Ruining my Childhood (Heroes of Might and Magic IV)


 Not so much ruining my childhood now as it ruined it then
In one of the more random things for me to do since I stopped playing Dragon Age 2, I've been playing a surprising amount of this game. Which gave me the inspiration to blog about it, as well as the fact that it is now available for $10 from GOG.com For those who couldn't tell, Heroes of Might and Magic (hell, Might and Magic in general) is one of my favorite game franchises. Ever. Of all time. Why do I like Strategy games so much? Heroes. Where is my icon of the skeleton dude from? Heroes. Bad PS2 game I bought because it had the name and not much else? You guessed it. Man, was that game bad
 
So anyways, perhaps some more context is in order. Heroes III is generally considered the highlight of the series, and I wouldn't disagree. It came out in 1999, sold very well, and other than an unfortunate incident involving the expansion (basically, the internet is full of idiots), is kind of amazing. Now cut to 2002. 3DO, the parent company of New World Computing is slowly sinking into the financial toilet (Oddly enough, Army Men games weren't doing so hot anymore) and in order to inject some revenue they have NWC release Heroes IV and Might and Magic IX early. But whereas M&M IX is universally considered to be a bad, unfinished game that is mediocre at best, Heroes IV was far more divisive. I wasn't really part of "The Internet" at that point, but as far as I understand there were two pretty distinct camps, those who liked the changes and those who didn't. My 10 year old self was mostly in the second camp. However, looking back, with the virtue of time and Ubisoft's Heroes V for comparison, I have to say the game is actually pretty good. It's not fundamentally flawed, but it is in execution. Whatever, let's just do the lazy thing where I list the good things and the bad things.  Bad things first because I'm a negative person.
 
Be warned. This will take a while.

The aforementioned bad things

 

Pretty much the entire art style

 
Heroes IV is not a good looking game. It's not any sort of statement regarding the graphical power, which I assume was pretty good for 2002. No, it's the art style. Whereas Heroes 1 and 2 relied on a cartoony sprite art style and Heroes 3 took the Donkey Kong Country technique of digitizing 3D models into sprites that still animated and looked good. In contrast Heroes IV has a really stiff, almost marionette-like design that permeates the entire game (the overuse of isometeric camera angles not helping one bit.) Comparison Time?
 Heroes 1. Nice clean cartoony sprites. Sort of embarrassingly cheesy creature design though

 Heroes 2. Larger battlefield means smaller sprites. On the plus, far less embarrassing creatures


 Heroes 3. Digitized Sprites, but still charming.


Heroes IV. Dude. What the hell is going on? On a side note, the isometeric battlefield kind of sucked because it ditched the hex grid of the prior games

Aaaannddd... I hope my point is made. This bad art also continues into the town design, which look more like a random assortment of buildings than any structured civilization or faction. Once again, plastic-y is the best way to describe it, in both looks and animations. 
 

The Soundtrack

 
In order to just get all the screen-fillingly large stuff out of the way quickly, let's just take some time to talk about the soundtrack. While it was composed by the same duo of guys who have done every Heroes game, Heroes IV suffers from the Arcanum syndrome of using the same instruments and/or vocals so that it all kind of sounds very similar. Even now, as I'm searching Youtube for embedded music, I can't exactly remember which terrain theme is which, unlike all the other games in the series.   
          
  
Now imagine those playing at all times. All times.  And with the exception of the underground, lava, and sea themes, they all sound exactly like these two. Once again, for comparison    
  
 
 However, I genuinely like a lot of the Town themes, Heroes 2 style overbearing opera included.  This also goes back to my complaints about town design in the previous section 
  

Balance, AI and other "small" issues

 
However, the presentational aspects of Heroes IV aren't really the reason why people don't like it. Certainly, there's the group that hates it because it's different, but there's a lot of validity to saying that you don't like it because, from a balance perspective, it's kind of a mess. Same with the totally brain dead, straight up retarded AI. Because one of the features of Heroes IV is that you choose between two creature dwellings for each level except the first (for example, the level 2 Life creatures are pikemen and ballistas. You can only have one. Pikemen are alright melee dudes with a long reach, and Ballistas are stupid slow ranged units with no range or obstacle penalties. Because they slow down your army so much, It's usually better to pick pikemen.) While it would be pointless to go into detail, a lot of these creature choices are straight up skewed in favor of one over the other. Like the aforementioned pikemen example, Vampires are way better than plaguespawn, Nightmares are better than Efreet, Dragon Golems are better than Titans and so on and so forth. Similarly, since your Heroes can actually fight in combat now, investing even a few points into the combat line is the difference between a spellcaster that breaks like a twig and a durable caster who at the very least can hold his own, not to mention character built to favor the combat tree. 
 
