Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #142: Conflict

Title : Conflict

Publisher : Vic Tokai

Developer : Vic Tokai

Genre : Strategy

Players : 1 / 2 Players

Release Date : 1990

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$10

When I look of this game, I see the great-grandfather of ADVANCE WAR for the Game Boy. Boy...did I love that game.

I am a big time sucker for strategy games. Most of my teen years involved me taking part in battles of epic proportions online in Command & Conquer, Warcraft, and Starcraft. Hell, I even dabbled in Civilization, although that game was a tad too slow for me. Was good, but slow. When you think about the NES, and their capabilities of making a strategy game, well you are probably having a hard time thinking of anything worth mentioning.

BUT, and that's a big but, (ha ha ha), there were a few strategy games released for the NES that really do stand the test of time. One such game, is a little known gem called CONFLICT. Nothing better than basing a game on a war that could have happened. Of course, I'm talking about the cold war. The war that never was but could have been!
The one thing you have to realize with strategy games for the NES, is that you can't expect them to be mind blowing and fast paced. In fact, most of them require slow movements and intense planning. Since they can't really go at it with the hardcore graphics, they need to make up for it by forcing you to input logical decisions about your next move.

Think of Conflict as an advanced game of Chess...with tanks...and bombers....yup!

I hope hexagons are your favorite shape, because you are going to be seeing A LOT of them. The concept is simple enough in this hex-based strategy war game. You each command your own army. Either the Western Bloc or the Eastern Bloc. The goal is to ultimately destroy the enemy's flag tank. Think of it as a search and destroy mission. This will be repeated over the course of 16 various missions involving different terrain and different enemy AI. Not so much as "different AI" but a computer that just has a heavy advantage against you, the player.

With most strategy games, you will be required to build up your own units. Each turn you are able to create one unit at one of your two factories. One is capable of producing AIR COMBAT vehicles, and the other focuses on LAND COMBAT vehicles. Good 'ol black hawk choppers and tanks. Gotta love it.

In order to create the more powerful units, you need to earn a little something called FAME points. Now fame points are the "currency" of this game, and you earn more by defeating the enemy units, or taking control of cities. The more fame points you have, the better your army is going to end up being.

The great thing about this game, is that it doesn't baby sit you. You can't just send your army in masses to the enemy and expect to win. Nope, you need to also take a look at your units armor, its fuel, its ammunition and its range. It's all about deploying at the right time, and at the right location. The last thing you want to do is send in a chopper too far only to have it crash because it ran out of fuel over enemy territory. 

You'll need to think about each move, and anticpate your enemies. Should you focus on hacking away at their units one at a time, or spread out your army to cause a distraction? And don't forget to protect your flag tank. There's a hell of a lot to think about in this easy to learn, difficult to master strategy game.

Speaking of sending your units across the landscape, the tiles can represent a number of different terrains. Anything from mountains, to bodies of water, to grassy plains, woodlands, bridges. name it. Who would have thought that hexagaons could be so awesome.

For a game involving just tiles and HUD displays, the visuals are quite appealing. You'll jump from combat screens to the traversing screen but it flows seamlessly. The combat screen, while you don't do much, was just as exciting as if you were watching a war movie. Eh..not really..but it does the job of showing the combat off. After all, it's all about the strategy, not about ACTUAL war gameplay.

The music is catchy, the sound effects are spot on, and all together it works perfectly. I'm actually hard pressed to find anything bad to say about this game. Seeing a strategy game like this, with so much depth to it, is an amazing find on the NES. I'm telling you, this was one of the GO TOs back in the day.

If you were a fan of ADVANCE WARS, this is something you'll want to check out. It'll definitely bring back some memories and you'll easily spot the similarities. ADVANCE WARS was obviously inspired by an epic NES masterpiece.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



Post a Comment