Review by Makaveli
"Does Age II match up to StarCraft? Click for a complete comparison!"
Age II VS StarCraft!
Starcraft wins here because the game is so much more thrilling to watch as your force takes on your enemies. Age II's action is very good, but a bit slow, and StarCraft is more fun because of its total ignorance of real life, as Age II seems so real, you can count on the modern Age of Empires to resemble a real life war.
It takes a military genius to successfully play both these games, but Age II wins here. The reason being is that StarCraft can easily be a contest of who can build a massive force the fastest, but Age II can prevent that pretty well by requiring that you manage four different types of resources, instead of StarCraft's two. Both games don't have one incredibly superior unit, each game makes each and every unit easily stoppable, if you know what to build.
Non-battle tactical strategy:
This area measures on how much strategy is involved when you are not fighting yet. StarCraft gets the easy victory here, since troop placement is very essential to a force. If you do not have the advantage in firepower in a battle event, troop placement (set up or planned prematurely to the battle) can win the battle for you. For example, if you are playing against a Zerg player with Terrans, and your enemy charges your defense with 100 hydras against maybe 10 tanks, 4 bunkers with a supply depot in front of each, and 8 wraiths, he has more firepower than you (if you don't understand the units in the game, check em out in a FAQ). But if he just sends his hydras in there without stopping along the way to group them, they will come in a line, and be slaughtered easily. Since a majority of Age II's units are hand to hand, troop positioning is not as important.
Age II, by far. Age II has tons of different units, StarCraft has maybe half at most of Age II's count.
I don't even need to talk about how StarCraft is vastly superior in this category.
In battle tactical strategy:
Well, in StarCraft, once the battle begins, all you really can do is watch or cast spells. There is no strategy required once the forces engage. Age II gets the edge in this category, since you can choose if you want to select a formation that will drastically effect the outcome. This is where the line is drawn for playing styles. People who want to be a Napoleon on the battlefield, telling his troops how to group, and stuff, want Age II. People who would rather have the bulk of the strategy come in which units to build and how to prepare want StarCraft.
Extras, Special features, depth, value, etc:
Even though StarCraft's map editor is dominant over Age II's, Microsoft puts more variety in the game, hitting hard at StarCraft's weak point in the category: Single Player CPU ally. Not only can you ally with the CPU, he will propose to team up with you. StarCraft doesn't let you do this, but it does let CPU's team up against you (it's crazy). Another big advantage for Age II is the difficulty level, while in Age you can select how hard you want it, StarCraft seems to set it at ''Nightmare''. The computer will overmatch you, since he can give orders to every unit at once if he wants to, and yeah, he takes full advantage of it.
Something important that I can't name:
This is the reason you should buy StarCraft: in the campaigns, Age II limits you to 75 units on the board at once. This way, it is easy to build a defense physically impossible to overcome, since Age II has walls you can build for very cheap yet they take a while to take down. StarCraft will limit you to 200 marines, or 25 carriers, its all part of the balance. Happy shopping!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/10/00, Updated 04/10/00
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