On the other hand, the computer routinely proves that it has down syndrome or something. It's not aggressive at all, instead usually turtling like a mo-fo and occasionally poking its head where it doesn't belong, not to mention having some weird building preferences (9 out of 10 times, they will build Ogre Mages instead of Cyclopsi. Ogre mages kind of suck) Thankfully, this and some of the balance issues I discussed are fixed with the equilibris mod, which rebalances a lot of the aspects of the game and makes the AI somewhat more willing to murder you. That's good, by the way.  
 

Not so great expansions

 
The Gathering Storm and The Winds of War are, at best, map packs. Yeah, they add a few more creatures to the mix that you can recruit on the adventure map, but both offer fairly shallow sets of connected campaigns, Gathering Storm being more RPGish and Winds of War being more strategic. It's just a sign of where 3DO was at the time, because they declared bankruptcy not soon after
 

The good stuff. Even if technically all this is subjective.

 

At least it bothered to try something different and wasn't horrible in the process

 
Kind of self explanitory. Heroes IV tried different stuff, and while not all of it works (i.e. choosing between two creature types. The way skills are set up that you'll never be able to get Level 5 spells in a one-off scenario map unless its huge. Maybe the Fog of War). Yeah, I guess it borrows some of the more RPG-ish stuff from Age of Wonders and Disciples, but in concept it's pretty ambitious with the multiple ways you can spec out your hero (indeed, the only truly questionable skill tree is Scouting, which increases your view radius and... gives your hero stealth? Link to the entire list for those who are interested.) It's more concept than execution, sure, but the execution is perfectly fine on its own merits. Even Heroes V, for as much as it tried to be Heroes III again, still borrowed some ideas from this game's skill system.
 

The Campaigns for the base game are very good

 
While I have no real love for the old Might and Magic lore, and laugh whenever people discuss it on fansites that I occasionally frequent, most of the campaigns in Heroes IV deal with the aftermath of the old world exploding and what people do to rebuild from the ashes. While not all of them are winners, the nature campaign being a fairly rote love story, they're usually well written and varied enough to be something other than a string of combat maps like some of the older titles. Order and Life especially. I actually finished quite a few of them, and at the very least, they're better than what similar games strategy games are offering, the new Ubisoft Might and Magic world included. I mean, have you actually listened to the laughably bad story of Heroes V? It's bad
 

It serves as a rallying point for people who hate Heroes V, though maybe that's not a good thing.

 
I like Heroes V quite a bit, but there are some who have declared the series Ruined FOREVER (oddly enough, not on that list.), even though Heroes IV originally ruined it forever, and now Heroes VI is going to ruin it forever. If anything, people hating that game have made them like this game more. Which I'm cool with, even though I like Heroes V. You want a genuinely bad strategy sequel? Try Disciples III
 

I obviously like it enough to write this stupidly huge blog.

 
Yeah. I'm going to stop while I'm ahead. Needless to say, Heroes IV is a good game that I like more now than I did when it came out. It's $10, which is a perfectly acceptable price, though since Might and Magic VII is out on GOG as well, you should also pick that up because that's the best Might and Magic RPG. I hope someone will read this. Maybe I should start Icewind Dale 2 over. Monks get the shaft in that game. The end.
24 Comments
25 Comments
Posted by ArbitraryWater

 Not so much ruining my childhood now as it ruined it then
In one of the more random things for me to do since I stopped playing Dragon Age 2, I've been playing a surprising amount of this game. Which gave me the inspiration to blog about it, as well as the fact that it is now available for $10 from GOG.com For those who couldn't tell, Heroes of Might and Magic (hell, Might and Magic in general) is one of my favorite game franchises. Ever. Of all time. Why do I like Strategy games so much? Heroes. Where is my icon of the skeleton dude from? Heroes. Bad PS2 game I bought because it had the name and not much else? You guessed it. Man, was that game bad
 
