Favorite Heroes game, Favorite Might and Magic game

The role-playing games (I-X) that started it all and the various spin-offs (including Dark Messiah).

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BurntPhoenix
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Favorite Heroes game, Favorite Might and Magic game

Postby BurntPhoenix » Feb 12 2014, 9:09

Liven the thread up by discussing why they’re your favorite, probably compare them, maybe tie them together to show how they satisfy your tastes the most, etc.

Mine are Homm2, and MM7.

Well first off, the high fantasy element is really prominent in both games, so very compelling and a source of inspiration to this day and till my last. Both grounded firmly in classicism, and in most cases the visuals and ideas stay true to traditional myths and fantasy establishments as envisioned and adhered to by most in this day and age (i.e. elves, dwarves, humans, etc.) H2 as a whole seems ripped straight out of a childhood fairy tale right to the computer, a smooth transition that sees all creatures and things as you still would expect to be illustrated on the pages of said tale.

I seen a post on here before state MM7 is pretty much the most Tolkienesque of the MM series--- the Tularean elves would not be out of place at all in the lush forest glens of Middle Earth, I’d say. Those angry living trees outside of Pierpont? The Ents would find common kinship, but would probably tease them for not being able to move like them.

Even without considering the classicism of both games’ art directions, there’s simply the aesthetically-pleasing quality that I can’t overstate. There is little to nothing I’d want to change about the designs, appearances, etc in both games, unlike many of the models in the ubisoft games, or even some of the NWC’s models in their other games (chicken thing on fire masquerading as Phoenix in H3 and H4, anyone?). Some designs in different settings/ universes/mediums make me nitpick. For example, the nerd in me can’t help but look at the Troll in Snow White and go “Is that supposed a troll or a weird earth elemental with horns?”. Rarely, if ever, the case in H2 and MM7. That’s timelessness right there. Additionally, to further tie both together in regard to the visual aspect, H2 and MM7 had adopted similar graphics from their respective revolutionary predecessors and refined them in some way.

Obviously all the games in both series are high fantasy-oriented, but some are less so than others; take MM6, for example: your party can only consist of humans, most/all? Towns have human populations, etc. Also, sometimes you would see creative liberties taken with the creatures in Homm2 and a bit more often in MM7--- again, heavy on the classicism--- but later was when you’d see less traditional appearances and ideas applied to familiar creatures (examples- darker complexioned dwarves with crossbows(!) in MM8, “truly” mechanical dragon golems in Heroes IV, etc, etc).

And the choice you can make between good and evil-- a pillar to the success of both games! Archibald or Roland. Celeste or the Pit. Wizards and their titans or Warlocks and their dragons. Kastore and his henchman or Resurrectra and her allies. Both sides of the coin visited and perspectives flipped over. Granted, good vs. evil is such a tired theme in fantasy and elsewhere. But moral ambiguity isn’t always a recipe for greatness. And good vs. evil isn’t always a recipe for generic blandness. A compelling enough story behind the good vs. evil theme can still be effective in this day and age. H2 and MM7 are proof enough of that.

Oh, the cinematics and narrative in either game? The best in their respective series.

The cinematics in any Heroes or MM game blow me away, especially the NWC ones. But the MM7 and H2 ones were something else. The intros of both stick with me for their presentation and humor. MM6 and MM8 intros were really cool, but didn’t really make some much room for surprises with the apocalyptic theme --- with MM7’s intros, I like that you weren’t exactly sure of your role quite right away in the game’s events, and it, at the very start anyway, made it so that things were or at least seemed smaller-scale than simply “world is ending/being invaded and you’re destined to save it”. In regards to the Heroes games intros, the H2 style had this charm visually that couldn’t be reproduced. Also, there’s good things to be said about the serious and dramatic H3 and H4 opening cinematics, but let’s face it, “boating accident” cannot and will not be overtaken, like, ever.

Storylines in H2 and MM7 were also just wonderful, arguably the most politically-charged in one another’s series.

Obviously, a whole lot of differences between the two games. No matter the similarities, can’t put aside the fact they at least take place on different landmasses and what-not. I had started with the Might and Magic part, before the Heroes part, and I think by its very nature, the Heroes part has more staying power… but both wonderful experiences I’m thankful for.

