My thoughts on Might and Magic X - Legacy
A MM 9 fan who recently sent in another score asked me my opinion of MM X. Since others might also be interested, here is what I wrote to him. It not an extensive review, just some thoughts as they popped up during the writing. It skips listing the game's features, since you can find those at the official site and a lot of other places on the internet.
Currently I'm playing MM X with my 6th party, but my interest is seriously tapering off now. (Tried to specialize on bows and crossbows, but I'm not getting far with that.)
MM X is quite hard in the beginning, even on low difficulty, and quite easy in the second half, even on high difficulty. I've had no crashes or savegame breaking bugs, though of course there are hunderds of small bugs to be found if you play enough ;-)
At first only moving in a grid felt absurdly primitive, but you get used to it fairly quickly and the advantage is that it is easier to make sure you've explored everything - I think that in almost all of my games I've colored in the maps close to 100%.
Once you know your way around, you can probably play through the whole game in under 50 hours, but with the first party it is a lot of searching where you can continue exploring without being killed by monsters yet too strong (especially in chapter 2).
A fair bit of that time is spent walking around to reach a trainer, a shop, a quest giver, etc. Between the 4 cities there is transportation to the others you have already been to, but the spirit beacon will only have 1 location at the time, even on grandmaster. Walking around is extra slow because the game's performance is pretty bad: loading the outdoors takes about 30 seconds, and walking around there also triggers loading times of about 5 seconds when crossing between areas. And in some areas where there are more monsters around, it slows down too. I guess if I would have installed the game on my SSD it might have been faster, but for such a simple game it is definitely under par.
So with all these comments, why have I played it a lot anyhow?
- each level up and skill increase is clearly noticable, and monsters that kicked your butt a few levels ago suddenly become easy.
- nostalgic: it reminds me of the games I played in the 80s and 90s.
- there are 12 classes, each with its own promotion quest, so you need at least 3 parties to try them all. Actually more since grabbing just 4 random classes makes it very hard or at least quite tedious to play. Especially for magic users there are few choices: only 3 of the 12 classes can cast identify, and only 1 class has access to dark magic that has some very useful spells like detect secret doors.
- there are quite a few spells, items, relics, and enough randomization in magic items to make finding treasure fun.
While playing MM-X, I ran into a few area's where I couldn't find spoilers the way I wanted them, so I decided to extend an excel sheet I found online, and add my info: a list of all trainers ordered by skill, and a list of all NPCs.
The original sheet is from someone called Kordanor2 at the UbiSoft Forums (profile), and I sent him a PM that he could take my extensions and publish them in his sheet, but I didn't get a reply, so you can download the sheet with my extensions here.