Retro Game Friday: Advance Wars 2

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with the sequel to one of my favorite GBA games. It’s Advance Wars 2!

Plot Synopsis: While the Allied Nations were still recovering from the war in Cosmo Land, the Black Hole Army had already recovered and has decided to launch a large-scale invasion on Macro Land. Along with the original Black Hole army’s commanding officers (COs), four new COs were recruited, under the command of Sturm…

Plot: The plot is fairly simplistic, but not terrible either. It’s nothing spectacular, but that was never the point of the game, at least to me.

Gameplay: The gameplay is excellent, and while it only adds one new unit, the Neotank, it honestly didn’t need more units. My favorite tactic of using a tank to block a pass and artillery behind it to deal damage is still an excellent strategy and so I enjoyed the gameplay quite a bit. It’s simple to use, but difficult to master, which is always a good sign when talking about strategy games.

Art: It looks not that much differently from the first game, and honestly that’s a good thing. The art has aged really well, but that’s how it is with pixel art.

Music: I don’t remember it at all, sorry.

Overall: A solid sequel, and a ton of fun to play.

For those who like: Turn-Based Strategy, Strategy, War Games, Excellent Gameplay, Great Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

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Video Game Tuesday: Strategy Games

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a look at some different types of games and the bigger differences between them and the common features. It’s all about Strategy Games!

Strategy Games?: There are two main types of games that come to mind when you talk strategy games at least to me. There is the RTS, or Real Time Strategy, and TBS, or Turn-Based Strategy. They are very different in how you play them, and while there are some common strategies between the two, how you go about them is completely different.

RTS?: So RTS games are games like Starcraft or Command and Conquer. These take place in real time with you giving orders and building armies and bases to destroy your opponents. Often the biggest skill that professionals in this kind of game look for is APM, or Actions Per Minute. Getting 100+ APM consistently is generally a good thing and means you may be cut out to try becoming a pro if you so desire. If you can’t do that you’re unlikely to be able to ever compete at a professional level. I think I remember getting 100+ apm for brief spurts of time in some games of Starcraft 2, but I never considered myself ever cut out for the pro scene. One because I dislike competing immensely, and two because even getting 100+ for those brief times is already rather incredible with my physical disability.

TBS?: Games like the Civilization series are a good example, these aren’t always as action or war oriented, and sometimes you can even play a game and win without ever getting into conflict once, at least with AI opponents.  I tend to prefer these sorts of games, although I’ve not played too many strategy games in general with more in the RTS category, although those are mainly for the custom game maps and types that you could create in games like Warcraft 3. Angel Arena is still one of my favorite custom game types, beating over any DotA clone easily.

So what are some similarities between the two?: Well in both games the key to success, at least to me, is to always increase your production capabilities. This means increasing the number of your base or cities as the game progresses to constantly produce units that you may need to fight off an opponent quickly. In RTS games this means quickly building your worker units and getting a steady supply of resources as your first steps. Once that happens you can start building up your fighting force while constructing your base. In TBS games this is still the case, but it’s more about buildings and land improvements at least in the Civ series.

In addition always upgrading your units with tech upgrades as much as possible is always a key to winning, if your units can launch more powerful attacks than your opponent, battles will quickly turn your way even if you have the same amount of troops in a battle.

What’s different?: Well in RTS games speed is always going to be a priority, can you attack your enemy before they get a defense going? If so you have a quick victory in sights and can probably clinch a fast win. In TBS games, it’s more about location and choke points. If you can block your enemy from getting resources or funnel them into one area you can easily defend your bases and prevent them from overwhelming you.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What are some of your favorite strategy games? What type are they? Leave a comment below!

 

Retro Game Friday: The Falsebound Kingdom

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a rather obscure game in a series that was a huge fad back in the 2000’s. It’s Yu-Gi-Oh: The Falsebound Kingdom!

Plot Synopsis: Yugi, Joey, Tristan, and Téa being invited to the testing of the virtual reality game “Kingdom,” created by the company SIC. When they enter the game they soon find themselves trapped within it, and they must summon the help of the game’s characters and monsters in order to defeat the game’s villain, Emperor Heishin, and ultimately stop the plans of the game’s designer, Scott Irvine…

Plot: The plot is pretty freaking terrible, although it serves as a reminder that the “trapped in game” plot device has been around for ages.

Gameplay: This plays mostly like an RPG, although there are some Turn-Based Strategy elements as well. Frankly the game wasn’t that great and the fact you’ve probably never heard of the game is a good indication of how bad it was.

Art: The art is really dated, but given that it’s almost purely 3D on a console that wasn’t known for it’s power compared to it’s competitors is another sign that this game wasn’t all that big.

Music: I don’t remember it at all, sorry.

Overall: Skip this game, it’s definitely not worth your time playing, unless you are incredibly bored. However there are better games out there that are free.

For those who like: Yu-Gi-Oh, RPGs, Turn Based Strategy.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, terrible plots, or Konami in general.

 

Retro Game Friday: Heroes of Might and Magic

Hey all, I’m back with a true PC gamer classic for this week’s Retro Game Friday! It’s Heroes of Might and Magic!

Plot Synopsis: Lord Morglin Ironfist, is forced to flee his homeland through a magical portal, because his cousin, Ragnar, had usurped the throne after his uncle, Ragnar’s father, killed Ironfist’s father, the legitimate owner of the throne. He finds himself along with his few followers in a strange and uncharted land, called Enroth. The land is unruled but contested by Ironfist and three other warlords: the barbarian Lord Slayer, the sorceress Queen Lamanda, and the warlock Lord Alamar.

Plot: The plot isn’t all that special, in fact it’s pretty boring and bland. But this did pave the way for later games in the series.

Gameplay: It played like a Turn Based Strategy Game, a Sim and an Adventure style game at times and did so pretty reasonably well. By today’s standards, it’s a very mediocre game, but was pretty damn good at the time.

Art: It’s seen better days, the Artwork, while 2D, is very, very outdated. Heroes of Might and Magic doesn’t have the usual timeless quality I often praise 2D games for having.

Overall: Give this a whirl if you’re really bored, but later games in this series would probably be more fun to play. Probably.

For those who like: Sims, Adventure, Turn Based Strategy, Fantasy, Strategy, Action

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or really bad artwork.

Retro Game Friday: Worms

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a real classic. It’s Worms!

Plot Synopsis: There is no plot.

Gameplay: There was really no plot for the game, it was all about the gameplay. It was turn based and allowed each player to direct their worms to fire in a certain direction. The goal was to be the one with the last worms alive. The multiplayer was quite fun, I remember playing the game with my cousin and having a blast.

Art: The art has aged, and while it’s 2D it doesn’t quite look as amazing as other 2D games of the time. However given how much effort was spent on the gameplay rather than art it’s not too surprising.

Music: I don’t remember the music, sorry.

Overall: If you get the chance to give it a whirl for a few minutes it’s worth it just to enjoy the classic gameplay. Of course you could probably play later games in the series and enjoy it more.

For those who like: Tactical Games, Turn Based, Oddball Games, Multiplayer.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.