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Old 08-09-2006, 03:57 AM   #1
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The Empire Strikes Back



EMPIRE AT WAR VOTED BEST STRATEGY GAME OF THE YEAR BY G4TV!

The RTS market was always a tough market. Mention yet 'another Star Wars RTS' and the chances of it being actually any good - are slim. That was, until now....

Star Wars Empire at War has just been voted Best Strategy Game of the Year by G4TV at G-Phoria 2006. Other games that were nominated for the award were:

Advance Wars (DS)
Age of Empire III (PC)
Fire Emblem (GC)
LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth II (PC/Xbox 360) (DONT LAUGH!)

You can watch the video review HERE and select Empire at War video.

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Old 08-09-2006, 07:40 AM   #2
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Awesome! I think Empire at War deserves it.


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Old 08-09-2006, 08:13 AM   #3
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Indeed. A great victory has been won today.


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Old 08-09-2006, 10:49 AM   #4
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To be honest, I'm kinda suprised. Though I haven't played any of the other RTSs mentioned, I assumed they were better than EaW.
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:50 AM   #5
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Nice. This was not a big surprise.

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Old 08-09-2006, 03:49 PM   #6
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Of the games listed, I've played EaW and BFME2. Between those two games, EaW is the better game.

So yeah, I'm not suprised. EaW is a really fun RTS IMO.


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Old 08-09-2006, 04:57 PM   #7
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The only game that I could see beating out EaW was BFMEII, I heard that was awesome.


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Old 08-09-2006, 09:16 PM   #8
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I haven't played Fire Emblem, but I reckon the series is pretty popular.

But between the other games... yeah, I guess EaW deserved it. That's not much of a competition though.

I haven't played BFME2 extensively, but my cousin did. He told me it was great, way better than the first one, but that some aspects of the game were still too superficial (therefore the game lacks depth that would allow the player to really stick to it for a long time). Most of the internet reviews weren't that kind with it either.

I personally think that Civilization 4 deserved to win (was it even nominated?). It's an awesome game, way better than Civ 3 and any of the other finalists.


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Old 08-10-2006, 12:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth54
I personally think that Civilization 4 deserved to win (was it even nominated?). It's an awesome game, way better than Civ 3 and any of the other finalists.

The problem with Civ4 is that it isn't exactly an RTS.


E@W deserved to win, but to be fully honest, the competition was less then stellar. BFMEII? Age of Empire III? You get the idea.


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Old 08-10-2006, 08:47 AM   #10
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Cool! That's good to hear.


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Old 08-10-2006, 10:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by lukeiamyourdad
The problem with Civ4 is that it isn't exactly an RTS.


E@W deserved to win, but to be fully honest, the competition was less then stellar. BFMEII? Age of Empire III? You get the idea.
It does not say "RTS". Just "strategy". And Fire Emblem is much more of a RPG-strategy hybrid than a real RTS. Civ 4 should have been in that one.

Anyways, it has been an extremely poor year for RTSs; turn-based games (such as Civ 4) should be the contenders. They are basically holding a vote to know which game is the best amongst the worst.


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Old 08-10-2006, 12:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth54
It does not say "RTS". Just "strategy". And Fire Emblem is much more of a RPG-strategy hybrid than a real RTS. Civ 4 should have been in that one.

Anyways, it has been an extremely poor year for RTSs; turn-based games (such as Civ 4) should be the contenders. They are basically holding a vote to know which game is the best amongst the worst.
I personally think that the RTS games this year haven't been any better or worse than any other year. I mean really, EaW is a pretty good RTS. You can use any number of tactics in both space and land battles, which is pretty impressive IMO. BFME2 is also a fairly good RTS, though I agree that it does lack the depth that EaW has. Be that as it may, BFME2 is still a fun RTS nonetheless.

As for Civ 4, it's good but I don't get as interested in strategy games that aren't RTS. I played the Civ 4 demo and realized it really just wasn't for me.

One last comment, I'm also not much of an AoE fan. The gameplay is just too slow paced, the buildings sometimes take FOREVER to destroy, and the graphics have never been worth bragging about. I'll take a WarCraft, C&C, EaW, or BFME game any day over the AoE series. IMHO.


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Old 08-10-2006, 04:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintVezner
I personally think that the RTS games this year haven't been any better or worse than any other year. I mean really, EaW is a pretty good RTS. You can use any number of tactics in both space and land battles, which is pretty impressive IMO. BFME2 is also a fairly good RTS, though I agree that it does lack the depth that EaW has. Be that as it may, BFME2 is still a fun RTS nonetheless.

