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  1. #376
    High Definition Gameface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtheistPreacher View Post
    I'm a huge huge fan of the original game. It was so ahead of its time it wasn't even funny. And while the remake has been reviewed well, I found the following list of complaints from a dedicated fan, and I have to say I agree with all of them. I'll have to try the game before I pick it up.

    ----------------------------------------

    The biggest problems, by a mile, lie in the combat aspect. Here's a list of issues I've run into just from the first few missions:

    1. You cannot fire, then move with a unit.
    Prevously, Time Units allowed you to perform literally any series of moves or actions, in any order, provided you had enough time units. Even crouching had a Time Unit cost.
    This game simplified things. You basically have three options: a) special action (like firing a rocket launcher), b) move, then action, or c) move twice. Inexplicably, there is no option to fire from your current position, then retreat.
    This is obviously very limiting tactically, and there is no reason I can fathom for its exclusion.

    2. If you sight an alien, you cannot change where you are moving to.
    In the original game, if you were in the middle of moving to a spot and you sighted an alien, your movement would cease and the game would warn you that you sighted an alien. You could then continue to where you were going, or alter your path.
    In this game, there's no such thing. Your move is your move, and sighting an enemy cannot change it. This seems to be a limitation of the 2-move system, but it seems like they could've found a way around it (Valkyria Chronicles' system was actually a much better way of doing basically the same thing this game is trying to do).

    3. The amount of protection cover appears to offer has nothing to do with what it actually offers.
    In the original game, if you had a wall between you and an alien, you could count on that wall to take one shot before it was destroyed, unless the alien used an explosive weapon.
    In this game, that wall may provide you no protection at all for no discernible reason. In this game, a low wall will say it provides you "half-cover," while a high wall provides "full-cover." But that's not always logical. So a bit earlier, I had a guy crouching behind a low stone wall which was on top of an elevated platform. There was an enemy on the opposite side of the wall and *below* the platform. Logically, he has no line of sight and couldn't possibly hit me (or even see me). But, by this game's logic, I was in "half-cover," so he magically hit me and killed me THROUGH the stone wall (without doing any damage to the wall).
    How am I supposed to plan my movements when basic laws of physics don't apply?

    4. Aliens can arbitrarily move on your turn, and even prematurely end your turn. Seriously.
    Needless to say, in the original game, the aliens played by the same rules you did. If they had enough time units to fire on your turn, they could fire on you. But that was it.
    In this game, as soon as you sight them, they get to move into cover. Secondly, an alien will sometimes just take a move, out of the blue, on your turn. So you may use two of your four units to move, then an alien arbitrarily cuts you off, then it's back to your "turn," and you can use any of your four units again.
    How am I supposed to plan my tactics properly when I don't know when my turn will actually end?

    5. You can't fire anywhere you want anymore.
    In the original game, you could fire anywhere, often creating a hole though a wall that you could move through, or blowing up a building you thought aliens might be in.
    In this game... nope. You can only fire if you see an alien.

    6. There are a finite number of maps. Plus, they tend to be small.
    No more randomly generated awesomeness to keep you on your toes like the original.
    Instead, they are all pre-constructed. So if you play the whole game, you already know the entirety of the terrain on any given mission, which just feels like cheating.


    So then, once we get past all the combat problems, there's another problem in the "other half" of the game:

    7. The ship-to-ship combat minigame has been eliminated entirely, in favor of the computer randomly generating an outcome.
    Yes, that's right. In the original game, you had some rudimentary "aggresive," "standard," "cautious," and "disengage" options to finesse that alien craft to the ground.
    In this game... there's zero control. You send an interceptor after an alien craft, and then the game tells you whether it worked or not. The end.
    All of that is true. The time unit thing bugs me the most. The developers made a gaffe and said it was to save the player's "head space" for other aspects of the game. I say let it be an option if you believe some of the consumers have limited "head space" for that sort of thing. So before if you had a unit built up you could charge into a room and kill several aliens before beating a retreat or possibly killing all the aliens and ending the mission. Now, each unit has two actions. Both actions can be used to move extra far. Most units will end their turn if they fire at an enemy. There is an upgraded ability to fire then either move or fire again. But what it means is that basically one unit might be able to kill one alien. Stronger aliens can't be killed with one shot generally, so you might need several units to kill one alien, even if you've got pretty built up units.

