Warlords Review

Warlords (the evolved version) feels like a minigame in the almost universally loathed Fuzion Frenzy. Given it costs 400 Microsoft points, this may actually work to its advantage. Some minigames in Microsoft’s “SUPER XTREME” Mario Party rip-off doused in metallic tones warrant more than half a play.

The gameplay is simple. Protect the corner monarch from getting hit by ricocheting the incoming projectiles at opponents who are doing the same. For added control, grab and charge a projectile and toss it at a foe. The single player game suffers from inconsistent A.I. which will gang up on you one second and put on its little red helmet the next. The latter of which almost never happens on the highest difficulty level; especially the game’s nigh-unplayable Throttle Monkey mode which requires faster reflexes than a basement-dwelling Unreal Tournament champion on the cusp of overdosing on Jolt cola. With four people, the diverse opposition naturally continues, but because you’re playing with/against real people it feels far less…cheap. With a full house and no A.I.-controlled bots the four-cornered double-sided breakout gameplay is at its best; especially when alliances are formed quicker than you can say Richard Hatch.

The backgrounds never change in color or theme. Nor do the barriers or your “monarch.” The only thing carrying a dynamic color scheme are the projectiles of wall-breaking death, carrying the colors of their previous masters. Creativity, you are thine cost-effective enemy, friend of better-pacing and champion of replayability; oh how you’re needed here.

The walls guarding the monarchs remain the only element distinguishing from one level to the next. Some levels feature walls with varying levels of projectile resistance, some appear to be arranged in patterns, and some are nigh impenetrable. Surprisingly, level selection is absent in all modes of play, leaving you and three friends at the mercy of the random will of the game.

With four people, Warlords is absolutely enjoyable in both the classic and evolved versions, albeit for a very brief time. Unsurprisingly, the single player is limited and frustrating since this arcade (and apparent) classic’s gameplay centers on multiplayer gameplay. The lack of options in gameplay, and even aesthetics, provide an experience that all-too-quickly invokes a sense of title completion; experiencing everything a title has to offer.


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Author: Kyle Stallock View all posts by

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