the length of RPG games are typically designed around 30-50hours, limiting how much content you'd put in and ii. the game would feel incredibly 'samey' if you had to spend much longer in the earlier part of the game, which opens up a world of pain in terms of review scores as very few reviewers these days will play an RPG through to the end or even to a meaningful proportion of the overall game.

    Not saying I agree with the simplistic layouts, I'd have preferred much greater complexity (and a blobber like this is one of the easiest genres to extend length and complexity anyway as dungeons reuse the same art assets whether its a 2 room dungeon or a 50 room dungeon), but I can somewhat understand the thought process behind it. The other huge shame with MMX is that the modding tools require a Unity developer's license; if it was possible for casual modders to really build new modules easily, I could see this game being superb from a modding perspective.

    Edit: good review btw, extremely detailed and fair on both the games strengths and its shortcomings.
     
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  17. Blaine Cis-Het Oppressor Patron

    Blaine
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    I'm not going to let "the dungeon design is quite good" pass without comment, no. Pairing that with "on par with MM1-5" just put it over the top, although in fairness, MM has never featured the world's most complex level design. As Gozma pointed out in that exchange you're bemoaning (how dare someone besmirch a thread with criticisms you dislike!), the dungeons are essentially a series of uncomplicated interconnected areas reserved for enemy ambush and encounter set pieces.

    The rest of the review is fine, barring differences in personal taste of course.

    Loriac
    Lots of salient points there, and you actually acknowledge the evident simplicity of design, which is the main point I'm driving at here: The maps are uncomplicated and environmentally unchallenging. I can see "just there" or "mediocre" or "serviceable," but "quite good"? No way.

    I didn't have the same experience with provisions, since I often used potions to fill the gaps between rests... to my financial detriment, but my playstyle in cRPGs has always been to avoid "abusing" resting as much as I dare. Also, money isn't really a problem in this game past a certain point.

    I've been working on this cobbled-together map for almost exactly fifteen minutes now, and most of the time it's taken me has been spent fiddling with Photoshop and aligning walls. After another ten or fifteen minutes, I'll have all the walls put in and non-floor tiles blacked out, and fifteen minutes after that, secret rooms, doors/locked doors, a teleporter, a puzzle, and a small key. The end result will be a map of well above-average complexity compared to a level of a dungeon in MMX—even entire dungeons in some cases. Done in a short Saturday afternoon, as all of them seem to have been.

    Show Spoiler
    simpmap.png


    It's going to be a lot longer before it's actually complete, since I'm too lazy to do the whole thing in one go, but I can already taste that lead level designer position at Limbic Entertainment. They're a meritocracy, right?
     
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  18. Kz3r0 Arcane Sad Loser

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    But that's the point, old games are cherished because of nostalgia and, most importantly, because there was littlr hope to see something similar made again, if the reinassance just means same old mediocrity without any improvement or any of the best elements and design calling them popamole is just fair.
     
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  19. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    I doubt they would hire anyone that wastes so much time making maps by hand on photoshop, instead of the countless superior resources you have, from Maptool to Grid Cartographer and even Legend of Grimrock's editor... Hell, even excel would have been smarter & faster.
     
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  20. SuicideBunny (ノ ゜Д゜)ノ ︵ ┻━┻

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  21. Blaine Cis-Het Oppressor Patron

    Blaine
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    Keep those ad hominems coming whilst you apologize for that simplistic level design.

    I actually did own the Campaign Cartographer series of programs back when I still played tabletop, but have lost track of them due to disinterest. In fact, I've pimped out the Cartographer's Guild here on the Codex on previous occasions. I'm well aware of what's available.

    You're right—it would take about thirty minutes to bang out an entire MMX dungeon with professional tools, if that. That's pretty much the point of using technology on par with MS Paint. I'm some asshole on a forum somewhere and I can bang together comparable level designs haphazardly.

    Anyway, this game's mediocre as fuck and, if there's one subgenre of all cRPG subgenres with the potential for complex level design, it's dungeon crawlers. Sadly, there are Japanese Gameboy games featuring far more complex environments than this forgettable blip on the radar. And I'm gonna leave it there, because I could waste even more time trying to fight my way up from the bottom of a dogpile of agents of the decline, but I'm not going to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
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  22. Dorateen Arcane

    Dorateen
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    Excellent review.

    I think the punishing combat could have been somewhat addressed by an expanded party roster. First going back to 6 characters like games 1 - 5 of the series, but also including a tavern or inn where the player could store created characters, and swap them in and out during the adventure.

    If I could take 2 more party members, would probably bring along another dedicated spellcaster and melee specialist.
     
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  23. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    :hmmm: If i understand correctly then you are saying that nostalgia is what makes the games from the past cherished?
    No, just... no.
     
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  24. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    I'm not apologizing for anything, I'm just plain laughing at you gloating you should be Lead Design, after taking 15 minutes to draw 4 rooms on the worst software possible.

    BTW, what happened to the fan-made dungeons of that contest, aren't they in-game? They sure looked great:

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. Blaine Cis-Het Oppressor Patron

    Blaine
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    I was kidding, obviously.

    It's in, yes. If only this school of level design was standard in MMX, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
     
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