Lord Ironfist is dead and the Kingdom is plunged into a vicious civil war by his feuding sons. At stake is the ultimate prize: control of the land and succession of the royal throne. Will you support the villainous usurper and lead the armies of evil or be loyal to the righteous prince and deliver the people from tyranny.
Chose your allegiance and take what is rightfully Yours!
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: EVERYONE with Animated Violence.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended), 256MB RAM (512 recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), Mouse, Keyboard
Posted on 2009-08-20 11:43:13 bysmallbluething:
I'd never been that interested in turn-based or fantasy games until introduced to this game (thanks a bunch Roger-the-dodger).
Had to give up playing it as the "just one-more-go oh sh1t it's now three in the morning" factor got too much for me. I'm sure that hypnotic music had something to do with it...
Probably wise to avoid this game if you value having a life
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Posted on 2009-08-20 12:01:44 byProtoss:
While I did not buy this yet off gog.com (but I surely will!) I have Heroes II here without the addon. So I can't say anything about the addon yet but just about the basic program.
The game puts you - other than the main series "Might & Magic" into a turn-based strategy game. Now I don't like turn-based strategy much but a few brillant games are an exceptionread more here, especially such with more depth than battles only. Among turn-based strategy, I especially like games with global conquest much - Master of Magic, Master of Orion II, Civilization I and IV, Alpha Centauri - and the Heroes of Might & Magic series.
When Might & Magic still had great comic graphics - the most recent part was the grandios "World of Xeen" - New World Computing used the characters from that game to make a turn-based strategy game with roleplay and (very basic) economical elements, advancing greatly their game "King's Bounty". One year later the sequel to this game appeared, and that's what we have here. Who liked the original Heroes of Might and Magic will love this game. The story is not really interesting - something about a war between the evil Archibald and the real prince Roland for the kingdom of Enroth.
Let's come to the different aspects of the game. With exception of a few rendered videos, it is full 2D. The pictures above give a good impression of how the game is like. This is however nothing to complain about. I personally like the comic look and 2D more than the isometry of Heroes 4 or the 3D of Heroes 5. The sound is nice but on the quality as sound was in 1996. It's just standard sound, no orchestration or so, but fitting to the scenario.
The gameplay is easily done by mouse. You go around, capture resources, mines, sawmills etc and dens with creatures. Also there are special buildings that for example give you +2 luck for the next battle. Talking about battles, there are several factors which influence how the creatures you can train in your towns (with fixed numbers being added each Monday) will fight, other than their attributes. Morale and Luck play a certain role that can easily give the edge. If your luck or morale is low, you have a chance of only do half the damage (or was it minimum?) or not move at all. The opposite happens with high luck - chance to deal maximum damage - and morale - chance to move twice per round. Monsters strike back when attacked, but not under certain circumstances, for example when an archer shoots at melee monsters the melee monster is just too far to strike back. Some monsters also have special attributes, for example monsters of Death cities (Necropolis) cause morale loss among living creatures if fighting in the same army. Monsters are stacked so you have for example one stack of 100 bowmen in a hex field instead having to move 100 bowmen one after the other. The battles are done on hex fields, as I said. Best is to look at a battle picture to see what I mean. Heroes also can fight but only by casting spells. After a lost battle by losing all monsters, a hero deserts and can be found in a random inn later. If he retreats before the battle is over, instead, he loses the battle and all monsters with him but will appear instantly in the inn of that player again. This is an important thing to know since heroes level up with experience gain to get better attributes which strengthen the monsters. They also can hold artifacts that can be randomly found in chests or special buildings, often guarded by monsters. Also, a skill system makes heroes even stronger by having them learn skills for their classes like pathfinding, saving movement points on the world map. The world map has a fog of war above it. The campaign itself also is slightly dynamical.
You have on free games six kinds of cities to choose from, with six to seven unique monsters each (not counting their upgraded forms). They all need different resources - for example, knights would rely on gold while wizards need more crystals for their cities - but luckily you can build market places that (expensively) allow you to trade resources.
Multiplayer is supported via Hotseat, LAN and TCP/IP (I think).
The game has a map editor that can be used to create maps. However, they can only be deathmatch maps (I don't know if this was changed in the addon included on gog.com since I didn't buy it from here yet). Since it has a random map function, one can create good maps to play against friends or the computer. If I remember correctly, they also can be blindly saved, i.e. without you seeing it before (or was this included as late as in Heroes III?). But even if not, it can't be too hard to just click save and do that without looking at it.
From what I read on internet, the addon contains a building that makes ghosts recruitable. Since they are very powerful, this might destroy balancing.
It's also possible one can run into the "One more turn" phenomene: I will just do one more turn, just until my building is upgraded, just defend myself against this attack, just conquer this one city, just win this scenario, just have a glimpse at the next one, just do the first week, just... wait, why is it becoming bright outside again, is the night already over? Ok, just one more turn before I go to bed... and one more... and just this week...
However, to me the scenarios around 5 or 6 became too difficult, so I always stopped there...
Map editor: 8/10
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Posted on 2009-08-20 10:48:42 byTheJoe:
I love all the HOMM games (except 4 and 5 which are not HOMM games) equally, like they're my own children. But HOMM2 is my favourite son. He's the heir to my throne. He's the one I show favour.
With a lovely, relaxing soundtrack and lovely graphics as well as a terrific storyline, this is the pinnacle of turn-based strategy.
Building upon the world and lore laid down in HOMM1read more you're thrown into the middle of the battle between the two sons of Lord Ironfist - Roland and Archibold. Roland is on the "good" side, he's honourable and kind and has been bullied by his corrupt brother for years. Lord Ironfist wanted Roland as his heir but through mysterious circumstances he had to flee the castle and Archibold was crowned king. You can choose to help the rightful heir as a Wizard to overthrow his deceitful brother or you can play as Archibold and command the undead to aid you as a Necromancer. The story is further continued later in the Might and Magic games and even with Roland's wife in HOMM3 (however Roland's victory in this game is canon).
HOMM2 also improves a lot of the features from HOMM1. Minor changes such as the "Movement grids" in combat make planning your moves easier. The battlefield is bigger with smaller scale units and there's even reactions from the hero themselves (they may hang their head in shame if it's not looking good or even cheer). The spellbook has been further increased, there's more units (with upgrades!) and... oh I could go on.
The story can only be fully enjoyed if you followed the completion of this game with a playthrough of Might and Magic 6 - 8, which are all canon with Roland's victory and each alludes to eachother.
In closing: The Might and Magic universe is one of the greatest lores around (before it's destruction by Ubisoft) and this is where it truly begins. Pick up this game and wait for Might and Magic 6 to be released. I highly recommend this. Grab it. Go on. You know you want to. I can't put it in enough words.
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