Wizardry Gold takes the classic story line from Wizardry VII and enhances it with all new graphics, sounds, and interface. Unfortunately, these enhancements actually diminish the overall playability of the original, and reduce a classic RPG to mere mediocrity.
Undoubtedly, the best feature of Wizardry Gold is the excellent plot developed by author D. W. Bradley for the original Wizardry VII. Bradley has created an intricate world where magical Tolkienesque characters and Buck Rogers-style technology exist side by side. This unique blend of science and fantasy is a refreshing change from traditional RPG fare, and helped make Wizardry VII one of the most memorable RPGs ever. By providing multiple paths to completion (and multiple endings based on performance), Wizardry VII also has exceptional replay value.
While the plot was mercifully left intact, almost everything else has been changed for the Gold edition. The graphics are now in SVGA (although the actual view window is still low-res), the sound has been enhanced with new digitized effects and speech, and cutscenes help push the plot along. While this glitter does provide a definite improvement over the original, it falls far short of the benchmarks set by other games in the genre.
Unfortunately, these modest improvements are more than offset by annoyingly long load times. Even under Windows 95, long pauses when loading speech and graphics hinder the smooth flow of the game. For example, each time your party is attacked, the game pauses for up to 10 seconds while the creature graphics are loaded. After several hours of play, these pauses become extremely annoying (you can alleviate this problem by choosing the full installat the cost of 510 megs of free drive space.)
Because of its clumsy engine, Wizardry Gold loses some of the charm that made its predecessor such a successand proves the old proverb all that glitters is not gold. If you are looking for an excellent CRPG, try picking up the original Wizardry VII. It can be purchased at most stores for less than half the price of this remake, and provides much more bang for the buck.