Author Topic: FPS NIGHTMARES  (Read 32439 times)

PlanktonSideburns

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #510 on: April 23, 2020, 10:08:28 PM »
I've played both the half life's and had no idea that he had a ponytail

Only ever seen a picture of him from the front, or played the game from inside his head

Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #511 on: April 25, 2020, 12:34:02 PM »
Mysteries of the Sith is just an expansion pack, playing as now Legends content Mara Jade, and they force you to not use force powers with creatures that block the Force.

Can't wait for the South Park review, that'll be a paddlin'

Jim Bob

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #512 on: April 25, 2020, 01:33:37 PM »
Mysteries of the Sith is just an expansion pack...

It's one heck of an expansion pack though.

Can't wait for the South Park review, that'll be a paddlin'

Seconded.

Lemming

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #513 on: April 28, 2020, 04:21:38 PM »
Still haven't started on 1998, partially due to being SHATTERED MATE and partially due to Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, but here's something relevant: the front page of the short lived and utterly fucking terrible magazine PCaccelerator:



Daikatana, Duke Nukem Forever, and Klingon Honor Guard. We finally found the Quake killers. We finally did it. And, as a bonus, we can discover the "25 greatest GUY GAMES"! I don't know if the 25 greatest GIRL GAMES were revealed in a subsequent issue.

Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #514 on: April 28, 2020, 04:31:22 PM »
Was Half-Life one the "die trying" games?

madhair60

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #515 on: April 28, 2020, 04:35:28 PM »
To be fair I would rather play Daikatana than Quake 2

Jim Bob

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #516 on: April 28, 2020, 04:37:31 PM »
What the fuck is a "GUY GAME"?

Also, that cover reminds me of the awful Reservoir Dogs shooter that came in 2006.  It was meant to be in-universe and centered around the characters escaping from the cops after the robbery; which if the game is to be believed, involved everyone splitting up and making their way through endless bland environments for 5 hours, taking hostages every other second and murdering several states worth of police officers.

The sole returning actor from the film was Michael Madsen, because of course it was.  The rest of the roles were performed by third rate actors doing a dodgy impersonation.

madhair60

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #517 on: April 28, 2020, 04:56:40 PM »

purlieu

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #518 on: April 28, 2020, 06:58:23 PM »

"Read this or die".

Not very friendly, is it?

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #519 on: April 28, 2020, 07:10:58 PM »
That sort of teak/shart colour was really quite a late 90s fashion wasn't it? Really doesn't suit a games mag cover.

Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #520 on: April 28, 2020, 07:36:09 PM »


Famously featured underage...performers...

Jim Bob

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #521 on: April 28, 2020, 07:44:33 PM »
Famously featured underage...performers...

And Iain Lee from the looks of it.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #522 on: April 28, 2020, 07:50:49 PM »
I thought it was one of the Bungalow ones and it was going to be wonky donkey with babez

Lemming

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #523 on: April 30, 2020, 03:52:29 PM »
Klingon Honor Guard (1998)





RELEASE DATE: February 9th, 1998. Going to start noting release dates, because they're interesting and because it'll help to keep things chronological.

STORY: The elite Klingon Honor Guard have discovered a ludicrously complex and wide-reaching secret plot to assassinate Chancellor Gowron, leader of the Klingon Empire. A newly-inducted member of the Honor Guard, free of any suspicion of involvement due to having only just arrived, is dispatched on a secret mission to foil the plot and uncover the conspirators. The rest of the Honor Guard just sit at home masturbating, presumably.

MUSIC: It's pretty standard, but there's some nice dramatic orchestral moments and some of the mandatory 90s techno sounds.

I WILL CHOP YOU UP LIKE GAGH!: In the review for Star Trek: Generations, I mentioned that it's difficult to make a Star Trek game because the Star Trek setting is all about non-violence, avoiding combat, and peaceful discussion. There's a pretty easy way around that issue, though - just set the game outside the Federation. Klingon Honor Guard takes place in some shithole areas of the Beta Quadrant, far beyond the Federation's reach, and the protagonist is a borderline-psychotic member of an elite Klingon military squad. Problem solved!

It would be pretty easy for this to come off as a cheap use of the Star Trek setting, but Klingon Honor Guard just about succeeds for the most part, because the game still adheres quite firmly to the TV shows, with plenty of faithfully recreated props, uniforms, lore tidbits and all that. The result is a game that has its own identity but does feel like it's earned the right to use the Star Trek name, even though it's an action-packed murderfest and definitively not about peaceful problem solving.

