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Author Topic: BFME II Discussion  (Read 1796 times)
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corruptrelic
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« on: July 10, 2006, 07:12:03 PM »

Since there's no Battle for Middle Earth II [Xbox 360] discussion..

Has anyone picked it up yet? I'm a bit put off by the $60 price tag until I know exactly what's in store for the singleplayer skirmish (as I dont have Xbox Live Gold yet) - no reviews actually go into anything other than a skirmish is included.
Is it limited to one computer opponent? Or 3?
And the host of multiplayer games (the hero battle in particular) no mention if they're available to singleplayer skirmish as either..

I'll be getting Live before the end of the year (getting settled in from a new move right now) but until then, it's pretty much singleplayer..

Any impressions yet?
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kathode
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2006, 11:47:39 AM »

Here's my post from that "other" board smile

Quote
I've played through both tutorials and several missions on the good campaign. In short, I really like it a lot. Negatives first - The manual criticism above is definitely true. I vainly looked and looked for the way to set "bookmarks" (basically grouping your troops like you would with Ctrl+number on PC) but it's simply not in the manual. I finally found where it's referenced but all it says is "Play the advanced tutorial to learn this."

The other negative is that the game can definitely bog down performance-wise at pretty much any given point depending on what's on screen. Sometimes it feels fairly random. It's not quite as awful as my first impressions led me to believe but you do notice it.

The positives: The interface definitely works. It's really a totally new gaming type for consoles, at least in that it really hasn't been done well since the days of Herzog Zwei unless there's something obscure out there that I don't know about. Either way, expect it to be fairly unintuitive at first and to have the manual reference page open in front of you for the first hour or so. The basics are that you zoom around the map at pretty high speed with the left stick, and rotate and zoom with the right. Unit selection is done through a combination of the A button and holding another button like the triggers or the bumpers. Hold the left trigger and hit A and you'll select everything on screen. Hold and hit A twice and you select all your available combat units on the map.

The interface is definitely geared toward the "mass army and charge" style of play, which is how I like it so it works well. There are deeper controls available though, like setting up bookmarks for particular groups of units. You can also do things like hold the right bumper and select units to grab all of that unit type on the screen.

Special powers are available to you on a global basis and through individual units, and you access that by holding the right trigger to expand the Palantir menu. You then can quickly navigate through levels of icon menus with the dpad and get to what you want. It gets a bit difficult in large battles to micromanage the individual abilities of your heroes as the battle rages and you're trying to fly through the menus. Thankfully each hero can be set to automatically use their special abilities in battle which helps tremendously.

The game is very pretty for an RTS with tons of special effects like fog clouds and particle effects. Buildings can be upgraded with fortifications and the results are usually represented visually, so you'll see your fortress roll out banners, trick out the walls with trebuchets, or build up special fortifications like stationary Ents or flood walls that can be used against assaults. The wall system is pretty cool too. You can build a hub off your fortress. Then you just select the hub, hold the right trigger, and a wall "stretches" between your cursor and the hub, so you can fortify your town. You can then select an individual section of the wall and trick it out with defenses like catapults, or turn it into a gate that your units can get through.

So overall, pretty good so far. Be sure to get Tom Bombadil. He's awesome. And he sings.


In playing a bunch more the only other thing that has come up is that sometimes it takes FOREVER to save and load.  For some reason it's gotta search for save games each time you bring up the menu, and the searching will sometimes randomly take like two full minutes or more.  A few times I thought my Xbox locked up, and a couple others at work say the same thing.  When you save in the middle of a game, it searches when you bring up the menu, then you save, then inexplicably it searches again.  I have no idea how they passed cert with something like that in the game.
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Dreamshadow
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2006, 05:29:27 PM »

Is this the same as the PC version (maybe with some control tweaks to make it playable on the 360)?
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kathode
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2006, 08:03:05 PM »

As far as I know the content is the same except I think there are a couple extra maps for multiplayer that you got if you preordered.  Obviously the control is completely different than the PC in every way.
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pingwrx
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2006, 11:57:55 PM »

Quote from: "kathode"
Here's my post from that "other" board smile

Quote
I've played through both tutorials and several missions on the good campaign. In short, I really like it a lot. Negatives first - The manual criticism above is definitely true. I vainly looked and looked for the way to set "bookmarks" (basically grouping your troops like you would with Ctrl+number on PC) but it's simply not in the manual. I finally found where it's referenced but all it says is "Play the advanced tutorial to learn this."

The other negative is that the game can definitely bog down performance-wise at pretty much any given point depending on what's on screen. Sometimes it feels fairly random. It's not quite as awful as my first impressions led me to believe but you do notice it.

The positives: The interface definitely works. It's really a totally new gaming type for consoles, at least in that it really hasn't been done well since the days of Herzog Zwei unless there's something obscure out there that I don't know about. Either way, expect it to be fairly unintuitive at first and to have the manual reference page open in front of you for the first hour or so. The basics are that you zoom around the map at pretty high speed with the left stick, and rotate and zoom with the right. Unit selection is done through a combination of the A button and holding another button like the triggers or the bumpers. Hold the left trigger and hit A and you'll select everything on screen. Hold and hit A twice and you select all your available combat units on the map.

The interface is definitely geared toward the "mass army and charge" style of play, which is how I like it so it works well. There are deeper controls available though, like setting up bookmarks for particular groups of units. You can also do things like hold the right bumper and select units to grab all of that unit type on the screen.

