I've been playing the Settlers of Catan Online beta for a week or two now, and I gor really into it. Every few hours I went online for five minutes to make my moves and win the maps. Slowly I gained experience levels, acquiring new bonus cards as I went along. I had left the game for a short time due to school work, but I received an email highlighting the most recent changed so the game. The change that caught my eye was new board shapes. I've only played Settlers of Catan on a circular board so I was curiuos to find out how a differently shaped board affects gameplay. When I signed in though, all my progress was lost. It seems they decided to reset the servers, which makes sense in a beta, although I have no desire to build up everything again. I don't want to start from scratch again. Its a great game, but not that great.
This is the problem with betas. How do you keep players interested after resetting stats? How do you keep them coming back for more? The beta testers are sometimes the most devout fans of the title so they might not care, but others are casual gamers that just want to have a little fun, and if you reset the stats there has to be something to bring them back. With Settlers of Catan, the game just isn't that much fun to start from scratch, especially when new players get clobbered in games because they don't have the same bonus cards as experienced players. It's not that Settlers is a bad game, its just not worth leveling up again. Has anyone else had this experience in betas?
I always thought Id buy Microsofts consoles above all others. I bought the original Xbox, and then the Xbox 360 after Halo 3 came out. I thought Id continue on to the Xbox 720, although I cannot. Its not a question of whether I want to or not, but logistically I cant.
The Xbox 720 requires a constant Internet connection and wont work if the connection drops for more than three minutes. We live in a connected world so this should be fine. Right? I type this in the midst of an Internet outage. Youre thinking, Surely there must have been a catastrophe that the Internet has gone out, right? One would assume that is the cause of my Internet outage, although there is no catastrophe. Surely I live in a rural area in which blackouts occur frequently, or where the Internet is routinely slow, right? I live in New York City, Manhattan to be specific, and have Comcast Internet, the only connection my building offers. The Internet routinely goes out for a few minutes here and there, and then once a month it goes out for a few hours at a time. The reason? There is none. Comcast says theres no problem on their end, the technician has checked our apartment, yet this still happens.
Even in the NYC the Internet is still unreliable. I can only imagine how spotty the Internet is in less developed regions of the country. While in theory we live in a connected society in which we are always online, but in reality that society only exists because of 3G, 4G, and LTE. We are always connected, not due to perfectly reliable Wi-Fi, but through our phones. When the Internet goes down, I use my iPhone 5 to check my mail. Even my LTE isnt always reliable. Unless the 720 is going to have 3G capabilities, Im not buying it.
Theres no guarantee Ill be able to play it when I want, which is a big barrier to purchasing it. I think always on is the death of consoles. Until I have a perfectly reliable Internet connection, I wont spend a dime on a product that wont let me use what I want. This is why I have steered clear of games that utilize always on DRM and this is why I wont purchase the new Xbox. Its a shame because I have no doubt it will be great, but it looks like Ill be switching over to PS4. So long Microsoft, its been a nice run.
I've played Civilization for over a decade, and have progressed through the eras countless times, although this was my first time playing Civilization V. I was unsure what to expect. I felt my stomach turn as I started the game, unsure if it would be as easy for me as previous versions. Would I be able to adapt to a hexagon based board? Would I overlook some crucial feature that would destroy my empire?
As the game world loaded, I hunkered down for a long play session. Finally, I saw the game running in person. The updated visuals, the hexagon field, the new user interface - everything was different; yet, the game still felt like its predecessors. Standing in front of me was a settler and a warrior, just as I remembered it in Civilization IV. This was my childhood again. I breathed a sigh of relief, founded a city, and sent my warrior exploring around the map. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten how small the islands are on an archipelago map type, and my warrior was back at my city a turn later with nowhere to go. I was stranded and unable to see my enemies.
The next couple dozen turns went by in rapid succession with nothing to do but wait. This was going to be a race to the horizon. First one in the water wins, but where could I build transport ships? I needed to carefully plot my research path to the ships, but I could not find them. I was the first to build trireme ships, although those did not transport my units. Crap! Did I miss something? Should I have played the tutorial first? My mind raced from one thought to the next, and suddenly I realized what had happened; Fraxis got rid of those irritating transport ships. Instead I needed to research one more technology to catapult me into the Classical era. Phew.
A few turns later, my research was complete and I was granted a beautiful cutscene ushering in the new era. Then I saw the icon on the side of the screen. Another civilization had advanced with me. The fog of war prevented me from seeing which enemy it was. I had yet to make contact with anyone at all. I was left alone in my own island, wondering when an invading army would emerge from the fog of war.
