Posted on 07/28/05 @ 10:50 PM (updated 08/17/05
This is a short scenario.
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Made in a very small map. thanks to the auhor!
Sorry for making no description, but anything you need about the story is in the scenario.
the music file rox, but it annoys after a time. Go to options and put the volume to min :p.
Well,thats it. Good luck playing and give me feedback, yo.
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This campaign is a small fixed force type scenario. It has a unique atmosphere created by very unusual map design, music and the fact I played it on 800 by 600 resolution, which I normally don't use. This made the map seem bigger, and added to the novelty factor. I'd almost describe this one as an old style arcade game, it was truly unlike anything I have played before. The gameplay itself was a fast paced linear fixed force, which seemed even faster with the music playing. You control a small group of units and receive reinforcements as you go along. The units have altered stats geared towards longer battles, and your goal is to reach Cao Cao on the other side of the map before he is killed. The final part is to get out of the castle, which is similar style, with a few surprizes along the way.
Towards the end some instructions were a little hard to follow - I didn't know what the special move activated by clicking on the pavilion did, and it only seemed to work once. They never came after me here, so I had to go and get them, but I could have also survived by not doing anything. Perhaps the guys that are tasked to attack me don't come because of a blockage somewhere, or perhaps they aren't tasked, I don't know.
Overall a very unique, fun and fast paced scenario - it won't take long to play at all so no excuses for not playing this!
This was the only "weak" area of the campaign. Because I finished it on only the second attempt I can't give it a great score here. The first attempt I wasn't really sure what to do, once I figured out what was going on I was a bit slow to get to Cao Cao. The second time I had no real trouble. The units had heavily changed stats, but this can cause a lot of issues - some battles went on a little too long. Some units had disproportionate changes, such as pikemen with very low attack that couldn't really put a scratch on my heroes. It's hard to say exactly what was wrong from my short playing experience, but I thought a little more micromanagement was needed and the heroes should have been a little weaker perhaps. The siege weapons had reular HP so they were of little concern.
Overall a little more work was needed here, especially more precision with changing unit stats.
What can you say about a scenario unlike any you've played before? Well, I start by giving it a 5 for creativity. The map is a unique piece of work - flaming walls, exploding castles, and an indoor-outdoor look that must have been difficult to create. The story was fun and humourous while being quite serious at the same time, and a lot of effort has gone into this area. This combined with a unique atmosphere made it instantly recognisable as a very unique campaign. Finally, the gameplay - perhaps it was just the music and altered resolution, but it felt very unique.
Map Design: 4
The map is a small area filled with burning palisades and castles, walls and towers, and plenty of eye candy and bad guys. It is very unique, but for me a little too unusual looking, not quite realistic. This is no major flaw at all, and it suits the scenario well, it just isn't quite to my tastes enough to award a perfect score, so the closest I can give is a 4.
This area is also done prefectly. The campaign has 3 sound files including a sort of pop-rock track very suited to video games, which both suits the fun/arcade style of the campaign, and gives the illusion everything is happening faster. The campaign isn't incredibly serious, it's just a short and fun experience to kick back and enjoy. The instructions provide a great deal of info though, and really get you interested in the story, which is based on The Three Kingdoms. The victory message even explains the fate of the characters afterwards. Full instructions are provided, which include the intended resolution. I never needed to read the hints, but they were there, placed in the scouts area. The bitmap was great too, and as soon as I saw it I knew this would be a very good campaign.
‘Ploy at Wancheng’ is a FF scenario with RPG elements, containing one scenario with an introduction title and one scenario featuring the game itself, the skirmish at Wan Castle. The story is part historical part fiction detailing the unavoidable ambush against Cao Cao at Wan Castle seen in the game, ‘Dynasty Warriors’, and the epic poem, ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ written in the 14th century A.D.
Great fun, entertaining and creatively attractive, with a good fantasy approach at its centre, ‘Ploy at Wancheng’ is a great scenario of its kind, with good replay value and an overall good story. I enjoyed rescuing Cao Cao, to explore the hidden streets of Wan Castle, and to battle the enemy army within its halls. I liked seeing the burning interior, to watch as buildings collapsed, and to slay enemy officers who periodically inspired the troops in their presence. The game is truly unique, and as the review above mentions, keeping to the context of an arcade-style game. A few bugs were encountered during play, however and which overall effected my play and the rating of this category. One such bug was where I had defeated Jia Xu and his force, then taking Cao Cao to the exit, with a trigger saying I needed to hold off for 500 AOK seconds when there was no one left to fight. Likewise this affected my enjoyment of the scenario greatly, needing to wait 500 boring and empty seconds to win the game.
The scenario begins on easy, the player, if he so wishes, able to select in game the difficulty of the scenario, by selecting the bombard tower to play on moderate difficulty, or to play on hard, by selecting the guard tower. I first played on easy, but the game simply offered no challenge, fighting simply a matter of confronting, waiting and defeating, before moving on. Moderate, like easy, was fun but simply not very challenging. At times I thought I would be overwhelmed by hordes of enemy troops, but always I pulled through losing hardly a man. I then decided to play on hard, and needless to say, my cry for a challenge was still only hardly met; yet more challenging than the previous two difficulty levels. Above collapsing buildings ravaged by fire and destruction, I was caught by overwhelming groups of enemy troops patrolling the castle streets, needing the good maneuvering and micromanagement of my heroes in order to win. Enemy troops were seemingly only a tab more stronger, with extra Hp and Ap, I myself losing quite a few men, but nothing serious to pose any threat to my two heroes, Dian Wei and Cao Cao, who could not die. The scenario is fun to play on all three-difficulty levels, but still needing better refinement in order to become that extra bit more challenging.
CREATIVITY: (4.0) +
Creativity was good with a fun and fantastical approach to a castle, with burning walls and buildings and a labyrinth-like structure of streets. There was good renaming of units, excellent music and a bitmap keeping in tradition with the game, ‘Dynasty Warriors’. I had the ability to select in game the difficulty I wished to play on and at one scene to activate a sword attack with my hero against the enemy. As well as this, extended Hp and Ap of units is used to prolong the battle, and to determine the strength of certain units. In addition I spotted buildings collapse from fire, enemy units appear from a wall, grouped in between their captain, and an overall good interpretation of the historical event that was the ploy at Wan Castle during the Three Kingdom rule of China.
MAP DESIGN: (4.0) +
The map design was excellent for its kind, with good terrain mixing, use of Gaia and a very well designed castle interior. The placement of buildings was fascinating, fun to look at and interestingly conveyed, with rocks, flowers, rubble and mud paths, surrounded by walls and towering buildings. All of this adds to the RPG atmosphere and approach, and the burning buildings make for a creative feel, together with a great sense of chaos and haste.
STORY/ INSTRUCTIONS: (5.0)
I found the story particularly interesting, a good adaptation of one of the many battles seen in ‘Dynasty Warriors’ and the epic poem written many hundreds of years ago. The pre-game instructions screen was detailed and comprehensive, a good history lesson for the battle, and the hints and scout section alike were good together with many chat messages to bring the story forward. There were, however some spelling mistakes, a blank history screen and some confusing sentences. However, I believe the author’s mother language is not English and so there is no deduction here.
In a word – Creative.
In closing – A recommended download.