Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven
Best of the Trilogy? *spoilers*
Out of 6, 7 and 8, how do you rank the three games?
I think 7 is better than 6. I like that it refines the skill system and adds class based restrictions making you think a bit more about who gets what skills and it adds a Grandmaster level. I also like the fact that it's difficult to get the Master Water skill because you have to fight your way through to Mount Nighon first. It's cool that you get your own castle as well. I enjoyed working through the Barrow Downs too. Oh, and of course, it's cool that get to pick the path of Light or Dark and the interface changes color when you make a choice.
I'm a little conflicted about where 8 fits. I think in some ways it's better and in some ways it's not. I like that it further refines the skills and improves on the graphics, even opening the full width of the screen. I think the story is better too and I really liked having to go through the various planes and having to get the support of some of the factions. I thought it was lame in 6 and 7 to have to fight aliens with laser weapons at the end of the game. It was also cool that you could play with non-human characters and dragons in particular. I think my biggest complaint is that it was way easier than the previous games. If you get a dragon in your party early on, the rest of the game is mostly a cake walk. And once you get access to Town Portal or even Llyod's Beacon, it's pretty easy to complete the bounty quests which earn you a ridiculous amount of experience points.
I might have to rank 8 better than 6 and 7.
Oh, and I did play them the first time in the right order: 6, 7 and 8.
Six is a classic and the first of the series I played and is great for a nostalgic feeling but I find the end game is a little long. Seven is better for character development and all the reasons the TC mentioned. I also like the arcomage quest. I would rank 7 as better than six but I do that with some hesitation. Never played 8 and did not know that it was even nearly as good as the previous two. I also always found the sci fi endings to be a little over the top and felt disconnected from the games near the end, basically just wanting to finish and get it over with. I would love to see a game made just like one of those with all the modern graphics and what not but staying true to the basic gameplay. That will never happen but it would be nice.
I think you may be in for a pleasant surprise then. 8 is definitely a good game and is very similar in many respects to 6 and 7. I believe it's the same engine, but enhanced so the graphics are a bit better and, as I said, you get a full wide screen view with no UI controls on the right side. The spells and skills are nearly identical to those in 6 and 7 so you'll feel right at home with 8.
I too can get that sense of getting tired by the time I get to the end of 6 and 7 which may make 8 more enjoyable since it's an easier game and probably takes about half the time (at least if you've played it before and know the big advantages).
The biggest difference is that you don't get to build your own party. It's more like the Baldur's Gate games where you create one character and then you can recruit a number of NPCs (up to 5) into your party. You may find that a bit more frustrating if you can't get the exact party you want, but I've always been happy. There's no interesting banter among your NPCs though.
The story is also pretty good and makes a lot more sense than the stories in 6 and 7.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
I'd have to assert the opposite opinion. 8 is far shorter than 6 or 7. Even on my first runthrough it was only maybe 15-20h (compared to 200+ for 6 the first time and 75+ for 7 the first time). Also, 8 is far more unbalanced than 6/7 (partially due to being able to 'trade up' on characters and partially due to Dragons in your party), which ruins the play experience for me. It isn't horrible or anything (I'd reserve that for 9), but it is definitely the weak spot in the trilogy.
Resident junk computer part expert, owner of #aspoonedroom
Ok, I will try out 8 if I can find a copy. I thought 8 was when the wheels totally fell off the series but sounds like nine was the end. I don't want to play a horrible M and M game and have it leave me feeling bitter about gaming. Its too bad that these great franchises eventually go **** up. I hated Neverwinter nights and had really high expectations as it was supposed to be the next Baldurs Gate but of course it was not.
If it makes you feel any better, I can sympathize. I'm wary of bad games myself. I have never played MM9 because I've heard nothing but bad news about it. As I said, 8 is just like 6 & 7 except, as aetherspoon put it (perhaps a bit too strongly IMO), it's not as well balanced which makes it easier and quite a bit shorter. But all the other elements are still there...including another Arcomage quest.
I also did not fancy Neverwinter Nights although I thought they were decent games but I'm somewhat perplexed why so many people liked it so much. I'm a big fan of games like Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment (in fact most of Bioware and Black Isle games) and NWN 1 and 2 just aren't up to the same level.
If you're looking for another great game you might have missed, as I mention in my signature, you could give Anachronox a try. If you do, let me know what you think.
The biggest difference is that you don't get to build your own party. It's more like the Baldur's Gate games where you create one character and then you can recruit a number of NPCs (up to 5) into your party
You can create a full party of 6 characters in Baldur's Gate too. Just start a multiplayer game with just you controlling all 6 characters, there you go. You can then move the save game to the single player directory.
RPGs beaten: FF123456789XX2,FFT,CT,CC,XG,KH,Betrayal at Krondor, MM6&7,
How does one go about getting a copy or MM8? I don't think it is still in stores and I am not a hacker by any means.
Behold, the internet:
It's amazing how many old games you can find on Amazon. I'd much rather purchase two older games rather than a single new one most of the time, and I don't have to worry about system requirements!
I've never played 8 either, and 7 was just kinda meh. 6 is still one of my favorite games, possibly because I can powergame it like crazy. :-)
I've bought quite a few older games on ebay.