It would be great if you guys posted some that are missing and better yet: available legally on some DD service.
Part 2: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthre...6#post36706516
Part 3: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthre...7#post36728077
Part 4: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthre...1#post36851341
Here's a list of some of the old First Person RPGs. I have finished all of the below except one that is mentioned (RoA1). I did not post about the most famous ones (M&M3-5, Wizardry, EotB etc.) as everybody knows them and has played and loved them :)
I hope Grimrock joins these classics!
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds
Best first person dungeon crawler ever. Challenging, deep, mature and totally revolutionary at the time of release with very good music and unprecedenced atmosphere. First game in history where you could fly, swim and move your head 360 degrees around including up and down. This game PRE-dates Wolfenstein 3D yet Wolf3D is hailed as the first free-movement FPS game ever. There was much doubt about UW1 and UW2 around the time of release, people were saying "First person Ultima game? So dumbed down!" After getting critical acclaim and almost perfect scores all the haters were shut.
A true classic that no RPG aficianodo should omit.
Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos
Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny
Another classic and his sequel, both very high rated (80-90) games. A "modern" at the time of release version of Eye of the Beholder series. To be frank I liked them more than EoB series, they were more "casual" but still somewhat hardcore. LoL1 sports typical DOS era graphics which are however way nicer than those found in EoB. Puzzles are easier as well. LoL2 is a next-gen title: 3D acceleration, texturing, special effects, full 360 degrees movement. Same vein as for example Might and Magic 6 onwards.
Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven
The second best dungeon crawler ever created. Calling it a dungeon crawler is a bit much as the overworld in this game is HUGE. Better to call it... the 1998 version of Skyrim. This game is absolutely AMAZING. It can take up to 100 hours to finish. It is not a DOS game anymore (so no 320x240 8-bit VGA graphics like previous Might and Magic titles) but a full 65k colours Windows title. You can fly in this game! Fly in the overworld! How cool is that? You can also teleport to ANY place you want even in the middle of a dungeon (Lloyd's Beacon spell). Might and Magic 6 overwhelms you just as Baldur's Gate 2 does. There is just so much to do. The whole world is a sandbox - you can go EVERYWHERE you want any time you want. Wanna try tackling those Titans with 3000 damage points attacks while you're party has an average of 260 HP? Go on. They will more than kill you... they will ERADICATE you where not even a Resurrection spell can help! I could go on and on about this game for hours... It has the perfect amount of challenge right until the very last dungeon where things start to get a little bit on the easy side cause you can shoot laser weapons then. Don't be confused: sci-fi ending is a staple of Might and Magic series. One last thing: dungeons in Mandate of Heaven are second to none.
If I were to recommend ONE game from this list, ONE game for all you old-school RPG maniacs this would be Mandate of Heaven. For me personally this is the best RPG ever created. Better than Fallouts, Baldur's Gates, previous M&M entries, even better than Ultima 7.
Arx Fatalis is the most faitful sequel to Ultima Underworld 1&2 ever created. It is Ultima Underworld 3 much like Dead Space is System Shock 3. A true spiritual successor. Game has new-age graphics (bumpmapping, selfshadowing etc.) but still retains the absolutely amazing atmosphere of the old Ultima Underworld games. You are alone in strange caverns. There are different races living down there, they inhabit different carved in stone castles, villages, dungeons. The magic system is very interesting: you have to actually draw runes to cast spells. Imagine drawing runes in pre-Wii era with your mouse... kinda awkward. The difficulty spike near the end of the game is ENORMOUS. There is one species of heavily armored enemies that simply cannot be defeated without using quick-save/ quick-load cheating. And you want to defeat them cause they sport the very best armor in the whole game. Last boss design looks ridiculous and breaks the otherwise perfect whole game.
If you loved UW1 and UW2 you will love Arx Fatalis. I think there is even an Xbox version!
