Forum Overview :: Reviews
Massive Assault, Phantom Renaissance by Mischief Maxim 01/04/2013, 8:47am PST
I think there are at least 4 games in the Massive Assault Series, and Massive Assault Network 2 is its current incarnation and the place to be for multiplayer, but Phantom Renaissance is both the cheapest and (reputedly) most singleplayer-oriented title in the series, so that's the one I picked up.

The concept of the Massive Assault games is a turn-based strategy game of slightly broader strategic scope than Advance Wars. The basic game is a "world war" that takes place on a continent divided into several countries of 20-40 hexes each. A third of the countries are neutral, a third are held by the Free Nations Union, and a third are held by the Phantom League. However, only one of your held countries is visible to the enemy at the start of the game, all the rest of them are "secret allies" that appear to be neutral. A country can only produce (finite) resources if there are no enemies on any of its hexes, so the ideal strategy is usually a line of cheap units backed up by heavy artillery. The games signature "move" is flanking one of these formations by revealing a country on an unguarded border to be one of your secret allies and producing a strikeforce to pour in next round to cut off their supplies and take out the artillery. Of course, what if that secret ally you just used was itself bordered by a secret ally of the enemy? etc. etc.

The tactical combat itself is entirely dice-free, in fact you can blow up enemy units and still rewind every move of your turn if you think there was a more efficient method of attack. Units do a certain amount of damage at a certain range and have a certain amount of hit points. A 1-HP enemy is just as damaging as a full-health one. Terrain brings no defensive bonuses, only movement penalties and impassible barriers. You can't move through a hex containing the wreckage of a destroyed unit until 1 round after it dies, so cheapo units will hold the line while you wait for reinforcements to come from overseas, at least until the country's resources run out. Tactical-only scenarios and campaign missions have pretty much zero replay value, but they're basically a collection of tutorials and puzzles to prepare you for "world war" mode anyway.

Graphically it's inconsistent. The units are nice and sharp and blow up in big chunky explosions, but the land textures tend to be muddy and low-res and some of the weapon effects, particularly from the techier phantom league look and sound awful. The music is pretty decent for military videogame music. The writing and voice acting in campaign mode goes beyond awful to David Lynch surreal, like when the main character is introduced to his artillery officer and you hear an ESL programmer proclaim in an energetic monotone, "Hee hee! A dwarf!"

