Old 01-11-2005, 11:17 AM   #1
Mountain Man

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Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
This game was released several weeks ago, but I've not seen much buzz about it on these forums save for a brief thread discussing the official site. Well, I picked it up yesterday, and let me tell you, this is a terrific game!

I understand this is a remake of the original Pirates! released some 20 years ago, but since I never played the original I really can't comment on its faithfulness to its predecessor. However, I can say, after several hours of play, that this latest version contains that old school fun and addictiveness that is in short supply these days.

Graphically, the game is very good. There is so much detail and character in the artwork and animation that I could spend a whole post talking about nothing but the graphics (for instance, when a ship's canons are loaded and ready to fire, you can see the little gun ports open!). The sound is similiarly good, with lively pirate-y music and authentic sound effects. But presentation is only part of the puzzle.

The gameplay is outstanding. Pirates! is actually several mini-games rolled into into a single cohesive experience. Most of the game is spent in the ocean view, sailing your ship about and looking for other ships to raid. Engaging in battle takes you to the battle view where you must pummel your enemy with canon fire while moving yourself out of the way of his canons. If you board an enemy vessel during the course of battle you are taken to the sword fighting game where you clash sabers with the enemy captain. When you attack a city you move onto the land and play what is essentially a mini turn-based tactical game. If you forego land battle, you may have the option to sneak into the city instead, which takes you to the sneaking game. If you impress a governor's daughter, she may invite you to the ball where you get to play a dancing game (yes, a dancing game!). Each of the mini-games is fun and satisfying on its own, but all of them together makes Pirates! greater than the sum of its part (and I've not even touched on the questing and political intrigue!).

The game is controlled primarily with the keypad. An onscreen representation of the keypad lets you know what actions are available depending on the context. This makes Pirates! very accessible and easy to learn, although you'll still want to take time to read the extensive manual. At over 140 pages(!), there's a lot of information you'll probably want to know).

Pirates! certainly has Sid Meier's legendary "just one more turn" touch. I installed the game last night around 9:30 and finally managed to pull myself away at 1 a.m.! It's not the deepest game in the world, but it's certainly one of the most fun I've played recently. We're talking old school gameplay at its addictive best.

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Old 01-11-2005, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
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Comments?
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Old 01-11-2005, 12:57 PM   #3
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
My housemate has it..... i still need to get around to playing it. Apparently though, from what i've read in reviews, the game stays mostly true to the original vision Sid had all those years ago. I used to play the first pirates (well the GOLD edition anyway) so i'll get around to playing this one eventually.
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Old 01-11-2005, 04:52 PM   #4
Vexed
Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
It's a fun game but after a while it gets repetitive.

The fighting is easy as hell if you have a fast weapon. Just keep attacking and you'll have anyone down in a matter of seconds.
Why should you even bother to blow the other ship up? If you blow it up completely you don't get any money or goods.. if you destroy it halfway you can't sell it for a lot of money.

The game has some really illogical stuff and silly stuff.

After a while the game just becomes flat, shallow and repeitive.

It woulda been cool if there was more detail to the game, but I guess that's just me.
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Old 01-11-2005, 06:06 PM   #5
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
Yeah, I can see how it could get repetitive, but it is enjoyable enough to play that I don't think this will bother me. It looks like it could be one of those simple games I'll keep coming back to for years, like Diablo 2.
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Old 01-11-2005, 06:32 PM   #6
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
yeah im definitly getting this game when i can....
oh yeah, YYYAAAAAAAARRRRGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:23 PM   #7
Claws
Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
I never played the original, but this one wasn't that great, it gets very boring very quickly.
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:28 PM   #8
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
Started and finished it the same night a couple of weeks ago.

Fun but gets repetitive really fast. I don' t think I would have continued playing if I didn' t finish it in one shot (took me 12 straight hours)

Oh, and sailing against the wind is a real pain.
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Old 01-12-2005, 08:48 AM   #9
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
You do realize that it defaults to the easiest difficulty the first time you play? Perhaps replaying it at on a harder difficulty will be more satisfying.

At any rate, this isn't the kind of game you play to "beat". As the FiringSquad.com review said, you have to "game the game", or as I say, play the game to play it, not to beat it. It's completely non-linear and open-ended, so you can really play it however you want at whatever pace you want. I can see this, along with the game's inherent randomness, offering a lot of replay value. Playing it a single time on the easiest level and shelving it is kind of missing the point.
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Old 01-12-2005, 05:02 PM   #10
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
Quote:
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You do realize that it defaults to the easiest difficulty the first time you play? Perhaps replaying it at on a harder difficulty will be more satisfying.

At any rate, this isn't the kind of game you play to "beat". As the FiringSquad.com review said, you have to "game the game", or as I say, play the game to play it, not to beat it. It's completely non-linear and open-ended, so you can really play it however you want at whatever pace you want. I can see this, along with the game's inherent randomness, offering a lot of replay value. Playing it a single time on the easiest level and shelving it is kind of missing the point.
No, you are wrong. You can set the Difficulty, Skill and Start Date before you begin the game. But the User Interface is so poorly designed that most people miss these options. After typing in your name, press "Enter" instead of clicking on continue. You'll see.

