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Scrivener

'Christmas Game Reviews' by the guy who hates everything.

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Just tackled a slew of games (which I tend to plow through at a rate of several per non-working day) and figured I'd post my quick reviews of all of them:

1) Deus Ex 2 - Another Eidos disaster, it's unplayable on any system... unless you can live with 800x600, and on a 21" monitor - I can't. Of course, there's only minor performance issues on an XBox. Apparently some people, after massive tweaking, have been able to get the game up to 30fps at 1024x768. I don't care how good the game potentially is if it runs like junk... and boy does it run like junk. Undeserved of a rating. Stay away.

2) Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - Wow. Just wow. It's a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll... that is to say, a little old school and a little new and innovative. The controls are a tad on the clunky side for PC (mostly due to the camera) but after about an hour of futsing around it's not so bad. The game rewards those who are observant and quick-thinking. Combat is fun as well with all the fluid animation and assortment of moves that Enter the Matrix lacked. Toss in an interesting story full of action, adventure, and romance and you get a true video game masterpiece. 10/10

3) Uru - Unfortunately the much-flaunted multiplayer aspect is yet to fully launch. While they are opening it up to players, the multiplayer component really acts as a fancy shmancy chat room at the moment. That aside, the single player is brilliant... if somewhat madening at times. Uru really pays off for those who are extremely observant and take notes (Notetaking is a time honored adventure game tradition). Of course, having read the MYST books helps tremendously. Every symbol, heiroglyph, and notebook in the game is an important clue. Unfortunately the ending is a little weak as it just leads right into the multiplayer. 8/10

4) UFO: Aftermath - It's not quite XCom but close enough for me. I just wish there were a little more grand/epic strategy involved... like base building, building interiors, etc. Back when this was still Dreamland Chronicles it was to have fully destructable terrian among a host of other features. Still it's a decent squad-based XCom-esque tactical strategy game in it's own right. 7/10

5) Echelon: Wind Warriors - Still not available in the US, and it's a damned shame. E:WW is one of the best sci-fi simulations since Mechwarrior 2. These things really feel like they're some kind of real aircraft and when a system gets damaged it affects the ship in very noticeable ways. Feels more like a training simulator or the real deal than just a game, and thats worth big kudos on my list. 9/10

6) Civilization 3: Conquests - The expansion that PtW should have been. The new scenarios are fantastic and harken back to the days of Civ2. Sure I was never a huge fan of Civ3 (Still feel that Alpha Centauri is the pinnacle of world-building grand strategy... that is, unless Medieval Total War can be considered such) but the Mesoamerica and WW2 scenarios themselves are worth the price of admission as games unto themselves. 8/10

7) Medal of Honor: Rising Sun - I'm mostly a PC fanatic by blood, but since I work at a video game store I have all the systems anyway. Admitedly, I didn't like the other Medal of Honors... any of them. But this one I hate... yes, it sucks and it sucks hard. The portrayal (cutscenes) of Pearl Harbor border on offensive in their stupidity and irreverence. The gameplay is a combination of walking down invisible-wall barricaded coridors and hopping on a turret to shoot endless waves of mindless aircraft/japanese who don't fire back. 1/10

8) X2: The Threat - It could be great, but the supersensitive joystick controls keep it from being any fun. This seems to be a problem with the game's deadzone settings so I'm sure it will be fixed soon (if it isn't already). Sure I could use the mouse, but why would I want to? Mostly a trading/empire building strategy-like game than a combat space simulator... which is why it baffles me that you have to defend yourself from attack every [seemingly] 30 seconds. X2 really is more about strategy and economics than exploration or space combat, so take that into account. As far as graphics are concerned, X2 sure looks purty but I still think I-War 2 captured the look & feel of deep space more accurately than any other game before or since (We're talking graphically, people - BCM is an infinately more superior simulation). 7/10

9) Gothic 2 - For me this is old, old news... but since it only had its formal US debut last month, it's worth noting here. G2 is, quite simply, one of the best CRPGs out there, period. IMO, it joins the likes of Fallout, Daggerfall, Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Ultima Underworld, Bard's Tale, and Wizardry 8. Yeah, it's really that good. Of course you'll be happier if you've played the first one but you can start with 2 without being lost (You start from square 1 anyway). The controls take some getting used to at first, but ultimately turn out to be superbly designed. 10/10