Probably the most notable thing about this game is that it uses the Unreal engine! Before Unreal! While it's not quite as sleek and show-offy as Unreal, the benefits of using a cutting edge engine are clear. These are probably the best graphics - on a technical level if not an artistic level - of any game so far. Movement is smooth and akin to a modern game.

The technical advantages of the Unreal engine help to give combat the audio-visual kick it needs - weapon sounds and graphics are impressive with battles quickly turning into multi-colour light shows as you and the enemy dodge each other's hilariously slow-moving projeciles. The starting weapon, the Klingon Disruptor, has got to be one of the most dependable starting weapons in an FPS game. Even in later levels, firing the disruptor on its max setting (alt-fire) will let you vaporise enemies in a few hits.

There's also a shotgun-esque plasma gun which has a frankly horrifying death animation for enemies, where they lose all their skin and then incinerate over the course of a couple of seconds. There's a laser assault rifle which is literally useless. There's a grenade launcher and a rocket launcher which are both devestating if you can hit a group of enemies. There's also a weird sawblade launcher, sort of akin to Unreal's Razorjack, which fires a bladed disc that bounces off walls and sticks into people if it hits them, before returning to you and slotting itself back in the launcher. Oh, and if you put the launcher away, the disk will still return to you but will lodge itself in your body and shred you apart. Biggest laugh of the game. There's more cool weapons: a rail gun, a weird singularity-creator thing, etc.

The crowning weapon in a pretty impressive arsenal, though, is the Bat'leth. Play Klingon Honor Guard if you want to see why Klingons in the TV shows jerk off over the Bat'leth so much. It's a weapon of total carnage, one or two hit killing the majority of the game's enemies, and you can throw it across the room. Plus whenever you switch to it, your character gives a demented cackling laugh.

Enemy variety is alright. You fight many Klingons and Andorians, but they're functionally the same (ie people who shoot at you). Nausicaans are a little more interesting in that they sometimes have grenade launchers and attempt to rush you in melee combat.  Of interest are the Letheans (from that one DS9 episode), who can turn invisible and shoot telepathic fuckery waves at you, as they did to Bashir. Enemies also have the same abilities as the Skaarj in Unreal, meaning they can dive left or right to dodge projectiles, and will sometimes play dead and then come and kick the shit out of you when you turn your back.

Your journey to save Gowron takes you through a bunch of fairly imaginative locales. Andorian nightclubs, a Klingon prison facility, an ice planet with scary ice monster aliens, a Bird of Prey (where you get to meet the Duras Sisters, and can also go for a spacewalk across the ship's hull), and more. The Unreal engine pulls off some striking visuals even if the art direction is generally a bit muddy (for lack of a better word).

Level design is a mixed bag, veering between being great and inspired on some maps and dull on others. There's a bit of key-hunting but it's mostly straightforward and you shouldn't get stuck anywhere for too long. The better levels contain scripted events in the vein of Unreal and Half-Life - you can start a prison riot, for example. As mentioned earlier, there's also a couple spacewalks in the game where you have to use magnetic boots to stick to the hulls of various ships. If you're shot with enough force, or you disengage the boots, you'll fly away into space, and the only way to save yourself is to fire a powerful weapon with enough force to propel yourself back towards the hull so you can re-magnetise. Enemies also, of course, go dramatically flying away into space after they're killed, spewing zero-gravity blood everywhere. Another moment that sticks in my mind is aboard an Andorian smuggling ship, where you can open the airlock and have yourself and the enemies sucked out towards space, which is categorically hilarious. There's another level where you've got a 20 minute real-time time limit to escape a ship before it explodes, very reminiscent of a Dark Forces style mission and lots of fun, even if I got lost in an air vent for about 8 minutes of that countdown and became UNTHINKABLY STRESSED.

Between levels, you get briefed by Kurn (Worf's brother from TNG, if anyone remembers). The plot is basic but functional and gives you enough of an excuse to go on a Bat'leth rampage. Also, you can choose to play as a male or female Klingon, so that's another female protagonist for anyone who's keeping count. I tried both and the voice acting is pitch-perfect for both. I went with the female protagonist for my full playthrough and this is the polar opposite of Shadow Warrior, by which I mean the voice acting vastly improves the game. TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE!! GAAAA!!!

Final point, the game goes on for ages. Like absolutely fucking ages. In my opinion, it's far beyond "this is great value for money" length and firmly into "dear god when will it end" territory. It doesn't help that a lot of levels can feel fairly samey. The gameplay is good and the enemy types varied, but there's a limit for how long even the best games can go on for before they start to drag, and Klingon Honor Guard oversteps the mark by quite a margin.