    Where I think the time unit thing really really falls short is when you're on a "terror" mission. That's where the aliens are just in a city killing all the civilians in sight. You can save civilians by moving a unit adjacent to them. First problem is that with no time units and no way to designate waypoints you can be in a room full of civilians but can't move next to each one even if they are well within your units movement area. So if you move one step to get right next to one guy that'll take an entire action for that turn and you can burn your second action moving another step to save another civilian.

    I guess the inability to change course if aliens are spotted during your unit's movement is also related to the elimination of time units. It sucks pretty bad, especially if you've inadvertently moved your unit into a nest of aliens that you couldn't see before.

    I couldn't help but think during missions that even in Apocalypse (I never played the original, but got hooked on Apocalypse) the firing actions were more realistic. Part of that, again, is related to time units. In that game some weapons required very few (sometimes only 1) time units per shot. You could continue to take shots until you ran out of ammo or ran out of time units. Or, if you wanted, you could stop firing from that position and move in for a better shot or move back behind cover. Shooting seemed pretty realistic. In this game it couldn't be more obvious that it's a dice roll. I know it essentially always was, but in this game you're not going to accidentally kill other aliens in the vicinity. In fact, if there is an alien standing directly in front of the alien you target your shot will go through that alien and either kill or miss the alien you shot at. In the old game with the machine gun or with the bio-gun I'd often pick an alien in the middle of a group and start popping off rounds. I might not hit the alien I was shooting at but the bullets would often strike the other aliens. Then when I was down to only a few time units I'd move back behind cover.

    The thing with cover is bad. When your unit is about to take the "fire" action you hit the fire button and a target pops up with a percentage representing your chance at hitting that target. Often something that is close and easily visible has a low percentage but something that is far and completely obstructed from view has a high percentage. There's very little way to know without pulling up the targets one-by-one to determine if you have a good shot at anything. This goes both ways. You can't be sure where you're moving your unit is safe. I had a sniper back behind the front line, in an elevated position and behind half-cover. My assault and support guys were in front and performing the "overwatch" action (you can end a unit's turn who still has an action remaining with overwatch and that unit will fire during the aliens turn at the very first thing he/she sees). The aliens didn't technically move but began shooting at my sniper. A few lucky shots later and one of my most valuable soldiers was killed.

    That brings me to another gripe, which is again related to the time unit thing. When your unit shoots he/she moves out of cover as part of the "fire action." So when these aliens started shooting at my sniper they "moved" from behind a wall and shot, only because they didn't technically move my units in overwatch didn't return fire.

    Map size. Yeah, the maps seem big in a way, but units are about 4x as big compared to the other objects as they seemed to be in apocalypse, so the maps are really pretty small. It eliminates the frustration of losing a brain sucker and splitting all your soldiers up to go hunt it down, only to have it brain-suck your highest ranking soldier, but it doesn't feel like to wide open world the other game did.

    Also, every mission is at night. They are trying to recreate the shock and terror of the old games by making things dark. It doesn't work. In the old game you could walk past an alien sitting behind a potted plant if you didn't turn a unit to face in that direction. The fun was when you did turn around after spending all your time units only to realize he was right behind you and he's going to kill you now. In this game you don't have to worry about facing your soldiers. They see aliens in 360 degrees.

    So, these designers made a compromise game. It isn't believed that a true TBS game will sell. Maybe it wouldn't sell well, or play well, on consoles. I'm getting pretty tired of no games being made to the strengths of the PC. Amazing things are possible, but if it can't be directly ported to Xbox and PS3 then it isn't going to happen.

    Despite the gripes, the game is still pretty fun.

  2. #377
    Lazy Nate505's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtheistPreacher View Post
    BTW, anyone pick up Dishonored? That game was mostly off my radar, but it's come out to almost universal acclaim. I may wait to see if I can get it for cheap on Black Friday, but it's definitely one I'm considering picking up eventually.
    Considering it's made by Bethesda (I take it back, published by them but the developer is owned by the same company) I'll totally try it.