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quote:

Gothic 2 - For me this is old, old news... but since it only had its formal US debut last month, it's worth noting here. G2 is, quite simply, one of the best CRPGs out there, period. IMO, it joins the likes of Fallout, Daggerfall, Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Ultima Underworld, Bard's Tale, and Wizardry 8. Yeah, it's really that good. Of course you'll be happier if you've played the first one but you can start with 2 without being lost (You start from square 1 anyway). The controls take some getting used to at first, but ultimately turn out to be superbly designed. 10/10


That's really good news to me, since I'm a fan of the origional. I seem to remember support being tough to get though, since I think it's a German game. If your interested, go here .

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quote:

7) Medal of Honor: Rising Sun - I'm mostly a PC fanatic by blood, but since I work at a video game store I have all the systems anyway. Admitedly, I didn't like the other Medal of Honors... any of them. But this one I hate... yes, it sucks and it sucks hard. The portrayal (cutscenes) of Pearl Harbor border on offensive in their stupidity and irreverence. The gameplay is a combination of walking down invisible-wall barricaded coridors and hopping on a turret to shoot endless waves of mindless aircraft/japanese who don't fire back. 1/10


Not suprised.

In Call of Duty, there were some "epic levels" with historic levels when you were *gasp* invulnerable. Most of the time, the soldiers that came with you to help were invincible. In the second map, there's a part where the captain invariably seems to get in front of the panzer MG42 .. and he stays there to be shot at for about 5 seconds.

In in the pegasus bridge mission (british) you are about 15 guys against maybe hundreds of germans .. and you get shot at from every side, and you kill alot of them and you SOMETIMES take damage (but nowhere close to what you would take normally) ... then in the middle of it, they disable invulnerability. To finish the mission i had to find a hole to hide in to only peaking out to kill tanks since I'm the only one that can do anything but shoot (planting bombs, using artillery, using pazerfausts, oh and i always need to be first)

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Nice impressions.

From the games that I have played that are on your list, I think you are dead on. I would probably bump X2 up to a 8/10 (especially after the 1.1 patch), but otherwise, I agree.

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Santa brought me the Namco hand held, plug into your TV and go...5 classic games Pac Man/Galacian/Dig Dug/Rally X/Bosconian.

I couldn't be happier....

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quote:

Originally posted by Epsilon 5:

quote:

7) Medal of Honor: Rising Sun - I'm mostly a PC fanatic by blood, but since I work at a video game store I have all the systems anyway. Admitedly, I didn't like the other Medal of Honors... any of them. But this one I hate... yes, it sucks and it sucks hard. The portrayal (cutscenes) of Pearl Harbor border on offensive in their stupidity and irreverence. The gameplay is a combination of walking down invisible-wall barricaded coridors and hopping on a turret to shoot endless waves of mindless aircraft/japanese who don't fire back. 1/10


Not suprised.

In Call of Duty, there were some "epic levels" with historic levels when you were *gasp* invulnerable. Most of the time, the soldiers that came with you to help were invincible. In the second map, there's a part where the captain invariably seems to get in front of the panzer MG42 .. and he stays there to be shot at for about 5 seconds.

In in the pegasus bridge mission (british) you are about 15 guys against maybe hundreds of germans .. and you get shot at from every side, and you kill alot of them and you SOMETIMES take damage (but nowhere close to what you would take normally) ... then in the middle of it, they disable invulnerability. To finish the mission i had to find a hole to hide in to only peaking out to kill tanks since I'm the only one that can do anything but shoot (planting bombs, using artillery, using pazerfausts, oh and i always need to be first)


Same opinion here.All Medal of honor games suck a lot. And Call of duty is a good step ahead but still ends being dumb.

