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    dkirschner's Ultima VII: The Black Gate (PC)

    [May 18, 2013 07:44:04 AM]
    I'm just making this to chronicle my efforts to play Ultima 4 and 7 today. I gave both games a good-hearted run but they are so. very. old. These games are always on 'best of' lists so I finally downloaded 4 since it was free with my account, and bought 7 because it was on sale and is usually the one people cite as the best. Surely these games have been influential to the fantasy genre in games, to RPGs, perhaps especially of the open-world variety. But I had forgotten what games were like when I was a kid I guess.

    Playing Ultima 4 was like attempting to read Chinese. I haven't played a text-based role-playing game in such an unbelievably long time that I've forgotten how they work. Moving north, south, east and west, pushing T to talk to an NPC then typing north to talk in that direction. The NPC greets you and says nothing else until you ask him about specific things: "job," "look" and so on. I had to look these interaction words up in the manual because I couldn't figure out what I should say to him. Then I couldn't figure out how to disengage from the conversation, so I was stuck. Oh, maybe "bye" would work...

    Anyway, I couldn't deal with that, so I installed Ultima 7. Ooh, point and click, sort of. Uses mouse, plus 10 points. Ooh, inventory screens and character panes from 1992. The first thing you have to do is investigate a murder, which was surprisingly gory. I figured out how to pick up items (hold right mouse and drag & drop them onto your character), so I guess I investigated the crime scene. I was supposed to go talk to the mayor, who was *just* at the crime scene before I went in, but he seemed to have disappeared and I wandered all through this city looking for him. Dunno what he got up to.

    When I talked to the NPCs this time, they have the interaction words like "job" and "look" as options to choose, like a dialogue tree. I noticed the "murder" option and thought I might see what happened if I murdered a citizen. Alas, I could only *ask* about the murder, not murder anyone. I retract my praise about this open world! Anyway, I never did find the mayor and the text really hurt my eyes. It's in yellow, on multicolored background, so it's kind of like reading a highlighter. Also ye olde font and olde English style of language really bothered me after a short time.

    I'm sure these early Ultima games were amazing decades ago. I'm sure some people can enjoy them today. I appreciate them, but cannot play them. And that's my uncritical review. Oh, but all the manuals and extras from were neat to browse.
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    dkirschner's Ultima VII: The Black Gate (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored

    GameLog started on: Saturday 18 May, 2013

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 18 May, 2013

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    No. Never. So old. Can't. Take it.

    Rating (out of 5):star

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