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Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy
" Operating system: Windows XP & Vista
" Processor: 1.6 GHz Processor
" Memory: 512 MB RAM
" Hard disk space: 500 MB of Available Hard Disk Space
" Video: DirectX Compatible 256 MB Video Card (must support Pixel Shader 2.0)
" Sound: DirectX compliant sound card
" DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c

Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy is the first game released by a two man team named Stickman Studios. It\'s powered by Torque Engine Advanced and it\'s probably one of the prettiest Torque based games I\'ve reviewed. The water effects are amazing which is good because you\'ll spend 98% of the game sailing and sinking ships.  The other two percent of the game will involve doing upgrades, repairs or recording your progress.  With your trusty ship, you\'ll be sailing in a 3D environment and your main gain is to gain an infamous reputation by sinking, plundering and being a mean pirate.

The game play is pretty simple but fun. There are over fifty single player missions with different difficulties ranging from very easy to very hard. You can play the missions in any order, but some may not be playable if your crew\'s morale is too low. Most of the missions are unlocked as you play and recover charts from ships that you sink. As you successfully complete missions, you will gain infamy points and your crew\'s morale will improve. If you abort a mission, it will upset your crew. Another way to boost morale is to buy them rum or share the loot with them after sinking a merchant ship.

It\'s important to keep your crew happy, as their mood determines how fast your infamy ticks away during missions. As you play a mission, your infamy points will gradually decrease, so you have to gain infamy back by sinking ships and completing all of the mission objectives. You can also be a jerk and blast away houses, plantations, churches, and other defenseless buildings. As the missions get harder the gold and infamy rewards increases.

In order to stand a chance at the harder missions you\'ll need a pretty good ship. There are several classes and models of ships in this game. Many of the ships will be unlocked as you play the campaign. Each ship has three upgradable attributes (Speed, Armor, and Firepower). If you\'re strapped for cash, you can always do a merchant ship mission to get some gold and infamy points. Fortunately merchant missions are not locked after you complete them so you can keep going back to them for gold.

After a mission your ship may need some repairs and your ammunition reloaded. You can either do incremental repairs for a small fee or do a full repair/reload for a lump sum. I found it usually cheaper to do incremental unless my ship is really low on health or ammo.

When it comes to missions, there are few variations on several basic types. Many of the missions will ask you to destroy X number of houses/plantations/haciendas/barracks/etc., and many of these targets will have cannons firing at you and ships patrolling nearby to add some complexity. Some missions will need you to gather information of sorts which will require you to hover near your target (sitting duck) while a counter slowly reaches 100%, and if you move away too quickly, you\'ll have to start all over again. A perfect example of this scenario is investigating a docked ship; this can often times add a new ship available for purchase, so be sure to investigate these vessels! There are some escorting missions where you have to protect a ship from "other" pirates. Lastly, there are a few missions that require you to sink X number of ships. These missions often have a shipwreck where you can repair your ship while you are close to it. (If only every mission had that feature!)

Now that game play is pretty much summarized, let\'s talk game mechanics. The controls are fairly simple. You maneuver your ship using the WASD controls. Left clicking fires the cannons on your left side and right clicking fires your right cannons. There\'s a telescope feature that I rarely used (mostly by accident).

As I mentioned before the graphics are pretty good. The environments are very pretty and the water is clear and makes you want to dive into it. The ships all have a unique look to them. When you save your game in the tavern area there are some 3D pirate models walking and sitting around. They are not very detailed but you can tell they\'re pirates.

The sound in Buccaneers is pretty good. I love the theme music and environment sounds. The waves and seagull calls make you feel like you\'re sailing (without the sea sickness). I didn\'t mind the voice acting but some may find the pirate narrator a little cheesy. Yaaarrg.

Multiplayer is available and as of this review there was a server online with a few players on it.  The multiplayer game play is similar to capture the flag, each team has a boat of interest and the opposing team needs to capture it.  For the Crown side, they have a duchess they want to protect and the pirate side needs to protect captian Williy.   There was some lag/stutter but it was very playable.  

When it comes to appropriateness there some things worth mentioning.  The main goal is to aquire infamy points by destroying ships, towns, churches and so forth.  Some of the missions have you rescue pirates in life boats but not everyone is so lucky. If you don\'t sink ships, they won\'t hesitate to sink yours, so you better have your cannons ready. When you save your progress you\'ll see a tavern scene with drinking. The menu song mentions wenches but that\'s as far as it goes. 

Overall this is a very fun game to play. I only wish the multiplayer servers had more activity on them. At the very least I can re-play the harder merchant missions to get even more infamy points. This game is available on steam for $19.95 and has achievements that you can earn. I truly look forward to updates and other games by this developer.

Game Play: 17/20
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 7/10
Stability: 4/5
Controls: 5/5
Appropriateness 42.5/50
-3 for sinking ships
-3 for sexual and drinking references
-1.5 for immoral decisions being rewarded

Overall Score: 83.5%

 

 

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divinegames @FinalMasterM Thanks and sorry for the trouble, never seen that issue only the big menu text gone but not all of the text :\
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divinegames @FinalMasterM Can always try a reboot :\ Works fine on Firefox for me :(
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divinegames @FinalMasterM does it look fine on IE for you? really can't reproduce this
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divinegames @FinalMasterM Have you tried increasing the font size? Maybe it's been shrunk into oblivion?
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divinegames @FinalMasterM I cleared all the cache and tried on Chrome, Firefox and IE and works fine there...working any better for you?
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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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