Battle Stations (Saturn) review
"Battlestations could've been a good game..... I don't like saying that a lot since you can basically apply that to any crappy game. But it's true in BS's case. A title where you take control of your own fleet (ranging from patrol boats and mine layers to battleships and aircraft carriers), set sail on the seas, and kick the crap out of any opposing fleet that dares cross your path? Sounds like a kickass game to me. Unfortunately.... "
Battlestations could've been a good game..... I don't like saying that a lot since you can basically apply that to any crappy game. But it's true in BS's case. A title where you take control of your own fleet (ranging from patrol boats and mine layers to battleships and aircraft carriers), set sail on the seas, and kick the crap out of any opposing fleet that dares cross your path? Sounds like a kickass game to me. Unfortunately....
Everything seems fine when you play through it for the first time. You'll get to pick any of the ten missions right away, all of which have a different challenge to encounter (like protecting your base from troop transports, and a mission where you'll have to prevent poachers from killing whales). You'll also get to pick from five commanders to fight against, all of which have stereotypical strengths and weaknesses (gee, I wonder what the female's strengths are...). Afterwards, you'll go right to the mission, where you'll be able to navigate your ship silhouettes on a 2D, radar-esque map.
That's where things start to fall apart. The first thing you'll notice is that every single ship on the map has the same silhouette, so you won't be able to tell what ship you'll be going up against until you make contact with it. There's really no strategy here, it's mainly a guessing game. Should you send a weaker ship out to scout in hopes of not running into a more powerful ship? Or send your strongest ship out, battle an equally strong ship, and risk having the rest of your fleet without a powerful lead? It's tough. But it's not like you have much of a choice in this game.
However, the biggest flaw in BS is the combat. Once two ships make contact with each other, the game will take you to another screen where the two ships duke it out in the third dimension. The first problem here is that the two ships are stuck on the screen the whole time. If you try to move at the edge of the screen, the game will just stick you there until you move away. This is annoying because the ships take up a huge amount of space on screen. So, it's a pain in the ass trying to dodge the other ship's attack, and even more aggravating when you fight against ones with lock-on attacks (the more powerful, bulky ships have them).
Next problem: the cursor you use to aim and attack with doesn't stretch out that long. This forces you to get extremely close to the other ship if you even want a chance at hitting them. This also gives your opponent an opportunity to sneak in their own attacks, which you can attempt to dodge, but it's almost next to impossible since your ship is usually big and wide. Of course, you're doomed when you're pitted against a lock-on compatible ship.
Finally, all the previous flaws help contribute to this next problem: the battles are repetitive as hell. They're either short as hell or take a long damn time, and the moment you complete one, you're forced to partake in another one because there always happens to be another ship near by. This is mostly because the map is too small, and there's normally up to eight or nine ships on screen at once. It would've been nice if the maps were a little bit bigger. But that would've just slightly solved the problem. You still have to go up against numerous ships whenever you attempt to complete your mission. There's just no way around that.
The score for BS (fitting name) is pretty good, though. It's at its best during battles, when it gets really dramatic, and at times heroic. Hell, it actually makes the battles look better than they should if you're watching someone else play this game. Besides that, the only other thing I really enjoyed about Battlestations is running over crew members of the other ship when they fall into the water. It's funny.
Demented, but funny.
This game sucks.
Community review by pickhut (July 06, 2006)
Didn't originally plan on submitting AA: Pac-Man on Thanksgiving, but I couldn't pass up on the food theme.
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