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A Girl's Game Review: Black & White 2

Amber is an avid girl gamer, PC enthusiast, and animal lover. When she's not covered in cats and watching anime, she's kicking @$$ in SC2.

Why Black & White 2?

Again, it's yet another game I've been playing since the very first, Black & White. It is a little more "feminine" in some aspects, but has some great British humor in it. There are four games in all; Black & White, Black & White: Creature Isle, Black & White 2, and Black & White 2: Battle of the Gods. It's only a PC game, and only one player, but the replay value of it is extremely interesting, seeing as how after you finish the game, you can start a new game under your same profile and have all of the upgrades you already bought. Without this, there's some wonders you wouldn't be able to get, such as the Volcano wonder. It is a Strategy RPG, and somewhat a Sim game as well, though you're actually personified as a god. Ever wanted to see what it would be like to be a god? Play this game. Made by the same company that made the Fable series, its mechanics for the subtle changes of the land based off of your choices to be good or evil helped create the popular Xbox and computer series. Depending on your computer, the graphics are quite good for the age of the game, the music is extremely relaxing, and the advisors entertain to no end. It's a basic build, create, destroy game that's very simple to understand, and very quick to get addicted to. A great time waster and beginning game for the new computer gamers! Try it out, and see what you think.

Black & White 2 Trailer

Screenshots

Full grown Lion creature watching the army march out.

Full grown Lion creature watching the army march out.

A Greek village.  Can you build like this?

A Greek village. Can you build like this?

A Wolf creature howling.

A Wolf creature howling.

About the Game

You are the hand of a god, and it's your decision on how to conquer the land. You can build up cities and impress all of the towns around you, or build up a massive army and destroy them. One way or another, you will have to conquer though. Your main enemy are the Aztecs, who destroyed your towns and armies right at the beginning. After saving as many people as your advisors let you, you have to start all over again, while trying to find other outposts of your people, and getting other cultures on your side so you can build up enough to wipe the Aztecs out. Besides your people and advisors, you will also have a creature. The choice as to which one you want is yours, but unlike the original Black & White, you can't change your creature after you decide, and the decision is only based off of aesthetics and not combat or magic. You can "teach" your creature miracles like heal or water through spending tribute that you get for finishing multiple objectives and scrolls. Look for glowing bronze, silver, and gold scrolls floating above the quest. You can also buy yourself miracles and more buildings and abilities with tribute. Things like "scrubbing," which is just the ability to transfer your influence to the land within your influence ring and change the look of it, is one of the abilities you can buy. My favorite miracle to buy is "Meteors," which sends down a meteor shower where you send the miracle. It's not a miracle you can accurately throw though, but it's worth the destruction in close combat. And speaking of throwing miracles, any of the basic miracles you can throw outside of your influence, just look for the throwing tutorial on how to throw a rock. Throwing miracles is the same principle, and a lot more fun, especially when it's a fireball or lightning.

The first three lands you start off on are the tutorial lands, which help teach you how to play the game and what you need to do to win. Once you play through the whole game once and decide to play another, you have the option of skipping these lands and starting off on the fourth. The fourth land still has some tutorials, like wall building and mana, but they're quick ones that are a piece of cake to finish. Just build your wall as quick as possible, because the enemy starts sending out their army pretty fast. Once your walls are built, they'll stop outside of them and wait for you to open the doors. If you're influence ring is big enough, throw a couple fireballs at them if you don't like them waiting out there. Consider it target practice...

The game can be as long or short as you want, depending on how you want to take over. Using influence takes the longest, but the people stay happy and the land is beautiful and plentiful. Using an army is fairly quick, as long as you keep the population up, but makes the people unhappy and the land dead and cracked. Using a mixture of both is a pretty good way to start out and learn the game, especially when you're trying to save up enough tribute to get all of the things you want, which will take at least 2 games no matter how you play it, as long as you find and finish all of the side quests in each land. The main objectives usually don't give as much tribute as the side ones, so they're really not that important. There's just a lot of them.

