Also available on iOS and Android
Oh boy, talk about disappointing. I absolutely loved the first Civilization Revolution, having played it on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Yeah, it's hella watered down Civilization, but it's still Civilization, and Revolution is what got me into Civilization, so it has a special place in my heart. When I heard that there was a second Civilization Revolution with a physical (albeit Asian only but thankfully with English text) release on Vita, I HAD to have that in my collection.
The game plays somewhat like Age of Empires for DS, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing, the controls aren't exactly intuitive. Some things, it wants you to use the touch screen for while others make you use the buttons. Sure, that's not unusual, but it's not always clear why it wants you to use one rather than the other. You scroll through your units using the D pad, but there's no list of units anywhere, so you can't just go straight to one, and best as I could tell, there's no specific order to your units aside from maybe the order of construction, so you're left to cycle through all of your units - both military and civilian - until you find the one you're looking for. When units are promoted, it gives you a choice of two random perks, and it doesn't explain what those perks do until you select one, although fortunately, it has an "Are you sure?" screen before you finalize your choice. Being an Asian game, you press O to advance and X to go back - the opposite of North American control norms - but that's not the weird part with those buttons. Seemingly arbitrarily, some things will do what you want them to with one press of the O button whereas other require you press the button twice as if double clicking. I don't know if that's actually how its designed or if the Vita is struggling to keep up with the sheer volume of disappointment in that game, but it got more than a little frustrating.
Visually, the game looks...okay. The Vita is definitely capable of more, but given that the game was originally designed for mobile phones, it makes sense that the graphics don't exactly push the limits of the system. The sound design feels somewhat uninspired and generic with regards to sound effects and music choices, but it's certainly not bad. The presentation, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Your choices are pretty much New Game or Load Game. There's no options menu whatsoever that I could find, and that's a bit unusual for any game, let alone a strategy game. When starting a game, you can choose between set scenarios, a randomly generated game, or a game with certain customizable parameters, although it is worth noting that the multiplayer featured in the iOS and Android versions of the game is curiously absent from the Vita port. Another thing left disappointingly absent from the first Civilization Revolution is the ability to form an army or corps from your units. In the first game, you could form an army if you stacked three of the same units on one another and combined them, forming one unit with more power than the sum of the three component units. I had hoped that would make a return in Revolution 2, but sadly, at least in the Vita version, it did not.
Civilization Revolution 2+ is a colossal disappointment. Sure, it added a couple new leaders and scenarios that the mobile versions didn't have, but it stripped out the multiplayer, so I'm not really sure how "plus" this version of the game is considering the game itself is pretty damn negative on its own. Yeah, it works, and it's definitely an okay turn based strategy game, but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, honestly. Go with the first Revolution on 360 or PS3, one of the main series Civ games on PC, or Age of Empires on DS if you need a fix. Avoid this one.
My Rating - 2 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.