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10 Jahre Interaktive Unterhaltung: Westwood Studios - Teil 1: 1985-1995 (DOS)

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Written by  :  MAT (70592)
Written on  :  Aug 23, 2004
Rating  :  4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars

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Summary

A handful of candies

The Good

Westwood's finest games and the first five since they earned a title of Westwood Studios can be found in this pretty little package, along with an extra disc that certain fans and collectors may appreciate. Extra boost up is the fact all these games, a bit oldish indeed, which generally were released on floppies, are now on cds each, and have full voice-acting, a man can appreciate such enhancements, ya know ;) So, what (good) can you find here...

The one and only, father of RTS (Real-Time Strategy) genre, Dune II. This is as good as you can find it, offering top-down real-time opportunity to challenge the computer at multiple fronts simultaneously. Frank Klepacki did a great job on the music (huh, doesn't he always) which is going easy while you shell your bases and swift to dynamic one as soon as enemy is caught on your radar (assuming you have one built and operational). The game is really something groundbreaking shedding the brand new light into the realm of computer and video games. You command infantry units as well as commandeer several different types of vehicles. You can repair them, build walls around your structures, take care of the base energy output, launch devastating high-tech attacks at the enemy forces, and defy the emperor of the known universe with all means necessary, eventually claiming Dune for noone but your house. And to keep things more interesting, there are three great houses fighting for control over Dune, the noble Atreides, the evil Harkonnen, and the insidious Ordos.

The next one included is a daughter of renowned Eye of the Beholder, this time enhanced with full voice acting (King Richard has voice of Patrick Stewart, and judging the release date of this game, while STTNG series were airing at finest, this wasn't a cheap effort), a brand new role-playing game was born, and the first one in the completed trilogy, Lands of Lore. This game broke the rule of having you draw your own maps and training your mind, instead, it offered you with an auto-mapping right on the platter. Needless to say, with such a big project (this is much bigger and more complex game than EotB) this was a huge time saver. It's a good thing to try this game if you're interested in any of the sequels, you get a bit of background to it, and pretty cool soundtrack again.

And the three more games included are all of the Kyrandia legends. Third-person point-and-click graphic adventures, funny yet serious, giving you fantasy stories in the same realm, from different perspective. In first one you play as young Brandon, a prince and only heir to the throne (it's cool to know that Joseph D. Kucan, who we all know as Kane from C&C, is the voice of none other but your main character, Brandon). King and queen were murdered by an evil jester Malcolm, and it's your right to deal with this spineless demon (well, he's not that bad actually, but it sounds vicious). Second one is kinda off-balance, and you play Zanthia, a royal mage, plus she's quite handy with her fingers, can change clothes on the fly. You won't get bored with this blonde nor the places she'll go and visit in order to save Kyrandia from sudden disappearing effect. And third one is to complete the saga, you play as none other but Malcolm himself. Continuing to the end of the book one, after you got turned into stone (I wonder if this game was even remotely planned during production of the original). Malcolm seemed as an evil jester back then, but when you get to know him, he's really a charmin' fella, having a bit of struggling conscious but that's about it. Being set free, by whoever's in charge of weather effects (could be a force of nature, or couple be someone controlled that world engine from the other side of the rainbow bridge), he must clear his... bet you thought I'll say conscious. Nope, he must clear his name, and of course, have a fun of the lifetime in the process. After all, he's a jester in his spirit, the man's young as he feels young, and deep inside of him, Malcolm's just a big kid ready to try all the hexes before he turns serious. The music throughout the entire trilogy is in one word, charming. Delightful, to boot.

The Bad

Hard to tell, chap, really hard to say.

The Bottom Line

This is by far the best bundle package I've got a privilege to have and to see. You get tons of manuals, for every game, you get double jewel-case with six disc slots, and nothing about this package has any re-release feeling of a value. It's as good as having them all individual, even better to the fact you get an extra disc consisting of avi movies displaying the history of my beloved Westwood. So, if you're in for some classics and want to see how Westwood started using Studios postfix, or simply are a big fan of Westwood, this is a package for you, no doubt.