Quest for Glory V - Review

By Joshua "Darien" Maciel, Editorial Writer (and all around good guy)

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 8
   Gameplay 8
   Music 7
   Originality 9
   Plot 9
   Replay Value 7
   Sound 9
   Visuals 9
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete



Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire  

   It is a sad sad time for all PC RPGamers out there who have been used to the comic meddlings of Lori Cole and her cast of monsters and mischief-makers, and malevolent masterminds... Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire has come and gone, making the cycle of zero to hero in the games complete. As the unnamed adventurer, you travel all around the Meditteranean Sea (which of course is not called the Meditteranean Sea, but has Minos, Hades, Hydras, etc), from the Underworld to Atlantis. In the course of your travels, you meet old characters, new characters, and your time as an adventurer comes to an end with the closing sequence...

   Unlike Quest for Glory 1-4, Dragon Fire does not enter a separate screen for battles. Instead, they are all fought in the screen you're in at the time. Everything is done quite seamlessly in the new battle engine. Combat becomes almost as fluid as walking around, which is a very welcome cry from Quest for Glory 4's somewhat confusing battle system. The only thing that keeps the battle system in Dragon Fire from being perfect is that with some of the screens, you're far away from the action, and it becomes a bit difficult to orient yourself in the right direction when fighting multiple enemies. Combat in Quest for Glory V can be avoided far more than you could in the other four, making the thief class far more enjoyable.

   The gameplay is very natural. Everything is accessible quickly, everything is there. I was incredibly suprised at how short it took for me to get used to system. As soon as I got used to it, I hardly noticed it was there. There is not a single little annoying quirk where I thought to myself, "It would be so much easier if they had just done <insert wish here>." It was incredibly well done. The only real trouble with the gameplay is the same as that with the battle system -- when your perspective is far away, it becomes a little difficult to orient yourself in the correct direction to use an item.

   The music from Quest for Glory V is incredibly well done. The soundtrack brings back old melodies and incorporates them with new ones, as well as having brand new tracks for your listening pleasure. I think that William Trotter, syndicated columnist for PC Gamer and Interaction magazine put it best:
"This score [is] first rate, nicely varied in terms of style and texture, and the recorded sound is smashingˇ (I was a music critic for 12 years before becoming a game reviewerˇ) "
I couldn't have said it better myself, so I simply won't.

Erasmus' Surreal Realm
Erasmus' Surreal Realm  

   Ever since the first Quest for Glory came out, it seems that the talented team led by Lori Cole has succeeded in incorporating originality into their games. That originality resides in the characters they've created, and the worlds that they've lived in. However, in this game, the worlds of the past are gone, and replaced with a world spoken of in mythology. In this setting is where that originality explodes, bringing the characters from the past games back, and retiring them all in style. In addition to those old characters, some old characters that are spoken of but never really seen are shown, to really close up all the loose ends that have been created over the years...

   The goal of the game is to be a hero, which you've proven yourself four times already. However, the goal of the game is also to find closure, as the series is coming to an end. I won't spoil the plot, merely reveal what some of the screenshots show you. You have to go to Hades, to Atlantis, and kill a Hydra. You break into two fortresses, and spoil the plans of evil men everywhere. If you couldn't tell from the title, you also encounter a dragon. The plot culminates in the ultimate end to your adventuring with a suprise I wouldn't dream of spoiling for you...

The Kattas Return
The Kattas Return  

   Unlike the first four games, this one has incredible variety in the puzzles and solutions and sidequests. Each class has its own special quest, and thieves are left with even more to do. The ending varies greatly depending on choices you make, which adds another degree of replayability. All in all, if you're a Quest for Glory fanatic like me, you'll go through each of the endings. If not, you may go through a couple, or you may stop at two. Chances are that you'll still be craving more after the first win, because this is the last of the series, and it's the last time you will be able to really enjoy a new Quest for Glory game...

   There is digitized speech throughout the game. The speech is done by wonderful actors, and the characters come out just like I thought they would. The jokes are delivered perfectly, and the meaning is always clear. This series is the Working Designs of the computer world. They put so much love into their games, and it really shows. Along with the speech, the sound effects are nothing less than appropriate. You get so immersed in the world, from the tortured souls in Hades to to sound of the water...

   The graphics hold true to the style the Quest for Glory series has always used. The hero still looks like the hero, the Kattas still look like Kattas, and everything is hunky dory. The backgrounds are wonderfully drawn, and you can interact with them without noticing a change in quality. The characters are looking better than ever, with the new graphics engine used for Dragon Fire. The beauty of this game, and I'll keep saying it, is that it doesn't feel like you're playing a game as much as interacting with an environment. There are no sudden changes in the game, no different screens for battles, and everything uses the same gameplay (combat, equipping, casting spells). The graphics play a huge role by not showing any real difference in quality from screen to screen, from scene to scene.

This hero likes long walks on the beach... How romantic!
This hero likes long walks on the beach... How romantic!  

   The difficulty as with any Quest for Glory game, is highly dependent on you. Nothing is really a problem as you play, but at the same times there are parts where you die or have trouble with a puzzle. The reason that the difficulty is medium is because you can save at any time. That means that even if you have some trouble with the game, you won't lose hours of work, you'll just lose a few minutes as you go back to the past save.

   The game is probably ranges from about 15-25 hours. I'm just taking a wild stab at it, since it doesn't have any time counter that keeps track for you. As always, there are lots of fun things to do to distract you for a while, with side quests and mini-games, and other such nonsense. Enjoy it while it lasts, because the game ends, taking the series with it.

   This game incorporates almost seamless gameplay and combat, brings back the characters and the humour of the past five games, and does so with the perfect end to the tale of the man who wanted to be an adventurer. Every aspect of this game showed that it was polished. If there was ever an example to show the world of how to end a series, this game would be it. Play the first four, and then play this. It's not gaming perfection, but it's close to it.

One Sentence Summary: All good things must come to an end, none do it as well as this game.

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