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By-the-numbers fantasy RPG
Another in the seemingly endless array of fantasy RPGs which flooded the market in the 1990s, this one uses the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons ruleset to create a fine, if somewhat unoriginal, game that is interesting for hardcore genre fans, but which may prove a turn-off for other gamers. Similar in style to Eye of the Beholder, Dungeon Master or the Lands of Lore series, the game features the usual array of character customisation options, epic quests and real-time battles which are well enough implemented, but feel somewhat tired. Story-wise, Menzoberranzan follows the usual fantasy style of evil monsters running amok and which must be stopped by the player by exploring dungeons and slaying whatever they come across. It's the usual disposable nonsense, but if you enjoy this sort of thing, then it is fairly compelling. As usual, you get to create a party of adventurer to control, while combat plays out in real-time to keep you on your toes. There is a slightly greater emphasis on puzzles here which at least provides something slightly different, but really this is business as usual for the fantasy RPG genre. When compared to the likes of Ravenloft, this does feel slow and empty, and lacks the great sense of adventure that the best such games have, thanks to many locations having little in the way of actual exploration. The graphics are again fairly ordinary, with environments and characters of minimal detail and which feel very familiar if you've ever played any similar game. Add in the less-than-exciting monsters and strictly by-the-numbers plot and you have a adventure that isn't bad but is strictly average.
3D Forgotten Realms RPG
Menzoberranzan is a Forgotten Realms 3D RPG, featuring the already popular Golden Box look and the same technical build. Right from the get go you will have to create a party and go deep into the city of Menzoberranzan, an underground maze which feels like an extended dungeon, though it does have its own unique styling and city feel. This means that you are never far away from a merchant, from a blacksmith or from a local tavern. This gives the game a unique feel and style, which might remind you of other dungeons crawlers, but it still offers something rather unique. In a sense it was bound to be so, given that the game arrived in 94, time enough for this particular game to have learned a lot from its brethren of the genre. Graphically, the fact that the game was released so late in the 90s is very good, as the game world features higher quality textures and generally more sprawling architecture for its levels. It is still not a modern RPG, but it has a more streamline feel to it than most other games released back in the day. So, without a doubt that you are going to like it, especially if you have a sweet tooth for first person RPGs that remind of the Golden Box era.