Reviews by pazmacats

80

more of the same good

pazmacats | Oct. 22, 2011 | Review of Football Manager 2012

Football Manager 12 delivers more (of the same). This year the usual bugs are back (problems with individual instructions and probably a plenty more that I didn't notice yet) and the match engine has received a graphic update (only, which is a good thing). All the information is still there, stats and numbers everywhere, and organization of the places where to look for this info has received an overhaul so info is actually better to find now. Overall it's still the best football management simulation, even better than 2011. And that's why it gets a very high rating from me.

Good points: * player/team talks have more/more detailed feedback about the player's reaction * match engine is working

Bad points: * terrible manual / no documentation * tons of options that have to be guessed * feels like an update to 2011

90

Nice addition to the series

pazmacats | Sept. 30, 2011 | Review of Total War: SHOGUN 2 - Rise of the Samurai Campaign

Shogun 2 has been great and new campaign adds to that. There isn't a whole lot new. General is an archery unit now and it's still all about positioning and preparation. If you like the first part then the 2nd campaign will give you another reason to start over once again. Performance (loading) is still slightly slow, but that's the only thing that you can possibly complain about. Great fun!

20

Unplayable rubbish

pazmacats | Aug. 20, 2011 | Review of From Dust

This game gets a 20 points score for video and animation only. The game is pretty much unplayable and crippled by terrible mouse keyboard control. Camera movement is clunky and annoying, click responses are not fast and not precise. The game itself is ok, maybe 70-80 points. But it is not playable on PC. To add to the fun you cannot play this game when you are not online because you have to prove to the ubi-servers that you have legally bought this shoddy console port.

Overall: Bad and cheap console port with bad controls, substandard performance and annoying DRM. 20/100.

70

slightly dissappointing

pazmacats | April 11, 2011 | Review of Victoria II DNS

Vicci 2 is a mixed bag.

1.0 wasn't working very well and was nowhere near as fun as Vicci 1. Several fixes improved the game but somehow it's not as fun as the first part.

Why is that? Vicci 1 was all about merging, splitting and assigning population groups. It was also about setting up the right industry in the right circumstances. Vicci 2 took much of this away. Population changes/evolves independently of the player's control and industry is mainly build by the capitalists now.

The world market has some funny mechanics that will lead to coal-producing countries running out of coal for example.

There is a general lack of things to do in this game. The fact that this game only uses one core of the processor does not help as well, because mid-game to end-game gameplay slows down to a crawl.

Vicci 1 was extremeley good, maybe that's why Vicci 2 fails to impress.

30

ouch! that hurt.

pazmacats | April 11, 2011 | Review of Brigade E5: New Jagged Union

Get jagged alliance instead.

Like every other game that emerged from the general chaos that happened after Sirtech went bankrupt, Brigade E5 is NOWHERE near the standard of Jagged Alliance 2.

The game is only slightly worse than 7.62 (its sequel) and while it certainly does look like its well thought out and everything, it is a terrible gaming experience. Hideous interface, terrible atmosphere, plenty of bugs will make you start to hate your party characters so much that you probably won't need any of the enemy chars to put them out of their misery... Shooting team-mates works just fine.

1

full of lies and hype

pazmacats | April 9, 2011 | Review of Sid Meier's CivilizationĀ® V

Civ 5 is a huge dissapointment.

Here is why:

AI

  • AI supposedly plays to win, roleplaying aspect is gone (more on this below)
  • AI diplomacy interactions are random (Ghandi will declare on you, friendly Civs will dogpile a weaker neighbor)
  • usually one runaway AI
  • AI doesn't know how to win (sitting on 20K gold and losing a "diplomatic victory" because of failing to buy the votes of one or two cities (which would take 2-3K gold)).
  • AI doesn't know how to research, fight or expand properly
  • bottomline: AI is about as intelligent as the average Free2Play-MMO-Mob.

