Ben X

The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

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I feel that your opinion echos mine.  In general I thought the gameplay was fun but the level design was pretty uninspired in a lot of ways.  Repetitive corridors and shafts get old fast.  I want to say Jedi Academy was better about that but I honestly don't remember.  I think at the very least it had more variety.

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I love the idea that this thread now overlaps with the existence of the forums. I look forward to seeing what 16 year old me thought of these things while you're playing them today!

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On 20 January 2017 at 9:33 PM, Ben X said:

I'm pretty bored of this now. Just endless running round mazes and pushing buttons. The Force combat is still fun, though saber duels feel mostly like luck to me - the best sword mechanics I've ever played are the original Prince Of Persia, and I'd love to play a 3D equivalent of those. I might push through to the end, I'm not sure - judging from walkthroughs, I'm nearly there.

 

In the meantime, here are some links:

 

A retrospective article which captures the highs and lows well 

An objective review

Jake asks for feedback on the game for an upcoming Thumbs review of it (which I can't find)

A (rather homoerotic) Thumbs thread about the game: 

 

 

Strange to see my observations from over 12 years ago in those threads! Also, I'd forgotten about the 'saberrealisticcombat' cheat mode that Eurogamer mentions - that should really have been a proper menu option.

Without wishing to jump the gun on this thread, last week I dipped into Jedi Academy for the first time, prompted by all this. I'm struggling to get into it, but this may be partly because I've set the difficulty level high - which doesn't make it that difficult, just quite tedious (even Tusken Raiders and Stormtroopers take several lightsaber swipes to take down, which doesn't feel like Star Wars).

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On 23/10/2016 at 2:25 PM, Ben X said:

Oh, I forgot to post this Let's Play Deus Ex with Warren Spector, Sheldon Pacotti and Chris Norden video back when I gave up on it. I'm 15mins in and it's not hugely insightful, but a few points of interest:

 

 

 

Sometimes I wish the forum had tree-shaped threads, could be a tiny subthread discussing that :) alone. I had forgotten that the lip-sync was real-time and now in hind-sight as a more experienced programmer, to me it seems really dumb to do it real time since the input files never change, you could just save the lip-sync info as additional parameters for each sound file and never calculate it again once the audio file has been finalized... Or maybe at the time there were complications with doing that...

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I would guess the reason was that one bit of code that tells mouths to match wave shapes is more efficient than having a ton of individual files to be stored, pulled and used. But I only code in Cwine and Icicle so...

 

How are the asses in Jedi Academy, @Simon?

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@Ben X It is a pain in the ass, as I seem to have hit a bug that means I can't disarm the final bomb in a certain mission.

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You can probably find a console command cheat to skip the level...

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On 15.10.2016 at 4:32 AM, Salacious Snake said:

Speaking of which, I notice a lack of the Clance on your list. The earlier bunch of games (Rainbow Six, Rogue Spear and Ghost Recon) are great, tense games.

Also, SWAT 3 and SWAT 4 are cool if you dig that kind of tactical junk.

edit: you infiltrated another post in there!

 

Hijacking this thread to mention that SWAT 4 is out now finally for purchase digitally. I'm too lazy to make separate thread for this classic Irrational Games tactical shootie shooter.

 

The great Irrational game has just been finally released on gog.com as worldwide digital exclusive. For a very long time I was thinking why SWAT 4 is not found anywhere for purchase.

 

https://www.gog.com/news/release_swat_4_gold_edition

https://www.gog.com/news/swat_4_devs_talk_storytelling_authenticity_and_creating_a_legend

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On 20/1/2017 at 11:33 PM, Ben X said:

the best sword mechanics I've ever played are the original Prince Of Persia, and I'd love to play a 3D equivalent of those.

Three words: mount, and, blade. Of course the complexity increases exponentially with the dimensions (and more added dimension are provided by different weapons, shields, mounts).

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On 23/1/2017 at 10:28 PM, Ben X said:

I would guess the reason was that one bit of code that tells mouths to match wave shapes is more efficient than having a ton of individual files to be stored, pulled and used. But I only code in Cwine and Icicle so...

 

Yeah, of course, actually it might be that doing it real time is efficient enough... although I remember the game having performance problems when it came out... but those probably didn't happen at a time when lip-syncing was important :)

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34 minutes ago, Erkki said:

Three words: mount, and, blade.

 

Mmmm, but with fewer spreadsheets.