So anyways, perhaps some more context is in order. Heroes III is generally considered the highlight of the series, and I wouldn't disagree. It came out in 1999, sold very well, and other than an unfortunate incident involving the expansion (basically, the internet is full of idiots), is kind of amazing. Now cut to 2002. 3DO, the parent company of New World Computing is slowly sinking into the financial toilet (Oddly enough, Army Men games weren't doing so hot anymore) and in order to inject some revenue they have NWC release Heroes IV and Might and Magic IX early. But whereas M&M IX is universally considered to be a bad, unfinished game that is mediocre at best, Heroes IV was far more divisive. I wasn't really part of "The Internet" at that point, but as far as I understand there were two pretty distinct camps, those who liked the changes and those who didn't. My 10 year old self was mostly in the second camp. However, looking back, with the virtue of time and Ubisoft's Heroes V for comparison, I have to say the game is actually pretty good. It's not fundamentally flawed, but it is in execution. Whatever, let's just do the lazy thing where I list the good things and the bad things.  Bad things first because I'm a negative person.
 
Be warned. This will take a while.

The aforementioned bad things

 

Pretty much the entire art style

 
Heroes IV is not a good looking game. It's not any sort of statement regarding the graphical power, which I assume was pretty good for 2002. No, it's the art style. Whereas Heroes 1 and 2 relied on a cartoony sprite art style and Heroes 3 took the Donkey Kong Country technique of digitizing 3D models into sprites that still animated and looked good. In contrast Heroes IV has a really stiff, almost marionette-like design that permeates the entire game (the overuse of isometeric camera angles not helping one bit.) Comparison Time?
 Heroes 1. Nice clean cartoony sprites. Sort of embarrassingly cheesy creature design though

 Heroes 2. Larger battlefield means smaller sprites. On the plus, far less embarrassing creatures


 Heroes 3. Digitized Sprites, but still charming.


Heroes IV. Dude. What the hell is going on? On a side note, the isometeric battlefield kind of sucked because it ditched the hex grid of the prior games

Aaaannddd... I hope my point is made. This bad art also continues into the town design, which look more like a random assortment of buildings than any structured civilization or faction. Once again, plastic-y is the best way to describe it, in both looks and animations. 
 

The Soundtrack

 
In order to just get all the screen-fillingly large stuff out of the way quickly, let's just take some time to talk about the soundtrack. While it was composed by the same duo of guys who have done every Heroes game, Heroes IV suffers from the Arcanum syndrome of using the same instruments and/or vocals so that it all kind of sounds very similar. Even now, as I'm searching Youtube for embedded music, I can't exactly remember which terrain theme is which, unlike all the other games in the series.   
          
  
Now imagine those playing at all times. All times.  And with the exception of the underground, lava, and sea themes, they all sound exactly like these two. Once again, for comparison    
  
 
 However, I genuinely like a lot of the Town themes, Heroes 2 style overbearing opera included.  This also goes back to my complaints about town design in the previous section 
  

Balance, AI and other "small" issues

 
However, the presentational aspects of Heroes IV aren't really the reason why people don't like it. Certainly, there's the group that hates it because it's different, but there's a lot of validity to saying that you don't like it because, from a balance perspective, it's kind of a mess. Same with the totally brain dead, straight up retarded AI. Because one of the features of Heroes IV is that you choose between two creature dwellings for each level except the first (for example, the level 2 Life creatures are pikemen and ballistas. You can only have one. Pikemen are alright melee dudes with a long reach, and Ballistas are stupid slow ranged units with no range or obstacle penalties. Because they slow down your army so much, It's usually better to pick pikemen.) While it would be pointless to go into detail, a lot of these creature choices are straight up skewed in favor of one over the other. Like the aforementioned pikemen example, Vampires are way better than plaguespawn, Nightmares are better than Efreet, Dragon Golems are better than Titans and so on and so forth. Similarly, since your Heroes can actually fight in combat now, investing even a few points into the combat line is the difference between a spellcaster that breaks like a twig and a durable caster who at the very least can hold his own, not to mention character built to favor the combat tree. 
 
On the other hand, the computer routinely proves that it has down syndrome or something. It's not aggressive at all, instead usually turtling like a mo-fo and occasionally poking its head where it doesn't belong, not to mention having some weird building preferences (9 out of 10 times, they will build Ogre Mages instead of Cyclopsi. Ogre mages kind of suck) Thankfully, this and some of the balance issues I discussed are fixed with the equilibris mod, which rebalances a lot of the aspects of the game and makes the AI somewhat more willing to murder you. That's good, by the way.  
 

Not so great expansions

 
The Gathering Storm and The Winds of War are, at best, map packs. Yeah, they add a few more creatures to the mix that you can recruit on the adventure map, but both offer fairly shallow sets of connected campaigns, Gathering Storm being more RPGish and Winds of War being more strategic. It's just a sign of where 3DO was at the time, because they declared bankruptcy not soon after
 

The good stuff. Even if technically all this is subjective.

