|04-22-2003, 11:19 AM||#1|
Rider Of Rohan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Port Angeles, WA or Helm's Deep
Age of Wonders II (review)
Review: Age of Wonders II
Anyone who has an interest in turn-based strategy games as well as fantasy-themed games in general should give this one a look. It is replete with all manner of fantasy goodies (traditional and non-traditional races, units, spells, etc.), and is quite polished. It’s a “just-one-more-turn” monster, in the manner of the HOMM series.
This is a strongpoint of the game. Lots of info is readily available through various tabs and easily-accessed screens. Placing the cursor over skills and spells gives you the pertinent info at the bottom of the screen.
The 2-D look is somewhat dated but it works. The screens are very colorful, the spell effects are good, and the artwork is great. The units are still relatively small, although they are better than in the first version of the game. In general, I think the game is presented very well. It looks like a fantasy game should.
Not the greatest, but not a problem, either. The unit sound effects vary from good to mediocre; these include splats, giggling faeries, cackling witches, and roaring berserker dwarves. Background music is decent but uninspiring – after awhile it faded from awareness.
Strategic city-building, control of mines, mana nodes, & treasure areas, heroes, troop quality/morale, diplomacy & race relations, all manner of spells, solid tactical combat – there is a lot to love about this game.
My jury is still out on this. I’ve played some scenarios where the computer players were rather meager, and basically puttered around until I came out to stomp on them. I have been tested in others, however.
Rules & Support:
The game comes with a hefty manual. I have not read it cover to cover, but what I have looks fine. There are ample unit lists in the back, which is nice. The game is patched, and I have had no crashes or issues whatsoever.
One of the few issues I have is that when attacking your units are at the mercy of the defenders right off the bat. The first version of AOW allowed for some strategic maneuvering on the battle screen (perhaps too much of it, since they were criticized for this), but now you are plunked down in range of the defenders, who move/attack first.
I really enjoy turn-based strategy games, and this game is right down my alley. It rivals the HOMM series and Disciples II for the best fantasy one out there. Get it.
If anyone has any specific questions, I’d be happy to answer them as best I can.
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