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  1. Episode 491: Master of Magic

    I'm surprised there was no mention of Deity Empires, it's about the closest thing to a "modern" remake of MoM that I'm aware of. It's not that well known of a game but anyone looking for Master of Magic type games should run across it's name pretty quick.
  2. Because when you take out the context of the source, it all falls apart. Flat characters seem interesting and complex when written in the over-exaggerated style of Japanese writing. A political story on par with a by the numbers early YA novel appears to have depth or real quality to it when you're convinced and invested to spend hours of grinding relationships or going through plodding tactical battles because you have to convince yourself it was worth it. Take out the expectation of "anime" writing and decades of building a standard for incredibly long, and largely inflated, gaming experiences as the norm/acceptable, which is what happens with a lot of non-Japanese games, and everything you want to see loses the luster that makes it seem like you want it. There are a ton of games like what you want, although still not so much on PC but probably a lot more than you know about, you just don't see them because they don't get translated and released outside of Japan/East Asia. Fire Emblem is no exception, it's just a notch in quality above the norm so it seems special.
  3. Episode 396: Endless Space 2

    You guys missed a lot in the combat system. I'm not saying it's great, but it's far more complicated than presented. Weapons have range assignments and the purpose of the cards is to provide some sort of bonus and assign the ranges you're going to attempt to fight at. You can also manually change which ships are assigned to which lanes. A lot of it is still opaque but on higher difficulties when you need to win consistently with few losses, juggling your lanes to ensure your ships are putting their best damage on the best targets, picking and choosing when it's worth sacrificing a lane and eating the moral hit, or building ships specifically to soak damage so they take fire from a lane while your other ships are free to rush a different lane or engage across lanes all build up to some interesting strategic variables. Edit: Also it'd be so easy to solve all diplomatic problems just by making the whole thing an open book. Have a resource (Endless Space already has influence) that you burn for other effects. Someone doesn't like you, just spend more to force the issue. It's not rocket science but almost no one does it and instead tries to create these complex systems which ultimately never work and make no sense. You can even still cover multiplayer scenarios by turning off the force decision part of it between players. Probably my most frustrating thing with most 4X games given how simple and easy of a solution it is and yet everyone thinks they can somehow do better and it never works.
  4. Distant World: This game is really a mile wide and an inch deep, the problem is that inch is pitch black so it doesn't look like it. If you want to absolutely min-max it you can but 90% of the game you can just ignore. And I don't mean from an automation perspective, just from the fact that it's pointless to even deal with it because it has little to no consequence in the game. It's got tons of resources to manage but the automation and civilian economy does that for you so you don't have to think about anything but maybe one or two rare resources and fuel. The ground combat has nuance to it but there is no mechanism to do anything but overwhelm your opponent with raw numbers and a couple bonuses (space control of the planet and combined arms). Leaders have some pretty big bonuses that work out to be nothing more than just paying attention to one fleet commander who has all your best bonuses in one big fleet. You may have more fleets, but you'll typically end up with just one that does all the real work. I do enjoy it, but just realize it comes off as a lot more daunting than it is. Anyone new picking it up should just turn on automation for everything but missions, fleet formation, and production, and just roll with it. It will start to make a lot of sense as you let the game run on it's own while you focus on pushing ships around. Aurora: I agree with the sentiment that everyone should at least try Aurora. It is for a very particular crowd, but the idea of what can be done in a game if someone decides to ever try and implement similar concepts in a more user friendly environment is something no one should miss. It's can actually be kind of lightweight in just playing for 10-15 hours as a space empire management simulator with the AI basically turned off just to experience it. The real problem with Aurora is the combat system is so crazy that it will leave you with nightmares if you try and figure it out without being invested in the game long term. Working out ideal sensor systems so you can see your opponents and their weaponry as it races in, building both your point defense systems and main weaponry, getting contacts during an engagement, balancing out mobility and ammo capacity, and working out a way to both get your weaponry on target while countering your opponents. That's all just the basics needed for missile combat without even considering the nuance in short range weaponry with turret tracking, maneuverability ratings, armor damage profiles, shields, small craft and fighters, carriers, supply vessels, task force management...
  5. Episode 343: XCOM 2

    I enjoy 3MA even though I hardly post here (yay #2) but holy mother of whatever you believe in, there was something really wrong with the panel as they were playing the game. There is a pretty big difference between just not liking the game or not really paying attention to it due to lack of time and what happened here. I'm only halfway through the episode before I had to put it down, but two examples of what I'm talking about are: 1) 3/4 of the panel either didn't realize or quite get that Intel was a resource until after they had burned through their initial stash. Yet it is there on both the Geoscape and your main base window, in the resource bar, with a number. I can understand not really getting a good understanding of it's importance, which itself is questionable given one look at the Black Market shows you it can be used to speed up research, hire advanced recruits, hire support personnel, or purchase items you only see drop as random loot, but to not even realize it was a resource? Even if they totally ignored the resource bar, which is the only way you can see your total income, that means they all went through at least a couple rounds of spending it without realizing it. How is that humanly possible? 2) Likewise more than one on the panel brought up the subject of a squad wipe or even losing a single trooper or two being a game kill due to there being no catch up mechanic. And yet Psi characters are, literally, a blatant catch up mechanic. Even if you don't realize how powerful they are or their advantage as a catch up option at first glance, after you've trained one to the second level it becomes very apparent. Furthermore at least once a month you'll get a mission with a reward option of a ranked character, the Black Market will almost always have a ranked character for "sale", and you can get ranked characters from random location rewards. Except for the last item, which I suppose may never show up in a game for you, there are many obvious examples of how you can catch up. Furthermore both the Ranger and Gunner are useful classes at the Squaddie level even in end game missions, which you can go straight to with the GTS at will. I can understand the other complaints being just the differences in how we perceive a game or our own talents for picking up things faster or slower, such as whether a mission expiration timer on the strategic map is necessary, but the two examples I've listed are just egregious. Maybe if the panel was full of first time players to video games in general I could understand it but... seriously?
  6. Episode 324: Tower Defense

    If you like Tower Defense try AI War by Arcen Games. I'm almost positive Arcen or AI War has been covered in the past but it was some time ago. It looks like an RTS and plays like an RTS, but the game is at heart a tower defense game blown up to epic porportions. Some people may have even tried it and attempted to play it like an RTS and hated it, but once you break it down to controlling/minimizing the AI aggression level as what you are trying to "protect" (aside from your own base/units) the mechanics and flow of the game fit right into the tower defense mindset.