Swords and Soldiers 3D

swords3ds
4 Overall Score

Three campaigns and a skirmish mode mean lots of content

None of those are particularly fun

Written by on May 31, 2013 in [, , , ]

E-shop games are kind of a weird partial frontier at the moment. The 3DS is stuck in a weird place where games should cost more (Luigi’s Mansion is well worth the $40 price of entry), but cell phone and iPad games draw immediate comparison. That line becomes even less clear with budget titles on the E-shop like Swords and Soldiers 3D. There’s a lot of content in the game, but it’s kind of a busted mess in more than a few ways.

Swords and Soldiers is a side-scrolling RTS that seems reminiscent of Patapon, if Patapon had no rhythm elements and contained a host of borderline offensive stereotypes. There are three campaigns, each which follows one of your stereotypes through a series of adventures that involve acquiring gold and sending units across the screen to fight other units. The core problem with this is the units can’t mass up effectively, and many levels involve running into fortified positions or packs of enemies that make your single character drop almost immediately. There are a number of spells and abilities that work to even the odds, but setting them up is clunky, as each spell has to be targeted by moving a cursor with the 3DS stylus to aim at a target on the top screen. It feels awful and slow; more than half the time I tried to use the heal spell my characters were already dead.

This is what you're gonna get for story.

This is what you’re gonna get for story.

The story in Swords and Soldiers could potentially carry it past these technical issues. It doesn’t, but theoretically it could. The viking campaign revolves around pathological greed and a barbecue gone wrong. Cut scene is a generous term to describe these mission starts, as you’re effectively clicking through three to twelve text boxes before the game starts. The only real perk of the story missions is the start, which is pretty much the short musical tone and screen wipe. It’s reminiscent of something like “Super Friends” or the old Adam West “Batman” shows, and seems weird in the game, though it’s one of the few elements I enjoyed.

Fighting some Mayans. I think? Or monkeys? And yeah, now I've typed that and realize it's awful.

Fighting some Mayans. I think? Or monkeys? And yeah, now I’ve typed that and realize it’s awful.

Perhaps that’s the best way to describe Swords and Soldiers 3D; like an early, low-budget cartoon. There’s plenty of substance, because something like a hundred and fifty words of text and a slightly different backdrop can make a new level. But, as one might expect, it’s all pretty shallow. Everything about the game feels low-budget and rushed. It’s an RTS game without a unit select, or a backwards tower defense game, and those simply aren’t that interesting to play without something more than a few special abilities buried behind clunky controls. It’s true that this is only a $10 title, but when the entire Bit.Trip saga is available on the 3DS for only a few dollars more, and a whole host of solid retro titles are still sitting in the virtual console, Swords and Soldiers 3D just becomes too hard to recommend.

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Author: Zach Snell View all posts by
Hi there. If you're reading this you've probably read some material of mine. If you want more go here and read my stories about a guy who punches wizards. http://www.amazon.com/Zachary-Snell/e/B008G0MORI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

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