Warrior of Rome (Genesis) review
"Julius Caesar was many things: a military leader, a writer, and a dictator. He also accomplished such things as being victorious in a number of battles and conquered a lot of countries. And then there was his death where he was stabbed a bijillion times. Even long after his demise, he is still being remembered through memorabilia such as his own coins, statues, and even movies. Which brings me to this strategy game, Warrior of Rome. Based on the events in 48 B.C. where he fights through t..."
Julius Caesar was many things: a military leader, a writer, and a dictator. He also accomplished such things as being victorious in a number of battles and conquered a lot of countries. And then there was his death where he was stabbed a bijillion times. Even long after his demise, he is still being remembered through memorabilia such as his own coins, statues, and even movies. Which brings me to this strategy game, Warrior of Rome. Based on the events in 48 B.C. where he fights through to Egypt, now you too can experience what it was like to be Julius Caesar!!..... Just don't expect it to be pleasant, because this game will frustrate the hell out of you, from the first stage to the last.
You will loathe Warrior of Rome. Period. The very second you start the first stage, it'll become an uphill battle; on this grid-based map of Crete, your mission is to guide all of your units to the pirate's ships, while at the same time preventing the enemy from tearing down all ten of your bases. Sounds like a simple task, but there are so many factors that prevent this from becoming a simple walk through the park.
The first problem is how underpowered your military is. At the beginning, you'll only have five units, while the pirates have ten. If that wasn't bad enough, all of your fighting units literally start out with an empty life bar, so you'll have to make them rest before they can do anything; and this is while the enemy is making their way up to your bases. So, about three minutes into this stage, you're already screwed, some of your bases are being attacked or destroyed, and you have no choice but to send your engineering troops into combat because your actual soldiers are worn out. Yeah, this game is off to a fantastic start!
Right around this point, you'll witness how incredibly flawed and stupid the battle system is. You have zero control of your units when they clash with the pirates (who don't even look like friggin pirates), the only thing you can do is watch at how silly everyone looks when they fight each other. The soldiers don't even look like they're fighting to the death, more look like dancing to the beat of the cheesy tune that's playing. And these battles drag on way too long because of the huge life bars each unit has, which makes them very repetitive and boring to watch. The biggest flaw, however, has to be when you defeat an enemy; they don't disappear from the screen, they just reappear back at their original starting spots and charge right back up at one of your bases. It just adds on to an already large list of frustrating things that'll bog you down from ever completing the stage.
Oh, but it doesn't stop there. When you finally get all of your units to each of the pirate ships (yes, despite being annoyingly hard, it's possible), you'll wonder why the stage hasn't ended yet. I mean, the mission was to get all of your troops to the ships, right? But nothing is happening, and you decide to wait a bit, and then see one of your bases get torn down. At this point, you're ready to explode, wondering what the hell you're doing wrong. Well..... apparently, the instruction manual screwed up. You're not suppose to wait, but destroy the ships instead. You do this, thinking it would be easy, but it takes forever (about thirty minutes), and you'll have to also contend with the pirates that drag your units away from their ships for a fight. It's here that it becomes a hopeless cause, thinking you'll never make it pass the first stage.
Thank goodness this game has a password system so you can go straight to the second stage. The goal in this level is to safely protect your landing ship as you maneuver through the Mediterranean Sea and fight the Egyptian Fleet. It won't be as difficult as the first, but ironically, you'll get so tired of the second stage that you'll go right to the third in minutes. The problem here is that the landing ship will move a square block every two or three minutes, and seeing as there are about thirty square blocks between it and Egypt, stage two takes a long time to complete; it took me almost an hour and thirty minutes to finish the level, ON THE HIGHEST SPEED SETTING. The only redeemable thing about this stage is how the ships put on a nice light show when they shoot cannon balls at each other.
As boring as that level is, you're gonna wish the rest of the game would've been more like it once you experience the next stage (a.k.a. the EVIL stage). The mission here is to make your way across two rivers to reach the palace. The problem (oh, like you didn't see this coming)? The palace and bridges are surrounded by a number of barriers that you'll need to tear down. Not only that, but you also have to fend off the Egyptian army from destroying any of the bridges; if all of them are gone, you're screwed. This stage right here is the main reason why I wish the enemy units would just disappear after being defeated instead of reappearing, because this feature will bite you in the ass BIG time in this level.
Here's why: whenever you get near the palace, all hell breaks loose; enemy units double in speed and will destroy any of your close-by units within minutes. When this happens, the game will slingshot those units all the way back to your original starting position. And if the enemy destroyed the bridges on the first river at this time, you can't use those troops anymore. It's because of this frustrating nuisance that I've rarely ever beaten this stage. Hell, one time when I was SO close to reaching the palace, the game froze. What's even more surprising is what the in-game timer read when it happened: 0666. Needless to say, I was in shock for the next two hours after that incident.
The final stage is the worst of them all; it combines all the horrible aspects that made each of the previous missions such a pain in the ass to endure and crammed them into a single frustrating level. Within minutes of entering the stage, you'll just give up and go straight to the ending. That is, if you actually attempted to play through each stage, or even played the game at all. But if you ever get a chance to experience WoR, just do me a favor and use this password: GREBDWVNNE. It'll take you right to the ending cutscenes, the only decent thing in this game. The best way I can describe Warrior of Rome is this: think of all the things Julius Caesar achieved and then his death. Now, cut out his achievements and that's exactly what this game is like when playing it: being stabbed a bijillion times.
Community review by pickhut (March 18, 2005)
Honestly don't want remakes of any of the terrible Alex Kidd sequels unless they're made DRASTICALLY better. Can you imagine a good High-Tech World or Enchanted Castle?
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