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Default Old RPGs… which ones?

February 12th, 2013, 15:52
Originally Posted by KTs1980 View Post
It definitely has its drawbacks (it's 21 years old game anyway) and the lack of a solid main story can put a younger gamer at a loss since most people are used to "move at the map-marker,kill the monster,collect your reward" game style.But i completely agree that a remake or maybe a Darklands 2 would be great.Maybe we can launch an internet campaign or something like that???
Actually, more than the lack of a main quest, my main complaint about the game is the fact that after the 10th or so playthrough you start to see the same events over and over. Still, it's pretty much unparalleled as far as skill-based sandbox RPGs go - the amount of options you get to deal with pretty much every situation is totally amazing.

Originally Posted by Hurls View Post
as you actually age it has an impact, so 'grinding' needs to be balanced with moving the quest along.
Also this.
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March 10th, 2013, 12:51
Originally Posted by Elel View Post
I really want to take a glance at masterpieces of the old days. But without being turned off instantly by my modern experiences.

So far I decided to look at Ultima and Wizardry series, they sound like they're considered masterpieces. The question is: which games should I pick from these series to start with? I don't want to miss out on a lot of backstory and content, but I suspect that the earliest games in those series would be unplayable for me.

And please tell me that it's worth it. Because there's a lot of talk about how RPGs used to be better, but I have no idea if that's actually true or nostalgia. So I hope you'll recommed an old game that can prove the point.

P.S.
Just to portray what would capture my attention for sure, I love games with complex battle mechanics (not click-click-click), plots, and realistic characters. Once I attempted Eye of the Beholder and gave up on it, as it had no plot or characters, so maybe something more fitting to these categories would be better.
No single older game is going to have all the things you want.

The games you enjoy today are the result of the developers picking and choosing the best ideas from a handful of classic games that came out between 1988-1994. That said, there are a few games from that time that were truly revolutionary, the main one being the Ultima series.

But again each game in the Ultima series only focused on one aspect of what you're interested in, and to appreciate them you need to understand this.

For overall Good vs Bad vs Gray-area "Bioware style" morality choices Ultima 4 is the best one, but the downside is the primative graphics and combat.

For great strategy, combat and simple great story Ultima 5 is the best. You have full control of your party and can equip them in any way you desire. It's a really satisfying game. The downside is the world interaction isn't that great and the characters are not as fleshed out as the later Ultimas.

For pure storytelling standpoint Ultima 6 is probably the best. Ultima 6 is also the first 256 color VGA Ultima, and the world interaction takes a giant leap forward. The downside is that the interface is clunky and there is LOTS of not so great combat to slog through.

Ultima 7 is the overall BEST game in the series for a newcomer and was really the first functional "living world" game to be created. Bethesda has been copying it ever since with their various games. It also features world interaction that has yet to be replicated by any 3D game. Nearly every object you see can be interacted with and placed in your inventory/fiddled with/combined with other things if you have room and the strength to lift it. The complexity of all stuff is astounding to this day when you think about it. It also has the best written characters in the series. It's weakest point was the combat system, but this isn't a big deal.

If I were you I'd start with Ultima 5, but make sure to actually read the actual manual and spellbook PDFs and maybe even the official hintbook. Back in the days before in-game help these were critical information sources.
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March 11th, 2013, 01:25
My 2 cents:

Ultima 6 is the most playable game in the Ultima series. The problem is that you really need to play 4 and 5 to appreciate 6. 4 is quite tedious. 5 is pretty brutal in terms of overall difficulty. I absolutely hated 7.

As far as Wizardry is concerned, 6 is good. I hated 7, but 8 is great.

As far as Might and Magic is concerned, 7 is the best. 3-5 are fun, as well. 6 and 8 are inferior to 7, and 9 is pretty poor.
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March 11th, 2013, 02:11
Originally Posted by gozioso View Post
Ultima 6 is the most playable game in the Ultima series. The problem is that you really need to play 4 and 5 to appreciate 6. 4 is quite tedious. 5 is pretty brutal in terms of overall difficulty. I absolutely hated 7.
I don't comprehend how anyone could "hate" Ultima 7.
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March 11th, 2013, 02:25
Originally Posted by gozioso View Post
Ultima 6 is the most playable game in the Ultima series. The problem is that you really need to play 4 and 5 to appreciate 6. 4 is quite tedious. 5 is pretty brutal in terms of overall difficulty. I absolutely hated 7.
We are so not going to see eye to eye on this one I hate Ultima 6 (mainly an engine issue, I really don't like that engine. The two Worlds of Ultima games also suffer here, and I can't play them either). Ultima 7 though, now that I loved.
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March 11th, 2013, 02:30
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I don't comprehend how anyone could "hate" Ultima 7.
It's not really that difficult:

