February 26, 2007

Dancing with video-game Indians

Age of Empires III:  The WarChiefs Review

Summary:Pros: Very nice and varied artistic elements; crisp graphics and neat effects; audio is adequate (much the same as Age of Empires III); adds a whole new dimension to an already excellent game.

Cons: Cut-scenes are a little laggy; graphics can be taxing on performance; hot keys have been annoyingly remapped.
The Native aspect:Not to disappoint the fans of variety, The WarChiefs adds three new civilizations, giving the Native Americans a real role in the battle. The Sioux, the Iroquois and the Aztecs all played vital roles in the colonization of America by Europeans, so it’s only fair that they may partake in the bloodshed as more than mercenaries for European players. As opposed to expansions of previous games, the three come complete with their own architectural styles, enriching the artistic quality of the game. In addition, the three cultures each have an infantry and cavalry unique to their race, which promises to add much needed variety to the battlefield crowded with musketeers. A novel element common to all three is the fire pit “building” which essentially acts as a fourth resource. Players of Native American races can task villagers to dance around the fire in order to provide their civilization with bonuses ranging from a population boost to attack bonuses, with increases in effectiveness as more villagers are assigned to dance. It sounds like an odd idea but you’ll soon appreciate its effects.Comment:  The "dancing around the firepit" bit sounds stereotypical.

6 comments:

voyageur said...

With the dancing around the firepit, perhaps this game might be a refuge for the vanquished "Chief Illinawek" now that his mock antics won't grace the gridiron.

Chief, digitize yourself. You've found a new home on the game grid. Greetings, program!

The Local Crank said...

"Greetings, program!"

Oh, Lord, you are showing your age with that one!
And I'm showing my age for catching it!

voyageur said...

I still have nightmares about Recognizers.

Rob said...

I gather you two are referring to Tron. I saw this movie in the theater but don't remember it as well as you do.

A Tron 2.0 video game is available, you know. You may want to check it out:

http://www.pricegrabber.com/rating_getprodrev.php/product_id=695598/id_type=masterid

The Local Crank said...

The "dances around the firepit" thing is more in keeping with Indians = elves meme: the idea that all Indians have inherent superpowers like magic, or speaking to animals or super tracking ability, just as part of their nature. While this is no doubt intended to be complimentary, it's just as stereotypical. Besides, my superpower (the ability to pass through solid objects) is never mentioned.

Rob said...

You said it, crank. I wonder what else in the game is stereotypical.