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Thread: Is Dark Wizard for the Sega CD a good game?

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    Default Is Dark Wizard for the Sega CD a good game?

    I picked this up from a new store in town that does DVDs and also games. I got it for $11. I thought I'd heard some good about it and I bought it. I broke down actually. This was the first time in a while that I'd seen a good Sega CD game and I picked it up, despite paying more than I'm use to on old games. I'm more used to garage sale prices. At least, I paid less than the value listed in the online guide.

    So what do you guys think of that game? Have any of you had moments like that were you broke down and bought a game because you had been in a drought for a particular system? I also passed on PD: Zwuei and Three Dirty Dwarves for the Saturn. I'm wondering if either of those games are any good.

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    I played Dark Wizard a very long time ago and forgot what its like but the Saturn titles you listed I know for a fact are fun. Just don't pay too much for them unless its really worth it to you. I'd say from what I remember, I didn't have much to complain about with Dark Wizard.

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    Dark Wizard's a great game, imho. The basic game is pretty simple, but it's got 4 different storylines (Personally I like Amon and Robin's the best), is decently difficult, and has a ton of hidden stuff, so there's quite a bit of replay value. The only couple of things I'd recomend are turning off the character animations, and, if and when you get there, turning the sound off anytime you're in the stone village. I don't know who came up with that 'music' but 'Pizza with sauce' as it's known around here, is one of if not the most annoying track I've ever heard.

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    ėts a good game and that was a good price (I've seen nice copies go for 40 bucks) definetly get PD Zwei but you can skip three dirty dwarves

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    It's a fantastic game. Easily my favorite Sega CD game.

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    Default !

    Someone told me it was a bit like Shining Force. Is this true?
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    i have to say its very mediocre but it all depends on your patience with EARLY strategy RPGs and EARLY cd games, as this game stinks of both. still though it can and is fun, try it out, but if after 30 minutes youre not liking it, drop it.

    Shining Force is a lot better.

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    it is a good game
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    It is also a sort-of sequel to one of my Favorite Genesis games of all time, Master of Monsters.

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    Dark Wizard is like Shining Force with more complexity, more depth, and (other than the intro movies) extremely dry visuals. It can be really fun and engrossing, but you have to configure the game accordingly--turn off fighting cinematics (I don't remember how to do this, but you can). Every time your character and an enemy meet, the game will load for about 45-60 seconds (no joke) and really interrupt the pace of the game, and the animations are really lame, imo. You're not missing much. If you turn the cinematics off, the characters duke it out via text and the game moves much more quickly and is really fun.

    The difference between Dark Wizard and Shining Force is that there are no overhead FF I-VI style sequences--it's all fighting. However, to get items/information, you can enter towns that your lead character approaches on the battlefield. Therefore, you're interacting with the playfield a little more than Shining Force. That said, the visuals can be dry. Most nice images are static, and the characters on the map are small and are only drawn with one color.

    Dark Wizard can be fun and deep, but you really need to enjoy that type of game to get a lot out of it, because it can be slow paced, and is low on flash.

    Don't know anything about the Saturn games you mentioned.

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    Your opinion of it is gonna depend on what you look for in a game. If you want fancy graphics and sound, this isn't the game for you. But it offers a lot of other attractive features.

    1) A large army - a total of 40 units - that is largely (except for the 3 main characters) customizable to your hearts content.

    2) Lots and lots of secrets to discover.

    3) Hex grid maps and real ZOC - something very few console strategy rpgs have - the only other two I can think of are Brigandine and Master of Monsters. (I can't remember if Master of Monsters has ZOC - been a long time sine I played that old genesis masterpiece)

    4) Four different rulers to play as (my favorite is Krystal - her wyverns (and the wyvern rider) just out and out rock.

    5) A huge world to play through.

    The biggest downside is a generally pathetic AI - usually dumber than a box of rocks to be honest with you - but that is something that virtually all console strategy games suffer from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Natty Bumppo View Post

    The biggest downside is a generally pathetic AI - usually dumber than a box of rocks to be honest with you - but that is something that virtually all console strategy games suffer from.
    That's an interesting point... strategy games (especially strategy RPGs) need to ensure you are able to win by one of a few different ways:

    1) Your units are stronger
    2) The enemy AI sucks
    3) The enemy units are too spread out to be effective.

