Street Fighter abbreviated as SF or スト, is a fighting video game franchise developed and published by Capcom. The first game in the series was released in 1987, followed by five other main series games, various spin-offs and crossovers, numerous appearances in various other media, its best-selling 1991 release Street Fighter II is credited with establishing many of the conventions of the one-on-one fighting genre. Street Fighter is one of the highest-grossing video game franchises of all time and serves as the company's flagship series. Street Fighter, designed by Takashi Nishiyama and Hiroshi Matsumoto, debuted in arcades in 1987. In this game, the player plays as martial artist Ryu, who competes in a worldwide martial arts tournament spanning five countries and 10 opponents. A second player plays as Ryu's American rival, Ken; the player can perform three punch and kick attacks, each varying in speed and strength, three special attacks: the Hadouken and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, performed by executing special button combinations.
Street Fighter was ported to many popular home computer systems of the time, like the PC. In 1988, it was released on the NEC Avenue TurboGrafx-CD console as Fighting Street. Street Fighter was later included in Capcom Classics Collection: Remixed for the PlayStation Portable and Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior was released in 1991 following an unsuccessful attempt to brand the 1989 beat'em up game Final Fight and the commissioned spin-off Human Killing Machine as Street Fighter sequels, it was one of the earliest arcade games for Capcom's CP System hardware and was designed by Akira Nishitani and Akira Yasuda, who made Final Fight and Forgotten Worlds. Street Fighter II was the first one-on-one fighting game to give players a choice from a variety of player characters with different moves, allowing for more varied matches; each player character had a unique fighting style with 30 or more moves, including then-new grappling moves and throws, as well as two or three special attacks.
In the single-player mode, the player character is pitted sequentially against the seven other main characters before confronting the final four boss opponents, who consist of CPU-controlled characters not selectable by the player. As in the original, a second player could join in at any point during single player mode and compete against the other player in competitive matches; the original Japanese version of Street Fighter II introduced an African-American boxer boss character that shared the physical characteristics and likeness of real-life boxer Mike Tyson. To avoid a likeness infringement lawsuit, Capcom rotated the names of three of the boss characters for international versions of the game; the final boss, named Vega in the Japanese version, was given the M. Bison name, the talon-wielding Spanish warrior, named Balrog in the Japanese version, was renamed Vega, the boxer became Balrog. Street Fighter II eclipsed its predecessor in popularity turning Street Fighter into a multimedia franchise.
The release of the game had an unexpected impact on gaming and was the beginning of a massive phenomenon. Various versions of the game grossed over $10 billion in inflation-adjusted revenue from arcades, as well as from console ports which sold more than 14 million cartridges for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis/Mega Drive; the first official update to the series was Street Fighter II': Champion Edition, pronounced Street Fighter II Dash in Japan, as noted by the prime notation on the logo. In this game, players can play as the four computer-controlled boss characters and two players can choose the same character, leaving one character with an alternate color pattern; the game features improved graphics, including differently colored backgrounds and refined gameplay. A second upgrade, titled Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting, called Street Fighter II Dash Turbo in Japan, was produced in response to the various bootleg editions of the game. Hyper Fighting offers faster gameplay than its predecessors, different character costume colors, new special techniques.
Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, the third revision, gives the game a complete graphical and musical overhaul and introduces four new playable characters. It is the first game for Capcom's CP System II arcade hardware; the fifth arcade installment, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Street Fighter II X in Japan, brings back the faster gameplay of Hyper Fighting, a new type of special techniques known as "Super Combos", a hidden character, Akuma. Numerous home versions of the Street Fighter II games have been produced following the release of the original game; the original version, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, was ported to the Super NES in 1992. As of 2008, the original Super NES game is still Capcom's best-selling game, it was followed by a Japanese-only port of Street Fighter II Dash for the PC Engine in 1993. That year, Hyper Fighting received two different home versions as well: a Super NES version titled Street Fighter II Turbo and a Mega Drive/Genesis counterpart titled Street Fighter II': Special Champion Edition, titled Street Fighter II Dash Plus in Japan.