And for your information I played and finshed the game in difficulty Swashbuckler (hardest) from start to finish.

And there is no replay value whatsoever to this game unless you don't mind doing the same stuff over and over again but at a different Date (a few or less cities/ships and that's about it...).

Basically you can:
- Fencing Duel.
- Sea Battle.
- Search for Treasure/Family/Enemies/Fiancée/Lost Cities.
- Raid Cities.
- Do some import/export (snooooooooooore!)
- Sneaking in/out City
- Dance.

Yes, that's quite a variety of gameplay but they all get repetitive and old real fast. Especially the searches. And Fencing is fun when you're not experienced at it yet but once you've mastered the controls, it becomes too easy (no matter the difficulty) and repetetive.... same thing for Dancing... and the Sea Battles... not to mention the Raids... and sneaking. But I didn't get to sneak a lot because I never went in prison. I had to purposly get there so I could give it a try... but yeah, that gets old fast too.

But it does a good job in faking non-linearity, because that's what it really is. It's linear in cloaked mode.

So yeah, the game is fun but the fun doesn't last. And for your information I did not play this game to finish it. I rarely play a game for several straight hours. If I played and finished Pirates in 12 straight hours it's because I was enjoying myself and I wanted to continue. But after the first 8 or 9 hours I started playing to finish it because there was nothing new anymore and it kept getting repetitive. And I knew that if I didn't finish now I probably wouldn't play anymore. And I aslo wanted to be the number one pirate and see if I could become Governor... guess Mayor is close enough

Oh and one of my favourite things in the game was challenging a Governor's daughter's Fiancé, killing him, accepting the Governor's daughter's gifts as a reward and never coming back to see her ever again

So in conclusion, if you want a good pirate game, stick to Monkey Island I & II

And I'm pretty sure that naming my pirate "Guybrush" made the game better and cooler than what it actually is.
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Old 01-12-2005, 06:14 PM   #11
Vexed
Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
The npc "voices" started to annoy me after a while to because they're just spouting random crap. It's so horrible. This one guy even breathes the word "teeeessssttt" into the mic at the recording studio, I can totally see it.

It's a fun game untill you start to notice it's gameplay flaws.
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Old 01-12-2005, 07:05 PM   #12
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
Quote:
Vexed said:
It's a fun game untill you start to notice it's gameplay flaws.
I am astonished at how you've managed to sum up in one single sentence all that I have said and try to explain.
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Old 01-12-2005, 11:13 PM   #13
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
Like with any game, if you focus on the flaws it ceases to be fun. However, flaws are only a serious problem when they genuinely overshadow the gameplay, and I do not feel this is the case here.
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Old 01-13-2005, 07:19 AM   #14
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
But these are flaws in the gameplay itself. One doesn't need to focus on them to be affected. But like I said, I still had a few hours of fun with it.
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Old 01-13-2005, 12:58 PM   #15
Vexed
Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
Break the circle guys
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Old 01-27-2005, 02:03 PM   #16
AndOne
Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
Just bought this and it is great. I love the chasing of ships. I love the treasure hunting. I love trying to dance and messing up...a lot. I dunno i can't get tired of this game I bought it last night and played until 230am. And i still don't think i've hit any important part of the game. That was just treasure hunting and taking out other ships.

Today i just beat the pirate Roberts, and got the first clue to my sisters whereabouts. the game is good and i do plan on playing it for quite some time.
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Old 01-27-2005, 09:33 PM   #17
Mountain Man

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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
Yeah, I played for a few hours last night and loved it. It's one of those games that you can play for 10 mintues or 2 hours, you can play it every day or once a week. No matter how you play it, it's just good ol' fashioned old-school fun.
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Old 12-03-2005, 01:27 PM   #18
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
It's been almost a year, but I've finally gotten a copy of this. Whenever I saw a copy somewhere, I had no money to buy it, then when I had monay I couldn't find the bloody thing. Found it yesterday, fun game. Really relaxing, doens't take much thoguht and it's just simple to play.
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Old 12-04-2005, 01:13 PM   #19
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
I love the fact tha tI can just put this game on for 30 minutes and have great fun. I just spent ages searching for some buried treasure, I like how you actually have to use landmarks to navigate the land, rather than having a radar style map.
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Old 12-04-2005, 01:17 PM   #20
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
I like that you can basically make it up as you go along. There's no pressing goals to complete other than whatever strikes your fancy. It's not a game I play a lot, but I always enjoy it when I do.
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Old 12-04-2005, 01:23 PM   #21
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
Yeah, I was just thinking that. It's not a game that you would play for days on end. It's a game that's great to have installed so you can play it for an hour or 2 should you want to.
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Old 12-04-2005, 07:56 PM   #22
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Re: Sid Meier\'s Pirates!
I agree that there should be more light-spirited games like this. It's why I enjoy Ragdoll Kung Fu and Gish so much.
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