Author Topic: Blast from the past  (Read 6521 times)

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Offline NGTM-1R

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Ah yes. Dump-you-on-the-ground-or-your-money-back LB-10X.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline The E

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No, the real mystery is figuring out where the Battlemaster got its killdeathdestroymachine rep. Ever.

Two Words: Michael Stackpole. Two more words: Hanse Davion. Two last words: Warrior Trilogy.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 

Offline BloodEagle

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Some games that I would like to show the younger generation? Saying that makes me feel old, *grumbles*

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Because they should suffer like I suffered.

Little Nemo: Because it's actually really good, surprisingly.

Smash T.V. (NES): I shouldn't need to validate this.

No, the real mystery is figuring out where the Battlemaster got its killdeathdestroymachine rep. Ever.

Two Words: Michael Stackpole. Two more words: Hanse Davion. Two last words: Warrior Trilogy.

An excellent series of novels. His X-Wing novels are also worth a go.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 07:56:57 am by BloodEagle »

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Two Words: Michael Stackpole. Two more words: Hanse Davion. Two last words: Warrior Trilogy.

Two Words Obvious Trope?

I have the Warrior Trilogy. What Hanse did is incredible, but it was Hanse, not his 'Mech. TRO:3025 gives the Battlemaster an aura of invincibilty that's more than a little ridiculous.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline Scotty

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No, the real mystery is figuring out where the Battlemaster got its killdeathdestroymachine rep. Ever.

Two Words: Michael Stackpole. Two more words: Hanse Davion. Two last words: Warrior Trilogy.

An excellent series of novels. His X-Wing novels are also worth a go.

The X-Wing novels kick some serious ass.  Aaron Allston carries them on for a few after the fourth book.  Stackpole also wrote a couple New Jedi Order books, which are pretty good.

 

Offline The E

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I have the Warrior Trilogy. What Hanse did is incredible, but it was Hanse, not his 'Mech. TRO:3025 gives the Battlemaster an aura of invincibilty that's more than a little ridiculous.

*Consults library* Yes, it does, doesn't it? While the Battlemaster is a good, well balanced machine, it certainly isn't that awesome.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 

Offline BS403

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Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty is still the best and the toughest RTS that I have ever played.   It's the only RTS I have played but never beat.  The last mission is nearly impossible.  The enemy attacks before you can even get a based up, and they just keep coming.  The best I ever did was destroying about a third of the base with Harkonnen nuke strikes before they attacked en masse and destroyed me.  I did get to the last mission with all the different factions however.
http://woogleville.myminicity.com/

Homer: Aw, twenty dollars! I wanted a peanut!
Homer's Brain: Twenty dollars can buy many peanuts.
Homer: Explain how.
Homer's Brain: Money can be exchanged for goods and services.
Homer: Woo-hoo!

 
Interstate '76. I took a gamble buying this one, since it got above average but not "must have" reviews, and it was a bit old when I got it. Bought it mostly for the comedic value and its retro style, but it turned out to be a fave of mine. It was bundled with MechWarrior Mercenaries when I bought it IIRC, but I didn't really play the latter. (:nervous:)

This was a vehicular combat game based on the MechWarrior 2 engine and set in an alternative 1976, in which the States is facing an oil crisis and is on the brink of financial collapse after the aftermath of Vietnam and Nixon. The game had you, as Groove Champion (aka "Swinger"), racing driver turned auto-vigilante, attempting to avenge your sister's death by taking on an army of "creepers" (bad guys with armed cars) across the south-western states. It was a bit short, but it was crazy, with a retro feel to the graphics (cutscenes especially) and it had a lot of vehicles to drive that were based on real cars of the decade (although their names were changed). In the story-based part of the game though, you could only drive the Picard Piranha. Weapons included machine guns, cannons, rockets and guided missiles, flamethrowers, mines and guided turret-mounted weapons, amongst others.

It was mission-based and played in a similar way to MechWarrior, in that after each mission components from destroyed vehicles could be mounted on your own, and the combat was sort of similar too. The game had one or two nice touches as well, in particular whilst driving you could ask your buddy Taurus (aka "Stampede") to recite one of his poems, of which there were a fair few.

Some of my all-time favorite random lines from this game include (although there's nothing particularly funny about most of them, they just stuck with me; note - possible spoilers if you're curious and want to get a copy):

Spoiler:

Taurus: It's not all that easy, is it? Killing...people?

Groove: I don't know, this whole thing sounds like a movie.

Taurus: I HATE...movies.

Skeeter: The difference between cars and people...uh....cars are hard to fix.

Taurus: Speed, Groove. Speed is your salvation.

Groove: A duel.

Malochio: You couldn't possibly in your condition! Besides you don't even have a car.

Groove: .... Gimme a bicycle.

..... And of course: NEVER get out of the car.

And the music was cool.

