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on September 19, 2016
They worked on improving Rome TW, and it shows. The economy's been tweaked so you don't pile up massive amounts of useless money-- you have to budget the whole time. Your troops aren't insanely powerful (but you can still "win" the game within about two dozen moves, and have a few hundred left to go). There's a lot of factions, with their own distinctive paths to safety, then world-dominance. The AI can do amphibious assaults, unlike Rome; Portugal tries to put troops in Britain...

Which brings us to the problems. If you're playing as England, you haven't even talked to Portugal. Their neighbors are the Moors-- why aren't they fighting them? Or you have an alliance, sealed with marriage. The little note says your relations are "very good". They're weaker than you are. Two turns later, they're attacking you with no provocation or warning.

The diplomatic aspect is pretty non-existent. Aside from developing a good relation with the Pope, and getting people off your back by allying with their friends, diplomacy is useless. You can't tell anyone to get out of your territory-- there's no option for it. And it's not predictable enough for strategic planning. You just have to assume anyone on the board can attack you at any time-- even if you're stronger, or allied with them, or you haven't even made contact yet. (You might be able to bribe them, or more likely get an annoyingly self-righteous refusal. Even if you can crush them. "How DARE you offer us money?!" Some little four-unit stack.)

Second, the tracking on the big map is too wild. It veers uncontrollably. You can damp it down with a mousepad but even reading the info screens makes the map scoot around, and trying to fix it gives you this ping-pong effect, which gets really tiresome. It would be nice if the map would hold still.

In short, it's an improvement on the already-great Rome, but with a couple things that get frustrating.
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on September 13, 2011
When I found Medieval II: Total War, I was looking for a game a lot like the old Westwood games like Red Alert 2 or a game like Stronghold 2. This game is much better. Overall, a very worthwhile purchase for any war strategy/economy management game lover!

PROS

Excellent graphics. I went from Stronghold 2 to this game and I was blown away by how each soldier has random bits of armor. I can't play Stronghold after this game. The soldiers aren't blocky clones of each other. They also make slashes and dodges at enemy soldiers, but they aren't always lined up with the enemy soldier when they're striking, but it looks much more lifelike than 30 soldiers crammed into a single square like Stronghold 2!! Walking and movement is very lifelike.

Easy interface. No important buttons stuck in odd locations. The interface is quite nice to use and is easy to learn.

Simplified battle command experience. No overwhelming floods of randomly moving soldiers. Soldiers are trained in companies of 20-75 men which can be commanded as a group or placed into a formation. Often, they spread out realistically and attack enemies on their own. These companies can be custom grouped into larger companies.

Custom battles. Create sieges and choose the soldiers for yourself and for your enemy. Relive historical battles.

Variety of soldiers. Choose from spearmen, siege engines, archers, cavalry, and even elephants and more.

Grand Campaign. This was truly the thing that absolutely impressed me. You see the entire map of Europe, divided into territories which trade between each other. Natural resources can be taken advantage of with merchants. Assassins, spies, diplomats, and priests can be used strategically to spread your influence and stop or start wars with other factions, even assassinate the general of an army. Alliances can be created and strengthened. Your princesses can outwit Generals and bring them to your side. You can choose from 6 factions and you're fighting around 10-20ish Catholic and Muslim nations. You have a reputation you have to keep up with the Pope and other nations.

Development of technology. IT starts you out around 1080 AD and you can play through the black plague and other events in history, though they do not control the game.

CONS

No sea battles. A drawback. You can still attack other fleets but you don't get to move the individual units around like you can with land battles.

AI's can be a little dumb sometimes, even on the highest difficulty; but they are still very formidable
2 people found this helpful
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on January 30, 2011
As a long-time TW:Rome fan, I was a little slow to get around to purchasing this. Medieval II closely resembles Rome, but offers several improvements in game play. The improvement in graphics is subtle, but nonetheless noticeable. My favorite feature is that you can queue up unit and building purchases even if you lack funds in your current turn. This reduces the time spent on micromanaging your cities. The strategy element is also more nuanced - with priests, merchants, princesses, the pope, crusades, and of course spies and diplomats. Dealing with the Pope is especially enjoyable (or sometimes dangerous). I also enjoy using early gunpowder - it adds a new element, particularly to siege warfare, yet without being totally dominant.

