Review: Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls (PC)

wlols03

“Adventure… the new fragrance by Cloven Hind…”

wlols01

Prepare to get schooled skulled if you’re not ready.

For a while, from the 1980’s into the 1990’s, it seemed that the original Wizardry series was destined to last forever. But by 2001 that wasn’t the case as developer of what would be the final game in the series, Sir-Tech Canada went down for the count after the mostly excellent but flawed foray into the fully polygon arena with Wizardry 8. The company still supported the game until they finally vanished in 2003, and was never able to do a proper followup before they left the scene. There have been quite a large amount of games since then that have taken many elements the series pioneered, polished up the visuals and are basically Wizardry games with different titles as the end of the day.

Other titles in the series had danced on the edge with polygonal environments but 8’s was the first with both characters and maps presented this way. In the US, the series was slowly being forgotten despite some excellent ports to the Nintendo and Super Nintendo consoles, but in Japan, the series flourished on PC and consoles as a number of different developers tried their hands at making dozens of Wizardry games from console ports and original games to mobile and online-only titles with mostly good results. Which brings us to the game in question, which is quite good especially if you’re a fan of the classics. It’s got a few issues the keep it squarely in the past, but we’ll get to them below.

Continue reading

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls Makes My Day (Or is it Months?)

wizardry PC

So, a Steam review code arrived about 20 or so minutes ago and I’m dying to play it, but I need to post a few articles before I get to the game as I won’t get to posting if I start playing first. Yes, even though I went through this one on the PS3, I’m more than happy to fire it up again after a few years away because it’s like the security blanket of games for me and I want to see if I can get through it with no walkthroughs in sight. Granted, the turn-based nature of the game means I don’t need to worry about failing because I’m old and slow these days, and I recall a lot of the floors here by heart.

wizardry PC01

The traps, however? Hmmm… not so much, although the rather random nature of the encounters will make the game a perfect storm if I get overwhelmed. It feels good to revisit this again, so come back around for impressions at some point.

-GW

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls PC Is Right Around The Corner

Wizardry PC

Yes, I’m thrilled even though I played this on the PS3. Here’s the trailer (and yes. this will be played again on PC):

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is coming to Windows PC on January 15, 2020 via Steam and the Humble Store by Humble Bundle for $14.99, €14.99, and £12.99 with a 10% launch week discount! Go get it, I say.
-GW

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls Headed to PC

Wizardry logo

It’s baaaaaaack (yes!)

Say, can we get a “Finally!” up in here? Anyway, according to the Wizardry Wikipedia page:

As of 2017, thirty-nine different spin-offs were released in Japan, with four of them also making their way to North America: Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land, Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls, Wizardry Online and Wizrogue: Labyrinth of Wizardry

That’s a lot of Wizardry games and if you’re one of those Sir-Tech missing purists who hasn’t touched a game in the series since the still fantastic Wizardry 8, I can safely say you’re missing out on a few games that, while they may look different than what you’re used to, do an excellent job of capturing the spirit and gameplay.

of the series. Personally, I’m psyched for this news because when my first PS3 was stolen, I lost ten years of game saves including about 120 hours of Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls along with the accompanying DLC. Although I ended up replacing the console and repurchasing the game and DLC for it, I’d been hoping this entry would have eventually made it to other consoles at this point. But hey, a PC version will do just fine for me, especially with the updated features and a solid price point that also includes the DLC.

It’s trailer time, already? Well, okay, here you go:

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is scheduled to release on May 29, 2019 for Windows PC via Steam and the Humble Store by Humble Bundle for $14.99, €14.99, and £12.99, with a launch week discount of 10%. I’m gathering system requirements will be low enough that pretty much anyone who wants to play this can do so.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

-GW

VG 101: Wizardry 6, 7 & 8 Hit GOG.com – Your “Homework” for the Year Is Here!

