Author Topic: InsaneBaron's Reviews: The Ransom Series (Finished!)  (Read 8082 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fenrir

  • 28
  • ?
Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: The Ransom Series (Finished!)
Quote
BACKGROUNDS: There's one early mission notable for its dramatic planetary background

As a side note, RA has made some stunning nebulae backgrounds for some missions - It was the first campaign I played that evoked such awesome sights.
I definitely agree with this. In most FS missions (whether they be from volition or other modders), the nebulae are just kind of there. Nice to have them around, sure, but they could be absent and not much would be lost.

But in Transcend they're used to spectacular visual effect. Not only do they look amazing in most missions, but in some missions they even serve to tell the story.

Spoiler:
I don't remember the name of the mission since I haven't played this in years, but the one where you're trying to reach the Transcendant's nebula again, and you enter a system where everyone has completely snapped and ships of all kind are blowing each other apart in droves. You have no choice but to weave through the battle in progress to get to the jump node, and as you go onward you see that the view in the distance is a spectacular array of purple nebulae stretched across the stars beyond the node...

The kicker is that the nebulae weren't purple earlier in the game. I remember that many of them were red, green, and gold, but only a few were purple. But as the Transcendant's influence spreads, the purple shroud only continues to grow and dominate the skybox even before you actually reach it for the final confrontation. It's freakin' genius.

 

Offline InsaneBaron

  • 29
  • In the CR055H41R2
Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: The Ransom Series (Finished!)
Quote
BACKGROUNDS: There's one early mission notable for its dramatic planetary background

As a side note, RA has made some stunning nebulae backgrounds for some missions - It was the first campaign I played that evoked such awesome sights.
I definitely agree with this. In most FS missions (whether they be from volition or other modders), the nebulae are just kind of there. Nice to have them around, sure, but they could be absent and not much would be lost.

But in Transcend they're used to spectacular visual effect. Not only do they look amazing in most missions, but in some missions they even serve to tell the story.

Spoiler:
I don't remember the name of the mission since I haven't played this in years, but the one where you're trying to reach the Transcendant's nebula again, and you enter a system where everyone has completely snapped and ships of all kind are blowing each other apart in droves. You have no choice but to weave through the battle in progress to get to the jump node, and as you go onward you see that the view in the distance is a spectacular array of purple nebulae stretched across the stars beyond the node...

The kicker is that the nebulae weren't purple earlier in the game. I remember that many of them were red, green, and gold, but only a few were purple. But as the Transcendant's influence spreads, the purple shroud only continues to grow and dominate the skybox even before you actually reach it for the final confrontation. It's freakin' genius.

Really? I didn't notice that myself, but... that's cool!
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move." - Captain America

InsaneBaron's Fun-to-Read Reviews!
Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius - Silent Threat: Reborn - Operation Templar - Sync, Transcend, Windmills - The Antagonist - Inferno, Inferno: Alliance

 

Offline Lorric

  • 212
Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: The Ransom Series (Finished!)
Right, here we go. Before you reviewed things I played. This time it’s things I haven’t, and since these campaigns, at least Sync and Transcend, seem to be about the story, I won’t be looking at the spoiler tagged stuff. Unless maybe I think it really isn’t for me, then maybe I will.

Before I noticed you pointed things out I didn’t know, and it begins already with “Ransom Arceihn”. I haven’t heard that name before.

Let’s see how I do with the “monster”…

You know, I’m not a fan of horror/scary stuff. I usually don’t play such games. So who knows what I’m going to make of all this, if he makes scary games.

Well, I’ve read through the first section of spoilers, and it certainly works to intrigue me. It’s hard to comment on it when everything’s being broken up and I don’t want to read the spoilers. I imagine this will be a recurring theme as I go along. I already get the sense it made quite the impression on you.

Strong characters are always a plus, and despite my aversion to horror, I might like it. But just how scary is it? Something like this, it’s no commercial game, so all the filters that might come with such a thing can come off, it’s completely unfettered, the designer can do whatever they like.

It’s good to know in advance how to treat this. If I try it, I’ll certainly go with the “very easy” recommendation. After all, if I do feel later I want to try a level on an upped difficulty, I can. I also am a believer in not letting irritations like having Alpha 1 in his fighter all 38 (surprised) missions get in the way of the gameplay, thus the replenishment of Alpha 1’s weapons. Unless of course you have support ships available, then it doesn’t even matter, but I’m guessing you won’t if you’ve been cast into the middle of nowhere or wherever. I don’t think the lack of variety in ships/weapons will bother me.

Thanks for the heads up on the version to use. I’ve only recently upgraded direct from 3.6.12 funnily enough, which was my first version. 3.6.12 is still around on my computer, so it will be little trouble to switch back to it for this campaign.

Well, that’s the first review. I’m reading your reviews for the first time, but I have looked at some of the comments, and I noticed there is kind of a feel of it’s something you should play to experience, it’s part of the history of HLP, that kind of thing. I might give it a try, I mean it’s not your traditional kind of horror stuff, blood and guts, etc. that I’m not fond of. Just as long as it’s not VERY scary. Could it give you nightmares?



Right, on to Transcend.

So I hadn’t heard of Sync (which ended up being the triggering point for these reviews after I said as much) or Windmills, but while it’s vague, Transcend is a name I’ve seen semi-frequently thrown around on HLP, with basically always in a positive context. So let’s see what you make of it…

Hmmm, it’s interesting you’re now talking about what I just said, not your generic horror movie. However, since it’s not a genre I take an interest in, all the references you make to it are meaningless to me… :)

Hmmm… well this seems to answer the fear question that this seems to be high up there in terms of horror. I don’t know… I’m intrigued, but I don’t know, I’m the type of person that will think this stuff over I’m sure whatever psychological games the campaign is designed to play with you. On the other hand, I am intrigued, and on occasions I have decided to watch horror movies, I’ve come out the other side okay always. I’m not faint hearted or anything with these things, but I am inexperienced.