Finally, armed with the ability to transport my warrior, I set off to discover distant lands. Along my way, I encountered the new city state game mechanics, and was not sure how to proceed. I thought they were similar to barbarian towns in previous games, so I took my warrior and attacked the city. I was wrong. My warrior was slaughtered in a hail of arrows, and I was left warrior-less. I realized Civilization V has definitely changed since the last game.
While I mourned the loss of a warrior I had loved, life went on as normal in my empire. Not a single citizen stopped working. My fishing boats did not dock. The flags flew at full mast. This was a cruel and bitter world I had to master or my capitol would be the next casualty of this war. I decided war was not for me and I would do something never done before in a Civilization game; win through peace. I built up my city's culture rating and settled new lands, all without warriors to protect my growing empire.
While this theory worked for a while, the situation soured quickly. As I explored the world, I met my two adversaries, Alexander the Great of Greece and Wu Zetian of China. I founded a city too close to Alexanders borders and all hell broke loose. Every turn, a message popped up from Alexander renouncing me, warning me not to build new cities, or threatening me with war. How would I survive the full might of the Greek army against my defenseless cities? Alexander was sitting on the word's reserve of iron while I was left with nothing. He not only outnumbered my army, but had better units than my measly warrior from the Stone Age.
So I did what any good leader would do; I pleaded for mercy. Every time he threatened me, I apologized and promised I would not touch his fabulous, yet strikingly small, empire. All the while, I built up cavalry and pikemen in the hopes of rivaling his army. My troops were amassing on the border, and suddenly everything went wrong.
In my haste to build an army, I had lost track of time, and I had only twenty minutes to my next class. Alexander and I have a battle to fight, but not today. Today it is time for Data Structures, and homework, but another day we will see how history plays out. I frantically searched the innards of the computer for my saved game file and emailed it to myself, just to make sure the moment would not be lost forever. Now I wait to fight an electric battle against my enemies encapsulated in bits on my hard-drive.
Have you ever seen ABC's new show Revolution? Try watching it after the blackout that plagued New York. It's incredible how society dips into chaos without power, and moreso how much we rely on power in the first place. We rely on gas for everything and the gas needs power to pump it, water is pumped up to apartments, boilers oftentimes use electricity, and more. Society comes to a halt when the power goes out. It's insane.
This makes Revolution all the more believable. Without power the USA cannot function anymore. Imagine a solar flare that wipes out satalites and then a hurricane hits and causes blackouts? There would literally be no way to communicate. As we enter a period of increased solar flare activity, this is a scary thought. What would happen in such a scenario? How would the president issue orders? Would people even listen to orders?
After Katrina New Orleans became a lawless city. Looting and rape was widespread while police were unable to patrol the city. Fortunately the police were eventually able to restore order to the city, but what if police couldn't communicate? How would they patrol? Such doomsday scenarios appear morbid and unrealistic, but they are innevitable. Eventually something bad that we cannot predict will happen. Who ever predicted that terrorists would fly planes into the World Trade Center? That would've been a proposterous thought until 9/11. People cannot simply brush off the insane sounding because that is a slippery slope. Where do you stop and draw the line? What is plausible? What is probable?
Emergency services need to prepare for the worst, and through that the less severe emergencies will be easier to prepare for. By preparing for doomsday, anything shy of that is a walk in the park.
The Halo 4 soundtrack is out now on Spotify and I must say I'm really saddened by it. Understandibly the series is under new ownership and O'Donnel is no longer composing the iconic Halo score. The new score though, deviates from Bungie's games to the point that is unrecognizable. There is no distinct Halo feel to it. The iconic chorus from previous Halos is gone. While the new soundtrack isn't bad, it's just not the iconic Halo I knew and grew up with. It's a lovely soundtrack that I'll end up humming in due time, it's just not what I think of when I think Halo.
After the blackout I had to go to another place to stay. Luckily my cousin nearby has an Xbox 360 so we rode out the aftermath of the storm playing Halo Reach and FIFA. It was my first time playing Reach in a long time, but the controls are easy to adapt to from Halo 3. The only problem is that I haven't found a perfect control scheme yet. Bumper Jumper is good although you can't move the thumstick while using equiptment which means no shooting while jetpacking. That poses problems sometimes when other people are able to fly and shoot. That was the least of my troubles though. The lag was incredible. There's nothing like missing the man cannon because lag pushed you back, or sniping someone only to have them walk through the bullet untouched. It's the same problem I have with every online game. I have yet to find a game that has minimal lag. No matter what game or whose house I'm playing at, the lag always seems unbearable. It just doesn't compare to split screen. And don't get me started on the early quitters. Every two minutes the game stops because someone quits.
