Review by ReiadDeSain
"Why have we forgotten this game?"
If this game had appeared on the SNES or Genesis, people would still be playing it today. No such luck for poor Military Madness; it fared poorly a decade later on its PlayStation re-release. Nobody remembers this brilliant game.
I hate most strategy games. Most of the companies that make these seem to have little idea how to make a balanced, fun war game. This is true more and more as virtually all strategy games today are real-time and resource-oriented. Instead of planning your defenses and assaults like a real commander, you're forced to control one unit at a time in these games, which more often than not means you're getting clobbered somewhere else on the map due to the distraction. Instead of leading a complete force, resource games have you mine spice/gold/oil/credits/semen/whatever before you can ''buy'' units. There's ironically little or no strategy involved in combat- just mine and mine, build up huge waves of soldiers, and point them in the right direction.
That's not the way MM madness works. The game wisely gives you a set number units, and you must use them wisely to win the battle. Whereas somewhere else you might want to throw away a tank on a suicide mission, in Nectarsis those tanks might be the thin blue line between triumph and defeat. Nearly every principle of war is included- outflanking the enemy, seizing the high ground, artillery preparation to soften the target, aerial raids and AA fire, plugging a bottleneck to slow and advance; it's all in there. The only way to gain new units is to have infantry seize a neutral factory; then you gain whatever's in there. These reinforcements are the key to winning battles later in the game.
The view is a simple overhead that clearly shows the high and low ground and tha paths to the enemy. The playing field is divided into hexes, so that any one unit will always be bordered by six other spaces. (Get yourself surrounded on two or more and you're screwed.) The commands are simple- for each unit you can choose to move or, if available, attack; see some info for that particular type of weapon; or end its turn. Each of the almost twenty different units has a different range and method of attack, but you'll have the basics down by the third or fourth map, and figuring out new quirks later on is quick and easy. Soon enough you'll be knocking down Hunters with Hawkeyes and raiding Hadrians with Rabbits, or simply crushing a Charlie with a Bison.
Military Madness bears the highest honor a war game can aspire to- it takes a few minutes to learn and a lifetime (or maybe a few months) to master.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/25/02, Updated 02/25/02
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