by Electronic Arts
This one's a toughie for me to review (boy, this is a rough job...). I loved Warcraft II on the PC; it's one of the best realtime strategy games around. I played the PC version through and through, so at first I was a bit turned off with the console version; 1) the graphics are a big step down (you can't get SVGA on a television screen, after all], and 2) the interface is inefficient (it's one big speed bump). Needless to say, if you own the PC Warcraft II, don't get the console version; you'll hate it BUT, if you've never played this masterpiece before, and you like realtime strategy games like Command & Conquer, then do yourself a favor and pick this up. The console Warcraft II contains both the original Tides of Darkness and the expansion set, Beyond the Dark Portal. This means you get 52 missions in four campaigns (two human and two ore story lines] and 90 individual scenarios. Translation? You are getting one hell of a deal with this disc. I found a few upsides to this home version: You can select more than nine units at a time (nine was the limit in the PC version), and you can auto-upgrade your buildings and troops and auto-build your soldiers. These let you give commands to your buildings to automatically upgrade or build X number of troops, provided you have the proper resources to support them. Although I prefer the old hands-on approach, EA knew what they were doing; this automation makes up for some of the chunkiness in the interface. The downsides to the Saturn translation? You can't click on the mini-map to jump to different parts of the screen, and you'll have to get used to the interface (this game is definitely easier to play on the PC with a keyboard and mouse). But if you've never seen the PC version, these changes won't bother you at all. On its own, it's a terrific game. Warcraft II has so much to offer in terms of content Every unit has its strengths and weaknesses, and it will take you a while to master the game. Unfortunately, the shoddy Al will make things easier for you. The computer opponent can be tough, but only in overwhelming numbers. You have to wonder what the CPU is thinking sometimes when it does something incredibly stupid. Too bad EA didn't make the game two-player NetLinkable; it would've made up for the Al, and my score may have been even higher. Still, great game, great replay, great value.
For a strategy game, Warcraft is one of the best, and this translation of the sequel onto the Saturn is fantastic with tons of scenarios. Anyone who wanted to play WCII on the PC (but couldn't afford a $3,000 computer) will be pleased with this version. The control was a cinch to get into (after a good half hour or so), and the graphics-although far from being mind-blowing-did the job. I liked the character voices and soundtrack with their medieval, Conan-esque touch, but at times the voice-over during the Mission Objectives Screen was a bit overdramatic. I'm not a strategy wizard by any means, but I had a lot of fun with WCII. But remember, it is for strategy fans mostly with no overlap into other genres.
I went into this game expecting control to be a hassle-and it was for about two hours, until I finally got the hang of using the joypad instead of the mouse (the new auto-options help make up for the less-than-ideal control). Two hours of trouble is nothing, though, cut WCII packs enough campaigns and scenarios to keep you busy for months. Like the console translations of Command & Conquer, there's just a whole lotta game here. The 90 scenarios alone are worth the price. WCIPs tiny characters are more detailed and easier to discern than the soldiers in C&C. Gameplay changes 0ike being able to control more than nine troops at a time) are a real plus, too. If only it were Net Link compatible...
The console translation of Warcraft II is good, even though it doesn't have the awesome multiplayer capability that made it so popular in PC gaming circles. To make up for this loss, extra mission discs and a scenario creator have been added, making the game an exceptional value. Warcraft M's gameplay will satisfy any realtime strategy fan, and (surprisingly enough) the Saturn controller isn't too hindering for a game that begs for a keyboard and mouse. Although the graphics aren't too impressive, they do the job. The audio, however, is top-notch. The high-quality medieval music is superb and sets the mood perfectly. For realtime strategy game fans, it doesn't get much better than this.
2016-10-05 Warcraft 2 game added.