Intelligent Systems has been one of Nintendo’s secret weapons when it comes to innovative and underrated franchises. Despite being over 30 years old, the company’s best franchises stayed in Japan until the early 00’s. During this time, Nintendo used the popularity of their Game Boy Advance line as a way of testing out franchises and designs in the US that may not have succeeded on the console. One of those franchises was Fire Emblem, which has become a massive success along with a very popular mobile game.
But for today, I want to talk about their other franchise, and how fans of turn-based strategy might have missed one of the best sleeper hits.
This week, returning guest Paul Tobia joined me for a weekend cast to catch up and share his thoughts on the recently released Planetary Annihilation.
Trying to learn Planetary Annihilation has made me more appreciative for great UIs when it comes to strategy games as at this moment it doesn’t have it. Thinking more about it and what makes a good UI, I return back to Rise of Nations and how it really was and still is ahead of its time with one of the best UIs I’ve seen.
I’ve played a lot of video games in my time and have seen everything from niche successes, colossal winners and absolute failures. And from that list there are only a handful that if I could use magic powers I would give them a second shot or see the game be a success. And Rise of Legends is one of those games: A completely underrated title that was more interesting and innovative than Starcraft that failed due to issues within and beyond the developer’s control.