Gameplay: - one unit per tile leads to huge traffic jams - cities require tons of siege equipment to conquer, slow gameplay - necissity to cut down the total unit count leads to slow production - gold rush-buys everything - imbalanced city states, overpowered pre-patch, useless post-patch - not enough hexes for tactical gameplay - combat system is a bad clone with 0 challenge/diversity/innovation & inferior to Panzer General in every possible way. - pointless wonders - simplified tech tree/research - simplified mechanics (population and gold is everything) - useless specialist and great people (only engineers and scientists are useful)

Misc: - tons of DLC to earn some extra cents. - designers lying constantly in hype preview interviews - no civilipodia (only the menu is implemented, the civilopedia itself is mostly empty) - running slow mid- and late-game because of pointless graphics

- mulitplayer broken with no fix planned.

100

doesn't get better than that

pazmacats | April 8, 2011 | Review of Europa Universalis II

EU2 is one of those games that are special. It is the cornerstone of Paradox Entertainment, a company that is famous now and which got famous solely because of this ONE game. I have spent countless hours modding, reading and writing AAR, reading wiki and playing the game with dozens of different countries.

EU2 is basically EU3 with a) better graphics b) faster engine c) more history d) better gameplay (less tedious)

EU2 got released, patched, modded, patched again, modded again, overhauled, discussed, glorified and re-rereleased (as "For the glory") and I hope someone will have a shrine built for it at some point.

gameplay: THe game takes you from the early 15th century through times of religious troubles to the times of exploration of the new world to the age of colonialism and finally to the age of nationalism and revolution (early 19th century) it is real time and you can pause the game by pressing "pause" and by setting "auto-pause"-triggers.

You are successful by fighting the right wars at the right time and by having a general idea about the direction you wish to your country to take: Do you want to stay small and progressive? Or do you want to launch a holy war against the heretics? Or do you want to explore and get rich by getting hold of key trading centers? Or do you want to colonize and conquer the natives of the new world?

You have fun by reading every dialog box in the game and making "your" choices (historical vs. ahistorical). The game is fun to powergame (pick a one province minor and conquer the world (hard but possible!)), it is also fun to roleplay (make sweden a colonial power, or go crazy and conquer north africa with the portuguese, or try to get insanely rich as venice, etc.) It is also fun to play because of the music (I hope it's still there) and the general immersiveness.

Bottomline: There is no better game than EU2. There is only games which are newer. (Like "For the glory" which is EU2+some extra punch)

50

jack of no trades

pazmacats | April 8, 2011 | Review of Commander: Conquest of the Americas DNS

This game is nice for people who have not played

a) Pirates! b) Port Royal c) Patrician d) Anno 1503 e) Colonization f) insert classic of your choice here.

If you have played any of the above, this game instantly loses its appeal, because the games listed above are so much better.

Commander lacks creativity and ideas on a major scale. The gameplay is difficult but uneventful and feels like playing a browsergame. You send ships around to fulfill requests by advisors (who had this grand idea that it will be fun to be FORCED to build XY until year 16xx?) and you fight the occasional sea-battle that you either win or lose, depending on who has the better ships/fleet.

There is basically no exploration, no inland activity, no opportunities for profit, no major overarching goal, no motivation, but, um, the game is not so bad, because you will be reminded about aforementioned classics which were entertaining during their time.

Unfortunately this game is not one of those classics. I am sure the company will eventually get it right in the next iteration of East India Company X.

50

lots of wasted potential

pazmacats | April 8, 2011 | Review of Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition

Bloodbowl was a game I had been looking forward for quite a long time.

I played the tabletop 10+ years ago, then I played Chaos League (which is fun) on the PC and I played the java-based "fumbbl" for some real computer adaption of the boardgame.

This iteration of bloodbowl however leaves a lot to be desired. AI is sort of realtime AI (operating on probabilities) and menu design is awful (tons of useless replays, general unwieldy feel) Graphics are nice, gameplay is ok, most of the rules work and the game can be fun for a while.

The worst problem of this game is the multiplayer which has awful menu design (lobby), awful matchmaking, lots of problems with fake rating, hacks, leavers, etc.

So--- bottomline... hardcore bloodbowl fans won't want to miss this (but ultimately will be dissapointed). Everybody else might want to give this a try, be amused for a couple of hours and put the game to the shelf.

50/100 (19/20 adaption of the original rules) (29/30 graphics&animations) (1/50 gameplay, ease of use, design, single player, mulitplayer etc.)

