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Forums > Submission Feedback > aschultz's Dragon Wars review

This thread is in response to a review for Dragon Wars on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: February 13, 2012 (08:42 PM)
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I always love that you review these old titles! I always have fun reading these reviews. That said, I'm a little lost in this review, Aschultz. Let me shoot some examples and ask some questions.

Unfortunately, this first impression, along with the intertwining world immediately outside Purgatory, can be overwhelming. Many may be frustrated they can't find any way out of Purgatory, much less the five or six that become apparent after you explore beyond Purgatory..

Much less the five or six what? Do you mean the five or six cities in the world? I'm not sure.

Those finding the underworld may be baffled by all the stairs up and tough monsters, even if they can run without shame. Treasure, except for critical stuff later in the game, disappears when you leave the area, and often there's one interesting item that can't quite fit in your inventory..

What's an interesting item? Example?

While important items are flagged as PRICELESS so getting stuck in a winless position is improbable, many interesting combat items may be left behind, even with the three early NPCs that fill out your party. While you can restart in Purgatory with skills but not possessions intact, there always seem to be more interesting items than you can experiment practically with..

What do you mean by experiment with? Do you mean just equip the item to see what it does or are there interesting item combos or some system for mixing items?

Some of the later areas would be more ideal starter dungeons than Purgatory..

Why? What does this have to do with the last sentence?

And getting killed is serious business. There's no resurrection spell achieved by level grinding. There's an area in the Underworld you can't walk to, and instead you need to take a boat and fight through Necropolis. I've wound up immersed enough in the game that I forgot to save regularly, then groaned when I needed to sidetrack..

I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. Are you saying when you die you go to the underworld and have to fight your way out?

I'm truly curious to have these questions answered! This was a tough one to follow you on, but then you do choose such difficult and interesting games to review!


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: aschultz
Posted: February 14, 2012 (09:27 AM)
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Thanks--this was a tough review for me to write as I stared at a few drafts every month or so. I had a lot to fit in, and while I think I upgraded over my GameFAQs review, there's still a way to go.

Often getting questions helps lead me in the direction I want to go.

Much less the five or six what? Do you mean the five or six cities in the world? I'm not sure.

The point I wanted to make was, Purgatory seems impossible to get out of until you are. Then there are 5 or 6 ways that are pretty clear. It's nice to have that flexibility, but the game clues it poorly...part of that is that they want it to feel hopeless, but this ties into a later point.

What's an interesting item? Example?

Good question. I'll look in my FAQ.

What do you mean by experiment with? Do you mean just equip the item to see what it does or are there interesting item combos or some system for mixing items?

Pretty much you can just use an item or equip it in combat. I think "experiment with" should be restricted to combat.

Why? What does this have to do with the last sentence?

Well, this may belong with an earlier point, that Purgatory is one of the biggest maps in the game, and you start there. There're others that are 12x12 or so and they'd be ideal for getting your feet wet. So, yeah, tie that up.

I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. Are you saying when you die you go to the underworld and have to fight your way out?

Not quite. You have to take an adventure to a walled off section of the underworld to resurrect your players. Well, actually you have to take a ship that may still be guarded by pirates and murk trees, then hack through Necropolis (which is not the underworld but an island) to take the stairs to the underworld. Most of the underworld is explorable early on, but there's a walled off section, and I remember thinking it must be important. It's a very well done teaser effect & I figured it was just going to be a fetch quest at first.

I'm not sure how to say this succinctly, but the point is, it's a trek through several locations, and it's fascinating, but the game manages to make death MATTER without making it prohibitive. There's a very real weighing of pluses and minuses if you get one party member killed after a big fight. Try again or take the trip to the underworld? And it's not even available until you're pretty strong.

I really want to get this right, because the resurrection mechanic is THAT clever. And while I don't particularly consider death in real life, how it works in RPGs can be neat. The cheapest is a "resurrect all" spell or temples of the forces of good that gouge your party to resurrect, but there're also twists like Wasteland's serious vs. unconscious damage or Magic Candle letting you resurrect -only- right after the fight. But DW makes it an important side story you may need to look through later.

Thanks for asking these questions. They're very useful when I feel I hit a wall and know there's something I'd like to add/change but I don't know what. I still have a bit to look at, but I'm glad I was able to get my thoughts out & have direction for further tweaks.


My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips


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