Champions of Krynn. (game software) (evaluation)
by Russ Ceccola
Isn't there a saying about the third time being a charm? It's true with Champions of Krynn, the third Advanced Dungeons & Dragons epic from SSI.
The first two games in the series took place in the world of Forgotten Realms, and although they were solid games, the combat was difficult and the games took too long. Eventually, I became bored with these games and played only for a little while at one sitting. Champions of Krynn, the latest role-playing epic in the series, has a lot more to offer than the first two, and it keeps the interest level up. game takes place after the War of the Lance in the Dragon Lance game world. You'll come across some of the characters from the Dragon Lance novels in the game, and they'll help you in you quest as nonplaying characters in you party.
As usual, SSI has done an excellent job with the packaging and the instructions. The manuals are well organized, clearly written, and exhaustive in describing the game's options. You get an Adventure's Journal that includes race and class descriptions, spell tables, journal entries, and bar stores that you must refer to during the game to further develop the plot. A rule booklet explains the options, and a data card gets you started. SSI even threw in a poster of the excellent cover art.
The graphics in Champions are very good. Animation and 3-D views spice up the screen and keep your eyes entertained. There are actually four views in Champions; combat (an oblique or slanted perspective), outdoor (an overhead perspective), area (an indoor slanted perspective) and 3-D. All of the graphics are colorful and clean, making full use once again of the 64's capabilities.
You'll have no trouble picking up the game system. It's almost entirely joystick-controlled and consists of selecting options from vertical and horizontal menus and lists.
Champions is big enough to keep you occupied for months, but the problems are linear in nature - so you don't need to buy the clue book unless you're really stuck or you hate drawing maps. My hope for the AD &D series is that SSI continues what it has established with Champions of Krynn. This is the game SSI really set out to create from the start.