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March 12th, 2012, 16:51
I don't usually post/suggest RPG articles, but I guess many here will agree with this one. I'm sure some of you already found it and/or RPGWatch will pick up on it, eventually. If not, here's the article just to be sure.

10 Classic Computer RPGs
"Throughout our story, we'll cover 10 classic computer games that both defined and extended the definition of the RPG in the 1980s. You'll see names like Ultima, The Bard's Tale, and Might and Magic, which may seem familiar, but you'll also find a few surprising titles that you may never have heard of."
PCMag link
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March 12th, 2012, 17:44
Good classic crpg-list.

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March 12th, 2012, 20:29
Interesting list. I wonder which of these innovators are worth playing when compared to everything that has followed? Many of the innovations given here have been improved upon since. Although PoR I think is still great to play today.
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March 12th, 2012, 20:31
Yeah, it can be hard to go back. I have tried Ultima VII a couple times. Part of it is just not having time, but part of the problem is that I keep expecting it to function like Baldur's Gate.

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March 12th, 2012, 21:44
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Interesting list. I wonder which of these innovators are worth playing when compared to everything that has followed? Many of the innovations given here have been improved upon since. Although PoR I think is still great to play today.
I have not played all of those, but those that I have played (Ultima 3, Bards Tale, Might & Magic 2, Dungeon Master, Wizardry 1) I sadly feel have aged rather poorly. They were important games, but later games improved upon the foundation that they built to the point where there is no real reason, other than to see where it all began, to play those.
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March 12th, 2012, 22:47
Really, really good list. It's also not quite as hard as I thought it would be to 'go back' — you just have to sit down for a second, clear your head, prep your playspace (graph paper? check. notebook? check. command list? check) and get ready to immerse yourself the old-fashioned way.

Mapping, taking notes, collecting clues, finding secrets — those were all part of the fun, and mastering the command keys made the game play harder up-front, but surprisingly intuitive a few levels in.

I'm going through Might & Magic 1 right now in exactly this way, and I have to be honest… I'm having a blast.

Anyway, back to topic — good article, great games. Thanks for pointing it out.
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March 12th, 2012, 23:22
Not to say that it would be bad to play some of these. Just whether it would be better to play more recent games that do their innovations better. I mean would you rather drive a model t or the latest Ferrari?

Edit: my time is limitted
Last edited by Thrasher; March 12th, 2012 at 23:36.
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March 13th, 2012, 07:46
It was cool to see Starflight make the list. I'm actually playing the sequel Starflight 2 now - which has the same engine and gameplay with a new plotline and galaxy to explore, and a few additional features (a more robust trading element for example). There still has not been any recent game that follows and improves upon the Starflight formula. So I'd say these are definitely still worth playing if you like space exploration games.

The interface is actually pretty simple as it seems almost like it was designed for joystick play. On the PC version you use directional keys for all of the navigation and menus and spacebar to confirm / select things. It would benefit from a mouse interface for sure though.
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March 14th, 2012, 00:50
Originally Posted by Fnord View Post
I have not played all of those, but those that I have played (Ultima 3, Bards Tale, Might & Magic 2, Dungeon Master, Wizardry 1) I sadly feel have aged rather poorly. They were important games, but later games improved upon the foundation that they built to the point where there is no real reason, other than to see where it all began, to play those.
I've played most of the games on the list during the past year.
Some have aged badly, like the Bard's Tale games. I like the basic system, but the encounter design with random encounters every few seconds (calculated in real time!) gets really tedious.
Ultima IV was also rather tedious, with boring combat and too much random encounters. Ultima V was a huge incline with improved combat and encounter design IMO, while U6 with it's tiny little view area, boring combat and clunky inventory management (despite being the first (?) CRPG after Chaos Strikes back to have a paper doll) was a decline even compared to U4.
Dungeon Master was still quite fun, but I had a real blast playing Chaos Strikes Back again. Every other real time "blobber" is an anti-climax after the CSB. Too bad it would take years for other games to use paper dolls and mouse for inventory management.
Might&Magic 2 also had aged very well IMO. After replaying it I wanted to replay it again. Thanks to the wide variety and high upper levels of enemies and items it never got stale.
It was nice to see the often overlooked Phantasie on the list. A fun and short game, and it was probably the first CRPG with automap.
And the Gold Box games are still my favourites from the Golden Age of CRPGs.
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March 14th, 2012, 01:09
I've played most of those games but not necessarily on a computer.

