Reviews by Paul Fischer

Mount & Blade: Warband Icon
Fun
by Paul Fischer, USA - Nov 22nd 2017

The graphics are outdated now, but it was alot of fun to play. There is a good storyline and intuitive gameplay. Harking to the name, it was also one of the first games to effectively incorporate equestrian combat.

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Mount & Blade: Warband - Viking Conquest Reforged Edition Icon
Horses to Ships
by Paul Fischer, USA - Nov 22nd 2017

Time to hit the seas in this expansion. It is notable for an extensive open world. For a collector, like the base game, it also marks some notable moments in the development of open world RPGs that have now become trademarks of some of the largest brands in the industry.

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Dragon Age 2 Icon
I burned through this game
by Paul Fischer, USA - Nov 22nd 2017

It took me about 34.5 hours to beat the game beginning to end and along the way any skepticism I had about purchasing the game was abolished. The gameplay and innovation were on the same level and higher than smaller projects I had enjoyed. There were no bugs such as those found in Blackguard or voice acting fails such as in Two Worlds Two. The gameplay was tough enough to keep me on my seat at an advanced setting but doable such that I could power through it.

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March of the Eagles Icon
This is a superior strategic game- could use greater replayability
by Paul Fischer, USA - Nov 22nd 2017

I found myself with all of Napoleon's forces able to meet the conditions of victory, ironically enough marching the massive armies of Europe through the barren cold of Sweden. In reality his war in Russia basically ruined his military ambitions as most of his army was vanquished by the Moscow winter. While I intensely enjoyed the 20 years of gameplay I had a harder time replaying the game than with other grand strategy games.

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Rome: Total War™ - Gold Edition Icon
Classic.
by Paul Fischer, USA - Nov 22nd 2017

I played this over and over again in anticipation of the sequel a few years back. It was worth every battle. The game broke alot of ground and is historically accurate as well. It is easy to forget that even some ancient empires kept meticulous records and combined with archeological data have given historians the opportunity to make a superior simulation such as this one.

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Earth Space Colonies Icon
Overshadowed
by Paul Fischer, USA - Nov 22nd 2017

This game is a fine city simulation that could have used DLC to complete the package. Unfortunately for the franchise it was overshadowed by Offworld Trading Company, but for those that cannot run the commerical version, this is a product that does open the door to space colonization. One advantage even would be the accurate terrain from 3 different locations in our solar system.

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Europa Universalis III Chronicles Icon
Possibly the most defining grand strategy game in history
by Paul Fischer, USA - Nov 22nd 2017

I remember when the second EU came out, it had a pretty limited reception. I got the third one later, and like the evolution from Victoria I to Victoria II or Civ III to Civ IV, there was an astounding jump in the graphics and gameplay that added to the realism of the game as well as the playability. Paradox is also one of the coolest companies, one that allows online players to use all of the DLC their host is using during online play. That is a revolutionary way of demoing or giving players a taste of what can otherwise be a hefty set of expansions (but usually are completely worth their weight).

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Stronghold 3 Gold (old publish) Icon
Again! Minus the bugs :-D
by Paul Fischer, USA - Mar 11th 2013

Essentially the same as Stronghold II, the makers of this game did not try to change a winning formula. Some new features and units, along with some significant improvements in graphics make this game attractive to those new to the franchise, and for those who have played the castle attack/ castle defense rts before, the storyline is indoubtably guaranteed to have lured you in to take another attempt at breaching the walls. I did have some gameplay difficulty on high graphics on the extremely large final mission, but basically this game was free of the glitches that paralyzed my campaign in Stronghold 2 again and again.

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Civilization IV: The Complete Edition (Mac only) Icon
One of the Best Titles
by Paul Fischer, USA - Mar 11th 2013

This game, for someone who first played Civ II back when it won best game award, represents one of the best titles in strategic gameplay. Everything about the game makes it among the best games available even today, from the smooth, relatively intuitive gameplay (point and click) and complex algorithms controlling AI, population, and economy to the fantastic artwork completely overhauled in a brilliant break from the previous games. For the first time, as the gamer pondered their next move it was also a joy to scroll in and out, the graphics no longer an eyesore! With the expansion packs, the game simply ballooned into the future and to a level of control and breadth of experience simply unavailable in just about any other franchise ever made.
Finally the World builder, and modding tool (somewhat exemplified with Colonization, a full game in its own right) gives gamers the easy capability to sieze essentially the same artwork and precept to the game and create anything from a turn-based RPG (VERY SIMILAR TO XCOM: EU btw) to a strategy nation building game of their own, or anything in between!

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Sid Meier's Civilization V Icon
iCiv?
by Paul Fischer, USA - Mar 11th 2013

Civilization 4 was definitely the epic peak, so far, of this series (though I have my hopes up for 25th year anniversary of the series coming up) and Civ 5, while beautiful and intuitive, was a dramatic almost devastating (for big fans of the civformula) break from the first 19 or 20 years of the franchise, almost resembling at first glance something designed for an ipad or cellular device. That being said, the newest version improves greatly with the expansions and downloadable content and keeps the most important aspects of the Civilization series, such as hot seat and exciting gameplay to keep you on the edge of the hot seat, as it were. At first it seemed the series had taken a distinct turn towards a chess or go-like gameplay, but after playing the boardgame diplomacy, I understood the logic and methodology behind the radical new system of combat that at first literally left my brother and I sputtering in fury as we were used to stacking our units, without regard to supply. As the scenarios and expansions became available, and you actually take the time to get used to the gameplay (I actually played Colonization for some small period in protest to this newest kindergame), Civilization 5 will win converts of family and friends and eventually win back the diehard civ loyalist as well, with a minimal opening of the mind.

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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Icon
GTA AGAIN
by Paul Fischer, USA - Mar 11th 2013

While this game attempts to keep a lot of gameplay the same, there are some new additions that warrant the praise for San Andreas. Some of them work, and others do not. The expansion of gangs, turf warfare, and further encroachment of the missions and story line on the famously violent free roam of Grand Theft Auto are for me welcome additions, along with the further development of character traits and expanded (4X as large) world. The first real and substantial improvements in graphics since the series went 3D are also welcome. Unwelcome and decidedly unpopular with those sensitive to sexual themes was the real acquisition of girlfriends and the attempts to represent (pretty unrealistically) these relationships outside of the direct story. For those who enjoyed the earlier games in the series, will love this and find it fulfills the need for a protagonist driven plot along with plenty of opportunities for gratuitous violence. But the new romantic aspects and slight improvement in graphics are not intending to particularly win new converts to the series.

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The Movies: Superstar Edition Icon
Great Game
by Paul Fischer, USA - Mar 11th 2013

Simple and straightforward, gives a couple different gaming experiences with technological research, on the ground directing and lot management, and character driven development all for one price. My only suggestion would be to add a tutorial with limited wardrobe to direct a simple film and putting a little bit more into the later "complex" films. Ironically, while the movie timelines and films generated have only a bit of cinematic or entertainment value, they do simulate the cut scenes in mid-2000's (and some modern) games pretty effectively and the Superstar expansion gives the game diversity in wardrobe, setting, action and props.

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