‘Shadow of a Saint’ has yes finally arrived to the shores of Stronghold Heaven (yippy) after being lost at sea for more than a quarter or a year!
So to delay no further here’s a little back ground, ‘Shadow of a Saint’ is a tough eco invasion with I’d say the emphasis on ‘eco’, savvy castle building will also be crucial for success, therefore structural decisions might make the difference. There are aggressive bears and wolves to fend off, nasty roaming hunters to deal with and of course invading armies – it could be a great year for wheat but the orchards may suffer. Plague and fire may show there ugly head but with traveling fares, reinforcements and the odd jester there is enough nice things to keep you smiling and hopefully playing :O). All in all a decent challenge awaits.
Back when I was making the map I was delighted to call upon the services of Brave Sir Robin to add much needed polish to the map, he was able to play test and include in game messages at the right times. The small well written story was also penned by him and for his contribution I thank him!
Before I started I wanted to include things that I personally hadn’t seen before in maps and also wanted to incorporate ideas that I had but were still original. One of these was an idea taken from Lord Ako’s map ‘Ice Age’ there he uses enemy hunters as an effect nuisance to the player and quite frankly it works! I liked that idea so much i adopted it into ‘Shadow of a Saint’ hopefully to cause as many problems as they did in ‘ Ice Age’ :)
An idea that is unique which is included in the map is ‘timed bear attacks’. In this map there are 2 attacks that get triggered to cause more havoc. Simply put the bears get released after a tree disappears and when an invasion occurs – by this method the bears offer I think an enhanced game, they play a better role than the free roaming ones and will if you haven’t read this message surprise you :)
Anyway I hope ’Shadow of a Saint’ is the map for you, at best you’ll find a tough, challenging and fun game to kill a few hours with. Good luck Andy.
PS. Again big thanks to BSR who had to endure the word ‘Saint’ in the title… apologies go out…As a huge Portsmouth fan he pretty much loathes anything to do with Southampton FC otherwise known as ‘the Saints’ It was a testing time for BSR but judging by his quality contribution on ‘Shadow of a S*$%t’ he was able to step over his pride. :)
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First, I have a confession. I have only beaten the map at Easy. And I'm not even near beating it at Normal, but I still think I'm able to post a fair review, so get prepared for a whole lot of praising:
This map is clearly in the Top 10 in playability...Higher up, I'd rather say Top 5. There's always something to do, and none of it is easily solved. As I was forced to play on Easy to beat it, the invasions never where really much of a trouble (God bless the small patches of random moat!) but they effectivly ruined pretty much everything outside my walls.
I'd like to give this a 5 aswell, but I personally think this map is a tad too hard. Even on Easy I had a real tough fight.
Much of the inventive stuff about this map is mentioned in the write-up (the times bear-attacks, the roaming hunters) but there's even more to it. The great placement of killing pits always scared me, I didn't dare let my troops stray away too far from the castle, the nice patches of moat outside the castle, the tricky pathways that was carved in the rock itself and the entire enemy castle (that prooved impossible to conquer, although it seemed so easy).
Map Design: 5
Fantastic! Splendid! Superb! I could waste a few pages with words of praising for how good this map looks, but I'll settle with: gorgeous.
A very nice and intriguing story...wonder where the name Bazandy comes from...hmm...
This map is TOUGH, real tough, but so fun to play, and so beautiful to look at.
Played this map at difficulty setting hard.
What a beast of a map this is! It had me glued to the monitor the whole time, all the time something important is going on and you can't be lazy. It was a fun challenge to find the right strategies for the various problems and there were some great surprises. (which I won't spoil by telling)
Yes, this map is hard but that is what I like, that way the victory screen is a REAL reward. The events and invasions are timed perfectly and the enemy hunters are indeed a pest at the beginning. The win conditions are all the more tricky because you can't build extra stockpiles or armories. The enemy killing pits also limit the number of buildings you can place, brilliant!
Using killing pits as building restrictment is very creative, I've never seen it done before. I was forced to regularly sent some archers into the pits to be able to build more. So were the bears en-masse (I tried to pull something similar in an age-old, crappy, map of mine called 'The Animal Kingdom', but not as effectively, lol. Using hunters to terrorize the player was also creative. (In a copy-cat sorta way, hehe.)
Map Design: 4
The map looks good, not superb but not average either. The landscaping and resource placement look realistic. The signpost placement was good too, particularly the top one was a pain.
A nice story, functional although a bit short perhaps. What I missed here were some clear hints, especially about the killing pits. I'm not sure if everyone will understand that 'maximum limit reached' means that you'll have to destroy enemy ones before you can build again. And also that a killing pit is considered a building.
The map is tough and tricky so it would be a good idea to provide some help to less experienced players I think.
Conclusion: A very nice map from Andy Baz, I recommend you to download it!
[Edited on 12/15/05 @ 03:19 PM]