I finished Ultima III and Bard's Tale on the NES but never played the PC versions. I also played The Faery Tale Adventure and Starflight on the Sega Genesis.

But yeah.. some of them have aged badly. Personally, I wouldn't attempt any of the Ultimas prior to U7 now. I also find it tough to play any of the M&M games older than M&M VI.
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March 14th, 2012, 01:12
Originally Posted by Myrkrel View Post
It was cool to see Starflight make the list. I'm actually playing the sequel Starflight 2 now - which has the same engine and gameplay with a new plotline and galaxy to explore, and a few additional features (a more robust trading element for example). There still has not been any recent game that follows and improves upon the Starflight formula. So I'd say these are definitely still worth playing if you like space exploration games.

The interface is actually pretty simple as it seems almost like it was designed for joystick play. On the PC version you use directional keys for all of the navigation and menus and spacebar to confirm / select things. It would benefit from a mouse interface for sure though.
The Starflight games were excellent, and I had a good time playing them even though I only played them some months ago.
I played the Amiga versions, though - superior graphics and controls compared to the DOS versions.
Tip for SF2: do not kill the Gorzek. I did and I wasn't able to complete the game.
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March 14th, 2012, 01:33
Originally Posted by PetrusOctavianus View Post
I've played most of the games on the list during the past year.
Some have aged badly, like the Bard's Tale games. I like the basic system, but the encounter design with random encounters every few seconds (calculated in real time!) gets really tedious.
Ultima IV was also rather tedious, with boring combat and too much random encounters. Ultima V was a huge incline with improved combat and encounter design IMO, while U6 with it's tiny little view area, boring combat and clunky inventory management (despite being the first (?) CRPG after Chaos Strikes back to have a paper doll) was a decline even compared to U4.
Dungeon Master was still quite fun, but I had a real blast playing Chaos Strikes Back again. Every other real time "blobber" is an anti-climax after the CSB. Too bad it would take years for other games to use paper dolls and mouse for inventory management.
Might&Magic 2 also had aged very well IMO. After replaying it I wanted to replay it again. Thanks to the wide variety and high upper levels of enemies and items it never got stale.
It was nice to see the often overlooked Phantasie on the list. A fun and short game, and it was probably the first CRPG with automap.
And the Gold Box games are still my favourites from the Golden Age of CRPGs.
I find Ultima 4 to be the earliest Ultima still worth playing. It still feels crude and from time to time awkward, but the whole virtue system felt novel (though far to grindy). Ultima 5 was a big step in the right direction, and I do agree with your opinion on Ultima 6. Still, Ultima 7 is probably the earliest Ultima I would recommend to anyone who is not feeling extra dedicated (and in fact Ultima 7 (part 1 & 2), and Ultima Underworld 1-2 are the only Ultima games I feel like I can strongly recommend).
When it comes to step-based games, like Dungeon master & Might and Magic 2, I generally feel like they have aged rather poorly. The controls tends to feel awkward and limited. That is not to say that there are no step-based games still worth playing, Eye of the Beholder, Lands of Lore and Might & Magic 4-5 all felt like they, to a large degree, managed to overcome the inherent issues with step based movement (though I hated the spinners in Eye of the beholder and Lands of lore)
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March 20th, 2012, 17:25
The ones I loved best were Dungeon Master and Pool of Radiance.
I remember the way of composing spells in DM by using runes, very nice.
And Pool of Radiance was simply awesome.
If I remember well, it came on 4 double sided 5,25 floppy disks in the C=64 version. As long as I was playing it, the floppy disks started to wear and be unreadable, so I was confined in some specific maps, and had to make large trips around the maps/disks that I could no longer read to continue exploring.
What a leap in technology!!
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