Might and Magic I vs. Dragon Age

Matt Barton's picture

Might & MagicMight & MagicRampant Coyote has a great blog post up that compares Dragon Age: Origins and Might & Magic Book One: Secret of the Inner Sanctum. Which is the more compelling? Well, it's no surprise to many of us that the Coyote prefers the latter game, but the interesting thing is why. Here's what he comes up with:

The only answer I have right now is that with the twenty-four year old Might & Magic, I’m playing a game. One I’m familiar with on some levels, but in a new (to me) and exciting world. In Dragon Age, I’m playing through somebody else’s script.
I don't know if I'd agree with him 100% on this, but looking back, it did seem like DA:O was relying much too heavily on cinema and less on great gameplay. I didn't really enjoy the battles very much, and found myself far more interested in seducing companions than combat or acquiring better gear. Maybe that's a good thing, but it did seem far removed from the usual satisfactions of a good CRPG like Baldur's Gate, which was much better able to combine the cinematic aspects with the gameplay.

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clok1966
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maybe

Hmm I cant agree with his assesment. Now if you wanted to compare the playing experince when the games where new.. When I played M&M II (didnt play one until many years later) the first time I was impressed, it was a step up from Wizardry (well in some respects) in my eyes. I enjoyed Dragons Age, and if i sat them both side by side TODAY I would prefer Dragons age. But compareing them at the time they came out and enjoymnet... M&M would win hands down. Not sure that makes sence.

Dragons Age is no where near a favorite of mine, I liked it, and some of its ideas (not the combat), and how people you chose effects the story. I prefered Draksguard the Dark EyE (spelling?) more that Dragons Age.. it was cheaper and is basic same gamestyle.

i still think most of this come back to alot of "good feelings" we remeber back when we played it the first time. Though.. a replay of M&M III was 'almost" as good as the first time.. I still look at some of the modern improvments.. (mapping), better interfaces and they tip the edge to the new stuff. I would love to see some UPDATED Eye of the Beholder games.. I have looked and lookd for a 3D tile constructions set (err updated one) but nobody has any that i can find, just top down Nes style..

Nathaniel Tolbert
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Dragon Age vs M&M

The only thing that dragon age has going for it over might and magic is the graphics. Plain and simple. The background story is a rehashing of every story since Lord of the Rings, and possibly before that. What makes might and magic so interesting is the melding of science fiction with fantasy. You don't realize it until much later in the game, but it is there. The other thing that the game did well was setting up the world for you. In the age of lower graphic capability, the story was told through copious amounts of text and the manual (all 80 some odd pages of it.) details the background as well as the information on the classes, and spells. Also, as hard as Dragon Age was, I was still able to beat it, and all of the side quests originally available in less than 50 hours. Now, I'm not a fast player, so the fact that I beat it in 50 hours means the average player could beat it in 25. There is a common stigma that a game is not good if it doesn't have great graphics. Gone are the days of engaging story telling and telling stories. Games like those of the past are rarely, if ever made any more. The last great ones were games like ICO, and the game Heavy Rain, which didn't sell anywhere near as well as Sony anticipated. I still play might and magic I, II, and III and I enjoy them very much. Hell, I'm playing pool of radiance right at this moment on the 486 in the other room. Graphics do not make the game, they only supplement. Black Isle can indeed right engaging stories with copious amounts of text, see Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and the like as reference.

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Bill Loguidice
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I wonder if the Might and

I wonder if the Might and Magic fusion of fantasy and sci-fi was influenced by Ultima? Certainly the early Ultima games had a heavy sci-fi element.

One of my favorite game series, Phantasie, was directly influenced by Tolkien and to a lesser degree, Greek mythology. There were few genuinely original game worlds even back in the early 80's.

Personally, I don't care as much about originality as I do about gameplay. If the gameplay is compelling, I can accept a by-the-numbers story.

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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Cool games, the Phantasie series.
Bill Loguidice wrote:

One of my favorite game series, Phantasie, was directly influenced by Tolkien and to a lesser degree, Greek mythology. There were few genuinely original game worlds even back in the early 80's.

I have all three of those on my Atari MegaST 2. I desperately need to fix the floppy drive since the belt in it broke so I can play it again. I have a copy of a game called Temple of Apshai Trilogy. It's opened, and I haven't verified that all the contents are there, but Matt mentioned you really like this game. Can you tell me anything about it?

-Edit- I opened the box and verified all the contents appear to be here. A single disk, a manual, a catalog, a registration card, and an insert about California Games.

-Edit again- Sorry I missed some other cards, an Addendum card and an Apshai command card. The boxes top left corner is kinda crunched. Any info you have let me know. I'm curious as I haven't ever played it.

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Bill Loguidice
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Apshai - Among the earliest RPGs
Nathaniel Tolbert wrote:
Bill Loguidice wrote:

One of my favorite game series, Phantasie, was directly influenced by Tolkien and to a lesser degree, Greek mythology. There were few genuinely original game worlds even back in the early 80's.