It’s also very possible World of Xeen could tie MM7 as my favorite Might and Magic.

Got lots of time to have typed this. But it was a lot of fun.

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Postby magritte2 » Mar 13 2014, 19:15

I'd opt for HOMM2 as well, but will take M&M VI for the M&M games (with the caveat that I've only played VI,VII, VIII, and X.

There are a couple of things I love about HOMM2, which is one of my favorite games ever. One is that they didn't sacrifice variety of gameplay on the altar of attempting to balance the factions. The factions are unbalanced by design and you had to play differently depending on which you had. And I liked the more open style of the maps without all the gates and so on. With so many of the maps in the later games, you don't have to worry about enemy heroes until well into the game and it makes a lot of the maps feel very similar.

Narrative, well the campaign cinematics were well done, but I've never felt that narrative was a particular strength of the series. Disciples had a more interesting story in my opinion, but was not close on gameplay.

As far as M&M VI goes, what made it special for me was the dungeon design. There were some huge and crazy maps (Castle Alamos, Hall of the Fire God, etc) that were so much fun. VI and VII were pretty similar and there were things that were a bit more refined in the game system about the latter, but I thought VI had better dungeons.

I think Heroes is the stronger series overall, in part because it's the big fish in the small pond of turn-based strategy. You really can't compare it to something like the Civ series, and it towers over anything else in the fantasy strategy niche like Disciples and Warlords. There's a lot more competition in RPG's, and there are other series which made design choices I prefer. That said, playing M&M X again reminded me that if I'm going to play an RPG that's basically all about killing monsters and getting loot, I much prefer the tactical turn-based M&M style to the Diablo/Torchlight games. In M&M, I'm actually thinking about what I'm doing; Diablo and Torchlight is mostly on autopilot unless I hit a particularly difficult section.

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Postby Angelspit » Mar 14 2014, 17:57

Heroes III and M&M VI (how original...)
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Postby BoardGuest808888 » Mar 20 2014, 9:22

While it was HoMM2 along with King's Bounty that tied me with the Heroes series, I'll say HoMM3 is the one I liked most. Not only the balance between factions were so much better, but the varieties of gameplay, strategies and tactics were also so much more than the previous sequel. These provide virtually endless replayability.

Artwise, HoMM2 was superb, but HoMM3 was also an epic. Few games in its time even matched its brilliance and strike.

For M&M, I'd go with M&M 7. It was one of the most engaging of the series, giving your own castle to tend was among the first RPGs which did, giving you a sense of belonging to the entire environment and not just a random goblin butcher mindlessly roll dices in pre-set scenery like the old PnP ADD RPGs.

M&M 8 inherited much of the vibrant features of the 7th, but the whole moment just wasn't cut it anymore. Not only it was outcompeted by the other game sequels, but also in term of M&M timeline, there was not much thing to do anymore after every epics with the Kreegans were gone. A pity, for sure since the world of Jadame had so many potentials.

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Postby skinothetis1 » Mar 24 2014, 3:05

First castle given property was on Clouds of Xeen(unless M&M 1 or 2 does that, can't recall since i only played once) and best M&M for me is clouds of Xeen.
I don't play Heroes, i hate strategy games.
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Postby hellegennes » Mar 31 2014, 19:39

I was first introduced to the series with Heroes I and went on the buy all subsequent heroes games and their expansions (except for the Heroes Chronicles). I've probably stated it a lot of times already but I think the high point of the series was Heroes II, for many reasons, some of them detailed by magritte2 (e.g.: variety over balance). I actually believe Heroes IV could be better but it was released in an unfinished state. The same goes for Heroes VI, which had some very nice ideas and would be a great game if the developers were given at least one more year to work on it.

