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Reviewed: Corsairs
Publisher: Microids
Developer: Microids
Genre Type: Real Time Strategy
Price: $39.95
Required System: P133 (Rec. P166), 16mb Ram (Rec. 32mb), Win95+
Related Games: Lords of the Realm II
Overall Rating:
Author: Chris Kim       Date: July 19th 1999
Page: 2

Starting out the game is a big doozy, and first learning the game will be a challenge for many players (including me for one). But it is a good thing that they happened to be nice enough to add a tutorial set of missions for the player. Each of the tutorials (4 total) goes through each of the important aspects of playing the game. But, it does not feel adequate enough to help the gamer that isn't exactly the greatest gamer (that would be me :-). I found the first mission extremely challenging and difficult because of the mass numbers of enemies that come and challenge you in battles (or maybe I just play wrong :-). Along with these elements comes along reputation of your corsair and armada. The more battles you win and help out others will help you in the long run with lower prices for getting various resources and new crew. But there is also negative effects such as running from battles or losing ships which will make the townsfolk mad at you and not very happily sell you things. The elements that surround the game is mainly the resource management and selling them. You are trying to gain money and bring good name to your king. Being a loyal servant, you will carryout all the missions that he places at your feet. The worst part about the game however is the resource management. This is a total pain in the ass because building new ships and training guys costs a ton of money. Getting the proper amount of resource to sell to other cities and coming back alive without getting your butt totally whooped by enemy pirates.

Map Is Hidden By Historically Accurate Maps
Very Common Scene of Reading Letters

All the fighting is almost the same as was done in Sierra's Lords of the Realm II. There are two maps, a sub battle map and the overworld map which you travel in. On the overworld map you can attack with your cannons with your various ships and you can sink the enemy or destroy their city/hideout. Or you can board their ship by placing wooden planks across to connect the ships or harbor together you and you will duke it out there. Most likely, you will want to destroy the commanding officers and not the pirate crews because it will more likely be able to help you to have them surrender their ship and you'll get some of the resources along with it whatever is on the boat. Luckily, there is an auto calculation of battles at your choice if you wish (for talent less guys like me :-).

A Boarding Battle
I'm Going To Die

The control of the units is all accomplished by using the mouse, and there are some keyboard commands which will help you out in controlling the units. However, the keyboard hotkey commands aren't exactly stellar either. There are no obvious hotkey commands to collect certain units or perform certain tactics. There is no special commands that make your units patrol an area of guard an area on the map like would be nice. You can however control a few things like how aggressive your ships will act in battle. You can have flaming cannon balls which sort of explode on impact and various other cannons. You can tell the ship at what damage rate to flee, they can battle till they die, or battle till they get to 75%, 50%, and 25% damage then flee. All the commanding of the unit purchases and bartering occurs on the left menu interface which is fairly simple at first to see, but is very complex in the way that it is setup. You must access many other submenus before you get to where you want, which in my opinion is not a good thing especially if you are suddenly shot underfire and need some desperate crew members or cannons.

If You Are Unlucky...
No, stop Attacking the City!

AI in the game is only subpar. The difficulty as I said before is quite high, but the difficulty does not come from excellent AI or great planning on the computer's part. The game is quite scripted and all the missions occur in a timely manner. Most of the events are all triggered by another event such as docking at a city. The computer will then toss in about 5 ships to overwhelm you and destroy your ships and cities along with it. That is pretty much where all the AI is.

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Added:  Monday, July 19, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 2/4

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