Thanks to Tsunami Studios for helping me out in creating this single-scenario campaign.
||Role Playing Only
In this, you play Gevus Sesbough, a skirmisher that got his once-in-a lifetime chance to change the course of history for the world. This takes place in a ficticious realm in which only a few empires rule, and a fragile treaty is all that prevents the two superpowers from total devastation.
Proud member of Tsunami Studios!
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Amazing, right out amazing. When the scenario started, and I first saw the forest, I was amazed. Normally, forests are the hardest and most time-consuming terrain types to make, therefor most designers simply use the terrain tool. This scenario was different and by far better.
You are Gevus Sesbough, a skirmisher in the garrison of Marix. The scenario opens with an attack on your town, which you have to repel. From there, the story unfolds into such a masterpiece with so many surprises, it simply stunned me.
Playability - 5
Simply excellent. I discovered absolutely no bugs (it could be that some exist, I just haven't found them). The scenario/campaign is nice and long, yet not too long to the point at which it bores the player.
Balance - 5
The balance was excellent. There were no invincible units, no enemies that seemed to be impossible to kill, everything was very balanced, if not even in favor of your enemy, which added more challenge.
Creativity - 5
I saw things in this scenario that I saw in very few others. Losses. I don't like giving things away, but having battles which you have to lose/cannot win at all made me wonder if I did something wrong and kept me guessing the entire time. The ideas in this scenario were plentiful and the dialogue intelligent. Often it seems that with a poor quality scenario comes a poor quality text, something an 11 year old would have written. Not to bash on 11 year olds, but the language has to fit the surrounding, otherwise it takes away some of the pleasure of playing, and I must say, this scenario accomplished this very nicely.
Map Design - 5
This should deserve a 6. The forest was simply amazing. It wasn't only the terrain tool with some paths and a few gaia objects, no, this forest seemed alive. You could literally walk through it, not having to stick to paths, it was filled with animals, various tree types, and so on. All in all, I was very impressed with the terrain. The steppes? on the other side of the river seemed well made too, and offered nice contrast to the forest.
Story/Instructions - 5
This was once again one of those scenarios someone put effort into. The story was very well developed with a nice history to it, and the scenario fit in nicely as well. In the game, all the instructions were made understandable, yet did not offer a walk through, as they often tend to.
I enjoyed playing this scenario, a lot. Although the distances seemed annoying at times, wolves attacked me often enough so that I didn't get bored :-)
Too much of a good thing is bad. Maybe some dud villages that bring absolutely nothing and make the player search for the right one to get resources in and the market would be good, if not problematic, spacewise. Simply a personal suggestion, nothing that would in any way detract points.
|The Viking Lord
Clearly there was no bugs that bothered this campaign. What drove me insane was the long lengthy chats that were carried out. If they were half-way interesting, they would not be a problem. (This will be further addressed in the Story/Insructions.)
I barely did any fighting. I hate to say this, but this was not a well crafted piece of gameplay. Either you faced overwhelming odds in which you lost, or you faced one or two enemy soldiers. A lot of the game was walking around till you found something. The confusing "real forest" was little or no help at all. Though it was realistic, it proved to hinder the gameplay.
There was nothing remarkable at all over the creativity. While the chats as you clicked on units, and the men that joined your party were a plus, (probably the only thing that saved your rating) it was not good enough to impress me. I suggest playing through campaigns that are ranked high on the downloads, and see what innovative ideas they came up with. While I don't want you to outright copy, it can give you a few good ideas of what players might expect.
Map Design: 3
True map design separates the masters from the novices. A few good parts were great, but much of it was a massive overdose of flowers and plants. This lags the more slower systems, and doesn't look very artistically done. One suggestion, less plants, more artistic in terrain design.
The instructions were basic. Little or no side quests, with a huge amount of objectives to accomplish. Though they were not uninforming, nor are they the reason for the four, they can be confusing and I suggest that you carefully space out the objectives. As I mentioned early, make the chatting much more interesting. Perhaps move the units about and not have it fixed on one location.
Overall, I feel Oppossing Borders a good attempt to create a decent fixed force. Though I do not suggest for anyone to play this, many (like the reviewer below me) may find it fun and enjoyable to play.
Imperialist has broken all the rules with this campaign, and I love it! It was simply one of a kind.
