Reviews by wolfister1590

84

Everything is Better With Nostalgia Goggles.

wolfister1590 | June 16, 2014 | Review of Rise of Nations: Extended Edition

(Just going to get this out of the way first, this is not a bad game) When Rise of Nations released back in 2003 I remember saving up my money and getting it, because it looked so amazing. I have very fond memories of playing the game, building up huge forces, seeing the buildings change through the ages, and just being incredibly fun. Yet now playing it again after a decade, and being older I have found that this game had some serious problems with it.

  1. I had forgotten about that bloody timer. Yes this is a little gem that I guess I had blocked out of my memories of playing RoN, since it just provided nothing but extreme frustration. I guess when the devs put it in it was a way to try to keep the player from being able to build huge booming cities that could churn out resources and units faster than the AI. I am not sure what the devs were thinking but this is an old issue that I wanted to touch on.

  2. It really is the same exact game just slightly unscaled in resolution. This is good and bad at the same time. It keeps the things you loved about old RTS games like base building, unit production, building defenses, and overwhelming with superior force. It also keeps the not so great aspects such as the not very bright AI, the difficulty that does not ramp up well (from easy to moderate it is like jumping from a pillow fight with a bunch of kittens, to a 9ft tall wall of a person with a club slowly smashing you into paste).

Look the bottom line is that if you enjoyed this game back in the day and continued to play it for enough years that you can remember all the problems as well as the good things, then yes buy this it is a great way to play a pretty damn good game on a modern PC. If you have not played this game in a decade and only remember the fun I might say to just leave it that way. let those memories stay as rose colored as possible. Also if you are new to RTS and want to experience an absolutely amazing old school RTS then maybe pick up Empire Earth 2.

60

A sad attemt to bring a great series back.

wolfister1590 | March 2, 2014 | Review of THIEF: Master Thief Edition (NA)

I would really like to recommend this game but I can't it just has to many problems that tend to pile up after a while. I was very excited for this game I love the Thief series it has always had a certain charm to it that made it one of a my favorites. Yet this new game just feels like it was designed by people that just did not know what they were doing, or just did not care about the series. I know that sounds harsh but I cannot think of any other reason a game like this would be considered good.

It feels old (let me explain) It feels like it was designed for tech from around 5-7 years ago not taking advantage of the huge amount of processing power that newer machines can produce. Now that is not to say that it is not a pretty game it is absolutely beautiful in some cases such as when you first emerge from the clock tower and see the gothic/victorian/steampunk landscape of The City. It makes you want to go exploring....and that is where the first of the many problems begins you are very limited to where you can go and how you can get there. This would be fine for games pre Assassins Creed and Arkham City which have shown what an open world in a city can be like.

You cannot jump nor climb without it being in an exactly correct (scripted) spot, this just makes you feel like you are being guided along which just kills the last shred of "free movement" you might have had. Also to add to the small feeling of the open world the city is sectioned off by loading screens which adds to the frustration of trying to go anywhere. Even going into some small closet sized buildings require you to go through a loading screen (which they disguise as jimmying open a window) I could forgive that if you did not have to do the same thing to go back out. Seriously you take out your small crowbar and jimmy the window open from the inside.

Also whenever you go from one area to the next all the guards and all the torches, fires, or lights you have put out they are lit again as well as grates, vent covers, and doors you have unlocked are now all locked back. This means that unless you memorize everywhere you have been and what you have done you will find yourself going back into places you have already been to multiple times. Anyway there is still more wrong with this game this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The story is a mess and I could not care less about the characters if I tried I mean it try to remember anything about the story such as the rakes name or your partners name. It just feels like a story that has been through way to many writers hands. In the end you have to take a second and figure out exactly what just happened and why. It is incredibly underwhelming.

The AI is passable at best and down right moronic at worst. I can't count how many times I was able to avoid a guard simply by staying slightly to the left or right of him. If you get killed in this game by a guard even at the highest difficulty you are doing something very wrong. Also whoever did the sound mixing needs to be fired immediately I swear at some points you cannot even hear the dialogue yet you can hear the same inconsequential line you have heard from a guard a thousand times before three streets over perfectly. (I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SLOOP SELLERS I WOULD HOPE AS A CITY WATCHMAN YOU WOULD KNOW!).

I wanted to like this game I really did and in some places it is absolutely amazing, it feels like a Thief game. Like when you are making your way through a crooked jewellers shop stealing his wares and avoiding guards It makes you feel like you are being clever and stealthy. Sadly those moments are to few and spread out to really compensate for all the missteps the devs took. The tragic thing is under all the problems there is a really great game here. Hopefully when the next game comes out it will fix all the problems of this one and if it does we will have a truly amazing Thief game.

A game mired in technical faults and strange design choices that kill the feeling of being a Master Thief.

50

Lots of hype very little payoff.

wolfister1590 | Dec. 1, 2013 | Review of Total War: Rome II Emperor Edition

Sadly Creative Assembly has done it; they managed to outdo the mess that was the launch of Empire Total War. This game is flawed in so many ways that it would almost be funny if it were not so frustrating and sad. Even after seven (quite large) patches this game has gone from a total mess to a slightly smaller mess. That is the good news I guess? The A.I. is if I am honest is not up to par with that of the original Rome: Total War and that was released in 2004. There is still a massive issue with overall performance; specifically when it comes to frame rate drops on even extremely high end machines. The game itself feels as though it was made to appeal to a "wider audience" by this I mean it has been dumbed down extremely. The UI for example is very barren when it comes to information, the research screen is poor in choice, and the government screen is close to pointless.

It just seems that the two steps forward Shogun 2 gave this franchise are gone and instead CA have not only taken three steps back, but have stumbled from those three steps down a massive canyon, into a river, floated miles away, and washed up in the middle of nowhere.

The final thought from me is to just wait on this one. Wait not only for a price drop, but I would say at least a year or so till CA has managed to make this into a complete and working game.

This was highly disappointing.

84

A Glorious Grand Strategy Game

wolfister1590 | April 16, 2013 | Review of Victoria II

Based in the age of industrialization when the western countries were embracing new production methods, as well as new and revolutionary ideas about the rights of the common man, Victoria 2 truly sets itself apart from other games in the Paradox catalog. This is a deep and intriguing grand strategy game that focuses more on the economic and political points of an running an empire.Unlike games like Europa Universalis which focuses more on painting the map with your empires color, or Crusader Kings which has you focusing on continuing a dynasty, Victoria is for those who wish to experience the more intricate points of political turmoil of being a country in Europe that must compete with its imperialist neighbors. Though you are not simply held to being a great European power, you can be practically any nation in the world. The nations that can be chosen are listed in one of three categories, Great Powers such as Britain, France, or Russia; secondary powers like Spain, Denmark, or Brazil, and the so called "uncivilized nations" or those that have not adopted western ideals. Your choice will significantly affect the way you play and the difficulty as well. Now there are some downsides to Victoria it is not an easy game to get into, it is a game that challenges you to learn it and master it. Although there is a tutorial, which helps quite a bit, your real learning begins the moment you start the game. If you have played a paradox game in the past you know what to expect from this brand of grand strategy. All in all this is a great game that if you are willing to put in the time to learn will grab you and not let go for many hours. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves deep grand strategy games.