As for Civ 4, it's good but I don't get as interested in strategy games that aren't RTS. I played the Civ 4 demo and realized it really just wasn't for me.

One last comment, I'm also not much of an AoE fan. The gameplay is just too slow paced, the buildings sometimes take FOREVER to destroy, and the graphics have never been worth bragging about. I'll take a WarCraft, C&C, EaW, or BFME game any day over the AoE series. IMHO.
First off, I agree with you concerning AoE. I never understood what the fuss was all about when AoE2 came out. It's a fine game, but it does not deserve all the attention it got.

The reason why I believe that this was a poor year for RTSs is that there were no groundbreaking titles. BFME2 is basically BFME1 (i.e. C&C Generals) with a few extra things. AoE3 is uneventful, and the few changes they made did not seem to bring recognition from players. EaW is definitely the "best" of the listed titles, but it's not that great. Space combat is nice, but it's basically in 2D. Ground combat is more realistic than in previous RTSs (it's a tad weird to build up a huge base just to win a battle, when you think of it; landing troops does make more sense) but it's too superficial. The Galactic mode is basically a toned-down version of Rebellion. And of course the multiplayer part didn't help. EaW is Rebellion with better graphics and ground battles, but stripped from all the galactic strategic value. The mix remains unique, but there is a serious lack of depth. I'd take Total War over it any day.

As far as RTSs are concerned, I strongly believe that we will need to wait for the possible StarCraft 2 to have a really unique and interesting title (or perhaps Medieval 2, but the TW games rely mostly on the cinematic experience). The other companies simply don't seem to have enough guts to change the system in place.

Turn-based games are usually labelled as being more for adults. That's a common misconception, since many children/teens enjoy those games. But many people do think that they are boring, and that might be why Civ 4 was eclipsed from the contest.

I mean, just look at the titles : Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Age of Empires (basically MicroSoft in italic characters) and Fire Emblem. These are all big sellers. Fire Emblem is probably less known to PC gamers, but I heard it is very popular on the Nintendo consoles. Those games all used the franchise to which they belong to sell, not necessarily their gameplay value.


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Old 08-10-2006, 05:33 PM   #14
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hmmm. Either the people on G4 are smoking even more crack, or all the other games really sucked...



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Old 08-12-2006, 12:46 PM   #15
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I think EaW is ok, but surely not the best strategy game of the year. I mean, surely.. umm.. err.. i'm not sure there have been any RTS's this year that i could say "Awesome" of.

Oh, and Civilization is turn-based strategy, not RTS.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:52 AM   #16
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Personally i feel EAW does deserve RTS of the year. Its different from generic RTS formats and delivers (finally) a nice starwars strategy experience. There are (maybe depending on how forces of corruption is) better RTS coming out though, mainly Starcraft2, C&C and Supreme Commander.
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elukka
Oh, and Civilization is turn-based strategy, not RTS.
The category is called "strategy". Not "RTS". Fire Emblem is more like turn-based RPG anyway.


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Old 08-13-2006, 02:43 PM   #18
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The only game that I could see beating out EaW was BFMEII, I heard that was awesome.
They both were awesome. I enjoyed them both a lot.

But, since I have been so busy lately, I haven't had time to play them as much. Which, is something I should do soon. Also, I am waiting for the sequels of them to come out. Well, at least for Empire at War.


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Old 08-13-2006, 02:58 PM   #19
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Im quite suprised as well... I would think something could bet EaW. Not saying it's a bad RTS it just doesnt seem to be the best. But it is fun, and I think FoC will make it all the better.


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Old 08-13-2006, 03:04 PM   #20
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I've just played the BFME 2 demo and what a piece of junk. Naturally its an improvement on the original - not too difficult - but oh my word, the AI is terrible. Too many menus and just too fussy to be a good game.

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Old 08-13-2006, 03:09 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DarthMaulUK
I've just played the BFME 2 demo and what a piece of junk. Naturally its an improvement on the original - not too difficult - but oh my word, the AI is terrible. Too many menus and just too fussy to be a good game.

DMUK
But that's the demo.

The actual game was better. I thought some of the new options were pretty good. Like attacking through naval combat, and being about to attack with more than a set number of command points. And with the expansion of Middle-Earth, you can play with a few more armies and attack different regions.

The AI in the actual game was still pretty bad, but that's because I played in Easy mode. XP

I'm not that great at this types of games, though I do enjoy them.


The online was better than EaW, IMO. But, the campaign was better for Empire at War.