Personally I cant take seriously those kind of games after Operation flashpoint, they feel very infantile to me.(no intentions to ofend anyone here,sorry )

In the other hand Battlefield1942 is pretty cool! And wolfenstein enemy territory rocks

UFO aftermath, being a big fan of Xcom UFOAft. deceives me a little.No fights inside houses and stuff like this(apart from ufos and bunkers) but altought it lacks some things,it has lots of new features to compensate it. Its a 8/10 to me (considering you havent played xcom ever)

Just my 2 cents.

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quote:

1) Deus Ex 2 - Another Eidos disaster, it's unplayable on any system... unless you can live with 800x600, and on a 21" monitor - I can't. Of course, there's only minor performance issues on an XBox. Apparently some people, after massive tweaking, have been able to get the game up to 30fps at 1024x768. I don't care how good the game potentially is if it runs like junk... and boy does it run like junk. Undeserved of a rating. Stay away.


really? PC gamer gave it an 83% so i don't think it should be THAT bad.

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quote:

Originally posted by Commander Elio Jason:

[QB]
1) Deus Ex 2 - Another Eidos disaster, it's unplayable on any system... unless you can live with 800x600, and on a 21" monitor - I can't. Of course, there's only minor performance issues on an XBox. Apparently some people, after massive tweaking, have been able to get the game up to 30fps at 1024x768. I don't care how good the game potentially is if it runs like junk... and boy does it run like junk. Undeserved of a rating. Stay away.


Unplayable on any system? reality check I can play this game and have already beaten it several times just because it doesn't work on your system doesn't mean it won't work on any other system

it deserves s 7/10 at the least

As for X2, I like the game but it gets old after awhile =S the building in it isn't really worth it

I was wondering what happened to Echelon Wind Warriors, will it EVER be released here?

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The only thing more popular than taking potshots at Derek Smart is the so called expert who slams a universally accepted awesome game. I can understand someone who doesnt like MOH but to suggest they all suck is infantile. Its just the like the people who call Halo the most overrated game ever then spend 50 hours a month playing on line RPG's camping out on spawn points and shooting fish in a barrel.

I for one do not like RPG's and RTS games. I find them boring but that is a personal preference,not an indictment of any individual game.

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Guest Grayfox

quote:

The only thing more popular than taking potshots at Derek Smart is the so called expert who slams a universally accepted awesome game. I can understand someone who doesnt like MOH but to suggest they all suck is infantile

completely true race. i remember when MOHAA first came out, everyone thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. now they have 1 or 2 crappy add ons, and now the whole series sucks??? please. the first MOHAA was excellent, the first add on spearhead was even better (dropping in with the 101st the nite before d day was outstanding). the second add on breakthru was even better than spearhead. the battle at kasserine, and taking out railway guns at anzio harden the fact. gameplay has been consistently excellent in those 3 games.

now the console versions are a different story... the first MOH for the console was semi decent, but not spectacular... my reason is its alot easier and more fluid with mouse and keyboard than with 2 analog sticks. and i agree with scrivener on rising sun... when i heard it was coming out i had a major case of wood. i bought it the day it came out... then when i played it i was awakened to the fact that the game sucked ass... large portions thereof. but does 2 shoddy console games for a certain series ruin my outlook on the series as a whole??? of course not. MOH is still an excellent series, and they deserve another chance to right the wrongs of rising sun, and perhaps bring it to PC totally revamped.

as for call of duty, i thoroughly enjoyed it. and for those that complain about not taking enough damage (not mentioning names) thats what happens when you play the game on the easier difficulty settings. i did enjoy call of duty more than MOH in most cases. the main reason is you have more squad/platoon sized battles, whereas in MOH you were pretty much acting alone. i would also like to see them try something in the pacific theater, or perhaps the invasion of africa, italy and sicily.

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Well for me, its not so much that MoH series sucks, its that WW2 shooters have been beaten into the dirt and they are still making more. To date, there are at least 14 WW2 shooters that have been released in recent past. On the pc you had Return to Castle Wolfenstein, MOHAA, the 2 MOH expansions and the 3rd one their working on now, Wolfenstein Enemy territory, Battlefield 1942, the 2 battlefield expansions, Call of Duty (and its inevitable at least 2 expansions). Then on consoles, there were the first 2 Moh's that I don't remember the names of, and then Medal of Honor Frontline, and then the new crappy one. Holy christ its attack of the clones! Seriously, its the same war. How many different ways can you take the same nazis, with the same guns and the same uniforms at the same places at the same times against the same allies with the same guns in the same uniforms at the same places at the same times? It would be like if we took Halo, and made 13 more that weren't even sequels, that just tweaked a couple minor things and then charged you $50 for each one. Damn, don't people ever get sick of it?!

