Although Pirates! Gold has been improved in almost every way over the original, winning battles with overwhelming odds against you is not as likely anymore. Having more realism added to this upgrade has added much more of a challenge.
The first thing you will notice is that there is no paper map included with the game. A map can be accessed while playing the game of course, which is a nice feature as it can quickly point out where a town is located. Minor changes were made throughout the game. While in a town buildings must be clicked on rather than selected from a list. The merchant no longer handles ship problems, there is now a shipyard. Marriage has also been changed slightly. Instead of only being able to marry a governor's daughter, you can now marry a merchant's daughter.
Treasure maps are now significantly different. No longer can you glance at 1/4th of a map and know exactly where a treasure is. Maps are much more similar to an old treasure map. The land is smooth and does not contain any trees which could clue you in on where the treasure is. Veteran Pirates! players could find four Inca treasures with the one piece of the map each family member provided. Now you will most likely need at least two pieces of a map in order to locate a treasure.
Sea battles and fencing have also changed. When in a ship battle cannon fire is harder to avoid. In the original game cannon fire was grouped, now it is spread out. Avoiding three cannonballs which stretch as long as your ship is challenging. Fencing takes more skill also. Characters are larger and the computer fights much better.
Graphically Pirates! Gold is superior to Sid Meier's Pirates!, which is the main reason for the upgraded version. Ships now look different when on the screen. For example, if you have a galleon you will be much larger than an opposing sloop. Also, during fencing matches characters show blood when they are hit. Overall everything looks better.
Sounds have also taken a large leap over the original. Music is more entertaining and reminiscent of the time period. Digitized speech has been added this time. Your lookout will announce when a ship has been spotted and while fencing the loser will yell "I surrender."
Pirates! Gold is a great game and every fan of the original should definitely try it out.
Graphics: Graphics help set the feeling of being in the time period.
Sound: Digitized speech is cool, but not extremely clear.
Enjoyment: Everything about this game is fun; it is the original game with a few additions.
Replay Value: Different time periods, four nationalities, famous expeditions, and depending on your skill each game can last a fair amount of time.
As with the original, this is a blend of strategy, action and adventure. Pirates! Gold lets you play the role of a beginning buccaneer in the 17th century Spanish Main, in search of fame and fortune. Each town in this untamed raw region has different surprises and dangers.
How you acquire stature is up to you; you can make your living through honest trade and the search for hidden treasure, or you can be a little more daring and attack and plunder ships. As you can choose a specific skill to stand out in, the game can vary each time. Sword fighting is played out in side-view action sequences.
People who downloaded Pirates! Gold for Windows have also downloaded:
Sid Meier's Pirates!, Pirates 2, Pirate Hunter, Port Royale 2, Railroad Tycoon Deluxe, Port Royale: Gold, Power and Pirates, Master of Orion, Populous 2
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