The following game, Super Street Fighter II, was ported to the Super NES and Genesis in 1994. That same year, Super Street Fighter II Turbo was released for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer and appeared in a PC version for Windows, released by the now defunct GameTek. In 1997, Capcom released the Street Fighter Collection for the Sega Saturn; this is a compilation that includes Super and Super Turbo as well as Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold, titled
An adventure game is a video game in which the player assumes the role of a protagonist in an interactive story driven by exploration and puzzle-solving. The genre's focus on story allows it to draw from other narrative-based media and film, encompassing a wide variety of literary genres. Many adventure games are designed for a single player, since this emphasis on story and character makes multi-player design difficult. Colossal Cave Adventure is identified as the first such adventure game, first released in 1976, while other notable adventure game series include Zork, King's Quest, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst. Initial adventure games developed in the 1970s and early 1980s were text-based, using text parsers to translate the player's input into commands; as personal computers became more powerful with the ability to show graphics, the graphic adventure game format became popular by augmenting player's text commands with graphics, but soon moving towards point and click interfaces. Further computer advancements led to adventure games with more immersive graphics using real-time or pre-rendered three-dimensional scenes or full-motion video taken from the first- or third-person perspective.
For markets in the Western hemisphere, the genre's popularity peaked during the late 1980s to mid-1990s when many considered it to be among the most technically advanced genres, but had become a niche genre in the early 2000s due to the popularity of first-person shooters and became difficult to find publishers to support such ventures. Since a resurgence in the genre has occurred spurred on by success of independent video game development from crowdfunding efforts, the wide availability of digital distribution enabling episodic approaches, the proliferation of new gaming platforms including portable consoles and mobile devices. Within the Asian markets, adventure games continue to be popular in the form of visual novels, which make up nearly 70% of PC games released in Japan; the Asian markets have found markets for adventure games for portable and mobile gaming devices. Japanese adventure games tend to be distinct from Western adventure games and have their own separate development history.
The term "Adventure game" originated from the 1970s text computer game Colossal Cave Adventure referred to as Adventure, which pioneered a style of gameplay, imitated and became a genre in its own right. The video game genre is therefore defined by its gameplay, unlike the literary genre, defined by the subject it addresses, the activity of adventure. Essential elements of the genre include storytelling and puzzle solving. Adventure games have been described as puzzles embedded in a narrative framework, where games involve narrative content that a player unlocks piece by piece over time. While the puzzles that players encounter through the story can be arbitrary, those that do not pull the player out of the narrative are considered examples of good design. Combat and action challenges are limited or absent in adventure games, thus distinguishing them from action games. In the book Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design, the authors state that "this doesn't mean that there is no conflict in adventure games... only that combat is not the primary activity."
Some adventure games will include a minigame from another video game genre, which are not always appreciated by adventure game purists. Hybrid action-adventure games blend action and adventure games throughout the game experience, incorporating more physical challenges than pure adventure games and at a faster pace; this definition is hard to apply, with some debate among designers about which games are action games and which involve enough non-physical challenges to be considered action-adventures. Adventure games are distinct from role-playing video games that involve action, team-building, points management. Adventure games lack the numeric rules or relationships seen in role-playing games, have an internal economy; these games lack any skill system, combat, or "an opponent to be defeated through strategy and tactics." However, some hybrid games exist here, where role-playing games with strong narrative and puzzle elements are considered RPG-adventures. Adventure games are classified separately from puzzle video games.
Although an adventure game may involve puzzle-solving, adventure games involve a player-controlled avatar in an interactive story. Adventure games contain a variety of puzzles, decoding messages and using items, opening locked doors, or finding and exploring new locations. Solving a puzzle will unlock access to new areas in the game world, reveal more of the game story. Logic puzzles, where mechanical devices are designed with abstract interfaces to test a player's deductive reasoning skills, are common; some puzzles are criticized for the obscurity of their solutions, for example, the combination of a clothes line and deflated rubber duck used to gather a key stuck between the subway tracks in The Longest Journey, which exists outside of the game's narrative and serves only as an obstacle to the player. Others have been criticized for requiring players to blindly guess, either by clicking on the right pixel, or by guessing the right verb in games that use a text interface. Games that require players to navigate mazes have become less popular, although the earliest text-adventure games required players to draw a map if they wanted to navigate the abstract space.
