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Platform

PC

 

Genre

RPG

 

Publisher

3DO

 

Developer

New World Computing

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q2 2000

 

 

- Wonderfully old school

- Great music

 

 

- Very dated graphics

- A lot of micro management

- Real-time battle mode

 

 

Review: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (XBox)
Review: Diablo II: Lord of Destruction (PC)

Review: Planescape: Torment (PC)

 

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Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

If ever there was a game in desperate need of a new engine, this is it. Every aspect of this game, from a technical standpoint, has not changed since the sixth installment in the series. While other games have stepped forward to bring us zesty new imagery that leave players salivating in delight, Day of the Destroyer sticks with the flat, tired, two dimensional sprites accompanied by equally dull effects. But that's not all that is unchanged, sound effects, the battle system, level progression, the whole nine yards, none of it has been improved. Thankfully the story and incredible amount of questing to be done more than makes up for this, making Might and Magic VIII a lot easier to swallow.

 

        

 

Once again using the engine from Might and Magic VI: Mandate of Heaven (which looked dated even in 1998), Day of the Destroyer looks absolutely ancient when compared to many of the other current RPGs on the market. Sprite-based graphics can be a joy to look at, but not here, in this game they look like paper cutouts; there is no real sense of depth or texture when looking at the images on-screen. There is very little by way of detail when looking at the in game graphics, as most NPCs and creatures that a party encounter look quite smudgy and plain. What is really disheartening is that there are some fabulous cut-scenes that make for some great viewing. If effort is to be made in this area, why not spruce up the in-game graphics in the process. Unfortunately, as it stand, the majority of the visuals are a terrible sight.

 

Also back is the pointless real-time battle mode. With enemies constantly running back and forth arrows and magic rarely hit their mark making turn-based mode a necessity. The only time real-time becomes a viable option is when a player wants 

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to use their party to clear out annoying, weak monsters that will otherwise just get in the way. The battle controls and screen setup itself remain true to the engine, staying functional and to the point.

 

Audio is the same as usual as well: the same clunk when someone hits their head, the same swoosh noise when a fireball is launched, and so on. The voice acting, while sparse, is decent. There are the occasional phrases that will leave 

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players shaking their heads, while others will easily bring out a small chuckle. The highpoint of Day of the Destroyers somewhat limited sonic arsenal lays in its musical score. Bringing a beautiful orchestral score, the music is very fitting and well worth taking the time to listen to.

Thankfully the quest itself, and the accompanying mini-quests, make up for the game's aging engine. The story involves a powerful sorcerer who, in a single spell, has wrecked havoc throughout the continent of Jadame (the third continent in the world of Ergoth). Floods, volcanoes rising from the ocean, and all manner of other apocalyptic events have turn the lands upside-down. The player takes control of an adventurer working for the Alvarian Merchants Guild who are in the Dagger Wound Islands at the time. From here players must investigate what has happened, while gathering a party along the way. It's traditional fantasy role-playing fare, but it presents itself wonderfully. Between trying to accomplish the main goal and pursuing the side quests, the game can be quite engrossing.

There is no doubt that the technical shortcomings that come from using the Might and Magic VI engine once more are very disappointing. It would have been great to see some truly 3D graphics, complete with lighting effects and such. However, the entertaining story and vast number of side quests go a long way to help ease the disappointment for the game's sore-points.

- Mr. Nash

 

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