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Review: Hearts of Iron: War Stories

Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:00 pm

As a Brit, and a Londoner at that, I’ve heard to story of the Battle of Britain so many times that it’s practically burnt into my mind at this point. ... r-stories/

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Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:01 am

Its a fun little game but the story is utterly ridiculous for anybody who has an idea of what being a pilot in those days meant. Farm boy jumps into plane and goes fighting the Luftwaffe the same day as he joins the RAF. After flying around his little plane (typical activity during a war) with an experienced instructor who for some reason isn't back in the RAF during the darkest days of 1940... I seriously think that the plot is an insult to the young men of those times, most of whom did not survive the war.

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Re: Review: Hearts of Iron: War Stories

Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:59 pm

My perspective is a bit different than Sean's.

I played through the free portion of the game when it came out but it did not grab me enough to want to buy the rest of it. I guess I am not their intended audience - as I do not care much for "book" games.

I do keep hoping that Paradox will produce a true strategy game for the iOS. This "game" was not it.

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Re: Review: Hearts of Iron: War Stories

Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:10 pm

Of all the different kinds of games I've reviewed, the genre I most dread assigning a star rating to is interactive fiction (gamebooks and the like). I'm speaking now as someone who teaches graduate-level creative writing classes as part of their day job.

I evaluate whether a story is free of grammatical errors, I can consider the specifics of an author's style and how it relates to the genre they're writing in, I can analyze the structure of the story and the development of it's characters, I can point out cliches, genre conventions, inaccuracies, oversights, and potentially-offensive bits. If you're a student of mine working on an assignment with specific expectations, I can assign you a grade.

But reviewing? I can describe who I think will or won't want to play a given gamebook (trying to figure out who a game is and isn't for is one of my favorite parts of reviewing), and I can discuss game mechanics (which are a little closer to objective than story), but if it's a well-told story lacking in technical and grammatical flaws, you're still talking anywhere from 3-5 stars depending on how well someone likes the story being told.

I usually consider a one-star difference in rating to be the reasonable differential between reviewers operating on the same general principles. With games that rest almost entirely on story, you have to double that.

For comparison, movies (where there are a lot of semi-obejctive elements, like costuming, makeup and actors' performances) and restaurants (where there is always a genre of food to compare a given meal to) get reviewed on a star system, but journalistic book reviews come with a recommendation (or the opposite), but almost never with a star rating.

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Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:53 am

Its a fun little game but the story is utterly ridiculous for anybody who has an idea of what being a pilot in those days meant.
Totally agree with Dusteki. There's probably a few people who this isn't a big deal for but if you have any knowledge of the Battle of Britain or WWII air combat in general, the story is flat out ludicrous. It's a shame as I think this would be a disappointment to a large portion of the intended audience.


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