Just RPG - Reviews, PC and PS2 Walkthroughs, Previews, and RPG News!





HOME

Reviews
Previews
Walkthroughs
Strategy Guides
Articles
Interviews
Editorials
Links
About Us
Past Issues

June 14, 2011
March 22, 2011
Feb. 28, 2011
Dec. 14, 2010
Nov. 23, 2010
Nov. 9, 2010
Oct. 26, 2010
Oct. 6, 2010
Sept. 21, 2010
Sept. 14, 2010
Sept. 7, 2010
Aug. 31, 2010
Aug. 24, 2010
Aug. 17, 2010
Aug. 8, 2010
June 15, 2010
January, 2010
Dec. 21, 2009
Past Issues

Age of Conan: Unchained
Dark Souls
Dreamlords: Resurrection
Final Fantasy IV In-Pack Items
Mount and Blade: With Fire and Sword
League of Legends: Co-op V.S. AI
Final Fantasy IV
Duke Nukem Forever
Divine Souls Open Beta
inSANE
Mass Effect 3 Unveiled
League of Legends: Cassiopeia
League of Legends: Trundle
King Arthur: The Druids
Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom
RIFT Closed Beta
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Magicka
Pandora Saga
DC Universe Online Screenshots
Fallout: New Vegas Add-On Content
League of Legends: Lux
Bloodline Champions: The Nomad
Majesty 2: Battles of Ardania
League of Legends: Battle Training
League of Legends: LeBlanc
Iron Cross
Prinny 2
Crusade Kings 2
Lionehart Kings' Crusade
Borderlands Game of the Year Edition
Castlevania Harmony of Despair DLC
Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Spiderweb Software's Birthday
League of Legends: Swain
Gormiti: Lords of Nature!
Disgaea 4
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
League of Legends: Magma Chamber
League of Legends: Sona
War of Angels
King of Kings 3: Mage
Legend of Edda
Lionheart:Kings' Crusade
Cladun
Dreamlords
TERA
League of Legends
Silkroad Online Battle Arena
Grand Chase Thunder Hammer
Aika Global
The Shadow Sun
Saw ll: Flesh and Blood
TERA
Neverwinter
League of Legends
Castlevania Harmony of Despair
Smash Your Food
I SPY Spooky Mansion
Hexyz Force
World of Tanks
League of Legends
Mass Effect 2
DOFUS 2.0
DOFUS Screens
FFXIII Box
Puzzle Chron.
Gyromancer
Warhammer OL
Star Trek OL
Lost Saga Scr
Marvel DLC
League Legends
Poxnora
Demon's Souls
League Legends
League Beta
Fort Zombie
Arc Rise Fantasia
Arc Rise Screens
Mimana Iyar
League Screens
Marvel DLC
Free Realms
Adventures To Go
Fusion PR Group
Demon's Souls
AdventureQuest
Witch's Tale
League Legends
Half-Minute Scr
Half-Minute
Freaky Scr.
Valhalla
Dragon Quest
Vandal Hearts
Mytheon
Risen
Gemini Lost
Freaky
Gyromancer
FF Crystal
Dragon Quest
Star Trek OL
Fort Zombie
Disgaea 2
FF Crystal
Champions OL
Wizard of Oz
Star Ocean
League Legends
Valhalla Scr.
Dragon Age
Marvel Ultimate
Risen Website
League Legends
Adventurequest
Final Fantasy
Agarest War
Agarest War Scr.
Demon's Souls
SMT: Persona
Pangya
Dragon Age
Warhammer
Mana Khemia 2
Runes of Magic
Cursed Mtn.
Cursed Mtn. Scr.
Freaky Creature
Phantom Brave
Runes of Magic
Aion Goes Gold
Free Realms
Wizards Exec
Freaky Creature
Arma II
Champions
Aion CG Movie
Marvel Ultimate
FFIV Dev Diary
Steambot Chron.
League Legends
Phantom Brave
Runes of Magic
Champions
Champions Vid.
League Legends
League Trailer
Risen Screens
Freaky Creature
Star Treak DAC
Phantom Brave
Demon's Souls
Geneforge
The Witcher
Free Realms
Runes of Magic
Demon's Souls
Aion Screens
Fallout 3 DLC
Marvel Ultimate
PuchiPuchi Virus
League Legends
Fallout 3 DLC
Mytheon
Wizard of Oz
Oz Screens
Marvel Ultimate
La Tale
Asda Story
Avernum 6
Battle Fantasia
League Legends
Adventurequest
Warpforce
New Nintendo
Aion
FF Crystal Chron.
Mind Twist
Little King's
Stan Lee, Marvel
Elf Island
Ether Saga
Wizard101
Demon's Souls
League Legends
FFXI Trailer
Champions Online
Free Realms
Aion Preorder
BioShock/Elder
Silkroad Online
Warpforce
Warpforce Scr.
Runes Screens
Runes of Magic
League Legends
Marvel Ultimate
FF XIV
Knights
Asda Story
Champions
League Legends
Runes of Magic
FF XIV Online
Time of Shadows
Kingdom Hearts
FF IV
Demon's Souls
Lunar
League Release
League Trailer
Cross Edge
Runes of Magic
Phantom Brave
Crimson Gem
DC Universe
Freaky
SMT Devil
Steal Princess
Steal Screens
Wizard101
SMT Devil
Runes of Magic
Warrior Epic
Fallout 3 DLC
League Legends
League Screens
Bounty Bay
Bounty Bay Scr.
Ragnarok Scr.
Ragnarok Online
Runes of Magic
Time of Shadows
Time Scr.
Steambot Chron.
Adventures
Adventures Scr.
Warrior Epic
Sacred 2 Ships
Disgaea 2
Last Rebellion
Mana Khemia 2
Sakura Wars
Witch's Tale
Runes of Magic
Runes Screens
Class of Heroes
Sacred Trailer
Valhalla Knights
Wizard101 Gift
Freaky Creatures
Playboy Manager
Blizzcon 2009
Champions
Little King
League Legends
Wizard101
Wizard101 Scr.
Neverwinter
Warrior Epic Beta
Elder Scrolls
Warrio Epic Beta
Sacred 2
Utopia Kingdoms
Wizard101
Tweet in Games
Star Trek D-A-C
Champions
Champions Vid.
DragonSky Scr.
DragonSky
Free Realms
Free Realms Scr.
FFXI Vana'diel
DC Universe
Warrior Epic Scr.

