Mean Machines

Might And Magic

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Machine: Sega Mega Drive (EU Version)

Published in Mean Machines #10

Might And Magic

The Earth Elemental Emperor Gralkor the Cruel (or Grally-babes to his mates, of which he has few) is a bit miffed. Those pesky humans, elves, gnomes and dwarves have covered the lands with their towns and farms and they just won't go away. However, the smelly mortals have lost the Orb of Power and the Talons that hold it! Without the Orb to protect them, the population is at Gralkor's mercy, so someone has to get out there and find it!

Magic And Magic: Gates To Another World is a fantasy role-playing game set in a mystical land. The task is to lead a party of brave adventurers through the cities, dungeons and wildernesses on their quest to recover the Orb and Talons. Spell-users add magic to the party's arsenal, and lighters have the muscle necessary to beat up monsters. Thieves pick locks, detect and remove traps and generally act in a helpfully sneaky manner.

The locations are viewed through a 3D window in the display and when monsters are around, they're shown here. Killing these creatures gives the party experience and the chance to gather booty, which allows them to buy goods in the shops and taverns of the realm. Eventually, the quest leads to the Orb itself, but along the way the party faces monsters, disease, and a hosdt of other repulsive fates. The current game can be saved to battery-backed RAM so that the adventure can be continued at a later date.

Character Building

Might and Magic: Gates to Another World

A pre-generated party comes supplied with the game, but most players will want to make their own group of characters to explore the world. The program generates a random set of statistics, and the player has to select one of eight classes and a race for the character, bearing in mind that certain races are better at things than others (for example, dwarves make excellent fighters but crappy spell-users). Make your character male or female then choose his or her alignment to make your party either a bunch of goody-two-shoes or a group of marauding brigands!

Mighty Magic

The spell-casters start off with weedy magic but once they begin to climb in levels they have access to powerful spells. A first level character only uses first level magic but once he's reached the seventh level of experience he can cast up to fourth level spells. Clerics advance the same way, and high-level archers and paladins get juicy spells as well.

However, keeping these frail people alive long enough is a serious problem!


Might and Magic: Gates to Another World

What puts me off most RPGs is the long-winded combat-by-rounds system which I find boring, and unfortunately that's the system used in Might And Magic. My first battle was against two orcs and it took about five minutes of command selection to defeat them - five minutes of not-much-excitement, I'm afraid.

Making the game a little more interesting is the wide variety of monsters, though some of them rather unlikely - how about being attacked by a ravenous gang of witch's cats, or a couple of small dinosaurs who were wandering the city streets. The game has a lot of depth and there's wide scope for character development but anyone who isn't already a keen role-player won't appreciate it, and may well find the lack of action and atmosphere make Might And Magic a real drag.


I expected this to be somewhat disappointing but I was surprised to find that it's actually a lot better than Faery Tale Adventure. The graphics are a little basic, but this sort of game needs playability rather than cosmetic touches - a lesson that Faery Tale Adventure should have considiered!

Might and Magic: Gates to Another World

The game is absolutely enormous, and the combat is sufficiently tough to keep you happy. Be careful of wandering about at night! Overall, this is one of the best RPGs to appear on the Megadrive so far. Try not to have a heart attack over the price though.


Presentation 73%
The basic but informative intros set the style for the rest of the game.

Graphics 79%
Hardly elaborate, but the monster graphics are good, and the different displays give the player all the information he needs.

Might and Magic: Gates to Another World

Sound 63%
There's no way anyone could play this game for hours listening to the insipid tune, but thankfully it can be turned off.

Playability 80%
M&M2 is instantly playable and the old-fashioned combat, though long-winded, isn't too difficult to get to grips with.

Lastability 85%
This will take a long time to complete, but considering the price it ought to!

Overall 80%
Wealthy RPG fans should enjoy this, but beginners may not be quite so taken with Might And Magic.