    The "best" S-RPGs in my opinion focus on balancing 2 and 3. Shining Force and Fire Emblem especially. Good enemy AI, fairly close-in-strength enemies, but not in the best tactical positions. The sad thing about FE is that because of the permadeath, it relies TOO heavily on #3... if your forces are expendable, you can make the matches much closer.

    I'm thinking of the fight in SF1 where you start in a mass on the left and the enemy starts in a mass far to the right. If the enemy had good AI, it would stay together, and, frankly, would completely annihilate you. I always wanted to be able to command the other side of a battle in S-RPGs, mostly because I know the other side will almost always win if it actually tried. Even with poor starting positions, you could retreat your forces into a solid mass and then head out.

    Btw, what's ZOC? Zone of... Control?
    Last edited by FantasiaWHT; 11-28-2007 at 06:24 PM.

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    Yeah - ZOC is for Zone(s) of control. Terminology from my old board game days. (The ZOC shows up really well in the Nectaris series - also faves of mine. Also uses hex grid maps.)


    One game that made an interesting (but failed) attempt to overcome the weak AI problem was Vandal Hearts II - an extremely neat game in many ways, but the simultaneous moving failed because in most of the battles you
    encounter the enemy in small groups which minimized melee combat - which is where that battle system would have shined. Made what would have been an outstanding game a mediocre one.

    I prefer a challenging battle and don't mind taking heavy losses in order to win (part of the price of victory) - which is the main reason I don't like the
    Fire Emblem series well since once your characters are gone they are gone. (Brigandine (another of my favorites) is a little different since you can get new monsters if you lose your more experienced ones and the knights never die.)

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    One of my favorite games of my US Sega CD collection. It does not get the respect it deserves. Nice Score
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    Quote Originally Posted by FantasiaWHT View Post

    I always wanted to be able to command the other side of a battle in S-RPGs, mostly because I know the other side will almost always win if it actually tried.
    SF2 supposedly has a code that allows you to control the enemies - you have a limited time to punch it in and I am not fast enough to get it to work - I bought a programable controller but never got around to trying it. Now I am not sure where the controller is (last time I moved stuff got discombobulated something awful). Moogie (at shining force central) has the code listed in her SF2 guide. Brigandine Grand Edition has true multiplayer capacity so you can slug it out with yourself to your heart's content - although the battles tend to be pretty devastating for both sides since you can't replace high level monsters who get killed.

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    Dark Wizard is a phenomenal game and one of the few games of its kind. As stated before it is somewhat like Master of Monsters and Brigandine, but only on the surface.

    The thing that sets Dark Wizard apart is the fact that it is the TRUE definition of a Strategy RPG. It has massive battles where you recruit monsters and troops whose alignment (Lawful, Neutral, Chaos) determines their class/skills. You move them across huge battle fields and overtake the enemies’ castles yet at the same time it shares standard RPG elements that would be at home in any Final Fantasy.

    You can have characters enter towns and talk to people. You can acquire fetch quests and many side quests like in a standard RPG. You can send characters back to previously conquered battlefields and search suspicious areas for secret weapons, armor, and items (and there are TONS). There is just so much depth without ever seeming like a burden.

    I have played Dark Wizard off and on for the past 9 years and have tried to document EVERYTHING. From troop/alignment/class/skill charts to the location of all the hidden items on the battle fields. I literally have a spiral notebook filled front to back with notes.

    It should also be noted that Kenji Terada, as it proudly proclaims as the game loads, was the man that conceived DW. He was also one of the main guys behind the first 3 Final Fantasy games for the NES.

    But the one thing that places this game above all for me it the beautiful redbook soundtrack. I used to listen to it all the time in my CD player and my parents thought it was a Star Wars CD. The score is truly epic in every sense of the word. I give enormous props to the composer for delivering an OST that, for me, will probably never be outdone.

    On a final note, if you have watched the intro to DW then chances are you are one of the few that would recognize my Avatar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith Storm View Post

    I have played Dark Wizard off and on for the past 9 years and have tried to document EVERYTHING. From troop/alignment/class/skill charts to the location of all the hidden items on the battle fields. I literally have a spiral notebook filled front to back with notes.
    I made paper maps of all the battlefields (interestingly enough if you put all the maps together a few of them are slightly off kilter with each other - I vaguely considered making one large world map but gave up on the idea since it would have been so big). I also have the Japanese soundtrack (the ones being offered on ebay are most likely boots since the artwork and case are different) and a Japanese Mega Cd of the game - there are only some very very minor differences - and there is no "Water of Heaven" in the original version either.

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