Heroes of Might and Magic II Review | Perfectly™ | Balanced™

Heroes of Might and Magic II Review | Perfectly™ | Balanced™

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Hey, hey people. Sseth here. Today, I'll be playing the predecessor to one of the best turn-based strategy games of all time. A game where combat is decided by whoever gets to move first, victory is decided by who gets the most broken spells, and where the best day of a week is Monday. I'm speaking of course about Heroes of Might and Magic 2. But really, it should just be called heroes of magic and sometimes might- if you're very unlucky. I played this first as a child, and now I return to it as a man child. Released in 1996 by New World Computing. We're going to be looking at this game as the original building blocks for Heroes 3 which got everything right. In contrast, Heroes 2 gets everything wrong. But it's got a lot of soul, it's very pretty, and it's generally a very relaxing experience. First let's cover the lore. The story takes place after the dominant monarchy has a little disagreement. Roland iron fist is the rightful successor to the throne, but Archibald iron fist has had enough of his faggot brother
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so he accuses him of soiling the bed and forces him to flee the kingdom in embarrassment. In the campaign you can choose to either stand with Roland iron fists and defend his right to shit the bed, or choose to represent Archibald in his rightful condemnation of his brothers scatological tendencies. Canonically, Roland wins and turns his brother to stone, which is used as a plot point in the RPG games since Archibald is the only person who understands nuclear physics. I'm not joking. I'm completely serious, you need to free him in Might and Magic 6 unless you want the planet to explode in a thermonuclear blast. The Archibald campaign is pretty challenging. The Roland campaign is a billion times worse. There's only one way to win. It's a complex strategy that I like to call "restarting the mission until you get lucky and get a spell that lets you no-clip across the map". I think that statement alone should give you a hint of what heroes 2 is all about. I got the Good Old Games copy which emulates the game to run on Windows 10. There are some glitches but these can all be fixed by playing around of the configuration.
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Generally, everything looks, plays, and sounds great. This was the first Might & Magic game where they went all out with their sound design. Everything is beautifully composed and I should mention every single town theme is sung by a fucking professional opera singer. Have a listen. *Dank ass opera music plays* AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH The production values in this game are absolutely top-notch. Just look at how insanely pretty everything is. Every single unit, every single set piece, even the resources you pick up. Gemstones, crystal, treasure chests. They're all still crispy clean to this very day. To illustrate my point, here's a basic unit dwelling for the night faction. It's a structure responsible for spawning the most useless unit in the game -the peasant- and it still looks better than any place I've ever lived in. This
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detached two-bedroom cottage probably cost more than the student loans of several Millennials combined. They told me "medieval peasants had it bad" I'm sorry, how can they have it bad when they've clearly got a front garden, and supposedly a clean source of drinking water? There's a very saturated high contrast color palette in this game, and as a kid, I took all that quality for granted. Because the modern Heroes games now look like someone's shitty deviantART page. I'm going on tangents now, which is a growing symptom of my impending dementia. So let's get to the gameplay. Heroes 2 is a turn-based strategy game, which means it's for thinking people and people who are too slow to play Starcraft instead. The principle is very simple- You recruit heroes to lead your armies. These all have different stats and skills respective to their faction. The portraits for heroes are an absolute acid trip. There's almost no way to tell what class they are until you mouse over them. Let's take this guy for example, can you guess what he is? Yeah, that's right!
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He's a knight. Which means he's a good guy and on Rolland side. Ok, let's let's try that again. Can you guess what this guy does? Yeah, correct. He's a wizard which means he's also a good guy on Roland's side. You know, I'm really starting to doubt Roland's motives. Half of his team look like they've just come out from serving prison sentences for aggravated rape. But who am I to question royalty? A lot of the sorceresses make for great Waifu material though. Ah, the 90s. Back before women became degenerate and started plastering their faces with septum piercings. Oh wait Oh no You recruit armies by spending all your savings on Dwellings that spit out new units at the start of each week. You also have to pay them upfront. Each of the six factions has its own respective six unit army Which range in tiers from level one to level six. However, your heroes can only hold five different stacks So you'll have to pick and choose or mix and match to suit your strategy. Wizards are all about range
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They've got three different shooters Warlocks answer that by having three different Flyers that can close the gap. Knights have no fliers, neither do the barbarians. Instead the Knights prefer to tank all the damage while barbarians lack any kind of defense and rely on hitting fast and hitting hard. A sorceress is a mix of everything. A necromancer is a mix of everything -undead-. They get their ultimate unit quicker and cheaper than anyone else, and power liches are the only unit in the game which can accidentally wipe out half of your own army. You've got a limited set of moves and actions you can take every turn. Once you're done with your turn the computer moves around and pretends to the intelligent. rinse and repeat. Research new spells, upgrade your dwellings, get higher level troops -which aren't worth the money-, and crush your enemies. It's all very simple. What's not simple is figuring out which factions aren't complete garbage. So to save you the time, I've made a very easy chart. As you can see, of the six different towns you can choose, five of them are objectively hot garbage. That's because warlocks have a best unit in the game.
