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Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon (PC) artwork

Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon (PC) review


"If you've ever been caught playing a D&D game by a friend or relative, you know the drill. "Nerd!" they'll yell, laughing at your back as you're hunched over your keyboard or controller, totally entranced. D&D has always been synonymous with everything nerdly and anti-social, which is why it's such a testament to the brand's awesomeness that normally non-nerdly people like myself are willing to brave the insults of their peers just to get some sweet armor for their level 8 human warrior. The ..."



If you've ever been caught playing a D&D game by a friend or relative, you know the drill. "Nerd!" they'll yell, laughing at your back as you're hunched over your keyboard or controller, totally entranced. D&D has always been synonymous with everything nerdly and anti-social, which is why it's such a testament to the brand's awesomeness that normally non-nerdly people like myself are willing to brave the insults of their peers just to get some sweet armor for their level 8 human warrior. The amount of bullshit stupid jokes I've had to listen to from friends, roommates, etc, is staggering. But it's all worth it when I solve that wicked puzzle, find some rare new weapon, or finally get my character up a level.

Eye of the Beholder II basically takes everything that is so damn awesome about D&D, everything I would NEVER admit to a girl that I like, and crams it into one awesome package.

What I like #1- No story. I don't care if it's an RPG or an action game; keep the story to a minimum. It's just going to suck and be fucking retarded anyway, so why not choose NOT to insult my intelligence and keep the Choose-your-own-adventure level bullshit out. Eye II basically says, "Hey, here's this huge tower with some evil guy at the top. He's gonna try and stop you, trick you, the works. Go kill him by whatever means necessary.", then throws you into the game. It’s up to you to uncover the plot, never once is it force fed to you in asinine cinematics pretending to ponder philosophical questions. Awesome.

What I like #2- First person RPGs. The first-person perspective is PERFECT for a genre as immersive as RPGs; I don't know why everybody doesn't use it. Granted Eye II uses the old "step-based" grid movement that all first person games used before Wolfenstein 3D, but it still looks great. The sprites are large, the environments are varied and nicely detailed, and it even has some full screen cut-scenes to flesh out the story a little (these are short and to the point with no pompous bullshit, the way cut-scenes should be). Plus since this was made in ’92, there’s no horrible pre-rendered artwork to assault your eyes, it’s all good ol’ hand drawn artwork the way grandpappy used to do it.

What I like #3- Creating characters. Anyone familiar with D&D knows how kickass it is to actually get to create your party of adventures instead of having some faggy company pre-make them for you. Do you choose a half-elf because of their multi-class capabilities, or a pure elf for their higher stats? Do you make your fighter a dwarf or a human? Are they good or evil characters? Do you keep the stats you have or re-roll the dice, hoping for better numbers? These types of choices are what make D&D games so sweet.

What I like #4- Fiendish puzzles. This game is loaded to the HILT with mind-bending shit. Everything is used to test your intelligence, from pressure plates in the floor, invisible walls, warps, statues that talk, bones of other dead adventures, hell even a plant seed is used in one puzzle. There's enough variety that every new floor of the tower will have you stumped on a puzzle that none of your previous experience can help you with. It's brutal, it's hard, but it's fucking great.

What I like #5- Hard-won rewards. Like any good D&D game Eye II really makes you work for them. Every level your characters go up is a long road of hard fighting. Every awesome treasure you attain is found at the end of a puzzle or gauntlet of monsters. A sword +1, or a piece of armor with a modifier like "true seeing" may not seem great in light of the world-destroying powers other RPGs give your characters, but in D&D they are kickass to the max. Eye II doesn't need to rely on ridiculous, over the top weapons or spells, the feeling you get when your character finally gets a badass long sword of bleeding is equal or greater than the first time you see Knights of the Round being cast. Seriously, it’s that tight.

What I like #6- THIS GAME. Go get it, play it through Dosbox on your PC, it runs perfectly. You’ll thank me and perhaps even offer to give me a smooth and satisfying (to both of us) handjob 20 hours later, after you've finally beaten the game and watched the sweet ending.

Rating: 10/10

guts's avatar
Community review by guts (March 01, 2005)

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