(1) Horrible interface
(2) Horrible combat system
(3) Horrible RPG character development system
(4) Uninspired story
(5) Crate-stacking puzzle??!! Manually dragging a huge sarcophagus across a map area??!!
(6) Still has lots of bugs (I played the Ultima Collection version) of varying degrees of severity

[EDIT]

(7) Party members constantly bitching about hunger
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March 11th, 2013, 14:38
I never "got" Ultima. It's quite odd, as people around here like to compare the atmosphere and interactivity to that of Gothic. I don't see any of that. I just saw a world that I never felt even somewhat interested in exploring.

I can't even pinpoint why, it just never captured me.
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March 11th, 2013, 14:49
As we're so found of establishing, it's a matter of personal preference.

People react differently to different things - and we'll never really be able to communicate exactly how that works. At least, not in a place like this.

As for Ultima - I arrived late at that party. I started playing them for real with Ultima 8 - which I loved at the time.

I came from the Amiga - and games like that weren't exactly common on that platform.

I'm 100% sure I'd have loved U7 to death - if I'd played it upon release.

I've never been able to get into it, though - and I think the combat system sucks. But, other than that, it seems every bit the masterpiece people say it is.

The level of interactivity is amazing - and it's one of the first games with a convincing world simulation.
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March 11th, 2013, 16:04
Loved Ultima 7, except the craptacular combat system.

Never played U6 on PC, but there was a faithful port of it on the SNES and I enjoyed it. The U7 port to SNES, on the other hand, was positively awful.
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March 11th, 2013, 17:03
Originally Posted by gozioso View Post
It's not really that difficult:

(1) Horrible interface
(2) Horrible combat system
(3) Horrible RPG character development system
(4) Uninspired story
(5) Crate-stacking puzzle??!! Manually dragging a huge sarcophagus across a map area??!!
(6) Still has lots of bugs (I played the Ultima Collection version) of varying degrees of severity
Those things are subjective, not factual. The exception being bugs of course, although it depends what you mean by "lots". Some people seem to encounter more than a few bugs while others are luckier.

I don't care for the combat at all, but everything else about the game is fantastic considering its age.
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March 11th, 2013, 18:03
Originally Posted by Fnord View Post
We are so not going to see eye to eye on this one I hate Ultima 6 (mainly an engine issue, I really don't like that engine. The two Worlds of Ultima games also suffer here, and I can't play them either). Ultima 7 though, now that I loved.
I played U4 as a kid, U5 a year and a half ago and then tried to play U6 half a year ago.
Of these games U6 definitely was the most "unplayable", with its poor UI and small view area and I just couldn't force me to play it, while I loved the older and more primitive U5.
However I'm currently playing the Ultima 6 Project, which is a Dungeon Siege mod, and I love it. Definitely more fun than trying to play the original U6.
Highly recommened!

I've heard the Dungeon Siege version of U5 - Lazarus - by some of the same team that made U6P is even better, but I haven't tried it yet.
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March 11th, 2013, 18:18
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Those things are subjective, not factual. The exception being bugs of course, although it depends what you mean by "lots". Some people seem to encounter more than a few bugs while others are luckier.

I don't care for the combat at all, but everything else about the game is fantastic considering its age.
My list is far more objective than your claim that everything else is fantastic. Fantastic is a pretty bold term. Do you really find the user interface to be "fantastic"? Do you really find the character development system to be "fantastic"? The story was "fantastic"? The hunger system was "fantastic"? You're the one who is not being objective. Let's apply a "reasonable man standard" to the game:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasonable_person

Would a reasonable man find everything but the combat to be fantastic? I simply don't believe that to be true.

The level of interactivity was quite impressive (Ultima 6 had massive interactivity, as well). The depth of NPC characterization was impressive, as well (Ultima 6 had pretty good characterization but not to 7's level). As for the bugs, I encountered a hell of a lot, which further added to my low opinion.

I liked Ultima 6 the best in the series, but there are plenty of things to criticize:

(1) Clunky interface
(2) Ridiculously tiny viewport
(3) Peering at a gem reveals far less detail than in prior games
(4) Certain obscure mechanics:
(4a) Dispel magic removes poison and sleep
(4b) Vanish makes traps disappear
(5) Game can be majorly sequence broken, bypassing the entire tablet quest (which accounts for a huge chunk of the game)
(6) Almost all of the NPCs don't even mention the gargoyle threat [EDIT]

See…I can be objective. You make a ridiculous statement like:

"I don't comprehend how anyone could "hate" Ultima 7."