EDIT:

Oh, I only got 2 games for christmas this year. Savage and Deus Ex 2. Savage is the most addictive game ever (sory Derek). When you first load it up and play a couple rounds you'll say "Ehh...its ok, not that great." Then when you look at the clock again you'll notice that you've been playing for the last 6 hours and still want to play more. And Deus Ex 2? I don't know because 10 seconds into the game, it crashes my computer. Oh, I would also like to add that for the brief 10 seconds (maybe) that it does work, it runs at barely 15 fps. Yay!

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I was severly disappointed in MOHAA's ending level.

It would have been awsome if as you run out of the building the train door opens up and your "buddies" rip into the germans from behind instead of wait for you to shoot 6 guys plus a sniper or two THEN open the train door and stand and stare at you. That an the lack of an ending was my beef with MOHAA

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quote:

Originally posted by GhostPilot:

In the other hand Battlefield1942 is pretty cool! Just my 2 cents.

BF1942 ROCKS!!! And the new patches for Battlegroup and Desert Combat are excellent.

The new Nimitz in desert combat is AWSOME!! The new skins and vehicles in Battlegroup are fantastic and adds a whole new level of realism to the game.

I really dig Battlefield!!

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Ehh... I got Deus Ex 2, and while my system can barely handle it, my gripe with it is how much they broke (IMO, of course) from the original Deus Ex.

[rant]

The skill point system is gone... inventory management is REALLY stupid now - it's slot based, rather then semi-realistic like DX1. IE, everything is the same size, and you only have 12 or so inventory slots. (I want this flamethrower! I'll just toss away a candy bar! Now I can pick up this flamethrower!).

The aug (now they call them biomods) system is also completely different... you only have 5 slots, each of which has 3 choices. You can't have two from the same category, so no increased strength and bot domination at the same time. At least you can replace a disliked aug with a different one.

Damage is also far simpler then DX1, there's no more seperate body parts in this - everyone only has one life meter, like in UT, as opposed to 6 in DX1. Damage itself is also less in this - it takes two or three headshots to kill someone in this with the pistol, as opposed to 5 or 6 body shots.

Perhaps the one thing I do like, is that there are more air ducts to sneak around in, then in DX1.

I plan on playing through at least once, but so far, I am quite disappointed. After 2 hours of play, I'd give it a 4/10, or a 5/10, because it feels so narrow, like it was designed with as little you need to keep track of as possible. It just doesnt feel right. The HUD is ugly, too.

Also got Warcraft 3. Junk. Starcraft was better.

What is with the 90 supply cap? This also seems like it was designed to have as little to keep track of as possible.

Got Mechwarrior 3 out of a bargain bin. The one really good piece of software I got this year.

[/rant]

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Yeah, I still think all MOH games suck (At least all those which have been released so far). The reason is that all things measure against Operation Flashpoint and, to a much lesser degree, Delta Force (Including BHD). I hate being led around by the nose. I hate shooting bad guys and not knowing conclusively whether I hit them due to lack of blood (Actually, I don't care if they bleed flowers... so long as its in there). I hate scripted missions that play out exactly the same every time. I hate being the only character worth a damn.

I'm a simulation guy through and through. That's what you become after years and years of seeing the same garbage repackaged and resold with the latest greatest game engine. That's what makes BC so endearing to me.

A WW2 game done by the Op Flashpoint crew would be a dream come true. BF1942 just dosnt do it for me. It's come a long way since it's release, but it still plays like an arcade game... the dumb man's wargame, imo.

I want realism. I want realism bar no expense. That means options, freedom, and atmosphere... and I don't want the oft-unreliable ESRB to even be a consideration.

