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Port Royale 3 Mini-Review
on October 11, 2012
Jim here, with my short & sweet review just in time for the official launch of the boxed edition next week.
Sadly, I missed out on playing the previous versions of Port Royale. Port Royale 3 is my introduction into the series, and from the start until now, my experience has been rather pleasant, indeed.
To me, PR3 is Railroad Tycoon meets Age of Sail, both of which are legendary and beloved gaming series' to me. There's simply a lot I love about this game. I love the acts of trading goods between ports, stocking up my ships with goods at one port, then selling them all at another, and watching my profits rise higher and higher. I love outfitting ships for war, shanghai-ing sailors into servitude, arming them with swords and muskets, and hoping they don't mutiny. I love the aptly-paced real-time combat, outsmarting the AI with my naval combat maneuvers, and slowly and expertly filling their ships with holes and lead until they sink in the drink. Surprisingly, I also find myself enjoying the main campaign's storyline, with the adventure, love, and political intrigue.
Yes, of course, it's not a perfect game. There are more than a few things I find bothersome with PR3, but thankfully none of them are things that break the game for me, or are causing me to dislike and quit playing. The buy/sell slider is one of my most irksome griefs, as it's a nuisance to use. For what it's designed to do, it does work, but it requires much more effort than is warranted, in my opinion.
Another string of errors I've noticed come in the way of mismatched verbal and written dialogues. For example, the character speaking will say `ship', but the on screen text will have it written as `vessel'; spoken `city' is written as `town'; `commodity' is written as `good'. Again, not something that breaks the game, but still a noticeable error, and something a quality editor should have caught and fixed by now.
Looking at the official blog and forum posts, it's clear that a multitude of fixes have already been instituted, with many more in the works. As long as that continues, it works for me. In it's current form, PR3 is absolutely playable, and worthy of the 4 stars I gave it. Its solid economics engine, engaging combat, clear and colorful graphics, and interesting storyline will keep me coming back to play until the finish.