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Well, I promised myself I'd uninstall next time I was forced to consult a walkthrough, and it happened pretty quickly. I got to that annoying bit where you're stuck in a maze with loads of timed laser-beams, then you find the switch to turn them off and it becomes... a maze. Hooray. So fuck this game. Loads of great stuff about it, just marred by stupid difficulty and level design. I had one last really cool moment a little while before I gave up: I'd found the latest switch and started backtracking to the corresponding door; as I turned a corner, there stood a dark Jedi, perfectly silhouetted and framed in the corridor, waiting for me. It felt so cinematic and Star Wars.

 

So, onto trying to install The Operative: No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M's Way on a modern PC. This process may prove to be slightly more entertaining than one of Jedi Knight's mazes.

 

EDIT: so far, so good. Install program works, goes fullscreen no issues, resources copying...

 

EDIT 2: "If you would like to view Sierra Entertainment's upcoming PC title SWAT Urban Justice Trailer, simply double-click the

               E3_2002_SWAT_UJ.exe that's located in Disc 2".  Sure, I'll get right on that.

             "You must restart your computer before this program can be used. Please remove any disks and click Finish." *grumble*

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Ha, yeah, there's an ace-looking beefy henchman mime with big sweat patches on the loading screen.

 

So it installed fine, but I had to go find the v1.3 patch to fix some sound codec issues. Hopefully that'll be as fiddly as it gets.

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Phew, the patch worked and it runs great. High resolution settings and I can tab in and out.

I'm getting immediate deja vu from the first game here. The presentation is wonderful: funny clan memos, robot birds with quartermaster updates, and NPC banter - I feel bad for killing the female teen ninjas after their chatter about boys and over- bearing grandmothers! It looks and sounds really nice, too. You start by passing by an impressively rendered waterfall leading into a detailed Japanese village.

The stealth is already a bit irritating, though. I feel forced into combat situations and the boundaries feel foggy. I can change the difficulty on the fly, though, which is a blessing, and it's not been too bad so far.

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Yep, definite deja vu. This game is so irritating. I finally got out of the stealth section only to get plonked in a snowy and pointless hub area which was extremely difficult to navigate, made worse by the fact I had to do it on a snowmobile that handled like shit. Once I found the correct areas, I trudged around for a bit and put some explosives down. The stealth no longer seems to be the focus (although I ended up brute forcing my way through even when it was), but the shooting's not up to much, to be honest. I finally made my way back to the starting point, where I can't figure out how to get back over a fence that I ramped over from the other side. Maybe it's a different cabin I'm supposed to go back to?

 

I'll check a walk-through before I go back to this, but I have the very strong feeling it'll be a second case of "nice presentation, bad game". Doing a quick search on these forums for the game and seeing the love it gets also reminded me that I should at least try all the goofy weapons out - bananas, bear-traps etc - but it just never feels like the game is giving me the opportunity.

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The first time I played NOLF2, I made it quite far (never finished it) and enjoyed my time with it. All subsequent efforts to play it have been stymied by that dull, dull, DULL Siberia level 

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That's the one. Okay, well hopefully if I get past this the game will warm up (lol) a bit. It does feel like they're burying the lede substantially here - instead of starting off in swinging London with hench-mimes, there's a Japanese stealth level then a place-the-explosives snow level.

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Hate NOLF 2. Such shit game.

 

It's started bringing up a "client mfc application has stopped working" error regularly. I've tried a few things, but can't get it to stop crashing every few minutes. So I don't need to slog forward any further through this clumsy mix of first-person stealth and shooting, thankfully. Unless it completely changes up its mechanics/level design, I can't see a few mimes making it any more enjoyable. The stealth is extremely unforgiving, even on easy mode, and the layouts don't encourage any kind of experimentation.

 

Onto Unreal II. I get the impression that this is a very pretty but rather mediocre shooter, but it might be a relief after turning off all those lightswitches.

 

In the meantime, I couldn't find any retrospectives for this game (though there are some around for the first one), but Steve Gaynor interviews Craig Hubbard about the two games amongst others in this episode of Tone Control.

 

And here's an article about why the two games are never going to get re-released.

 

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Well, Unreal II certainly looks nice. I was not impressed at first, as I moved through some standard spacebase stuff and a rather ugly exterior with no art design to cover up any weak spots in the textures. However, later planets look great, from a night-time scene with loads of bioluminescence and lumbering lower species to a snow planet with huge ringed planets hanging in the sky and Syd Mead buildings looming in the distance. They certainly know how to present an epic sense of scale. On the other end of the scale, your hub ship has a great lived-in feel; it reminded me of Firefly as I wandered around the small ship, opening hatches to access the vertical design, listening to crew grumbling about missing parts, and finding full ashtrays and half-eaten doughnuts. There's a nice Trek feel to the universe as well, with diplomatic relations between different species. Your pilot, a blue blob in a little mech suit, learning English from a collection on 20th century sitcoms, is especially lovable. It's a shame that the stock meathead-marine banter is generally pretty bad and the female member of your crew dresses like a cheap hooker.

