App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Sometimes classic games don't age too well. What was once exciting and compelling can seem laborious and dull upon retrospect. It's a mistake that would be easy to make when starting up Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls for the first time, but sticking with it will reveal a completely worthwhile role-playing experience.
This is a "classic" in practically every sense of the word. There's very little guidance and hardly any of that tutorial nonsense plagued by modern games. Players are essentially left to fend for themselves at first. If they neglect to purchase the proper supplies or leave without a decent party, chances are they're going end up as kobold chow within minutes.
Rigid though the structure may be, Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls does quite well to satisfy that RPG-itch. Character portraits and enemy illustrations are quite pleasant to look at (even if they don't ever actually move), and many of them can be viewed at-will in a gallery. Aside from the expectant quests and loot-gathering, party members can be switched around at-will or custom-made in order to hone the group into a well-oiled killing machine. And after enough progress is made they can switch classes, keeping their current stats and abilities while gaining new ones pertaining to their new role.
The downside to all this "old-school-ness" is that sometimes it gets in the way of the fun. Equipment management is a pain, with items split separately between party members. It amounts to a whole lot of tedious menu-jumping. Buying stuff from the shop is a similar exercise in irritation as money is divvied up by the party and items can only be purchased by an individual. On the dungeoneering side of things, status effects can totally decimate an excursion if the proper spells or items aren't available. I mean, I almost lost my entire party due to poison. Poison!
Another unfortunate issue is that the free content doesn't last very long. Even the most unlucky adventurers should be able to map-out the entire dungeon floor within a couple of hours, and once that's done all that remains is to grind, complete a quest or two, hunt for loot and start training characters in new classes. But overall my biggest gripe is that the buttons aren't very responsive. It seems like a good third of the time I'll tap a button and it just won't respond, forcing me to tap multiple times to get it to register.
It may sound like I disliked my time spent with Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I certainly wouldn't call it "accessible" or "friendly to casual players," but it's a solid Classic RPG. One that can easily cover the cost of unlocking the whole dungeon, higher character levels and hours upon hours of gameplay (all for a $10 in-app purchase) if given the chance.