*reminisces whilst jiving*

It was followed by a prequel - Interstate 76: Nitro Riders (which I also have), and a sequel called Interstate '82, which was different in that you could actually leave the car (thus breaking the golden rule of the first game!) but you usually got run over really quick.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 04:54:35 pm by lostllama »

 
I know they may not be that old but I loved the Battlezone series. The combination of vehicle combat and RTS was so fun, and the AI was smart enough to just shell you to death if given the chance.

 
I don't see Close Combat here. I grew up playing that game (well, replaying every demo I could get my hands on)
Sig nuked! New one coming soon!

 

Offline Dilmah G

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I don't see Close Combat here. I grew up playing that game (well, replaying every demo I could get my hands on)

Yeah, I still play it occasionally (CC5 That is). I think infantry should be more useful against tanks and tanks should be smarter when dealing with each other.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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I don't see Close Combat here. I grew up playing that game (well, replaying every demo I could get my hands on)

I have, and still play, A Bridge Too Far...
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 
I don't see Close Combat here. I grew up playing that game (well, replaying every demo I could get my hands on)

I have, and still play, A Bridge Too Far...

Can you post it?  :drevil:
Sig nuked! New one coming soon!

 

Offline Scotty

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I liked IV better.  Battle of the Bulge FTW!

 
I liked IV better.  Battle of the Bulge FTW!

I know a member of the One-Oh-First that was there. Not Easy Company, though.
Sig nuked! New one coming soon!

 

Offline Mikes

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Please do not name the Falcon series in the same sentence or even post as Hawx. They are not even in the same genre.

I really wish they would make a realistic flightsim again someday and as i first heard of a "Tom Clancy game with Planes" i even got my hopes up ... but Hawx, sadly, really is just an arcade action game that has absolutely nothing to do with an actual flightsim or realism of any kind at all.

(If we backtrack to Falcon's glory days then the Hawx aequivalent would be something like SEGA's "Afterburner", but certainly not Falcon :/ lol)

As for a flightsim game that actually balanced realism, action and storyline rather well my vote would go to Chris Robert's Strike Commander.
That game was still recognizable as a flightsim and not totally stripped down to flashy simplisitic action like Afterburner, ... or Hawx.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 03:12:52 pm by Mikes »

 

Offline Mika

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Quote
Please do not name the Falcon series in the same sentence or even post as Hawx. They are not even in the same genre.

I know. Falcon 3.0 was really a blast to play when you got good with guns. Out of Sidewinders and Amraams while enemy had missiles? No matter, come get some! MiG-29 expansion was fun, I especially loved the helmet mounted sight, IRST and no G-limiters [I recall tearing off the wings once by pulling 22 Gs]! The problem with gunplay was that the gun had only those 150 rounds that the automatic fire control wasted almost always into a single aircraft. And you could forget using Russian radar guided missiles, they tracked the target maybe the first five seconds.

What it comes to Dune II, the last mission is definately possible to play through without Save&Load, I think me and my friend did it a couple of times with Atreides and Harkonnen. Using Save&Load it became a lot more easier as a single Death Hand missile hit will not wreck your game in the beginning (i.e. save & load until it misses). The mission is easier with Harkonnen, as there is only one Death Hand missile to look out for (and I seem to recall it was also a lot more inaccurate than when playing with Atreides), but one could do some nasty tricks to impending enemy units with Atreides sonic tanks. Of course, we found some creative uses for Harkonnen Devastator and Death Hand missiles in the mission.

The trick in the mission was the placement of rocket turrets, heavy vehicle factory and repair facility so that the enemy had to circle in front of the base defenses. In other words, taking advantage of the stupid AI. We though had to play it something like 20 times until we got the right positioning. I think that for the whole base area, 12 rocket turrets were needed.

First cluster of four turrets were placed to the north east part of the base, close to the first construction yard. The cluster of 2x2 turrets had to be placed pretty much at the edge. The second cluster position is hard to explain, but we found that starting from the middle of the rocky area, there is a rocky extension towards north. We placed the second 2 by 2 cluster of turrets at the tip of this extension.

Heavy vehicle factory had to be placed as far to the west and south as possible at that stage of game, and there had to be enough constructions so that enemy had to circle around the rocky extension (north). At this point, computer usually complained that you couldn't construct any more buildings, so you had to go and destroy enemy buildings to be cleared to construct more. Sonic tanks were exceptionally good at this. After destroying some buildings or turrets, the last 2x2 cluster could be constructed. This was usually placed at the edge of north west part of the base. Repair facility was placed close there.

Since the AI usually targetted either the heavy vehicle factory, it ignored the rest of the buildings and tried to get into shooting position for that structure. This is the reason why they then try to circle around the base, ignoring pretty much other structures and got blasted by the rocket turrets. The repair facility attracted enemy units like nothing else. The only thing you had to be careful with was that the heavy vehicle factory was not in range when enemy was circling around the base. Otherwise, it tried to shoot at the factory, possible destroying the building in front of the factory. If the factory was not in range, they didn't try to clear a path through the base.

