user avatar

woods01

Reviews

Ultima Collection (DOS)

8 games for the price of one

The Good
The Ultima series is one of the oldest, influential and popular RPG series on the computer, the only series can think of to compare it to is Wizardry. This bundles the first 8 Ultima games together. Going through these games after almost 20 years since it started will excite and dissapoint a player.

Ultima IV despite its age is a true classic. You really should play this game if you are an RPG player. Great story and truly innovative, but don't trust me just read the praise it gets in the Moby reviews. Ultima V is a solid if unexceptional game from the 80s, it doesn't quite have the kick of the previous game. Ultima VI which launched the VGA and soundcard era for the series, while it has an excellent story I find the interface, in particular the small action window to be a bit frustrating, but it is still worth playing. Part VII ironed out the flaws in the interface and became a modern classic, this set is worth getting for this game alone . Ultima VIII which once brought the super computers of its day to their knees is a bit controversal for some fans, a love it or hate it game, because it does not take place in Britannia and of the real time combat. I find its quite a good adventure and a nice change of setting.

The Bad
Ultimas 1-3 and Akalabeth, may have been great in their day but today they are nothing more than monty haul and kill the baddie CRPGs with ancient, practically black and white graphics and poor interfaces. Only diehard Apple II and Commodore 64 fans wanting to re-experience their youths will find them of interest.

This is not the ultimate Ultima collection. It is a shame that they did not include the two excellent Ultima Underworld games and the two often forgotten World of Ultima games. Those four games are much more playable to a modern player than the first 5 Ultimas.

The documentation stinks. The Ultima series is well known for being one the best games for including bonuses with its games, only Infocom was better in my opinion. The orginal games had cloth maps, some had metal coins or other trinkets and the manuals were often made to look like they were bound in leather and covered with runes for that old world look. This game puts all the documentation on the disk. It does come with the Ultima Atlas, which is a stapled booklet of small, black & white reprints of the orginal maps. Its okay to look at and compare the changes in the continents but is too small for practical game play.

Getting some of the games to run on a new computer will be hard for some people. I am fortunate in that I have an old Pentium 100 to play these on and had no problems.

The Bottom Line
So basically you get 2 classics, 3 good ones, and 3 aged throw aways. If you are an RPG fan there is no reason not to invest in the low price to get Ultima IV and VII. Old guard Ultima fans should get this just so they have CD-ROM backup of the old games since floppies go bad with time.

By woods01 on October 1, 2016

Resident Evil 2 (Windows)

By woods01 on September 20, 2009

Metal Gear Solid (Windows)

Like a Hollywood movie: a lot of hype, pretty to look at but nothing inside.

The Good
Remember about 12 years ago there was this amazing 8-bit Nintendo game called Metal Gear? If you read a lot of Marvel comics in those days you'll remember the ads for the game which featured all the gear you'll need to beat the game all over the page. It had this crazy premise of avoiding combat! You'd win by using stealth and brains over brute force. Well over a decade later a sequel has arrived. The recent Playstation hit has landed on the PC and its got to be one of the best conversions ever.

The game has great graphics and sound and features some very slick cutscenes. I loved the way the credits pop as you move your character around the docks at the start of the game. It works in a way like you'd expect a movie. As you sneak your way around the base you will trigger cut scenes to propel the plot and a series of level bosses who have a variety of combat methods. The voice acting is pretty good, although, not Oscar worthy, but quite enjoyable. The voices really suit their characters. Your cool as ice character Snake, is quite funny, as he hits on all the girls.

Once you've beat the game, there are the VR missions to tackle. These are in some ways traing excercises but the more difficult missions are more like puzzles as you have to figure out how to reach a point or kill all the guards in limited time spans.

The Bad
The big problem with this game is that its too darn short. I was amazed at the speed that this game was over. Luckily the VR missions extend the life, poor Playstation owners had to buy them seperatly.

Another problem is that the game's story is really really bad. I guess in Japan they like melodrama and bad sci-fi but in North America things need to be a bit more believable. The plot starts out well enough but soon enough it gets so cornball you'll be hoping for the scene to be over soon. I won't spoil it here but think of the main character relationships of Star Wars, set in our near future, and written by Japanese man who finds the soap opera The Young and the Restless a witty work of fiction.

Minor complaint is how the guards go back to normal after 60 seconds in alert mode. If you just spotted an intruder in a secret base would you go back to sleep after not finding him for a few seconds? I'd have prefered to see the guards get noticable more alert and cautious if you get spotted frequently.

The Bottom Line
The game has graphics and gameplay, and while it is fun to play, the game is so short (and cheesy) that you might wish you had spent your dollars somewhere else.

By woods01 on November 10, 2007

The Ultimate Wizardry Archives (DOS)

By woods01 on December 28, 2003

Q*bert (ColecoVision)

By woods01 on July 1, 2003

Q*bert (Commodore 64)

By woods01 on July 1, 2003

Q*bert (Atari 2600)

By woods01 on July 1, 2003

Tales of the Unknown: Volume I - The Bard's Tale (DOS)

By woods01 on May 20, 2003

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I (DOS)

By woods01 on May 20, 2003

Sid Meier's Civilization III (Windows)

By woods01 on April 14, 2003

Sid Meier's Civilization III (Limited Edition) (Windows)

By woods01 on April 14, 2003

Max Payne (Windows)

By woods01 on June 3, 2002

Alone in the Dark 2 (DOS)

A disappointing sequel, yet still worth a look for series fans.

The Good
A common complaint of the first game was its shortness and this one delivers a longer, harder game that is still quite immersing. While the story was not quite as interesting or mysterious as the original game, it was still a good mystery to solve. The puzzles are also well done. Only a few did I think were a bit too obtuse.

The Bad
For some reason the designers of this game thought that the reason why people loved the original was for the combat. This game has a huge increase in fighting over the first which really tested my patience for the game. The weak point of the first Alone in the Dark game was the awkward combat. It is barely functional and only worked because it was not used very often. Its sparse use meant you never really had to dwell on its limitations. Unfortunately since this game is more about fighting bad guys than ever before I soon started to lose interest in the game. This problem is especially apparent in the opening to the game which is mainly combat oriented. I'm sure this game turned off a lot of new players as they were constantly cut to pieces in the opening moments of what is supposed to be an adventure game.

The Bottom Line
The higher emphasis on fighting in this game spoils what would have been a pretty solid adventure game. Still there is enough in the game for me to marginally recommend it to fans of the first one. But for newcomers it might be best to stay away and play the original.

By woods01 on June 1, 2002

Pinball Construction Set (PC Booter)

By woods01 on June 1, 2002

NHL 2000 (PlayStation)

By woods01 on June 1, 2002

Earl Weaver Baseball (DOS)

By woods01 on June 1, 2002

Diablo (Windows)

By woods01 on June 1, 2002

Diablo (PlayStation)

By woods01 on June 1, 2002

Centurion: Defender of Rome (DOS)

By woods01 on June 1, 2002

688 Attack Sub (DOS)

By woods01 on June 1, 2002

Stuart Smith's Adventure Construction Set (DOS)

By woods01 on June 1, 2002

BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception (DOS)

By woods01 on May 30, 2002

PowerHits: BattleTech (DOS)

By woods01 on May 30, 2002

MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat (PlayStation)

By woods01 on May 30, 2002

[ Page 1 ] [ Next ]