Old School Arcade Review: Wizards and Warriors Trilogy
I thought I would do another Nintendo Classic review and talk about one of my favorite series of all time, Wizard & Warriors. Some of my great memories of playing the NES were around this game, heck I even played this game with a busted controller to and that was even more difficult (lol). This was the only games I actually beat back in my young days of gaming without cheating, of course it did help that you had as many continues in the first one to keep on trying and trying to beat that game. If my memory serves me correct, I think I got Wizard and Warriors II the Christmas it came out and boy did this game frustrate me since I had only two continues to work with and many ways to be killed in this game before reaching the boss.
Even though I had made it several times to Fire Mountain I could never beat it since I was pretty much on my death bed with limit magic and a death touch each time the elemental’s hit you. Heck when I first got a taste for emulators one of the few games I thought of was those two and after many hours of searching for them I got them and played them for hours upon hours. They sure kept me occupied while I was in Iraq, which I am glad they did even though I had my Playstation 2 with me. Of course it was at this time or maybe a few years later that I would come across Wizards and Warriors III and I thought to myself woot another awesome game that will be just as harder or harder, sadly puzzle wise it is hard but enjoyability was not there and major disappointment for this fine trilogy. I tried it out several times but could never get into and not because I never had the time, trust me I did, I just never enjoyed it.
It would be interesting to see this franchise continue or maybe give them a 3rd generation face-lift with the current technology, but alas it is wishful thinking on that though. So lets get on with the insanity and begin my review.
Some Screen Shots
Game Maker: (W&W I) Rare Ltd./Acclaim (W&W II) Zippo Games/Acclaim, (W&W III) Zippo Games/Acclaim
Year: (W&W I) 1987, (W&W II) 1989, (W&W III) 1992
Price: Odds are they were $40-$50 a game
Levels: (W&W I) 8, (W&W II) 10, (W&W III) 1 but broken down in several different parts which are too many to list
Sound: (W&W I) 10, (W&W II) 10, (W&W III) 9
Graphics: (W&W I) Perfect Pixel 10, (W&W II) Perfect Pixel 10, (W&W III) 9
Mini-Games: (W&W I) none, (W&W II) gambling, (W&W III) N/A
Difficulty: (W&W I) Back Then: 8 Now:2, (W&W II) Back Then: 10 Now:10, (W&W III) Back Then: N/A Now: 3
By defeating enemies and opening treasure chests throughout the levels, Kuros may pick up items to aid him in his quest. Kuros may find Potions, Food (healing items), extra weapons, and other Tools. Although the game is considered to be quite challenging, the player is aided with unlimited continues with the only penalty being that the score is reset to 0.
A few new elements were introduced in this installment of the series. Gems and keys still exist, although the former are used for monetary purposes and the latter can be stored to open any chest Kuros comes across. Shops are located in each level, which sell weapons, food and magic spells. Kuros can also gamble in a game of chance at each shop, where the goal is to guess which cup a skull will land in. New to the series were magic spells which give Kuros special abilities for a limited period of time. Some spells can be used at any time, while others are only for specific situations.
In this trilogy, you play as the hero Kuros and you battle with an Evil Sorcerer called Malkil. In the first game you must rescue the princesses and destroy Malkil and his evil power.
In Ironsword, you goal is to complete the four pieces of the Ironsword and destroy the four elementals Wind, Earth, Fire, Water who are controlled by Malkil.
In Wizards and Warriors III you once again have to destroy Malkil as he posses the King of Piedup and you must learn various skills in order to finally destroy this wizard once and for all.
One of the best Nintendo trilogies of all time and one of the most difficult ones as well as these games had so much replay value that it never got old. I played the first two games on the original Nintendo system and seeing number three for the first time a few years ago. I don’t remember how long it took but I did beat the first one and only getting to the last stage in number II without never beating that game. Although the Wikipedia article states that the second game was easier that is untrue if you ever made it to the final stage and took on all four elementals at once with limited magic and no continues. As for the third game I wasn’t really impressed with it when I first tried it out and even though I have never beaten it, I doubt I will as I feel that game is let down after the other two games.
22, 19, 17 years later:
With the exception of number three, the first two games are still the best and I still play them now and then with finally beating Wizard and Warriors II 2007-2008. The music, the well detailed graphics, the bosses and so on are still great and well ahead of the time for the gaming World.
(W&W 1) 10, (W&W II) 10, (W&W III) 3
Now for that Catchy slogan–
“Games don’t get old, just people!”
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