I, then, provide a list of the things that I didn't like. Instead of acknowledging that there might be the slightest merit to my criticisms (excluding the bugs), you simply state:

"Those things are subjective, not factual."

I'm happy that you enjoyed the game, but I really hated it. Different strokes for different folks…
Last edited by gozioso; March 11th, 2013 at 18:49.
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March 11th, 2013, 18:25
Originally Posted by PetrusOctavianus View Post
I played U4 as a kid, U5 a year and a half ago and then tried to play U6 half a year ago.
Of these games U6 definitely was the most "unplayable", with its poor UI and small view area and I just couldn't force me to play it, while I loved the older and more primitive U5.
However I'm currently playing the Ultima 6 Project, which is a Dungeon Siege mod, and I love it. Definitely more fun than trying to play the original U6.
Highly recommened!

I've heard the Dungeon Siege version of U5 - Lazarus - by some of the same team that made U6P is even better, but I haven't tried it yet.
I actually bought Dungeon Siege just for those two projects. I went through a retro-gaming binge in 2009 where I played Ultima 3-7 Part 1 to completion. The games are a bit too fresh in my head. I'll wait a few years and then knock out the Dungeon Siege variants. I do, however, think that it was a pretty silly decision on Lazarus' part not to avail themselves of the modern UI/convenience features in Dungeon Siege (quest journal, encyclopedia, etc.).
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March 11th, 2013, 18:35
There are some irrational U7 fanbois here. Probably looking through nostalgic rose-colored glasses. If they try it today, they'd probably have other ideas.

I'd say U7 was OK. World exploration and little stories in various places was fun. But the combat, UI, inventory management, and actually finding people to finish quests, bugs, ugh… I never did the expansion because by the end, the tedium was too tiresome.
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March 11th, 2013, 20:13
Originally Posted by gozioso View Post
My list is far more objective than your claim that everything else is fantastic. Fantastic is a pretty bold term. Do you really find the user interface to be "fantastic"? Do you really find the character development system to be "fantastic"? The story was "fantastic"? The hunger system was "fantastic"? You're the one who is not being objective. Let's apply a "reasonable man standard" to the game:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasonable_person

Would a reasonable man find everything but the combat to be fantastic? I simply don't believe that to be true.…
My mistake for not including a disclaimer that it was just my opinion. I guess I made the error of thinking you would figure that out on your own.

If I had known you would be so butthurt over it, I wouldn't have said anything at all.
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March 11th, 2013, 20:34
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
My mistake for not including a disclaimer that it was just my opinion. I guess I made the error of thinking you would figure that out on your own.

If I had known you would be so butthurt over it, I wouldn't have said anything at all.
That's a nice ad hominem. You'll have to pardon me for trying to be mature, objective, and maybe add something constructive to the discussion.
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March 11th, 2013, 21:16
Nah, I was just being straightforward, but you can believe what you wish.
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March 11th, 2013, 21:30
I still stay U7 part 2 serpants Isle what the best of the bunch.
Not much different than U7 in the way of game play but brought back the feeling of U3 with no rules. Not having to let rats poison you as had to let them flee ..
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March 12th, 2013, 02:59
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
There are some irrational U7 fanbois here. Probably looking through nostalgic rose-colored glasses. If they try it today, they'd probably have other ideas.
I was quite late to the party. My first Ultima experience was through Ultima Collection, but back then I could not get Ultima 7 to run (and Ultima 8 ran poorly). It was not until Exult reached a playable state that I was able to actually play Ultima 7 properly.
And I'm still a big fan of Ultima 7. I won't argue with anyone who claim that Ultima 7 has a clunky interface or horrible combat, because truth of the matter is that Ultima 7 has its fare share of flaws, some are quite major (combat is about as bland as it gets). The thing that makes me love Ultima 7 is the world, and the NPCs that inhabits it. It feels so "alive", and most NPCs have so much more personality than NPCs in most other CRPGs. Had it not been for this, Ultima 7 would not have been a very memorable experience.

And I did finally beat Ultima 7 (part 1 & 2) not too long ago (after I joined this forum), so my memories of the games are quite fresh.
I would by the way not recommend playing it without Exult (part 1 at least). That key ring makes the game a lot more enjoyable.


And my opinions on Ultima 6 would probably be vastly different if:
They had dropped the text parser and instead given that screen space to the tiny viewport
Made nights & dungeons less dark (or if they had removed the need for torches altogether)
Made looting objects stacked on top of each other less of a pain
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