This was a very disappointing game and one of the few that really had me wanting to get through it as quickly as possible
Okay, I know many of you have been waiting for the day that I would review a game that I really hated, and the day has come!....LOL.
Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor was supposed to be the next big game in the D&D world and the same lands that the Baldur's Gate games are set in. But, as you start to play this game and progress more into it, you find that it falls very short in comparing to those great, classic RPGs.
The well known wizard Eliminster has discovered a pool of radiance in the grand city of Myth Drannor, and it is spewing forth many nasty, evil, and downright ugly monsters. The character you choose is charged with the task of destroying this portal and stopping this infestation of evil creatures before the whole face of Fearun is forever destroyed. You will gain NPCs along the way, and eventually you can build a party of adventurers that are a total of six strong.
Most of the action will take place under Myth Drannor, through many levels of the underground dungeon. There will be some action on the surface and amongst what is left of the city as well. This was one of many things I disliked about this game; it was nothing but dungeon action, and there were no places to explore outside of Myth Drannor. Granted, most of the time I do not mind a little dungeon exploring and hacking away at monsters, but in this game, there was so much of it that it got really irritating. Also, the in-game map feature was not sufficient and too often I got lost and was constantly covering ground that I had already visited. This begins to make you feel that you are NOT making any headway in your adventuring. This game also lacked any convenient ways of traveling back and forth between the surface and the dungeon. There were some doors and caves on the surface that would go to certain areas in the dungeon, but sometimes, those doors would be locked, and I never found out how to open them. This would not have been a problem if your party could have just stayed in the dungeon, but there were times in which you had to come to the surface to perform various tasks. The merchants, healers, and even some of your quests were located on the surface within the ruins of the great city.
The graphics and sound were really the only decent aspects of the game. The dungeons and the city were very well detailed. There were plenty of ambient sounds, weapon sounds, and even some of the magic spells had their own unique sound to them whenever they were cast. There was not much in the way of voices though, where only some of your NPCs that were involved in your quests would have a voice. Each party member had their own voice, but most of the time you only heard it when you were issuing orders to them. There wasn't too much in the way of background music. Some of the music was more-intense during battles, but other than that, nothing too outstanding.
Learning curve really fell short in this game. There was not a tutorial, and it does take a while to learn what everything means on the game screen. The game screen was laid out well and all of your needed tools were a click away. You had a journal and a quest book which proved to be valuable resources throughout the game. Some of these quests required you to have certain items, and it really was a mess if you happened to lose said items (yes, this happened to me). When that happens, you lose out on that particular quest and probably lose out on some serious experience points. Also, if you bought the game when Wal-Mart had it for sale in its $10 bin like I did, it didn't come with a manual. I am not saying that you couldn't figure out the game mechanics yourself, as it is entirely possible. I just think it takes far too much time to do that.
I don't think I should even mention replay value....LOL. As I said in the summary, I was so eager to try to just get through this game once, much less another. Some parts of the game were enjoyable. It was not without its moments, but I found the game very tedious after awhile and it failed to keep my full attention. Some of the monsters were extremely difficult to defeat, almost invulnerable, and your only option would be to RUN! Running can become "old" really quick, and it feels much better to actually defeat the evil creatures than continually run from them. It's hard to say what could have improved the replay value, maybe some different areas to explore, or maybe just a better story to get enthralled in.
As you might guess, I cannot recommend this one. But whether or not you play it is still your decision. Who knows, maybe you will find something enjoyable about this game that I missed completely.