To the north of the initial position of the construction yard, there is another small rocky area. Atreides players could start to fill this rocky area with sonic tanks from the beginning. The idea behind this is that the enemy ground units usually didn't engage the sonic tanks located here... So this provided a certain amount of free shots before enemy arrived on the base area. You needed a repair facility to repair the damaged units though, as the quads and trikes could attack sonic tanks time by time.

Or somesuch. I don't remember exact details.

By the way, I do remember Interstate '76. For the short period of time I played it, it was pretty fun. I also think I will write about another classic tomorrow.

Mika
Relaxed movement is always more effective than forced movement.

 

Offline Mika

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And introducing today, Red Baron by Dynamix 1990.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY5mDKmS_xk

Germans have made a movie with the same name last year. Historical accuracy is not the movie's best part, suprisingly game is more strict in this sense. However the flight model of the game most likely does not represent what it was in reality. Given the time frame the game was made, I suppose this was the best they could achieve. Back then with a 486DX33 the framerate was quite smooth, and I remember that the aircraft were modelled suprisingly accurately. The ground isn't that great, sometimes it was very possible to lose track of one's location over the front lines simply because there wasn't enough details to see.

The game replaces the flight model with sheer fun factor, though there is some historical accuracy in each aircraft. Sopwith Camel indeed turned easier on the other side, but there is no spins or flat spins involved in the game. It was possible to rip off the wings by exceeding the stuctural maximum speed, and with some aircraft this happened ridiculously easily. The challenge comes from the fact that there is no virtual cockpit nor a padlock view, so pilot has to constantly scan around each view so that he doesn't get surprised.

There were some other interesting details, like when firing weapons in dogfight, pilot most likely has to pull so much lead that there is no line of sight towards enemy aircraft as your airplane's nose hides it! This made up a possibility for quick reversals. Of the mission variety, there are balloon busting and defending missions, stopping bombing raids, escorting bombing raids, patrolling and Zeppelin hunting (available only for Allies). Of these Zeppelin busting was fun but also demanding in terms of ammunition, bombers had accurate gunners behind and destroying them required some amount of tactics. The most difficult missions were Balloon bustings, as the enemy had aircraft defending them and also flak.

In the campaign mode (WWI from beginning to end), each mission was randomly generated, but there is no overall chart that would show how the ground units fared despite of your failures or successes. In the mode, it is also possible to get your own aircrafts (when each became available), paint them accordingly, get promoted to get more wingmen and from performing heroic deeds, getting medals. Time by time, if stationed in the same region as enemy ace, being knights of the skies they usually issued a challenge. Usually mission briefing said man against man above some land mark, but as you became more famous the enemy simply stated to come alone, yet it was allowed for them to have three wingmen.

In the later months of the war, it became increasingly more difficult to stay alive, and in the aircraft by that time, there were no parachutes - this probably was considered as unsportmanship behavior. So if pilot gets hit in mid-air, he only had a fraction of minute to land the aircraft. If that failed, pilot simply died. Other than that, enemy was not willing to let the wounded aircraft to land, so basically getting hit in the air was game over if a miracle didn't happen. Too bad if the injured pilot happened to land on the wrong side of the front line, then he was captured and managed to escape maybe after six months of prison time.

In some other comments, the game itself had an intuitive user interface and in general was programmed remarkably well, I don't recall a single crash & reboot from the time I played the game!

Till next time. I think we still need to revise slightly older generation of games...

Mika
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 03:11:36 pm by Mika »
Relaxed movement is always more effective than forced movement.

 

Offline CP5670

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I remember doing many of those things in Dune 2, especially the save/load with the death hands. :D The last mission was easier than the previous one in some ways though, since you were at the bottom of the map. There was a strange issue in the game (which was carried over into C&C and RA) where rocket launchers and sonic tanks could hit rocket turrets from below, but not from above, without getting into their range.

In many missions I set up a repair facility and walled it off on purpose, which made the carryalls drop units into it and drop them back around their original location after they were repaired.

If you hit the 25 unit limit, you could still buy things from the starport, so it made sense to build a lot of the special units first and then buy the rest from the starport.

I remember the Ordos were the weakest side and the hardest to play as. They got rocket launchers and siege tanks later than everyone else, their second to last mission put them in the middle of the map with enemies on both the top and bottom, and their Deviator was pretty useless, missing frequently and having an enormous reload time.

 

Offline Mika

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Speaking of HAWX, Yahtzee has his review available:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/689-Tom-Clancys-H-A-W-X

Personally I'm surprised about his review.

Of Dune II, Ordos big stick was the Saboteur unit. That, along with Deviators, provided the best laughs of the game. Saboteur pretty much required radar to be easily controllable (yes, you could control it) and was probably the most enjoyable super weapon as it required some tactics. Using Deviator on Devastator and self-destructing it next to the Harkonnen Construction Yard guaranteed to happy rest of the game. Or the target could have been that nasty rocket turret battery that didn't allow your units to pass, it was actually possible to destroy rocket turrets with a single hit if you approached them from the right angle - i.e. the opposite of the gun pointing direction.

Mika
Relaxed movement is always more effective than forced movement.