Reviews by LSD
Definitely a must-have expansionLSD | March 6, 2014 | Review of Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
Their Finest Hour adds so much to the base game. The elite units add to the game's variety, while also offering new strategic options. Each nation's elite unit has its own special traits to set it apart from the normal infantry (and to make up for their increased cost). For example, British Ghurkas are tougher than regular infantry, while German SS troops are better at putting down partisan uprisings with their improved "suppression" stat.
The traits system for leaders is incredibly good fun. Though it's a huge hassle individually assigning leaders (made worse by the fact the game accesses a 50MB folder of 18,000 individual portraits EVERY TIME you want to choose a leader, which has to be done for EVERY SINGLE unit and HQ), it's still an incredibly important part of gameplay. Leaders gain traits based on everything they do -- fighting in forests, for example, eventually leads to the Ranger trait, which reduces the penalty for fighting in such terrain. It adds a great deal to the game, and it's great fun making great leaders out of low-skilled commanders. TFH is definitely worth picking up!
A bit hit-and-miss, but still a must-haveLSD | March 6, 2014 | Review of Hearts of Iron III: Semper fi
Semper Fi is the first expansion for HoI3, and is a requirement for further expansions to work with the base game -- it's therefore a "must-have", in that you absolutely have to get this expansion for the other (much more important) expansions to work with the game.
Personally, most of the HQ-related features are meaningless to me, since they only apply if you're playing with AI controlled military (and i prefer to manually control my military). I don't use the diplomatic actions added by Semper Fi either, since they're very limited in their applications: sharing tech experience is very costly, and doesn't offer much to your allies, while giving allies objectives are very hit-and-miss, since the AI has its own agenda and rarely follows your orders.
Definitely the most important aspects are the improved AI (for obvious reasons), the new map mode (which is incredibly important when conducting air battles and defending your territory against bomber squadrons), and the ability to upgrade units. The last feature is definitely a favourite, as it allows you to authentically upgrade your military: for example, taking an existing infantry regiment with artillery, and upgrading them to motorised infantry with self-propelled guns, allowing them to utilise the increased movement speed while retaining their existing experience. Definitely worth picking up!
More variety for a major nationLSD | March 6, 2014 | Review of Hearts of Iron III: Italian Vehicles Unit Pack
The pack contains some truly unique units. No other faction fields anything close to these unique (and very nicely modelled) units, so this pack is definitely worth picking up if you'd like more variety in the game world. Italy is probably the most under-played of the major nations, so this unit pack definitely gives an incentive to play as them.
An absolute must-have for HoI playersLSD | March 6, 2014 | Review of Hearts of Iron III: For the Motherland
For the Motherland is one of the proper expansions for the game, and as such, is absolutely necessary for players. The strategic resources and partisans are definitely the most important features. Strategic resources make taking territory a tactically rewarding part of gameplay. Different parts of the world feature different resources, such as materials and industry. Tungsten, for example, improves armour piercing units of the faction with access to the resource. It also vastly improves diplomacy, as nations aligned with your own faction can share their resources with you. The partisan system is incredibly fun, and allows nations who are quickly "destroyed" to continue to fight. It's truly fantastic to build partisan underground systems in countries you intend to liberate, allowing you to wreak havoc behind enemy lines. Partisans also make it more important to police your conquests, to prevent the above from taking place. Definitely worth buying!
More variety for a major part of the gameLSD | March 6, 2014 | Review of Hearts of Iron III: British Vehicle Pack
It's great to finally have some unique sprites for one of the most-played factions in the game. Though there aren't that many units in the pack, it's still fantastic for anyone wanting more variety -- especially since the majority of the factions in the game have some form of interaction with Britain's military, meaning that even if you don't choose to play as this particular faction, you'll still see the units on the map. It's a decent price for what it offers, too!
