Might and Magic: World of Xeen

Moby ID: 4321
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Description

World of Xeen combines two games - Clouds of Xeen and Darkside of Xeen - into a single game that can be played continuously. The player-controlled party can travel between the worlds of the two games using special devices that can find through exploration. Completing the main quests in both games opens the final quest, which requires the player to unite both sides of the world Xeen. This version also adds digitized speech to the games.

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 57% (based on 3 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 36 ratings with 3 reviews)

A creative 3-in-1 that merges worlds into one great big game!

The Good
In you did not know already. Might and Magic: World of Xeen is the result of combining Might and Magic 4: Clouds of Xeen and Might and Magic 5: Darkside of Xeen. Strange to know that both games have no difference whatsoever in gameplay and features...World of Xeen is like a cake split in two.

One at a time:

The graphics were great. I especially enjoyed the character portraits, offering a diverse selection for your characters. It's somewhat nearly natural or "real" but still cartoon if you understand my saying. But they made it in a way as the graphics were still considered A-Quality at the time. At least to my opinion.

The combat was between "mediocre" and "quite good". Nothing extraordinary about the combat, but it was simple enough to be enjoyable: The combat system is a turn based system similar to the Bard's Tale combat style, but with one difference: You can see your enemies from a far - no surprise foes. A delightful surprise really. Oh, I precisely similar to Lands of Lore, but Lands of Lore is much...much better.

There are many features in the game that are worth noting: There is a list of the parties deeds every time you solve a quest/puzzle. A wide variation of skills, spells and races and many more.

One feature that I must note as outstanding is the random item/weapon system. When you go adventuring, it is natural that you come across monsters and wank the daylights of their behinds. Usually they leave behind loot. In Might and Magic: World of Xeen, most of the loot is random, and great items do not naturally have to do with "Boss Monsters" like in Diablo.

Weapons for instance are very detailed in description. If I recall correctly, here's an example: You found a Diamond Kinetic "Bug-Zapper" Katana. What does that mean? Well first, the weapon is a Katana or Japanese sword. It has it's standard damage. Then it's a Diamond Katana. That means it's made from Diamond, a very hard substance, giving additional damage. A Tin Katana may give less damage or instance. Next is the "Kinetic" description. Kinetic means Lightning attacks I think (or was it energy attacks...uh...forgot). Other versions maybe fire, water, etc. It gives bonus elemental attacks. And the last description is the "Bug-Zapper", meaning that it gives bonus damage against Bugs or Insect-like monsters. So there can be a very wide variation of weapons...even more varied than games like Diablo.

The Bad
Hmmm...one thing I remember. "Oh, now you tell me you have to merge Might and Magic 4 and Might and Magic 5". Hahaha. I played Might and Magic one by one, from Might and Magic 4 and Might and Magic 5. When I installed Might and Magic 5, the game finally made sense. Because before you combine both games into World of Xeen, there are many places you can't visit and many puzzles you can't complete.

The Bottom Line
This game is one surprise after another. It would be easier and less complicated to play World of Xeen outright. But if you want additional challenge. Play and finish Clouds of Xeen first then install Darkside of Xeen.

DOS · by Indra was here (20768) · 2003

Great old-fashioned RPG; poor movement system though.

The Good
This game is a fairly good value because it wraps two games, Clouds of Xeen and The Darkside of Xeen, seamlessly into one game. After completing these two, a third and final endgame is available. I love the graphics, which are the same as in the games I played on my 3.1 when I was growing up. The combat sytem is turn-based, which is a definite positive attribute for me. Additionally, the game world seems fairly large, consisting of many cities, dungeons, and terrains. You can see monsters ahead of you before you fight them, which is a better system than in The Bard's Tale games.

The Bad
One major setback to this game is the movement system. You can only move through one square of the map at a time, and turn only in 90 degree movements. You can get used to this though if you play long enough, but the movement in the Ultima Underworld games is better. Also, the game (being about ten years old) runs rather slowly one my newer system with lots of lag. Other than that, there are no real disappointments in this game.

The Bottom Line
This is a great old-fashioned rpg, but would probably not appeal to some gamers who are used to better graphics and fluid movement. For the true rpg fan like me, this title is a gem.

DOS · by Lord Matthias (11) · 2002

Colossus of classic role-playing

The Good
World of Xeen is Clouds of Xeen and Darkside of Xeen combined into a single game. The latter, incorporated into the former, feels like a large add-on, which you can access from a very early location of Clouds of Xeen. The two games are identical in terms of gameplay and visuals, and largely follow the footsteps of Might and Magic III.

What is great about this game? Well, there's this thing that I call "generous and meaningful exploration": my favorite type of role-playing games (which are my favorite type of video games!) is open-ended, free-roaming Western RPG that is rooted, first and foremost, in exploration and discovery. In other words, I prefer games which don't tell me what to do, where to go, and how to win them easily, but which make me want to figure that out on my own. To do that, the game needs to keep the delicate balance between urging the player to explore and at the same time offering incentives for the exploration. It should be full of things to discover, but they shouldn't be too readily available. It should make the player work hard, yet enjoy the process.

