The good , the bad, and the ugly is a new series of blogs that I am going to start doing where I list various good bad and sometimes ugly (ie. terrible) aspects of video games. First up is Shogun2: Total War this game has been eating up my time like an insatiable time beast and as much as I love it the game is not without it's flaws. So far I have completed the campaign once and though I played one multiplayer game I will not be going over multiplayer. (though I have heard its pretty awesome.) So without further ado lets begin.
The A.I. in Shogun2 is amazing having only played Medevil2 before this it is quite a difference and a refreshing one. One of the biggest problems I had in Medevil2 was that my units or the A.I.'s units would simply do stupid shit. I remember one time ordering my knight to charge through a thin line of infantry only for them to stop short and entering into melee with them. By the time I noticed what had happened half the knights were dead. Needless to say when I play Shogun2 nine times out of ten my units do what I tell them and go where I say rather then running around in a circle or going in the wrong direction.
Shogun2 does not have a huge variety of unit's, but there is beauty in this simplicity. If you are a fan of Fire Emblem then you are familiar with the rock, paper, scissor system in which a unit is strong against one type and weak against another. Though Shogun2 has a similar system it isn't as basic as the Fire Emblem one some units can over come the unit they are supposedly weak against such is the case with Katana Samurai vs cavalry they are not particularly effective, but they can stand there ground against light cavalry and even the other variety's of cavalry if supported by other units. The simplicity really shows in army composition. It is now far easier to make a well balanced force in comparison to previous total war games
Simplified user interface
Again with Medevil2 though the interface wasn’t complicated I found it wasn't intuitive either all that was fixed in Shogun2. Not only is it easier to know what does what, but if you need more info on anything simply right clicking the button or unit will open up the Encyclopedia and ingenious idea implemented for the first time with shogun2. I really can't give the Encyclopedia enough praise as it has helped me out so many times and has made learning the game a breeze.
Agent's are fun and easy to use
Maybe it's just me, but agents in medevil2 were not at all easy to use nor did I enjoy using them. I can not tell you how many merchants I have lost or thief’s I have had die on me. With Shogun2 it feels like not only do the agent's have a better change of survival they also are very simple to us they all basically function in a similar fashion yet bring different specialty's to the table and to the battle field.
let the body hit the floor, let the body's hit the floor, LET THE BODY'S HIT THE FLOOOOOOR!
Not a lot of unit variety
Remember how I said that there is beauty in the simplicity of the unit's? Well not everyone agrees. While it's nice that you don't have to go through a ton of units or jump through to many hoops to gain access to the ones you want it can get quite tiresome when you run into yet another Ashigaru army and millions of the same guy march tword you like a clone army. Sure each clan has there own colors and banner's but beyond that it really feels like a re-enactment of attack of the clones after a while.
Territory 'tug of war'
Sure it might be realistic but when you lose a Territory you just got only to go back and take it again it can get really annoying especially when it's the remanence of an army you just crushed that had the balls to go take your now un-occupied territory. It doesn't happen often and with proper planning it won't happen at all. But it still bug's me when it does happen.
Not fan of Naval battles
Again this might just be me, but I am not a fan of naval battles. Give me an army on land any day and ill give you a victory, but when it comes to the navy it generally ends up as a cluster fuck on the high sea's. Not to mention it is never fun when later on in the game someone decides to land an army on your island and there is no army or navy there to defend it. Really graphically it's amazing, but I would rather hit auto resolve then every take the helm in even one of those damned naval battles.
When the A.I. Decides to 'play dumb'
I was really hoping to not have to give Shogun anything in the ugly category, but as I said every game has it's flaws and when you make a game as complex's as shogun2 it's generally expected. (I mean just read about the horrible fuck up that was the release of Revolution:Total War.) I am pretty forgiving when it happens, but nothing's more frustrating when an hour long battle is nearing a close and the A.I. Goes full retarded. This usually happens when defending a settlement against and enemy force with re enforcements. Sometimes the reinforcements will simply sit on the edge of the field and won't move at all which then force me to have my army move out of the castle town and cut them down where they stand. It's tedious and annoying, but as I said it's a rare problem.
All in all Shogun2:Total War is a great game and defiantly worth picking-up. I got it during a steam sale along with all the DLC including Rise of The Samurai. The soon to be released stand alone expansion called Fall of The Samurai will soon be added to my small collection of total war games and I hope to do a review of that one after it comes out. Hope you enjoyed The good , the bad, and the ugly and thanks for reading. read