Military Madness Review
Now on to the review:
Every once in a while, a game comes along that has you up all night, obsessed with "winning one more game," before bedtime. Before you know it, the clock says 3 A.M. and you have work early tomorrow. Old-school strategy tactics fans will be familiar with Military Madness. It originally appeared on TurboGrafx-16.
Now Hudson has published an updated version with great looking 3D visuals and perfectly preserved pick-up-and-play simplicity. The premise is easy -- win by either capturing your opponent's base or destroying every enemy unit. I didn't look at the training documents until well into my third mission. It's because the gameplay is just so intuitive and fun. And that is just the start of the gooey goodness that is Military Madness: Nectaris.
There are a great variety of unit types and strategizing where you move them and who to set them up against will determine who'll be grinning at the end of the match. The units you deploy range from ground troops, tanks, planes, anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank missiles, artillery, and even mechs.
Early missions may take anywhere from 15-30 minutes to complete. Later missions may take 30 minutes to an hour, and so and so since the missions become progressively more challenging. There are 16 missions in the normal campaign mode. After you finish that, there are another 16 in the advanced campaign mode for seasoned players. Add on online multiplayer and you have countless hours of re-playability for a measly $9.99. These 32 missions are all based off the classic missions for the original game. The newest addition is the multiplayer mode, which supports local and online play for up to four players in co-op or versus gameplay. There are 10 original multiplayer maps, and 10 vehicle upgrades plus 10 support abilities for the brand-new Commander squad.
I'm glad the developers added on a quick save feature. Others may cry foul because people may exploit the save system to reload matches mid-way through. I actually like this feature because it makes the game more accessible and gives people the chance to familiarize themselves with what kind of strategy works or doesn't work in the game. Think of it as training wheels. No one is forcing you to use it; so if you're a purist, don't. Furthermore, it's only one save state, whereas PC gamers have endless save states in RTS games like this.
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A feature that I found annoying though is the lack of auto-targeting. Once you move a unit in the grid, you can then select targets if they are in range. Unfortunately, after moving your unit, the cursor stays on your unit. So if you accidentally double-tapped, you've wasted a move by essentially telling your unit to stay put instead of targeting an enemy. This led to many an outburst of expletives followed by anxiously reloading the game. It would have been much easier for the cursor to lock on to the closest selectable opponent rather than locking on yourself. It's a minor gripe, but worth mentioning had they spent more time focus-testing the game.
If you recall fondly of games like Might and Magic: Heroes, Shining Force, or if you're just a fan of turn-based strategy games, then do yourself a favor and check out Military Madness: Nectaris for either XBLA, PSN, or WiiWare.
Genre: Turn-Based Strategy
Publisher: Hudson Entertainment
Pros: New improved 3D engine and A.I., Brand new units, Commander unit, Multiplayer, Simple but deep strategy gameplay
Cons: Needs auto-targeting, In-game tutorial, External music playback, Quick restart button
PS3 Informer Score: 5/5