Legends of Zork: This is not the Zork you're looking for

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Review: Fujitstu 400GB HandyDrive

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Remember Zork? Sure you do. It was great. The grues, that scary white house, the keys, the puzzles… it was the ur-game, the game that defined many of our childhoods and the game we’ve been trying to find ever since. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished that the latest 3D RPG for XBox 360 or PC was more like Zork. There is only so many Hobbit knock-offs you can take before you yearn for the gnome of Zurich. Sadly – or maybe luckily – Activision decided to regurgitate the old game in on-line form, sell “turns” to addicts, and generally destroy Zork for an entire generation. Oh well. Things change and kids these days don’t care about good text-based adventures what with their Nintenders and PlayStations 3.

Lengends of Zork is clearly aimed at folks who haven’t played an online game in decades. It’s quite simple – you wander around, fight other characters, and generally recreate most of the boredom inherent in poorly-made online games and none of the beauty of Infocom’s original work.

Honestly, I’m sure someone might enjoy this game. It’s just a run-of-the-mill RPG. However, it is not Zork. They could have called this Legends of the Hirsute Dwarf Princess and reduced all expectations for greatness, thereby saving their investment.

And maybe I’m just being a crank. The guys who made this thing clearly cared enough to familiarize themselves with the game and perhaps hoped to share it with a new generation. However, the gaming style they chose, the casual RPG with automatic combat, is even more stilted than typing “LOOK AT ROCK” into an Atari 800XL.

Want a real Zork-esque online adventure game? Hit up Kingdom of Loathing or just download the the originals for Mac or PC or just play it in Flash. Just steer clear of Legends of Zork. It will just upset you.

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