I was always a big fan of the first Age of Empires game on the DS (remember when we did these?). When a sequel was revealed, I nearly wet myself with excitement (luckily, nobody can confirm or deny the wetting). Then, E3 hit and my cohort in crime, JC, informed me the game was available for play at THQ's booth.

I immediately called "dibs."

Sadly, I didn't have a truckload of time to check the game out. But, I did get some lovely factoids from the fine, young gentleman displaying the title. There were 3 scenarios available to enjoy and without even looking them over, I knew I only had a few minutes to check out the game. So I leaped right into the first option.

Immediately after jumping into the level, I could see the game got a nice increase in the visuals department. The backgrounds are still pre-rendered, but the sprites are now all done with polygons. Their animations on the game map, as well as in battle, are all nice and fluid. You can now easily discern which units are which!

I started out the skirmish with two camel riders, a few pikemen and some lowly swordmen. There was also my big hero unit, who could single-handedly trash an entire enemy unit. I could gather from the look of my squad, as well as that of my enemies, that I was in Egypt. It was then that I realized I needed to kill some people. And fast, as my time to partake in the demo was quickly running out.

My camel riders immediately leaped into action. I used them to run over some enemies on foot, and then sent in my own foot soldiers to clean up. I then sent my hero after their camel riders, and, as you might imagine, he made very short work of them. It was then that I had to put the handheld down and get ready to hurry off to my next appointment.

Before I left, I asked for a brief rundown on the upgrades in Age of Mythologies. He told me about worshipping and how it would influence which gods favored you, unlocking abilities for your troops. He also told me how the movement had been changed, thanks to the implementation of roads. This meant that units could move a lot farther, speeding up battle time and making for a better flow to the whole experience.

Regardless of all of this, Age of Mythologies very much felt like I hoped it would. In walking away from the handheld, I had a good feeling that the title would deliver on my expectations. Oh, and there's the Wi-Fi Connect compatibility. That doesn't hurt the game's chances, that's for sure!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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