 

At least it bothered to try something different and wasn't horrible in the process

 
Kind of self explanitory. Heroes IV tried different stuff, and while not all of it works (i.e. choosing between two creature types. The way skills are set up that you'll never be able to get Level 5 spells in a one-off scenario map unless its huge. Maybe the Fog of War). Yeah, I guess it borrows some of the more RPG-ish stuff from Age of Wonders and Disciples, but in concept it's pretty ambitious with the multiple ways you can spec out your hero (indeed, the only truly questionable skill tree is Scouting, which increases your view radius and... gives your hero stealth? Link to the entire list for those who are interested.) It's more concept than execution, sure, but the execution is perfectly fine on its own merits. Even Heroes V, for as much as it tried to be Heroes III again, still borrowed some ideas from this game's skill system.
 

The Campaigns for the base game are very good

 
While I have no real love for the old Might and Magic lore, and laugh whenever people discuss it on fansites that I occasionally frequent, most of the campaigns in Heroes IV deal with the aftermath of the old world exploding and what people do to rebuild from the ashes. While not all of them are winners, the nature campaign being a fairly rote love story, they're usually well written and varied enough to be something other than a string of combat maps like some of the older titles. Order and Life especially. I actually finished quite a few of them, and at the very least, they're better than what similar games strategy games are offering, the new Ubisoft Might and Magic world included. I mean, have you actually listened to the laughably bad story of Heroes V? It's bad
 

It serves as a rallying point for people who hate Heroes V, though maybe that's not a good thing.

 
I like Heroes V quite a bit, but there are some who have declared the series Ruined FOREVER (oddly enough, not on that list.), even though Heroes IV originally ruined it forever, and now Heroes VI is going to ruin it forever. If anything, people hating that game have made them like this game more. Which I'm cool with, even though I like Heroes V. You want a genuinely bad strategy sequel? Try Disciples III
 

I obviously like it enough to write this stupidly huge blog.

 
Yeah. I'm going to stop while I'm ahead. Needless to say, Heroes IV is a good game that I like more now than I did when it came out. It's $10, which is a perfectly acceptable price, though since Might and Magic VII is out on GOG as well, you should also pick that up because that's the best Might and Magic RPG. I hope someone will read this. Maybe I should start Icewind Dale 2 over. Monks get the shaft in that game. The end.
Posted by Video_Game_King

Point by point:
 

  • Am I a bad person for liking the Heroes IV art style the most?
  • Wait, you don't like the Might and Magic RPG things? Does that mean I can just dive straight into Heroes III without investing nine years in Might & Magic Lore?
  • That's it.
Posted by ArbitraryWater
@Video_Game_King: Reply by reply
  • Maybe you have to watch it in motion, or take a look at a few more creature designs. It's not good.
  • I love Might and Magic RPGs. I just think the story isn't good enough to care about for the franchise as a whole and when people get very serious about debating it in their broken English, I can't help but laugh. And yes, you should just jump into Heroes III, as that's the high watermark of the series. For the RPGs, just flip a coin between VI and VII, or play World of Xeen.
  • Yeah. That's it.
Posted by Video_Game_King
@ArbitraryWater: 
 
  • I imagine the best way to tell is just to play the game. I'd do it, to spite you for absolutely no reason, but I haven't even bothered putting Heroes III on my computer.
  • I think that takes care of that.
  • Yea, that takes care of that.
Posted by Praxis

I totally agree with your assessments of the art stylings (or lack thereof) of HOMM 4. It's the main reason I haven't played any of the series since 3. I'm sure the game can't be as bad as the graphics would indicate, but every time I look at a screenshot of it, I die a little on the inside. I'll stick to HOMM 2 for my nostalgic turn-based fantasy forays, thank you very much.

Posted by ArbitraryWater
@DOOM2exe:  Heroes II definitely has some aspects that Heroes III lacks, enough for it to be a justifiably different experience. It certainly obsoletes Heroes 1, that's for sure. However HIV (not the STD that leads to AIDS, though many saw it that way when it came out) is a game that you should check out as a curiosity if anything else. Just wait for GOG to put it on sale or something.
Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

Heroes IV is the one game in the series I haven't tried (well, in the Heroes line, anyways).  I keep meaning to grab it off GOG.com, but just haven't had the time yet.  I don't think Heroes V was horrible, but the AI and the wildly changing difficulty made it one hell of a frustrating game - and this is coming from a guy who beat both Silent Storm and each Jagged Alliance multiple times.  I greatly anticipate VI, but I do hope the easier settings are, well, easier and that the more moderate settings don't ramp up and down the difficulty with such wild abandon.

