23rd October 2010 - I was happy when I was asked to review this game. I have grown up as a fan of pirates. In fact I have been a fan of all of Sid Meier’s games. I first played pirates on the Commodore 64. Pirates was first released in 1987. The game has evolved quite a bit since then. Once again you are a Pirate captain out to find love, rescue your family and become the most feared pirate of the era……
The game starts with a video of your family being taken away by the evil Marquis Montalban. You then become a pirate captain and set off in search of your family. You have 5 different difficulty levels to choose from, and then five eras from the 1600’s. Then you choose your allegiance, from English, Spanish, French or Dutch.
As you set out you need to visit towns to find out information from the taverns, as well as hire crew for your fleet. Also as you defeat different vessels you will need to meet governor’s to receive promotions and try your skills at dancing to win over their daughters. In town you can also visit the shipwright to fix your ships, the merchant to sell goods that you have plundered.
How you go about your adventures is up to you, although the main story is about freeing your family, it is up to you how you go about it, you can become the worst pirate and attack everyone, be loyal to your nation and build up your rank with that nation or make it your life’s work to save your family or even just forget about them. You must always build your fortune so that you keep your crew happy and always keep an eye on your food supplies.
Although there is a feature that allows a second player to get involved in the mini games I don’t think that this will really be a function that is taken up. In sword fighting it allows you to play as a parrot and attack the enemy captain and in sea battles it allows you to raise and lower the sails.
The controls are quite poor considering the technology of the Wii remotes. Instead of being a true experience of sword fighting controlled by your thrusts you swing up to do one action left another. It would have been more enjoyable had they gone for a first person view and you use the remote like you would a real sword. That being said the controls of the Wii still outweigh the old keystroke command of the PC.
The graphics in Sid Meier’s pirates! aren’t up to scratch. The graphics are cartoonish and suit the game well and do have some good detail, but for the most part they noticeably choppy. Although you can't expect too much from the Wii due to its technology, there are definitely much better looking Wii games out there.
The sound in Sid Meier’s Pirates! is basic and very repetitive. With today's audio standards, this game falls very short of what is expected, even for the Wii console. It has a mixture of Spanish style music and sound effects. Although it is in staying with the older versions, it would have been good to see an improvement here.
Sid Meier’s Pirates! has hours of gameplay for the whole family, being that you choose how you follow your career the whole way through so no two games are the same. As well as the main game you also have mini games within the game and they have added 2 new mini games from the other editions. At the price I think this would be a good buy for the whole family.
When I first started to play this game I was very excited and would have given it a 9-9.5 out of 10 more on nostalgia value than anything. But with the mini games becoming tiresome so quickly and the load times between mini games it takes away from the enjoyment, hence my final score of 7.5 out of 10.
I must confess though that I am more of a pc enthusiast and don’t have a lot of load times during games so I am spoilt. For hardcore Wii fans though, I don’t think the load times will deter too much from the experience.
AAG SCORE: 7.5/10
- Still fun after all these years
- Hours of gameplay
- Non-Linear storyline
- Controls are very basic and not well implemented
- Video is choppy and not completed well in places
Reviewed and Written by Guest reviewer Dale Blake