Monday, January 31, 2011

Original Age of Empires Complete

The Age of Empires campaigns have been bested! And oh my, was some of it a slog.

Stone throwers and priests, the secret to 90% of the campaign missions.
Some of these maps were definately put together in the era before RTS refinement.  A lot of them just suffered from a lack of detail on the levels.  The mountain temple above was by far the most well put together piece of map.  The Greek and Egyptian campaigns rarely had an aesthetic touch to them other than a couple of walls.  They didn't even bother to add hills!  The final Babylonian campaign levels and the entire Yamato campaign picked up in pace, both aesthetically and gameplay wise.  Still, every campaign suffered from a lack of AI steam.  After fending off the first couple of attack waves, the AI pretty much collapsed in on itself.  Or maybe they were just distracted building TONS of towers.  Most campaigns consisted of defending off a couple waves of attacks and then slowly dismantling fields of towers with a couple priests and stone throwers.

Designing a base around cliffs added a subtle challenge.
Bashing aside, the game did at least off a plethora of objectives and some of the latter levels had a fair bit more gameplay to them.  The cliff-side level above required you to defending some attacks, knock out a nearby village for resources, relocate to another island for more resources and finally penetrate an island fortress. Another level that was extremely frustrating, but quite satisfying was basically a gauntlet that required micromangement to make the best of unit strengths for each obstacle.  You had to run scouts through tower fields, convert siege weapons with priests, and focus fire archers like no tomorrow.  The final campaign levels actually made me quite excited to try out the Rise of Rome ones, where I think the refinement will carry over.

No crappy campaign stuff this time, thanks.
I should also mentioned I followed along with a great guide posted on Gamefaqs by BigglesTh9.  It helped in a couple tough spots, but was also interesting to see how someone else handled certain situations.  He also added difficulty ratings for each level, which gave me a good idea of what my frustration level should be at before tackling a level.

It is super satisfying to finally beat the campaign for a game that I constantly played as a kid (it was my favourite game for a solid year).

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Age of Empires: Screenies

Here's a few shots of AoE1 for nostalgia.  Actually, I hope you never had to suffer through these horrible campaigns.

A Greek town  in need of plenty of defense from Persians. This is Zoolander world in practice btw.

Navy - the key to winning most maps.

I found Simba!
Actually, I think the map creator screwed this one up.  There is a unit on the island named "Lion King", but it's a touch North of this cliff shot.  Seriously, this is how bad the maps are.  They screwed up an easter egg! (Note: If my memory of the Lion King is wrong, I will proceed to shove my foot in my mouth.).

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Shinobi Down, On to...

Hiya!  I finished up Shinobi 3 this morning.  Sadly, the PC version of Shinobi 2 had some technical problems.  So, the Shinobi series is finished for now.

Why Shinobi is awesome.

I'm pretty happy I played Shinobi.  It's a wicked game that I somehow missed out on as a kid.  I'm going to miss infinite wall jumping from all these other games.  There was something just inheritently satisfying about bouncing from wall to wall.  While not every last detail was awesome about this game, it's an extraordinary platformer.

Anyhow, there was a three-way tie on the poll between the Age of Empires series, Warcraft Series and NWO/WCW.  I've decided to go with the AoE series.

This includes AoE1 series, AoE2 series, Age of Mythology series and AoE3 series.  I'm pretty sure I'll be sick of empire crushing by the end of this.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Diablo 2: Finished

After much much longer than I expected, I finally completed D2!

This game dragged out so much simply because of the tedium of some parts, especially as a sorceress.   Nightmare Act 2 and Hell Act 2, 3 & 4 were the biggest offenders.  They tended all to just be high damage mobs with certain immunities area after area.  So, basically it was just a chain of using a single slow and boring strategy.  On the other hand, the latter of Nightmare difficult felt the most balanced.  Progress went at a decent pace and all the fights felt varied.  While I completed the 'fun' parts in a day or two, the tougher ones often took me a couple weeks because I could only play a couple zones before the tedium crept in.

For anyone who is curious, here is the gear my henchman and I finished up with:

I think my henchman had better gear than I did >.<

On to Shinobi!

Bonus Picture: Ready to rumble with the Ancients.