Ishar: Legend of the Fortress
Ishar 2: Messengers of Doom
Another duo of classics. There was actually "Ishar 0" (prequel to Ishar trilogy) called Crystals of Arborea. All of the games in the series are very, very hardcore. Unbeatable without FAQ and printed out maps. I remember drawing the maps myself on huge 1m x 1m pieces of paper. Game is REALLY hard. You have to save after each fight. There is one cheap mechanic to abuse though: all of the enemies in the game have their areas of movement meaning they will follow you only up to a point. When you pass that point they will just stand there and you can move back a tile and safely kill them with magic and ranged weapons... if the enemies don't have ranged spells on them that is :D Some of the later dungeons are deadly with traps and spells that can wipe out your party in 1-2 turns. Best weapon in the game (Chaos Sword) is only usuable by Chaotic characters. Good characters... should not use it as it will hit them instead of the enemy. Pretty interesting mechanic.
A french comapny made those games BTW.
Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny
Realms of Arkania 2: Star Trail
The only single game from Joseph's list that I did not finish (RoA1).
RoA1 and RoA2 are UNBEATABLE without FAQs. (RoA1 more so than RoA2). There are some very hard puzzles and plot moments where you simply don't know how the fuck you should proceed. IIRC there is a point where you have to split your party and each group goes to a different dungeon and you can switch between the parties in some dream sequences or something like that. The series have an interesting food and water mechanics where you must eat and drink in order to live. All of the spells in the games are based on Das Schwarze Auge RPG system and their names don't mean nothing to even veteran RPG players for example Plumbumbarum...?!? What the hell.. is this from Final Fantasy 13?!? Game is in first person during wandering around towns and dungeons but combat is isometric and turn-based: exactly like Final Fantasy Tactics or X-Com.
The very definition of a hardcore to the bone RPG. Two of the hardest games in this list. You cannot get a harder RPG!
Realms of Arkania 3: Shadows Over Riva
See RoA1&2. Exact same mechanics but with much better in-town and in-dungeon graphics and much easier game (when it comes to puzzles and dungeons). Maybe it felt so easy for me because I finished RoA2 before? Hard to tell. EXCELLENT red book audio (don't know if it is present in the DD version?).
Recommended if you want to start playing the Realms of Arkania trilogy.
Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor
Warning: I have an axe to grind about this game.
A game that is nowhere near as perfect as M&M6. It uses the same engine, same monsters, same mechanics etc. but the magic of a new-age 3D Might and Magic title was lost in between. It is just not as fun nor revolutionary. It is much shorter and has worse dungeons. A good comparison is Modern Warfare 2 to Modern Warfare change. Seems the same good fun but... it's not really the same. Lightning does not strike twice after all.
Decent RPG but only if you did not play M&M6.
Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer
A much better follow up to M&M6 than M&M7. New World Computing tried some interesting mechanics in this part (you could turn to dragon IIRC). M&M7 had very cliche maps and locales (elven forest, dwarven mine, human settlement etc.) while M&M8 has some more interesting ones: dragon volcanoes, elemental planes etc. If I were to stick to the CoD comparison this would be the Black Ops of modern Call of Duty games. A well known formula that tries to mix up thing a little and ends up being way more fun and intereting that it should.
Really recommended for M&M fans.
This is a weird one - a pretty good RPG from Interplay which got reviews all over the place. It has a very distinct look kind of like Demon Souls? Goth, heavy, dark fantasy. Actually there are some pretty hard-ass bosses in this game (Snow Queen) too! Overall a very underrated RPG that had tremendous marketing campaign and huge budget (live-action actors!).
Highly recommended as it is one of a kind because of how it looks.
Might and Magic IX: Writ of Fate
It is the last of Might and Magic games and let's be frank: it is VERY dumbed down. Really not recommended as nothing in this game makes sense or "clicks". Small maps, small dungeons, lack of series' staple spells etc. I only beat it because I had to beat all M&M titles (M&M1-9). Did not enjoy one bit. Compared to M&M6... this is pure garbage. Take a look at the inventory paper-doll total downgrade from previous parts... smh.
Stay away and call the trashman.
Anvil of Dawn
A very fun dungeon crawler from the Might and Magic guys (New World Computing). It has IMO the best graphics out of the 90-degree movement era. Enemies are big and have lots of frames of animation. It is a pleasure seeing them die, every single time. There is a game breaking bug that WIPES OUT your inventory (actually things in your inventory that are in some kind of a container) so you should save often and alwasy toggle save states. AoD can be pretty easy if you have lots of time to waste: there is real time mana regeneration (something like 1% each 15 seconds) so if you are low on health you can just stay in one place and wait for your mana to regenerate in order to cast Heal.
