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Downloads Home » Campaigns » Chinese Design Contest: The dynasty of Tang

Chinese Design Contest: The dynasty of Tang

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Author File Description
Rickard Stenberg
File Details
Version: The Conquerors
Style: Mix
Number of scenarios: 3
No Description Available
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Angel Jerusalem
Official Reviewer
Rating
3.0
Breakdown
Playability3.0
Balance3.0
Creativity3.0
Map Design3.0
Story/Instructions3.0
I know, I know, it is incredibly cruel to give a sub-average score for such a nice campaign. It really does have everything any campaign should have: The playability is okay, as are the balance and map design. The story is a little bland but it is informative and clear. But the history, oh the history...

Since this is such a nice campaign after all, I'd like to finish the review with an up note, so History, the worst area, will come first.
Not in one scenario of the three, the history section consisted of anything over a handful of sentences. Not that I mind concise explanations, but important details, like what year it was, who was emporer, and what main characters were involved in the story, were lacking. And it is such a shame really.

Playability was alright. Agers of all sorts can enjoy this campaign because all the scenarios involve both economy and military, the first scenario being more economic, the last scenario being more military and the middle scenario being, well, somewhere in the middle.

Balance was average. Some bits are easier than others, and although there are some balance bugs, they aren't numerous. In the first scenario, there are no attacks from a red, Japanese computer player before the user hits the Castle Age. Which is a nice idea, come to think of it.
In the second scenario, one has a hero and three camels to slaughter some spunky rebels who have taken over an ally's town. Once that's done, there's build-up to do and a rather stubborn Tibetan opponent to crush. So this scenario starts off with one hero on the map and ends with a massive empire waging a winning battle. Which is a nice metaphor, come to think of it.
The last scenario's instructions instructed to safekeep a wonder for 200 years. But a rather surprising beginning to the scenario requires resourcefullness and being quick at the mouse...

The campaign was mildly creative, enough to get a 3. Nothing much to add here. I just thought that it would be interesting if the player would be timed in some missions, that's all.

Map design met a climax in the second scenario, which, if would be judged alone, would recieve a 4. But, alas, the first and last scenarios featured way too many straight lines and jungle trees, and way too little bamboo or forest mixing or elevation changes or eye candy.

Story/Instructions were sufficient, told the story breifly, gave the player clear instructions and that was it. No characters involved, no surprising plot changes, no dilemmas. The three bitmaps were almost identical, with the exception of the top-left corner illustration, which varied from scenario to scenario.

Nice campaign, the effort shows, and alas, if I could only turn the overall score 0.2 points up in some sort of a "general impression" field.
Angel Rasher
Official Reviewer
Rating
3.0
Breakdown
Playability2.0
Balance3.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design3.0
Story/Instructions3.0
Well, this is a campaign with a lot of potential, but one that in the end falls decidedly short of its possibilities. After playing through the first scenario, I had some pretty high hopes for this campaign, but sadly I never saw these hopes come to life. Allow me to explain:

In “The dynasty of Tang”, you will take control of a number of towns and villages in various situations, as you guide your nation into a new dynasty... or so the author claims. However, there is little continuity from scenario to scenario... it seems almost as if this campaign would have been more appropriate as three separate scenarios.

The first scenario. “Miss Kanton”, is definitely the most interesting of the three. Your goal is to build your economic and military strength through trade and diplomacy, until you have finally achieved your ultimate goal of reaching the Imperial age and researching a number of technologies. It is a fairly interesting idea, and is carried out well for the most part. My only real complaint with this scenario was the degree of difficulty: I breezed through most of the scenario with little or no trouble, until the few final, tense, minutes, when the AI mounted some pretty large attacks, which I was able to survive long enough to complete my research. Unfortunately, since only the standard AI is used, the author had little control over the actions of the AI, which resulted in some rather stupid AI attacks.

After the first scenario “The dynasty of Tang” goes steadily downhill. Both the second and third scenarios are a little bland, in particular the third. The second scenario “What a wonderful day!” gets off to a good start, and is actually quite fun... for the first ten minutes, in which you must recruit mercenaries and defeat an angry mob. After that, however, it’s pretty much a matter of surviving one enemy attack, then just building up your forces and clearing the map of remaining enemies.

The third and final scenario can just be written off as not worth it. You have a very small force of units, and must defend a wonder for “200 years”. I knew I was in trouble when I started off the scenario and found there was no visual countdown. After defeating the brain-dead attacks that the AI was throwing at me, I sat down to wait... and wait... and wait. Finally, after over an hour of sitting there, I came to the conclusion that nothing was going to happen.

The Map Design itself is rather bland, for the most part, and resembles that of a random map. The Story/Instructions are not bad, although they are a tad basic, and are not incredibly historically accurate. Overall, this is a fairly solid campaign that shows a lot of potential, but sadly fails to follow through. If the other two scenarios were on par with the first, this would be a campaign to watch for. As it is now, it is still definitely worth a play as a solid entry to the contest, if only to see what it could have been.

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Rating
3.0
Breakdown
Playability2.5
Balance3.0
Creativity3.5
Map Design3.0
Story/Instructions3.0
Statistics
Downloads:974
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:1.34 MB
Added:02/10/01