After Reach it was time for some FIFA. In four games I scored 1 goal. Sports games were never my strong point. My only other experience with FIFA was the demo of FIFA '09 that I recieved in OXM, and I never really played it. It's a fun game, but too complicated for me, especially when I don't know the sport to begin with. I can't figure out how offsides work. But after a few games of that it was back to Reach for the rest of the night. I closed the night with 17 kills and plenty of medals.
Forward Unto Dawn is by far my best short series I have ever seen. Halo has been brought to life in a way never seen before. I liked the focus on someone other than Master Chief. My main gripe however is that when MC comes, he sounds different than the games. Something about the way he talks and the script is just different. In the game he is a follower, not a leader. He takes orders, makes a remark, and fights. In the short however he seems bossy in a way that unlike the MC from the games. I think it would've been better to leave MC out of it and just focus on ODSTs or another group. I was reading something ages ago in OXM explaining why the Halo movie stalled. It claimed that in each version of the script, MC just seemed different than in the games. Such a change is seen in the short, and while increadibly awesome, it just seems unnatural. Master Chief barely talks in the game, whereas the movie showcases him barking orders. I'm not a fan of it. It's the fundamental problem with a Halo movie. How do you make a movie starring someone who is stoic? I hope they resolve the issue though for a full theatrical release.
29Oct 12I was never too keen on the PSP. It never felt right in my hands. The positioning of the buttons just hurt my fingers. After only fifteen minutes of play I have to put it down. Nevermind the awkward controls in SOCOM for shooting, looking, and zooming in. Everything just feels off about it from the sticky thumb pad to the large shoulder buttons. It's no wonder the PSP had problems. Luckily the Vita fixed that mostly, and is more comfortable to hold. Now they just have to increase the game portfolio.
28Oct 12I used to have a top notch laptop. It was a Dell Inspiron with 8 GB of RAM, Intel i7 processor, and a pretty nice graphics card. I bought it two years ago, and it worked well, but it would freeze occasionally. It wasn't too bad though. Then it started acting up. All at once it would freeze every ten minutes and require a reboot. Nothing I let get on my nerves though... until it became unusable. I simply reformatted it though and it was as good as new. For what it was worth. But it started acting up only a month later. Needless to say I was pretty upset about that. I was trying to reformat the computer, but it wouldn't let me. It kept on freezing before I could reformat it, so I did what any good person would do and gave it a love tap.
It didn't respond kindly.
It decided that my love tap was more of a smack, and took it too personally. My Inspiron started to curse at me in a strange and funny sounding language I did not know. From then on our relationship took a turn for the worse. It refused to boot up from that point on. Despite my best efforts to apologize, it would prompt me for a boot up disk. So I did what any good person would do and bought a computer on October 26, the launch date of Windows 8.
I'm ambivalent about the operating system though. While it certainly is a change, I can't figure out whether it's a change for the better or worse. On the one hand the Start menu is a fresh change, but I'm not sure if it works without a touch screen. Scrolling to get to my programs is annoying and I'm not sure that I like the whole app thing. Honestly I miss just having everything run on a desktop. I don't understand why they had to get rid of it. Of course there is a desktop and most things run on it- everything that doesn't have an app- but it's not the same. The thing that annoyed me most was the way they changed some of the menu options. I couldn't find out how to turn my wifi back on after accidentally turning it off. That took a good twenty minutes. Apparently wifi and airplane mode have two different settings. Airplane mode is tied to the keyboard shortcut while actual wifi can be turned off in a completely different menu. Who knew? Such subtleties make setting up the computer a little difficult. Another problem I've had is setting up a Microsoft account. A while back my Xbox live account that I've been using for the past four years got locked out. Someone hacked it, sent a lot of spam and I was left with a locked account. Unfortunately the email address was outdated, preventing me from recovering the account. So now I'm stuck trying to start a brand new Microsoft account, with a new email address. Of course that itself poses new problems and refuses to let me use the emails addresses I want to use. So who knows. Typical shenanigans. The search function is also a little annoying. There is no massive search function that I can tell yet, just different sub searches. So I can search apps, files, and settings, but not all of them at once. That creates annoyances when I don't know what thing something is under. Is Windows Defender an app or a setting? While not terribly annoying, it is just an inconvenience that should have been overlooked. Speaking of Windows Defender I must praise Microsoft over including antivirus with the operating system for the first time ever. While I hope it does a good job, I'm sure I'll find out in the coming weeks. Either my computer will get viruses, or it won't. I certainly hope it's the latter. But there are always free options too, and Windows Defender will automatically turn itself off if another antivirus program is detected. Microsoft, you have won my praise. I suspect the whole look and feel of Windows 8 is something that will take time to get used to. There are some neat tricks with it, but they don't always work properly. For example apps can be dragged out across the screen to split the screen, but honestly, I liked the old windows. I could drag it to the exact size I needed, whether conventional or not. It seems that now the sizes are somewhat fixed, and it always takes up the whole height of the screen, only the width is adjustable to a certain extent. I prefer windows though, and I'll probably be spending most of my time using the desktop look and feel.
