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Ultima: Exodus

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Reviewed by Joe Witness, before your very eyes, the birth of a genre! Of course, births are not usually very clean or enjoyable.... Ultima: Exodus may very well be the first true RPG released for the NES. It's sure as heck not the best, but it's the first.

Graphics 4 out of 10

Yes, it is early NES stuff, but this is truly generic. There are no close- ups of monsters, only small characters. The heroes are not very well drawn themselves, actually. The landscape graphics are identical to Dragon Warrior's, but at least Dragon Warrior had close-ups. Nothing special at all.

Music and Sound 3 out of 10

Turn the sound off. Please. It is bad, just trust me, it is bad. Lots of bloops n' bleeps, and that's the music. Not like many other RPG's are any better, though.

Game Challenge 7 out of 10

Not bad. The quest itself is about on level with Dragon Warrior, with some twists and turns. The fighting is strictly 'Shining Force', very strategy based, and kind of tough, especially if you don't have magic. The story is virtually nonexistent, which is typical of early RPG's.

Game Play-Fun 5 out of 10

Some people who, like me, get a kick out of anything different will enjoy this game. People attuned to the days of early computer RPG's or *gasp* PAPER BASED games will like it to. Everyone else, weaned on Final Fantasy, will get angry and cry.


The combat system is scary to someone who has never touched a Shining Force game. You always seem to miss early on, too.... But the real ulcer here is the opening D&D style 'create yer character' sequence. I don't know about you, but whenever I have to select my own attributes, I always have the sinking feeling that I'm just ONE point too low in something. Maybe I'm just paranoia.

Replayability 2 out of 10

Like all early RPG's for the NES, once you beat it, there's nothing more to it. I suppose you could try to reach level one billion or something, but there's not much else to do. If you get bored, though, the game DOES let you fight the townsfolk. Kill 'em and watch yourself get mauled by guards! Ahhhh, the joy of needless violence....

Game Value 8 out of 10

It IS a piece of history, the latest Funcoland catalog lists it at seven bucks. You can get it for two or three at a flea market or something. And hey, you may even LIKE it. Maybe.

Overall 5 out of 10

It's not a classic, or even very well known. In fact, it's not that good either. But it's the first. So go ahead and see how the great Nintendo RPG dynasty began. And after you get tired, you can bronze it or something.

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