Moderator
Posted by Mento

I stopped at HoMM 3 as well. I kind of came to the realization that I much preferred the exploration to the combat (giant piles of creatures on one hex still feels kind of goofy, though I know it's supposed to be representative and they're not all forming a cheerleader pyramid or something) and town management and figured I might as well play Might & Magic if that was the case. Unfortunately that series also got RUINED FOREVER by whatever viking nonsense the ninth one was about - though in this case the RUINED FOREVER refers to its lack of success meaning no more sequels. It was just too inoffensively bland for any real vitriol on my part.
 
I think if they ever rebooted either series I'd give them a shot for old time's sake.

Moderator
Edited by Tordah

I totally agree about the art style sucking in Heroes 4, but that's not the main reason I dislike it. Actually, I think it's a pretty good game, but compared to Heroes 3 it just doesn't hold a candle. 
 
The main thing that bugs me is being able to move creatures without a hero. This sounds good in theory, but I think it only serves to bog the game down. Whenever you play on a bigger map, you never have an incentive to travel to any of your towns with your hero(es). Why waste valuable steps going back to town when you can just have your creatures come to you?  
 
Sooner or later you'll have dozens of random creature groups coming from all your towns that are trying to catch up with your heroes, and they all move really slow. It just becomes really tedious to move them around. It's even worse when you don't have enough money to buy all the troops you want at once, so you keep sending out smaller groups here and there. Ugh. Just thinking about it makes me not wanna play it. 
 
Also not a big fan of being able to move your hero in combat. So yeah, call me conservative if you want. 
 
EDIT: Wait, they made a Heroes game for the PS2? You know what you need to blog about next!

Posted by TheDudeOfGaming

TLDR

Posted by ArbitraryWater
@Sparky_Buzzsaw:  I've been on a non-deliberate media blackout regarding Heroes VI since it was announced, and figure that now that I realize I know very little about it, I might as well go the whole way and wait for the game to come out before I read anything. However, yeah, I do recall Heroes V AI being kind of dumb on normal, but on hard being much harder to deal with. The AI in Heroes IV, pre-Equilibris especially, doesn't really do much other than build a really big army and turtle, though the sparse times when they actually feel like attacking you are usually the times when you lose. 
 
@Mento: I've played Might and Magic IX through... questionably legal means and with the TELP patch that makes it stable. Inoffensively bland is a good word. You can tell they had good ideas, and you can see where some of the appeal would come from, but clearly they still needed anywhere from 6 months to a year to actually finish the game. It's kind of a bummer, as I would call it the last important game of that genre (not counting fauxbacks such as Etrian Odyssey and The Dark Spire), as Wizardry 8 was released a year earlier to similarly muted commercial reception. I would call Heroes V some sort of reboot, as it's kind of Heroes III but in a new Ubisoft universe and with a pretty good skill system. The campaigns are pretty bad though, so you have to rely on one-off scenario maps to get your genuine Heroes feel.
Posted by ArbitraryWater
@Tordah:  The Heroes game for PS2 was just a remake of King's Bounty, and not in a good or modern way like King's Bounty: The Legend, because it pretty much is the DOS game it's based on. It reused a lot of art assets from Heroes IV, and some music from Heroes III, and most battles really just boil down to who has more dudes. 
 
If anything, moving creatures on the map is kind of worthless since you can use Caravans to move them to whatever town your Hero is stationed in. I guess they could be used as scouts or whatever, but not as very good scouts. One of the Heroes V expansions added caravans too, but they can be seen on the map and attacked. 
 
@TheDudeOfGaming: Then why post? I appreciate free bumps, but your inability to read large amounts of text should not be a reason to clutter up my blog with your pithy TLDRs.
Posted by Tordah

Hmm, I actually have no memory whatsoever of any caravans. It's been several years since I last played it though. Was that an expansion thing? 

Posted by Punk1984

I think I still prefer Heroes II after all these years. It might be the fond memories of hammering away on my old PC in the basement in middle school but I still think it is the best.
 Full disclosure: I skipped IV but played I, II, III and V

Posted by endaround
Posted by ArbitraryWater
@Tordah:  Nope, it was in the base game. Even people who hate Heroes IV think caravans are good. 
 