The very last level is, of course, the most difficult, and will most likely take you the longest no matter which way you choose to conquer it. Luckily, you'll have help from two other cultures, who will give you a city and a nice sized army. Be patient on this one, build up, expand your influence ring as far as possible, and kick some Aztec butt!!!

Black & White 2 Cinematic

Hints and Tips

  • Building multiples of the same building lowers impressiveness. Try to stick to less than 3 of the important ones like Temples and Baths.
  • Once you buy the skyscraper, build it on the highest point in the city; the higher up the buildings are, the more impressive they are for the city. For each level, the impressiveness doubles. Just try not to go over 5 levels, the happiness goes down dramatically after that.
  • Place as many worshippers at your alter as you can spare. You'll need the mana to use miracles, especially later in the game.
  • Once you beat Land 4, look off to the right side of your base, down the path next to the water. There will be a guy sitting next to a fire. He's the Indestructible Man!!! Grab him, go to the top of a mountain, and throw him as far as possible. You get tribute for beating records, and more tribute for beating your own!
  • Wait until you beat land 5 do try the Forest Ambush quest. The easiest way to finish it is to deforest the whole island. Rip out all of the trees, place them in one of your storehouses, and then go for it. Now instead of being a pain, it's a piece of cake!
  • At the beginning of land 6, you start on a large hill with a choke point far out of your influence. Lucky for you, once walls are started in your influence, they can be finished out. Stretch your wall down the hill towards the choke point, and close it off. Otherwise you'll be fighting more armies than you can handle. Just watch for the Seige engines on the cliffs overlooking the choke point, they can take your walls down in no time.
  • Also in land 6, spread your influence as far off to the right off the island as quickly as possible. The enemy will use the Hurricane Wonder, and destroy everything on your island if they can get close enough to it. (Wonders cannot be used in an enemy's influence ring.)
  • When searching for the 7 Samuri on land 6, change the time to night and zoom out, though not too far. They glow no matter what time of day, but it's so much easier to find them at night.
  • On land 7, expand your influence ring off to the left of your choke point over the cliff. Not long after starting, the enemy will use the Earthquake Wonder on this side, and if your influence is large enough over here, it won't make it up the cliff and won't damage a thing. However, later in the game, they'll try to use it again, but on the right side of your base, just below the huge mountain top you can build on. Again, if your influence doesn't cover this entire area, it will wipe through your city and destroy most everything.
  • Don't make too many disciple foresters on land 7, there is a tree shortage. Expand your forests by picking up one or two and planting them in a fertile area nearby. Keep them watered, and you'll be fine.
  • After making (and losing) a few disciple miners, you'll get the Monster Mine quest. Just send in an army of at least 10 swordsmen and you'll take care of it, and have a stronger army out of it.
  • On the left side of your main city, past where the first Earthquake Wonder was used, there's another Indestructible Man. Pick him up and see how far you can throw him this time!!!
  • Land 8 is dry and massive, but thin. Build your city out of the walls, then expand the walls around the city. You'll need it.
  • Make sure to water your fields and forests often on land 8. There's not much fertile ground around, and neither will grow very well without it. Plus, its an objective to water your fields every day.
  • There's not a lot of ore in your main base. Make as many disciple miners as you can afford, then once your main base is out, open the gates and let them wander the map for it. They'll bring it back...
  • No matter what you do on land 9, half of your city will be destroyed by the Volcano Wonder that the Aztec use on the left corner of your base. Expanding your influence out by quickly building a wonder or two helps, but your fields, walls, roads, and anything else built over there will be destroyed. Don't worry, you can rebuild quickly.

Black & White 2 Intro

Helpful Links

Buy Black & White 2

Comments

Amber Davis (author) from Texas on November 08, 2011:

Thanks! I hope it helps. Anything you notice that I might need to add?

Abigail Richards from United Kingdom on November 08, 2011:

I love Black and White ! I have an urge re-install it after reading this. Voted up!