Many adventure games make use of an inventory management screen as a distinct gameplay mode. Players are only able to pick up some objects in the game, so the
Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty is a real-time strategy Dune video game developed by Westwood Studios and released by Virgin Games in December 1992. It is based upon David Lynch's 1984 movie Dune, an adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel of the same name. While not the first real-time strategy video game, Dune II established the format that would be followed for years to come; as such, Dune II is the archetypal "real-time strategy" game. Striking a balance between complexity and innovation, it was a huge success and laid the foundation for Command & Conquer and many other RTS games that followed. Emperor Frederick IV of House Corrino is desperate for the harvesting of the valuable drug melange, found only on the planet Arrakis, to pay off all of his debt incurred on internecine wars with family members. To achieve this, he now offers the sole governorship of Arrakis to whichever of the three Houses delivers the most spice for him. War begins; the player is a military commander from a House of their choice.
In the first few missions the objectives are to establish a base on an unoccupied territory of Arrakis, to harvest spice, to defeat intruders. When the three Houses divide Arrakis among them, the player has to assault and capture enemy territories; when the player dominates Arrakis on the world map, the two other enemy factions ally against their common enemy. The ultimate final showdown is the battle between the player's House against three enemy sides, among them Frederick's forces the Sardaukar; the introductory, mission briefing and endgame cutscenes are different for each House, in keeping with their disparate world views. The weaponry and units vary from house to house; the player takes the role of the commander of one of the three interplanetary houses, the Atreides, the Harkonnen or the Ordos, with the objective of wresting control of Arrakis from the other two houses. House Ordos is not featured in the Dune novels and is mentioned only in the non-canon Dune Encyclopedia; the basic strategy in the game is to harvest spice from the treacherous sand dunes using a harvester vehicle, convert the spice into credits via a refinery and to build military units with these acquired credits in order to fend off and destroy the enemy.
The game map starts with a fog of war covering all area, not covered by the player's units range of view. As the units explore the map, the darkness is removed. Unlike games such as Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, the fog of war is lifted forever with initial exploration, it does not become dark once more when units leave the area. In addition to enemy incursions, there are other dangers; the player can only build on rocky terrain, but must build concrete foundations before to avoid deterioration of the structures due to the harsh weather conditions although in general, structures will decay over time regardless of the presence of those concrete slabs due to the aforementioned weather conditions, though the concrete saves repair costs in the long run. Spice fields are indicated by orange coloration on the sand, darker orange indicating high concentration; some spice may be concealed as bumps on the terrain that become spice fields when they are shot at, or when a unit runs over them. The player is presented a map of the planet Arrakis before most missions, where they can choose the next territory to play in among two or three.
This affects the enemy house fought in the next mission, as all missions except the first two require the complete destruction of the enemy. Nine territories must be fought, irrespective of house; some key elements that first appeared in Dune II and appear in many other RTS games include: A world map from which the next mission is chosen Resource-gathering to fund unit construction Simple base and unit construction Building construction dependencies Mobile units that can be deployed as buildings Different sides/factions, each with unique unit-types and super weapons A context-sensitive mouse cursor to issue commands Completing higher missions gives authorization to use improved technology and higher-order weaponry unique to each House, ensuring varied game play. For example, House Harkonnen may be able to construct their Devastator tanks with heavy armor and ordnance but cannot build the impressive Atreides Sonic Tank; the Ordos have access to the Deviator - a specialized tank firing a nerve gas that switches the allegiance of targeted units to Ordos for a limited period of time.
The three Houses are restricted in their production capabilities—House Ordos cannot build Atreides-style trikes, instead making the faster "Raider" trikes, while House Harkonnen constructs heavier but more expensive quad bikes. A player can gain access to other Houses' special units by capturing an enemy Factory and manufacturing the desired units at the captured Factory. Note that a Deviator not owned by House Ordos still switches control of targeted units to House Ordos, not to the
A console game is a form of interactive multimedia entertainment, consisting of manipulable images generated by a video game console and displayed on a television or similar audio-video system. The game itself is controlled and manipulated using a handheld device connected to the console, called a controller; the controller contains a number of buttons and directional controls such as analogue joysticks, each of, assigned a purpose for interacting with and controlling the images on the screen. The display, speakers and controls of a console can be incorporated into one small object known as a handheld game. Console games come in the form of an optical disc, ROM cartridge, digital download or in the case of dedicated consoles, stored on internal memory; the differences between consoles create additional challenges and opportunities for game developers, as the console manufacturers may provide extra incentives and marketing for console exclusive games. To aid development of games for consoles, manufacturers create game development kits that developers can use for their work.
