My first job was at a nursery. Not a baby nursery which is, inexplicably, what most people first assume, but a plant nursery where landscapers would go to have me haul fifty pound bags of cedar chips and gravel into their pickups. It was grueling work performed at the height of summer for the state minimum wage, but every night when I got home, sore and gritty and oftentimes coughing up lung fulls of lime dust, I’d look at the full page ad for Origin Systems’ Ultima VIII taped up on my bedroom wall and reassure myself it would all be worth it.
It wasn’t. Tip-toeing the Avatar of Moral Virtue onto the precise pixel he needed to stand on to successfully hop from one coaster-sized island to the next taught me a valuable lesson about blind name brand loyalty.
This does not mean you should avoid GOG.com’s new DRM-free, Windows 7-certified release of Ultima VIII Gold. It’s only $5.99! At that price, I’d argue it’s a must-buy for anyone feeling particularly disappointed about this week’s announcements that both Darksiders II and Prey 2 are slipping from their original release dates. Think of it as an awfully small price to pay for the reminder that no matter how much you think you want a game in your hands, it’s infinitely preferable to wait until it’s good.
Ultima VIII Gold can be purchased through GOG.com right here.