There are still numerous things I have yet to try out though. The SkyDrive or whatever the new cloud system is called has eluded me so far, but I hope to try that out in the coming days.
My only goal with this laptop is simple word processing, web browsing, and Java programming (not the hardcore stuff, just basic Data Structures level and whatever next semester's courses are). I'm not doing any gaming on this computer. I'm saving gaming for a desktop. Now I've got to go research those... know of any good ones?
The iOS version of Kingdom Rush was available for free over the weekend and needless to say I got zero school work done because of it. My weekend consisted of beating the game and admiring the new hero system, not present when I last played the web version. The hero provides a good balance to gameplay and while he or she never overpowers other players, the hero provides much needed support.
For most of the games I favored an archer to provide long ranged support to my soldiers instead of a warrior to block the path. The warrior required too much movement and would not engage enemies on his own so I let him go in favor of the heroine. The leveling system did not appear to have any noticeable effects on her, with the exception of an attack wolf. The wolf engaged and successfully blocked countless enemies, and had a mere second respawn time. Just what I needed.
Kingdom Rush is just a guilty pleasure to play. It's by far the best tower defense game I have laid hands on. There is a beautiful balance of four towers with fresh enemies introduced all along the campaign. It never gets to the point where I feel like it's more of the same because there is something new at every turn. This is simply a must play game.
I'm reserving judgement on Halo 4, but I'm not too optimistic about it. While I have no doubt that it will be an incredible game, I think it is taking too many things from Call of Duty. Halo now has loadouts and killstreak rewards. That was never something I wanted in Halo. What made Halo was the even gameplay and the rush toward the weapons. Part of what made it so much fun was that there was a limited number of Battle Rifles on the field. If I wanted one and I a teammate took it I was out of luck and that altered my playstyle. With Halo 4 everyone can start with one. The kill streak rewards bother me too. In Halo 3 I knew if someone wanted to reload his sniper, he had to come to the sniper spawn. Now though, he can reload from anywhere if he has that option in the reward. The first thing that cames to mind are campers. In The Pit people were able to get to the rooms above the flag with the sniper. What happens when people stay up there the whole game? It doesn't make for a fun game based on Halo's tennants; guns, melee, and grenades. I'm skeptical about how it will turn out, but I'm hoping it will be just as good as the other games.
Remember when the announcement of Generals 2 came? The studio behind it was Bioware, and EA proclaimed it would be the first Generals game with a story. Afterall, that's what Bioware is known for right?
When asked if there will be single player, Bioware's Jon Van Caneghem replied, "Not at launch."He went on to say that it can be added later on from player feedback. So, if you want it, say so. If there is no story though, why is Bioware even developing it? Give it to an RTS veteran instead of a newly formed studio.
After they announced Generals was going free to play, my excitement for the game faded. I'm concnerned that they are going to take a game I hold dear and ruin it. I would rather pay $50 and have a complete game than shell out $5 here and there for better units and new maps. It's one thing if they make money off of new maps and such, but limiting units to players makes for an unbalanced game.
When AoE Online released I was excited to return to the series although the limitations were so severe that I could no longer progress in missions without purchasing a civilization. The enemies had epic loot and I was stuck to common loot which put me at a disadvantage. I'm concerned something similar will happen with Generals 2.
It's one thing if they make us pay for extra maps or something, but the core game should be free. You shouldn't have to pay to win. If you make a game that's good enough, people will want to buy the extras. It's the same thing as an expansion pack. If your game is good enough, people will want more of it. Free to play should mean, give us the game for free, and we'll buy an expansion pack for it, whereas studions commonly use is as pay to win.