@endaround: I've played the first one and own the 3rd, and actually liked a lot of what they had to offer. Sadly though, I always get crushed by the AI, even on the easiest difficulty, which has a tendency to lower any sort of enthusiasm I have towards a game. Maybe if I had some friends to LAN with or something.  I'm more a fan of Disciples (and by that I mean Disciples II) personally.
Posted by ahoodedfigure

What I remember is that it increased the RPG elements for the heroes and actually had them on the battlefield. I could go either way on that, but the battlefield changes over the course of many of the series entries started to grate on me after a while. I liked the early stuff, even with its "embarrassing" character design (I know what you mean, it initially stopped me from playing the game until I realized the mechanisms behind the graphics. Now I miss the pixels compared to these clay model things) because it was a bit more chess-like, with clear unit distinctions and successful strategies that made combining forces fun.  One and Two were tops for me, Three did a bunch of new things that made maps a lot more interesting. IV overdid it on the world and strategic maps and came off as a bit of a mess to me. Also, one skill tree, the nobility skill I think, made all the other skills seem a bit weak by comparison.  
 
Scouting makes sense to me, though, since they're good at scoutin', which includes hiding around in the forest and stuff. :)

Posted by ArbitraryWater
@ahoodedfigure: I guess nobility would be overpowered if you leveled all the aspects of it up, but it's much harder to get income in Heroes IV than it is in the other games of the series, and even with estates it's going to be hard to afford the extra 50% creatures that GM Nobility adds. I dunno. When I think broken, I think the Combat tree. 
 
I could see the argument that there was simply too much stuff to be a viable one, but I would call the unit distinctions in Heroes IV to be pretty clear because of the way you have to choose between two to build your army. I see where you're coming from on the battlefield angle as well, but one of the very few things that annoys me to no end about Heroes 1 and 2 is the way the computer has an almost kamikaze level obsession with attacking your ranged units and only your ranged units. Archmagi are great and all, but when you lose 4 of them in a single turn to castle turrets? Not so much.
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@ArbitraryWater:  True about the ranged units, I remember that too. It's hard for me to remember too many specific things about the AI this long after I last played, although I wonder if further AI iterations with the same engines might have produced more interesting gameplay other than battles of attrition.
Posted by Underachiever007

This was a good read.

Posted by Goly

Nice read, gave some nice memories of friends trying to get me into the game and didn't really succeed eventhough I really did make an effort to enjoy it. Couldn't get into its "complexity" (it was for me at the time, we were 13-14 at most) and how long each game was, the slow pace also. Crazy how soon someone develops his preferences, I still like faster paced games eventhough I'm trying to get more into turn based strategy games and RPGs, while one of these friends still enjoys playing Heroes III and doesn't understand my love for GTA. Hell last summer he tried getting me into it again. Played for about 2 hours, then stopped because I wasn't really that interested. 

Posted by Tennmuerti

HoMM4 definately did not measure up to it's predecessors in more ways then one.
I still hate the way they made Titans look in that game.
But overall it was not as bad as most hardcore fans make it out to be imo.
 
5 was a definite improvement.
6 ... looks dicy

Posted by ArbitraryWater
@Goly:  I must have been 10 or so when I got this game, and I don't really remember being overwhelmed by most of it. Then again, I was a pretty weird 10 year old because I also had played a lot of Heroes III prior. As someone who's two most favorite genres are Strategy Games and RPGs (and Strategy RPGs), I can't really empathize with you on that point, much like you probably can't understand why I have no interest in GTA whatsoever.
 
@Tennmuerti: I've non-deliberately not read anything about Heroes VI, and when I was reminded that it's actually coming out fairly soon I figured I might as well go the whole way and just do a full on media blackout, so that I might be pleasantly surprised/horrified with what I find. For as much undeserved crap as Heroes V gets, I think it's a great game. Not particularly innovative (basically being an iterative improvement on the basic Heroes III formula), but it's not the spawn of satan or whatever some of the more bitter members of the fanbase consider it.
Posted by middleager

hi :) just signed up to ask

not being a great gamer, but i enjoyed playing hmm ii and hmm iii. nowadays i feel i need something to spend time with specially on weekends, and i've beeing thinking on getting to back to hmm, in this case hmm v.

do you think i will like the game as i did with hmm ii and hmm iii?

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@middleager: To answer a question in this two year old topic, yes. If you liked Heroes 2 and 3, you'll probably like Heroes 5.