Military Madness Nectaris: Wii review

Our British readers will be delighted to hear that this game allows you to kill Kilroy. Before you rush out to download this promising sounding game however, we must shatter your dreams and tell you that Kilroy is merely the name of an infantry unit, which can also be on your side. Mind you, another is called Ramsey; so we suppose if you squint a bit and use your imagination, you can show these charmless TV celebs what you really think of them.

The Military Madness games are turn – based strategies and the most recent, Nectaris, has finally made the leap from the HD consoles to the Wii. If you’re not familiar with the genre then, well, it’s basically chess with various spins on the rules and more limited movement. Chess with orcs and/or swords and/or magic and/or guns and/or tanks and/or robots, but chess nonetheless. The biggest difference (despite what die – hard strategy fans may tell you) is that one unit (e.g. piece) can rarely defeat another in just one move.

Wipe butter all over your screen and hey presto: a screenshot of the WiiWare version.

If you’re a strategy veteran then you’ll be immediately familiar with the mechanics of Nectaris, and you’ll slide into it with as much ease as James Bond sliding into a woman’s, er, confidence. If you’re a newcomer to the genre however, you’ll find it to be immediately frustrating and unfriendly. There is no tutorial of any kind whatsoever. Progress will be slow as trial and error gradually, painfully, shows you what to do and how to do it. Percentages and numbers are displayed with no explanation, and new units are introduced with no hint as to what they can and can not do. There are over a dozen pages in the ‘detailed instructions’ on the Wii Shopping Channel, but they’re not quite as clear as they should be – and besides, don’t quite cover everything.

Whether you get there by trial and error or previous experience, there is an undeniable satisfaction in taking full advantage of the strategy element and winning a stage by careful planning and observation. Surround an infantry unit with tanks and pummel it into submission; sneak your own infantry into the enemy base, winning the stage instantly; move two or three different unit types together to make a formidable whole; and so on. The problem however is that this satisfaction is the bare bones of all strategy titles, and this doesn’t add much in the way of playable meat. There’s the obligatory online mode, but we were never able to find anybody to play with. A quick look at the online leaderboard revealed why. The top player had played and won just six games; and there were only twenty nine people on said leaderboard. Perhaps only the top 29 players are shown for some bizarre reason, but still…

Only slightly more exciting than it looks.

Up to four people can play offline if you have nothing better to do – but you will. Why make three of your friends play this bland and unambitious strategy when you could be playing Mario Kart? Or Wii Sports? Or doing the ironing?

This port reeks of laziness. Insultingly poor graphics, no attempt to use the Wii remote’s pointer, a laughable attempt at story, and basically nothing you haven’t seen done elsewhere much better. The final kick in the teeth is the 1000 points price point. You’re better off spending the extra 200 points for Ogre Battle 64.


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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

One comment

  1. Dopadil /

    Dood stop reviewing games which require more then 3 braincells to grasp, it simply is not your cup of tea……

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