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Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (NES)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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MobyScore
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Written by  :  Nancy "Infested" Kerrigan (39)
Written on  :  Mar 08, 2011
Platform  :  NES
Rating  :  3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful

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Summary

The best console adaptation of an Ultima game.

The Good

Compared to Pony Canyon's adaptation of Ultima III Exodus, this game looks breath-taking. Seriously, though, the graphics are on par with the likes of the NES/Famicom Final Fantasy entries.

The essential elements of the game play are well preserved compared to the PC version of the game. You lose the ability to query NPCs to death, but you retain a similar combat system, spell casting with reagents, and the various morale trials that made Ultima 4 what it is. The same exploits/puzzles exist for leveling up. You won't find yourself wanting much in the way of mechanics.

The quest has been simplified somewhat, in that you simply collect the artifacts and take them to their respective shrines, rather than having to learn the mantras and all of that, but cutting through some of the busy work actually makes the game stronger.

The Bad

This port doesn't quite capture the epic feel of the home computer versions of Ultima 4. Like most console RPGs of the era, the game world is fairly flat. There just isn't enough space in the game for it to come alive as much as the original. Your companions lack their distinct personalities and are reduced to just classes.

The Bottom Line

Overall, if you enjoy classic 8-bit console RPGs and you missed this one the first time around, give it a go. It's different enough to be fresh, but not so different as to be alien, and not so clunky as its forebear.