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   PlanetDreamcast | Games | Reviews | Conflict Zone
    Conflict Zone
Real-time Strategy on the Dreamcast. - Review By Retrovertigo - Page 2/2

  • The Bad

    It's hard to really say a lot about a $20 game with as much ambition as Conflict Zone, but it does have it's problems.

    First and foremost, fans of the popular PC real-time strategy games will not be impressed with the simplicity of Conflict Zone. There is practically no direct involvement with collecting resources, a computer mouse is much more convenient interface tool than the Dreamcast controller when selecting units and performing actions, and the specified construction zones for your base will turn off the hardcore RTS gamers who like to build their bases wherever they please. If you're looking for the next best Command & Conquer clone, you will not find it in Conflict Zone.

    The most annoying aspect of Conflict Zone is the "pausing-while-loading" interruption you'll get as you scroll across the 3D battle map. My Dreamcast is also very loud when it loads, so not does the screen stuttering from time to time, but my Dreamcast sits on the shelf and screeches as it loads the new battlefield information, specifically enemy encounters. This can prove to be very frustrating when juggling a lot of actions at once, as it really impedes progress.

    While vehicles are easily seen with the 3D engine, some of the soldiers and military personnel are hard to see if the camera is zoomed out too far, and are sometimes easily lost while blending into the background. While this isn't a huge problem with your units (as each unit has a little arrow above his head to identify him as a controllable entity), enemy soldiers may wreck havoc on your units if you can't see them blasting away at your boys. Fortunately, with a 3D engine, you can zoom in and out on the battlefield and rotate the camera view, so this problem can be remedied.

    Most RTS games are enjoyable multiplayer games. While Conflict Zone does have a "quick start" skirmish selection, you can only play against another computer controlled opponent, which takes the fun out of it a little bit - but then again, how in the hell could a split-screen RTS game work on a console. However, this would have been a perfect title for support through SegaNet.

    The last problem with the game is the insane amount of pre-game dialogue. During mission briefing, you are presented with a picture of the person who is briefing you and a PARAGRAPH of instructions. I think it would have been a little less of an "intimidating information overload" if the instructions were broken into smaller, separate clumps, instead of throwing everything into one huge paragraph.

  • The Final Word

    Conflict Zone is like the user-friendly version of many of the popular real-time strategy games found on the PC. While this is not a perfect real-time strategy game, it is simplified enough that most hardcore Dreamcast fans will probably find it to be enjoyable, without having to worry about all of the problems, like resource management, that plagued some PC gamers.

    Conflict Zone is also available for very, very cheap - approximately $20. If this game had been released many months ago at a price of $40 or $50, I would have rated it a lot lower, and had less positive things to say about it. But the point is, it's a pretty good game for such a low price.

    One important thing I would like to point out is that the back of the jewel case states that a VMU with 200 blocks is required, but that's not true. I've found that simple save games only take up 25 blocks.

    Although this wasn't quite the title that really calls attention to the Dreamcast, some Dreamcast fans will find this to be quite enjoyable despite the game's imperfections.

    Conflict Zone is also available very cheap for the PC, and is scheduled for released for the PlayStation 2 in March 2002.

    Developer: MASA
    Publisher: Ubi Soft
    Genre: Real-Time Strategy

    Highs: 3D environments, wide variety of units and base add-ons, simplified controls for the Dreamcast, available almost anywhere dirt cheap -- $20!
    Lows: Some graphical glitches, long load times between missions, at times the game stutters while new information is loaded onscreen.
    Other: 1 player, VMU compatible (200 blocks - read above), Jump Pack compatible, Standard controller.

    Final Score:

    (out of a possible 10)

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