  3. #378
    Senior Member AtheistPreacher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameface View Post
    All of that is true. The time unit thing bugs me the most. The developers made a gaffe and said it was to save the player's "head space" for other aspects of the game. I say let it be an option if you believe some of the consumers have limited "head space" for that sort of thing. So before if you had a unit built up you could charge into a room and kill several aliens before beating a retreat or possibly killing all the aliens and ending the mission. Now, each unit has two actions. Both actions can be used to move extra far. Most units will end their turn if they fire at an enemy. There is an upgraded ability to fire then either move or fire again. But what it means is that basically one unit might be able to kill one alien. Stronger aliens can't be killed with one shot generally, so you might need several units to kill one alien, even if you've got pretty built up units.

    Where I think the time unit thing really really falls short is when you're on a "terror" mission. That's where the aliens are just in a city killing all the civilians in sight. You can save civilians by moving a unit adjacent to them. First problem is that with no time units and no way to designate waypoints you can be in a room full of civilians but can't move next to each one even if they are well within your units movement area. So if you move one step to get right next to one guy that'll take an entire action for that turn and you can burn your second action moving another step to save another civilian.

    I guess the inability to change course if aliens are spotted during your unit's movement is also related to the elimination of time units. It sucks pretty bad, especially if you've inadvertently moved your unit into a nest of aliens that you couldn't see before.

    I couldn't help but think during missions that even in Apocalypse (I never played the original, but got hooked on Apocalypse) the firing actions were more realistic. Part of that, again, is related to time units. In that game some weapons required very few (sometimes only 1) time units per shot. You could continue to take shots until you ran out of ammo or ran out of time units. Or, if you wanted, you could stop firing from that position and move in for a better shot or move back behind cover. Shooting seemed pretty realistic. In this game it couldn't be more obvious that it's a dice roll. I know it essentially always was, but in this game you're not going to accidentally kill other aliens in the vicinity. In fact, if there is an alien standing directly in front of the alien you target your shot will go through that alien and either kill or miss the alien you shot at. In the old game with the machine gun or with the bio-gun I'd often pick an alien in the middle of a group and start popping off rounds. I might not hit the alien I was shooting at but the bullets would often strike the other aliens. Then when I was down to only a few time units I'd move back behind cover.

    The thing with cover is bad. When your unit is about to take the "fire" action you hit the fire button and a target pops up with a percentage representing your chance at hitting that target. Often something that is close and easily visible has a low percentage but something that is far and completely obstructed from view has a high percentage. There's very little way to know without pulling up the targets one-by-one to determine if you have a good shot at anything. This goes both ways. You can't be sure where you're moving your unit is safe. I had a sniper back behind the front line, in an elevated position and behind half-cover. My assault and support guys were in front and performing the "overwatch" action (you can end a unit's turn who still has an action remaining with overwatch and that unit will fire during the aliens turn at the very first thing he/she sees). The aliens didn't technically move but began shooting at my sniper. A few lucky shots later and one of my most valuable soldiers was killed.

    That brings me to another gripe, which is again related to the time unit thing. When your unit shoots he/she moves out of cover as part of the "fire action." So when these aliens started shooting at my sniper they "moved" from behind a wall and shot, only because they didn't technically move my units in overwatch didn't return fire.

    Map size. Yeah, the maps seem big in a way, but units are about 4x as big compared to the other objects as they seemed to be in apocalypse, so the maps are really pretty small. It eliminates the frustration of losing a brain sucker and splitting all your soldiers up to go hunt it down, only to have it brain-suck your highest ranking soldier, but it doesn't feel like to wide open world the other game did.

    Also, every mission is at night. They are trying to recreate the shock and terror of the old games by making things dark. It doesn't work. In the old game you could walk past an alien sitting behind a potted plant if you didn't turn a unit to face in that direction. The fun was when you did turn around after spending all your time units only to realize he was right behind you and he's going to kill you now. In this game you don't have to worry about facing your soldiers. They see aliens in 360 degrees.

    So, these designers made a compromise game. It isn't believed that a true TBS game will sell. Maybe it wouldn't sell well, or play well, on consoles. I'm getting pretty tired of no games being made to the strengths of the PC. Amazing things are possible, but if it can't be directly ported to Xbox and PS3 then it isn't going to happen.

