Author Topic: REVIEW: Soulfire's Time (by Robert Szarek)  (Read 732 times)

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REVIEW: Soulfire's Time (by Robert Szarek)
« on: January 21, 2009, 07:23:43 PM »
Soulfire's Time
by Robert Szarek

Reviewed by: ??

This mod was written by an author of Dungeon of Gulg, and it demonstrates some improvements over that design, but some of the same problems make a second appearance.

This mod is set on Athas. Having said that, there is absolutely no indication that this world is, indeed, Athas (other then the city names). Wizards are not referred to as Preservers or Defilers, there is no mention of psionics, no bone weapons, no water problems... in short, this mod doesn't belong on Athas at all.

There are some interesting touches in this mod. At the end, the party receives advice on how to defeat the villain (named Soulfire) from several sources. The sources, however, do not agree on the method, and the choice is left up to the player's wisdom.

In addition, there is a glass maze in this mod (like in Domains). I did not find it nearly as exasperating, though, and mapping should not be necessary to get through it.

The battles in this mod are far more balanced than the ones in Gulg. This came as quite a relief to me. The cheap and easy access to magic remains in place, though, with Girdles of Giant Strength for sale for a full 750 pp. (I'll take 20, thanks...)

There are some minor problems here. The various buildings in the towns have no signs outside them (a minor annoyance, but still an annoyance). Drow items can be preserved, since only one of the two exits from the dungeon where the Drow hang out destroys them. It is simply a matter of sticking them in a vault, and pulling them out again later. One text makes reference to a room... in a forest! I think it would be a clearing...

Which brings me to the major problem with this mod: It really doesn't DO very much. There is no imported art, and worse, many of the combats make use of the default "Monsters Attack!" I admit that a mod can be good without any imported art, and I'll even admit that unoriginal combat text can be overcome by original combats, but neither of these cases applies here.

This mod is, at heart, a Foozle hunt, much like Dungeon of Gulg. Like that adventure, the Foozle is not very formidable, nor does he have much character. Soulfire does have a few threatening lines, but they sound a lot like parodies of the stereotypical villain's speeches, where the villain tells the heroes all about his plans, tells them that they can't stop him because they'll be dead, and then takes off, allowing the heroes to pound his servitors into the ground. Soulfire does not sound like a Darth Vader clone, but he sounds like he's chatting with the party! (Too much time underground, perhaps?)

Soulfire attempts to conquer several towns in this mod. He uses wizards to attack one town, thieves to attack the second, and fighters to attack a third. There is, however, no explanation as to why. After all, wouldn't it make more sense to attack all three cities with mixed forces?

Soulfire's Time shows considerable improvement on Dungeon of Gulg, but it isn't particularly engaging. The absence of imported art does make it a fast download, though. You might want to check this mod out, eventually, but it really is rather routine.

Plot Matter:   5
Artwork:       3
Hacks:         N/A
Text:          5
Events:        7
Originality:   4
Errors:        8

Difficulty:  3

Total Rating:  51%
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 07:04:25 PM by Olivier Leroux »

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