Quest For Glory II: Trial By Fire - Retroview

Sun, Sand, And Suffering In Shapeir

By: Robust Stu

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 7
   Interface 6
   Music/Sound 7
   Originality 2
   Plot 9
   Localization NA
   Replay Value 8
   Visuals 8
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete

10-12 Hours


Quest For Glory II: Trial By Fire

   For anybody who has read my previous reviews of games in this series, it should come as no surprise when I say that I love the Quest For Glory series. After playing Quest For Glory II: Trial By Fire, you can see why. This, the second QFG game, has perhaps the most intriguing story of the series.

   After saving the day in Spielburg, you travel far to the south to the Arabic-themed land of Shapeir. Shapeir is a vast desert kingdom, the only populated areas of which are the twin cities of Shapeir and Raseir. You begin in the city of Shapeir, and embark on your plan to become a hero for the second time. Along the way, you meet many people, some of which are geniune and friendly, and others have their hidden motives and secret lives.

   The battle system, like the other games in the series, is real time. You can thrust, slash, parry, dodge and, if magically inclined, use magic. Battles are one on one (for the most part) and reflex-intensive. In this game, as opposed to the first and third games, the view of the battle field is kinda to the side and at a distance, instead of seeming like youíre looking over the heroís shoulder, which made things a little easier to see. A strong battle system, says I. The interface is very simple and easy to use.

Wanna go shopping?
Wanna go shopping?  

   It is, like the first game, parser-based. Unfortunately, this exposes the same weakness the first game had: the game doesnít always understand what youíre saying, no matter how simple and straightforward you think youíre being. You have to type in exactly what you want your hero to do, and in many cases, you canít use synonyms, you have to use the exact word for an object or place that the designers used. This, as you might expect, can cause some problems.

   The music in this game wasnít as good as the rest of the series, but was still decent, definitely not offensive. Most of the music was dark and mysterious, which matched up very well with the story. In fact, they even got a chance to lift a song from Lawrence of Arabia, which was kind of a neat thing. The sound effects, unfortunately, were one thing that did not improve since the first game. They still are VERY unrealistic, and at this point should have improved with the technology. While it was a very good game, it was not very original. Basically, take the mechanics of the first game with NO innovation, slap a new story on it, and pump it out to the public.

Hey, weren't you in ZZ Top?
Hey, weren't you in ZZ Top?  

   I love this game to death, but I canít give it a good score in this area. So how was the localization? Nonexistant. This game has the red, white and blue running through itís veins, 'cause it was born and raised in the USA. American made all the way, so no localization was necessary. The script, though, was very well written like the other games in the series, so thatís a plus. This game has a lot of replay value. One of the thing that was improved since the first game was that each of the three character classes (Fighter, Magic User, Thief) couldnít do the quests specific to another character class. In other words, a magic user canít break into somebodyís house in the middle of the night and steal their stuff. Additionally, each character class has a plethora of class-specific quests. Definitely worth a replay (or two or three). The visuals, like the other games in the series, were state of the art at the time of production. All characters and locations were paid extreme attention to detail.

A definite improvement over the first game in the series, as Sierra outdoes themselves once again. This isnít the type of game you can blow through in a few hours, as you have to wait around for some stuff to happen at certain points before you can proceed with the quest. Because of this, youíre probably looking at about ten to twelve hours, but it doesnít drag at all, youíll love every second of it.

This is a very good game that, although worthy of a look, is going to be very hard to find. If you see it on a discount rack at your local EB, definitely pick it up. Donít expect Final Fantasy X, but be prepared for a very enjoyable gaming experience. Highly recommended.

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