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Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls - The Shadow of the Red Sister
Score: 75%
Publisher: XSEED Games
Developer: Acquire
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: RPG

Graphics & Sound:
There are no big surprises in store for the graphics in Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls - The Shadow of the Red Sister. A new intro would have been nice, even a short one. That's not to say there is nothing new to see in this content. You've got a new dungeon with, well, different colored walls. You also get to see a mysterious new character in the depths of the dungeon. There are a few other appearances by new characters as well.

So there are new things to see here and there, but it's not a brand new game. Much like the main game, it holds new content and events under a tight lock and key. You'll have to grind through dungeons and do a lot of fighting and searching before you're given the next morsel of story, or bit of information, much less something new to look at.

As for sound, while there still isn't background music in this new dungeon, but there is a bit of new sound content. There are sequences where you hear a mysterious voice singing. It's a simple humming tune, followed by some eerie piano and soft singing voices. There are moody low notes, setting the tone like the best ghost hunting TV shows would. It's kind of a shame that most people will probably skip through this, and with good reason. You only hear it when the text box comes up and tells you about the mysterious disembodied singing voice. This means as you advance through text to read the next line, it will end. There's so little sound, and the battle music is so repetitive, that these little original pieces are quite nice, so it really is a shame they end so quickly unless you make an effort to listen to them.


Gameplay:
Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls - The Shadow of the Red Sister is basically a new dungeon for you to explore. It's technically supposed to be below Shiin's Dungeon, and it's aptly named "Deep Levels." I say technically, because you don't actually use Shiin's Dungeon to access it. It's simply a new dungeon entrance. The story of the game says that the entrance was recently unearthed, so I imagine it's like a tunnel that only goes to these lower levels.

Speculation about geography aside, this dungeon does seem to have a bit more excitement packed into it than the main game. At least it moves a bit faster, and more events happen back to back. You'll soon discover there's a mystery presence lurking in the dungeon with you. Of course, this is no surprise, with the phantoms of Shiin you dealt with in Shiin's Dungeon. This presence seems to like to sing, and it leaves your party with feelings of a chill breeze. The presence is always footsteps away, or behind you, or just ahead. You'll turn and it will be gone. This is all just described, of course: the game didn't suddenly take a turn to cinematic cut-scenes. But the text does a nice job of creating a haunting atmosphere, and the mystery is somehow connected to the always diligent, pious Samantha, the sister from the temple.


Difficulty:
In Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls - The Shadow of the Red Sister, the dungeon is populated by monsters starting at around level 30, so you'll need to be at that level before you can think about surviving a few steps. The next floor below starts at about double that, so you'll have something to do if you like grinding. This is content you shouldn't really consider unless you've finished, or are close to finishing the main game.

You do at least get more clues to the mysteries than you normally do. For example, at one point your party hears mysterious footsteps, and you're told they seem to be going north. Well that's definitely helpful. Still, you'll probably end up mapping the entire dungeon anyway, so it's hard to say that it really helps.


Game Mechanics:
Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls - The Shadow of the Red Sister doesn't differ much from the main game in this department either. It's menu-driven, standard, super-traditional RPG fare. There are at least some new options, and it seems a bit more interactive than the main content. For example, when you hear mysterious footsteps, you're given the option to turn around ("yes or no" are your choices). I can't imagine anyone would say no, but at least it gives a bit more of a role-playing feel.

If you're absolutely addicted to Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls and have to have more, of course, this downloadable content is a no-brainer. But if you've simply beaten the game and you're looking for something more in the way of excitement, this might not do the trick. Although the pacing feels a bit faster, it's still the same game. You still have to earn every inch you take in the dungeon. There aren't really a ton of new enemies or weapons bombarding you - drops are just as random as they were before. Short story short: this is nothing new, but then it's just different enough to make it worth your while.


-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

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