Special powers are available to you on a global basis and through individual units, and you access that by holding the right trigger to expand the Palantir menu. You then can quickly navigate through levels of icon menus with the dpad and get to what you want. It gets a bit difficult in large battles to micromanage the individual abilities of your heroes as the battle rages and you're trying to fly through the menus. Thankfully each hero can be set to automatically use their special abilities in battle which helps tremendously.

The game is very pretty for an RTS with tons of special effects like fog clouds and particle effects. Buildings can be upgraded with fortifications and the results are usually represented visually, so you'll see your fortress roll out banners, trick out the walls with trebuchets, or build up special fortifications like stationary Ents or flood walls that can be used against assaults. The wall system is pretty cool too. You can build a hub off your fortress. Then you just select the hub, hold the right trigger, and a wall "stretches" between your cursor and the hub, so you can fortify your town. You can then select an individual section of the wall and trick it out with defenses like catapults, or turn it into a gate that your units can get through.

So overall, pretty good so far. Be sure to get Tom Bombadil. He's awesome. And he sings.


In playing a bunch more the only other thing that has come up is that sometimes it takes FOREVER to save and load.  For some reason it's gotta search for save games each time you bring up the menu, and the searching will sometimes randomly take like two full minutes or more.  A few times I thought my Xbox locked up, and a couple others at work say the same thing.  When you save in the middle of a game, it searches when you bring up the menu, then you save, then inexplicably it searches again.  I have no idea how they passed cert with something like that in the game.


Thats strange my saved games load pretty quickly.
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denoginizer
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2006, 01:28:15 AM »

Quote from: "pingwrx"


Thats strange my saved games load pretty quickly.


How many save games do you have? It seems to get worse the more you get.  

I agree with all of Kathode's impressions.  I am impressed with the way they have adapted the game to a console interface.  I am eventually going to play some online matches once I get more comfortable.    That should be ugly.  :oops:
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pingwrx
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2006, 02:47:11 AM »

Quote from: "denoginizer"
Quote from: "pingwrx"


Thats strange my saved games load pretty quickly.


How many save games do you have? It seems to get worse the more you get.  

I agree with all of Kathode's impressions.  I am impressed with the way they have adapted the game to a console interface.  I am eventually going to play some online matches once I get more comfortable.    That should be ugly.  :oops:


You might be right I only have 1 save.
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kathode
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2006, 02:13:06 PM »

There's a limit to the number of save games you have.  I have the max.  It's not a large number - something like 10.  It is just completely mystifying to me why they have to search for save games longer than a few seconds in the first place, much less search once and then search again after you save.  Maybe they have a good reason, but on the surface that pretty much seems to be a very poorly designed system even if you ignore the lengthy pauses.
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Andrew Mallon
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2006, 06:36:02 PM »

According to Gamespot, 360 demo should be up on marketplace some time today. A video tutorial for the demo is already up.
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Andrew Mallon
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2006, 11:09:03 PM »

Demo's up on Marketplace now.
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WinoMcCougarstein
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2006, 11:28:19 PM »

hopefully this goes a little faster than my NCAA download yesterday.
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Doopri
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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2006, 04:15:19 AM »

its a decent demo - good tutorial that lets you play as humans and build some walls and such (neat) and the first single player mission (someone mentioned it before - you play the bad guys and rescue giants).  plus a multiplayer mission that lets you jump online (seems like 1v1)

ive been on the fence for about a week with this one hows it hold up???
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2006, 10:40:31 AM »

Still haven't gotten yet since without Xbox Live, I'm still curious what exactly is in store for the singleplayer skirmish.

The PC version was up to 8 players, while the 360 version is only 4 players.. that's the only (yet pretty big IMO) difference I can see from the two. They said in an interview the 360 had plenty of power for the game, so why did they cut out half of the max players??!
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denoginizer
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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2006, 06:06:33 PM »

I've never played the PC version.  But the skirmish maps in the 360 version do not seem big enough for 8 player battles.
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metallicorphan
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« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2006, 01:29:54 PM »

i downloaded the demo...played the tutuorial and the mission on offer,which was mouth of saurons gang against the elves

quite suprised,as i quite enjoyed it...may pick it up

but xbox live for me isnt needed for this game,that doesnt interest me at all
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Pyperkub
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« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2006, 10:04:16 PM »

Quote from: "metallicorphan"
i downloaded the demo...played the tutuorial and the mission on offer,which was mouth of saurons gang against the elves

quite suprised,as i quite enjoyed it...may pick it up

but xbox live for me isnt needed for this game,that doesnt interest me at all


I think CR is saying that he can't check out the demo as no xbox live (at all, not Gold)
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« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2006, 01:49:47 AM »

THe demo reminded me that I don't like RTS games.  I like them in theory, but they just don't grab me and I have wasted so much money on these games that I give up on after a few levels.  THe sad part is I still almost broke down and purchased it just because it was Middle Earth.  Ah, the power of licensing.
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2006, 10:06:19 AM »

Picked it up a couple days ago and so far so good, even without live.

The singleplayer mode has the good and evil campaigns and a skirmish mode for you and up to 3 computer players. (You can set their race, difficulty, and team.)

Controls are excellent. I think they finally found a decent wayt to control a RTS on a console.

Wondering though, is it just me or does the game lag in skirmish? If I start at my base and scroll down to my ally's base, while scrolling down there it stops and pauses for a second, then continues.
Not that big of a deal, although I'm suprised that there'd be any lag at all.

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