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In-Depth Review: Majesty: The Northern Expansion for Android

Majesty: The Northern Expansion for Android is one of the most acclaimed RTS games in Google Play Store where it is currently marketed for $3.00. It comes with new features, powers and characters which couldn’t be found in original Majesty game while offering new gameplays and challenges. The first Majesty games were released for PC. But HeroCraft, Inc. is the one responsible in making it mobile by porting it to iOS and Android.



I will put Majesty: Northern Expansion into a 10-point rating system to see if it’s worth the price it’s currently being sold for. Read on to know more about the game.

First Impression

While this is apparently a subjective factor, Majesty: The Northern Expansion, I believe, can easily impress gamers both seasoned and new alike. HeroCraft, the developer of this game’s version, did a good job in porting Paradox Interactive’s popular Majesty game to Android platform.

With the game’s cool graphics and interface, it wouldn’t take a minute before it would make an appeal to gamers especially those who have already played the PC version. Needless to say, the “wow” factor can be found earlier in the game and could be reinforced by its gameplay.

Gameplay

If there’s one thing that HeroCraft had faithfully preserved while developing the mobile version of Majesty: NE that would be the gameplay. If you happen to play the PC version of the game, you’ll easily notice there are more similarities than differences.

The fact is that the Android version has been a bit modernized with new features, characters and powers. Nevertheless, it is still the same game with the same story only that it has to adapt to the new touch-screen functionality.

While it is very common for every gamer to think this game is about eliminating the enemies, it’s not. Rather it focuses more on how to make your kingdom grow and how to manage and defend it properly.

You will be the one to build structures, hire heroes and control your kingdom’s economy while being attacked by your enemies from all sides. In other words, you are the king of the kingdom you’re controlling.

Graphics

The PC version comes with an impressive representation of imperial structures, terrains, soldiers, knights, warriors, etc., now imagine if the larger and coarser graphics is compressed into a smaller display with finer pixels and brighter color; that’s exactly what you’re getting when you purchase and play Majesty game series for Android.

Younger audiences should also be able to appreciate the graphics as HeroCraft did a good job in playing with colors in this game. It made sure you will never confuse your characters or kingdom with that of your enemies making the game easier to play even for children. The user interface including buttons, menus and dialogue boxes were created in a way to better match the game’s theme.

Audio

For me, the audio seemed not so good but that’s actually one thing I could live without. I have played a lot of real-time strategy games with imperial theme like Age of Empires (all versions) and all of them have really good music. My point is that I’m used to hearing majestic music when playing imperial- or fantasy-themed games and Majesty: NE wasn’t able to meet my expectations here. In fact, there is a scarcity of music in this game.

 

When it comes to the sound effects of weapons, spells, attacks, etc,. I think it delivers just fine. And for the record, slashes of swords are synchronized with their respective sounds. So, for this factor I just have to give it half a point.

Controls

There’s nothing much to it because basically, there are only two actions you have to do on your screen—pan and tap. To scroll through the entire map, all you have to do is pan your finger through the screen and when you’re going to call the menus, just tap the respective buttons located on every corner.

 

The mini map can be called by tapping on the compass symbol located in the upper-left hand corner of the screen; the spells on the lower-left corner; to navigate through castle options just tap on the button located on the lower-right corner; and to call the menus, just tap on the button on the upper-right corner. I simply don’t have problems with the controls in general, as well as to the placement of the buttons and the way they are executed and called.

Smoothness

This includes possible lags and how fast the game can load. So far, Majesty: The Northern Expansion does not lag on devices with 1GHz processors and up. It also does not exhibit lags on devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

However, for older and a few entry-level devices that have only 600 MHz processor and running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, there is an occasional unresponsiveness that would last 3 to 5 seconds. It may be annoying but for those who understand the capacity of their smartphones, it may not be seen as a problem at all.

With its graphics and effects, you could almost expect that the load times may take a little while but that’s not the case here. For faster devices, the game loads in a matter of 5 seconds after tapping its icon until the option to Enable/Disable the sound appears.

There are two proprietary logos that will be presented upon launching the game; the HeroCraft and Paradox Interactive logos. Each one would take about 2 seconds each to load on a faster device. For slower ones, it would take 4 seconds each… well, you do the math. As much as I want to give this game a point for this factor, I just can’t. So, I’ll give it half a point.

Difficulty Levels

There are three difficulty levels you can choose from;

Pacifist – you don’t have to worry so much about being attacked because as long as you have at least two warriors/heroes, you can survive the first wave of attacks. That said, there will be no big early attacks; enemies will come in pairs but that’s it.

Peacemaker – this is just a little aggressive than the Pacifist but also there’s nothing to worry about. This time, attacks may be random and there could be batches that come with more than 5 enemies but once you have four warriors with a couple of guard towers near the castle, it’s easier to deflect attacks.

Bloodthirsty – now, this level is more exciting than I expected. While I am an avid fan of RTS games, I haven’t lasted more than 15 minutes when playing against bloodthirsty enemies. The thing is you don’t have full control over your warriors so you can’t focus on attacking a stronger enemy character.

Replay Value

The thing about RTS games is that they always possess replay value; you are always tempted to play again and again until you’ve mastered your enemy’s attacks and survive. I think Majesty: The Northern Expansion for Android is more challenging than the PC version because of the following;

  • First, it is more difficult to control your characters on a touchscreen than using a keyboard and a mouse.
  • Second, it is more difficult to play and scroll on smaller screen.

The game is challenging in its very essence and that’s one of the reasons why many would replay it over.

Length

The length of the game depends on the difficulty level you’re playing on as well as on your aggressiveness. Naturally, playing on a pacifist level would be shorter than the other two levels simply because you will have more time building structures and gaining more gold because your enemy does not attack you more often.

Pacifist enemies are also easier to defeat than bloodthirsty ones. So, if you are aggressive enough to initiate the attack earlier, you might just be able to finish the game faster. But unlike other RTS games, Majesty: NE limits you to 20 characters only. So, you must have your own initiative how to use your people to defeat your enemies.

Lasting Appeal

The game does make an impact on me. While not everyone is fond of playing long-running RTS games, this is one of the few Android games I would surely recommend to friends who may be looking for more entertaining piece of art.

After having played it for several days now, I think $3.00 is just cheap for this kind of game as well as the kind of entertainment anyone can get. Had the developer doubled the price, I wouldn’t think twice paying for a copy.

Conclusion

Apparently, Majesty: Northern Expansion was not developed in haste and lack of enthusiasm. Rather, HeroCraft took its time and put all its expertise to bring Paradox Interactive’s game to Android market. There’s no other developer who could port this game to Android platform better than HeroCraft.

More Details 

Title: Majesty: Northern Expansion

Price: $3.00

Version: 1.2.14

Platform: Android 2.1 and up

Store: Google Play Store

Devices Used for Review: Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC One S, LG Optimus One

Overall Rating: 9 out of 10