I guess I should ask the question to anyone reading, did Transcend (or Sync) bother you at all after you were done playing, or was it just more (if it had that effect) it frightened you as you were going through it, but after it was done you were perfectly fine and saw it as a good experience? What about you, Baron? Did it drive you insane? :)

Hmmm, I don’t think finding it too different from Freespace will be a problem for me at least, since my favourite mod is Wings of Dawn! :)

Now that repetitive gameplay sounds like it might get real old real fast. Though if the story is driving you along, maybe not so much, I don’t know. Don’t like the sound of a super hard mission…

Cutscenes and cinematics in games don’t bother me though, so this should be okay. I usually like them. Providing I can skip them after I‘ve seen them, and of course, I can in FS2, as it would be techroom stuff if I ever replayed.

Heh. 42 missions now. Good thing I don’t think this aspect will bother me.

Could you imagine a string of 42 red alert missions? If the bug didn’t get you, of course. Talk about brutal. Well, impossible, I’m sure.

Right, I’ll do the Very Easy thing again if I play. As before, I can always go back if I want to.

I wondered what a Kelpie was. It made me think of some sort of alien race! :)

If Transcend is better, maybe that’s why I only ever see people talk about Transcend, and not Sync.

I’ll probably give it a try someday. I can always bail I suppose if I don’t like the horror. Some more info on that without spoiling the plot would be nice if possible.



Right then, that leaves Windmills. Something I know nothing about at all.

Ooooh, I like the sound of this! If I try one of these campaigns, I think Sync and Transcend will definitely be taking a backseat to this. The Command mode sounds very interesting, and so does the Simulator.

Hmmm, so it’s only 4 missions. But apparently how you play impacts the next mission, so it sounds like it carries replay ability. Something to jump into and give a spin sometime I think.

I like playing commander in actual normal missions sometimes you know. I like clearing missions without firing a shot. Occasionally I’ve found I can do better at a mission when sitting somewhere safe directing the battle than participating. I also like the RTS genre. So this is something I’ll jump into with relish, and that would be even without the expanded options I get to play with.

I like the sound of the missions. Very intriguing. Yes, I’m definitely going to play this sometime.

Very long missions, eh? Thanks for the heads up, I know I’ll need to have a good chunk of time.

Thanks for the tip about pressing T, and other info. I’ll certainly play on Medium.

Hmmm, you can finish it in an hour? Very long missions to me means like 30-45mins. But then, I’ve played Wing Commander Saga… :D

Looking at the scores, normally gameplay is top priority for me, but I appreciate as you say that’s not what this is about for Sync and Transcend. So while curious, I am nervous about the fear factor. But I am intrigued, and of course I know the reaction to these campaigns is that people seemingly universally have had a positive experience, that they are regarded as classics.

Oh yes, it has been very useful. It’s been a pleasure reading the reviews and going through them like this. I could have simply read them before, but I wanted to go through them like this. I’m sure you enjoy writing them too. Clearly you don’t mind playing “unfreespacey” campaigns, so I’d love to see what you would make of Wings of Dawn! :D

No, I’ve never heard of The Antagonist. Total Conversion eh? I’ll be sure to read it when you write it. I’ll be looking forward to it. And you’re welcome. I’ll also be sure to come back here if and when I’ve played the campaigns, to lift the veils on those spoiler tagged entries, and I’ll almost certainly have more to say. I have it bookmarked.

 

Offline InsaneBaron

  • 29
  • In the CR055H41R2
Re: InsaneBaron's Reviews: The Ransom Series (Finished!)
A review of a review- sorta :P thanks Lorric!

To answer a few questions...

As for how scary Sync and Transcend are... well, it varies. I'll have to refer loosely to the endings, so read at your own discretion, but...
Spoiler:
Transcend has what you could call a happy ending. So it's scary when you play it, but the fear does "end", sorta. Once it's done you feel good (or at least I did.) Sync has more of an abrupt shock ending. However, Sync's fear factor isn't as strong as Transcend's; it's not on the same scare level
Honestly, I was being a little hyperbolic when I joked about "nightmares" at the beginning. In my case Transcend was enjoyably scary while playing, and Sync had it's scary moments, but while they certainly left an impression neither really bothered me after I finished them. (WiH Tenebra actually took me a few hours to recover from, but that's another story). Actually, I don't like generic horror films either, but I do like Ransom's "smart fear". It's really a different genre from, say, Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Desert Zombies 3 (neither of which I've actually sat through).

So, with myself as an example, I can say that you CAN dislike brainless zombie films (pun intended) and still like Sync and love Transcend. It's your call.

A few other points...

The Kelpie is a sort of terran advanced heavy fighter. It's not as durable as the Herc II, but it's faster, and it has 10 gun mounts. Don't get in front of it!

The ship/weapons variety didn't bother me that much in Sync. The missions weren't too hard, the Hercules isn't that bad, and having a ton of Subachs and Harpoons is fine if you just have to kill loose wings of fighters. In Transcend, though, you have fewer Subachs and harpoons, which makes life a lot harder.

Anyway, glad you liked the reviews! I have fun writing these, and they always generate some interesting discussion once their done. The Antagonist is coming!
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move." - Captain America

InsaneBaron's Fun-to-Read Reviews!
Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius - Silent Threat: Reborn - Operation Templar - Sync, Transcend, Windmills - The Antagonist - Inferno, Inferno: Alliance