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Super Duper Tic-Tac-Toe
Note: I originally intended to do a
review of the Bullfrog game, "Dungeon Keeper". Halfway through my review, I discovered
that I couldn't
get respectable screen shots due to graphical difficulties like this:
Screen shot of Dungeon Keeper. DirectX rules!
I absolutely refuse to write a game review without
images, so I have decided to review the
Megagroin game, "Super Duper Tic-Tac-Toe" instead.
REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!
Many classic arcade games have been
rewritten lately, with enhanced graphics, sound, and additional features
such as multiplayer and character selection. Asteroids, Centipede,
Frogger, even Pong have been revamped and updated for a new generation
of gamers. Megagroin took the classic strategy game of Tic-TacToe - and
attempted to improve upon it. I believe they have succeeded.
I am reviewing the five-level demo
copy of the game - the download was 110 MB if you're interested. The
file size can be mostly blamed on SDTTT's impressive high-polygon
meshes and uncompressed audio soundtrack. It might seem like a hefty download, but it's worth every meg.
The title screen wasn't very
impressive. It looks like something a novice would create on a demo
version of Photoshop in about three minutes, actually. Behind this menu,
however, is an addictive, streamlined masterpiece of a game.
The title screen - of the best game ever!
You can choose to fight for the
armies of X or O through the Character Selection screen. Along with
having the choice over X and O, you can also apply a variety of
"skins" to the letter of your choice to give them a customized
appearance. Attributes such as strength, intelligence, speed, and
stamina are randomly applied to your characters after they have been
selected. You can choose to play against the computer, against a
friend, or against up to 16 players on a network (I played single player
- you need a high bandwidth connection to play multiplayer). I chose to
fight for the armies of X, mostly because I wanted to utilize the X army's
level took place on an ominous deserted wasteland. My ATI Rage Pro video card could barely handle the polygons and special
effects. The explosions and particle effects dropped my frame rate down
to about 10 fps! Take my advice: don't play this game on anything less
than a GeForce3. Anyway, I got to see my X totally dominate a place in
the center of the tic-tac-toe grid, destroying all O's within range of
his flamethrower. Once I controlled the center square in the grid, I
sent two more X's to flank him on either side. Level one was a little
too easy for my tastes. Once my troops controlled three squares in a
horizontal row, the O army had been vanquished.
O soldiers approach, carrying automatic weapons.
two took place in a city. The cars, buildings, and people were very detailed, and
the motion-capture was first-rate. It seems the O army had taken over an
office building, and we had to take them out -- WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE!
We had to be very careful with our movements - if we took over the wrong
grid square, the O's might kill one of their hostages (J's and K's mostly). I
selected the sniper rifle with scope, and methodically picked each O
off, one by one. The sniper rifle was a bit hard to control, but I
suppose that's just to balance it out against its effectiveness. After the
O's were eliminated, we took three squares in a row to beat the level.
On a side note, the music on this level was performed by Celine Dion with Cannibal Corpse!
three took place in a cemetery
at night. The zombie hordes kept eating my X's, making it really
hard to get three squares in a row. The good thing is, the zombies ate
the O soldiers, too! I found a small glitch where you can take advantage
of this. The zombies can't see you if you place a soldier in the upper
left corner! As long as you take that square first, you can surely beat
this level (Note: this bug has been repaired in Service Pack 1). Try not
to stand in one spot too long, or the dragon will try to feed you to its
newly hatched young. Tip: If you can defeat the dragon, you get the Rune of
Level four was a rainforest level, and let me tell you right away, those
poisonous frogs were a bitch. They attack from all sides, and
they seem to have a pattern where they attack your medics first, and
then go after your soldiers. Flamethrowers don't cause much damage for
some reason, but the Sword of Pain cuts right through them (You can find
the sword under the waterfall to the west). Here's another tip: Try
distracting the frogs with bacon bits! They love 'em! Besides having to deal with
the poison frogs and dinosaurs, I also had to deal with the O's
one point, where I almost had a diagonal row lined up, an O shot one of
my X's in the back, igniting his flamethrower's fuel tank. My poor X
caught fire, and ran around in circles, screaming, while the O laughed
in his evil, O-like way. Those bastards will pay...
An X's flamethrower combusts, causing him to scream in
After that, I used
my Magic Radio to call an airstrike, destroying all O's within hundreds
of feet. Let's see how those assholes like being on fire.
five is what I like to call the "Ninja Level", well, because
there are ninjas everywhere.
During this level, the X and O
armies "tied" several times, where there was no possible
winner or loser. This is what is referred to as (in hardcore tic-tac-toe
gaming circles) a "scratch".
Once again, I must say that the
motion capture was incredible. Every ninja-back flip and kick is animated
down to the most minute detail. After the fight with the master ninja
Ryuji, I got three squares in a diagonal row, and won the game.
this was just a demo, I got a shareware nag screen telling me to
register the game. The full retail
version is 50 dollars. If the full version is anything like the demo,
I'm definitely buying it.
A film by John Woo.
Complaints: The only complaint I have is
frame rate. I'd definitely recommend purchasing a newer computer with a
GeForce3 and at least 512 MB of RAM before trying this game. Tic-tac-toe
games in the past have always pushed computers to their limits, and this game is no
Final Thoughts: Super Duper Tic-Tac-Toe is a worthy successor to a
My rating: 4 Vanilla Ices out of 5.
BONUS: Tic-Tac-Toe Flash
Click a square to begin.