Dune II: The Battle for Arrakis
Posted: January 10th, 2012, 5:55 pm
Otherwise known as "Dune II: The Building Of A Dynasty" in North America, this peculiar game was one of the first games to kick start the "Real-Time Strategy" term. It was loosely based off of David Lynch's 1984 movie "Dune", and even more loosely based off of the 1968 novel by Frank Herbert, "Dune". As far as I know, there were two versions of this game. One for the PC, and one for the Genesis. I only played the Genesis version, and I must say, for a game released in 1992, this was quite a fun game, and still is. Normally a strategy game on a console, wouldn't quite do as well as on the PC, but Dune is a notable exception, even if its still not as good as it's PC counterpart.
When you start the game, you can choose one of three factions: Atreides, Ordos, and Harkonnen. Each of then have their own special units. When you start each mission, you will be instructed by your adviser (each is different depending on which faction you choose) to perform certain tasks, whether it is getting up to a certain amount of credits by harvesting spice, or destroying an enemy base, to take over a certain territory as displayed on a map behind your adviser. You start off with a base, and you can put your cursor over the base and select it, which will bring up a menu of what you want to build. Each building has their own function such as a wind trap, providing electricity, a refinery to create spice harvesters, and a factory to produce vehicles. You can send in your vehicles and infantry to attack enemy forces, or destroy buildings. Once you destroy an enemy building, a small series of explosions occur and the whole screen shakes. ( Pretty epic. ) The voice sounds aren't too bad for the Genesis either. There will be a voice which will let you know if there is an enemy unit approaching or if your base is under attack. However, each time you select a vehicle, they will respond with the phrase "Reporting!" and whenever you select where they should go, they respond with "Acknowledged!" which is pretty annoying. The same thing happens with infantry, except its with "Yes Sir!" and "Moving out!".
Like the movie and the game, the sand worm makes an appearance, and he is a real pest. You will see him moving around as a lump in the sand, and if that lump goes under your soldiers, they become a nice filling dinner. The music features a cycle of five soundtracks, and each of them are actually amusing to listen to. The even features a nice little tutorial option, but I personally consider it a time waster. The further you progress through the game, the harder it gets, and once you reach the last mission, the difficulty goes off the rails. However, there is a nifty little password system that will even let you use some cheat codes.
Overall Dune II is quite primitive for a Real-Time strategy game, and it can get a little repetitive and complicated, but if your the type who is looking for some good retro strategy game play, then you should give this one a shot.