Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
 
Might & Magic X : Legacy

Normally one would be well advised to not look at the title of a game too closely if one wants to know what the game is about. Titles like "Metal Gear Solid" or "Call of Duty" don't really tell you much about gameplay. Might & Magic X : Legacy (MMXL) is an exception here, because the "Legacy" part is very much the one-word description of the whole game: MMXL is a time-machine back into the 90's. It ditches at least 15 years of technical and gameplay development that happened since, and goes right back to the state of Might & Magic VI, with a few graphical improvements. And that is deliberate.

In consequence I've seen a lot of reviews that just don't get MMXL, complaining about the grid-based movement with 90° turns, or other antiquated game features. But the thing is that if you prefer modern real-time role-playing games, you are simply not the target audience for MMXL. This isn't even a full-price game, it is a game with a smaller budget and smaller price for a well defined niche of players who spent hundreds of hours playing turn-based role-playing games in the 90's and now want that experience back. I certainly do. And you can sign me up for a new version of Pool of Radiance and the other gold box games right away.

As a legacy game, MMXL is quite enjoyable. Yeah, there isn't much of a story, and there ain't many comfort functions either. But in return you get a lot of the stuff back that has been lost since, for example the ability to create a non-standard party and have a very different experience of the game (up to and including unplayable if you totally gimp yourself). If you believe that good games are series of interesting decisions instead of long lists of trivial tasks, Might & Magic X : Legacy is the game for you.

Comments:
A friend on G+ tried this and complained about the weird movement and stuff, but all us old school gamers pointed out that this was what made us all fall in love with computer RPGs way back when.

I'm not sure I want to go back to those days, but I sure as heck respect their design decisions.
 
Also got it, definitely a good bit of nostalgia going there.

The irony is, this sort of game is perfect on a tablet. I actually struggled with action-RPGs/3D-RPGs on my ipad, especially over longer periods. I prefer playing turn/pausable based games on my tablet and MMXL is a pretty solid candidate for mobile, i'm surprised they didn't start there first....
 
One thing came to my mind: Grimrock. Which is squaregrid-based and goes back to the gaming roots.... Eye of the beholder and such.
 
One correction, M&M10 calls back to M&M5, not M&M6. M&M6 was not tile-based.

@silvertemplar: The M&M10 devs addressed that. Summary, they agree that it would mechanically work great but the game is a complete pig and could never run on todays mobile devices.
 
I posted this as one of the games I was REALLY looking forward to in the new year. I might wait for the price to come down a bit, but my favorite M&M was World of Xeen, and I think this will hit all the right notes for me. :)
 
I was an old school gamer...but I didn't play the games back then because I loved the format, I played them because it was all we had. I tried Legend of Grimrock not too long ago, it was enough to dissuade me from a return to the past. M&MX still sounds interesting, but I know I'd get irritated with it in short order. A revival of the olf D&D Gold Box games like Pool of Radiance, however....I loved those games. That would definitely suck me back in (in theory, until I started playing it and remembered how cumbersome the interface was).
 
"A revival of the olf D&D Gold Box games like Pool of Radiance, however....I loved those games. That would definitely suck me back in (in theory, until I started playing it and remembered how cumbersome the interface was)."

I totally agree with that - i would love to go back to Phlan. For everyone else: http://youtu.be/hyVZghMKrVk
 
@Rodalpho
"The M&M10 devs addressed that. Summary, they agree that it would mechanically work great but the game is a complete pig and could never run on todays mobile devices. "

What do you mean the game is a pig? Do you mean their engine is a complete pig? I see zero reason why the game can't run on a tablet, it doesn't even have HD graphics and i've seen Skyrim like games on my ipad already. So, if you mean the devs were idiots and did not use a tech that can be ported to a mobile platform, then i guess it's unfortunate. They could have made alot of more money, people is much much more likely to buy it on their ipads than on PC, even at the $25 price point.
 
Funny thing is that it seems to be a pig in part because it was made with Unity, which IS a cross-platform system that targets mobiles.

Maybe they didn't used it well. Or maybe they will port it in a year or two after tablet tech advances.
 
That's all the devs said "our game would not run on today's mobile platforms".

But that's basically it, yeah. It's unity which obviously does run on ios and android, but it performs extremely poorly on high-end gaming PCs so it's obviously poorly optimized.

Loading a late-game savegame takes 20+ seconds on my ivy bridge i7 with 16GB RAM, the game on a SSD, and a 770 GPU. Imagine how long it would take on an iPad!
 
To me, the one big thing M&M and the Gold Box games have over Grimrock and the Eye of the Beholder games is the fact that the combat is still turn-based; I don't have to frantically wait for cooldowns and can actually plan out the next couple of turns instead of just clicking like a madman.
 
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