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Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire (Windows)

76
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Joshua Green (3)
Written on  :  Jan 20, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars

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Summary

Good concept, bad implementation

The Good

First of all, let me say that I am a huge fan of the QFG series. This series is definitely my favorite. I have played 1-4 repeatedly in the past and continue to replay the games because I enjoy them so much.

So, what is good about this final game? The setting is appropriate, this time the mythological elements are from ancient Greece. The story itself is decent and provides a fitting end to the series.

The interface is a very interesting blend of 3D graphics and works very well for an adventure game.

The music, which is one of my favorite parts of the QFG series, is truly wonderful as usual.

The Bad

The problem is not with the design, however, but with the game itself.

First, the RPG elements have been greatly increased - more weapons and armor to choose from, fighting multiple creatures at once, etc. This could have been a good thing but the combat system is clunky because of the 3D environment (the player often has to use the arrow keys often to get the right aim). Combat itself quickly degenerates into the player using heal potions constantly (or at least it did for me). And there is no option for "strategic" fighting like in the 4th game.

Second, the voice actors are terrible. Except for a few characters, the voice actors were trying too hard at giving the characters appropriate accents. I cringed every time I heard Elsa speak. This game in no way measures up to "Shadows of Darkness" in VA quality.

Third is the graphics. I like the idea of 3D graphics in a game like this and the scenery is wonderful. Most of the characters on the other hand looked too lifeless for my tastes. No expression to the faces at all. The close-ups should have been 2D if this is the best they could do with 3D faces. They also completely messed up Erana's character design. She looks nothing like she did in QFG4.

Finally, this game lacks a good end-game conflict. In all the previous games there was an interesting adventure game-styled battle where you had to use the items/skills that you had picked up during the game. In "Dragonfire" the final battle is much the same as all the combat. How much damage can you do in X seconds while using healing potions?

Minor points:

There are a couple of places where you can easily miss part of a quest and be forced to restore from an earlier but that sort of problem has always been in every QFG game.

Why in the world did the writers include Nawar of all people? Katrina, Erana, and Elsa make sense but including Nawar as a woman that the hero can marry felt extremely forced.

I like puns, but Ann's don't even make sense half the time. Like Nawar, the inclusion of this humor is forced. And not nearly as funny as the gnomes in the previous games.

The Bottom Line

If you really like the series, then you'll enjoy playing this game once. Maybe four times (one for each class). I haven't done so yet though. Instead, I'm currenly playing Hero's Quest (I have the original QFG1) again.