40

seriously underwhelming

pazmacats | April 8, 2011 | Review of Reign Conflict of Nations

This game is... born dead. Forum is dead, there is no proper documentation and and there is no support.

Options are severely limited, it feels like a game from the early 90's with better graphics (which look nice). It might be interesting for people who are extremely interested in that time or region, everybody else should just get Europa Universalis 2 or 3 which both offer a LOT more in terms of gameplay.

100

it IS the best, but

pazmacats | April 6, 2011 | Review of Guild Wars Trilogy

Guild Wars:

The good: + excellent visuals (landscapes, characters) + excellent skill system (learn hundreds, chose a combination of 8) + innovative gameplay (you can play your own character + 3 additional hero characters) + excellent UI : The most intelligently designed interface that I have EVER seen in any game. + excellent PvE-part + even better PvP-modes, -balance and activity. + minimum grind + good code (runs on any machine and will still look great)

The bad: The game is a MUCH better MMORPG than anything before and after it, but it has grown rather old! a) It'll be a shock for a new player to conceive the size of this game. b) It'll take weeks to get familiar with the PvP part. c) Nobody is questing anymore -- which is a shame, because questing in groups of randomly assembled players was a lot of fun too. d) Playing the game nowadays is either farming drops (for armor) or farming fame (for PvP-titles). "Normal" players are few.

So, while this certainly one of the best games ever, I cannot recommend it. You should give it a try. No subscriptions required. And maybe you meet another n00b to go questing with, who knows?

91

the real deal

pazmacats | April 6, 2011 | Review of Total War: Shogun 2

First of all: I loved Shugon: Total War (the first one) back in the days and I was underwhelmed by anything thereafter.

Shogun 2 made me love the battles and gameplay again. The battles are fast, violent and quite tactical. Generals now have some special abilities that can heavily influence the outcome of the battle. Flanking attacks can be devastating.

Why is this game so good?

  • faster battles (faster movement speed)
  • better sieges (everybody can climb the walls (and die trying to do so))
  • ruthless but not absolutely mental AI
  • japan has only 2 fronts (tube-like shape)
  • tech research (civil or military branch)
  • 3 interesting (read: non-annoying) support classes: ninja+monk+metsuke
  • no merchants!
  • hilarious voice-overs
  • no crashes, bugs, lack of polish, lazyness
  • "stand and fight!"

The only thing bad are the loading times. And the 5(!) games that came out between Shogun 1 and 2 (which have been tiring me out genre-wise). Forget everything you knew about CA and they half-cooked products of the past:

THIS is the real thing. THIS is Total War like it should have been the 5 times before.

95

a classic and a masterpiece

pazmacats | April 6, 2011 | Review of UFO: Afterlight Cap

UFO: Afterlight is a game that will keep you very busy once you get into it.

Gameplay is split into 2 parts: Planetary development/research/production/story view and tactical battles. Both parts are real-time but can (and should) be paused by simply hitting space.

You are in command on a group of soldiers and have one main goal: to surive. Some of the soldiers are scientists, some are mechanics and some are simply soldiers but most of them are a combination of 2 of these classes.

Scientist have to research weapon techs and will continually find out more about the planet and the environment, hereby propelling the story forward.

Mechanics will build weapons, space suits, ammo and 100s of different items (all of them useful!) and they will build probes on the planet to supply the colony with resources.

Soldiers will protect these resources and can - shoot - laser - grenade - rocket launch - melee or - pistol

all kinds of aliens into pieces. Battles are fought on a tactical 3D-map by squads of 5 soldiers, RTS-turnbased-hybrid-style. You can customize your force with ca. 30 different skills and dozens of weapons and a tactical approach is required.

It's a huge game, plenty of aliens, plenty of weapons, plenty of techs and if you want to enhance the gameplay even further, you can download a mod (complete overhaul mod) that changes balance a bit and adds a bit more of everything (+ reduces the amount of alien attacks IIRC).

The game is quite old, but graphics look nice and it certainly deserves to be called a classic and masterpiece. It's one of the best tactical games available in this genre (tactical squad-based), a whole lot better than Fallout Tactics and nearly as good as Jagged Alliance 2.