In the words of the great philosophers… FINALLY! One of the most requested classic PC games on gog.com has been the Wizardry series and today, the company has dropped some big news by releasing digital versions of the final three chapters at a great price point. I’m gathering the first five parts (which don’t need to be played to enjoy these three games) will be coming soon, but for now, a few hundred hours of gameplay should tide you over for a while (and you automatically pass the class here if you finish these before the end of the year). Feel free to dance to that disco music in the video above – I know I was when I got this news. OK, before you keel over from those flashing lights and colors above, here’s some Wizardry 8 gameplay (sans disco effects):

Anyway, Wizardry 6 & 7 are ONLY $5.99, and Wizardry 8 is $9.99 – Grab them all and I’ll see you in a few weeks or so. Or months. I won’t mind if you don’t drop by so much because I know where you’ll be…

Now (Re)Playing: Wizardry 8 (Which Needs More Respect!)

Wiz800016Ha.  So, you thought I was taking the day off? Ha! Actually, I had some fun stuff to take care of with a friend, but now I’m back. Anyway, I was talking with some folks recently about the classic Wizardry series and it turns out a few too many people who don’t play a lot of PC games seem to think that series is from Japan. Eek. Granted, there’s hasn’t been a North American-made game since Sir-Tech Canada flamed out after the final “official” game in the series, Wizardry 8. Now, I’m not some flag-waving jingoist starting trouble, kids – I own a bunch of import Wizardry titles including a few Japan-only games and nearly all the ports and remakes of the original seven Sir-Tech releases. W8 was only released in limited qualities around the world and despite positive reviews, it didn’t exactly gain as huge a following as it should have and to date, has never been re-released or remade. Yep, I think that needs to be changed… Continue reading

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls Website Goes Live

Well, alright! Xseed has set up a beautiful website for the upcoming PSN-only release and I’m loving every bit of art and info I see there. Still, with PSN possibly under attack again, will US audiences actually get to download this game? We shall see…

Update: Xseed Still Loves You, Wizardry Fans – You Just Need To Get With The Program…

Well, it looks as if Wizardry fans in the US hoping to see the upcoming Labyrinth of Lost Souls as a retail release will have to go all in on the digital version instead. I poked a note Xseed's way a few days ago and got back this reply:

Hi Greg,

Good to hear from you, and please excuse the late reply as things have been pretty busy with the launch of TiTS.*

Didn't see this article of yours before our Wizardry announcement, how funny. Unfortunately, we have no plans to release it on disc right now so no use holding a survey just yet, but perhaps we can consider something similar to Japan where the first one did so well as a digital game that they released it and its sequel together on one retail package later (of course that means sales here will have to be above expectations too for us to consider this).

Thanks for posting the news, glad you liked our announcement.

*Er, for the record… TiTS refers to The Legend of Heroes: Trails in The Sky, the new PSP role-playing epic just launched a few days ago. That acronym is banned on GameFaqs, as i amusingly found out while updating a post there with this news. My evolving thoughts over this (which may be helpful to the resolute die-hards grumbling away about a download-only release) can be distilled HERE. Read more »

Commentary: Why We ALL Need Wizardry Back!

Sometimes, I just hate Japan, but in a decidedly more “grrrr… how come they get THAT game?” manner (and not anything more overly dramatic than that, mind you). While the Wizardry franchise hasn’t seen a new Western-developed PC game in the states since the ill-fated, (but mostly well-rated) Wizardry 8 (back in 2001!), since the late 80’s, Japanese gamers have had nearly 40 ports or completely original Wizardry games and side-stories created by an assortment of developers for a number of consoles, portables and even cellphones.

More recently (as in a big, fat “what the what?!”), the Nintendo DS in Japan has gotten their own original Wizardry games in the form of three titles that will probably never, ever see the light of day in English unless they get fan-patched translations (*grrrr!*). You can keep your Angry Birds, and other “casual” games, folks – I’d rather play something with real meat on its bones.

Continue reading