One of the lesser sprite packs for the gameLSD | March 6, 2014 | Review of Hearts of Iron III: Axis Minor Vehicle Pack
The Axis Minors are the smaller Axis countries in the game, which are very poorly fleshed out in the game -- this pack attempts to alleviate that by making their units look more varied. I personally don't play the Minor factions, since they're just not as interesting as the larger factions. Still, even as if you're not playing as a Minor, you'll still see these units on the map, which makes the game world more interesting.
The best, yet most buggy strategy simLSD | March 6, 2014 | Review of Hearts of Iron III
HoI 3 is probably the best strategy sim i've played. Paradox are known for such games, and though they're all incredibly fun, HoI 3 is definitely my favourite, due in-part to its authenticity, variety and depth (which makes up for its small scope). It's probably the most difficult Paradox game to get into, but it's incredibly rewarding to play. With all the DLC, it's truly fantastic seeing units change in appearance on the map as they're upgraded through the deep tech tree -- tanks evolve, infantry weapons and uniforms change, planes alter their designs... So why only 60/100? Because the game is still in an awfully broken state. Paradox created one of the best strategy games ever, and yet from release to the present day, it's been a broken mess. The last patch for the game was almost 2 years ago, and the game still has incredibly prevalent crashes and a severe memory leak -- issues that don't exist in other Paradox games, which utilise the same game engine. It's a horrible shame, because it's truly a fantastic game.
A great Paradox strategy gameLSD | Feb. 10, 2014 | Review of Europa Universalis III Chronicles
EU III Chronicles is a truly great strategy game, though it's showing its age a little when compared with some of Paradox's newer strategy games. The expansion packs included in the Chronicles edition are an absolute MUST HAVE, and add an incredible amount of detail to the western nations of the game. The only issues i have with EU III are that picking a non-major power is rather boring, and if you pick a non-Western nation that isn't huge, you can expect an incredibly tedious experience. I suppose the clue is in the name (EUROPA), but besides Japan which has been fleshed out with the Divine Wind expansion, non-Western nations are completely bland, and receive all of their events as direct copy + pastes from the Western nations. It's still a great game, but i'd have liked to have been able to play, say, a Native American nation without having to spend just over half the game doing absolutely nothing at all.
Awful, unless you're a completionistLSD | Feb. 10, 2014 | Review of Total War: Shogun 2 DLC - Sengoku Jidai Unit Pack
This pack was a massive let down. Besides the Wako Raiders, all the units are simply copy + pasted units from the game with slightly altered stats and silly building requirements. Bulletproof samurai? Simply normal samurai units from the game with 3 points more armour. They're just as resistant as any other unit with similar armour. The only unit from this pack that sees any use is the Daikyu Samurai, which is a slightly upgraded version of the normal Chosokabe bow units in the game. In short, avoid this unless you're desperate or some kind of completionist. It doesn't add variety to the game world, and the units are almost entirely useless. You'd be better off with a mod-pack...
Perhaps the best Total War to dateLSD | Feb. 5, 2014 | Review of Medieval II: Total War
This is probably the closest The Creative Assembly have come to a perfect Total War game. The variety is tremendous. Different cultures have different buildings and castle types, all of which you can see in the flesh on the battle map (which recent TW games have stopped providing us with). There's also a great RPG-like system for generals, with them gaining traints, followers and moral allegiance throughout a campaign. There's so much to do in Medieval, that other TW games pale in comparison. So why only a score of 88? Because the pathfinding is very buggy in siege battles, and because some of the features don't feel properly fleshed out -- princesses, for example, don't feel as well thought out as other features of the game. It's still an absolutely fantastic game, though.
Shallow, monotonous, and highly over-ratedLSD | Feb. 5, 2014 | Review of Sid Meier's Civilization® V
It's one of the most over-rated games i've played. I love strategy games of all types, and i'd heard a lot about Civ V -- a lot of which turned out to be lies. It's neither deep nor interesting, and is simply monotonous and boring. Most of the game feels poorly fleshed out, and requires very little thought to play -- especially since the AI is absolutely horrendous. The expensive expansion packs really improve the gameplay, and bring the game's score up to a 7/10, but without the DLC, this game is absolutely terrible. It's as though the game was released way too early...