 





Developer:
New World Computing
Publisher: The 3DO Company
Platform: PC
Release Date: March 2002

by Nicholas Bale




Why do people take a relatively well-working formula, then obliterate it almost completely? I refer to Might and Magic 9, a game released a while ago by 3DO, developed by New World Computing. A good game gone bad, MM9 is a perfect example of what NOT to do with a good thing.


Now, I'm an avid Might and Magic fan. I remember playing Might and Magic: Clouds of Xeen and thinking that the game was one of the most spectacular things I had ever played. It had story, exploration, RPG elements, bad guys to kill. I spent hours playing, and although I was really too young to get anywhere, I had loads of fun leveling up. Subsequent MM games were fun, but never really equalling the fun-ness of that first one. Or maybe it was Darkside of Xeen...nonetheless, my point is that it was good. It was fun, it was simple, it had a world to explore. MM9...has none of these things.


Well, perhaps the simplicity. Oh the simplicity! As you play, the whole point of the game is to open your quest book and beat one of the quests in it. Don't have quests? Find them. Everything else in the game just makes those quests easier. I felt my brain vegetate as I played through the game for hours that I'm accustomed to. It was the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and...point made. I play it and I know I have lost all sense of that explorative sense that I had when I played MM 3-8. I remember flying over vast continents, leaping entire buildings with a single 'Jump' spell (yes kids, just like Superman!....sort of). But alas, nothing is left for me. The developer said that it created this game according to the recommendations of players, but I seriously doubt either the knowledge of these players or the specificity as to which New World Computing followed these suggestions.


