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Anyone who appreciates Eye of the Beholder should take notice to what this game has to offer. Mazes of Fate is described by Sabarasa as a “first person dungeon crawling role-playing game”, and the first attempt by this developer at making a video game. Totally fell under my games radar – I first heard of it from Portable Review’s webmaster Bloodspoor, who had a lot of good to say about the title. I learned even more about this game while looking it up on NeoGAF, and it looked AND sounded great. One thing I gotta say is that it doesn’t quite meet my expectations – it completely surpasses them and keeps going into the distance. This game is exactly what we need more of in our handhelds.
This game is truly cut from the same cloth as those classics, and while not up to the standard of a game like Wizardry VIII, it is a solid game and great for some reasonably deep dungeon action on the go.
I can’t say that I was looking forward to this one. Mazes of Fate is the ultimate proof of why Nintendo should just kill the Game Boy. This game could have been so much better if it would have been for the DS. The limitations of this game are most likely caused by the sheer limitations of the GBA. The graphics are good but could have been better. The story could have been more filled in. The GBA is showing its age, and should be forced to retire into the archives gaming history forever.
Mazes of Fate attempts to stand out among the large catalog of GBA RPGs, and it succeeds in this regard due to its strong implementation of first-person exploration. But most every other aspect is either too bland or too incomplete for the game to shine. The fascinating but half-told story, plain combat, and monotonous key hunting all conspire to hold Mazes of Fate back. It's too bad, because the unique setting and approach had a lot of unrealized potential. Yet if you're a fan of old-fashioned corridor crawls, you may still find something to like if you can overlook the many flaws.
Mazes of Fate might have been created as an homage to the great dungeon crawlers of yesteryear, but the designers forgot that the appeal of those games was centered around their difficulty. From the really thrilling opening quest where I killed some rats in an old woman's cellar until the bitter end, it just felt like I was being led on rails to an inevitable victory. Where's the reward in that?