Simon the Sorceror II (Second Review)


Title           Simon The Sorceror II (Second Review)
Game Type	Adventure
Players		1
Compatibility	Amiga with AGA or GFX card, 68030+, 16 Mb RAM
Company		AdventureSoft/Epic Interactive
HD Installable  Yes
Submission      Ian C Fyvie

	This review appears here by courtesy of The Crypt magazine
Review

History
Yes! At long last Simon the Sorcerer has returned to his roots, The Amiga
Computer. The original Simon the Sorcerer Game was released many years ago
on both Disk format (For the Amiga) and CD-ROM (For the CD32). The release
of the original game, Did not exactly raise glowing reviews with the Amiga
Press at that time. Why? Simply because the game was compared to the
classic Monkey Island (ruler of the games charts at that time) The
follow up to the Original game "Simon the Sorcer II" was sheduled for
release on the Amiga but suddenly shelved and the title was released on
the PC Platform only. In the past couple of years The Original Simon the
Sorcerer game enjoyed several releases and became more popular with Amiga
users. In 1999 Epic announced that they had secured the Rights to port
Simon the Sorcer II back to the Amiga Platform, And although release was
planned for the Summer of '99. Several hold-ups meant the game was only
released on 20th Dec '99 (Nice time for Christmas).

The Game
What can you say? Simon II like Simon I is a graphic Point and Click
Adventure game. You control Simon (A small boy of a wizard) In a fictional
world, solving puzzles in order to defeat his arch enemy "Sordid" and
return Simon back to his Normal life. If you have played the original
game, You will be pleased to know that some of the old characters make a
re-appearence (The Swampling etc.). There is also a host of NEW Characters
involved (Like Goldielocks and the Three Bears, Pirates etc.etc.)

Getting started
Ah! Now if you are like me (And hate reading Manuals) Simon II will suit
you. The game comes on 1 CD nicely presented in one of these new style
cases (Similar to the DVD Movie cases) and although it does contain a
small printed Manual, It actually tell you very little. Okay! Having just
received the game I stuck in the CD-ROM and clicked on the "Simon" Icon.
The game started to run the Intro sequence, however I didn't get any
sound (No music/soundFX/speech) Mmm! Perhaps if I installed it to the HD
(I thought). So start again and click on the Installer icon. Select
Directory : Start Error: You require 175 MByte free to install Simon EEK!
Bother! I only have a small drive ...Still determined as ever, I used this
as a good excuse to clear the Hard Drive of some older Programs no longer
used much and eventually managed to get 180 meg freed up. Now the game
installed,  BUT sadly still no sound "BLAST IT" Now I KNOW what you are all
thinking! Read the flipping manual, however the total Instalation instruction
contained within the pages is "After Installing and setting up your CD
then your ready" etc. Suddenly I remembered that there was an additional
drawer on the CD ....Called "AHI" Yup! You have to install "AHI" To your
system to get the sound. Ah Well! 5 minutes later and problem solved
Simon was running and yes I did get Speech and Sound Effects (Happy at
last) Well not Quite! The manual did say that the "M" key would toggle the
background music on and off and the volume could be adjusted using the +/-
Keys. What Music? I certainly didn't get any on my System, Still that is
perhaps a Good thing. Okay! Back to the game, Having just started, I have
to admit that the graphics are very good indeed and the Animations and
Characters glide nicely around the Screen. Indeed Simon is a very pleasant
game to play (Although the Speech can be a little jerky in patches
...possibly due to the 030 board in my Amiga). Now as in all Adventure
games, It's wise to save often. Simon uses a unique "Postcard" systen for
this (Click on "USE" and select the Postcard to get the Save/Load
Options). Oh DEAR! ....I clicked on Save, Simon Froze the System and the
only solution was a 3 finger salute (Re-Boot) 4 Times I tried saving the
game, 4 times the system froze. An Adventure game you can't save? A rather
Disappointed Ferret ....

I had a quick look at the "read- Me" on the CD and discovered the support
web address for Simon http://www.shoecake.com/simon2.html A quick visit
there...And Yes there was an update that fixed the Problem (up loaded 16th
Dec ....4 days before it was released) Just a small point here: I solved
the Save game problem easily, Because I am online, However what of those
gamers who are not on line ... Perhaps a short note/Telephone call from
Epic regarding this problem and notification that an update/fix would be
forthcomming would have been in order. Yes the fix will possibly be
available from the AmigActive CD but really ... The onus must be on the
game supplier.

Conclusions
Simon II despite a few niggling problems like No Music, the Save game
requiring a patch to work, and the odd time that the game appears to
lock up (If you are using a 030 board and suddenly Simon refuses to move.
Just leave it for around a Minute. Simon then ...Fed up waiting for you,
he starts to juggle etc. This gets the game moving again and you can
resume playing). Simon is an excellent Adventure game and certainly well
worth the Money. The Puzzles are difficuly but not Impossible to solve,
But beware if you do get stuck, You can end up going in circles trying to
resolve something. I found Simon a delightful game to play and spent many
happy hours in front of the Amiga before finally completing the game. Yes
there are a few small problems with the game, but it is stll a wonderful
addition to any Adventurer's Collection.

Graphics: 9
SoundFX: 9
Speech: 8
Music: 0
Playability: 10

Note
While playing and completing Simon the Sorcerer II I kept a series of
notes and have compiled a complete "Walk through" of the Game. Any readers
requiring help with a solution feel free to contact me. The walk through
for Simon II will be published in the CRYPT at a later date.



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