Sid Meier's Pirates!

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Sid Meier's Pirates! review


The classic high-seas adventure game brought to the powerful handheld PSP game system

A pirate life for me

The life on the high seas has never been so fun that you would want to bring it with you, until now! Pirates! for the PSP is a game port based on the award wining Sid Meiers' Pirates! that has been released previously on the PC and Console platforms. There are a few differences between this portable cache of swashbuckling goodness in comparison to the previous versions, and not all of them are shipshape.

A sailor's life has never been easy, less so when you make a living preying off of the commerce of a major European power in the 1600s. As you embark on your first voyage into the Caribbean to hunt your prey, whomever that may be, the sights and sounds of Pirates! are all very familiar. Your objective in life is to avenge your disgraced name and recover not only your lost family members, but also the untold fortunes of lost cities. Also, you should be aware of the benefits of holding rank and title with one or more of the major political powers. Rough seas, epics sea battles and daring sword fights await you over the horizon.

Sailing, swordplay and diplomacy

The basic fundamentals of being an effective portable pirate include the basic skills every seafarer of the age should be well practiced at. You will start with a modest sloop which is well equipped for combat. Navigation is simple, swift and easy to grasp for the most novice of players.

During your travels as an aspiring pirate, it may in fact be a good idea to claim a few stray ships in the name of, well, piracy. This can get a little tricky however. When you are close enough to engage a target, you will see an arrow from your ship to your target. It is important to insure target accuracy. In other words, make sure you are locked on to your intended target before actually engaging. It is very easy to accidentally attack the wrong or even a friendly ship because the direction of the target arrow was not confirmed. Depending on the modifications made to your ship, you will have options to switch between three different type of cannon shot: standard, chain and grape.

Once the two vessels are close enough to each other, boarding will occur automatically. However, if the enemy ship doesn't have enough crew left to resist your men, they may just as easily surrender. When you board the enemy ship, you will have to choose your preferred sword type and meet the enemy captain for a one on one duel. Swordplay in this portable version of Pirates! is not even as sophisticated as it is in the full version. Using combination of the 'X' , 'O' and directional buttons, you guard, parry, dodge, and thrust your way to defeating the enemy captain. It takes a little practice if you are already accustomed to the PC version of Pirates! The swordplay will feel sluggish at best, though not really hinder gameplay as much as one would expect, since the enemy captain seems to be just as sluggish.

Now that you have successfully taken your first prize ship, you are given the choice of either take her into your fleet or sending her to the bottom of the sea. Regardless of your choice, the political eye of the ruling powers of the Caribbean now look upon your act as either a crime or a favor. Once you choose to ally yourself with one or more of the powers that have holdings in the Caribbean (England, France, Spain or Holland), you will begin to earn rank, title and land with them. Eventually, this will grant you invitations to the ball with the governors' daughter and special assignments. On the other hand, if you choose to become an enemy with one of the powers, you may find yourself with a sizable bounty on your head.


fun score

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