4cr Plays – Swords and Soldiers HD
After being ported to almost every system under the sun, Ronimo’s Wiiware classic has found its way to the Wii U thanks to the porting work of Two Tribes. But the port do anything interesting on Nintendo’s latest console?
For those who have never played or read about the game, Swords and Soldiers is a 2D Realtime Strategy game (RTS) that keeps things simple without asking players to keep tabs on different locations and enemy fronts. Enemies will always attack from the right, and your troops will always spawn from the left. The game introduces new troops and skills as you go and gives you a level or two to get used to things before bumping up the difficulty by throwing new enemies and obstacles in your path.
Swords and Soldiers HD can be controlled with either the original control scheme from the Wiiware release, or by using the Wii U GamePad’s touch screen to tap on upgrades and troops you wish to select. Having played the original on Wiiware, I have to say that the Wii U GamePad’s touch-based controls felt more natural and faster for the action-filled parts of the game, but your mileage may vary, so it’s great that both options are available.
The game’s content carries over from Wii to Wii U in full, with all 3 single player campaigns available one after the other. All three share the same basic defeat-the-enemy /collect- the-gold/cast-the-spells mechanic driving the player to collect resources to succeed.
The first campaign has you controlling the mighty Vikings who are searching for a way to create the best BBQ sauce in the world, and they will stop at nothing to reach their goal. To achieve this, the Vikings have berserkers, axe throwers, catapults, a healing spell and even the help of Thor himself to rain lighting on their foes. On top of this, they can build towers from which the axe throwers can rain down the hurt on the opposing army.
The second campaign features the Aztecs defending their “Holy Pepper” from the evil clutches of the Vikings. In order to defend and defeat their foes, the Aztecs have powerful fighters, weak-but-deadly dart blowers, a necromancer that can raise the corpses of those who have died, and a poison spell. The Aztecs can also erect a mighty totem that will shoot a deadly laser-beams at anyone dumb enough to get close. The totem’s damage also scales up when there is a necromancer nearby, making it a formidable tool.
The third and final single player campaign brings in the Chinese army, which has a ninja monkey, a warrior that can deflect some of the long range attacks sent his way, an old man that can levitate enemies and bring them crashing down into the ground for an instakill, terracotta warriors, and a volley of fire arrows as spells. Instead of going with a structure that can help them damage their enemies, the Chinese army also has a statue that increases the amount of mana that is generated per second.
As you play the main campaign, you unlock bonus game modes that increase the content at hand. The bonus games range from using a giant boulder to defeat your enemies, helping a single berserker to defeat an entire army, and an endless mode that tests how long you can survive an army that just won’t quit. There is also a multiplayer mode where one player uses the Wii U GamePad and the second player uses the TV and a Wiimote Plus for some hectic local fun.
The one thing going against this release is that it’s missing the Super Saucy Sausage Fest extra DLC content available in some of the other versions of the game, and this is a huge loss since it would have increased the game’s length by an additional 10 levels. Though word is that if sales of the game are good enough Two Tribes will work on porting the content to Wii U. The game is only $3, and if you skipped the previous versions of the game you’re definitely getting more than $3 worth of fun.
Swords and Soldiers HD is a solid port of the Wiiware classic. It updates the graphics, adds a new control scheme, and implements Off-TV gaming at an affordable price. Despite completing the game many years ago I found myself glued to the TV playing the re-release. As an added bonus, everything you learn while playing will help you once Swords and Soldiers II (a Wii U exclusive!) releases later in the year.
If you’d like to win a Wii U copy of Swords and Soldiers HD follow @4colorrebelion and @TwoTribesGames and leave a comment below with your Twitter handle! This is the US version of the game, so keep than in mind when entering.