You can buy this game off steam and gamersgate. This game was originally released on disk in the states under the way less cool title "Domination." If you missed it when it hit the shelves you were smart because it shipped with a box full of AIDS, as well as Starforce copy protection. I bought it off gamersgate and can't find any trace of Starforce on my machine, so I assume it's now clean. Be warned that the multiplayer in this version is non-functional so if you weren't looking for a singleplayer strategy game, play Massive Assault Network 2, instead.
The January Short Review Classic Contest by Ice Cream Jonsey 01/04/2013, 7:49am PST
    Colossal Cave Adventure by Tansin A. Darcos (TDARCOS) 01/04/2013, 8:41am PST
        You're in the hunt! NT by Bill Burr 01/04/2013, 4:52pm PST
        I am going to correct this review by Ice Cream Jonsey 01/05/2013, 1:55pm PST
    Massive Assault, Phantom Renaissance by Mischief Maxim 01/04/2013, 8:47am PST
        That review reads harsher than I intended, I actually really love this game. by Mischief Maker 01/04/2013, 8:19pm PST
            I disliked it. by WITTGENSTEIN 01/04/2013, 9:36pm PST
                If you weren't playing World War, you weren't playing the real game. NT by Mischief Maker 01/04/2013, 10:11pm PST
        Update by MM 10/16/2016, 7:25pm PDT
    8 more days for this by Ice Cream Jonsey 01/22/2013, 11:21pm PST
    La Mulana by Lurker 58913 01/23/2013, 3:10am PST
        This game was ruined by the ridiculous puzzles by Arbit 01/23/2013, 9:09am PST
            Agreed. by Lizard_King 06/12/2013, 11:53am PDT
    Devil May Cry 4 Redux by Mischief Maker 01/23/2013, 11:38am PST
        Re: Devil May Cry 4 Redux by Foil 06/07/2013, 1:37pm PDT
            What's hilarious is icycalm's terrible opinions NT by SLURRRRRRRRP 06/07/2013, 1:48pm PDT
            Please elaborate on the depth of DMC 1/3 that I missed! NT by Mischief Maker 06/07/2013, 2:03pm PDT
                ...nothing? by Mischief Maker 06/07/2013, 6:57pm PDT
                    Were you trying to cow me by implication alone, you fucking girl? by Mischief Maker 06/12/2013, 10:42am PDT
            What's the difference between horribly shallow and laughably shallow? NT by we already know you don't laugh 06/07/2013, 3:33pm PDT
    Another Video Game Review: Duke Nukem 3D by Tansin A. Darcos (TDARCOS) 01/25/2013, 4:49pm PST
        This is going to sound retarded, but I actually wanted to read your Duke review. by Jerry Whorebach 01/25/2013, 6:55pm PST
            Duke set the stage for American McGee's Alice. NT by Mischief Maker 01/26/2013, 10:30pm PST
            Why I still play with Duke Nukem by Tansin A. Darcos (TDARCOS) 02/06/2013, 5:06pm PST
                Okay, this is pretty good. by Jerry Whorebach 02/07/2013, 11:45am PST
        One more Half Life/Duke Nukem connection by Vested Id 01/25/2013, 8:12pm PST
    WELL??? by Mischief Maker 02/03/2013, 10:19am PST
    RESULTS by Ice Cream Jonsey 02/03/2013, 11:55am PST
        Nice payoff, icecream >:( by fabio 02/03/2013, 1:18pm PST
            Great, now I've got the mental image of TDARCOS in a wet T-Shirt. :( by Mischief Maker 02/04/2013, 8:09am PST
            World's most loathsome profession by Tansin A. Darcos (TDARCOS) 02/06/2013, 4:57pm PST
                Undertakers? by motherfuckerfoodeater 02/06/2013, 10:16pm PST
                    Yes, Undertakers. by Tansin A. Darcos (TDARCOS) 02/07/2013, 11:35am PST
                        You are making this bad rap up. Bad rap maker upper. by Fullofkittens 02/07/2013, 12:57pm PST
                        Is there a Ralph's around here? NT by Tansin A. Sobchak 02/10/2013, 7:02pm PST
            Re: Nice payoff, icecream >:( by Ice Cream Jonsey 02/10/2013, 11:14am PST
                Re: Nice payoff, icecream >:( by fabio 02/10/2013, 12:17pm PST
                Re: Nice payoff, icecream >:( by Ice Cream Jonsey 10/16/2016, 8:39pm PDT
        Re: RESULTS by Tansin A. Darcos (TDARCOS) 02/06/2013, 5:09pm PST
            Re: RESULTS by Ice Cream Jonsey 02/06/2013, 8:45pm PST
                What do you mean "Ridiculous e-mail address"? by Tansin A. Darcos (TDARCOS) 02/07/2013, 11:25am PST
                    It's ridiculous because your name is ridiculous. And so's your face. by now go motherfuck yourself. Also: 02/07/2013, 2:28pm PST
                        You are a piece of garbage, Mr. Motherfucker. Stop bothering Tdarcos, then NT by get cancer and die 02/07/2013, 5:06pm PST
                            Uh, thanks but I don't need help, I can do my own insults NT by Tansin A. Darcos (TDARCOS) 02/07/2013, 5:08pm PST
                                I'll wait two minutes before replying to myself. that'll fool em. NT by Thoughts from an aspie dumbass. 02/07/2013, 8:11pm PST
                                    Pahah really. That was so sad it was almost cute. by Almost. 02/08/2013, 11:00am PST
                                    Or better yet: make a post then make another one faking my handle NT by Tansin A. Darcos (TDARCOS) 02/19/2013, 10:02pm PST
    About the Bill Burr special "You people are all the same" by Tansin A. Darcos (TDARCOS) 02/19/2013, 11:22pm PST
        A "C". Okay, you are officially insane. by Souffle of Pain 02/20/2013, 7:34am PST
            BUS. Bus! Bus! I like the part when I saw a bus on screen. Public transit. by However, I didn't get the jokes. 02/20/2013, 9:13am PST
        What the fuck are you going on about, you insane masturbator? A bus? Whuh? by YOU CRETINOUS CRETIN 02/20/2013, 12:43pm PST
            I object to that nasty word; please do not use it again by Tansin A. Darcos (TDARCOS) 02/21/2013, 8:48am PST
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