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Old 12-05-2022, 02:43 PM   #544
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Var, Hungary
Posts: 1,628
Default Tin Man's The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

Finaly some good game.
Yes, this is again another edition of TWoFM of the Fighting Fantasy series, BUT this time actual care went into the project.
The map got a massive overhaul, adding new stuff, a lot of timed event, and nifty graphic only computers can add instead of paper.

On the second note, it worth mentioning, this is still a gamebook, meaning you better make your own map (the ones on the net are seriously lacking, and while you can see pretty far away in the game, believe me, you better start ot make notes).
It's not that bad though like some Wizardry, or MM 1-2 without that automapping patch, but as you'll basicaly walk this place over and over and over, in a rogue-like fashion, you want to be as prepared as possible, and you WILL roam the Mountain quite some while, as you are given quite a bunch of characters, around a dozen, and that's just the story mode.

And darn, those characters worth it. They come with their own backstory - and personal quests! So this time prepare to NOT fight Zagor if you don't want to, because you do not arrive with that intention, and that's a relief, a big one!
The characters also not just come with their own agenda and attack abilities, but also personality! It was a nice suprise when the second character, who basicaly have the same skills as the first on the row simply refused to hide at the start because "this is the early, thus easy portion" of the game! And while this creates a distinct persona from your own, it actualy introduces roleplaying in a good way, an aspect FF was created for in the very beginning.
Knowing the map from the first palythrough not being able to break cvharacter created excitement for me, because I had to consider how the character will behave when facing certain situations I knew is coming. Like sure, in that room is a nifty item, or a handful of gold coins - but if I have to fight for it instead of being sneaky, that's a risk. Or I had to consider entering otherwise unappealing rooms because you can actualy make conversations (sometimes) with the residents of Firetop, and you want the information.

I've mentioned roguelike. This time the adventure catched early-AD&D-level feeling, meaning you have only a limited number of HP you have to manage. The characters being pre-made also forces you to strategies, consider to open a door you don't know what's behind it, or pick a fight you know from previous goes it is behind the door or not.
Pre-generated characters also prevent the 12/24/12 character-fatigue, and the varying combat-abilities help preventing the combat become monotous.

This is a great game, especialy in a world where reaction-shooter rule the market. You need to stop, think, strategize, recognise paterns, make probability-calculations.

Oh, and to spice things up, there are the achievements. Even the individual character quest ensured you'll discover the majority of the secrets of the Warlock's residents, but trying to figure out which character's quest allign the best with certain achievements creates an all new level of immersion.

All in all, I love it. Now let's hope I win this round.
Nothing has a meaning. You can't even say it has no meaning as that'd mean it has. - Godkiller, Defender of Anarchy
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