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Age of Empires: Age of Mythology DS Review

17/02/2009 Family Eclectic Gamer Review
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Age of Empires: Age of Mythology DS

Age of Empires: Age of Mythology



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Swords clanking, camels mooing, and heroes displaying their powers with outstretched arm. Yes, it's Mythology but on the DS. Fearfully and wonderfully made, this version of the Age of Empires saga had me hiding from the household!

Before I go on about the actual game, I'd just like to say how nice it looked even when we're just sitting in the menu. I had already played Age of Empires on DS, so it all made sense after a few minutes. The game-play was intelligent yet uncomplicated, and the talky bits were fine - a lot nicer than other games played recently with this format. The characters kept their dramas short and sweet, and the ones that were instructing you were helpful.

I really liked the little animations of the battles when the turns were taken. It meant you didn't have to miss out on the clanking weapons and grizzly sounds of soldiers dying and creatures roaring. I would say though that if you wanted to play a game of this quickly, you'd find it a lot easier if you just turned these bits off.

As I worked through the campaigns I felt like I was getting parts of the whole story, and it was interesting; not just there as an after-thought. It really annoys me when a game is made in such a way that all the money goes on the graphics and hardly any on the plot.

It was easy to get through your turn if you just used the buttons. I found once I'd got the rhythm going I could take my turn quite quickly. Which is handy if you want to snatch a quick game (remember, I'm hiding from small children who want their DS back!). I also noticed as I went along that I really liked the top screen layout. I was never in doubt about what resources I had left. It was simple to read.

I came out from hiding and asked the husband if he'd participate in a 'Hot Seat' game.

I have to admit that I had to turn the music off, partly so I wasn't found but - I think it may just be me - I find it difficult to concentrate sometimes with music. There was nothing wrong with it except that it got repetitive and even made me feel a bit frustrated.

To review this game properly I thought it would only be fair to play as a single player and a multiplayer, as they could be two very different games. I came out from hiding and asked the husband if he'd participate in a 'Hot Seat' game. This version of multiplayer means we would both take our turns using one DS. I had to find something else to do while the husband took his turn, but that was quite a nice way to play. I managed to get some of this review together while I was waiting!

I'd forgotten how entertaining the little people of Age of Empires could be.

Playing this game made me want to dig out the PC version again; only because I'd prefer the real-time bashing I'd get from my other half. I find Age of Empires far more fun as a multiplayer. I'd forgotten how entertaining the little people of Age of Empires could be. I'll probably be spouting random phrases for a while now (remember 'rogan'?). I'm not the biggest fan of turn-based action, but this game took me away from that 'board game' feeling you can get, just because the story was well written.

Written by Clare Sharpe

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Clare Sharpe writes the Eclectic Gamer column.

"I think it's probably true that most of us have grown up with computer games - I have a dark and distant memory of some sort of black box with two controllers that allowed us to play an extremely primitive and pixelated game of tennis."

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