November 28, 2011

Famicom Wars - Ranking

Yeah, I know, I know.  Putting a strategy game through the VIPS is a terrible idea.  What else can I do though?  Have a separate system for strats?  *scoff*

Story & World

Imbued with a deep and rich back story, Famicom Wars keeps on adding incredibly deep layers to the game world as each map unfolds.  Nah, I'm just pullin' yer leg.  There's shit all.  0/20

Character Development

You can be the red dude or the blue one.  Let the good times roll with another zero.  0/20

Combat & Monsters

In addition to the aforementioned strengths and weaknesses, precise tactical considerations must be made.  Unit placement and terrain analysis are key to victory.  If tanks are harassing your infantry units, why not have them enter the mountains where the tanks can't follow?  A single bridge over a wide river is a perfect bottle-necked spot to set up some artillery and anti-aircraft missiles.  As units take damage, they may have to retreat to a city in order to heal and there better be units available to replace their spot at the front line.  These are just a few of the examples of the considerations that must always be made during each round.

There is a good mix of unit types and no one unit could be considered the best one.  Every type has strengths and weaknesses against other types.  For example, artillery is quite strong against most ground units but cannot target air units or any unit that is within two squares of it (strictly for long distance attacks).  Tanks will absolutely rape exposed infantry units while being quite weak against bombers and battleships themselves.  An army that relies on just a few unit types is an army that will find itself in ruins.  16/20

Graphics & Sound

Unit graphics are decent enough.  It's more important that they stand out from one another than to look nice and Famicom Wars does an admirable job.  The two army colour choices are bold, distinctive and maybe even a little bit sassy.  Terrain tiles and colours were wisely made simple and unobtrusive so as to not distract too much.  The soundtrack suffers from too much repetition although there are two equally boring tracks to choose from.  8/20


Economy absolutely drives the entire game.  Unit costs vary considerably from the ultra cheap standard infantry units for 1,000 Golds to the massive battleships for 28,800 Golds.  These costs also come into play when trying to determine what will be an "acceptable loss".  Losing an infantry unit is no big deal when it is soaking up the damage that would otherwise be applied to a more expensive unit.  The balance between unit cost and unit usefulness is well done.  For example, air units are quite expensive as you are paying for their superior movement rate as well as the ability to ignore terrain restrictions.  As in the real world, the side with the superior resources will eventually win out in the end through attrition.

The controls lacked the quick response I would expect from a strategy game.  It's not like such a game requires a large amount of CPUsage.  Pinning it at 4x Transmorgification made it a lot more playable.

A second playthrough could be done as the other force but the only difference would be in the starting position.  Plus, who would ever not want to play the communists?  It provided a fair challenge on some maps with a good amount of back and forth.  Most times, however, the Red Stars were able to capture 60-70% of the available resources before serious conflict started.  This left the outcome of the battle in no doubt but there were still a good number of satisfying smaller skirmishes.  15/20

Final Ranking:  39/100