Military Madness Nectaris: PS3 review

  • Format: PSN (version reviewed), XBLA, WiiWare
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Hudson Soft
  • Developer: Backbone Entertainment
  • Players: 1-4
  • Site:

Military Madness is back. If that sentence excites you, then there is a fun but limited title awaiting you on PSN, Live and WiiWare. For those left scratching their heads at the mention of Military Madness, you are better off looking elsewhere for your strategy fix.

Military Madness: Nectaris is the continuation of a long running turn-based strategy series, reappearing in downloadable form for the current generation. The story, which is of little consequence, sees you take the role of the Earth Union fighting on the Moon against a former prison colony known as Xenos. It’s pretty generic and uninspiring stuff.

Look at all familiar?

Unlike other games of its ilk, it’s rather easy to get into, and by the second fight you will already be more than familiar with the controls and objectives. It doesn’t require much stat crunching, and some of its charm derives from the simplicity of the mechanics. There is a fair amount of satisfaction in surrounding your enemies, using the terrain to your advantage and choosing just the right unit to take them out. Speaking of the enemy, the opposition units display pretty solid AI and they will take advantage of all the terrain and tactical nuances. However, the limitations of the maps and strategies mean that during the first half of the campaign, it’s relatively easy to predict what the computer is going to do. As things progress, the enemy does become more challenging making it increasingly difficult to complete the levels on the first attempt. Four player online multiplayer, both competitive and co-op, compliments the single player campaign nicely, which alongside the gradual increase in difficulty, contributes to a pretty decent shelf life.

When it comes to presentation, Military Madness: Nectaris is left wanting. The levels are all very dull and repetitive, ditto for the music, and the whole thing feels very bare. The aforementioned simplicity of gameplay, whilst beneficial at first, eventually starts to become a drawback as you are left craving more advanced strategies, techniques and objectives, which never materialise. The number of different units is also too limited, meaning that many of the levels play out in an all too similar fashion.

The basics of a quality strategy game are all present, and there is some fun and a sense of accomplishment to be found in besting Xenos; but it’s just a shame that it didn’t receive the current generation overhaul it so desperately needed. It certainly serves its purpose as a nostalgia piece for those who enjoyed the original games, but for those new to the series it comes across as dated and somewhat plain. Military Madness: Nectaris is a solid but ultimately unspectacular title, one which feels a little out of place running on a current gen console.


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Written by Matt M

Matt has been a gamer ever since Father Christmas left him a Master System II in the early 90's. Santa was clearly a Sega fan, as a Mega Drive and Saturn would follow in later years. Matt has long since broken free from the shackles of console monotheism and enjoys playing a wide range of games, almost as much as he enjoys meticulously ordering them on his living room shelves.

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