How the hell do I beat the last level? Best strategy?
Shallow, but satisfying
I am very fond of the Prince of War and the Battle for Gondor, so I was delighted to see a sequel that followed on from the story of the original. It kept the basic skeleton of its predecessor- hire units and send your hero in. However, though two years on and with a new face, this game was noticeably less enjoyable than its sources.
The graphics were upgraded, but I felt this detracted from the charm of the vague outlines. The environments were darker with a rather bleak colour tone- it certainly added to the morose mood of the battles, but it was far less enjoyable than roaming the hills with your army. And the characters had more detail, but their dialogue-box pictures were a little scrappy- it seems inconsistent.
Gameplay was also a little different. The lack of health bar confused me at first- I couldn't tell how injured the Prince was, nor how to revive him, until around the 14th stage. A tutorial (like in the first game) would have been well-appreciated, especially for the new layout. I wasn't as big a fan of the new character layout- having the nine of them in a box with bright and easily identifiable traits was much preferred to the fairly generic-looking row of faces. Information about their attack, defence, speed and cost was well-appreciated, though I wish I could have looked at these at my leisure rather than trying to read them during a battle. A beastiary/character bio screen would have been welcome here. And also it was a little difficult to gauge the range of the prince's sword because enemy units mostly took more than one hit- at what point did you start doing damage, and at what point were you just swinging hopefully at the air? I also dearly miss the Prince's curved sword.
The cutscenes were long and didn't always seem necessary- information was being repeated, or very little was happening. While these could be skipped, I chose to watch them to try and appreciate the story, but it was unnecessarily tedious. Pressing the spacebar to move onto the next line would have been well-appreciated. A significant part of the game was spent watching cutscenes- before a battle, after a battle, at the end of a chapter, before a chapter... they seemed to be put in to cheaply lengthen the time it took to pass the game.
Granted, the story was a little more complex, but I don't think it was necessarily as well-thought-out, or as likable as the story from the first game. The characters, while they had basic personalities, were very artificial and mostly extremely shallow. There were, however, moments of gold admist the vapidity, but overall more thought could have been put into the characters, especially given the serious atmosphere of the rest of the game.
The units weren't particularly well-weighted. At least, I didn't find them to be. A handful of heavy infantry could hold back an entire army. The cavalry and gryphons were just slightly stronger but many times more costly. Wizards died as soon as they were summoned, and most of the other infantry lasted little longer. One tactic I discovered towards the end was getting 10 archers and just letting the perpetually-healing hero halt the armies and bosses in their tracks. I hardly touched the other units because they didn't seem to help.
A few orcs made it through while the prince was unconscious, but there didn't seem to be any consequences for this... Somehow this game was less-punishing for making mistakes than its predecessors.
Finally, the credits were less-enjoyable, which is a small point but one worth making. I loved the characters walking onto the screen, identifying themselves and having their moment of glory. This game ends rather abruptly.
In summary, a game built on the formula of its predecessor, yet lacking what made the previous games so enjoyable. Shallow characters and drawn out cinematics made for a disinteresting story, but enjoyable, if biased gameplay made it worth fighting to the end. If a third in the series presents itself, I hope it will return to its roots and show both the character and potential of the PoW series.
MAKE A THIRD
ive played both and when i first did it was a while ago so im begining to wonder if there is a third one all who rate me helpful and put it in ur review MAKE A THIRD MAKE A THIRD MAKE A THIRD
awesome game i play it for 400,000 times!!!!!!!!!....but the loading kinda long ^.^
i like 1st one better, its got a better story line and i think it had better controls and soldiers too