Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Developer: Hudson Soft
Release Date: Q2 2009
There's a fair chance that unless you're a real strategy nut, you won't know that Hudson's upcoming downloadable release Military Madness is a remake of a TurboGrafix game. In fact, it's not even the first remake, as that honor belongs to the 1998 PS1 edition. With the current consoles all featuring digital distribution, the folks at Hudson have decided to give the title another go. What we're getting is a true remake, though, so while newcomers might be excited to try their hand at the title, franchise vets will have little reason to dive back in, aside from simple nostalgia.
The new remake follows the same story as the original game, and it also features the same units. Air units, artillery, heavy cannons, infantry, and light and heavy tanks: All your old and familiar favorites are here once more, but this time, they have a bit more spit and polish. Obviously, some new units or maps would have done a lot to draw in old fans, but for whatever reason, that wasn't in the cards.
Titles like this are meant to be experienced in multiplayer, and on that front, Military Madness features a healthy amount of two-, three- and four-player arenas. Unfilled slots can be occupied by bots, so you'll still be able to play your favorite maps even if you don't have the requisite number of human competitors.
The game also features all the standards that you've come to expect from turn-based strategy games, such as upgradable command units, level-ups for surviving units after a battle and bonuses for surrounding enemies on at least two sides. Players can also commandeer civilian structures and reap their benefits, such as extra units at no extra cost. Victory comes with the total annihilation of enemy forces or the conquest of your opponent's base.
Even though Military Madness is coming out across all three consoles, Wii owners will be shafted a bit, as some of the multiplayer maps on the other two versions couldn't fit onto Nintendo's box. While using the on-screen cursor might be a more natural way to move units in a strategy game, that convenience will unfortunately come at the expense of some gameplay, which is an unfortunate trade-off indeed.
It's truly unfortunate that Hudson isn't planning any new content for Military Madness, as this already-strong franchise could only benefit from an injection of new content. The title has always been a great member of the turn-based strategy game club, so newcomers who haven't played it before will likely get a kick out of it when it launches later this year. For series vets, it seems that the only incentive to pick up this game will rest on whether or not you've sold off all the systems on which you've played it before and are jonesing for one last hit of sweet Military Madness goodness.
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