For example, look at Vietcong. The US version comes across as crap. There's minor ammounts of blood and gore and the language is as tame as a saturday morning episode of Power Rangers. It's unconvincing, unrealistic... goofy. Then look at the original european version (Which I went way out of my way to get a hold of)... it's like a game version of Full Metal Jacket or Platoon. It does a fantastic job of recreating Vietnam. The mission designers even saw ft to throw in lots of side paths and optional objectives to keep missions from being too linear. Take a look at the European Vietcong and you'll see everything that MOH, COD, etc needs to be. It's not perfect, but it's really damn good.

It's really sad that virtually all of the best stuff is coming from European countries. The US has become as bad as Japan in recycling the same old trash over and over.

And yes, just as I had always predicted, consoles are killing the game industry. Games get dumber and dumber and ever more simlified (They call it 'streamlined') since game publishers try to sell their stuff to massive throng of human idiots living in this country and abroad. No more do they appeal to the creative, intellectual, or mature audience that grew up with and helped create interactive media. Gaming has become a type of entertainment made by dimwits for dimwits.

Now I don't remember what it was we were talking about. Ah well - End of Rant.

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Have you tried this one?

http://ofp.gamezone.cz/

Take a look at the news archives,there are tons of WW2 material for flashpoint done by several people.Also in the addons section you can find some WW2 soldiers and tanks, even a wake island I think.

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quote:

Originally posted by Scrivener:

A WW2 game done by the Op Flashpoint crew would be a dream come true. BF1942 just dosnt do it for me. It's come a long way since it's release, but it still plays like an arcade game... the dumb man's wargame, imo.

I want realism. I want realism bar no expense. That means options, freedom, and atmosphere... and I don't want the oft-unreliable ESRB to even be a consideration.

Now I don't remember what it was we were talking about. Ah well - End of Rant.

YOu need to download the Battlegroup42 mod for Battlefield and play it online, it keeps getting better and better. The vehicles are much better, the realism is much better and the game plays much better, IMHO. The planes are much more realistic in their flight characteristics, the tanks and how they shoot are much better, the skins and models are also much better. There are many more vehicles, and it all around plays much better.

I liked Opflash, but it just didn't do it for me, again, it takes forever to get it online, same goes for ghost recon, 10 minutes at least, to get the program up, another 5 trying to find a decent server with the right versions etc, and then it takes another 3-4 getting the multiplayer up and running and get to playing. I hate that, unlike Halflife, where nam, hit a server and you're there.

Battlefield is not much better in that respect, but using Gamespy, it is a tad bit faster, takes around 3 minutes to get online and playing. Again, just MHO.

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quote:

Originally posted by Jaguar:

quote:

Originally posted by Scrivener:

A WW2 game done by the Op Flashpoint crew would be a dream come true. BF1942 just dosnt do it for me. It's come a long way since it's release, but it still plays like an arcade game... the dumb man's wargame, imo.

I want realism. I want realism bar no expense. That means options, freedom, and atmosphere... and I don't want the oft-unreliable ESRB to even be a consideration.

Now I don't remember what it was we were talking about. Ah well - End of Rant.

YOu need to download the Battlegroup42 mod for Battlefield and play it online, it keeps getting better and better. The vehicles are much better, the realism is much better and the game plays much better, IMHO. The planes are much more realistic in their flight characteristics, the tanks and how they shoot are much better, the skins and models are also much better. There are many more vehicles, and it all around plays much better.

I liked Opflash, but it just didn't do it for me, again, it takes forever to get it online, same goes for ghost recon, 10 minutes at least, to get the program up, another 5 trying to find a decent server with the right versions etc, and then it takes another 3-4 getting the multiplayer up and running and get to playing. I hate that, unlike Halflife, where nam, hit a server and you're there.

Battlefield is not much better in that respect, but using Gamespy, it is a tad bit faster, takes around 3 minutes to get online and playing. Again, just MHO.


Agree.Flashpoint is a single player game for me.Multiplayer option is only worth if you play in a big LAN or with a known group of friends (waiting 8 minutes to get people to play and then lose 2 of them cause they get bored and flee away looking for another server is not fun,it gets you angry )

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