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Game Over Online ~ Kings Quest VIII: Mask of Eternity

GameOver Game Reviews - Kings Quest VIII: Mask of Eternity (c) Sierra, Reviewed by - 2XHELIX

Game & Publisher Kings Quest VIII: Mask of Eternity (c) Sierra
System Requirements P166, Win9X, 32 mb RAM, 400mb HD, 4X CDROM
Overall Rating 38%
Date Published Wednesday, December 2nd, 1998 at 06:25 PM

Divider Left By: 2XHELIX Divider Right

Kings Quest is one of the longest running adventure games ever created for PC. The original game was released way back in 1984 and after fourteen years the legions of fans that once followed this epic series will be utterly disappointed with King's Quest VIII: Mask of Eternity. This game is merely a cheap imitation of third person games, with the excitement taken out of it. The first thing I noticed when I was installing the game was that it took over 300 Mb, and 200mb of free HD space was required to play; every time a scene changed occurred, new scenery files need to be placed on the HD. After all this I was still excited to try out the game, expecting great results. As the game began it became apparent that this game is completely a waste of money. For any adventure game or RPG game, the introduction is a fundamental part of the initial atmosphere. It leads the gamer into the story line and captivates their imagination. This however, was not the case in KQ8. I was shown a very poor 3d rendered movie that lasted for about thirty seconds. I apologize for disappointing the KQ fans out there, but this is basically the sequence: two people look at a mirror, there is an explosion, and everyone is turned to stone. The hero is seen carrying a golden mask and apparently is the only character not turned into stone, sound interesting? Well I'm sure my description has more imagination then the whole game itself. Most third person games have problems with camera angles. This game holds true to that, although the mouse can control the camera it is unfortunately very cumbersome. The game itself is divided into so called levels, which are basically chapters in the game. Each chapter or level brings you to a new part of the imaginary land of Daventry. The ultimate goal is to find all six parts of the Mask of Eternity and to restore the land. Henceforth journeys the hero Connor in his goal to save the world.

Although I don't have a great system I know that I've seen games with much more graphical appeal. The textures were very bland and uncolourful. I just want to lay down the smack on the artist who chose these colours. I felt that the game did not present a very realistic look in the surroundings as well as the monsters and characters. In the swamp there is virtually no background other than a thick green backdrop. Come on, even a game like 3D Railroad that Jove reviewed a few months ago had better backgrounds than this. The main character Conner is nothing but a handful of polygons slapped together and he moves very unrealistically. He walks as if he weighed about 500 pounds with a very peculiar waddle. When this is accompanies by his hand movements, a not-so-noble character is created. The real-time fighting was the only fun thing in the game. The sword actions were smooth and elegant, however Conner is often flatfooted when fighting. The monsters were not very scary and were designed poorly. Essentially they look like a bunch of polygons slapped together, just as the main character does. Unlike most 3D games, which can boast wonderful graphics, Sierra would be better off by not mentioning the graphics of KQ8 in their advertisement campaigns.

Without a doubt the voice of Conner is simply lame. He speaks supposedly in an old dialect with the "ye" and "iths" and what not, however many times in the game he uses current slang! The voice acting was terrible and a huge detriment to the game. There was no feeling or depth in the character's voice; it was basically in a monologue tone. I'm sure that eventually someone will fall asleep to the tones of Conner's voice. Often third person games create delight in the wonderful sounds of footsteps of the characters. Conner sounds like he is walking through a pile of leaves everywhere he steps. In halls and rooms the echo created by his walking was completely pathetic. There might as well have not been an echo. The music sounded like midi files and the monsters sounded like extremely low quality wave files. With already embarrassing graphics, I was sure that the sounds would be remotely better, boy was I wrong.

The controls as mentioned before were far short from being stellar. Basically using the same engine style as Tomb Raider, the fighting sequences were nothing special and sometimes frustrating. The key element of an adventure game is the puzzles but KQ8's puzzles are rudimentary and I don't even think the novice gamer will be challenged. The gameplay was overall not impressive.

Um... no fun at all.

Overall Impressions:
The Kings Quest series is definitely getting worse. The last title was already pathetic, but this one is worse. It is like playing Tomb Raider without Lara, mixed in with cheap puzzles that a 2-year-old can solve. With many flaws, Kings Quest is definitely not a game worthy of a game player's time.


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