The first console games were for the Magnavox Odyssey, released in 1972, consisted of simple games made of three white dots and a vertical line. These hardware limitations, such as the lack of any audio capability, meant that developers didn't have a lot of freedom in the type of games they could create; some games came packaged with accessories such as cards and dice to enhance the experience to make up for the shortcomings of the hardware. The second generation of consoles introduced more powerful capabilities, less hardware limitations than the first generation and coincided with the golden age of arcade video games. Developers had access to basic graphical capabilities of the console allowing them to create sprites of their own choosing and more advanced sound capabilities. Controllers were beginning to include more buttons giving developers more freedom in the type of interactions they could provide to the player. Due to the success of arcades, a number of games were adapted for and released for consoles but in many cases the quality had to be reduced because of the hardware limitations of consoles compared to arcade cabinets.
The second generation of games introduced a number of notable gaming concepts for the first time. Adventure for the Atari 2600 introduced the concept of a "virtual space bigger than the screen" for the first time with the game consisting of multiple rooms to player could visit as opposed to a single static screen. Video Olympics was one of the first console games to have a computer controlled opponent in its "Robot Pong" game mode and genres such as platforming and graphical adventure games began. By the end of 1983, consoles had become cheaper to develop and produce causing a saturation of consoles which in turn led to their libraries becoming saturated too. Due to the levels of games on the market prices were low and despite good sales figures, developers weren't making enough money from sales to justify staying in the market. Many companies went out of business and despite heavy marketing, the quality of the games couldn't back up the marketing claims of heir quality. Pac-Man for the Atari 2600, a port of the original arcade game of the same name, was the best selling game for the console The effects of the crash were felt in the North American market but it still had an impact, albeit smaller, in the Asian and European markets.
In the years following the crash, console development was reduced in the North American and European markets. Personal computers rose in popularity and began to fill the gap in the market that consoles had left, they were technologically superior and were multi-function. The third console generation started with the release of new consoles from Nintendo and Atari; these two generations saw the introduction of notable franchises such as The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Sonic the Hedgehog, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear and Metroid. The console manufacturers took back control of third party development and regulated the market, ensuring the levels of saturation didn't happen again. Measures introduced to achieve this included limiting the number of games a developer could release a year, controlling the manufacture of game cartridges, demanding payment for cartridges up front and ensuring the game adheres to a set of rules; this added a risk to development. It meant developers were forced to concentrate on the quality of their games more so than the quantity and speed at which they could be made.
Atari and Sega incorporated backward compatibility in the Atari 7800 and Master System elongating the lifespan of their early console games. Both companies never released another backward compatible console, with the partial exception that the Sega Genesis can play Master System games using a separately sold peripheral. Metroid includes an open world where the player can traverse the world in all directions, where most games similar to it are side-scrolling in a single direction, it has a strong female protagonist, credited for her role in improving the image of women in gaming. Star Fox was Nintendo's first use of polygonal graphics and Sonic the Hedgehog introduced a rival to Nintendo's mascot, who became a long-standing character for Sega in a number of different types of media; the fifth generation of consoles saw the move from games using 2D graphics to 3D graphics and the change in storage media from cartridges to optical discs. Analogue controllers became popular allowing for a finer and smoother movement control scheme compared to the directional pad.
The use of full motion video became popular for cutscenes as optical di
Tetris is a tile-matching puzzle video game designed and programmed by Soviet Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov. The first playable version was completed on June 6, 1984, while he was working for the Dorodnitsyn Computing Centre of the Academy of Science of the Soviet Union in Moscow, he derived Pajitnov's favorite sport. The name is used in-game to refer to the play where four lines are cleared at once. Tetris was the first entertainment software to be exported from the Soviet Union to the United States, where it was published by Spectrum HoloByte for the Commodore 64 and IBM PC; the game is a popular use of tetrominoes, the four-element case of polyominoes, which have been used in popular puzzles since at least 1907. The game, or one of its many variants, is available for nearly every video game console and computer operating system, as well as on devices such as graphing calculators, mobile phones, portable media players, PDAs, Network music players, as an Easter egg on non-media products like oscilloscopes.
