Lands of Lore 3
The third part continues the Lands of Lore story line around the destiny of the throne of Gladstone and the fate of the Lands. Where the first part had the player choose between four characters with different attributes to defeat the evil witch Scotia who tried to kill King Richard, the second had the player lead her son Luther into battle agains the re-awakening god Belial.
Here you play Copper LeGre, the nephew of King Richard. Thanks to the Drarakel leaving the Lands to join his fellow gods again now that Belial has been laid to rest permanently, his mirror ruptured and as a result dimensional portals open close to Gladstone. From these portal rift hounds appear and attack Copper, his father and half-brothers in the woods.
Copper survives but had his soul torn from him. With the guidance of Dawn he seeks the Drarakel`s advice to find out that the Drarakel`s servant Jakel has taken over the giving advice position. But going through one of the portals you find the Drarakel and he sents you on a mission to collect the pieces of his broken mirror by going through all the portals.
As aid Copper gets a magical companion from one of the four guilds. All four of them have different abilities and dialogues. These guilds represent the basic fanasy classes: Warrior, Magician, Priest and Thief.
I guess to some degree I enjoyed the game a lot but I can not help to notice what an embarrassing pile of rubbish it is. Before I go into detail, I should mention that while I thought the second part was really awesome, I hated the graphics and how you control Luther, the system has not improved for this part. I actually would say the graphic is awful.
As you will be able to see from the screenshots I will include later on, often you do not even see where you are going, without the light spell and sometimes with it. The characters are very pixelish and look odd in their surrounding enviroment. The second one used real actors, this part obviously stuck to animated figures. I was not impressed at all. While having an open enviroment is certainly nice compared to the square by square cave levels of the first game, visually it is everything but impressive.
As good as the idea with the four guilds might seem, the way it is implemented in the game is dreadfully stupid. First of all, you can join all four guilds in one game and thus can get access to spells and all the equipment sold by the guilds. The only drawback is that you need a bit longer to advance in levels.
Now, the experienced player might think this is a wonderful way to increase difficulty by limiting one self to play without magic or without any really cool weapons/striking abilities. That has the disadvantage of barring the already barren game of even more interaction with characters. Each guild gives you an initial mission, then two other one`s to rise in ranks. Without these the whole game is just a boring, go there, do that, come back go to the next portal world.
Worst of all the quests are bugged and some part of the guild life not even completed. So if you complete the second quest you get a new set of abilities from each guild. If you finish the third one, no such abilities are given. The third quest can not even be completed for the mage and thieves guild. Although the thieves at least gave me an item.
Which brings me to the whole story in general. The ideas and possibilities are endless, but barely touched. Copper is part Dracoid, his step mother and Geron the king's right hand man hate him because of it. Now, that he is the sole heir to the throne people are supposed to go frantic. But there is very little of that in the game, apart form a few scenes were Geron makes an ass out of himself. You can disover that he is plottin against the King and Copper but you can not act on it.
Often you have the stupidiest conversations with characters and false info is exchanged. For example: Completing the Iceworld Quest first and the Vulcano world second, you still tell your guild contacts you have been two the iceworld both times. You meet characters and later there is no mentioning that you already met them. While the shop owners talk to you a bit, there is little more converstation between you and others beyond the guild quest and the main plot. Take away some of the guilds and there is almost no interaction left.
Even at a low level with all the guilds joined the fights are very very easy. Apart from a few spots that rely on jumping there is no point that is really hard to crack (and that kind of cracking is something rather annoying, trying to find the right second and WINKEL to jump.)
There dimensions you visit are not that intriguing, first the volcano world. You meet the Drarakle and when you get back you knock over a few hissing vents and mini volcanos to get some stone elevators moving or platforms rising. You battle some fire elements and fire beetles and if you got a certain bow from the warrior guild it is way too easy. At the end you battle a dragon named Morphera, you meet her two times before that and she gives a bit of whiny, racist monologues and how she graciously decides to spare you. The volcano world is a really lame world.
There is the ice world, where the white tower from the first game is supposed to come from. You walk through a lot of ice cold water and jump from ice plateaus to thin ice cliffs. Then you help to clean up the tower from the staks. If you do that without harming an amazon, you become their sex toy and they will torture you to death in their S/M bondage playroom. Otherwise you kill them all which you can do immediately. It is not like you can free their other male sex toys and you only get mind numbing dumb conversations if you talk to the guys (or the amazons for that matter).