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Dragon Wars (DOS)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Indra is here (19682)
Written on  :  Jun 18, 2004
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars

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Summary

Ever seen an RPG Legend? Well this one's an RPG God!

The Good

Dragon Wars is a rare RPG that represents everything any RPG gamer could ever want in a game...and no doubt a little bit more.

The game was released around 1989, technology capabilities was minimal, but that never stopped the developers imagination for the quest for immortality represented in this game. I have to admit the creators of this game overdid themselves in creating this one.

So what does it take to be an RPG God? Well I'll show you:

  • Specialized and Detailed Character Creation

    Do you know how many character skills this game has? (need to add screenshot) This game has more than 20 skills to develop, consisting of personal skills, magical skills, weapon skills and more. It's amazing that 20 years later some of those games out there that "claim" to be RPG's have yet to have the intelligence to even come close to what this game has to offer.

    Character development is always anticipated in Dragon Wars. You start weaker than worms but eventually you can develop them into Gods! Why? No level limitation...at least not that we know of. One of the most irritating things in an RPG game is when they tell you that the character has a level limitation. Who are they to tell you that you can't go all the way? This is one thing I will always hate about the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons...although I love the series, I hate the fact that it (the series) intentionally limits the freedom of character development...as other similar RPG games out there.

    Another thing that is quite rare for an RPG. You can restart the game but still use your old characters with their gained levels! Although you lose your items (and logically so) it's great that you don't have to restart character development.

    The fact that there is basically no-limit in levels (at least to my knowledge) means you don't have to be stingy in planning your character. You can make "mistakes" in character development here, as during the course of the game you realize that some skills are best left to one character and other skills are better developed than others. With unlimited levels, you have a margin of error and not fearing that you wasted your character points.

  • Freedom of Choice: Non-linear storyline and Story Depth

    The game offers so many choices and paths to choose, I don't think I've ever done all of them. The first city Purtagory which you are banished to offer various ways to exit: You can fight your way through the gate (unlikely at first), You can sell yourselves through the slave market, you can swim to freedom, you can escape through the dangerous Magan Underworld. Each are different approaches and it really doesn't make much difference which one you take, as there isn't any better way. The funny thing is that some paths are easier than others and when you restart the game with you better developed characters, you can ultimately try the other paths that were almost impossible to do the first time around. Eventually you restart the game several times and try all the other options without feeling crappy as you still keep your developed characters. Amazing!

    It's amazing how many RPG games have linear stories. It's amazing how many RPG games "judge" your actions, discriminating your actions. Even the virtuous Ultima Series doesn't really judge you. Games like Arcanum needs to learn a thing or two about not making the player feeling bad for making a "lousy" path.

    Though the story is not so deep compared to what a lot of games have accomplished nowadays such as Final Fantasy, it's still has more depth than even games today have. What's going on in today's games. Doesn't anyone know how to tell a story anymore? Why does it always have to be dang graphics? Damnit, you developers are turning kids today into modern day idiots with these low intelligence games and your still blaming the government for that idiocy.

    You are the people that has the 2nd most direct impact to kids today, as you did to kids like me 20 years ago. If all you think about is money and graphics, than dang I will continue to insult the hell out you developers in my reviews but I will also no doubt kiss the feet of those who still have idealism to create games that have soul!

    Sorry I got a little carried away and out of context but really, give us stories to remember!

    The Bad

    Those "read paragraph ##" things can be rather irritating, especially if you don't have the manual. (probably why it took me 6 years to finish this one...haha).

    Some skills are pratically useless though and in many cases, you only use those skills only once. Sound was minimal although back then there weren't many games with sounds either. Can't get the opening music outta my brain! :)

    The Bottom Line

    An RPG way ahead of its time. This game represents the basic values of what every RPG should have, has to have and always will have. Anything less that what this games symbolizes and accomplished means that it's just another game without brains or soul. In short: RPG Blasphemy.

    A hundred more or so RPG's are introduced each year. How many do you know qualify to be deemed as an RPG legend...or better yet, an RPG god?

    Game developers= We're waiting.