Pacific General

aka: Batailles du Pacifique, Pazifik Admiral
Moby ID: 3344
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Part of the wildly popular Panzer General line of games. Pacific gives you command of either allied or axis forces in the pacific theater of operations. Just like Panzer General you will build a force together and try to carry it through the war, and just like Panzer you will need the benefit of the experienced units if you are going to be victorious.

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Credits (Windows version)

81 People (67 developers, 14 thanks) · View all

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  • SSI Special Projects Group
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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 14 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 14 ratings with 1 reviews)

Pacific General is by far the best of the 1st generation SSI "general" series

The Good
Pacific General, as the name implies, allows you to command in a series of battles in the pacific theatre in WWII. Taking command of either the Japanese or US forces, you play out a series of missions with the goal of taking over strategic points (typically cities) and their associated "victory points", which can be spent on various upgrades and new units.

When a particular battle ends after a set number of turns, the progress of your units is measured to decide how you did. This outcome is used to select the next battle to be played, or if you lose the battle, you are washed out completely. Given a "positive" outcome you are also granted an additional number of points to upgrade your units, and then the next battle begins.

The game is based on the 1st generation "general" engine - which was also used in the original and groundbreaking Panzer General, and then in the not-so-notable Allied General. In both of these games some rather obvious problems in unit power balances upset an otherwise fun engine, but careful tuning (or just dumb luck?) cleaned these out of the engine for it's third release.

After playing both Panzer General and Allied General, Pacific General seemed to hold few surprises. The engine is largely identical to the earlier two versions, although of course they added a few tweeks here and there. The same movement and combat system is used, the same sort of maps and hidden areas, and the same set of victory points system as well.

However the one thing that immediately becomes obvious when playing Pacific General is that the unit strength is far more balanced than in the original two games. In those the game quickly degenerated into seeing who could build up the largest fleet of the most advanced tanks and fighters, while other units quickly became increasingly impotent. In Pacific General the infantry remains an important and powerful asset right to the end, notably the light infantry which is a requirement given the rocky and swampy terrain much of the game takes place on.

The Bad
On the downside, the game continues to place as much value in experience as earlier versions of the engine, forcing you to spend most of your points on elite replacements for your existing units. This forced me into repeatedly playing particular battles over and over until I could I win them, and then used the money to buy new units.

Another problem is also shared with the earlier versions of the game in that any city on the map is a potential point for the AI to buy new units mid-game. As a result if you do not take over every single city on the map you will find rogue enemy units far behind your lines swollowing up cities and killing your victory points. This nullifies any sort of strategy, you simply kill everything and maintain a front line - no sort of sweeping encirclement will help because there's no real notion of a supply chain.

The Bottom Line
The best of the original Panzer General series, although not nearly as well known or played. This game deserves considerably more attention than it gets, and continues to be a great game to play.

Windows · by Maury Markowitz (266) · 2001

Trivia

Pacific General was the last game that used the Panzer General engine.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by William Shawn McDonie.

Additional contributors: Rebound Boy, Sciere.

Game added February 20, 2001. Last modified January 22, 2024.