2024 February Retrospective

As February came and went so did the layoffs which seem to be ramping up. According to at least 49,386 employees have been laid off since the beginning of the year.

It seems and feels like the layoffs will continue until morale improves.

Night Swim

I feel like it’s a semi-well known fact by now, that I am a horror movie aficionado of some sorts and my first horror movie of the year happened to be titled Night Swim. When it comes to horror flicks, anything produced by James Wan is something that is worth checking out. That’s my general rule of thumb.

Stronghold: Definitive Edition - Swine’s Bay DLC

I mentioned Stronghold Definitive Edition in my traditional 2023 retrospective and here we are a few short months later with a brand new DLC fresh out of the oven.

Running down the memory lane barefoot

The very first time I’ve seen or heard of Stronghold was in the 26th issue (way back from November 2001) of the now defunct XtremPC Magazine.


If memory serves, the demo was on the companion CD that came with the magazine. Those were the good old days, back when demos actually gave you a pretty good idea of what the full game was about. And, last but not least contained a decent amount of content.

A little rant every now and then is good for the soul

While the original Stronghold did lay down most of the foundation, essentially almost (?) everything that makes “Stronghold be Stronghold” so to speak, only Stronghold Crusader which came out roughly a year or so later manges to achieve actual perfection in the truest sense of the word; which is why many people, including myself still play it and consider it one of the greatest real-time-strategy games every made. Period!

With that said, it feels very odd to me that Firefly Studios would decide to do a definitive edition of the original Stronghold first, rather than going straight to Crusader. Doubly so, considering that Crusader is an evolution of the original code base and it would have made a lot more sense to port it first and then simply retrofit the original. This way, Skirmish mode would have been almost free. As a side note, skirmish mode has been one of the most requested features since the release of the definitive edition.

Last but not least, this approach would have also allowed for a combined definitive (final/collectors?) edition with both titles built from a single unified code base. Oh well!

All this leads me to put my tinfoil hat on and speculate that there must have been some traumatic event around Crusader during its original development, because I really can’t seem to figure out the reasoning behind all this; be it financial, business or otherwise as to why not work on the definitive edition of the most played, requested and highly regarded title first. It’s all just very bizarre to say the least.

I do want to end the topic (and rant!) on a happy and positive note with a review of Stronghold Crusader from the 63rd issue (December 2002) of another now defunct magazine called Level (the Romanian branch).


Finally, to drive the proverbial dagger home, considering the fact that I’ve been looking at scans of ancient magazines for the past 2 hours or so, desperately trying to recall and find these reviews, might as well share the review of the original Stronghold, written by the same author no less. It seems only fair and proper.

This was published in the 52nd issue (January 2002) of the magazine.






Monthly Archive

As per usual, you can find a collection of my random monthly scribblings and musings below.

Image Kernels / 2024-02-04
Amalgamation / 2024-02-24

I know that it’s not much, but it’s honest work.