Reviews and Problems with Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic
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Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic
23 December 2004
Excerpt: The Age of Wonders series has been steadily going strong with its sprite based 2D graphics, despite most other games making the rough transition to 3D. Thankfully, Triumph Studios knows its stuff, as it yet again delivers high quality graphics with its latest iteration of fantasy strategy games. Shadow Magic delivers the same detailed and colorful graphics of its predecessors, this time with more detail and colorful effects.
Excerpt: Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic is an excellent turn-based strategy RPG. Brought to us by developer Triumph Studios and publisher Gathering, old and new fans will find much to like in the continuation of this much beloved series. It’s billed as being more than a simple expansion pack but not a direct sequel to Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard’s Throne released last year.
Excerpt: If you're into turn-based strategy games, especially strategy games set in a high fantasy setting, then you've probably heard of Age of Wonders or at least its sequel, Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne (AOW2). Rich fantasy worlds, large spell books, a variety of units, and some great strategic and tactical gameplay made these games a hit with strategy gaming fans. Now we have Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, but is it a sequel or an expansion game?
Conclusion: Once you've completed the entire five episodic adventures, you can create your very own scenarios with the editing tools included. These editing tools and the random map generator assure that Age of Wonders aficionados will never run out of AoWSM quests to partake in. AoWSM also has plenty of online gameplay options, including playing a game via e-mail, for up to eight players at once. Admittedly, I'm not a huge turn-based strategy gaming fan.
Excerpt: Well, let’s see. Suppose you take a turn-based strategy game, add in three new races, a handful of new buildings, and a new campaign. What do you call it? I’d call it an expansion pack, but expansion packs don’t seem to be in vogue any more. And so Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic is simply called a “new stand-alone game” at the Age of Wonders web site. But don’t be fooled. The new content isn’t overwhelming, and Shadow Magic plays almost identically to Age of Wonders II .
Conclusion: In a nutshell, the game is considerably lengthy, it has a decent replay value, and, on an overall note, all gamers should find enough content to justify the $39.99 price tag. Aside from a few, practically insignificant, bugs we feel this is a product turn-based strategy players should definitely get their mitts on.
Pros: Extremely addictive once you get the hang of it. There's a whole bunch of improvements over the original - new units, characters, races, maps, etc. A great pleaser for fans and an excellent challenge to newbies. Solid replayability.
Cons: Some weird technical issues (that occurred only a couple of times)... but nothing that would significantly reduce the current score. Personally, I expected to hear more new tunes.