PDA

View Full Version : A great strategy game was just released...on a console? When did Hell freeze over?


Edge
10-21-04, 05:56 AM
OK, so we all know the PC is home to some of the best strategy games out there (I'm still playing Warcraft 3 and Stronghold to this day), but when a strategy game is released on a console, it gets little attention, and rightfully so: most are nothing special. Oh sure, there's a few occasional gems like Dragon Force or to a much lesser extent Kessen, but overall they're largely ignored. Well, last week a game was released on the Xbox which has quickly become one of my favorite games of the year, and possibly is also one of my favorite strategy games ever: Kingdom Under Fire - The Crusaders.

Now whenever we hear the words "strategy" and "console" togeather, we usually run away in fear. But suprisingly, KUF manages to not only be an excellent console strategy game, but does things I've NEVER seen done in a strategy game before. Well, OK, it isn't really a total strategy game: there are also very heavy (and quite fun) RPG and action elements. You are given a great deal of flexibility when it comes to your troops: you can increase their skills (melee, archery, riding, etc), their magic abilities, their job (knight, spearmen, cavalry, archer, balista, storm rider, etc), and equipment. You assign a certain number of troops to each mission, and then complete objectives, much like other RTS games. But the real fun starts when you've given all your troops orders and get into combat with your hero's squad: once you step into the fray, you directly control your hero as you slash down the opposition. This action mode has been compared to Dynasty Warriors, and with good reason: the basic controls are similar, and it has that same "fighting against hundreds of enemies at once" theme going with it. You can't win the war with your hero alone, but you're able to quickly turn the tide of a battle as you slash down hoards of enemies that would usually take your troops much longer to kill.

I expected the game to be good, but nowhere near as good as it turned out. Not only does it have great gameplay, terrific graphics (it's amazing how detailed each unit is when there's easilly over 100 on the screen at any given time), 1v1 online play (and soon 2v2) , and an extremely lengthy single-player campaign, but it only retails for $40. The real meat of the game is the last two campaigns though, the first two almost serve as more of a tutorial than anything else. It certainly has a few flaws though, most notably the poorly written script and occasional bout of "engrish" (the game was made in Korea, btw), and online play is currently a bit laggy since there's well over a hundred units on the battlefield at once and there's no lag compensation, but overall it's a very good game that any action, strategy, or RPG fan should check out. Unfortunatly, it's only availible on the Xbox with no plans for a PC version (which was originally being considered but eventually canned for various reasons), so not many strategy fans will be able to experience it. But, for those of you that own Microsoft's big black box, you should definatly give it a look. Oh, and for those wondering, this IS the followup to the poorly recieved 2000 PC RTS game Kingdom Under Fire, but has almost nothing in common aside from the basic storyline and a few units.

Oh, almost forgot, here's a few obligatory pimpage shots. The game looks tons better in motion (and in full resolution) though, it's VERY comparable to Lord of the Rings in terms of impressiveness from seeing such huge armies clashing on the battlefield.

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=8331&stc=1http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=8332&stc=1
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=8330&stc=1http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=8333&stc=1

|MaguS|
10-21-04, 08:21 AM
Yeah um this game is barely comparable to the likes of Total War series or even Stronghold. Its really completly different, more like an Action game with strat elements. If you wana see a true console strat series at its best... play either the Front Mission series or Final Fantasy Tactics...

Gaco
10-21-04, 11:43 AM
Hmm, you sound just like you have played this game... And yet not? How do you know whats better strat/RPG games than this? And Final Fantasy? That is simply not what I would call a strat game, more like a 90% RPG game.. I saw a trailer from KUF quite a while ago and now it seems even more interessting. Only problem would be the money :|

Anyway, this is certainly something to check out :)

gmontem
10-21-04, 12:42 PM
And Final Fantasy? That is simply not what I would call a strat game, more like a 90% RPG game..
Does Final Fantasy Tactics play more like an RPG game? I have never played it; only watched my little brother play 'em but it does not appear to be anything similar to the other Final Fantasy games. FFT kind of reminded me of Vandal Hearts.

aAv7
10-21-04, 01:14 PM
This is a decent game,I was really looking forward to it, but after playing it, there is too much hack n' slash and not enough "strategy" elements for me....this feels like a "smart" version of the dynasty warriors series to me.

Edge
10-21-04, 04:11 PM
The strategy elements definatly become a bigger factor later on (as well as troop upgrading). The first two campaigns seem like training missions: they basically hold your hand and give you troops to fight with. Later on, you get a LOT more experience points and gold to upgrade your troops with, and it lets you take practically any unit into battle. The first two campaigns can be played like hack-and-slashers, in the later ones you die very quickly if you aren't managing your troops (especially when the enemy has certain support units...damn swamp mammoths). I actually thought the hack-and-slashing parts were kinda weak (except for Lucrecia), the characters just seem to be to stiff and ridged when you control them.

I actually wasn't overly interested in the game because I THOUGHT it would just be Dynasty Warriors with mild strategy elements, but after playing it for a while I really got into the whole strategy thing. Especially online, it's quite fun setting up a ton of traps in a narrow pass, then attacking the enemy with my seemingly undefended balista and watching them rush right into a mine field :D

EciDemon
10-21-04, 04:47 PM
Yeah um this game is barely comparable to the likes of Total War series or even Stronghold. Its really completly different, more like an Action game with strat elements. If you wana see a true console strat series at its best... play either the Front Mission series or Final Fantasy Tactics...


FF Tactics is awesome :)

They never released that game here in sweden (along with some other top square games) so I orderd an import of it. Love it to this day.

|MaguS|
10-21-04, 08:33 PM
Hmm, you sound just like you have played this game... And yet not? How do you know whats better strat/RPG games than this? And Final Fantasy? That is simply not what I would call a strat game, more like a 90% RPG game.. I saw a trailer from KUF quite a while ago and now it seems even more interessting. Only problem would be the money :|

Anyway, this is certainly something to check out :)


FFT is 100% Strat... Play it... I have played KUF, It's ok but nothing more then DW with some strat elements, it in no way can be considered a strat game with Action elements. Its the opposite.

Edge
10-21-04, 09:27 PM
How much did you play KUF? You didn't get past Gerald's and Lucrecia's campaign yet, have you? It's not pure strategy like FFT (though does RPG also count as strategy?), but later on how well you fight with your hero doesn't affect the battle nearly as much as what strategies you use and how you level up your troops. A lvl50 hero is useless against an army with cavalry or support units.

aAv7
10-21-04, 10:37 PM
I'll have to give it more of a chance....I based my opinion on the demo I played....I'll have to give it a rental =)

Edge
10-21-04, 11:38 PM
Heh, the demo for this game is one of the worst I've played. It's just the first training mission for Gerald and Lucrecia, right? Those are the worst levels in the game, and give you no troop options. So yeah, full game is a lot better :D

Anyway, I've just gotten a bit further into the game, it's getting EXTREMELY hard. I'm fighting as well with my hero as I possibly could, but I get completely overrun even though I'm CONSTANTLY using my special and killing the leader as soon as I find them...I think I need to set up traps or use catapults or something, because as it is my melee troops are getting slaughtered. Encablossa...ahhhhh...just the name makes me want to run away in fear.