Independent Retro Game Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Vulpes Abnocto, Dec 12, 2008.

Dec 12, 2008
  1. Vulpes Abnocto

    Former Staff Vulpes Abnocto Drinks, Knows Things

    Jun 24, 2008
    United States
    Why settle for being a Mod,
    when instead you can be a GOD?!?


    Game: Black & White
    Format: PC / Mac
    Genre: (God) Simulation
    Developer: Lionhead Studios
    Publisher: Electronic Arts Games
    Released: March 25, 2001

    Black & White was (and in some respects, still is) an incredible PC/Mac game from Peter Molyneux and Lionhead Studios
    featuring innovative gesture-recognition controls, semi-intelligent AIs, and creatures that can learn most anything you take the time to teach them.

    In a perfect world there would be no need for Gods....
    but where's the fun in that?
    As villagers call to the heavens in defense of their imperiled child,
    you are born of the Void, and come down to their aid.
    Now, the simple act of plucking a drowning youth from the jaws of sharks
    has attained you a whole village of worshipful peasants
    to do with as you will.

    The an enormous tower to praise you and your mightiness.
    This becomes the nexus of your power, and will grow and shrink to reflect the amount of area and people you control. It will also morph into either a Glistening Spire of goodness, or a withered Dark Tower of evil as you make choices and cast impressive miracles along the way.

    Casting miracles requires prayer power, which can be derived one of two ways;
    by having villagers pray at your temple ....for days on end....(if you forget to give them a break, yanno)
    by sacrificing things at the altars representing those villages. Most anything works. cattle, wood, villagers.
    (Hint: I put a creche close to the altars. [​IMG] and make lots of breeders.)

    Spreading your influence across Eden depends on two things:
    raising your population by caring for their needs or desires
    spreading word of your greatness to the heathen villages of the land.

    Fortunately, you have an assistant in this: your holy Creature.
    Initially you are allowed a choice of three creatures, each with their own particular strengths and weaknesses.
    The Cow: A sturdy and inherently altruistic being.
    The Chimp: A quick learner, adept at either fighting or forgiveness.
    The Tiger: Highly independent, with lightning fast claws, and a temper to match.

    Later in the game you will unlock opportunities to swap your creature for other species, while retaining all the skills, abilities, strength and knowledge of your initial creature.
    In total there are 18 creatures you can choose from.

    These creatures are immortal, and if they fall due to battle or fatigue they will respawn in their pen, at the base of your Tower.
    They begin life the size of a small house, and in time can grow to the size of a small mountain.
    Much like you, these creatures can also cast miracles, after you take a while to teach them how, and when to do so. After all, having a creature with the knowledge of Extreme Fireball isn't particularly helpful if he casts it inside your own towns. Raising the creature is a tedious, yet rewarding task.

    So which would you rather do?
    Do you teach your creature to make nonbelievers into disciples,
    or to make them into kibble?

    Does your creature shit in the woods,
    or on your enemy's temple?

    Do you spread The Word by sending missionaries to the neighbors,
    or by sending flaming boulders?

    Does this game become morality practice,
    or target practice?

    The best feature of Black & White absolutely has to be the Skirmish mode. There is only one thing that can make you more proud of your creature than the first time you see them cast an Extreme Holy's hearing your buddy go WTF the first time your creature casts it on them.

    Graphics: [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Sound: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Gameplay: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Plot: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Replayability: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    (Scores are on a five star scale, and reflect the quality of these elements when compared to many of today's games... And of course, my own biased opinion.)

    Author's Note:
    Before you go out and get a copy of Black & White from the bargain bin at your local game store, realize that this is a Retro Game Review, and this game was designed to run on Windows 98. It is barely XP compatible (graphical flaws and crashes), and not at all Vista compatible.

    (EDIT:Demmit. I knew I started too late.)

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