Following up on an incredible game is never easy. Sierra On-Line found that out the hard way when they released Quest For Glory II: Trial By Fire in 1990 for the MS-Dos. The first Quest For Glory is nothing short of a masterpiece but the second title in the series had numerous fatal flaws that saw a departure from the original. The magic carpet has crashed, and I’m not sure we’re getting out of the desert in this Quest For Glory II review.
Quest For Glory II Plot:
Gone is Speilburg, the lovely German-inspired town in the valley of mountains, replaced by the hot desert sands of Shapier and its inhabitants of the Katta people. Our hero has arrived after traveling on a magic carpet from Speilburg with his Katta friends and merchant. After a less-than-perfect landing, the hero learns that Shapier is in a ton of trouble.
Shapier continues to be ravaged by the elements of fire, wind, water, and earth. The bad news doesn’t stop there, as the sister city to Shapier, Raseir is under tyrannical control and its leader has gone missing. Making his way through the desert and city of Shapier our hero cleverly defeats the four magical elements restoring Shapier to its proper state of peace. He then travels to Raseir and discovers an evil Wizard has imprisoned Raseir’s king and unleashed a foul Genie who is controlling much of the city. Attacking the palace, the hero defeats both Wizard and Genie and restores the king to proper power.
Quest For Glory II has an incredible plot filled with fun characters, interesting missions, and humorous outcomes. My Quest for Glory II review praises that but the next section is what makes this game almost unplayable.
Quest For Glory II Gameplay:
My Quest For Glory II review began just like the one I did for the original. I was dropped into a strange town with tons of problems to solve. It’s a point-and-click adventure game meaning you’ll have to explore and carefully search for key items and speak to many people as you solve problem after problem. It’s worth noting that I played the AGD Interactive Studio version which was an update with graphics and a simplified version of the town but more on that later. I also want to say what a wonderful job AGD Interactive did putting together Quest For Glory II with all the updates. As to how this review ends up is not on them.
The disaster that is my Quest For Glory II review comes down to three key elements of the gameplay. First, and probably the biggest issue hindering Quest For Glory II is the disastrous navigation of the hub town, Shapeir. Much of the game takes place in Shapeir, but it’s anything but easy to navigate. Every alleyway and street looks almost identical, and it takes about two seconds before you are lost. You may be told to go visit someone, and it might take you an hour to discover where they are walking the same streets over and over. This terrible maze was simplified by AGD Interactive Studio in the remake but it is still a mess. Many times I’d start my journey out with confidence in believing that I knew where I was going only to get lost and frustrated. When you are dropped into a maze to begin the game, you lose patience real quick. There needed to be some sort of distinguishing features for the streets. Make the walls different colors, or have different types of gates. This was the first nail in the coffin for my Quest of Glory II review.
My next complaint is the time-sensitive missions. In Quest For Glory I, you could explore all day and not have to worry about missing something. My Quest For Glory II review was crunched by an ever-persistent schedule that required you to have completed certain missions or have certain items by a specific day or else you’d miss the next step of the game. Your only hints on what to do next was a poet who read poems at at the inn and a gypsy who helped you with the elements. This probably isn’t a game you’ll be able to play and beat your first go around, as it will take many playthroughs to understand the layout and places you need to be. Perhaps these issues wouldn’t have been such a hazard to me but I was coming off one of my most beloved games in the original.
The final complaint I have in my Quest For Glory II review is the battle mechanics. Quest For Glory I had a very simple and effective battle menu on the bottom right-hand corner. There were four commands. If you were the fighter you could slash, stab, parry and dodge. Quest For Glory II replaced this menu with a keyboard command battle system and no visual buttons on the screen. Your character and enemy freely roam the screen and to engage you need to get close to them. I did not care for this implementation and it felt like a waste of time to continue to track down my enemy. The first Quest for Glory had it perfect with a static screen where you controlled your motions with clicks. Battling in Quest For Glory II was a large difficulty curve that resulted in your death. A lot!
If there’s something I enjoyed from Quest for Glory II it was the continued plot that was filled with clever writing, hilarious jokes, and lovable characters that were brought over from the first game. I wish these characters got a proper sequel because they are loved in my book and I wanted to continue their story. Although I almost forgot there was a super weird strip tease dance by Shema, who was is cat-like creature. I felt very uncomfortable during, almost like a “what the hell” moment.
It never occurred to me to play the sequels to one of my most beloved games until I was around 20. Quest For Glory I by all means is a perfect 10 to me, and so why wouldn’t I want to see what the follow-up to it was? It was difficult to find Quest For Glory II with a compatible computer system as the systems I had were too new. I finally was able to get it to work, but playing Quest For Glory II didn’t hook me in, and I shoved my attempt at a Quest For Glory II review for nearly 10 years. Fast forward to 2020, and I redownloaded Quest For Glory II determined to play it.
It was a disaster. Sierra completely overhauled the fighting system, and the city map was a wreck. I tried to stick with it, but it was difficult, and after a few days of dabbling in it, I turned it off. I gave it one more shot this year and saw it through, but it was so disappointing. How could a sequel be so far apart from what I had loved so much?
Quest For Glory II Review Score:
Quest For Glory II is the complete opposite of Quest For Glory. The fighting mechanics are disastrous with the missing commands, the city hub is potentially the worst part of the game as you get lost everywhere you go, and the timed trigger events add a pinch of panic. What happened to Quest for Glory II, and why did it fall so far from perfection? The formula was already perfect, but they decided to shake it up. Shake it up they did but for much worse.
Quest For Glory II scores a 4.5 out of 10.
What would you write in your Quest for Glory II review? What character did you choose? How many times did you get lost in the city? Who was your favorite character? Did you actually enjoy Quest For Glory II? Let me know your thoughts and comments on Quest For Glory II, I’d love to read them.