Might and Magic review - Sega Megadrive
The Earth Elemental Emperor Gralkor the Cruel (or Grally-babes to his mates, of which he has few) is a bit miffed. Those pesky humans, elves, gnomes and dwarves have covered the lands with their towns and farms and they just won't go away. However, the smelly mortals have lost the Orb of Power and the Talons that hold it! Without the Orb to protect them, the population is at Gralkor's mercy, so someone has to get out there and find it!
Might and Magic: Gates To Another World is a fantasy role-playing game set in a mystical land. The task is to lead a party of brave adventurers through the cities, dungeons and wilderness on their quest to recover the Orb and Talons. Spell-users add magic to the party's arsenal, and fighters have the muscle necessary to beat up monsters. Thieves pick locks, detect and remove traps and generally act in a helpfully sneaky manner.
The locations are viewed through a 3D window in the display and when monsters are around, they're shown here. Killing these creatures gives the party experience and the chance to gather booty, which allows them to buy goods in the shops and taverns of the realm. Eventually the quest leads to the Orb itself, but along the way the party faces monsters, disease, and a host of other repulsive fates. The current game can be saved to battery-backed RAM so that the adventure can be continued at a later date.
What the Mean Machines staff thought
What puts me off most RPGs is the long-winded combat-by-rounds system which I find boring, and unfortunately that's the system used by Might and Magic. My first battle was against two orcs and it took about five minutes of command selection to defeat them - five minutes of not-much-excitement, I'm afraid. Making the game a little more interesting is the wide variety of monsters, though some of them rather unlikely - how about being attacked by a ravenous gang of witch's cats, or a couple of small dinosaurs who were wandering the city streets. The game has a lot of depth and there's wide scope for character development but anyone who isn't already a keen role-player won't appreciate it, and may well find the lack of action and atmosphere make Might and Magic a real drag.
I expected this to be somewhat disappointing but I was surprised to find that it's actually a lot better than Faery Tale Adventure. The graphics are a little basic but this sort of game needs playability rather than cosmetic touches - a lesson that FTA should have considered! The game is absolutely enormous, and the combat is sufficiently tough to keep you happy. Be careful of wandering about at night! Overall, this is one of the best RPGs to appear on the Megadrive so far. Try not to have a heart attack over the price though.