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Old 08-13-2006, 06:20 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander Obi-Wan
The online was better than EaW, IMO.
Even without owning the game, I figured that out. If there was one RTS since WC3 that I considered getting to do competitive ladder play, it was BFME2. Since the reviews weren't spectacular, I ended up not buying it. Perhaps I'll put EA's $15 gift to good use though

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But, the campaign was better for Empire at War.
Considering that EaW's campaign was basically to go from planet to planet to wipe out the enemy, I can only conclude that BFME2 hardly has a single player campaign.


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Old 08-13-2006, 09:53 PM   #23
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EAW's downfall is defintely its "lack" of multiplayer. But its not really designed to play like other games, the key gametype is conquest to play against a friend. I think thats the main reason why EAW isnt regarded as a great game by many people because were all so used to having build orders and set ways of playing RTS games.
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:08 AM   #24
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The category is called "strategy". Not "RTS". Fire Emblem is more like turn-based RPG anyway.
Fire Emblem is very similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, in it being a turn-based RPG...with some strategic element.
I do wonder what its doing there considering the facts.

However, although Civ is considered as a strategy game, I believe the reason why it wasn't there was because it was mainly a management game. All of the games nominated had focus on war or combat. Civ 4 however, does not. It tries to do everything in one package, though the combat still leaves the battlefield commanders inside of us with a certain thirst for blood.

By the way, 2005-2006 indeed has been a lousy year for RTS in general. Us gamers got served with rather average titles, none being addicting or bringing something truly new. Considering the amazing 2004-2005 year (Rome:Total War, Dawn of War), it's clear that the quality did go down.

Just look at the games that came out. AoE3 was a continuation of Age of Mythology's focus on MP, leaving realism and epicness out of the game in order to satiate the lust of the MP community for competitive game. Infortunately, MP is not everything and dissing SP for MP is just as dumb as dissing MP for SP. They took out the epic element out of the Age serie after AoE2 and they made it nonexistent in AoE3. The only good thing in AoE3? Soldiers don't hack down brick walls with their swords anymore.

BFMEII is a poor excuse of EA to make us fork out some cash to buy their update for BFMEI that they never released. BFMEI could have used balance patches, modification to certain elements and the game would've been perfect. Instead, gamers got this lousy sequel to a very average game. True, there are improvements, but it doesn't make it better, at least not worth the full price of a game that should be an expansion pack.

Then comes E@W, which is pretty average too. Galactic Conquest and the Campaigns are fun for a while, the MP is non-existent or largely broken, skirmish mode isn't that interesting, the ground combat needs serious improvement. Its main redeeming point is the space combat which is quite spectacular. When there's lots of actions on screen, it gets really intense and is an exilerating joyride. The maps need to be bigger and the pop cap higher, at least for SP. Good thing that compared to BFMEII, the community gets really good support through patching and the like. Granted, some choices they made in the patches are debatable, but I applaud their efforts in supporting the game, even when the expansion was announced. Compared to EA, Petroglyph is doing an amazing job. For that alone, they deserve the prize.


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Old 08-14-2006, 11:44 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by lukeiamyourdad
BFMEII is a poor excuse of EA to make us fork out some cash to buy their update for BFMEI that they never released. BFMEI could have used balance patches, modification to certain elements and the game would've been perfect. Instead, gamers got this lousy sequel to a very average game. True, there are improvements, but it doesn't make it better, at least not worth the full price of a game that should be an expansion pack.
That's exactly why I didn't buy it. Releasing BFME2 was an insult to those who owned the original. It's just a "nice" way of telling BFME1 players "We actually *****ed up with the original, but instead of trying to fix it we'll just release a whole new game that you'll have to pay full price for".

I still remember all the video interviews with the guy in charge of BFME. Name was Something Skaggs. He kept talking about the unit emotion things and the "alive" world and other stuff that, in the end, are either false or have a very small impact on the game. Do you honestly care if your swordsmen shake a little if they see a troll? Heck no. And their "living world map" was as static as a rock.

But EA are not the only ones doing this. LucasArts did it to us. Look at Battlefront. Do you honestly think that BF2 was worth a full price? It adds an incredibly flawed space combat. And I payed as much for it as I have for KotOR and Baldur's Gate (which I still play after 8 years). And speaking about KotOR, TSL was really borderline.