Opposing Borders was very refreshing to play. The map is a style I've never seen before; but it is a beautiful style in my eyes. I really enjoyed turning on the good 'ol Conquerors music, and playing like I haven't played in a looooong time. Since "Prince of Persia", probably. (That was the first game I ever downloaded... That says a lot about this campaing, people!)
This campaing is among my "longest time-in-gameplay" list. I played for hours and hours before I decided I wasn't going to finish it all in one day, like most campaigns. If you have to "save for later" because you lost track of time, that is a good thing! And what also pushes this over the top is that I will want to come back and play this again, many times over. Tsunami is like that sometimes ;-) More than a five!
Now balance is hard to obtain. This campaign was at times too easy, and at other times overwhelmingly hard. I'm not one to complain about pretty hard campaigns, I think that is a plus. But some battles in "Opposing Borders" were too hard to enjoy, hard enough to make me fed up. That is not good.
I do consider it good, however, that often times I realized that I wasn't going to make it with the units I had, upon which decision I reloaded and after a few more tries was able to beat the battle. This is a sign of perfect balance. Almost a 5, but some people will loose interest if it is too easy / too hard...
This is the kind of creativity that I'd like to see more often in Scenario Designing. Not many designers these days are able to create such well thought out and inspiring works. I learned quite a few things from playing this, and the player will see that Imperialist has put the utmost creative mind into this campaign. Way to go, Imperialist. I reccomend this to all players who enjoys "new style creativity".
Map Design- 5.
Good maps as usual are constrained (held back) by the simple 1-5 scale. This map was something different, yet something deserving more than a five. The cities were fantastic, I couldn't take my eyes off their narrow streets and entangle of landscape. The woods were a new twist to the "walkable forrest" style, with dirt and leaves covering the forrest floor. Instead of grass, flower "pathces" and "moss" flowers settled everywhere but on the roads. After taking a minute to get used to it, (Yes, it does seem a bit odd at first) I couldn't get enough of it! This is definitely something I'd be very dissapointed to not see again. The best use of elevation in a while, too! Being a map designer myself, let me tell you. A large ammount of time went into the drawing of this map; it's beautiful. Ten out of five...
Story / Instructions- 5.
The story was no exception to perfection. :p It is a story that makes you forget you're sitting at your desk, and that's what the player loves. The chat with villagers was great, I didn't see any of the campy "I'm bored of..." chat that is a sure sign of content lack. The language was well thought out, which made the story chat sections fun and interesting to read. This is a rare case, among the younger designers today who feel they must be quick and to the point, which often subtracts from player/character "bonding". Throughout this game, I felt connected to the characters more and more, and sad when misfortune befell them. Once again, this is a rare element today.
To sum it up, I got the warm fuzzies when I played this. Me, the ruthless critic who can always find something wrong with a campaign. That's why I don't review often, and that also says a lot about this download. I reccomend it to every AOK fan!
Opposing Borders is a single-scenario campaign that places the gamer in the shoes of Gevus Sesbough, a skirmisher
that finally gets his chance to prove his worth, and is pitted in an age-old conflict between two empires.
Playability and Balance
At the beginning, the quest is quite easy to play. However, towards the end, the challenge builds. The final assault
proves to be the most difficult, for it is a one-shot deal that proves to be either a hollow victory, or utter failure.
The map is truly gorgeous! Never before have I seen such detail brought to the blacksmith. As opposed to using the
grass palette to give up to around three of four different textures of grass (which almost all look the same),
Imperialist uses flowers as an effect to give a sort of “pop up” forest. Deer, boar, horses, and wolves are used to make the forest come alive. Forage bushes are used to make a better 3D environment. The rivers, too, are amazing.
The banks become muddy and flower-ridden as well. Obviously, players may not be used to such terrain, and not
enjoy it, but that seems to be very few (1 out of these four reviews say so).
Excellence! The four other categories all come together to form a truly splendid campaign! Congratulations, Imperialist, you’ve almost finished your journey to being a top editor!
Imperialist does an exceptional job with the story, adding plot twists to help keep the player’s attention and
enthusiasm. The instructions were clear and easy for me to follow, and I get a sense of accomplishment when I look
at all I’ve done. Plus, there are guys who follow your party if you can find them.