Monday, July 16, 2012

Update and Games for the Strategist

Just a quick update and some suggestions for fans of the strategy genre.

The next series of posts I'll be working on are going to be in the "Suggested Reading (Comics Edition)" vein. For each, I'll take the top five runs for the following titles:

Spider-Man (this may have a few iterations, but I'll do a general post at first)
Scarlet Spider
X-Men (this may turn into a Wolverine run, but we'll see)
And more, I'll go through some of my boxes and see what series/characters I've grown fond of.

I'll also do a Sci-Fi and Fantasy novel version, but those will be after I finish of the comic run.

Now, for the strategy game suggestions. I'll do one per console until I get to PC.

X-Box 360: Civilization Revolution (also on PS3 and PC): Revolution is a more streamlines and slightly watered down version of a Civilization title. I own Revolution, 4, and 5 and I love all of them equally. For a console strategy game, this is an amazing title; it is quick to pick up, easy to learn, and still challenging. It also makes a great introduction to the Civilization universe -- it's easy enough to learn and promotes the "one more turn" mentality that will absorb you. I still play all of them and love having Revolution on my 360 for easy access and control.

PS3: Record of Agarest War(also on X-Box 360): I've heard you don't need to play the first one if you get Zero, but I've yet to test that out. This game is a SRPG with a Japanese dating sim twist; as you progress in the story, you choose a bride that determines your heir through the several generations the story covers). I found it slightly simpler in gameplay than other SRPGs, but the story held up and I really enjoyed the character collection aspect.

Wii: Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn (the first is actually a GameCube title): If you have no played Fire Emblem before, you are missing out. It has large tactical battles, sweeping storylines, and in depth character recruitment. It also features permanent deaths -- this can be scary, but it makes you have to play that much more carefully. If you have played Fire Emblem, these two are great titles in the series and I really can't suggest the enough.

3DS/DS: Devil Survivor: Overclocked (The non-overclocked verision and sequel are for the DS): I find that the 3DS/DS have a lot of goot strategy titles. One of my absolute favorites is this title. It has a Shin Megami Tensei story, grid based battles, mild character recruitment, and amazing demon collection. It plays like a regular SRPG on the battle map, but battles actually take place in a traditional RPG turn based format with up to 3 on 3 character battles. It also has a high amount of replay value, something that other titles lack.

Vita/PSP: Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together: I still don't own a PSV title, so I'm adding a PSP title I own digitally for this list. And by PSP title, I mean an updated version of an older title (PlayStation/Sega Saturn). All that aside, it is an amazing SRPG and one of my absolute favorites. This one is all about the story, but it doesn't let you down in the post-game either. Branching storylines, interesting characters, and massive tiered levels for those that want the marathon sprint. This is a must own for any strategy fan.

For the PC, I have enjoyed a lot of strategy titles, and the genre is really diverse. I'll list the one I'm playing most recently and possibly do a PC game list down the road.

PC: Crusader Kings 2: This is a slightly different take on taking over the old world. If you've played either of the Total War: Medieval titles, you're familiar with having to take over/survive a massive map through, you guessed it, total war. In Crusader Kings 2, war is only one way to expand your kingdom, and can be one of the most difficult. In CK2, you take the role of a specific character instead of a country. You have relationships with your family, your vassals, your courtiers, and everyone else in the world. When that character dies, you become your heir. If there is no heir or county left under your control, you lose.

You expand your kingdom through intrigue, marriage, or war. You can't, however, declare war whenever you want. You have to have a claim (fabricated or otherwise) on the territory you want to control. And then you have to deal with the fallout of having to raise an army and pay for it, and how others view you for going to war (good, bad, or ugly).

The game has layers upon layers of strategy and yet isn't that hard to pick up and play. I won't say it's my favorite strategy game on PC, but it is one I have really been enjoying. The one thing it lacks in comparison to the Total War games, however, is that combat is very basic and takes place on the overworld; you don't control the individual units. Even so, a phenomenal game.

That's all for now, keep an eye out for more suggested reading. Also, if you have any desire to see a "suggested reading" on a given topic/series, just let me know!

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