David Wesst

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Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom (SNES)

The Details

Gameplay: 2

Gameplay is just menus, so it's getting a lower score, but it is exactly what it should be for the time. I think today you could still do the same style of menuing gameplay, but include some quality of life stuff and a few more animations

Controls: 4

For navigating menus and a maze, it works very well.

Story: 2

There is a whole lot of lore here, but the truth is that it's really up to the player to tell their own story with their gameplay experience. Wizardry is a Dungeons and Dragons simulator that works as hard as it can on an SNES.

Puzzles: 4

The puzzle aspect is about how to discover, explore, support a long lived team of explorers in-game, while keeping tabs of your own map out of game. I suppose the puzzle is just map making and navigation, but it really had its hooks in me.

Co-op Style: Couch

The Hook

Map creation and disposable player characters. This game is about exploration AND navigation. That navigation is up to the player's ability to either know there way around the maze, or their ability to draw a map. Since everything looks the same, the map making is the most likely choice, and it was really pretty fun.

The Fun

Map making and navigation-- although I can see how many would find this tedious. I bet I would even find it tedious after a few days of gameplay. Still, it had be interested with the way the puzzle happened outside of the game itself. Sure, the computer could have given me a map, but that would have made it easier...although I think having an in-game map that showed me the walls, but left me to fill in the markers and highlights would have been a big quality of life improvement.

The Less Fun

Lack of help, tutorials, or in-game explanation of how things worked in town. Maybe things were explained in the instructions (which I didn't have when I played) but there was a lot of exploring menus and taking guessing on what I needed to do to fix things up. Took a while, especially at the beginning, to make a party and get moving with them.