A pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel between his legs: Arrgh, this wheel is driving me nuts!
I always wanted to tell that stupid joke, but never got around to fitting it into the right context. What you are about to read is sort of a review of the game Pirates! but different in the way that I never played the game. I'm just translating into English the impressions of a gay Romanian, which is kind of a pleonastic phrase, seeing how Romanians cultivate the two thousand years old covenant of homosexual heritage, the Brotherhood of the Anus, started by our male ancestors, Decebal and Traian.
Ninjas fucking hate Pirates!
Remember the old days, where PC games were like 80% of the platform genre and of those, one out of three had ninjas in them. I remember growing up in the world of men wearing black tights and the constant ninja sword swoosh-swoosh or shuriken barrage throw-throw made playing other games a little boring. I myself never played the original Pirates! but apparently it was a pretty good game. Having lost all hopes of eventually playing a game that opposed ninjas and pirates, I guess no other choice is left but to let our gay reviewer share his impressions with us.
Death before dishonor
That's what most developers' slogan should be. They ought to really think hard before planning a remake of a good game, or a sequel to a successful series. They should ask themselves: is fucking up a good game worth making just a couple of extra pennies, at the expense of losing respect from gamers/customers? You know, just like UbiSoft should have asked themselves before releasing the stupid PoP: Warrior Within game. Not that it's a terrible game, but one would expect more from the sequel of the excellent Sands of Time, and instead we were treated to a mediocre game. But I don't want to talk about that right now.
Sid Meyer is a quality tag good games have been wearing, starting quite a few years back, so it's no surprise the new Pirates! came back just as good as the original. What the developers did with it is basically keep the original's game concept and encase it in a modern and polished technological casing, so that players can experience the old flavor in new packaging.
Walking the plank
Practically, Pirates! is a series of mini-games, each of them covering a different aspect of the whole boarding ships, raping biatches, stealing or finding treasures, recruiting men, fighting and so on. They're all very fun to play, but tend to repeat themselves after a while. Of course, my gay mate here found the most entertaining mini-game to be one that resembles Dance Dance Revolution, where you have to use your num-lock to try and follow a complicated scheme of dance moves some bitches perform. What you're actually doing is dancing with them, and you're losing any dose of masculinity in doing so. Dancing with a woman is not gay, but pressing buttons to make your avatar twist and twirl while you sing along some stupid tune sure is. Not that there's anything wrong with it.
Thank God for straight mini-games, like good old FIGHTING! Yes, fighting! After you board a ship, you attack its crew with your wicked pirates, and a sword fighting mini-game begins. You use something like six buttons, three of them for hitting various parts of the body, like head, torso or feet, and three more for defending against the afore mentioned blows that may come from your enemy. Regardless of skill and/or luck though, you can't hope to attack an army of 200 with a crew of 30 and still win, so it's a bit more complicated than mashing buttons. It's still good old sword swoosh-swoosh fun, though, yay!
Yo, hoe, HOE! Why can't you bring a nigga some rum?
The "world" of Pirates! is obviously restricted to the Caribbean, with England, France, Spain and Holland being the four powers present in the game. You navigate the map from an isometric perspective, guiding your ship while keeping track of storms, other ships that can be attacked and stripped of their goods, and cities where you can recruit mates, upgrade or sell your ship and so on.
Each province on the map belongs to a country, and has a governor. Seeing how at the time all of the afore mentioned countries were at war, the player can be commissioned by a province's governor to sink any enemy ship and be rewarded with treasures, lands and promotions. Nice thing is you can do this for all of the countries at the same time, without having to suffer major repercussions.
Better yet, each of the governors has a daughter, that can be seduced into becoming the player's wife, after performing a series of tasks, some gay mini-games that include the gayest of them all, dancing, and taking on some quests.
Speaking of which, quests are the greatest flaw of the game. While they are fun to embark on at start, they repeat themselves over and over again, until you get fucking tired of killing the evil baron Raymondo in order to obtain the same piece of information for like 20 times in a Goddamn hour. Enough! Shit man, at least change the name of the guy, or the secret that he holds, you know? That's why you won't be able to play this game for more than 3-4 hours in a row. This game can really keep you entertained for days and days, you know, provided you only play it for an hour or so everyday, upon returning from work, or school or whatever.
Same old story, new
Repetitive the quests and mini-games as they may be, the game has replayability, as your character grows old pretty quick, so you have to replace him, and characters can be very different, with lost of unique characteristics and traits that constantly shift the form of the gameplay. That's a big plus of the game.
Overall, Pirates! is by far the best pirate game ever, and although it has no ninjas in it, is a very good game even considering the avalanche of good titles that have or are bound to hit retail in this period. So, log on to your favorite peer-to-peer network and pirate it, it's worth it!