What Manual? I Thought it Was a Mouse Pad!
Unfortunately, Wizardry also has its draw-backs. The absolute foremost problem I had with the game is its difficulty factor. The game is HARD. Period. I barely made it through the second section of the game in one piece, before I decided to go back and roam around aimlessly for a few hours to rack up some experience. I don't mind some padding of the gameplay length, but it seems fairly painful that you'd have to kill that much time trying to rack up points just to damage most monsters. It wouldn't have been so bad if you could ever get your characters to be able to sleep, but unfortunately, nearly every time I even attempt to make my characters sleep to rejuvenate their life and magic points, they're interrupted by the largest horde of unbeatable monsters you ever wanted to see. Rest assured that if you're not familiar with old-style RPGs, or better yet, pen & paper RPGs, you'll be fairly dead--and frustrated--in your first hour or two of playing the game.
The second largest drawback about the game is, as I mentioned on page two, there is relatively little story. One of the biggest perks to a modern RPG is the storyline. While not all RPGs should end up being a mildly interactive movie like Final Fantasy and other Japanese RPGs, game like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, even Diablo tend to involve you at the heart of an epic plot, giving you the reason for fighting. Wizardry 8 is still living in the days of American RPGs before Japanese titles like Final Fantasy showed us how much more fun a plot can make a game. Granted, long-term fans of the series are well aware of this, and it won't affect their love of the game in any way, but for new-comers to the series, I'm sure there will be quite a bit of disappointment. For Wizardry 9, I'm sure we can get away with having our mindless slashing along with some story to go mindlessly slash for and make everyone happy.
Finally, after being stuck in one specific region for a lengthy period of time just going back and killing monsters, I spend half my time swapping CDs out of boredom, and switching to playing other games. That's not to say that Wizardry 8 is "bad", but I think a more meaningful difficulty slider would have made life FAR more fun for gamers that aren't exactly core Wizardry players.
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