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 Ultima IX Ascension - Die Demo 

UA Demo Mini Review
von Joshua Rowan
Offzielles Forum Samstag, 30 Okt '99

Okay, hopefully that was loud enough that people not wanting to hear anything will ignore it :) So, I'm very bleery eyed right now (2am), after having stared at my computer for the last 6 hours playing UA. My brain is a little too numb to give in-depth content to this review, but if anyone has specific questions, feel free to ask away.....OH, and the scary part - I just managed to actually leave Earth only about an hour ago......

I think I'll just do an A-F System for all the major aspects of the game, then maybe discuss it more tomorrow if I think I missed anything:

OVERALL GRADE - A - An incredibly addicting and fun RPG game

LOYALTY TO ULTIMA LORE - A - As far as I can tell so far, it is holding extremely close to all aspects of the Ultima universe.

CINEMATICS - A+ - I can't decide if the best scene is when the Guardian discovers that you've come back to Britannia (I was truly creeped out by his reaction) or if it was when the dragon came flying over the ridge, startling me just about as much as it did the Avatar......

MUSIC - A - Very UOish, which I consider to be a good thing

SOUND EFFECTS
- A - very nice surround sound

GRAPHICS - A- - I highly recommend going with 16 bit if you can. The 8 bit was just too pixelated for my taste. I would also recommend going with a Voodoo 2 or 3 if you can. From the sounds of it the demo has several problems with TNT cards (though I don't think the final has these issues)

EASE OF INTERFACE - Initially C, but after getting used to it a B+ (I don't play many 1st person perspective games, so that was most of my learning curve)

TUTORIAL - A++ - One of the best tutorials I've ever seen in a game. It basically taught me everything via voice overlays, books laying around, signs, and other helpful items. Great for both brand new RPG gamers and Veterans who are learning the unique structure of this game.

THE WORLD - A - I don't think there was a single thing I wasn't able to manipulate. From the dirty dishes in the sink, to the breadmaker, to the computer (with UO on it I might add), and even to the climbing, swimming and easy jumping interface.....One of the most incredible images I had was when I looked up to see a brigand standing above me. I went into combat mode (very nicely laid out to match UO's hotkeys) and turned to swing when suddenly I was hit in the face with the blinding light of the sun that had just peaked over the hills - WOW!

VOICES - A - Almost everything is done by voice.

SAVE/LOAD TIMES
- A - I literally could barely tell that the game was even saving or loading. Maybe 3-4 seconds?

BUGS/CRASHES - F - That's why I'm writing this now instead of still playing. I finally hit a bug that destroyed my entire save game directory. I almost had to start from scratch until I figured out how to restore it by deleting the possess file in the save directory (not that I really mind starting over since I'm having so much fun anyway). I hit a LOT of fatal crashes. The key (is to save often......

ISSUES:
1) I couldn't figure out how to customize the keyboard - something essential for Left Handers. This was especially irritating since I use the right-side Alt & Cntrl keys, which are used for strifing (and which are backwards on that side).
2) I tried increasing the screen size to 800x600. All it seemed to do was mess up where the gumps layed out on the screen without significantly improving graphic quality. Hopefully this will be fixed in the final...

Joshua Rowan Dragon