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Ultima Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams (PC) artwork

Ultima Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams (PC) review


"Ultima: Martian Dreams is a RPG game. "



Ultima: Martian Dreams is a RPG game.

Like many other RPGs, it has a party of heroes, experience points, hit points, equipment to be handled, monsters to be battled (not the game's main focus) and quests/puzzles to be undertaken/solved (this, yes, a part the game focuses more on).

So, what has this RPG, a technical marvel in its age but unimpressive graphically nowadays, got to entrance us to play it?!

Oddballness.

Utter lunatic oddballness.

~//~

This is a historical RPG.

It is about the year 1893, a year of many tragedies.

The British flagship 'Victoria' got sunk. The NYSE crashed and a depression started. And that idiot astronomer Percival Lowell 'accidentally' allowed a massive cannon to fire a humongous bullet to Mars, the Red Planet, at the exact time that Emma Goldman, Lenin, Thomas Edison, Sarah Bernhardt, Randolph Hearst, Teddy Roosevelt, Buffallo Bill, Wyatt Earp, and EVERYONE else found on history books and alive in 1893 was inside!

Now all the geniuses of the Victorian era are stranded on Mars! What to do?!

It took 2 years for mankind to come up with a decent enough solution: send another team of brilliant people, in another huge bullet, to rescue them from the frigid surface of the red planet!

The squad gathered for this task is perfectly suited for it, no doubt about it. Leading it, Nikolai Tesla! Along with him goes Sigmund Freud and journalist Nellie Bly! This crack team surely would succeed! Or would it?!

Hmm... better be careful here and muster reinforcements! To top off this rescue team, the obvious choice of people to tag along are surely none other than the 'Avatar', hero of the medieval 'Ultima' adventures, and his sidekick: Spector. This guy may not seem much, but veterans of the series know that, in the previous game (Ultima: Savage Empire) he incarnated the manipulative and unpronounceable tribal leader Zipactriotl (say that 3 times)!

An electrician, a psychiatrist, a nosy journalist, a medieval hero and a former evil lord go to Mars to rescue historical figures of the victorian era! With this setup, this adventure un-riddled with normalcy & cliché begins!

As you cruise through space in your bullet, shot from the same previously mentioned huge cannon, the Avatar shall be interviewed by Freud, in a psychiatric session so jarring that it probably will define the patient's character stats for the whole adventure. Upon arriving in Mars, the first mind-blowing puzzle to be faced is 'how to open the bullet's door', so hard a puzzle that it requires consulting the game's manual for copy protection answers!

Out of your gunpowdery confines, you shall be free to explore Mars in this open-world RPG game. Your main quest shall be to help steel magnate Carnegie build another huge cannon so that everyone may be shot back to Earth. Of course, to do this, you'll first have to tackle such issues as planting anew the fallen (& vegetable) Martian alien race (with Washington Carver's help), free Mark Twain from Martian mind-control by entering his dreams and solving perplexing dream-puzzles, and finally duke it out with Russian monk Rasputin in an ancient Martian city using nothing but your 20th (hint, hint) century imagination.

Such is the synopsis of an adventure with a premise so incredibly bizarre, and yet so well delivered with a straight face that I cannot possibly keep, that when you finish, you will miss your many battles with Martian cacti and the high-quality puzzles you faced to finally fix the worldwide electric power grid of Mars.

Then you'll scramble to make sense to your friends about what the hell you were just playing.

~//~

PS: Available at 'Home of the Underdogs'!

Rating: 9/10

zanzard's avatar
Community review by zanzard (April 04, 2008)

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