Saturday, 1 October 2011

Populous (DS)

I was pleasantly surprised to find Populous had been ported to the DS while randomly browsing my local game store one day. It's a reasonably faithful port; you drag the land up and down to change it, and while the interface can only be worse than the original DOS game, it works. The stylus is necessary, but the d-pad and L button are also very useful and using all three at once for longer than about 30 minutes gets painful. Obviously the DS is designed with short bursts of play in mind though.

So, the game. It looks nice; the GUI is very similar to ye olde dos gamme, and the spells are refreshingly familiar, though the 'choose which deity you are' thing looks half-lifted from Populous 2, which is not a bad decision at all. It seems kinda short; there's 4 sets of levels named 'Tutorial', 'Level 1', 'Level 2', and 'Bonus' and single levels within these sets have a time limit, so it has a pretty well-defined upper time investment. Unless you lose the levels, of course.

This port also has FMVs for some deity spells; while I'm not a fan of this kind of japanese stuff, they look okay and they are quite brief. Also a break from the dragging up/down action is welcome; despite the usually slow pace of Populous, on the DS with its slightly different mechanics games tend to be more frantic. Losing when Armageddon is declared at the time limit is possible, it happened to me today!

So far I've done all of Level 1 and Tutorial.

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