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    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2012
    They're not quite as unfair as that was, but they do use cover and flank your men far more effectively on Classic than they do on Normal.
  1.  (10854.2)
    Yeah, the only unfair I had was a Thin Man Arrival dropping someone into a space I was already standing on, and going to overwatch.
    Talking of Thin Men, please tell me I'm not the only person that looks at them and sees Jarvis Cocker meets League of Gentlemen?
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2012
    @Flabyo and Ben - Ah, well that's at least not as bad. First couple of times I played the old game I was like, "The hell are these smoke grenades for?" Figured that out quick after they nuked all my guys with a rocket on their second round.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2012
    XCOM is breaking my heart, right at this very moment. Let me tell you all a story about how XCOM is breaking my heart.

    Emily St. Albans grew up on the streets of Manchester, U.K., and she grew up tough. The youngest of six children, she was essentially an orphan, and she found a home in run-down houses, boarded-up factories, and friends' flats. Emily dropped out of school and ran away from home at 15, and it took her parents three days to realize she was gone. In her teens, she was fed on a steady diet of punk music, cheap beer, and regular fights with the local gangbangers. Emily was one of those kids who, if you ask just about anyone, just wasn't ever going to go anywhere, or do anything that mattered.

    Then the aliens came.

    Emily was one of the only survivors of the Manchester Incident, and escaped her city on board an XCOM Skyranger. She earned her seat on the dropship by feeding a Sectoid three cartridges of birdshot, saving the life of an XCOM squad leader in the process. Emily got to keep the shotgun, and XCOM got to keep Emily. Seven months passed, and Emily became one of the most deadly and dedicated squad leaders at XCOM. A veteran of more than thirty operations, she saved countless lives and put down more than sixty alien combatants. As the Great Invasion dragged on, and fewer and fewer things could be counted on, the men and women who fought against the aliens knew that, when they needed a one-woman door breach, a flanking maneuver against a trio of Floaters, or someone to cover the VIP's escape, Emily St. Albans could be counted on to get the job done.

    Then came the mission in India. The bad mission. A bomb has been planted, and things had gone wrong - disarming simply wasn't an option. All that was left was to evac the squad back the Skyranger, and try to get everyone home to fight another day. The aliens, of course, had other plans. Emily, who had no problem running and shooting (she'd been doing the former for as long as she could remember, and the latter for as long as she cared to remember), kept up with the squad until the last set of cover. Everyone was wounded, even Emily, and the aliens were hot on their heels, and coming out of the woodwork all around them. Fighting wasn't an option, and running might save two, maybe three people, but not the whole squad. There was a third option - someone could remain behind, keep the aliens busy, and take as many of them down as possible while the squad high-tailed it back to the dropship.

    That someone was Emily St. Albans.

    Six members of XCOM set down in Calcutta, India that night. Five made it back. One died a hero.

    All of that, up there? All of it was the story I told myself while playing through my first campaign of any XCOM game, ever. This game forces you to tell yourself a story, and then it rips you apart when it brings that story to an end. I totally get why people obsessed over the original game back in the nineties. I seriously had to set my controller down and mutter "fuck fuck FUCK" to myself afterwards.

    God damn, this is a good game.
  2.  (10854.5)
    I'd post more on gaming, but at the moment it would be an endless litany of "shot stuff in Borderlands 2". Not very interesting, I'm afraid. Still, if anyone's curious, I'm shooting a whole load of stuff in Borderlands 2 and making it very dead indeed.

    After Borderlands 2, I think I'll give Unfinished Swan some time. :)
  3.  (10854.6)
    I've been taking bites off Uncharted 3 here and there. It doesn't flow quite as well as 2 and is frustrating as a result. Not to mention that Sully as the near constant tag-a-long is growing tired quickly.

    I downloaded Tokyo Jungle from PSN and It's fun, definitely different. It's sort of exhausting to try and unlock all the animals though, especially when I know that my score ultimately has a cap, based on the leaderboards.

    Going to pick up XCOM tomorrow because once I heard the words turn based strategy, I couldn't resist.

    I'll also be downloading the Unfinished Swan when it comes out.
  4.  (10854.7)
    Dark Souls DLC very soon...
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2012
    @Alan Tyson

    The worst, THE WORST, about the original XComm games was when you had a squad member make it through mission after mission after mission and you finally get to that point, the point where no matter what you do, no matter how many times you might reload from your last save point, they are positively fucked.

    I know people who stopped playing the game when their squad got wiped out because in some small way they blamed themselves. Harsh.
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2012
    I've been going back through Richard Garriot's Ultima series, playing I-VI in one big slogthrough. I-III were okay, if a bit off-kilter, especially I, which is a fantasy RPG including such items as the sword, bow, horse, plate mail, phaser, vacuum suit, space shuttle and time machine. And you have to fight aliens. In TIE fighters.

    Ultima IV is totally different. Most games want you to become a great wizard or deadly fighter. This one wants you to become a combination of Jesus and Bhuddha, the Avatar, in a quest to become a more and ethical paragon to provide an example for the Britannian people. I'm playing through though this as a Shepherd. Yes, Shepherd, the class of Humility. You know what special powers a Shepherd gets? Nothing. My best weapon is a Sling. Best Armor is Cloth. You're essentially playing someone as weak as a Mage but who has no magic. How did I end up with this? By honestly answering the questions at the started.

    See Ultima IV differs from most games in that instead of assigning numbers or random rolling, you pick your character's class (and possibly starting attributes) by picking between a series of moral dilemmas and life choices. You decide which virtues best define you and by doing so, decide what you'll end up playing. It's just a lovely, awesome game that apparently came out in 1985.
  5.  (10854.10)
    I might have to take the plunge on x-com when my schedule clears a bit. @johnjones, that recommendation might get me started on ultima IV as well.

