By: Hudson Soft
(XBox Live Arcade / ASIN: B0026EOLM6 / Rated: E / 10+(Everyone)/ 800 MS Points)
Features: Four-person online multiplayer featuring stand alone and team modes. New commander unit type with twenty unique abilities to choose from. Updated HD graphics and views with cinematic battle sequences. Online leader boards and ranking system.
Description: The year is 2156; Earth is overpopulated and the moon has been converted into a lunar prison colony. The prisoners revolt claiming the moon for themselves and design a weapon capable of wiping out the Earth's population. You command the unified forces of Earth as you try to prevent its destruction.
Verdict: I have to assume developers approach remaking a classic game with the same apprehension that we as gamers do in playing them. Will the game be true to its original form to keep nostalgic gamers interested? What can be added to draw in the newly initiated and keep them playing? When Military Madness was released some twenty years ago it was the gaming equivalent of playing battle chess with Bobby Fischer.
What Hudson Soft did right with the original was to create a style of battle that factored in real aspects of war like the terrain, strength in the numbers, coordinated attacks with specialized military units and a relentless AI. Twenty years later, the formula remains the same but has been expanded.
Gone are the days of single hill terrain advantages as today’s battlefield incorporates everything from deep lonely chasms to mountain passes with bottle necks waiting swallow up your forces. Gaining ground quickly to release the hordes from a factory before your opponent is even more important than the prior installment and protecting your assets once gained has to factor in, lest you want to lose the units finding refuge inside. Units have the same advantages and disadvantages as the classic so using them in concert is key when taking on AI, in house or online combatants. Matching up unit types and being aware of their abilities is paramount to your success in any fire fight on Military Madness as most of the available units have a weakness to a specific type of attack.
Some of the more tasking scenarios in the story portion of the game include fighting off air attacks with a smaller arsenal of lightly armored ground to air missile types. While the storyline allows for hours of strategic play in the same format as the classic, the online multi-player sets the stage for Military Madness’ most epic battles. With the introduction of the new Commander Unit and the option to go to war with up to three opposing players in either stand alone or team modes skirmishes can be quick and deadly. The Commander is the chess equivalent of the Queen, she is your most valuable asset and she comes packed with all the best abilities and customization. Used effectively she can make short work of numerous enemy units; left open to the enemy she could cost you the war. Customization in online play (if allowed for by the host) is the most telling aspect of Hudson Soft’s intention to remake this classic for today’s gamer. Players can customize to gain terrain, attack, speed and defensive advantages which make each online game new and different. Some remakes are nothing more than a visual upgrade; some are some completely new; Military Madness has been able to achieve both. Now if we can just get Hudson Soft to bring back Milon’s Secret Castle.
Reviewed by: Tony Weakland