“ Manufacturer: Capcom / Genre: Strategy / Release Date: 2008 / Live Arcade „
I'm a big fan of the XBLA and a PSN titles that are floating about all over the place, unfortunately this makes it fairly hard to distinguish the quality titles from the riffraff, thankfully both the XBL Marketplace and the PS Store feature user ratings now.
Age of Booty is what you might call a Real Time Strategy. (RTS) You basically command one ship, which has upgradable sails, cannons and armour plating. The game can have a total of 8 ships on the map at one time. (minus neutral ships)
The single player mode can be frustrating, in the campaign, you face alarming odds, and if you do happen to have any AI allies, they don't help you much, they have little idea of how to help you. Basically they're programmed to collect crates, drive straight to the enemy and die. Thus the offline mode is far better played with friends or at least playing with fair odds.
The deathmatches are far better than the campaign mode thankfully. Offline you can have up to 4 human players in a match, plus 4 AI. Which can make for some nice 2vs2vs2vs2, 4vs4 or Free For All action. There is a fairly decent amount of maps available to start you off with, as well as some free downloadable maps, you can also download maps off players that you play with online. As well as make your own maps in the games map editor.
All this talk and i forgot to tell you what you actually do in the game! Basically the objective is to either capture a certain amount of towns, or own the most towns when the time runs out. All towns start off neutral, usually with basic defenses, a single slightly upgraded ship could take them down without much trouble, after the town has been defeated, you will begin capturing it, if an enemy ship approaches the town, you will stop the capturing procedure and will have to sink the enemy ship to continue with the process.
Towns aren't just objects that you need to control in order to win the game, they also supply you (or your team) with vital resources, which you can use to upgrade town defenses or your ships. Owning the key towns on a map can decide who wins the game. Only three resources are present in the game: Rum, Gold and Wood. Rum and Wood are required for ship upgrades, while Gold and Wood are required for Town upgrades.
Because the game is won by owning 'control points' as you might call them in the FPS's nowadays, it can make for some craziness when your doing an 8 player free for all.
Imagine a map with 10 towns, 8 players all fighting each other, and you need 3 towns in order to win the game? Sounds nearly impossible doesnt it? Trust me it gives you a massive headache trying to use your single ship to protect all 3 of your towns, especially when there are ships swarming all over them. Game's like these can last for ages, im talking close to an hour if the players are evenly matched. The best strategy in a situation like that, is to try and save up and give your towns the best upgrades possible, this will mean that they can fend off a single ship on its own, but if it gets overun by several ships firing at it at once, no amount of upgrades will protect it.
The game didn't receive the best of ratings on the PS Store or the XBL Marketplace, but i still think its ranked near the top of my list for the best arcade game. On the XBL Marketplace it costs a mere 400 MSP (£3.60) on the PS Store it costs a hefty £7.99, the XBL price is certainly worth it, however i bought my version on the PS Store when they had it on a sale for £3.99, if you want this game, wait for it to go on sale again or just buy it on the Xbox.
Oh and i forgot to mention, the game also supports guests in online play, which means you and 3 of your friends can take on the world!
Age of Booty is an arcade title available for the PS3 and XBOX360 in which the player has to embark on a voyage to capture all pirate ports in the game world. It is a pirate themed strategy game which allows the player to customise his or her ship to make it more powerful. The player has to capture many towns in order to gain the money for upgrading the ship. Also the captured towns can also be upgraded to include much more strong walls and other defences like cannons in order to protect them from enemy pirate ships. Captured towns also offer a repairing facility which automatically restores a damaged ship when it is docked at the port.
Age of Booty includes a variety of missions which have their own story and objectives. Later levels are more harder to play. The players can also collect resources like gold and food from sunken ships. Upgradeable parts of the ship include cannons, speed and the armour of the ship. The game can also be played in cooperative mode. The game features a number of different pirates and their family members who fight against you. The story is very interesting and players will become engrossed with it as soon as they start the game.
Age of Booty is a recommended download if you are looking for a fun and engaging gaming experience.
Now I have never bought an arcade game off of my Xbox 360 and so only have Age of Booty due to a lucky win on 1 vs. 100 when they were giving it away free, but if this is the quality of game then I may change my mind and start to purchase.
Having no understanding of the concept of the game when I got it I mistakenly thought it would be something I would play once or twice and then never go on again; but I'm addicted!
The basic aim of the game is to sail around each mission in your pirate ship (sometimes with AI ships on your side too to help) sink the enemy and take over as many towns as each level asks for. Sounds simple and repetitive, however this is far from the truth. Each level gets that bit harder and you have to be tactical. Know when to defend your towns and pimp their stats and know when to improve your own ships defences and attacking options. It's not always an exact science but if you're careful and quick you can achieve most things.
Graphics are fine for what the game requires. You spend the entire time with a nearly top down view of the map which you can freely roam to see what enemy ships are up to. Don't get me wrong they won't make you gasp in awe, but fit with the idea of the game well.
For those of you unlucky enough to have to pay for this game (800 Xbox points I think) you will easily get your fill. The game is made larger with its online options where you can take your high sea battles worldwide taking on other Xbox live players. This will help improve your skills for the missions and also may get you the odd achievement along the way.
The game, in my opinion, has a great deal of replay value as no two missions are the same (forgive the attempt at a cliché).
My advice would be that if you have spare points or are looking to purchase an arcade game, then Age of Booty is a good starting place. Its fun for all the family.