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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Just some brief thoughts an a couple games I picked up recently when they were on sale at Good Old Games.

Stronghold:

I missed this when it orignally came out in 2001, but after watching the quick look video on GiantBomb and seeing that it was 40% off (not any longer) on GOG.com, I had to pick it up. What sold me on the game was learning that there are two sets of campaign missions: one focused on combat and one focused on economy. I’m generally bad at combat in RTS games and tend to turtle, so the notion of  having a whole set of missions where the primary focus is base-building is very appealing. I put a couple hours into the “Free Build” mode, and can say that even with the outdated graphics and interface this certainly hits all the right “build-a-castle-and-run-a-medieval-economy” buttons. If that sounds intriguing, it’s worth it even at the full price of $6.99.

Arx Fatalis:

This was 40% off on GOG at the same time as Stronghold and is another game from the early 2000s that I missed. A little research made it clear that this was a spiritual successor to Ultima Underworld in many ways. It was also apparent that a number of serious bugs, and a lack of production values, held this back from reaching “Classic” status. Fortunately the developers, Arkane Studios, have provided an impressive amount of ongoing support for the game. They released a patch and the engine source code in January of this year. The patch adds support for modern widescreen resolutions, anti-aliasing, and other fancy effects. Having only played a couple hours I don’t really have an opinion on the story yet, but it does allow an impressive level of environmental interaction (Want to cook the ribs you picked up off a rat? Just throw them in a campfire!) and having to use mouse to draw runes for spellcasting is very cool (if a bit finicky).

Stay tuned. I may actually post about games released in the last 5 years!