Two weeks before the release of Elemental I bought the ultimate edition of Galactic Civilizations 2. I had played it a couple of years ago, but decided that with all of my anticipation for Elemental, I'd buy the game to sate me. Good lord, it wasn't the game I had played previously. In fact, it was awesomer. It was a well polished product, something well worth the wait for, and something that I wish I had experienced during the entire development process.
What, pray tell, was so polished about it? First and foremost, probably my favorite game of all time is Master of Magic. NOT because MoM is the best game I've ever played, but rather because it executed -- after more patches than I wish to recount... I'm old enough and technically savvy enough to remember updating the game with each and every patch in the 90s, and yes, I do remember just how much v1 sucked and crashed and died in EVERY tactical combat I entered... that is not an exaggeration oh young gamers -- on it's original promise: to be an excellent strategy game.
Strategy: it's the difference between war and battles; successful stock and real estate investors and losers; people who can stay married for 50 years and people who need to be married 50 times in as many years.
Strategy: it's something that is sorely lacking in most games I play.
Galactic Civilizations II, ultimate edition delivered me a space opera game that delivered on my hope, my dream for true strategy. I love cranking up the AI and duking it out with them. GalCiv II made me wish that so called RTS makers would finally stop lying by omission that their games have hardly any strategy but are rather not-so-well disguised twitch based, top down, tactical games.
For years I've been lacking the MoM equivalent of a GREAT fantasy strategy game. Of the games I've played, Age of Wonders I and II were close, but they were not grand enough. Sure, there were campaigns, heck the game was fun enough I even broke out the scenario editor and made a single player scenario for it, but there was always something lacking in the AoW universe.
MoM, one night a long time ago, I calculated has eaten -- I still play every now and then -- about 3-5 months of my life. I'm 34 years old. 5 full 24 hour periods of daytime and nighttime is a full 1% of my life.
Now back to Elemental: Along with GalCiv II, it's one of the very few games in years that I've purchased. I even purchased it pre-release.
I lost a couple of nights sleep with the pre-release.
I have Windows Vista 64-Bit with an ATI Radeon card. I have issues with the game (note: when I can truly track them down, I'll send them to you, I've submitted one odd bug.)
I was going to wait until the 1.1 update, but I decided to download the 1.08+last friday updates patch, and gave it a whirl again last night.
I've read a lot of posts, and yes, I ran into an "out of memory" error.
But take it from a guy who remembers MoM v1, where every tactical battle required a save, long before v1.31 was even a remote possibility for that damn game.
There's something about Elemental. It's not just nostalgic for me, even with all its warts, there's something special about it.
I am proud to own this game, and proud to have spent my hard earned money on it. I look forward to the magic you guys have when it comes to making video games. However you ended up with the GalCiv II Ultimate Edition, I look forward to the equivalent version of it that you will pull out of your hats for Elemental.
Thanks for making my life more fun. Thanks for finally making a game that might allow me to, once and for all, delete DosBox from my computer and zip up my old copy of MoM on my backup drive forever.