Another thing is that they could allow players to use only one faction and charge for the other two. It's kind of annoying though, but that's acceptable as well because you have access to a full faction. You're not limited to certain units in a faction. That is where free to play games become unballanced and not fun to play.
I'm still concerned about the single player portion though. My favorite part of Generals was the campaigns and the General's Challenge in Zero Hour and I don't want to lose that. They gave it to Bioware for a reason. I thought maybe we'd finally see a Generals game with a good plot, but it seems I was wrong. We'll only see a multiplayer money grab.
Who knew I'd be visiting Gamespot daily five years later?! I joined the site and started blogging here in 2007 and while I've mostly been busy writing for AbleGamers recently, it's nice to post the occassional blog here. I wish I had more time to write, but with school and everything it's hard to find time. Maybe I'll still be here in another five years. Hey, I've got no plans to go anywhere and Gamespot still provides the best content out there. As long as that holds true, I'll come back every day.
What would happen if Microsoft and Sony put TED and Khan Academy on their consoles? What would happen if achievements and trophies were integrated into the apps?
Over a thousand educational videos would be available to the public, and with achievements and trophies, people would want to learn. Learning itself would become a game. I would want to watch more videos so that I could brag to my everyone on my Friend's List. The gaming community would be giving back to the world. It would help gamers, who stereotypically are sitting on the couch all day and at the bottom of the class, learn and it will improve the "gamer image".
Such a move, however, would be difficult for Microsoft to do. Beyond an improved image, there is no real incentive for Microsoft and Sony to make such a move. Such an app would not make the companies any money, and to really create a favorable image, Microsoft would need to make it free for Silver members as well as Gold. Traditionally, Microsoft has barred all but a few internet apps from Silver members. Educational apps would need to be free to the masses.
It really boils down to whether the game companies can perform a truly selfless act or whether they need to earn a profit. While I'm not surprised if they pass on developing such an app, it really should be made. The companies have a way to truly impact gamers and broaden humanity's knowledge base. People of all ages would learn for fun and compete against one another to learn more, which has never happened before on such a large scale.
The only question is whether money will stop them. It costs money to create such an app, and that is time taken away from creating a money maker. The sad truth is that corporations revolve around money and nothing more, so I'm going to have to say that such an app would never see the light of day, but I pray I'm wrong.
For the past few weeks I've been cleaning my room and my house. I've found numerous treasures from fragments of old game manuals to game disks (who knew I still had Day of the Tentacle?). The other day I found my Guild Wars card in my wallet.
My first MMO.
The first thing that strikes me about the card is just the objectification of women. Beyond that, I remember playing the game for hours on end. It was my first true MMO after I played Rune Scape for a bit. I remember I played as a Ranger. My favorite aspect of the game though was the ability to play completely solo with mercenaries. It was my favorite thing to do. I had no other friends playing the game, but I was able to experience the entire game through mercenaries. It took an interesting approach to gameplay which appears to be what The Elder Scrolls Online is doing.
I never really got into PvP in Guild Wars, but I did fully level up my character. The game got a little boring however after I leveled up. There were only 20 levels or so, and after that I would just earn a skill point after reaching a certain amount of experience points. I wonder if anyone is still playing the game now, or if the servers are even up. I'm sort of curious now. I want to delve right back into it, but I know there are other MMOs which I might enjoy better. I want to give The Lord of the Rings Online a try, but I just don't want to screw up my computer loading it on. Besides, I have other games to play. I bought nine games from Indiegala and have only played two of them. My unplayed and unbeaten games are starting to pile up.
Let's see. I have Oblivion which I haven't beaten, Gothic 3, Dungeon Lords, Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, Heroes of Might and Magic V and the expansions, Star Wars: Empire at War, Command and Conquer, Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun, The Movies,Making History: The Calm & The Storm,Razor 2: Hidden skies,Ironclads collection,Beat Hazard,Space Empires IV: Deluxe,Bad Rats: The Rat's Revenge,Disciples II: Rise of The Elves,Puzzle Kingdoms,NINJA BLADE,Battle Mages, andWord Rallycross 2010. I've got a lot of gaming to do...
Do braching stories make games better and more enjoyable? Contrary to popular belief, I'd advocate for a linear storyline without any branching trees. While Dragon Age and Mass Effect did superb jobs creating universes in which every action created a ripple effect in one interconnected universe, I feel slightly cheated. On the one hand I feel Sheppard is a product of my creation and morals, but on the other hand I want that extra content which I missed. I want to see and do everything, but I know I don't have the time to do it. My philosophy is that I'd rather play a game without a branching story and see everything than play a branching story and feel left out. I feel like I missed out and I don't normally have time to replay a game and see an alternate ending.
