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XIII Century Review

May 13th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 4 Comments · Medieval, Wargames

My review of the medieval war game XIII Century: Death or Glory is up at Crispy Gamer. I didn’t like it all that much, which puts me at odds with the only other review online, Brett Todd’s positive review at Gamespot.

It’s interesting how two reviewers can come to such different conclusions. Where he sees good AI, I see a computer given a numerical and positional advantage in almost every battle. He marvels at the variety of interesting battles, I dwell on how little variety there is in the armies. Todd and I disagree on about every fourth game, so this time is no real surprise.

The thing is, as usual, I can completely see his points. He’s not wrong about XIII Century (except for when he calls in a real time strategy game.) He just is more focused on the admittedly impressive parts of the game than I am. He liked the challenge, but I got angry fighting both the interface and the lopsided historical setups. He is happy that we have a game that deals with these fascinating battles, I’m upset that the only real differences in a lot of the battles is the map.

I would never go so far as to give XIII Century a “buy it” recommendation. It has too many small problems that get in the way of enjoying what splendor there is. But if I were in a more generous mood, I could edge this into “try it” territory.


4 Comments so far ↓

  • Bruce

    It would be a lot easier if you just accused Brett of not playing the game enough, or of being bribed by the publisher.

  • steve

    It’s Gamespot. Clearly the developer/publisher bought advertising on the site and threatened to fire Brett if he didn’t give it a great review.

  • Bill Abner

    “but I got angry”

    We do not want an angry Goodfellow.

  • JonathanStrange

    I suggest a joust between the two of you; winner takes fair maiden or a free videogame of their choosing.

    I think your review does a good job in emphasizing that the game’s hard – and although the enthusiasts’ many sneer “of course, duh, you want a walkover?” – it is fair warning to the far greater number of gamer’s who probably are just buying the game for the pageantry and armored horsemen. So why am I still tempted to buy it? I don’t mind a pause button; it doesn’t break the flow for me. And any game that allows me to both command and/or fight Mongols, immediately has my attention.