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Title: Ultima: The Black Gate
Author:FCI/Pony Canyon
Rom Player: ZSNES
Reviewer: Cory B

Synopsis: Sheesh, what the hell happened here? The console ports of the previous few Ultima games (Quest of the Avatar for NES and False Prophet for SNES) were pretty decent, but in the case of Black Gate they've gone and butchered a classic.

The PC version of Black Gate was a revolutionary game. Just about anything in-game could be interacted with; you could move stuff around, murder innocent people (if you wanted to), and even gamble. When ported to the SNES, though, Ultima just became another cruddy Zelda clone. There are no longer party members, nearly as many interactive objects, or even a worthwhile game engine. Literally all there is to do now is march from place to place and beat up enemies on the way. Not to mention the fact that dangerous enemies sometimes appear in arbitrary places like people's houses and random forests, so one step off the beaten path will likely result in your death. The fact that you begin the game with 2 (yes, TWO) hit points doesn't help matters.

Don't even get me started on the fact that the game creators thought it would be a good idea that so much as brushing up against an object will cause you to pick it up. Dropping it from your inventory will also place it right at your character's feet, so moving even a millimeter in the item's direction will put it right back into your pockets. Stupid FCI.

So, with a combination of ugly graphics, watered-down gameplay, and putrid music, this PC port is well worth missing. Skip this and get the PC Ultima Collection instead; it's much more worthwhile of your time.

Best Cheats: Don't know of any cheats, but don't bother. This game stinks.

Game Play: 1
Graphics: 4
Music/Sound: 2
Originality: 2
Overall Rating: 1

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