In short, this game is dramatic improvement over the first RoA title -- in just about every way.An incomplete list of improvements:
-Art and Music are more advanced
-Turning in first person mode is done as an actual 3D turn rather than an instant 90 degree turn
-This time around more of the skills are useful, and more of the stats have at least a token effect during the game.
-There is no longer a restriction to 5 save slots, and save files can be given a text description
-The XP penalty for saving (anywhere) has been removed
-Characters will now randomly come down with a wide range of ailments
-The game is based (essentially) on a 3rd level starting party
-Archers and Mages can now aim ``at angles''
-Aggressive/Careful/Normal stance can be set as a character option and no longer has to be selected each time you attack
-The general difficulty level is up
-Dungeons (more so) and Towns (a bit less) can actually be distinguished visually
-Dungeons are generally much better in design and are larger.
-Traveling on the world map is now done by making directional choices at junctions (in the middle of nowhere) allowing for exploration, contrasting with RoA1's ``select your destination'' method.
-Fewer towns and cities
-There's less walking door to door and searching every house in town for plot NPCs
-There's more varied responses when you do
barge into people's homes
-The truly unimportant towns have been reduced to a decision on the world map ``Do you want to stop at the inn, or continue on?''
-You will no longer find bucketloads of free herbs while wondering the countryside, as a result the need to actually purchase equipment and items is more significant.
-You still can't move while looking at a town's minimap, but they did add free in town `teleportation' by double clicking on the minimap.
-Teleportation (the actual spell version, used in dugeons) is less
broken now. You have to have actually been to a place before you can teleport there.An incomplete list of annoyances:
Stop taking away my stuff
. I understand that it adds certain desirable qualities to the game. Good *stuff* is hard to find in this game, surely there were better ways to add difficultyWalk Stepwise - Off/On
(the game's attempt at first person movement that's not restricted to the grid) is buggy as hell.
Your party being forcibly separated for extended periods of time was annoying in the first game. It's even worse when it happens in this one.
Finding unmarked places on the map without any in game direction can be a bit painful at times. Identifying towns is a pain as well (they are no longer named on the map screen due to the new travel mechanisms, and the resolution on the scan provided by GOG.com is too low to make out some of the names clearly).
The Deutsch to English translation is even worse. Prem flounder nose indeed.
On page 49 of the manual, on line 1, what is word number 9? For the record the answer is pumpkin
. GOG.com is kind enough to supply a cheat sheet for these, which is a good thing, since the scan of the manual that they provide is incomplete. That said, they also provide such a list for RoA1 that I never had to use
. If they cracked the copyright protection out of the first game why not do the same for the second?
Your character's boots will wear out and need to be replaced. I'm fine with that, but why is the penalty for not wearing footwear so insignificant when you're trekking through the wilds?
There needed to be a few more dungeons, my (freshly rolled) level 3 starting party finished the game at around level 6. They took a lot of fluff out when they made this game, but they didn't really add in substance to replace it. The game is just shorter than RoA1.