At the same time however I like impacting my character. I'm torn between having the same exact experiences as my friend and creating a character unique to me. In theory I want both. I want to be able to make the story mine, but have a quick replay mode where i can just make the decisions and see alternate endings. That way I would be able to play the game how I want, and still see how the game would end in different ways.
At the same time though I love games that have strong stories without creating my own character. I don't want a personal Master Chief, I want a scripted one. I guess I'm not really sure what I'm advocating for. I want to make my own character, but at the same time I want to see everything in a game. So in a way I feel at a loss with altering the story. I guess though it's just six of one and a half dozen of the other.
What once started as something unique to Xbox has grown to all walks of gaming from the iPhone's Game Center, to Play Station 3's Trophy system, but is it still special? Before the Xbox 360 I would play games solely for fun. There was no number to brag about or to show my friends. After I entered the next gen, I started playing to get achievements. It wasn't that I cared about beating my friends' scores as much as it gave me another reason to play. It was a sense of accomplishment for myself. I would get this accollade for doing a certain action in a game. It struck me to play games different ways, and it was fun to see my score rise. Occassionally I'd play a game just to see it rise, but I never really played all that many games. After owning an Xbox 360 for four years, I still only hover just bellow 7,500. I never really cared about it. Most of the time I'd play online games for hours on end. I wasn't a diverse gamer who played every single game, I just wanted to have fun playing the select few that I loved (yes that's you Halo 3).
Over the years gamers have cared less and less about their gamerscore. While it's still fun to get achievements, the physical number doesn't mean anything, it's the achievement itself. The achievements can spark innovation in gameplay by asking you to play the game differently than you would have, and give that sense of accomplishment. A lot of times it just keeps me coming back. I've never felt any shame though in having such a humble score. I'm good at the games I play, and I never had the time (or money) to shoot for a gamerscore in the ten thousands. Who can compete with the achievement gamers who have been playing since launch? It's impossible. What ever happened to playing for fun, to playing a game for the sake of playing and not for bragging rights?
Yup! I bought another game before playing the other games I bought from Indeigala. It's a special game though. I haven't played the Sims since the original came out at the turn of the millennium. My favorite part of it was just building a house and using cheats to build the biggest house I could possibly build. I'm excited to go back to my childhood yet again, this time however with my girlfriend. We decided it would be a good game to play together. She doesn't share the same passion for games as I do, but she enjoys a good casual iPhone game, so we figured the Sims would be a good place to start. Besides, who wouldn't want to simulate their future life?
My childhood was encompassed in Command and Conquer: Red Alert and a handful of other games. I've been searching for a way to play Red Alert online, and I finally found it. It was my second time ever playing online and I must say I had more fun when I was younger. Red Alert is a game of numbers, at least the way I've always played it. It's more building up massive numbers of tanks than small numbers of diverse forces. My strategy has always been to first set up a good defense, and then bombard the enemy from the a distance, using planes, special weapons, and ships.
Death from above. I played online against the computer along with a friend and that strategy worked after the first try. I wasn't prepared for tha all out computer rush. Or maybe it just felt like a rush because I hadn't played in fifteen years and I was so slow. In subsequent games I was able to pick up the pace and fend off the first wave. Dividing the enemy forces between the two of us it wasn't too hard to win, but one of us would always be nearly wiped out. Once a good defense is set up though, it's too easy (if time consuming) to win. In one game I built three cruisers, and without any enemy sub pen built, I had free reign to destroy the enemy base without so much as lifting a finger. In another game I was able to amass an airforce to take out the enemy's command center. Once that falls, the game is over. The enemy never rebuilds it, and then it's only a matter of time before they fall.
I've also noticed how bad the AI is in the game. Contrary to what one might suspect, more ore trucks means less ore. There is some glitch in which ore trucks don't return to the refinery and just hang out doing G-d knows what. It's a pain in the butt to micromanage them, and the late game ore rush is annoying as hell. Scanning the map for the last remnants of ore is a time suck and slows down the game to a crawl as I await new units. Subsequent games like Generals fixed that, although the original has that problem. It makes long games even longer.
Even with all of this though, you can bet I'll be logging on again soon to play again. Even if the game itself isn't as good as I remembered it, it's worth playing it just to relive my childhood. And to beat the game after twenty years...