It has inspired Tetris serving dishes, it has been played on the sides of various buildings. While versions of Tetris were sold for a range of 1980s home computer platforms as well as arcades, it was the successful handheld version for the Game Boy, launched in 1989, that established the game as one of the most popular video games ever. Electronic Gaming Monthly's 100th issue had Tetris in first place as "Greatest Game of All Time". In 2007, it came in second place in IGN's "100 Greatest Video Games of All Time". In January 2010, it was announced that the games in the franchise had sold more than 170 million copies–approximately 70 million physical copies, over 100 million copies for cell phones–making it the best selling paid-downloaded game of all time. Tetriminos are game pieces shaped like tetrominoes, geometric shapes composed of four square blocks each. A random sequence of Tetriminos fall down the playing field; the objective of the game is to manipulate these Tetriminos, by moving each one sideways and/or rotating by quarter-turns, so that they form a solid horizontal line without gaps.
When such a line is formed, it disappears and any blocks above it fall down to fill the space. When a certain number of lines are cleared, the game enters a new level; as the game progresses, each level causes the Tetriminos to fall faster, the game ends when the stack of Tetriminos reaches the top of the playing field and no new Tetriminos are able to enter. Some games end after a finite number of levels or lines. All of the Tetriminos doubles. I, J, L are able to clear triples. Only the I Tetrimino has the capacity to clear four lines and this is referred to as a "tetris". Pajitnov's original version for the Electronika 60 computer used green brackets to represent blocks. Versions of Tetris on the original Game Boy/Game Boy Color and on most dedicated handheld games use monochrome or grayscale graphics, but most popular versions use a separate color for each distinct shape. Prior to The Tetris Company's standardization in the early 2000s, those colors varied from implementation to implementation.
The scoring formula for the majority of Tetris products is built on the idea that more difficult line clears should be awarded more points. For example, a single line clear in Tetris Zone is worth 100 points, clearing four lines at once is worth 800, while each subsequent back-to-back Tetris is worth 1,200. In conjunction, players can be awarded combos that exist in certain games which reward multiple line clears in quick succession; the exact conditions for triggering combos, the amount of importance assigned to them, vary from game to game. Nearly all Tetris games allow the player to press a button to increase the speed of the current piece's descent or cause the piece to drop and lock into place known as a "soft drop" and a "hard drop", respectively. While performing a soft drop, the player can stop the piece's increased speed by releasing the button before the piece settles into place; some games only allow hard drop. Many games award a number of points based on the height that the piece fell before locking, so using the hard drop awards more points.
Traditional versions of Tetris move the stacks of blocks down by a distance equal to the height of the cleared rows below them. Contrary to the laws of gravity, blocks may be left floating above gaps. Implementing a different algorithm that uses a flood fill to segment the playfield into connected regions will make each region fall individually, in parallel, until it touches the region at the bottom of the playfield; this opens up additional "chain-reaction" tactics involving blocks cascading to fill additional lines, which may be awarded as more valuable clears. Although not the first Tetris game to feature a new kind of Tetris, "easy spin" called "infinite spin" by critics, Tetris Worlds was the first game to fall under major criticisms for it. Easy spin refers to the property of a Tetrimino to stop f
Shenmue is an action-adventure game series created and directed by Yu Suzuki. Shenmue and Shenmue II were developed by Sega AM2 and published by Sega for Dreamcast in 1999 and 2001 respectively. Shenmue III, developed by Suzuki's company Ys Net, is due for release in 2019 for PlayStation 4 and Windows; the Shenmue games consist of open-world 3D environments interspersed with brawler battles and quick time events. They include elements of role-playing, life simulation and social simulation games, such as a day-and-night system, variable weather effects, non-player characters with daily schedules, interactive elements such as vending machines and minigames; the story follows the teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki as he travels through 1980s Japan and China in pursuit of his father's killer. The original Shenmue was the most expensive video game developed at the time, with an estimated production and marketing cost of US$47 to $70 million, though some of the development covered Shenmue II. Despite attracting positive reviews and a cult following, the games were commercial failures and further installments entered development hell.
