Tag: preview

Game Mods Technology

Warrior Kings your real-time strategic fist!

Lucky they’re not worrier Kings, or we’d never have any fun.
When we saw Warrior Kings and Lords Mobile there was not much of a game to be seen.

Sure there were loads of pretty models and nice words coming out of the developer’s mouth, but it didn’t have a definite sense of purpose. No definite sense of actually being a game at all.

But given what we have seen then, and since, it looks like Warrior Kings could grow and fruit into something genuinely interesting. The idea is to produce a multi-faceted RTS game based in a medieval fantasy world. It’s a world plagued by demons and evil, as well as guarded by Knights Paladins and the forces of good. This whole world is framed by a huge and ludicrously convoluted world history explaining why you must get militant and attempt to unite the entire world under your .

No surprise there then, but if Black Cactus manage to make the game as tactically rich and competent as something like Shogun, then they’ve got a definite winner on their hands. They’ve certainly taken some influences form that great game too – battlefield success will depend on how you marshal your troops. Competent use of formations is crucial to your success.

The problem might well be however that Black Cactus now have a lot to live up to. Warrior Kings might have seemed fresh and new a few years ago, but now – with the market brimming over with RTS efforts from across the globe – The Black Cactus team will have to work hard to make their game stand out from an increasingly busy crowd.

Warrior Kings revolves mainly around the fortress cities that act as the base from which the protagonists play out their 3D dance of polygonal death. As you can see from these screen there are some visually impressive ideas, good looking – if not particularly unique. And if a game grabs you by the eyeballs, that’s half the battle won. Sadly that’s also the easier half.

There’s nothing particularly unique here, but there’s plenty of stuff here to interest the RTS punter – a wide range of exotic units, from classic medieval siege mechanicals such as the ballista and catapult, through to huge chaos demon-beasts who rampage across the wreaking untold hideousness amongst the forces of good. Not only that but you can use these beasts and contraptions to lay siege to large enemy castles – an event that we’re all very interested to see running in a real game. The possibilities for siege scenarios are huge.

There’s a big management element to the game – health, strength and morale of your troops is going to depend on how well you manage the resources of your budding country. This is bound into how you run your campaign and also which of the three routes you go down. You can follow the holy forces of good, the demonic forces of evil, or become more technologically competent. Each scenario has its advantages and, of course, disadvantages.

All this is set in a whopping great dynamic campaign, which could have any of five possible outcomes, depending on how you play out the game.

It’s tough to see whether Warrior Kings is a going to be a hit or not. The trajectory is there, the ordnance is primed; but now we wait for the bombardier to do his thing – and he could stumble at any time. We’ll see more of Black Cactus’ mammoth project later in the year.

It’s got a funky 3D engine for those huge chaotic battles
There’s loads to think about including a economic engine
There’s going to be extensive multi-player support
A huge dynamic campaign gives it a long life-span
There’s hope for stagnant RTS market after all

Game Mods Technology

Sonic Shuffle finally Materialized

Sega does its own take on Mario Party, with a card-dealing board game. Will the excitement never end?
It doesn’t take ’em long, does it?

Spot a good idea and you can bet your bottom dollar that most developers will find a way to incorporate the winning formula into their latest opus. You can’t really blame them, as the games industry seems founded on the plagiarism – sorry, borrowing – of other people’s ideas. No Missile Command means no Fantavision, no Virtua Fighter means no Dead or Alive 2 – that’s just the way it works. Watch how many cel-shaded games start popping up now that Jet Set Radio has finally materialised.

It doesn’t matter, though, as long as the end result has some credibility, some semblance of originality, rather than being just a jumbled mess resulting from the ‘square-peg-round-hole’ scenario. Sega seems to know this and have injected a little character into their version of the so-called ‘Party Game’. In fact they’ve injected five, with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy all making appearances, Dr. Robotnik showing up from time to time, to unleash his usual brand of havoc.

Once you’ve picked your alter ego, you get to choose what mix of human or CPU opponents you’ll play against. At this point, it’s worth mentioning that the single-player experience leaves a lot to be desired. Even with the ‘High Speed Move’ option selected, you’ll spend at least half your time sitting around, twiddling your thumbs, while the blasted computer acts out its turn. Do yourself a favour and play Sonic Shuffle with a few mates, or not at all. It’s incredibly tedious, otherwise.

The actual mechanics of the game are basic enough. You’re all dealt a hand of numbered cards, from which you pick one and advance through the spaces in either direction. The object is to reach the Precioustone (read ‘Chaos Emerald’) that is invariably located at the other end of the board. The spaces fall roughly into three categories: Ring spaces add or subtract the famous gold bands and can accumulate exponentially, depending on how many successive spaces you land on. Battle spaces are exactly that – you face off against any one of a number of odd creatures and are each dealt a random card, the holder of the higher-value winning the battle. Finally, the Mini Game spaces provide the real fun aspect of Sonic Shuffle, as they engage all four characters in all sorts of amusing and not-so-amusing activities.

And it’s these events that give the game its sense of fun. Sometimes you’ll be floating in zero gravity, trying to get in shot of a timed camera, other times belting round a sun-drenched beach, attempting to be the last man holding a solitary parasol. You’ll probably get to outrun Dr. Robotnik’s Magnetic Ray or perhaps just be breaking through as many combination-locked doors as possible inside of a time limit. There’s a good spread of mini games, but unfortunately, there isn’t nearly enough spaces on the board, meaning that you might find yourself aiming for the event spaces, instead of trying to aim for the Precioustone.

Graphically, the cartoony artwork is wonderful and with all the characters from the Mobius in place, Sonic Shuffle could well prove itself a firm family favourite – at least until Sonic Adventure 2 hits, that is.