I score this game high quite simply because I am biased. I have loved the
Ultima world since the day Ultima IV was introduced to
me by a friend. Back then I found it so complicated and the world so
incredibly large that I was intrigued but overwhelmed. I stayed
with it though and eventually found everything completely fascinating. Since
that day, I have played every single Ultima game (with
the exception of one of the Underworld games). I have not always been able
to put a lot of time behind them all and have only beaten
Ultima 5 (when I was young on a Commie 64) but I consider myself to be a "die
hard fan". Enough of a fan that I even stole the name out of the
storyline years ago as my handle.
If you know the series at all, you know that Ultima has come a long way. I
personally feel it has come to a good ending (Origin has said they
will no longer create Ultima "single player" games). There are an
unbeleivable amount of critics out there for this game and in some cases
I felt they had a valid arguement when it came to some of the glitches or
gameplay issues. But I am not interested in the negative points
of this game. I am soley interested in it for its gameplay and storyline. I
am able to get passed the "problems" that some people insist upon
pointing out at every turn.
So enough of the chatter and on to the story. I'll skip the history lesson
and jump right into U9. Set some years after Ultima 8, as prophesied, the
Guardian has returned to Britainnia in an effort to convert the world into his corrupt
vision. 8 columns have sprung up from each of the dungeons which now
contain the glyphs (the Runes of Virtue twisted into evil). All of the
shrines have been destroyed and the towns that surround them have been
converted from their virtuous ways. For example: The city of Britain, once a place of
Compassion has been twisted and is punishing their citizens for being sick
and poor. Your job is to recover items that will restore the shrines and
bring Virtue back to the Land. Along the way are several subplots to help
you in the adventure. The more subplots you take care of, the eaiser the game is
supposed to be later on. (Or so we're told)
Astounding. I can't believe that people say it is "dated." The game is an
incredible resource hog though. I am unable to run full graphics
with my 500mhz/256mb/V3 3000 Combo but the graphics looks great even turned
down. Sure I wish to pump the graphics up and see further but
turning down the graphics quality is not going to kill this game for me.
Even with frame lag, the graphics look great. The world comes to life
and the weather is awesome.
A little strange to adjust to. There is no remapping of keys which is a bit
of a dissappointment but generally the keyboard
is set up alot like how I play Quake2 XCTF so there isn't too much to
complain about here. The keyboard and mouse can
be a bit clumsy but the game moves slow enough for you to be able to react.
This is a great game despite its short-comings. You do get to interact with
the world. I expected more characters to be out and about but apparently
Origin decided that would take to long having to talk to 100 different people
without even getting out a few feet. I can understand that. I'm happy
to know where everyone is rather than having search for them all the time.
Although, I really liked the old Ultima style with the NPC's having schedules
and whatnot. Now you see a farmer out in his fields in the rain at midnite.
Oh well. Being a die hard fan will is going to create two different feelings for this
game. Love or Hate. Personally, I love this game. It will possess all
of my free time until I beat it. I can however see why some people are upset
at this game for its shortcomings. But I think with time Ultima has become a
classic and everyone remembers the game differently now. While I throughly
enjoyed the games years and years ago, I have tried to pick
them up again and I just feel like I am running through the motions. The
older games aren't fun anymore. I need something new and U9 has
given me that.
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