In 2004, Sega announced a spin-off massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Shenmue Online, but it was not released. In 2010, a social game, Shenmue City, was launched in Japan. In 2015, Ys Net began developing Shenmue III after a successful crowdfunding campaign. High-definition ports of Shenmue and Shenmue II for Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were released in 2018. Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki joined Sega in 1983 and went on to create several successful arcade games including Hang-On, Out Run and Virtua Fighter. In comparison to arcade games, where the ideal experience was only a few minutes long, Suzuki wanted to make a longer experience. In 1996, he and Sega AM2 began developing a Saturn RPG based on the Virtua Fighter series. In 1997, development moved to Sega's upcoming console, the Dreamcast, the Virtua Fighter connection was dropped. By the time of the Dreamcast's release in Japan in November 1998, the game had been titled Shenmue, it became the most expensive game developed at the time, reported to have cost US$70 million.
Development covered some of Shenmue II, completed for a smaller figure, groundwork for future Shenmue games. Shenmue was released on December 29, 1999 in Japan, November 8, 2000 in North America, December 1, 2000 in Europe. Shenmue II was released for Dreamcast in 2001 in Europe only. Despite attracting positive reviews and a cult following, neither game made a profit and Shenmue III entered a period of development hell lasting over a decade. Suzuki remained at Sega working on various projects which failed to see release, including a PC MMORPG spin-off set in the Shenmue world, Shenmue Online, announced in 2004. In 2008, Suzuki established his own development Ys Net, while remaining at Sega. In 2010, Sega announced Shenmue City, a social game for the Mobage service; the game was not released outside Japan and was shut down in December 2011. In September 2011, Suzuki left Sega to focus on Ys Net. During Sony's E3 conference on June 15, 2015, Suzuki announced a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for Shenmue III, having licensed the series from Sega.
The campaign reached its initial $2 million goal in just over nine hours. Shenmue III became the fastest-funded and the highest-funded video game project in Kickstarter history, earning $6.3 million. It is scheduled for release in August 2019 for PlayStation Windows. Sega described Shenmue as belonging to a new genre it termed "full reactive eyes entertainment" or "FREE". In Shenmue I and II, the player controls teenage martial arts pupil Ryo Hazuki as he investigates his father's murder; the player explores the Yokosuka, Hong Kong and Guilin open worlds, searching for clues, examining objects and talking to non-player characters for information. The games feature a 3D fighting system similar to Sega's Virtua Fighter series. In quick time events, the player must press the right combination of buttons at the right moment to succeed; the games feature a level of detail considered unprecedented for games at the time of their release. Shops open and close, buses run to timetables, characters have their own routines, each in accordance with the game's persistent clock.
Ryo receives a daily allowance which can be spent on objects including food, raffle tickets, audio cassettes and capsule toys. There are several minigames. In Shenmue he takes a job as a forklift truck driver, in Shenmue II he can earn money by gambling, arm wrestling, street fighting, running a pachinko stand; the Dreamcast version of Shenmue II allows the player to import their save data from Shenmue, carrying over money, inventory items and martial arts moves. IGN described the Shenmue story as a "revenge epic in the tradition of Chinese cinema". In 1986 Yokosuka, teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki returns to his family dojo to witness a confrontation between his father Iwao and a Chinese man, Lan Di. Ryo intervenes, but is incapacitated. Lan Di demands; when he threatens to kill Ryo, Iwao tells him the mirror is buried under the cherry blossom tree outside. As Lan Di's men dig up the mirror, Lan Di mentions Zhao Sunming, whom Iwao killed in Mengcun, China. Lan Di delivers a finishing blow and Iwao d
Herzog Zwei is a real-time strategy video game developed by Technosoft and published by Sega for the Sega Genesis. An early real-time strategy game, it predates the genre-popularizing Dune II, being released first in Japan in 1989 and worldwide the following year, it is the sequel to Herzog, available on the Japanese MSX and PC-8801 personal computers. Herzog Zwei combines the arcade-style play of Technosoft's own Thunder Force series with a simple, easy-to-grasp level of strategy, it has been cited as an inspiration to the developers of Warcraft, Dune II, Command & Conquer. It is considered a precursor to the MOBA genre. In Herzog Zwei, the player directly pilots a flying, transforming mech, a multi-role vehicle suited for utility and combat. Through the mech, the player purchases surface combat units, airlifts them across the battlefield, issues them orders; these command activities can only be performed through the mech. Vehicles follow their assigned orders until they either are destroyed. Tactical re-deployment involves a great deal of micromanagement, due to the required involvement of the mech.