    I think I need to quit sleeping so I can fit in the time for all these games, I'm halfway through RE6 oh and I'm trying to wean myself off Dwarf Fortress as well.

    [EDIT] While I'm talking about DF and its insane difficulty, have a nosey at this thing I tried
    • CommentAuthorandycon
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2012
     (10854.11) gave me Ultima IV for free, there goes the rest of my week.
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2012 edited
    @ Ryan and andycon

    I got all my Ultima games from Gog. BTW, assuming you get the full series, you should know that you can transfer your character from IV to V and then from V to VI.

    Also, Andy, be prepared to set aside a couple of weeks for Ultima V, which is, if anything, even better than Ultima IV. Ultima V takes the idea of the Eight Virtues and deals with them at the societal level. It effectively shows the land of Britannia living under "Buddhist fundamentalism" in which the Virtues, which are meant as guidelines are instead applied as harsh laws with specific behaviors and punishments delineated. "Thou Shalt Not Lie or Thou Shalt Lose Thy Tongue" is the law for Honesty. In Yew, you meet a father and child who are locked up in stocks for violating the Laws. The father broke the second law by not giving enough to charity. The child broke the Seventh law by not turning in his father. More than any game I've played Ultima V brought home the evil of the villains in a truly personal, "in your face" way.

    For one thing, the Shadowlords will sometimes be in a town that you visit. While there, they will hunt you if they see you (and they are both extremely tough and impossible to kill permanently until you figure out how). They will also color the interactions you have with the NPCs in the town. Cowardice makes every one there respond conversation attempts with "Please don't hurt me, please go away." Hatred makes them say "Begone, scum!" and they hit you for a small amount of damage. Falsehood allows for interaction but merchant will cheat you and overcharge you, plus anyone speaking to you will steal something from you at the end of the conversation. Also, Ultima V has day and night now - and you can't buy stuff at night because everyone's asleep.

    For another thing, there's a scene that can play our if your party is captured by Lord Blackthorn, the overall villain of the game. In this seen he puts one of your party members into a thing with a swinging axe above it and demands to know a piece of information from you. If you don't give it to him (and you shouldn't) the axe splits your party member in two, killing him. And not just killing him, he's permanently deleted from your party roster and you can't get him back without starting the game over or restore at a save point. Despite the primitive, 1987 graphics, the dialogue makes it a harrowing scene that deeply personalizes the villain and your relationship to him, which makes the ultimate win you'll achieve much more satisfying. You're not defeating some generic Dark Kind or Evil Wizard, you're getting that fucker who murdered Iolo and that feels a hell of a lot better.
  6.  (10854.13)

    thoroughly convinced :D

    I've been trawling through GOG for a good long time now, I think after dwarf fortress I can handle mid-80s graphics again...
  7.  (10854.14)
    I loved UFO Enemy Unknown back in the nineties, I may have to give this new X-Com a look, I've been on a retro thing lately spent the weekend modding an xbox 1 (is that how it's referred to?) so it's been Street fighter 2 turbo, Mega man X, Cannon Fodder and Tiny Toons: Buster Busts Loose classic-ness for me.
  8.  (10854.15)
    I've kind of turned against XCom as I've got further into it. At the start, there are all these interesting one-off missions. Later in the game there are... the same missions. The aliens apparently haven't got bored of planting bombs and intercepting cargoes, and they're still sending their least-competent guys to do it. Talking of which, where are those guys the rest of the time? It seemed at the start that things were going to get pretty interesting when more alien types got into the mix, but most missions just feature a handful of the current nastiest enemy plus one big nasty. I wouldn't mind but the thin men always looked like they were up to something interesting, and it seems the game's plot doesn't really care very much what it was.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2012
    If you're not pushing on through the fixed plot points then it can feel like it's bogging down. You should always have a 'goal' on the world overview screen (an early one being 'capture a live alien' for example), and if you're not working on those the game kind of stops advancing.

    But the original did that too, and had the disadvantage of not even making it clear what you should be targetting.

    Those council missions though, it is weird how those don't get any harder past a certain point. They're good for blooding rookies at least.
  9.  (10854.17)
    Come on, PSN... Where's my Astoria DLC for Dark Souls? Or anything new that's not the annoying unremovable Singstar icon on my Games list?
  10.  (10854.18)
    Whoops, never mind. Turns out it was under the "games" section, which HAD been updated despite the "what's new" section not being updated. Huh.
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2012
    Thanks to previous recommendations, I picked up a copy of Alpha Protocol today, and will hopefully fire it up tomorrow. I've heard from many it also has it's flaws, but for $7, i couldn't resist. Shout, the last game I paid full price for, and the first for a long time before that, was Diablo 3, and it's just sitting there staring at me now.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2012
    $7 for Alpha Protocol is something of a bargain yes. You'll think it's a bit clunky and not get why it gets the love at first, the whole opening mission just feels like 'A.N.Other shooter'. But once it opens up and you can start choosing the order you do missions in, and you start seeing how they make your decisions affect your options way down the line, you'll hopefully see why it has so many fans.

    If you see 'Spec Ops: The Line' for a similar price, I can totally recommend that too. Again it feels like a fairly standard shooter at first, but the game is really about how in war everyone loses, and it evolves storyline wise into a massive subversion of the 'America saves the day!' trope.

    I do love games that take a chance and experiement with their narratives. Videogames are a unique form, and there are things we can do with them that'll blow peoples minds once we can get properly past the 'kids stuff' baggage.