SEGA AGES Herzog Zwei (Switch) Review

Originally released in 1989 for the Mega Drive in Japan, Herzog Zwei became a bit of a cult classic amongst fans. Although it set an impressive standard for the real-time strategy genre, it was perhaps most known for its legendary difficulty. Even with adding several quality of life improvements thanks to the wizardry of M2, this latest SEGA AGES release is still a product of its time.

Herzog Zwei is a hard game.  In fact, it is so difficult that the game straight up tells the player this fact and tries to make light of it. As if the difficulty wasn’t enough, grasping knowledge of the ruleset, touchy menu controls, and complex UI takes time and dedication.  Knowing this, the developers included a newly implemented Tutorial mode that facilitates several how-tos. However, I actually lost during the tutorial segment and needed to restart – even the tutorial is ridiculous! After muscling my way through the hour long tutorial to familiarize myself with everything the game offers, I got immediately destroyed on the lowest difficulty within a few minutes when starting the single player mode. You also have to fight so hard to gain one inch of ground over the brutal AI.  To me, this quickly crossed the line from being interesting to frustrating. At least the tutorial makes cute references to previous Sega titles.

Like the other SEGA AGES Switch releases, the player has a wealth of options available. This includes screen boarder variants, the ability to save gameplay, upload and watch replays, leaderboards, online multiplayer and more. There is even an option to adjust the lag found in the original release; this is a finely tuned detail only a company like M2 would welcomingly implement.

It is safe to say this is the best way to experience this Sega cult classic but its complex gameplay and high challenge isn’t for everyone.  Hardcore RTS fans should give this a whirl to experience the grandfather of the genre but most other players will find more entertainment in any other Switch SEGA AGES title instead.

SCORE: 5/10

Not As Good As: Rampart
Also Try: Warlocked (GBC)
Wait For It: a new Advance Wars

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz

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