    Despite the gripes, the game is still pretty fun.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I think the last bit is probably what's most important. My brother picked it up and commented that it's a good game as long as you don't try to compare it to the unsurpassable original. If you instead resolve to look at it as a stand-alone game and not catalogue all the features you wished it had retained, it's pretty enjoyable.

    I'm visiting with my brother next week, so I should get a chance to playtest it myself before I decide if I want to buy it.

    And BTW, I really would encourage you to go back and play the original one. I've played Apocalypse as well, but nothing beats the first game. Even today it holds up ridiculously well in every area but graphics, and for a strategy game that good I really don't care what the graphics are like anyway.
    "Yeah, I got a way to defend it. Bring a bat to the game and kill one of them."
    -Nick Van Exel, on defending the Stockton-Malone Pick & Roll

  4. #379
    Senior Member Duck Rodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck Rodgers View Post
    Here's how my yearly foray into trying to like video games again is going down. I'm buying a 360 this time with:

    Sleeping Dogs
    Dragon's Dogma
    Max Payne 3
    Kingdoms of Amalur
    Skyrim

    If those can't pull me back in I might just have to pretend I quit gaming forever again, sell everything again, until I get the itch next year again. The Circle of my gaming life.
    I bought a 360 finally, but didn't end up buying any of those games I mentioned. I got distracted by the Gamestop bargain bin in the process and realized there were about 40 games in there that I wanted to play that were dirt cheap so I just loaded up on probably 15 of those.

    Now playing and loving:


  5. #380
    Senior Member AtheistPreacher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck Rodgers View Post
    I bought a 360 finally, but didn't end up buying any of those games I mentioned. I got distracted by the Gamestop bargain bin in the process and realized there were about 40 games in there that I wanted to play that were dirt cheap so I just loaded up on probably 15 of those.

    Now playing and loving:

    Probably not a bad way to do it at all, especially if you're starting from scratch. I actually haven't been in a Gamestop at all for something like three years, I've been getting things off Amazon almost exclusively. But in any case, I still have an embarrassing number of games that I've rescued from such bargain bins that I never actually got around to playing (the Metroid Prime games for Gamecube come to mind, as do both Bioshock games for the 360, among many others), so I don't see myself bargain-hunting again anytime soon.
    "Yeah, I got a way to defend it. Bring a bat to the game and kill one of them."
    -Nick Van Exel, on defending the Stockton-Malone Pick & Roll

  6. #381
    Senior Member Shaggy's Avatar
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    WTF is Minecraft so popular? That game looks like me on a good day.

  7. #382
    High Definition Gameface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
    WTF is Minecraft so popular? That game looks like me on a good day.
    I don't know but my kid loves the crap outta that game.

  8. #383
    Senior Member Zombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtheistPreacher View Post
    BTW, anyone pick up Dishonored? That game was mostly off my radar, but it's come out to almost universal acclaim. I may wait to see if I can get it for cheap on Black Friday, but it's definitely one I'm considering picking up eventually.
    I picked it up a few days ago, and I am really liking it so far. The atmosphere is fantastic.
    Hate You Can Trust

  9. #384
    Senior Member Brown Notes's Avatar
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    http://worldoftanks.com/

    I don't hit this thread too often so sorry if this is old hat but this is probably the best game I've ever played. So, so fun, easy to play, hard to get good at, slow progression but it's fun no matter how low tier your tank is. This game is money. Except it's free so it's not money.
    "I'm a moron for thinking the Browns could even sniff 10 wins in a division where the other three teams (two of whom almost always make the playoffs) made the post-season last year. Gyp Rosetti's thee God of football knowledge." - Brown Notes

  10. #385
    Senior Member Duck Rodgers's Avatar
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    ^^^^^ The thing that scares me about even trying that game is that the dudes I know that are into it are all 50 +. I have a few uncles that seem to always be playing that whenever I pop in to see them. Either Solitaire or Worlds of Tanks.
    Last edited by Duck Rodgers; 10-15-2012 at 07:38 AM.