Both the player's ground forces and the mech have finite ammunition. A prolonged engagement requires considerable micromanagement, as vehicles will not auto-repair, the fragile combat-supply vehicles have a limited radius of service. With a total of eight different types of land units to purchase, the player can determine the composition of his army; each combat vehicle type represents a tradeoff between speed, anti-air, ground-attack, cost. Units are assigned mission orders from a menu selection: "fight from a fixed position", "patrol this area", "fight in fixed radius," "go to/attack/occupy intermediate base." New orders can only be issued during the airlift, every time a unit's mission orders are reassigned, a cost is incurred. In addition to the player's main base, there are nine permanent outposts scattered across the battlefield; these indestructible buildings are the only production resources on the battlefield players. Once under a player's control, an outpost generates additional revenue and serves as a remote base of operations A key strategy is to capture as many outposts as possible or deny enemy use through nuisance actions.
Herzog Zwei supports both single player mode against the AI, two-player mode. In single-player mode, the entire screen is devoted to the human-player's field of view; the game offsets the AI's inherent weakness by increasing the armor and offensive damage of computer player side with each advancing level. Herzog Zwei was not a huge commercial success, due to its lack of marketing early release on the Genesis platform, non-arcade genre on what was considered an arcade game console. Upon its 1990 release in North America, Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game a rating of 4.25 out of 10, based on four individual reviewer scores of 4, 6, 4, 3. The game's reception in Europe was more positive. In the United Kingdom, in the April 1990 issue of Computer and Video Games, reviewer Paul Glancey gave the game an 82% score, he described it as "a game of conquest between two commanders in real time" and stated that what "sets it apart from other strategy games is that everything happens in real time. Both players are in action and there are no pauses while decisions are taken so you have to think on the move or die."
He noted that the command icons are "fairly easy to grasp" and concluded that it is a game that helps establish the Mega Drive as a "real" computer rather than "a machine for immobilized arcade players." Warren Lapworth reviewed the game in the March 1990 issue of The Games Machine magazine, giving the game a 75% score. He described it as an "unusual product" and stated that "Whether it's intended to get strategists to consider buying the console or to broaden the horizons of trigger-happy lunatics, I don't know. Either way, it's quite refreshing and can be quite addictive in two-player mode, fierce rivalry developing between friends." In France, the game was reviewed in the November 1990 issue of Joystick magazine, where reviewer JM Destroy gave the game a 78% score. The game was well received in Germany, where it was known as Herzog 2, with Power Play magazine giving it an 80% score in its April 1990 issue, while Play Time gave it an 85% score in its June 1991 issue. Retrospective reviews have been positive.
David Filip of Allgame gave the game a score of 4 out of 5 stars, describing it as "one of the first" and "one of the best" strategy video games on home consoles and as "a fine cure for those days when you want a different kind of RTS to control." Daniel Thomas of Sega-16 gave it a score of 10 out of 10 in 2004, describing it as "very the finest video game you've never played" and as the Genesis console's "finest hour." Lawrence Wright of Insomnia gave the game a score of 5 out of 5 stars in 2008. GameSpot users have given Herzog Zwei an average score of 8.8 out of 10 as of 2009. It is found on several "best of..." lists of video games, owing to its precedence in the real-time strategy genre, as well to the increasing understanding of finer points of its mechanics. It was featured in the "Top 100 Games Ever" list of Electronic Gaming Monthly, in the November 1997 issue which ranked it at #43, in the January 2002 issue which ranked it #52; the September 1996 issue of Next Generation ranked it the 31st best game of all time, their February 1999 issue ranked it 39th best, in both cases arguing that the strategic concept and level design were aped by more high-profile games like Cannon