Wizardry 7 vs. Wizardry Gold

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Wizardry 7 vs. Wizardry Gold

Postby HunterZ » 2003-4-12 @ 21:16

I finally got my hands on a copy of the Ultimate Wizardry Archive so that I could check out a full version of Wizardry Gold. I'm having a hard time deciding whether I should use it or try to play Wiz7 in DOSbox. Here are the tradeoffs:

Wiz7 in DOSbox:

Pros:
- original graphics, music, and interface

Cons:
- can only hear game sounds properly in DOSbox using PC speaker for output, so they're lower quality (maybe) and delayed
- hard to find a balance between smoothness and speed on my PIII-550. I have to run in a small window or full-screen, so it's harder to refer to maps and walkthrus :P
- text-dissolve effects are super-slow in DOSbox

Wiz Gold in XP:

Pros:
- can see automap at all times (yay, it's now remotely useful)
- narrator voice makes the game's mounds of text more interesting
- it seems that you can use items from your swag bag in combat, even in the latest patch :eek:
- runs fast and smooth for the most part

Cons:
- not particularly fond of the graphics, music, and interface changes
- some text goes by super-fast (such as NPC speech), so you have to listen to the recorded talking to find out what the text said
- had to run in Win9x compatability mode until I got the latest patch to prevent a fatal error message when I start the program. The patch also fixed a problem with some of the intro movies not showing (regardless of compatability mode settings)
- game screen was designed for 640x480 and doesn't stretch. On the other hand this can be a good thing because at lower resolutions than 1024x768 I can't find a good place to put the automap
- some of the voices (e.g. Munks, Savant Guards) are cheesy and don't reflect the spirit of things IMHO
- instead of using the original "movies", which had decent hand-drawn comic book/Super Nintendo style graphics, they decided to recreate them using (by today's standards) primitive 3D graphics

Other:
- I set Intellipoint to make the middle mouse button act as the Escape key in WIZARD.EXE so that I could abort the talking and other various sounds that cause the game to otherwise sieze up in a most annoying manner until they've finished playing (a leftover feature from the DOS version probably, which had to use the entire CPU to crank the digitized sounds out of the speaker or sound card 1 bit at a time)

Conclusion:
- Between the automap and swag-bag-in-combat "features" and the more Windows-friendliness, I'm currently slightly in favor of Wizardry Gold. It's too bad Wizardry Gold doesn't make Wizardry 7 compatable save files (to my knowledge) and vice-versa. I feel like I might be missing out on the original experience. Oh well, I probably won't beat the thing anyways (although I managed to beat Wiz 6 and 8 over the years, and probably would have beat 7 if I had got a printout of the maps and/or hadn't switched to newer hardware and operating systems that don't agree much with it)
You're perfect, yes it's true...but without me, you're only you.
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HunterZ
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