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Wasteland is a post-apocalyptic RPG made in 1988 by EA Games. It's a really good game in its own right, and is also the game that Fallout was modelled after. It contains much of the same story, the battle system of a Final Fantasy game, and a unique skill-based system. In the skill system, the players earn experience points, and the skills they learn are needed to get safely past obstacles in the game.
In the story you control a band of desert rangers, which you can create yourself, and lead them through a desert wasteland after the nuclear holocaust known as World War 3. The land has become barren, and there are many evil mutants and humanoids running about who would like nothing more than to destroy you, although you can occasionally hire one of your enemies during a conversation or battle. As you wander from town to town, you eventually uncover a conspiracy that threatens the remnants of human civilization.
In the battle system, you come across mutants or other creatures of some sort that want to kill and rob you. Nice concept, huh? So let's teach these little buggers a lesson. A picture of the enemy will pop up in a window next to the list of fighting commands. Below these commands is a window showing your party's names and health. You have a choice of battle commands that include 'Run', 'Attack', 'Recruit', 'Evade', 'Load/Unclip', and 'Use'. The 'Use' command opens another window showing the commands 'Heal', 'Skills', and 'Attributes'. The skill screen shows various skills that can be used: Once one is selected, you go back to the map, where you must choose the direction to use the skill. 'Heal' heals a player, and 'Attributes' displays each party member's traits. After something is selected for each player, the screen that shows the commands turns into a scrolling message, telling you how the fight is going. Once a fight is won, you gain experience points and gold to spend.
The graphics in the game are not great, but good for the time the game was made. The player's movement screen or map shows where the player is moving from town to town. It looks strange, though, as the player character seems to be larger than the mountains and houses around it. When a location or dungeon is reached, a popup comes up asking whether you want to enter this location. Then the map becomes a bit more realistic in size, and you can walk around more easily. In dungeons, some puzzles require that you have certain skills for each player, and the same goes for the map. For instance, if you don't have the swimming skill, wading through a river will take forever and cost your team health.
The music in Wasteland is pretty bad -- but I can't really blame the creators, as as it wasn't possible to create a really good game soundtrack at the time.
I enjoyed this game a lot, just as I enjoyed the third game in the Wasteland series: Fallout. I think that this is an awesome game, and in my opinion the terrible graphics do not take away from the gameplay at all. I'll give this game a straight 5, because back then it was awesome. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.