A cookie cutter RPG but hey - it's fun and it looks glorious!
Hexx: Heresy of the Wizard
A very little know real-time dungeon crawler. Pretty fun if not too short: only 5 dungeons but multistory ones. Kind of hard as enemies hit hard and come in large numbers. Luckily they often get stuck on candleposts, chairs, tables etc. The biggest surprise is the levelling system: you level up only while resting! This had made the first hours of my playthrough INSANELY difficult as I was always level 1 while going deeper and deeper in the dungeon. I did not rest as I healed in real-time (mana regens) so I did not have the opportunity to level up. When I finally rested (don't even remember why) hilarity ensued :D There is a game BREAKING bug where KEYS in your inventory decrease to one when you change levels. The only solution I found is to "pick" them (glue to the cursor) and move to the next level, then put them down back in the inventory. It even works on trapdoors!
Yendorian Tales 3: Tyrants of Thaine
This is my favourite 90-degrees of movement (tile based) RPG in history. The only game I've beaten more than 5 times. Super niche. Nobody I know knows about this game, literally NOBODY. Probably noone on this board as well. It is a carbon copy of Might and Magic III-V. Think EA's Medal of Honour next to Activision's Call of Duty. Everything is the same just from a different developer. I really cannot say more about this game except: treat it as another DOS era Might and Magic title. You will be in heaven if you loved old-school M&M games.
You probably never heard about this game but it is a great RPG title. A hidden treasure for old time Might and Magic fans.
Ravenloft: Stone Prophet
The last RPG I wanted to tell you about. Based on the well known D&D universe Stone Prophet is an egyptian-themed entry in the Ravenloft DOS RPGs (the other one is Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession, set in a typical Dracula environment). It runs in SVGA and it really shows! It has an interesting plot and medium to hard combat (damn trolls!). It also has the most original enemy I've ever encountered: Grave Golems. Golems made of Graves, of Cementary soil. Pretty scary, beatiful and powerful.
This game has the BEST soundtrack from all other listed here. I had the opportunity to play it on a Gravis Ultrasound and my MIND. WAS. BLOWN. I wal literally there, on the sand dunes, in the tombs. The music is absolutely out of this world. Never before, nor never after I was treated to such amazing pieces in a RPG and that includes all Final Fantasy, The Elder Scrolls, Dragon Quests and just all RPG games in history.
Bonus from poster Ledsen:
The scans above are HUGE (so I quoted them) and you can see lots of detail there. Links to full size images below:
Originally Posted by Ledsen
So I was rummaging through old Swedish gaming magazine High Score from the 90's and found this, thought GAF would get a kick out of it:
Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession (4/4)
Despite some irritating stuff, I enjoyed Ravenloft. It's not as freeform as TES: Arena, but the story is much better.
A poor product with a wasted premise.
The Elder Scrolls: Arena (4/5)
An ambitious product that almost succeeds in creating a virtual world [...] no match for Underworld, despite the size. Also contains the best comment: It's a bit hard to accept that my 33 MHz 486 now counts as slow.
Betrayal at Krondor (4/5)
Krondor feels like a good book, with amazing depth and well-realized, multi-faceted characters [...] Where it matters, Krondor is a very well put-together RPG [...] The 9 chapters are enough to keep anyone glued to their screen for months.
Lands of Lore (4/5)
Lands of Lore is as close to perfect as it gets. [...] but I can't shake the feeling that it's been done before [...] Lacks the originality to take the top spot from Underworld I
Ishar 2 (3/5)
The enemies are incredibly strong, but dumb as sheep. They'll follow you to a certain point, then simply stand there like idiots, watching you. [...] Not a ground-breaking game, but pretty entertaining at times.
Hired Guns (4/5)
Buy this game.
A fun game for those with patience, because it takes a while to get into it.
Dungeon Hack (3/5)
A highly mediocre game [...] The graphics are lifted straight from Eye of the Beholder 3 [...] but the monsters animate very poorly [...] which is pretty silly considering it takes a 386 to play Dungeon Hack.