Friday, January 25, 2013

Old game temptation

Had a peek at the latest Good Old Games weekend sale earlier ...

It's quite tempting this weekend for old games I remember being hooked on, for old games I missed out on the first time and not so old games I avoided when they were new.

What have they got and why am I tempted ?

First up - a link

Empire Earth - this is a hybrid of real time strategy (which tends to be quite limited in scope actually) and grand empire strategy. Kinda like mashing together Age of Empires and Civilisation. This one hails from an age where game developers tended to try things out with mashing genres together, trouble is the developers didn't tend to do that great a job of it. The game was either broken, or too ambitious.

I'm very tempted by this one, I was hooked on quite a few versions of Civilisation and this one gives a bit more scope. But I'll only go for the first Empire Earth as it looks like the sequels actually took features away from the original.

Talking about taking stuff away ...

Lords of the Realm 2 is another one I sunk a lot of time into. It's another hybrid of real time strategy and empire strategy. It's pretty simple to play but hides its depth well. I really enjoyed this one, it's just a shame the AI opponents couldn't play to win. They tended to waste their people in making peasant armies, which your archers would cut down like wheat. All you needed to do was build castles with a moat, fill it with archers and the AI couldn't beat you from there. On the other hand, you'd be able to build armies of armoured swordsmen and macemen to break into the castles.

I missed the first Lords of the Realm and avoided the third. The second is definitely an all time classic, just a shame the AI wasn't good enough. The third got avoided because they took away the strengths of the second and didn't leave much of a game behind (bit like Moo3 after Moo2)

Lords of the Realm spawned a sister game too called Lords of Magic. Whereas Lords of the Realm was based in Medieval times with archers, crossbowmen, castles, sieges, swordsmen and knights, Lords of Magic was a magic fantasy setting. I was very curious about this one when it first came out. I don't think I got it because it took far too long to go budget.

(Bit like a lot of Blizzard games - they stay expensive for far too long and therefore I refuse to buy them)

Evil Genius - played the demo, didn't get the game. It's one where you are the Evil Genius, plotting world domination from the hidden mountain lair. This seemed like one where the developers got over ambitious and ran out of time and skill to program in all they wanted. Curious about this one though, it's less of a loss on a $4 game than the original price of £30.

What's next ?

Ground Control 1 and 2. I played the original when Gamespy gave it away for free but didn't get too far in it. It was a ground breaker for real time strategy in its day because instead of having you build up a complicated base from bare bones units, the units you started a battle with were the only units you'd have. I have a mate who was addicted to Ground Control 2 for a very long time and that only comes with strong games with lots of depth.

There's a few more in the offer but I wouldn't look at them seriously : Judge Dredd : Dredd vs Death, Pinball Gold and Sniper Elite Berlin 1945.

I might well spend a bit of cash on the offer this weekend - on either or both of Empire Earth and Lords of Magic. I still need to get value out of similar recent acquisitions like Heroes of Might & Magic 3.

Oh and there's another limited Steam sale starting today too - my wallet is doomed ! Which reminds me ... it's time to pay off the credit card ... uhoh ! :-)

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