For a first attempt this is not as bad as some I've seen, yet there's a lot wrong here.
Because the maps are extremely simple and because the scenarios aren't very challenging, playability isn't too good. When you've played this one once it's probably enough. The exception is scenario 3: its nice opening scene is well worth a replay.
Balance is not too well; in the first scenario you're ahead of your enemy, in the last the enemy gets a lot of superunits but it can't advance beyond the Stone Age so if you can manage to get rid of what units they get to start with it's a walk in the park.
Creativity, story, instructions and map design
What worries me about this campaign is the opening of the third scenario. There you get a really nice scene with a flock of birds flying away from your hero and the question that presents itself is, of course, "Why doesn't a designer who so clearly can come along with something pretty do a better job of instructions map, story and map design?" All maps are basically grass with just a few features added, mostly resources (and they're often lumped together).
There aren't any bitmaps and there are no introductory stories, bare instructions are all you get and they aren't always correct too; at least in scenario 1 you have to defeat player 2 to win though the instructions say it's good enough if you destroy their dock. The link with Asia is completely absent. With some more honest hard work this campaign could have been really nice, now it's below average.
[Edited on 01/18/05 @ 01:40 AM]
Posted on 11/30/-1 @ 12:00 AM
All the scenarios were straight BandD. No special VCs, just kill the enemy. The fights were not too bad but could have been more challenging in places - in scenario 1 I had so much stone I could have walled in and built up forever, had I so desired, and won by planting towers everywhere. Scenarios 2 and 3 were better.
The main reason for the slightly higher score is the flock of birds that fly away from the hero at the start of scenario 3. A nice touch and one I hadn't seen before. The idea of the third scenario was also the most interesting.
The first scenario was a bit easy. The enemy never seems to get past the Tool Age and you start in Bronze, so you can rush them or take your time and annihilate them. The other two were harder; scenario 2 was more interesting since there was no gold and you start an age behind the CPs, but still fairly straightforward to counter and retaliate; and scenario 3 gives you plenty of resources but starts you in Stone. With playability, got better as the campaign progressed with scn 3 being the best balanced and most challenging.
The maps were mainly flat and not very detailed, sections were blank that could have been more interesting and big lumps of resources together made strategy obvious. On the plus side the wide open spaces made the battles a little harder and allowed for many different ways to win.
There was not much here. No instruction map and a couple of grammatical errors added up to a story that didn't really hook the player. The civs were Asian but apart from that I didn't feel I was really involved in an Oriental Adventure.
A couple of good things in an otherwise plain set of scenarios. The fights were ok but a bit too easy even on hardest. For a first attempt this is not the worst I've seen, it definitely improves as it goes along and the odd spark of inspiration makes me feel that with better AI, more interesting maps and a better story, Rob could be a designer to watch.