> As many Strategy/RPG fans know, Sega is one of the best
developers for this genre. As it turns out I've come to realize that
Dark Wizard (DW), a Sega CD exclusive, is actually
a prelude to the excellent Dragon
Force (Saturn). There are a lot of similarities
which I'm certain originated with DW. At any rate, DW can best be
described as a cross between Shining
Force CD and Master of Monsters (Genesis).
> The game takes place in the golden lands of Cheshire, where you take
the part of an army leader who's job it is to rid Cheshire of the Dark
Forces which killed the Queen. There is some RPG talking in DW, but
most of the game centers around turn-based strategic battles between your
army and various other armies. Another object is to take over castles,
cities and towns which provide you with more income so that you can hire
and pay for units (hired and summoned).
> Most of the graphics are basic, 16-bit, 2D fare, but they get the job
done. DW also includes some nice cartoon animated cut-scenes
to help set the stage. The battles, which can be toggled to text
mode, are animated but aren't worth watching like they are in Shining
Force. Basically, you're almost always looking at a hexagon
map (hexes can be turned off too) of your current battlefield as you would
be in this type of game.
> Everything in the game is accomplished through the easy to use menu system.
Whether it be buying weapons, moving, summoning, hiring, saving, searching,
using magic, attacking or checking stats -- the menus in DW work well.
As in Master of Monsters, your leader must be over a castle
to hire warriors or summon beasts. This all costs money too, which
you earn by taking over cities and castles.
> During battles you can go into cities and talk to people in shops, taverns,
town squares, inns, churches and at the mayor's house. Once a unit
passes level 5, then he will automatically increase a class (assuming the
given unit can do so). You're usually given a choice of classes...
For instance, when an Elf increases class, you get a choice of Fighter,
Priest or Mage. Naturally, unit attributes increase as levels do
and magic spells are acquired as well.
> The music is quite good, albeit repetitive. You'll hear orchestral
hymns which sound the battle cry and vary depending on whose turn it is.
> The sound effects are decent. You'll mostly hear various cues,
magic effects and voice narration.
> Thanks to games like this, I'm a diehard Strategy/RPG fan for life.
Yes, the battles can get repetitive, but I never seem to get tired of thinking
in order to win (which of course, I will). There are 4 rulers to
choose from when you begin: Armer IX (Prince), Robin (Cavalry Leader),
Amon (Puppetmaster), and Krystal (Sorceress). No two games are ever
> If you like Strategy/RPGs like Shining Force or Master
of Monsters, then Dark Wizard is a must have.
Sega is a master of this genre and it shows in quality and
quantity. Unfortunately, this game is hard to find so good luck finding
|Overall: 8.9 | Graphics:
8.0 | Control: 9.5 | Sound: 8.5 | Fun: 9.5