Be notified of site updates. Sign-up for the Newsletter
sent out twice weekly.
Enter E-Mail Address Below:
Score: 7.0 / 10
I think campaign missions in this kind of
game is always a horrible fit. A tutorial
section is always appreciated since game
manuals are getting thinner and thinner (if they're included at all) but
a objective-filled campaign has always struck a discordant note. A
management sim along the lines of SimCity only need a sandbox and a
"Go!" button and that's where I had the most fun with Tropico 3.
Stepping into the guise of an island "Presidente" and assembling my own
version of what constitutes a benevolent dictatorship piece by piece and
edict by crazy edict. If
I have to send the military in to keep
things running more or less smoothly, so be it. After all, with an
economy to run and infrastructure to put in place and international
relations to deal with, I don't always have time to make people happy
(but I will help them behave). Maintaining control over everything is
great and the things that can be tweaked are many and deep, and it has
aspects I like about city sims, but there's
the problem of the system used to navigate all this.
It still boggles my mind that the Xbox 360 doesn't support mouse and
keyboard specifically for games like Tropico 3. Using the controller for
a game like this is like using a butter knife to perform thoracic
surgery. You get an approximation of the end result, but it's certainly
a lot messier. The controller makes everything feel inexact and most of
the menus feel clunky. There's just no way around this and because it's
a PC port it really doesn't feel like anything was toned down to fit
into the 360 version. Since you'll be dealing with both of these things
a lot, it had an effect on just how much fun I pulled out of the game.
Tropico 3 is a slower, "thinking" game so the clunkier aspects of the
control don't have a dramatic affect on how the game plays out -- in an
RTS setting, this same scenario would be disastrous -- but here it's
It's probably a good thing then that music is awesome. It's equal parts
soothing and fitting to the tropical island despot theme. Can't say
enough good things about the music.
This genre is notably absent from the console world. A number of
real-time strategy games have made in-roads in establishing this almost
PC-exclusive genre on consoles but until mouse and keyboard get the nod,
it has hit a wall. I'm just glad it has done so with a steel drum beat.