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Default M&M: Heroes VI - Revew @ ActionTrip

December 10th, 2011, 23:02
ActionTrip takes a look at Might & Magic: Heroes VI, resulting in a score of 7.6/10. On the overarching issue:
And now we come to the clincher. Playing this game for a few days felt really fun and challenging. It felt like getting back to that very same classic — HoMM 3 — a game that withstood the test of time thanks to its incredibly addictive gameplay. As I jumped deeper into the core of the game, my motivation to play on declined with every passing hour and pretty soon, good old boredom started to creep in (wtf?). Pinpointing the reason wasn't easy at first. After a while, I discovered the root of the problem. This game wasn't King's Bounty. To enthusiastic turn-based strategy fans, the difference between King's Bounty and Heroes of Might & Magic should be evident. At times, it almost felt like I was playing a King's Bounty rip-off. That can't be right? Can it? King's Bounty was inspired by the Heroes franchise, not the other way around. The source of this dilemma lies in the fact that Katauri Interactive (the developer of KB) effectively brought the Heroes formula to a higher level, offering more gameplay variety, more choices, more challenges. In Heroes VI, things tend to get stale very fast, despite the fact that the heart of the franchise is present in the ever-popular turn-based combat mechanics. Somehow, with King's Bounty, the genre felt like it evolved somewhat and with this game it feels like it's stagnating.
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December 10th, 2011, 23:03
I suppose the author knows nothing about the original King's Bounty by New World Computing, which certainly inspired the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise. Not the other way around, as he proposes.
The newer King's Bounty games are certainly evolved from the 1990 original.
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December 11th, 2011, 00:05
Originally Posted by Michael Dean View Post
I suppose the author knows nothing about the original King's Bounty by New World Computing, which certainly inspired the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise. Not the other way around, as he proposes.
The newer King's Bounty games are certainly evolved from the 1990 original.
But did you know that 1C purchased the rights to Kings' Bounty and attached it to a game they had already been developing called "Battle Lord"? I'm not saying that what was eventually released wasn't heavily indebted to the original for some of the concepts and inspiration, but its lineage is not entirely so pure as to call it the evolved descendent of the 1990 title.

The degree to which it owes inspiration to the Kings Bounty game (which NWC cited as the inspiration for their Heroes series - they even included a copy of it in one of the Heroes releases), the Heroes series, and other similar titles is probably a complex and incestuous web which includes much of the history of games of this style in general. This is even more so the case if you consider possible inspiration newer heroes games have drawn from the 1c interpretation of Kings Bounty. That it (new Kings Bounty) is one of the best examples of this sort of game and does many things which its predecessors and some new games failed to do is not diminished by that though.
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December 11th, 2011, 02:14
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
The degree to which it owes inspiration to the Kings Bounty game (which NWC cited as the inspiration for their Heroes series - they even included a copy of it in one of the Heroes releases), the Heroes series, and other similar titles is probably a complex and incestuous web which includes much of the history of games of this style in general..
Not quite sure what you mean by this - NWC didn't have to use King's Bounty as inspiration, considering they actually developed King's Bounty.

King's Bounty, Heroes of Might & Magic, Might & Magic etc was all created by Jon Van Caneghem. He's pretty much the creator of the whole genre as far as I know.
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December 11th, 2011, 04:45
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Not quite sure what you mean by this - NWC didn't have to use King's Bounty as inspiration, considering they actually developed King's Bounty.

King's Bounty, Heroes of Might & Magic, Might & Magic etc was all created by Jon Van Caneghem. He's pretty much the creator of the whole genre as far as I know.
Yeah, but it was still the inspiration and basis for the games that followed it. That it was developed by the same company does not make it less true but more obvious. To suggest that one's own ideas do not inspire subsequent similar ideas is to suggest we don't build on the things we have already done. Of course they didn't have to use it as their inspiration for the Heroes games, but it would have been absolutely pathological not to considering it was their own creation. This is not a bad thing nor does it diminish the value of the games for which the original Kings Bounty provided a source of inspiration - be they the Heroes games or the later Kings Bounty games developed outside the company.

Other games created later in the same vein by other companies would of course also provide inspiration, though of a less direct sort. Games like "Kings Bounty: Armored Princess" would have provided invaluable sources of information and inspiration on possible ways to grow and improve the Heroes series - whether the fruits of this were implemented well or not is a matter of execution. Ideas kind of have sex like that - its a fundamental mechanism involved in how complex works of technology are improved. This sort of incestuous and iterative recycling of ideas and concepts is pretty much the norm in any industry where products grow in complexity and/or quality; it is only absent in systems which impose isolation and require creation of new things in a vaccum - this however always leads to regression. Despite the terminology that can be used to describe it, this process is a good and necessary thing.

Its pretty much how long term development works in all genres - ideas originating from one developer inspire the creations of other developers. The arguably derivative creations of others sometimes introduce their own innovations and improvements - some of these can be so significant that a derivative work may ultimately eclipse the original in importance. These new ideas in turn can serve as inspiration for that original developer's subsequent endeavors as they serve as the most powerful and relevant possible demonstrations of the possible improvements they themselves could make.

Perhaps you took the words "inspiration" to mean that a work is derivative. That was the meaning I intended, but that a derivative work is inherently less valuable or deserving of praise is a great misconception. Consider Half-Life; it is built upon the previous advances made in 3d first person shooters and inspired by some of the best story driven first-person games out there. It is probably more important in terms of the direction of subsequent games in that genre than any of the things it drew inspiration from considered individually (technical and artistic) and even licensed one of those engines. That it owes much to those games as sources of inspiration does not diminish its importance to the genre. That Gabe Newell worked on the development of quake - the engine licensed for the game - does not mean, as you seem to suggest, he did not draw inspiration from that product at least in terms of technical components. It actually makes the connection that much more obvious.
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December 11th, 2011, 04:56
Was the original King's Bounty turn based battles with real time other stuff?
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December 11th, 2011, 14:19
Originally Posted by CutLunch View Post
Was the original King's Bounty turn based battles with real time other stuff?
Indeed it was. I loved the original KB, it was excellent. I should mention that I also thoroughly enjoyed the HoMM series as well as the new KB games. I think the newest KB games improved on the combat mechanics (and other things) enough that I now officially like them more than any of the the HoMM titles, though HoMM obviously has strategic elements that KB does not possess.
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December 11th, 2011, 17:18
That snippet really hits it on the head for me. I've played around with M&M games now and then, but although I love TB strategy games I was never a rabid fan. King's Bounty I played right to the end. M&M 6 didn't engage me at all. Everything seemed overblown and not a lot of fun. The graphics are fussy and oversaturated. Setting aside the zany humour of KB, M&M6 just didn't have the variety of KB, not in the combat or the units. It just seems dull and sterile, one long parade of stereotypes.

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