Last edited by agentorange; 07-04-2012 at 10:26 AM.
The first two games are similar to each other and actually have the best combat systems in the series. They are closer to the old Wizardry model in that you have different ranks (and therefore a formation), with each one being able to do different things in combat. Fights are more tactical too but also a lot slower than the rest of the series.
Three, four, five (and the fan sequel Swords of Xeen) are, as agentorange described, the best in the series. Very fast paced turn-based combat in that pressing a button results in an immediate action. You can see enemies in advance in these games as they move from tile to tile in front of you (like a turn-based Dungeon Master/Eye of the Beholder). This allows you to shoot enemies from afar with ranged attacks before they close you down. You can literally kill an enemy a second in this combat engine. These are probably the fastest turn-based RPGs out there and will really change your opinion about the apparent slowness of turn-based combat.
Also, like agentorange said, you can combine the fourth game (Clouds of Xeen) and the fifth game (Darkside of Xeen) into one giant game called World of Xeen. Basically, each of these games takes place on one side of a flat planet, and you can move between the two freely. It's a really good concept and one I haven't seen again.
The sixth game is different. It came out in 1998 which was 5 years after the fifth game. It no longer has tile-based movement (you move around freely in 3D environments) and instead of the cartoon art-style of the previous games it uses photographic sprites. It also features real-time combat, but it does have a sort of turn-based mode you can use which works reasonably well. This game right here has one of the best soundtracks in gaming. It also features a different (and more in depth) character and levelling system that's overall an improvement to the series in my opinion.
You can get all of the above mentioned games in one single pack on GOG.com - the Might and Magic 6-pack for $4.99. That's 7 entire games spanning 12 years for just $4.99 this weekend.
The rest of the series? Well, the seventh and eighth game are very similar to the sixth game. In fact, they all use the same engine and came out a year apart (1999 and 2000 respectively). Some people prefer the seventh game to the sixth game, but the sixth game has better dungeons in my opinion so I give that a slight edge. The eight game has a different party system and plays more like a modern RPG where you recruit companions rather than one where you make your entire party. These two games also have fantastic soundtracks too. Some even prefer the soundtracks to six. Overall, though, Might and Magic VIII is definitely weaker than VII and VI.
The ninth game in the series? Rushed out of the door in 2002 thanks to the publisher 3DO and it both led to the series' death and the death of the franchise's developer New World Computing. It's buggy and incomplete. It also features a full 3D engine with 3D characters and enemies (no sprites) and was going to be another evolution in the series. All in all, I can't recommend this game at all. Chances are you'll think it's a piece of shit and won't touch the rest of the series.
So what do the games all have in common? Well, unlike a number of early CRPGs, each of these games feature both overland exploration, town exploration and dungeon exploration. These aren't really dungeon crawlers. They also mix science fiction in with standard fantasy. The games start off as typical fantasy games with you killing orcs and stuff like that, but as the plots progress you inevitably find links to science fiction and space travel. The first game was one of the first CRPGs to have a twist ending and it's a real "what the fuck?" moment. The games are also non-linear and are open world. You can go almost anywhere from the start and so you do run the risk of running into places you can't handle yet. There's no level scaling to help you. This makes the world feel very dangerous but it's very satisfying to be able to clear areas you couldn't clear previously. It gives you a real sense of progression. What's nice is that the game worlds tend to span multiple environments in close proximity to one another. There's usually desert areas, rocky areas, grassy areas, snowy areas and lava filled areas all within the game worlds. This variety helps keeps the games fresh.
Last edited by Wizardry; 07-04-2012 at 03:08 PM.
Just for god's sake don't buy Crusaders. It's at the top of the promo list, even.
I don't know if everyone already knows this, but if you add as US billing address (it can be anything, I heard it's best to use Alaska) you can buy digital stuff even if your in the UK. I just got LA Noire for 3 quid, for example.
Note: There is a pretty good chance this is a pricing error and that it'll be fixed by the time you read this:
Gamersgate has the 1C complete pack for 20.00 USD, which is a rather insane deal even though 1c is kind of a iffy company. Notable franchises are King's Bounty, Men of War, and Space Rangers, with a few cult following types like Pathologic, and those games alone are probably worth the price.
AFF link: http://www.gamersgate.com/DDB-1CBIGP...e?caff=3884871
If it is down, well, consider this a post for notification that GG has most of 1c's catalogue for like 70 percent off. Most of the Red Faction titles are on sale too it seems.
Last edited by Corpekata; 09-04-2012 at 02:12 AM.
That's awesome, I'll probably just get one of the Men of War games. Which is better the original or Assault Squad? Or another?
I bit on 1C complete pack for $20... less than that with IGN Prime discount. Have no idea what I'll even find in there.
Depends if you are interested in SP or not. The MP game is Assault Squad and is frankly my pick, however any other game in the series is a SP experience with the exception of the original which is both. I cannot imagine many players play the original online anymore though.
It's tempting, but I already own two copies of each King's Bounty game, so I'm not really going to bother as I wouldn't play even a quarter of those games.
Yeah I owned a decent handful of games already (KB, one of the Men of Wars, Space Rangers Reboot) but since GG's gift policy lets me gift things as long as I haven't downloaded or viewed the serial key I'll probably find someone to toss the games to down the road. I got gifted the KB games on Steam so that one I'll have to find a home for them for sure.
Hopefully not already mentioned:
ShopTo has Space Marine for £6.85. It's a Steam code - no fuss no muss.
There are a few other decent deals in their download section. DXHR is also £6.85, and there are some games from my "I'll buy it if it's cheap" list like Cryostasis and Death to Spies: Difficult Sequel for under £1.85 each.
Last edited by Jams O'Donnell; 09-04-2012 at 01:10 PM.
ShopTo also have the UFO:After... trilogy for cheap. worth the cost for the first one, not played the other two. A suitable proxy until the new XCom arrives :)
Find me here: Steam / Origin / XboxLive : Citruspunch
Not as far as I can see, showing as £30 for me.
Hey gang - In the US at least, Crusader Kings II is on sale at Amazon. Not sure if its also on sale across the pond:
$17.99 is a good deal, I think.