The game has been very stable. The only drawback, in my opinion, is that it lacks the variety of cultures and units that Rome had. This homogeneity of cultures is not a problem as such (it is more historically accurate that different Medieval civilizations utilized the same tactics, especially a heavier emphasis on cavalry). Nonetheless, it gets to be kind of the same thing a little quicker, because you're using essentially the same kinds of units and tactics against everyone you conquer, especially in the West. It just doesn't have the vast differences that Rome had between the Gauls, the Greeks, the Romans, the Parthians, Carthaginians, the Thracians, the Egyptians, etc..., who each had very unique armies. This is somewhat ameliorated in the Americas campaign, which features the unique Aztecs and the Mayans, but fighting against them seems like cheating. They suffer from the plague, they have no cavalry, no siege equipment to speak of, no navy or ports to blockade, and generally just have to rely upon numbers against the Spanish. So yet again, its historically accurate, but not necessarily the best game play. The battles of Medieval II also seem to take a bit longer, perhaps because the heavier armor provides more protection than most units in Rome.

These are all minor quibbles though. The game is very enjoyable.
5 people found this helpful
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on July 5, 2011
If you enjoy turn based strategy games this is an excellent game. Great survey of medieval history, cultures, commerce, religion, diplomacy, war and nation building. I've owned disc based versions of this game and got tired of repairing the scratches. When I have a weekend to kill or need a good strategy fix I love to pull this up and try to keep Spain from getting wiped off the map by the Moors and France. It, like the Civ series, can steal time from you though so beware. I set a kitchen timer to keep me from dying of starvation or forgetting to sleep. The game is great and I'd give it 5 stars if it had a timer like some others out there, also the in battle mode (while fun) is still a bit cumbersome at times - resulting in me auto-playing the battles about 80% of the time. Definitely worth the $10 download - never had an issue with install on XP, Vista or Win 7.

Peace.
3 people found this helpful
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VINE VOICEon September 19, 2011
Granted, I have only played the original Medieval, this title, and Shogun II, but this has been my favorite of the three. It feels very much like the first Medieval Total War, which is high praise, as I wasted way too many hours of my life on that game. There is just something better about this one. I haven't seen anything too great in the Kingdoms expansion yet, and I was hoping for more specific tribes such as Cherokee and Mohawk, but I would say Medieval II is a hard game to improve upon in the first place. I love how in-depth the game strategy goes with Assassins, Diplomats, and Princesses. I always sim the battles (just more interested in the board game element), so I don't even play half the game and I love it.
One person found this helpful
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on September 17, 2017
I had fun playing this game, and maybe play it again in the far future. It works under linux currently, but you will need a windows machine to download it from amazon. Most of the battle play happens around a castle of some kind.
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on March 3, 2012
This is a good, solid entry in the strategy genre, though it does have a few minor blemishes that could and should have been fixed.

First, the good: The graphics are excellent, the ambient music delightful. You really do feel as if you are running a medieval kingdom. This is more than building armies and sending them off to kill things and take their treasure (though it does have an engaging, realistic combat system if that's your thing). Political and economic considerations are also paramount. This game is definitely worth the price of admission.

The bad: Sometimes the play system and rules show signs of perhaps not being tested quite enough. For example, a character can have both "Smart" and "Ignorant" attributes. When I had one of my priests try and denounce a heretic, the odds the first time he tried were 25%. I failed. I tried again. Odds 25%. And a third time--same odds, nothing happened. Seems to me my odds of success should have gone down each time, with perhaps some penalty attaching to my priest after the second or third failed attempt. The idea of having merchants develop and trade resources on the map was great--but then it was undermined by making it too easy for rival merchants to displace your merchant--even on your own territory. And while the game's treatment of female characters improved a notch from Rome: Total War, your princesses basically become unpeople once they marry: all they can do is have a child or die. I would have liked to see more improvement here.

But these are pecadilloes or relatively minor flaws. If you like empire-building and strategy games, don't let them hold you back.
2 people found this helpful
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on May 26, 2014
If you like Rome: Total War, you'll find this comparable. It's simply an older version with most of the same mechanics. All of the menus and the game play will be instantly familiar but the graphics a little less pristine. I do find the map to be rather annoying compared to Rome. The people displayed on the campaign map are too large and their names too bold. Often times, everyone gets congregated together and all the names cover up so much that you can't even tell which character is which and have trouble selecting them.
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on January 9, 2015
This is a decent world strategy game that combines turn based play with real time battles. It runs well on our Windows 7. It does have some annoying AI glitches, that can get frustrating at times (Hint: play the battles out on the map, rather than letting the computer determine the winner, no matter how far it says the odds are in your favor). You need to save your games frequently because it will crash sooner or later and it's annoying to find out you have lost a lot of your progress because the automatic save didn't do it for you. But, all in all, not a bad game and very addicting.
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on March 10, 2014
I'm a veteran to the Total War series and I must say this is another solid game from Creative Assembly it doesn't do anything groundbreaking that the original Rome didn't do but it's a refined and improved game that will give you hours upon hours of fun. And 10 dollars for the game along with the 4 different campaigns gives you a lot of content on top of a great price point.

If you enjoy strategy games, RTS games or other Total War games I definitely recommend this game.
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