I have all three of those on my Atari MegaST 2. I desperately need to fix the floppy drive since the belt in it broke so I can play it again. I have a copy of a game called Temple of Apshai Trilogy. It's opened, and I haven't verified that all the contents are there, but Matt mentioned you really like this game. Can you tell me anything about it?

-Edit- I opened the box and verified all the contents appear to be here. A single disk, a manual, a catalog, a registration card, and an insert about California Games.

-Edit again- Sorry I missed some other cards, an Addendum card and an Apshai command card. The boxes top left corner is kinda crunched. Any info you have let me know. I'm curious as I haven't ever played it.

Too bad Phantasie IV never made it to the US.

As for Temple of Apshai Trilogy, I have the boxed Atari 8-bit/C-64 dual version. It essentially pulls together three older stand alone games, though the Trilogy version updates the graphics/sound. I have the original Temple of Apshai for the TRS-80 (Model 1) and Apple II from 1979, though I have not yet played that version. Back in the day, I played Temple of Apshai a bit on the C-64. Contrary to what has been said, it was not a particular favorite of mine. I DID play quite a bit more of Gateway to Apshai, which was a scaled back consolized version and appeared in cartridge form on the Atari 8-bit/C-64 computers and ColecoVision. I'd describe them a bit like a Rogue-type game, but they're a bit more involved than that (and Gateway is more action-based).

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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Temple of Apshai

Sorry. Most of the software I have for the Atari ST is sealed, as the person I got it from didn't open a lot of his software. He kinda just pirated it after buying it, so he played copies while the unopened real software sat on the shelf. This is one of about 15 games out of about 70 that is opened. I originally thought it was sealed, and Matt mentioned that you liked it, so I thought I would go and grab it and check. Sadly, it's not sealed. I guess I should contact the guy I got it from, maybe he remembers the game and can tell me about it. There was a Phantasie IV? Where was it released?

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Bill Loguidice
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Phantasie IV
Nathaniel Tolbert wrote:

There was a Phantasie IV? Where was it released?

Phantasie IV was released in Japan only for the X6800 and MSX2 platforms.

Phantasie IV box

There was an English conversion (by some fans) of Phantasie IV (MSX2 version) which I plan on either converting for play on the real thing at some point, or simply using in an emulator (I was saving it for use on the Pandora, but that obviously didn't happen).

I'd love to own a boxed copy of Phantasie IV, but I've seen it for sale on regular eBay twice and it's always gone for far more than I wished to pay (north of $100, and this is from the guy who owns tons of different versions of the Phantasie games)...

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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Wow

I wish I could get my hands on an X6800, I would check that out in a heartbeat. It would force me to brush up on my Japanese language skills that I haven't used in years. Looks cool. I wonder if I can find anything on it on Youtube.

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Bill Loguidice
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P IV
Nathaniel Tolbert wrote:

I wish I could get my hands on an X6800, I would check that out in a heartbeat. It would force me to brush up on my Japanese language skills that I haven't used in years. Looks cool. I wonder if I can find anything on it on Youtube.

I've considered an X6800, but it's just too Japanese for me. I have several Japanese systems, but I'm very careful about trying to stick to English-friendly games (for obvious reasons). I just don't think there are very many English-friendly games on the X6800. If I could wave a magic wand and learn one additional language, it would most certainly be Japanese. There's no way I'm learning it now, though.

The Phantasie IV ROM (including the English conversion of the MSX2 version) is readily available on the 'net, so you shouldn't have an issue in checking it out. I ran the X6800 version in emulation a long time ago. While it has the core Phantasie elements, visually and stylistically it's quite different from the original trilogy.

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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Joined: 11/06/2010
Dragon Age vs M&M

The only thing that dragon age has going for it over might and magic is the graphics. Plain and simple. The background story is a rehashing of every story since Lord of the Rings, and possibly before that. What makes might and magic so interesting is the melding of science fiction with fantasy. You don't realize it until much later in the game, but it is there. The other thing that the game did well was setting up the world for you. In the age of lower graphic capability, the story was told through copious amounts of text and the manual (all 80 some odd pages of it.) details the background as well as the information on the classes, and spells. Also, as hard as Dragon Age was, I was still able to beat it, and all of the side quests originally available in less than 50 hours. Now, I'm not a fast player, so the fact that I beat it in 50 hours means the average player could beat it in 25. There is a common stigma that a game is not good if it doesn't have great graphics. Gone are the days of engaging story telling and telling stories. Games like those of the past are rarely, if ever made any more. The last great ones were games like ICO, and the game Heavy Rain, which didn't sell anywhere near as well as Sony anticipated. I still play might and magic I, II, and III and I enjoy them very much. Hell, I'm playing pool of radiance right at this moment on the 486 in the other room. Graphics do not make the game, they only supplement. Black Isle can indeed right engaging stories with copious amounts of text, see Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and the like as reference.

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