  11. #386
    Senior Member Brown Notes's Avatar
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    I am not at all sure you are with me. I have unlocked the Sherman and am grinding my way to the others. In case any of you give a ****, my handle is BudTugly.
    "I'm a moron for thinking the Browns could even sniff 10 wins in a division where the other three teams (two of whom almost always make the playoffs) made the post-season last year. Gyp Rosetti's thee God of football knowledge." - Brown Notes

  12. #387
    Senior Member Chris-L's Avatar
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    I have to second those who recommended Borderlands 2. ****ing awesome game. I usually avoid FPS's like the plague, but this is in a league of it's own, much like half life 2 and the 1st Halo. I think it was the cell shaded graphics that put me off so much, I have never played a second of any game with cell shading, but figured wth and gave it a shot. Can't say enough good about it and I'm only 10 hours in.

  13. #388
    Senior Member AtheistPreacher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris-L View Post
    I have to second those who recommended Borderlands 2. ****ing awesome game. I usually avoid FPS's like the plague, but this is in a league of it's own, much like half life 2 and the 1st Halo. I think it was the cell shaded graphics that put me off so much, I have never played a second of any game with cell shading, but figured wth and gave it a shot. Can't say enough good about it and I'm only 10 hours in.
    Yup, this.

    I avoided the first Borderlands for the exact same reasons you cited: because it was an FPS -- of which we have *far* too many -- and because of the graphical look. But my brother took the plunge a number of months after release, convinced me to buy it, and I've been addicted ever since. The cel-shaded graphics fit well with the game's overall cartoony sensibility, and while it is an FPS, you've never played an FPS like this. FWIW, I'm still playing B2 pretty hard a month after a release. Doesn't hurt that I've now got a new character (Mechromancer) and a new DLC campaign (Pirate's Booty) to work on. But even without the new content, it's a joy just to roll a fresh character and begin your loot gathering anew.

    But while I'm here, your cel-shaded comment was very timely in reminding me of the imminent release of an HD remake of a great game: Okami, which will be released as Okami HD on the Playstation Network for $19.99 next week, Oct. 30. The original versions can be found on the PS2 and the Wii -- sadly, there is no X-Box or PC version.

    In any case, Okami is hands-down the prettiest game I've ever played, and they did it with cel-shaded graphics. The gameplay, too, is inspired: it basically plays a lot like a Zelda game, except that you are a white wolf god named Amaterasu with a "celestial brush" at her disposal, with which she can freeze time and "paint" objects and attacks into the world. Want to blow a hole in something or attack your enemy? Draw a circle with a line through the top, and you've got a cherry bomb. Want to nullify your enemy's fire attack? Paint a few vertical lines and watch it rain. Want to change night into day, or day into night? Paint a sun or moon in the sky. How cool is that? Add on some good music, fun characters, a long adventure of well over 30 hours, and you've got one of the better games ever made. It's in my personal top five (and I've really played a hell of a lot of games, so that's saying something). As far as I'm concerned, anyone with a PS3 who has never played Okami should download Okami HD next week... it really is a steal at $20. I'll be getting it even though I still have the PS2 version... the HD re-release is just the excuse I need to play it all through again.

    Here's a good article on Okami to check out that nicely sums up what a joy it is. I'll probably share some of my own thoughts next week after I've had a chance to see the updated graphics and fiddle with it all again.



    "Yeah, I got a way to defend it. Bring a bat to the game and kill one of them."
    -Nick Van Exel, on defending the Stockton-Malone Pick & Roll

  14. #389
    Senior Member Shaggy's Avatar
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    B2 graphics are a step up from Minecraft, I'll give you guys that.

  15. #390
    High Definition Gameface's Avatar
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    COD Black Ops II is a well made COD game. I'm a PC gamer and this version seems much more PC friendly than MW3. Treyarch > Infinity Ward when it comes to the PC.

    On another note, I played through XCOM EU a second time and I'm pretty disgusted with the game. I don't understand all the rave reviews. No replayability, I stepped up to the next higher difficulty for the second playthrough but the maps were so predictable the game was not challenging at all. Once you learn the points on the maps that trigger the AI you can set up perfectly and just destroy them. Shooting through walls, shooting through teammates or other enemies, it's just not well made.
    Uninstalled.
    Last edited by Gameface; 11-13-2012 at 01:47 PM.

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