Pesty13480 replied to Jake's topic in Idle Weekend EpisodesI do not think Rob is wrong about the Total War series. Medieval: Total War, the first one, was just fantastic. It stands up surprisingly well. There are a few fiddly things about it. Minor items like making it being difficult to retrain losses, and camera controls being a bit fiddly? I think one of the things the more recent titles do better is that they enable you to give names to certain units and retrain them, and build a narrative I guess while watching them progress? The first Medieval not so much. Everything was replaceable except for the generals. I played it again a about a year ago, after a decade-long hiatus, and it was "there" right where my memory thought it was. I do not know if I remembered it being uglier than it was? I thought it was uglier and found myself surprised in that, on replay, it appeared pretty crisp with the sprites. I even toyed with a few of the older mods that are still findable on the internet. I think it was the XL Mod? It added a bunch of starting positions, some regional unit selection, and other groovy things. You could spend worse money than picking it up again on Steam and giving it a whirl. Everyone always remembers that the AI was never able to play the "world map" again after Medieval, and that Rome onward broke everything in the overworld department once it moved from chessboard to walkable. What I discovered in my replay was that the AI could actually play the battles effectively too. I think the series has trained me to have such low expectations of the battlemap AI, ever since, and that challenge only ever came from bonuses to AI units, that I totally forgot that there was a point in the series where the battle AI was good. That was a real shocker. The 2002 version of the game has better AI, both at campaign and battle level, than even up to Warhammer 2. The enemy generals weren't suicidal, they had a good understanding of flanking and reserves, and were very good at picking terrain for defense and attacks. I wonder if that informed my love of the series too? That it all worked as advertised? Haven't played Britannia so I am not sure if that's better. I wonder if Thrones of Britannia holds against Viking Invasion, that first expansion to Medieval. Sort of the same time period. Other note - the battles took a lot longer than I remembered. It genuinely takes some time for units to break down and flee, or even be wiped out. Playing it again reminded me of my first criticisms about Rome and Medieval 2 that I forgot about completely. Like it feeling as if like all engagements just melted within a few moments of contact with the enemy and that one side was already in flight? I played all the Total War games right up to and including Napoleon. I don't think I ended up having real fun with any of them except the first Shogun, the first Medieval, and then Napoleon (oh boy Empire what a disaster). I think I also tried to convince myself that I had fun with the first Rome, but I am not sure that I did. I wanted so desperately to like that game because of the theme. I think my young mind knew that it was a broken, half-assed experience but did not want to believe it. I think I can admit that it was bad, now. And accept. I then skipped over everything after that, I think because so many of my friends had such a bad time with Rome 2 on release. I don't know what possessed me to pickup Warhammer 2, but I did, and am thankful. It's a spectacle and fun. On the other hand, having the Pope or a faction re-emerge with a 12 stack gold chevron army was a massive pain in the ass. Thankfully it happened against the AI nations as much as the player.
The worst part of Myth III, apart from it being bug-ridden and broken*, was how ham-fisted and cliched they were in trying to resolve parts of the story. I guess the problem was that they saw all those little mysteries, nods to the past, and hints at a greater mythology, and did not realize they were special because they were left a bit unexplained and to the imagination. The Head? Wonder who that is, and why it's annoyed? Get ready for a twist you're going to see coming immediately! The Deceiver? We'll tell you all about him in a poorly executed story that will play out exactly how you think it will. Everything that was a bit curious, or exciting, or shadowy, got dragged out into the a spot light and given uninspired and simplifying explanation. * Though, given how long it has been since I played it, I can't remember specifically what did not work or the bugs. Only that they were a number of things.