The Perfect General 2
|a game by||Quantum Quality Productions|
|Editor Rating:||6.5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 2 votes|
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Ahem... wargames! no, no. come back, they're not that bad. really. After all. Battle Isle 2 was a wargame, and so was Dune II and Command & Conquer. They might not have looked like wargames (being endowed with graphics and all that), but deep down, underneath all that gloss, pre-rendered imagery and hype, they were wargames. plain and simple. Perfect General II is a wargame. Can you see where I'm going with this?
Tell us, tell us
You shouldn't judge a game by the reputation of its genre. Perfect General II has little in common with those early hex-based nightmare battle simulators and if you can ignore the fact that it does use hexes, (as did Battle Isle. remember), you're going to find that it's a clever, challenging and, goshdarnit. addictive strategy game. That's not to say that the game is without faults (I'll cover those in a minute/ten minutes/hour - insert personal reading speed here), but it is good, very good. If you're looking for something that makes Battle Isle 2 look as challenging as a game of conkers, here's your man er army officer.
What's it lacking?
A decent manual for a start. I would have thought that it was de rigeur for a wargamc to come with some sort of tutorial these days, but unfortunately Perfect General II is supplied without one. This means that despite the potential enjoyment to be had from the game, newcomers won't be able to get into it as easily as they might and could even be put off entirely.
The other thing that may discourage first timers is the lack of proper graphics (to give them their technical name). You can easily recognise good graphics - they are the ones that make you go. "Ooh. aren't they nice".
Graphics that won't reduce Perfect General II to the tawdry level of every other specialist wargame on the market. The game may use svga. but all that means is that the basic icons and lacklustre scenery are in high-res.
What's it, er, not lacking?
"Spend time with it and you'll really become hooked." is the familiar battle cry of a game reviewer and, loathe as I am to follow tradition, it's true of Perfect General II. That is. you need to spend time with it before you understand all the ins and outs and then, once this heady plateau has been reached, you can start to get into it. Once you've ignored the basic graphics and overcome the limitations of the manual (you are feeling sleepy etc.-) you'll start tearing your hair out in chunks as one cunning plan after another is humiliatingly crushed by your enemy.
It's worth persevering because once you know how to use it. Perfect General II really comes alive as a wargame. It's staggeringly easy to plan and execute stratagems and the control interface is so straightforward that it might have been designed by Apple. Quite simply, it allows you to concentrate on utilising your forces to achieve the objectives in hand, rather than forcing you to waste time working out what functions the buttons have, what each unit represents and where all your forces are.
It might have been preferable to have scenarios that were a little more defined in their objectives, as most of them are simply about fighting the enemy until the game is over; whoever has the most points is the winner. It would be better to have actual mission objectives to complete and tasks to perform rather than plain and simple fighting, but at least there are more than enough different landscapes and the addition of a second player often takes the game to even greater gameplay heights.
Wargames and the history of the world, Part One
To sum up then. Perfect General II is... well, try Rommel surging across the desert. Hitler moving into France. 'Nam leading the Yanks a merry dance, or even those fearsome Zulus storming through the British. (Okay, okay, we've got the idea. Ed.) This is an admirable sequel to Perfect General - it's complex, challenging and. most importantly, fun Watch out because before you know it you'll be addicted. The game certainly succeeded in firing me up - if you feel in urgent need of a shot of adrenaline, it's just the ticket.