My first Might and Magic game was MM VI. I first learned about it through that hidden ad in the main menu of Heroes II. I bought all subsequently titles in the series and after finishing MM IX I went on to play the older titles. Hence, I've played MM I through X and Heroes I through VI. I never played any of the other series unless you count free-to-play Heroes Kingdoms and the original King's Bounty. MM VI was the high point of the MM series, in my opinion. There are many reasons, none of which has anything to do with the order that I first played each title. MM VII had a lot of improvements but I partly disliked the fact that there were class restrictions on skills, though it made the game more realistic. It was also much smaller than MM VI in terms of duration. The dungeons were also a lot smaller and the game overall was much easier.

Now, I haven't yet finished MM X, but it's much better than I thought it would be. I find it quite enjoyable, even though it's quite clear that they intentionally set the bar not too high. It feels as if it was made to reintroduce the series to the gaming world rather than trying to compete with the previous titles in the series. That said, it's definitely 10.000 better than MM IX and it could easily compete with MM VIII. I sincerely hope that the game sells well. I think the guys at Limbic made a great effort and they deserve it (and we might get to see MM XI).

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Postby hellegennes » Mar 31 2014, 19:47

BoardGuest808888 wrote:For M&M, I'd go with M&M 7. It was one of the most engaging of the series, giving your own castle to tend was among the first RPGs which did, giving you a sense of belonging to the entire environment and not just a random goblin butcher mindlessly roll dices in pre-set scenery like the old PnP ADD RPGs.


Daggerfall also allowed the player to own a house. Well, multiple houses if the player had the money to buy them. You could also buy a boat and a horse which you could ride, which was pretty cool at the time. Daggerfall and MM VI are said to have been the two titles that revived the dying RPG genre.

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Postby Bloax » Apr 1 2014, 9:31

Might and Magic 9
It was a revolutionary game that set a new standard in stone for game development in the far future.
Topping that? Unthinkable.

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Postby Avonu » Apr 1 2014, 12:01

:lolu:

Topping that? Unthinkable.

For some reason, HoMM6 came to my mind.

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Postby Bloax » Apr 1 2014, 21:56

Heroes 6 is the true zenith of the series, providing never seen before heights in publisher-developer relations.

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Postby Xfing » Apr 12 2014, 18:03

I played Homm 3, 4 and 5 and from these 3 is definitely the best. This game is simply perfect and has endless replay value. Would have been so much better with Forge as a tenth town too, but no use crying over spilt milk (and some guys are gonna bring back the Forge someday anyway).

From MM, I've only played 6, 7 and 8. 6 has the best locations, 7 has the best story while 8 has the best aesthetics.

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Postby Talin_Trollbane » Apr 19 2014, 18:45

Might and Magic 3 + World of Xeen

Heroes of Might and Magic II + Expansion.
Ultima, Elder Scrolls and Might and Magic Veteran.

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Postby Arret » Apr 21 2014, 1:00

MM:
7>6>5>>3>4>8>10>2>>9>1

6 has a great expansive world, but the characters were never as fleshed out as I would've liked. The manual had the best lore/writing of the game. In addition there are the dungeons that don't serve a purpose (dragon riders, agar's lab). Even throwing a simple quest item in them (which would've taken all of 5 minutes) would've helped enormously.

7, especially with the history book does a much better job. The split paths, and split promotions add re-playability and immersion.

If you combine WoX it moves to the top due to the sheer size. It is a lot more dialog driven, but that also allows for more development with the various books lying around. It also has a quirky sense of humor, and just keeps delivering content all the way past level 150 and gets you to some absurd stats.

HoMM:
3>2>5>>4>1
Still haven't played 6

The upgrade system was better in 3, and the AI was way better. In HoMM2, every single stat point was important and it makes caster heroes pathetic unless you just want to dragon/armageddon spam.

This is before talking about how stupidly broken Dimension Door is and how essential it is in 2.

4 just had too many problems. I liked the heroes in the battles, but the combat skill got to be too much. Especially near the end of the campaigns, it is just grab your heroes and destroy the map without units. The Castle defenses are absurdly difficult the damage amplifiers and inability to target units unless they are in a spot to reduce damage taken and raise damage dealt until the moat is taken down.

5 was a weak 3 clone, but the skill wheel added a lot and really defined the different races by pushing you toward certain builds. If the load screens weren't terrible, it would've given 2 a run for its spot. 5 also has the best music of the series.


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