Review by Dave Goss
Same Wizardry with a slight twist
The Wizardry III port for NES shares a lot in common with its PC counterpart. The main differences are the music and improved graphical presentation.
Graphics 6/10: They have improved significantly since Wizardry I, but the basic elements are still the same. You still don't really see anything in the dungeon, which both improves and hinders the story telling. It would not have been difficult to display things like NPCs in the dungeon. If you were pleased with the graphics in the other Wizardry titles, you will be at home here.
Music and Sound 6/10: Music is fairly typical of the series. The track that plays in the maze is particularly catchy. There is even a boss track, which you can only hear at a specific spot. Sounds and music here hasn't really improved or diminished since The Knight of Diamonds.
Gameplay 9/10: The main difference between Wizardry III and the first two scenarios is the importance of alignment. For the PC version, changing alignment was something new, but this has always been a feature of Wizardry on NES. Certain floors will not allow good or evil characters to enter. In order to enter both the good and evil floors, you will need to change alignment or create 2 different parties. You will technically only need to change alignment once, but unfortunately alignment changes are random when you choose to fight a friendly encounter. Thus, it is really frustrating to make your evil ninja good.
Classes and spells are all identical to previous scenarios. There are additional items in the game, but only 3 items are alignment restricted (and it's really just the same item for each alignment). Compared to the first two scenarios, Wizardry III is a lot more difficult to start out. But once you reach level 10ish, your characters will be fairly adequate against most monsters in the maze. This may be due to a fundamental lack of a final boss. I was able to run through the game without even learning the dreaded Tiltowait spell!
Replayability 7/10: Unfortunately, you can't travel to the final floor after you complete the main quest, thus you can't fighter to harder monsters that give more experience and better items. It is still fun to run through the game with a new party though, but it is disappointing to have nothing to fight with your well accomplished party. Most of the items you'll want (such as the ever elusive Dagger of Thieves [called the Butterfly Knife here]) will be unavailable to characters that already beat the game.
Overall: It's a good experience, especially if you're a Wizardry fan. Though it was not released outside Japan, the game is translated in its current state. Thus, if you have a Famicom, you can change the game to English on the option menu. This makes it a great choice for import fans as well. If you like Wizardry, hack'n-slash, or old RPGs in general, you should get a few good hours out of Wizardry III.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
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