Quote:
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Then comes E@W, which is pretty average too. Galactic Conquest and the Campaigns are fun for a while, the MP is non-existent or largely broken, skirmish mode isn't that interesting, the ground combat needs serious improvement. Its main redeeming point is the space combat which is quite spectacular. When there's lots of actions on screen, it gets really intense and is an exilerating joyride. The maps need to be bigger and the pop cap higher, at least for SP. Good thing that compared to BFMEII, the community gets really good support through patching and the like. Granted, some choices they made in the patches are debatable, but I applaud their efforts in supporting the game, even when the expansion was announced. Compared to EA, Petroglyph is doing an amazing job. For that alone, they deserve the prize.
Honestly, I played and liked Force Commander and SWGB more than EaW. I think EaW does deserve the price not so much because of the support from Petro (I've seen better), but because they did try something reasonably unique for a change. Did they do it well? Not sure. But they did try it, and that's still something. I basically feel the same about Force Commander. The system is unique enough. It stinks a little, but it's a change from the usual "harvest & build" common to RTSs.

Since you got the ball rolling, I'll say what I really think about EaW. I think ground combat is a joke. Space is interesting, but having only one star destroyer and 4 victories just doesn't cut it. Conquest is way to shallow to be interesting in the long run. The campaign stinks.

I actually think that it's EaW that tries to do too much in a single game, not Civ 4. EaW is basically two games in one, like the TW games. Unlike TW, they had to add space combat. To do this, they decided to cut the ground and conquest portions of the game. It's real shame.


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Old 08-14-2006, 05:42 PM   #26
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Overall this is a congrats to the Petroglyph Team for making something able to get this award. But I did not see this comming for the game... Very suprising, yet it had not had a lot of praise in a long time.



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Old 08-14-2006, 07:11 PM   #27
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I still remember all the video interviews with the guy in charge of BFME. Name was Something Skaggs. He kept talking about the unit emotion things and the "alive" world and other stuff that, in the end, are either false or have a very small impact on the game. Do you honestly care if your swordsmen shake a little if they see a troll? Heck no. And their "living world map" was as static as a rock.
To be fully honest, I enjoyed the "alive" world. Sure, it's gimmicky, has no impact on gameplay, but is a nice and enjoyable addition. Granted, they played that card to death, making it sound better then it really was, but I'm the kind of person who enjoys these little things. They don't add much, but it's still nice.

Come to think of it, Dawn of War also had the army painter which is totally useless gameplay-wise. It's a gimmick that adds a bit of flavour to the game and I really enjoy it. The difference is that marketing department didn't put too much emphasis on this.

The world map in BFME, though quite static, is beautiful looking. I mean, it's Middle-Earth, as far as I know, continents don't move overnight


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Old 08-14-2006, 09:16 PM   #28
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To be fully honest, I enjoyed the "alive" world. Sure, it's gimmicky, has no impact on gameplay, but is a nice and enjoyable addition. Granted, they played that card to death, making it sound better then it really was, but I'm the kind of person who enjoys these little things. They don't add much, but it's still nice.

Come to think of it, Dawn of War also had the army painter which is totally useless gameplay-wise. It's a gimmick that adds a bit of flavour to the game and I really enjoy it. The difference is that marketing department didn't put too much emphasis on this.

The world map in BFME, though quite static, is beautiful looking. I mean, it's Middle-Earth, as far as I know, continents don't move overnight
Well, it is in fact a big marketing scheme. Yes, it was nice to see birds flying over the place. And no, continents aren't supposed to move . But they talked so much about it that it really led the player to believe that stuff would be happening. Things like bandits or Uruk parties roaming the land, or weather effects and such.

But yeah, it was beautiful to look at.


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Old 08-15-2006, 02:33 PM   #29
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Congrats to Petroglyph and Lucas Arts!!

However, isn't it a little early in the year to pick the best of the year? The big rush of new releases before Christmas hasn't even begun yet. (FoC among them)


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Old 08-15-2006, 02:47 PM   #30
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Congrats to all of the fans, as the winning game, Star Wars: Empire At War was actually selected primarily by fan votes!


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Old 08-16-2006, 12:38 AM   #31
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Congrats Petro WOOOHOOOOO!!!
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:00 AM   #32
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Awesome, I think Empire at War deserves it.


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Old 08-16-2006, 10:43 AM   #33
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Congrats to Petroglyph and Lucas Arts!!

However, isn't it a little early in the year to pick the best of the year? The big rush of new releases before Christmas hasn't even begun yet. (FoC among them)
This is for the best stratagy game since last gphoria. Which does include the '05 christmas rush in this one. Just like how FoC could qualify for next year although it came out in '06
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