I was really into adventure games years and years ago when this VGA remake of Quest For Glory came out, and I recall a lot of talk, both at the time and over the ensuing years, about how this was an inferior version of the game, how it had "stripped the soul" out of it. I never did bother to play it - precisely because of all that talk - but now that I've gotten around to it, I find that the game has its quirks but really isn't much worse for the wear, is actually improved in some ways, and on the whole is quite playable and an acceptable version.

Aside from the graphical treatment, the game has also transitioned to the point-and-click system. Usually I find Sierra games go downhill when they switch over to point-and-click, but I think it actually works well for Quest For Glory, which isn't really about diabolical and complex puzzles. Here it works pretty well for the most part - the game seems to be using a modified version of the Conquests of the Longbow build of the engine. There's a few little tics, like the fact that the inventory now has no descriptions for the items whatsoever, but a lot of mundane tasks are now smoother and easier.

I'm not sure where "the soul was ripped out" as, in as much as I can remember from the old EGA version (which I played dozens of times in my misspent youth), the dialogue is pretty much exactly the same. Nothing has been excised from the game, save a couple of scenes from the ending, and one minor in-game room that had a grisly pile of corpses.

The only place where the game really takes a nosedive is the combat. The control is pretty much identical to that of the EGA version, but the perspective looks like that of QFG2. This makes it a bit easier to dodge incoming blows, so combat is actually slightly improved, though stabbing maniacally is still far and away the best tactic and none of the monsters put up a great fight. The downgrade is in the graphics - the monsters, for the most part, look incredibly goofy now. There's also some weird scale issues, such as with the Cheetaur, which is the normal size when chasing you outside of combat, but once in combat apparently shouts "INUCKCHUCK" and becomes 4x larger.

There is a major improvement, however - the new painted backgrounds are gorgeous, giving Speilburg a much more real and more full feel, and the character portraits are quite decent as well. From what I understand, the art for most of Sierra's VGA remakes was farmed out to some generic Korean studio ... I'm pretty sure this one stayed in-house, as the background art is up there with Sierra's best from the time, and is very reminiscent of the look of Conquests of the Longbow.

All-in-all, for nostalgia reasons I still prefer the EGA version, but I found nothing really wrong with this one, and if you prefer shiny VGA graphics and a smooth mouse interface, there's no reason not to give this one a go.

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