Reviews by Dangerman1337
Rome 2 - Ambitious but should wait if you don't like issuesDangerman1337 | Sept. 4, 2013 | Review of Total War: Rome II
Rome 2 is a very ambitious game likewise with the Total War series, large scale combat and continental+ spanning (well most of the titles) on a strategic scale and offers a Turn-based strategy and Real Time Tactics combination like no other. You can play a highly varied amount of factions such as Rome, Carthage, Averni (Gauls) and more and others soon to come as DLC (some free like the upcoming free Seleucid faction and the Nomadic culture pack and more to come afterwards).
This game has you either going in with three Victory conditions being Military, Economic and Cultural victories which either assume you conquering, becoming prosperous or spreading your faction's culture to other factions and nations and you can switch to any condition and are not fixed at one condition at any time and can achieve them if you change your mind in the campaign.
The battles feature from small-scale skirmishes to large scale battles which can be intense and exciting as you can possibly end it quickly with a decisive shock to your foes (and can have them start fleeing the battle early) or turn into a long drag if your forces are equal and are at equal terms.
However there are a noticeable issues as of now including performance issues with optimization in general, the AI can be problematic and not be challenging at times from what is reported to be even on legendary/very hard (both difficulties are the same except legendary is where you cannot re-load to an earlier save and more realistic battle UI). Also I found the UI problematic compared to the likes of Shogun 2 which makes managing your empire hard, one problem includes that agents, fleets and armies are in the same tab compared to Shogun 2 where each three where in separate tabs. Though however CA seem to have committed to start to patching the game with the first patch coming on Friday of this week of writing and have said they'll keep patching it unlike another particular company or patched their game with a gap of 3 or more months (cough DICE cough BF3 patch that only came with DLC).
Overall Rome 2 is an ambitious game where other games these days IMO feel like they are either quirky or they keep to small scale in terms off gameplay (not meaning in spectacle but Rome 2 does offer that through highly detailed graphics combined with large scale combat). However if you seem daunted by the issues you may want to wait out until they get ironed out more or it goes on sale next time.
A game of suspense and intensityDangerman1337 | July 25, 2013 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown
While I have not played any other games in the X-COM series I finally decided to pick this up and I have greatly enjoyed it. It has a combination of Turn-based tactical combat where even a misstep can be gravely exploited by the alien menace and with a fog of war system this gives it an atmosphere of suspense since that your XCOM troopers can be wounded and be out of service or even permanently killed even by lowly Sectoids despite XCOM having the best of the best out there which gives the feeling of dread. However to help against the menace you can acquire more advanced weapons, equipment and Armour via researching and gaining materials from recovering from your fallen foes or/and taking down alien UFOs which is another layer of the game where UFOs appear often which requires interceptors to take it down (and those can be upgraded to go against the more powerful UFOs). There is another layer where funding depends on the nation members all over the world and their support is determined on their panic levels which is dependent on alien incursions into nations that contribute to the XCOM project and often you have to choose where to intervene or not out of three locations.
There are overall multiple types of missions:
Alien Abductions: Reports of the Ethereal abducting humans in a specific location in a city and require XCOM to find out and eliminate the hostlies within the area.
Council Missions: Special missions that the council requests such as retrieving VIPs and Bomb defuse.
UFO Missions: After locating a UFO on the ground or taking down a flying UFO you are sent to clear it out and retrieve any technology and materials. Failure to comply may result in satellites be shot down which are extremely useful in keeping panic levels down and increase funding.
Alien Terror attacks: The Ethereal may launch a terror attack where they basically terrorize a location to cause a larger amount of panic than other types of missions and involve the safety and lives of civilians which you must ensure.
Failure to comply with terror attacks, abductions and council missions can result in increased panic levels which if they get high enough for individual nations then they can permanently leave the XCOM project and take their wallet elsewhere which gives you the hard decision sometimes to intervene at one location out of three.
The three major problems I have with the game is that even in late July there are bugs that can be quite major such which can break the game in the Ironman mode where there is one save and you even cannot load that one up and if a game-breaking bug appears then you have to start again. There is also a problem with line of sight where is very hard to tell if you move a soldier to one location they may have an extremely poor view sight which can significantly reduce accuracy. The third problem I had was that the locations keep being re-used often and gives the feeling that you only play missions in Western Europe, Australia and the US despite having locations in Russia, China, Africa, India and South America, more environmental variety would have been a great benefit.
Overall I would recommend this game if you liked the demo.