Sid Meier’s Pirates! review
My anticipation for Sid Meier's Pirates on the Wii was heavy. I had never played Sid Meier’s Pirates! before, but the kind words about the PC version had me hoping for the best. I mean, who doesn't enjoy a good video game about scurvy pirates?
But, as the story goes all to often, Sid Meier's Pirates! did not leave a fond impression, and nearly every aspect of the game left me with disappointment. This surely isn't the same game people adored so much on the PC.
At first glance, it's noticeable that the graphics have deteriorated on the Nintendo Wii. Seriously, what generation is this? It looks similar to what I could find on the PSOne or early titles on the PlayStation 2. The loading screen artwork is decently attractive, but the in-game visuals are blocky and downright unpleasant to look at, especially after slogging through hours of monotony, although you'll have to play little more than an hour to experience it for yourself.
If you can overlook the poor graphics, be prepared to be hurled into insanely boring travel times, painfully repetitive gameplay that consists of dogged sea battles, hiring local talent from the tavern and an even more pointless trading system. The game rarely utilizes the Wii’s motion controls. When it does attempt to make use of the controls, it’s terribly standard and uncreative. You can either slash wildly through the air during an easy sword battle or you can tilt it left, right, up or down during the pointless dancing mini-game.
Pirates! often presents itself as a standard casual game at best, but the trading system and learning curve are more difficult than what most casual gamers may have patience for. The handbook that comes with the game is no help at all either; in fact, it’s possibly one of the most useless that I have ever encountered.
I am trying to come up with redeeming qualities and I find myself stumped. There must be something good or enjoyable about my experience, but there honestly isn't much value to the title. Even the way the game punishes you every time you divide up your earnings with your crew to keep them from mutiny is heavily flawed. As you split the booty, you lose all of the ships you have spent so much money and time upgrading. Traveling around the map is another huge issue: It takes forever to get anywhere. You think traveling around in World of Warcraft is a great way to combat insomnia? Try getting anywhere in Pirates!
Sid Meier’s Pirates! is another perfect example of a great game gone bad when it's poorly ported to consoles. Skip Sid Meier’s Pirates; unless you are a glutton for punishment.