Europa Universalis III AAR Review
So, what exactly are the basic elements of a gameplay AAR? I think we can all agree that they're usually lighthearted, focus heavily on what's going through the player's minds as they play, and generally speaking have more pictures than text (unless it's a guide or tutorial or whatever). Seems like a fairly basic formula, but yet, good gameplay works are elusive.
Instead of doing my review like I did for Victoria 2 in the past, I think I want this to be more of a spotlight. Sure, I could review PrawnStar's current AAR, The Historic Inevitability of Epic Failure, but since just about everyone already knows and loves PrawnStar, that doesn't exactly feel right. So I decided to give a bit of attention to a just-starting work by tamius23, The Story of Styria.
What exactly draws me to it? I'm not sure. Maybe it's the fact that this piece avoids the plague that bites most gameplay pieces: fatigue. The pace is kept up, and tamius doesn't spend all of his time showcasing every little detail. The simplicity of his writing, the very subtle but very present humor, and the way he manages to keep his writing fresh throughout the updates that he has posted so far are all incredible.
If you're looking for a meaty work, or something side-splitting along the lines of Glory for Ulm, I can't say that this is the AAR for you. The text in between pictures is never very long, and none of the jokes are obvious or extremely clever. Instead, a light and subtle voice is used to convey all the events that happen in the game, both good and bad. Perhaps one could even say this simple way of writing is reflected in the title, which doesn't have any obscure reference or combination of ominous words. Nope, just The Story of Styria.
However, if you just need something to read that will keep you engaged, entertained, and intrigued, then by all means, click on the link I provided above and dig in. It won't take you long, but if you like the style, I think you'll fall in love. Normally I like to read the beginning of an AAR, write a bit about that, then continue reading the rest, but I just wasn't able to stop. Before I knew it, I was at the most recent update and twenty-five minutes had been added to the clock. That's sort of the magic of this piece, it just makes you lose track of everything until you've absorbed all of it.