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PSN Review – Military Madness: Nectaris

November 20, 2009 Written by Joseph Peterson

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The Military Madness series began way back in 1989, and came to America in 1990.  The first title in the series, which was on the TurboGrafx-16, won the 1990 Best Military Strategy Game Award.  Now the newest iteration in the series, developed by Backbone Entertainment, is available on the PlayStation Network.

The game is set in the future, during the 22nd Century.  You control the blue Union forces on lunar prison colonies as they work the prisoners for uranium-235 deposits scattered around the moon’s surface.  Your battle will put you up against the Xenon forces in green, who are attempting to destroy all life on Earth.  Overall, it is a typical strategy-based title, but it is a good one.

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During gameplay, you are given a set amount of moves to make with each unit, during which you can attack or defend.  Your opponent then gets a turn, and this continues until there is a victor at the end.  During movement, you simply choose the unit you would like to move and a grid comes up to show the available moves.  The vehicles can, of course, move farther than the soldier units because they can cover more ground, but each unit has its own advantages.

There are a lot of factors to consider when attacking an opponent, including your terrain advantage.  For example, if you are up on a hill and your enemy is down below, you have an advantage over them.  The number of troops in a unit also factors into how much damage can be contributed to an enemy. A total of 8 people/vehicles can be within one unit. So if some have been destroyed, then that would result in less maximum damage that can be dealt.  There are also factories in the game so that you can heal your units as well as store and retrieve them for later use in a round.

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Graphically the title has been revamped to a 3D version of the first title. It looks phenomenal for a turn-based PSN title.  What’s nice is that rather than forcing a far off perspecctive on players like many other strategy games, the right analog stick can be used to zoom in or out.

There are sixteen total missions within the Normal Campaign and 16 within the Advanced Campaign as well. The Advanced Campaign is significantly more difficult and a completely different experience in it’s own right.

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The multiplayer portion of the title features both online and local play.  This is where the title shines.  To go one-on-one against someone is a blast.  You can choose to play either a Scoreboard Match (ranked) or a Friendly Match (unranked) when in the multiplayer online mode.

Overall, the title is a great addition to any library.  It does nothing to revitalize the strategy genre, but it sure doesn’t do anything wrong, either.  It is a great title that all strategy fans should definitely check out, and those curious about the genre should give it a go as well.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Classic strategy gameplay

Online is quite fun

Doesn’t do anything new, but does things well

7 out of 10