World of Xeen is such a game. It's fairly easy to start: instead of crushing your self-esteem with a complex and confusing character creation screen, it conveniently offers a perfectly capable default party (which, of course, you can readily disassemble and mold your own intrepid heroes) and puts you in the middle of a relatively safe town. You make a few steps forward and easily dispatch a greenish overgrown insect with one swift shot from your ranged weapon. You visit the tavern and drool over the nice, yet expensive weapons displayed in the local blacksmith's shop. You hurt yourself trying to open a weird door and kill yourself outright by falling prey to ogres patrolling the country road. You begin to enjoy your life upon resurrection, promising to be more careful in the future.

And then you realize that you're just beginning to scratch the surface of a vast game world with several huge cities, sprawling wilderness, forests, mountains, rivers, ominous caves and macabre towers populated by fearsome creatures. You wander off to an area where a fierce red dragon incinerates your entire party in one turn, showing you too plainly that level 5 is not a very high level indeed, and that leather gauntlets might not be the best piece of armor the game has to offer. You swear to unleash your wrath on the impudent reptile once you return from your other adventures, clad in plate and wielding weapons forged specifically to deal with that taxonomic order. You cast a longing glance at the huge pile of treasure barely visible in the distance. And you get sucked into the game.

Sounds like a typical RPG? That's right: World of Xeen is just that. It's a typical RPG offering everything we love in this genre. It is built in such a way that it constantly makes you to want more. You want to beat this game, not because it annoys you, but because it is enticing; you want to conquer it, to understand it, to become familiar with it on a deeper level. Every gameplay element here serves this purpose. Wonder what's hidden beyond that mountain range? Search for the mountaineering skill, and you'll be able to find out! But who can teach you this skill? Maybe somebody in a town you've heard someone mention, but which you haven't yet visited. You decide to visit that town, but see an orc outpost on the way. You get experience for eliminating it and begin to look for others, but stumble upon a ruined castle someone wants to sell you for a very high price. You begin to think about gold, but then see a strange flooded cave and wish you could swim...

In short, the game never holds your hand, but always shows you interesting things. It's very hard to put down, because you want to - and can - do so many things at the same time. You're never bored, because the game never puts you in a position where you are able to work only on one or two tasks. You can theoretically visit any area in the game right off the bat. In fact, once you have learned the names of other locations, you can input them into a teleporter easily accessible in the very first town, and see what happens. You can try and tackle areas that are way too hard for your party, with the skillful use of the intriguing Teleport spell, which carries you over any obstacle, but requires extreme precision and knowledge of the area. You can sneak your way into a secret pool that temporarily adds two hundred spell points to all your characters, and then set a Lloyd's Beacon there, ensuring that you won't have to run away from scary giants the next time. This is what the game is about: getting to know it, and doing it with joy and satisfaction.

Then there are the simpler, yet essential joys of building and maintaining a diverse six-people party, dealing with their strengths and weaknesses, learning to distinguish the indispensable spells from the nearly useless, searching the game world for permanent attribute improvement, gaining levels and money, exploring excellently designed dungeons with all their enemies, traps, secrets, and treasure, and so on. This is what RPGs are about, and this is what you get in this game.

The game's world is charming, with its goofy monsters, occasionally amusing quest-givers, atmospheric dungeons, and wilderness that actually feels like one - scary, disorienting, yet full of various features and details, and coming with an auto-map that makes sure that you won't get lost just because you confused two identical corridors. The only visual letdown are the towns, with their nonexistent architecture and barren room interiors. The enemies, however, steal the show - almost each foe looks great and is splendidly animated.

The Bad
World of Xeen is a difficult game, especially the first time through. The feeling of reward, which overtakes you when you begin to "tame" the game, gradually making things smoother for yourself, is sweeping; yet at first it might appear disorienting and frustrating. It takes quite a while to understand what you're supposed to do, how to grow strong, to find the essential locations and tactics that will ensure that you have the upper hand - and that process is a big part of the overall enjoyment. Which means that I probably shouldn't have put this paragraph in the Bad section in the first place.

I was somewhat bothered by the lack of numerical feedback during combat (you are hitting monsters with either "small blood splashes" or "big blood splashes") combined with the lack of precise evaluation of weapons and armor. You'll need to study the manual and do some esoteric mathematical research to be able to comprehend the ungodly benefits of a seething diamond cyclops-crushing bardiche as opposed to an obsidian beast-bopper leprechaun flamberge.

I suppose the game's only real weakness is lack of innovation. It feels and plays very similarly to the third game, which was a significant breakthrough for the series. It adds no new features except a few improvements in the interface. For that reason some hardcore Might and Magic fans consider it inferior to the third outing.

The Bottom Line
World of Xeen is, essentially, the golden mean of traditional RPG design: it is vast, open-ended, deep, challenging, and full of things to discover; yet it is also accessible, reasonably user-friendly, and not too complex to handle. Full of that particular creative vigor that distinguished many games of the early 1990's, World of Xeen is a great classic of the genre.

DOS · by Unicorn Lynx (181794) · 2018

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Frumple.

Macintosh added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: jlebel.

Game added June 16, 2001. Last modified February 13, 2024.