Return to Ultima
The first game in the now legendary Ultima series might look a bit crude nowadays, but it still stands as a true innovator in the RPG market. This first sequel is certainly larger in scope than its predecessor but is for many the weakest entry in the franchise, although it is still well worth a look. The gameplay hasn't evolved all that much, but there are some interesting tweaks to go along with the epic narrative and which combine to make a solid game. The complex story here involves a tale of revenge for your actions in the first game, and which sees a vengeful apprentice traveling to Earth in order to get some payback. This finds her causing a nuclear war with the intention of wiping you from history. The basic gameplay is very similar to other such games, and sees you exploring a massive world and various time zones, while picking up quests, slaying monsters and seeking out important items. One of the additions here is the inclusion of separate maps for towns and the main world, but in all honesty, this is mostly more of the same. However, that still makes for a pretty good old-school RPG and if you do enjoy the likes of Bard's Tale, there's much to enjoy here. The basic concept is probably the best part, with some interesting ideas floating around here, but the story itself is pretty lackluster, with not much actually happening. Exploration and combat are as enjoyable as ever, while the time traveling aspect is well integrated and adds much to the appeal. The visuals are obviously crude, but it's the sense of adventure that you come for, and in this regard, the game just about delivers.