 

The combat starts off pretty frustrating, as your movement is very slow but you're pitted against acrobatic enemies and a load of your weaponry either has warm-up time or splash damage. I had to put it down to easy to get through the first level. I've picked up a few more weapons now, though, particularly the shotgun. The enemies aren't particularly inspired either - reptile guys or spiders, so far. It's adequate, though. Hopefully it'll pick up.

 

Some other notes:

the loading times are very long, far longer than Jedi Outcast. I can sit there for up to a minute waiting to reload a quicksave...

It has mantling! It hasn't put it to good use like DOOM 2016 so far, though. It's just an occasional means to climb a slightly bigger box to get some ammo.

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2 hours ago, Ben X said:

Well, Unreal II certainly looks nice. I was not impressed at first, as I moved through some standard spacebase stuff and a rather ugly exterior with no art design to cover up any weak spots in the textures. However, later planets look great, from a night-time scene with loads of bioluminescence and lumbering lower species to a snow planet with huge ringed planets hanging in the sky and Syd Mead buildings looming in the distance. They certainly know how to present an epic sense of scale. On the other end of the scale, your hub ship has a great lived-in feel; it reminded me of Firefly as I wandered around the small ship, opening hatches to access the vertical design, listening to crew grumbling about missing parts, and finding full ashtrays and half-eaten doughnuts. There's a nice Trek feel to the universe as well, with diplomatic relations between different species. Your pilot, a blue blob in a little mech suit, learning English from a collection on 20th century sitcoms, is especially lovable. It's a shame that the stock meathead-marine banter is generally pretty bad and the female member of your crew dresses like a cheap hooker.

 

The combat starts off pretty frustrating, as your movement is very slow, but you're pitted against acrobatic enemies, and a load of your weaponry either has warm-up time or splash damage. I had to put it down to easy to get through the first level. I've picked up a few more weapons now, though, particularly the shotgun. The enemies aren't particularly inspired either - reptile guys or spiders, so far. It's adequate, though. Hopefully it'll pick up.

 

Some other notes:

the loading times are very long, far longer than Jedi Outcast. I can sit there for up to a minute waiting to reload a quicksave...

It has mantling! It hasn't put it to good use like DOOM 2016 so far, though. It's just an occasional means to climb a slightly bigger box to get some ammo.

The final level of Unreal II is one of my favorite end stages of all time

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That final level was wild, yeah. It's also one of the earliest FPSs I've played that had sections where you have to defend a position using player-placed turrets and walls (HL2 would do the same thing a year later), felt fresh at the time. As did the hub ship, though I found myself longing for more interaction with my crewmates. It wasn't until 2007 (Mass Effect) that my wishes were granted!

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3 hours ago, Cordeos said:

The final level of Unreal II is one of my favorite end stages of all time

 

Gosh, really? Hope the game is good enough for me to make it all the way through, then!

 

There's already been a siege defense bit, though the gates were NPC-placed for this one. It was fine, but the low player speed combined with the distance between the two gates meant that the NPCs had won most of the fire-fights before I could reach them!

 

Jedi Outcast had sentry-bot weapons but I don't think I ever actually got round to using one...

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I'm still really enjoying this. The loading times are long enough that I've had to put it on easy, but that's not really hampering my enjoyment. It's almost half walking simulator anyway - the settings are gorgeous and the sense of scale is really well done. They are so clever at using layers of distance to create awe-inspiring backdrops. I'm now curious whether there are any texture mods out there that manage to make it look even nicer.

 

The acting and story is generally appalling, although the lead guy wakes up when he's having comedic interactions during the levels - pleading with a mute alien to let him through a door, or shouting meat-headed retorts at a snarky scientist.

 

The siege sequences were pretty cool - it was definitely satisfying to plonk laser posts in position and watch the fence zap to life. But I never felt like I was having that much impact once they started - they tended to be a bit too spread out. I think they're the first ones I've seen so far, though.

 

Seems I'm on the penultimate level now, which is good to know - much more and the game might outstay its welcome, as beyond the atmospherics and extravagant weapons (which, as is the case so often, the game doesn't encourage the use of), it's a pretty basic shooter.

 

A favourite moment so far was when I killed a space marine and he fell back into the doorway but his bulky amour stopped him from falling through so he just leaned there:

 

DA7n2Cc.png

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