Product Type: Microsoft PC games
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A great game, but not as good as the first in my opinion
Age of Empires 2 (PC)
Member Name: Jenraux
Age of Empires 2 (PC)
Advantages: Good graphics, bigger pop than original, more buildings, techs and units.
Disadvantages: Terrain looks strange to me, network mode can be a pain to get working, LAN is recommended
I was never too fond of this game to begin with, i never could put my finger on why however. I had been an avid Age of Empires (AoE) player with the previous title and its expansion, the Rise of Rome (RoR). I suppose it was quite a leap from the original Age of Empires, that was probably what i didn't like.
Firstly, the original AoE had a population limit of 50, now this was fairly annoying, but you probably wouldn't need more than 50 units in order to destroy your enemy, luckily in the network mode of the game, there is the option to have a pop limit of 200. AoE II has a much larger population limit, as units were less powerful on their own, meaning you had to have a lot of units for a fairly small amount of damage compared to AoE. Sure this made battles look nicer, but again i didn't like it, i liked having an army of about 30 or 40 units that can really put up a fight. Rather than needing about 100 or 200 to attack someone.
There was always something that nagged me about the graphics too, i liked the original AOE's graphics, however boring they were. AoE II is still a 2D game, however it could almost pass as 3D, there are shadows on the building, i don't believe AoE ever had shadows. Really i can't see anything wrong with the graphics, it was just the terrain and water especially looked so... fake, like it was modelled out of some solid material (mainly the water im talking about here).
AoE II adds more sophistication to the game, another thing i didn't like (im a very simple person, that why i like Settlers II). There are tonnes of technologies to research, as well as units to build, there are probably about twice as many buildings too. AoE II also includes a lot more civilizations, each with their own unique unit, this adds a bit more variation to the game, instead of everyone having the same units like in AoE.
As you may have noticed if you've played this game, it has moved on to later stages in human history, now focusing around castles and the like, instead of the bronze age ect.
Really this is a good game, an improvement over the original AOE, i just prefer to stick with the game i had good memories with, i never really had any good memories with this game. But buy it, its a good purchase.
You may be aware of the network issues the AoE games have, in case you aren't, be careful. A lot of newer computers will refuse to connect with each other on games such as AoE and AoE II, its best to have all computers playing running on the same operating system preferably 98 or XP, Vista and 7 have issues with the network game. If you're having issues playing over the internet, try using the Hamachi program, it will bypass your router's firewall to allow you to play directly with your friends, only use it with people you trust however.
Summary: A great game, a few improvements over the original, but the network mode lets it down
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