Quarterlies 2006

I suppose it’s an odd list. One handheld game, but not for the platform you’d expect. A lot of PC and console stuff blending together, kiddie stuff, grown-up stuff, a Firaxis appearance (but not where you’d expect it), gore, horror, family-friendly fare, a game no one’s playing any more.

It’s been another great strange year.


You are redeemed my son, go and sin no more.

Nice to see Rise of Legends on your list. I also think it’s been a little neglected in the end of year wrap ups, and I can’t quite figure out why.


I would still play Rol once in awhile, if they had ever fixed the multiplayer . I agree about RailRoads! . I tried a multiplayer game and I almost fell asleep from boredom.

Tom, did you write a review for BFMEII? If so, can you link it? I’m trying to figure out which mode was best in single player before starting over with it again.

Agreed 100% on most disappointing game, Railroads. Surprised not to see Dawn of War (some version) in your top 10, but I realize it has to be limited to 10 games :).


I want Mark Asher’s Quarterlies list.

I agree with just about everything on this list. Especially Railroads.

I can’t speak for Tom, but the War of the Ring mode is forgetable. The campaigns are OK. As always, the real meat is in skirmish mode.

I just got the expansion yesterday and it supposedly makes the War of the Ring mode better. Maybe Tom can speak to this point?


Totally agree. Bully as first I was skeptic, but then read your reasoning, and I have to agree that it works.

Otherwise, glad there is a throwback to BFMEII.

So far, it seems NO ONE is taking your words on correcting your List…

Here it is:

  1. WOW
  2. WOW
  3. WOW
  4. WOW
  5. WOW

Most Disapointing:

Burning Crusade for not coming out.

Lorini, oddly enough, I actually didn’t review Battle for Middle Earth II. As for the Rise of the Witch-King expansion, it’s a bit weird. My review for it is in this month’s Games for Windows, but the bottom line is that I don’t really care for most of the new stuff.

The best bits are corrective, like the change to the War of the Ring mode, the custom heroes, and the way attack moves actually keep your units together.

But short of really making the War of the Ring mode worthwhile by buying the expansion, the best way to enjoy vanilla BFME2 single player is by just skirmishing. It actually keeps track of which maps you’ve beat on which difficulty levels with the colored stars in the map list. So if you’re into that sort of thing, it makes for a good way to chart your progression.


I played Rise of Legends with some guys at Shoot Club recently, and was vividly reminded how sad it is that this game didn’t get more recognition. What a great design that got shafted by half-assed reviews. Don’t get me started…

I don’t think it even got a fair shake from people who should know better. I was talking to some fairly well-known RTS developers for a story I’m doing and one of them was complaining about how all the sides in Rise of Legends played alike. I had to bite my tongue. :)

Anyway, I’m afraid that because it didn’t do well, Big Huge Games is going to be relegated to making Age of Empires III clones. I’m dreading an announcement for Rise of Nations: Rise of Nations II, which will be more like Rise of Nations 0.5. :(


I really, REALLY want that rumored expansion pack for Rise of Legends. :(

I had a wonderful time with BFME2 on 360, but it was almost exclusively limited to the campaign mode…which ended up feeling more about progressively expanding boundaries than the sort of tug-of-war shenanigans that a skirmish/multiplayer match can exhibit. Add in scripted limitations on unit trees and whatnot, and it left a lot of potential untapped.

Even on the easiest difficulty, the AI in skirmish mode however can frustrate with an earlygame efficiency I’ve not seen since my brief time on Battle.net all those years ago, a far cry from the tame programming given to the campaign. I’m always playing catch-up no matter how optimistic I may feel about my improving skill. I felt overwhelmed every match, as if I was fighting a relentless Blizzard junkie.

I mostly just suck I guess.

GAF mentioned Chibi-Robo and other GC games are on sale for $10 new at EB/GS stores this week only. I’ll have a copy soon.

I’m liking Bully so far, but I’m a bit dissapointed that each clique seemingly isn’t represented as a faction to which the gamer can freely befriend or guile into aggressiveness. I am at the mercy of the narrative, but it’s charming stuff.

My list:

  1. God Hand

Wait, so now reviews have a negative impact on sales? This after so much arguing about how reviews have no impact on sales? Damn.

Without getting too Gamrankings on your ass, only two major sites gave it a rating that was lower than its average (82%), and in those cases barely so (Gamespot’s 7.6 and GameSpy’s 3.5/5). The vast majority of print and web reviewers gave it an extremely positive review.

If I had to guess why it wasn’t a success, I’d point to a “weird” setting instead of a familiar one.

I think by “half assed” Tom wasn’t referring to the scores so much as those reviews that spent so much time explaining the three sides that they underplayed how everything fit together. So they ended up playing up the “weirdness” angle, even if in a positive light.


Rise of Legends also suffered from rather poor demos.

I’m not sure how much it effected the general word of mouth but a good majority of those working oin Rise of Legends hated the game.