The game has a skill system which is pretty decent. Each time you level up (by gaining experience points by killing monsters), you get some skill points to put into weapon skills, armor skills, and a whole range of other miscellaneous skills like merchant and whatnot. Once you get the skill to a certain level, you can upgrade to higher rankings like expert and master. You do this by talking to trainers, who for some reason, tend to be old women on the streets of towns. The skills help you in the game, increasing damage given, decreasing damage taken, etc.


The vast spacious lands full of grass and trees and mountains and plains, which allowed for unbridled transportation, has turned into claustraphobic paths surrounded by cliffs. The town is at one end, the bad guys at another. If the map developer felt particularly creative that day, s/he would make a path that actually branches off from the dull path built into the rock. Want to get somewhere? Walk. Walk miles and miles through dull, expansive terrain. In each area there is one town and one dungeon. Each town had to be loaded before entering it, a change from previous MM games. And casting Fly to soar over the land, gazing down at the ant-like enemies? Gone. The coolest feature in the newer MM games has been removed. I almost cried. Really. I was that close. And I had time to ponder each problem too, as each area loaded with stunning, stunning sloth. The game has a neat loading screen, a small ship sailing back and forth on a map, but even that gets tiring after watching it for ten minutes. Sometimes the loading would lock up, but the ship would continue sailing. This meant I was watching a ship sail back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, for maybe twenty minutes. Incredible.


But enough, enough, I've slandered enough of the game. Alright, the layout of the land is 'horrible' (a quote from my notes). There are a few improvements, however slight they may be. Let's look at the first obvious change: the graphics have improved tremendously. No longer are bitmaps rushing to meet their target. Now fully-rendered, detailed enemies attack you. So are the townsfolk rendered happily. Unfortunately, however, they all seem to have a total of five different faces to go around. Boring. An interesting aspect of the game is the fact that, for the first time in Might and Magic, you can go inside the houses and walk around in them. This is a little improvement, but it is good to see. Also, I remember a problem the other bitmap-errific Might and Magic games had. If you were in a dungeon and looking for a man, you would not be able to 'see' him. You would need to keep pressing the 'search' button to find him. He was invisible to your eye, and that bugged me to no end. That problem is no more! Another good point to note is the inclusion of swimming. Before, you would merely walk on the water while suffering damage (drowning, supposedly).


Now, thanks to 3D, you can jump right in the water and pray that your breath doesn't run out. But on to more important things. There is a day and night cycle within the game, although it seems pointless, as the game changes not a bit between the two. Children play on the streets at night, just like day. Speaking of town streets, they seem to be deserted. One has to wonder how the people get along. There is very little story within the game, and that bugged me. Of course, there is some story present, save the world and so forth, but I never felt compelled to go ahead to discover more of what was happening. This is the reason I quit playing it before beating the game. I just didn't feel like it, and I moved on to other things.


It seems that New World Computing has gone for graphics over gameplay (even so, the sky is poorly drawn, textures could be better, but I digress). The problem here is that Might and Magic 9 seems more like a semi-linear dungeon crawler. While this isn't a bad thing, the Might and Magic series has had a better reputation than that. The freedom of exploring the landscape has disappeared. The best spell, Fly, has disappeared. The whole thing has left me waving my hands at the sky and screaming 'WHY?'. So many faults, so few good points. Alas, Might and Magic, what has happened to you?


Final Grade: 55%


Official Might and Magic IX Website


System Requirements:

  • Pentium II - 400 MHz
  • 64MB RAM
  • 16MB 3D accelerator





All materials 2000-2010 Just RPG
RPG Network: Free MMORPG | RPG Music