Saturday!

The first thing I noticed about Shadowrun is that they don’t allow you to save within a chapter. Oh… so *THAT* is how they managed to make the game with so small a budget… it also means that you can’t save within a combat, or before a conversation, or before defusing a bomb or whatever. You restart at the beginning of a chapter. Luckily, a chapter is about the size of one room.

Now, this would normally irritate me until I saw that, hey, they’ve made the tools available for schlubs like you and me to make our own chapters and, thus, our own games. To be sure, *I* am not going to use these tools… but there are teams of folks out there who will and they’ll put out games that will be awesome. Neverwinter Nights had modules that were better than the original game, after all, I have no doubt that Shadowrun Returns will do the same.

The second thing I noticed is that they use X-Com’s combat. I *LOVED* X-Com’s combat.

So… what are you playing?

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13 thoughts on “Saturday!

  1. I watched the demo for Shadowrun. It seemed really clunky.

    I’m desperate for a new game. I’m thinking about getting “The Last of Us” it just hasn’t hit our village store yet. Anyone play this yet?

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    • It does more to remind me of Neverwinter Nights than not. Is it clunky? Yeah… kinda.

      I’ve played Last of Us and dig it. It’s not the “Citizen Kane” that we’ve been waiting for but it does have a surprisingly strong story and if you’ve played any of the Uncharteds, you’ve got the gameplay down already.

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      • I’ve only played the first Uncharted. It again felt clunky.

        I like games where the interface seems to disappear: MW3, Gran Turismo, EA NHL, even Portal. They seem more seamless than my experience of Uncharted, Red Dead Redemption, etc.

        One of my concerns is that Last of Us will have similar game play.

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  2. The second thing I noticed is that they use X-Com’s combat. I *LOVED* X-Com’s combat.

    Once upon a time, turn-based combat was pretty common in RPGs, both Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 used turn-based combat. I think its making a come-back partly because of nostalgia, and partly because it’s easier to do well on an indie budget. Nonetheless, I like the fact it’s making a bit of a comeback too.

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    • I remember it well… but Fallout’s combat was more of the form “you have X points to use… shooting the gun takes 4 points, aiming it takes 5, and moving one square takes 1.” So if you had 8 AP, you should shoot twice, take one aimed shot, or run 8 squares (or some combination).

      X-Com’s combat is more of the form “you can do two things: move move, move attack, attack move, or attack attack.”

      So, ideally, you get set up in such a way that you’ve got cover and can attack twice. Still turn-based, but the formula is simplified… but elegantly.

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      • The first thing I’ll tell you is this: I bought it for $17.99, pre-order, back in May or something.

        By the time this weekend rolled around, I had forgotten that I had paid eighteen bucks for a twenty dollar game… and my mindset had shifted to the idea that this was a game much like Neverwinter Nights, Fallout, Knights of the Old Republic… and otherwise put it, mentally, in the same category as those AAA games.

        This was a mistake I regret making.

        Had I sat down and said “this is a $20 game”, I’d have been thrilled with it (and delighted that I’ll be able to play with the various modules coming in the future).

        With that said, this is an awesome $20 game. I can’t wait to play with the various modules coming in the future.

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      • Shadowrun Returns fits in between Fallout and X-Com. It uses AP, but characters typically only have 2-3 AP. Some actions cost 2 AP, some cost 1. The advantage over Fallout is control of your companions. Nothing like taking a shotgun blast from a companion or the inability to focus fire.

        The game is good, especially for being a $20 game. The chapter setup is different than I am used to, with absolutely no free-roaming. It fells somewhat like an adventure game at time. It is refreshing to play a game where the scope is not “saving the world,” though it does get a little bit larger than the initial “find your friends’ killer” task.

        It is also nice that it is a short game. 50-60 hour games can be fun, but something that does not require me to commit to playing for a few months is appealing too. I played Friday night and quite a bit yesterday. I think I am pretty close to the end.

        My biggest complaint about the save system is that I have to go to a new area to save. That creates the temptation to explore the new area. Of course, if I do that, I have to finish the area to save any progress. It is a vicious cycle of “one more chapter.”

        I may try to find a Genesis emulator to play through that Shadowrun. I played it in my teens, but it was a rental that I did not finish. It was a great game, though. I would not be at all surprised to find someone remaking it in the new engine.

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  3. Just finished the homebrew wuxia fantasy RPG I was running Wednesday nights. So this Wednesday I’ll be starting an X-men game using the rules for the Smallville RPG.

    Planned game is a lot more about the political themes of the X-men, alienation, acceptance, and the struggles of a minority in a majority world.

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  4. Oh, and I beat my first game of Civ IV as the Russians! Technique: research the ever-living crap out of everything, make trade agreements with everybody, if anybody gets ticked at you, give them something you successfully researched 100 years ago.

    The UN voted me First Among Equals.

    Yay! Now I want to see if I can kill everybody.

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