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Dragons. Some might argue that different factions have our own strengths and shine at different points in the game. Knights and barbarians in the early game, necromancer's and sorceresses in the mid game, and warlocks and wizards in the late game. We call these people a Heroes 2 apologist. They are subversive, they are insidious, and they are fully convinced that a tier 6 unit with one quarter of a health and none of the perks of a dragon is a good financial investment. Also, they can't do this. If such a person approaches you don't listen to their lies. Unplug their hearing aid and jam their mobility scooter immediately before they manage to convince anyone else at the retirement home. In Heroes 2 Magic is king. Magic is essential for victory and completely overshadows anything an illiterate brain-dead warrior can hope to achieve. Why? Because there's no counter play. All a mage has to do is keep repeatedly suicide-bombing his enemies to victory. What is the answer to someone rushing at you repeatedly with phoenixes and spamming Armageddon? Losing.
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That's what. To beat magic you have to counter magic with more magic. Armageddon spam can't hold up to a wizard, with more spell points than white matter in his brain, who can just cross the entire length of the map with Dimension door and take all of your towns in a single turn. Heroes 2 is a mess. But it's a beautiful, exploitable mess. In all due fairness, the idea of the game is that you're not meant to stick to a starting faction and instead ramp your way up to getting the town you want. Which is warlocks. If you can't get warlocks then settle for wizards. Titans can still hold up to dragons and boars make for a good source of fresh pork I guess. If you can't get wizards settle for uninstalling the game. Also, it should be mentioned that, while everything works great on my Good Old Games copy, the sound clip used for teleportation has been completely scuffed. How? Why? I don't know. But, I think we should all experience it together. *R.I.P. headphone users* I know teleportation has its risks, but I never expected it to blow my eardrums.
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So if you have to teleport please remove your headphones Beforehand, or you're definitely going to develop tinnitus. Since we're on the subject of bullshit strategies, we might as well also cover bullshit units. Luckily, the developers had the foresight to realize that some of these might be a little too strong. So they're not available to any faction. Instead, they can only be obtained in limited numbers through diplomacy and bribery. Case example one- genies. These can only be found in magic lamps. They're very pretty. They also hit like a truck. But what my former child brain couldn't understand is that they've got a special ability. They can divide any stack in two, and it doesn't matter how many genies there are. One is enough. So split them up into stacks and go ham on your enemy's strongest unit. Hit a stack, get lucky, and your enemies just lost several weeks worth of income. And if you're playing multiplayer, you've just lost several years worth of friendship. Case example two- ghosts. Remember how I mentioned peasants who are completely useless? That's not entirely true.
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If you can somehow convince a couple of ghosts to join you stop whatever it is you're doing and locate a small horde of peasants. Don't kill them. Let them grow, let them ferment, and let their population explode over the next few weeks. Then it's time to harvest your crop. You see, ghosts take the numbers of any stack they've killed, and since peasants have a single hitpoint, you can sit back and watch your numbers swell from several dozen, to several hundred, to several thousand. In a single fight, you've turned a mediocre stack of units into the single most powerful unit in the entire game. At this point nothing and no one can stop you. Your Legion of ghosts will keep growing and growing until there's nothing left to consume. Their numbers will swell so high that the game just gives up trying to show you how many there are. When you've achieved and abused such high levels of broken design you can finally call yourself a true strategic master of Heroes of Might and Magic 2. The game is still absolutely worth playing. It is
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dirt-cheap on Good Old Games and in this day and age even a potato clock can run the game. Ff you want a fair and balanced strategy game don't play it. If you want to ambush leprechauns for their lunch money, redistribute wealth to the masses- only to murder the masses later, and cheese your way to victory, then this is the game for you. I give it three out of four genies because I don't have the extra gemstone to hire the last one. Thoroughly recommended. Go play it. As always, more content to come so stay tuned. A warm thanks to the many members of the merchants guild. Generously funding and bankrolling these videos. A huge thanks to one member of the guild in particular, since he somehow managed to get me a signed copy of a "Heroes Live Orchestra" CD and a nice HP keyboard. Which he optimized for me, in case I ever decide to play a league again. Thank You fam. You're all truly wonderful. Have a good one. And now it's time to violate copyright. Enjoy.

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