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October 4th, 2003, 10:28 AM
So based on a review of 92% from PC Gamer (and the fact that it's turn-based strategy) I went and picked up Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic. Holy sweetness. So much of EVERYTHING in this game. I played the tutorial and was treated to halfling rogues (who are basically mini-ninjas).

15 races to choose from! Which pretty well covers your typical fantasy races (a step up from Heroes of Might and Magic in that Elves and Dwarves actually get their own race). The battles are tres cool, and the magic system packs a punch (in effect, I pulled a Saruman on this one watch tower, which was pretty far away on the map, only instead of a big storm I sent an inferno).

October 4th, 2003, 12:58 PM
What kind of game is it? What are the requirements?

October 4th, 2003, 01:38 PM
It's turn-based strategy. Basically, you can play a campaign or a scenario, since it's turn-based you can have up to 8 players or something like that on one computer. You pick your wizard (and thereby your race also) during the game setup, and they start you off with a city, your wizard, and usually a hero unit and some troops.

You use your little army guys to move around the map, grab resources, fight your enemies, and all that jazz. At your towns you can build more structures to produce better units, improve your defenses, or build things to give your stuff bonuses. Apparently in this game you can build pioneer units, which allow you to build new towns (big change from Heroes of Might and Magic), and if you build shrines for various bonuses they will give you quests. There's also an item shop in this one you can build and make custom magic items for your hero (I have yet to try this out as well, I'm hoping they let you name the items you make).

One neat thing about this game I've found is that although you can use your wizard like any of your units, move them around the map and fight and stuff, if you leave them in your main city (complete with wizard's tower) they have a HUGE area of influence over which you can cast spells to help your various units or attack/ hinder enemies.

Basically, my experience with this game so far is that I'm on the tip of a very huge, very impressive iceberg, and I can't wait to spend more time getting into it.

System requirements (as copied from the box ;)):
Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
CPU: 450MHZ or greater
RAM: 128 MB (minimum) or 192 MB (recommended)
CD-ROM: 8x speed
Hard Drive Space: 900 MB
Graphics: DirectX 8 compatible
16MB 3D video card
Sound Card: DirectX 8 compatible

nothing too crazy I'd say. biggest thing looks to be almost a gig of memory required, which isn't a big deal for me (80 gig hard drive :D :D :D) yeah this thing's a piece of cake for my comp.

October 4th, 2003, 10:50 PM
So it's basically an advanced version of Warlords but with resource management and stuff? I hate games where it's just a race to see who can level up there tech the fastest.

I loved Warlords or mb it it was Warlords II on the Amiga. Twas all about strategy and not resource managemnet/tech.

October 5th, 2003, 03:13 AM
Yeah pretty much. There's some resource management, but I just spent a good 12 hours playing with my buddy, we developed our kingdoms totally differently and were both managing pretty well.

The Item Forge rules. gonna take me 9 turns to build my axe with Double Strike and Life Draining but man is it gonna be sweet.

Think I've got a new favourite game here.

October 5th, 2003, 02:04 PM
Sounds pretty cool, I might pick that up, though I would like to play online, that'll have to wait till Nov. :(

October 5th, 2003, 03:24 PM
I finished Age of Wonders, and am finishing off Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne. Both are pretty good games. Will try Shadow Magic fer sure.

Loras Tyrell
October 7th, 2003, 06:27 AM
This sounds intriguing.

What I found with AoW (the original), however, was that it fell short on a couple of areas compared to my favourite TBS series, HOMM (Heroes of Might and Magic).

A few of the things I reacted to was poor city development, uninteresting resource management, a bit few and indiscernible units.

Could you comment on some of these, and compare them to HOMMIII or IV (since you've obviously played the series)?

The heroes were part better and part worse, I think. Although there were some really interesting abilities to choose from, I felt that they were of little consequence to your subsequent choices.

But the battles were great, I think. I loved that you could involve at least four (can't remember the exact max number) separate armies in one battle, and also the isometric view.

The downside was that you could only have one unit in each slot, of course.

I never got around to checking out AoWII, so my facts may be a little outdated.

Is this a distinct AoWIII, or is it more of an expansion pack to AoWII?


October 7th, 2003, 07:06 PM
They say it's an expansion to part 2, but you it's a complete game in itself. I don't have Age of Wonders 2, but it's working out fine for me.

I've played up to part IV of Heroes. I liked 3 better than 4, I didn't appreciate in 4 how you had to choose a development path for your cities which meant you couldn't build all your units in that given city.

Well, the resource management isn't really intense, you only have mana, gold and research to keep track of, but you do have to make sure you can cover costs and whatnot. Another area where building/ resources has less flair than Heroes is that you can't build and produce units at the same time with one city, but once you get a couple cities it's no big thing to have units coming out of one while you build up the other.

there are tons of units in this game, and I think they stand out pretty well. Like although the graphics make them seem kind of similar since the combat screen is so zoomed out, you can still tell them apart, and the different races handle very differently from what I've seen so far.

Yeah it kind of annoys me a bit about the heroes in AoW how they just kind of show up randomly, but they do get some neat abilities. If the abilities they get seem of little consequence they can always be tweaked a little with a toy from the item forge.

Loras Tyrell
October 8th, 2003, 10:10 AM
Hi, SaintJon, and thanks for your reply.

Sounds like they at least improved some of the aspects I complained about from the original.

Originally posted by saintjon
Yeah it kind of annoys me a bit about the heroes in AoW how they just kind of show up randomly, but they do get some neat abilities.

Yeah, I know. That bugs me a bit too. But I guess you could watch it as a sort of "realistic" (:rolleyes:) touch; that heroes who have heard of you approach you and offer their services.

If the abilities they get seem of little consequence they can always be tweaked a little with a toy from the item forge.

I think you misunderstood me. What I meant was, in AoW I, it never seemed like choosing one thing would enable some things while disabling other things as options in the subsequent levels.

Hm, not all that easy to put my thoughts down on screen here. Hope you understand what I'm trying to say.