I'm BeatYourHeadIn; I've used this shock-comedy moniker in online games for a decade now. I like games for the gameplay. I'm not the kind of gamer impressed by flashy DX11-supporting games that lack solid gameplay. If its a great game, I'm willing to try it even if the graphics aren't photorealistic or are downright ugly. My game-buying philosophy has always been gameplay before graphics. Outside of game playing, I've got a career as an aviation maintenance specialist. Although I'm a mature adult, videogames were always part of my childhood and I've never bothered to shed myself of them. Considering how much I enjoy games, why would I? My reasoning to non-gamers I encounter is this: "most people enjoy watching TV or movies. All a videogame really is is an interactive movie where instead of watching the main characters, you ARE the main character. You LIVE the role of the hero (or villain), vicariously. It's taken sitting on your ass in front of a screen to the next level, broheim!"
Reprisal is as addicting as it is shallow. Both attributes are blatantly prominent in this simple RTS. Even though it has as little depth, the game had a surprisingly tight grasp on my attention while the campaign lasted. I liked it, but cannot rate it higher than 5 out of 10 due to the bland gameplay. Graphics are equally bland, but I did not deduct any points for this because the retro-style actually adds to the charm of the game. The main fault of the gameplay is the fact that the strategy for each level in the campaign never deviates from "flatten as much land as possible to create as many castles as possible, then attack." The game has no draw to bring me back; Reprisal simply has no staying power. I can only recommend this game for an addicting but short-lived casual RTS experience.
This game is an under-played triumph, hampered only by a few sloppily implemented control mechanics and a very small multiplayer community. It is a casual RTS game with a fast pace and some really interesting and unique game modes. Perhaps most notable is the awesome twist on capture the flag called Capture the Statue, where players must strike a fine balance between securing spawn locations and capturing the point-scoring statues. Gameplay is solid here. Three dimentional terrain on the battlefield can be used by clever commanders to some strategic advantage. The charming retro-graphics have nice touches, such as smoking minigun barrels and a heads-up display kill counter on the stationary turrets (for those who like to get their hands dirty, the turrets can be entered and operated in first person.) One complaint is the frustrating way groups of units are selected. There is no drag-and-drop box method here; instead you have to center the mouse in a group of units you wish to select and hold the LMB while a painfully slowly expanding circle envelopes them. Combine the slow speed of this circle with the unnecessarily small radius it stops expanding at and you're left with a mildly frustrating experience trying to command a large force that is dispersed and not tightly clustered. So, the very solid gameplay is an easy 9 or 10, but a couple points are deducted for difficulty with unit selection and finding players online to play against. Multiwinia captured my heart and scores a respectable 7 out of 10. I only wish more people played it :(
Great depth. Unparalled depth, really. Few strategy games come close to the sophistication of Dwarf Fortress (the only titles I can think of are the original X-COM: UFO Defense and maybe Sid Meier's Alpha-Centauri.) As a result the game has a massive learning curve, but I don't consider that a problem considering the scope of this game; it's to be expected that an extremely complex game will seem overwhelming to newcomers. Newcomers who stick it out are rewarded with a unique empire management experience. The one true problem with this game is that it takes an "Operator from the Matrix" Degree to recognize what the ASCII tileset is actually showing. It is at first blush a very visually cryptic game. Although in time, knowing what ASCII characters represent can become second nature. Dwarf Fortress loses a point for being visually disorientating to newbies, but finishes with a very healthy 9 out of 10.
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