Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchants
The Cons FAR outweight the Pro's :(
This is a trade simulation game if you are into that sort of thing if not then Sid Meier's Pirates is the alternative game
-owning your own merchant empire or pirate kingdom
- able to name your "fleet"
-PC game combat
-lack of customization to the ship and the "pirate" main character aka YOU
-Merchant before pirate....meaning you have to build enough funds to get the ships to help you take control by force
-economic calculations a bit screwy they either go negative or positive way too fast
-Town defense needs better explanation
-single player and free mode are exactly the same
- town specific missions need to have a better "quest starter" system instead of getting the quest....just about a month before time runs out
-reputation system needs better detail...instead of this "if fallen before 50 percent...you can't enter port"
-If your merchant empire becomes to large it will eventually become an economic threat to the Caribbean...wait.what?!
- no on deck combat so if you love Sid Meier's Pirates and hope that THIS game has one...don't kid yourself
It's ok, but has limited appeal.
This game is excellent to get your trader/Caribbean business tycoon fix. There aren't a lot of games where the main object can be to be a trader and amass fortune and wealth. It's usually just a side mission in most games. You start off just barely getting by trading various goods with one ship constantly worrying about the price shift for one crate of meat, then before you know it you've build entire industry of tobacco and rum plants on an island and they're amassing you a wealth of gold. Suddenly your biggest problem is how can you take over that city over there so that you can take advantage of it's cotton production for your clothing weavers! Yes, you can take over cities as the governor and practically rule the Caribbean by the time you're done with the game. You become a regular East India Trading Company. Prices constantly fluctuate based on town needs and problems like famine and fire. I've rarely seen a trading game with so much depth and such a well built economy. Now comes the bad side.
Unfortunately if you aren't into the trading aspect this game is BORING. The combat is so freaking dull. Half the time you run around just trying not to get sunk yourself while your other combat ships sink to a watery grave. To make matters worse they tried to throw in this lame captain exp system where they become more proficient at certain things over time. It just ends up tedious though because the captains gain exp so slowly that it really makes no difference. The real power comes from the size of your ships, so once you get war galleons pretty much no pirate or other force will ever beat you. Land combat is even more boring if you can believe it. You send the ships over to shoot at some fortifications or deliver fighters and sit around hoping they don't all die. You can retreat, but it gets annoying having to send 3 convoys of ships to deal with one pirate hideout.
"What about the story" you may ask. What about the story? It's about as bland and basic as you would imagine. You're trying to woo a girl by either getting the apparently slummy Cayman island back on it's feet as a trader or by rescuing her from pirates as an adventurer, all while getting advice on how to do so from your fat jolly bearded trader friend or the maritime captain who hates you. The trader campaign was fun but I found it to be so ridiculously hard at the end. You have to basically deliver a metric ton of every good imaginable to Cayman. Which would be fine if all your investments weren't in rum and smokes thanks to jolly trader jim over there's excellent advice. Overall it was still fun and took me a couple days to beat. As for the adventurer campaign I beat it in about an hour. It starts you off with ridiculously powerful ships and the whole thing is so easy once you collect some bounty money and buy war galleons. As shocking as it is the trader campaign is MUCH harder than the adventurer. Both of them are designed to act as giant tutorials for the free-play mode, which is stupid because by the time you're done with them you've had enough of the game.
Overall I wish I could split the rating between the two campaigns. I'd give the trader portion a 6.5 and the adventurer a 2 in gameplay. I would recommend it to a person but only if it's the kind of person that enjoys economy games. I would never recommend it for the adventurer portion. On the upside the graphics are lovely with all kinds of foliage to look at and the music is very soothing. Particularly the town views. Like I said it's a good game to break out once in a while to get your trader fix, but that's the only good part of it really. It has almost no replay value beyond being one of the only games to do macro and micro economies well. Being one of the only is something I guess....