Monday, September 10, 2012

Game Review: Herzog Zwei and Airmech

When gamers think of good real time strategy games computer games like StarCraft or Warcraft 2 or perhaps other various games come to mind. Many people think of Dune 2 as one of the first strategy games, but there’s another game that’s vague but still an excellent first game for a strategy game against your friend or a computer AI.
When Sega Genesis came out, everyone thought of arcade games like Altered Beast and Golden Axe. One of the lesser known games is Herzog Zwei created by Technosoft. My brother and I in real life played this game like crazy and we had the saying “Look at your base power”! It plays like a strategy game where you manage resources to buy and build units to destroy the opposing player. What makes Herzog Zwei different though is that you control a plane that picks up your units like tanks and stationary cannons. Also this plane can blast enemy units and the other player with a gun in air or on the ground. You’re not invincible though take enough hits and you die to respawn at your main base after a short period of time. The main goal of Herzog Zwei is to destroy not the opposing player’s plane/robot. But instead to destroy the player’s main base through your units attacking it.
To gain resources you gain to buy units come from what me and brother called “mini bases”. You capture a mini base by sending four infantry with a command “Capture mini base”. Infantry have lousy hit points so it’s best to deliver the infantry yourself to the mini base. You can see how many infantry are in the mini base by dots shown on the mini base. When it reaches four in your color you gain control of the base. The two colors are an orange and dark blue. Don’t get lazy though just because you gain control of a mini base doesn’t mean the other player can’t capture it.
Your main base and mini bases allow you to build and pick up units recharge your plane’s ammo and fuel and hit points. The same goes for units if you are carrying one of your tanks they get recharged too. Mini bases also give you more resources to buy units. When you order a unit it takes a set amount of time for it to be built. You’ll see a signal when it’s ready.
You also assign commands to your troops. One was called the dizzy command where your unit went in a circle. The other commands were capture mini base or attack main base. When you think you have enough firepower start sending your tanks, motorcycles etc. to attack the other’s player’s main base. Commands for your units cost resources too.
Once you destroy the enemy’s main base you win! The focus of the game is balancing capturing and keeping control of mini bases and attacking the other player’s main base. No mini bases means you barely get any resources to fund your army. So get control of those ASAP.
Airmech made by Carbon Games follows the same game style you control the same jetplane and order units. However there are enough differences from the original that Airmech is a whole new game by itself.For example you can pick different planes like a flying saucer that allows you to gain control of enemy units when you float over them. Eventually they change to your color and it’s yours as if you built it in the first place. Also a cargo plane can heal your own units. Many actions during the game give you experience. Each level you gain gives you a skill point that you can use to give yourself more firepower or higher armor, each plane is different.
Also in Herzog Zwei you could only order and build one unit at a time. In Airmech you have a build list and can order up to five at once. If the units are small enough infantry for example you can carry three at a time. Instead of being stuck with the same units from Herzog Zwei, players have the option to customize your army from tanks to HUGE tanks to probes that are very fast that can capture mini bases or cannons or as my brother and I called them “grims” From Herzog Zwei when the cannons had a skull on top.
The game is original and addicting. Gameplay is rewarded with experience and kudos and using kudos you can buy the right to use certain units and pilots. The flying saucer I bought with kudos wanting to brainwash enemy units and let them go their merry way on their command against the enemy.
How do you play Airmech? It’s pretty easy get an email account from Google and go to the game store and "buy" Airmech. It’s free to play. It’s possible to play against human players in Airmech but beware it tends to lag. There’s a tutorial to get you used to the game play. So even if you never played a strategy game or Herzog Zwei, you’ll get used to it.
When you feel like trying out something new and you’re not in the mood for Second Life upload Airmech and give it a shot. You might even yell out “Look at your base power!”
Grease Coakes

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