September 11, 2014

Super Daisenryaku - Ranking

Story & World

Pure strategy games aren't really known for their deep worlds/stories or they wouldn't be called pure strategy games.  At least in Super Daisenryaku, you can use your imagination while playing as different countries to fulfill your insatiable lust for genocidal horrors, you sick fucks.  0/20

Character Development

Here's a shocker — there actually is a smidge of unit development.  Veteran units gain percents in the EXP category, affecting overall combat.  I never saw this go beyond 2%, even though I was totally jawesome at keeping my veteran units from being wiped out.  1/20

Combat & Monsters

You could have called this game Super Famicom Wars and no one would have batted an eye except for the fact that it would have been release for the TurboGrafx.  Also, Super Famicom Wars would be something that exists in the future.  Super Daisenryaku's added unit depth and upgrade to hex appeals to the more mature gamer in Shen.  True for any game, I also appreciate the opportunity to learn anything about the real world during play.  Super Daisenryaku taught me that no one need fear an invasion from China even if they vastly outnumber them and that the French-built AMX-RC10 is sweet because it can go into mountains.  Thumbnails up all around; this one is going into my other gaming rig for those rainy day blues when I'm not up for adrenaline-pounding action.  20/20

Graphics & Sound

Faction colours stand out well against the terrain tiles, which themselves are very distinct from one another.  In a game with so many different units, the designers did an admirable job of making a unique pic for each "named" unit, though there was, understandably, a few that were very similar.  The battle scenes are nicely done and I appreciate the gruesome attention to detail when showing things like a squadron of Gazelles ripping up a bunch of infantry (see last posting).  The scenes get old fast though and just end up making the insanely long turns take even longer.  Thankfully, the animations can be turned off and on at one's leisure during the game.

I won't punish Super Daisenryaku for not using its considerable extra space on the CD to jam it full of digitized tunes as I don't think that necessarily means that the music will be better.  Case in point, the generically rocking' opening tune can't hold a candle to at least half of the ten available BGM tunes (the other half are meh).  Sound effects fare much worse; they are too quiet and focus on the movement sounds of a unit rather than the explosions and screams of pain and anguish.  The ultimate betrayal comes when one orders a formation of bombers to devastate an unsuspecting unit only to hear absolutely nothing at all.  But, oh no, instead let's hear the invigorating creak of tank treads as they slowly rolled up to their target.  12/20

Gameplay

Unlike Famicom Wars, Super Daisenryaku allows the player to change each faction's economic power, allowing for high/low tech games or to allow for handicaps.  Inevitably though, once the unit limit is reached, whoever is winning will start to accumulate excess funds and have no cash worries for the rest of the game.  Cost vs. effectiveness is nicely balanced (though I wish China had at least one good unit).

The turn length is a bit problematic as I could see it turning off quite a few players.  We're talking 10+ minute turns when all four sides have reached unit limit.  During the tense, early rounds of conflict, it behooves the player to watch what the other players are doing, but by midgame one can just view the results during their own turn and garner the same information.  The later parts of the game are well-suited to being played in a multitasking environment.

Replayability is through the roof.  The sheer number of maps and faction choices ensures that should one enjoy Super Daisenryaku, one will enjoy it for eons to come.  SD would be great for asynchronous, online play for those grognards that don't mind the extremely slow pace.  17/20

Final Ranking:  50/100