The two went head to head in a metareview showdown: Civilization IV versus Age of Empires III. AoE III won in sales, but got edged out in overall rankings, but then it was revealed that Civilization IV was playing injured. Reports of buggy software flooded the nets, and then it was AoE III's game to lose. Then today, a reader informed us that AoE III suffered from a plentitude of bugs as well. The forums are buzzing with comments like:
vodka-mike: Ensemble's devs and brass should feel ashamed [of] this release.
Vincedia: OK, so we bought this game, get it home, start to play, and find out we are paying to Beta test? I've had the game for a bit over 2 weeks now and I still can not stop the crashing to desktop.
gman: What I haven't seen is a response from ES at all.
There are hundreds of posts just like this one, on this forum alone! Is this a case of two competitors both rushing their competing titles out the door only to have them compete against another rushed product? Or was the lucrative holiday season looming, so the "patch it later" mentality kicked in. We love Sid Meier, but we want him to know that the DS doesn't work that way. Now, if Microsoft brings AoE to the 360, maybe they could patch it... but let's not even think about that.