If you're a big fan of both Berman-era Star Trek and 90s FPS games, this is really worth checking out.

FINAL RATING: Fun game with great ideas, hampered only by occasionally sloppy production values, inconsistent (but mostly good) level design, and overstaying its welcome. 3 Beloved Targs out of 5, but if they'd cut out some filler levels and touched up what was left, it'd easily be a 4/5 because the gameplay mechanics are all there.


Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #524 on: April 30, 2020, 11:25:50 PM »
Batleths aren't toys.

Lemming

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #525 on: May 05, 2020, 10:39:01 PM »
Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith (1998)





RELEASE DATE: February 17th, 1998

STORY: Kyle Katarn is now a successful military leader, though he still has a stupid nasally voice. When he disappears during a search for an ancient temple, his apprentice Mara Jade goes on the hunt for him.

MUSIC: Same as Dark Forces 2 as far as I could tell.

IT'S ALWAYS NICE TO MEET NEW PEOPLE AND MAKE NEW ENEMIES: First off, sorry for these fucking DOGSHIT screenshots. I played the game with a fan mod that allowed for higher resolutions and much richer colours, but screenshots would only work in the non-modded verison, so I loaded my saves there and it looked like, uh, that.

Anyway, not surprising given that it's an expansion pack, Mysteries of the Sith essentially feels like more of Dark Forces 2. Apparently, this expansion pack was made by some of the developers who worked on 1997's Outlaws, which I thought was a pretty great game. Here, they try a lot of interesting things in terms of level design. Some of these work, others don't.

Not too many new weapons or enemies to speak of, except for the scope which turns the blaster rifle into a ludicrous death machine that kills absolutely fucking everything in sight, though you only get to use that for one level. Of the new enemies, the one that really pissed me off is the evil snow wolf thing in the final levels who pounces at you for insane damage, and it seems to be almost random whether or not your lightsaber actually damages it. Oh, and the Gran are back. The fucking Gran. Total shitheads. During the slum mission, I executed some Gran who weren't actually attacking me, because I didn't want to risk them getting away and continuing to be Gran. Fucking monstrosities. There are some new Force powers too which I mostly neglected, just as I did in the base game.

The big difference from Jedi Knight/Dark Forces 2 is the level design philosophy, which does feel notably different under this development team. The first few levels have you play as Kyle again, and revolve around visiting a weird asteroid control centre, which is going to be used to throw asteroids into your base. These levels are solid and feel very much like Dark Forces 2 levels. After this, you switch to playing as Mara, Kyle's apprentice. The first Mara level is great, an extended fight through some strange alien slums (the only annoyance being the amount of non-hostile NPCs who get very easily caught in crossfire, whereupon they turn violently angry at you). After that, though, there's some maze-like city levels with lots of backtracking where it's not entirely clear where to go, and the game starts to drag here. This mid-game stretch of levels has a few good levels and moments, like defending a ship from a pirate raid, but the city-based levels are really a slog.

But then in the final part, it picks up again. You visit some crazy planet where no guns work and so you're stuck using only your Force powers and the lightsaber, and the levels begin to incorporate a lot of puzzles based around the use of Force powers. These feel way different from any level before them, either in this expansion or DF2 itself, and for the most part they work. The final planet was the highlight of the expansion pack for me. Overall, I think it's fair to say that the levels feel a little less refined than those of Dark Forces 2, and less playtested - there's a Kyle jumping puzzle early on that's properly shit - but there are some really cool ideas in here.

Sadly, the live-action FMV cutscenes that made Dark Forces 2 totally awesome are GONE, replaced with in-engine cutscenes that manage to be even uglier than they needed to be by being pre-recorded, rather than actually played in-engine. Speaking of the story, not that it matters too much, it's a little disjointed. Basically Kyle saves the base and goes off to find a temple, then Mara arses around with smugglers for a few days before suddenly deciding she ought to go check on Kyle. I didn't really warm up to Mara, she felt like a generic one-liner-spewing action hero, I much prefer Kyle and his stupid beard and awful voice.

Speaking of Mara, though: Mara Jade is the first original female protagonist so far who can't be switched for a male protagonist. I say "original" because we had Ellen Ripley before now, but she's a movie character and does CLEARLY NOT COUNT. So, hooray, we got there eventually. Though she still has to share a few levels of her game with nasally dweeb Kyle, and her game is actually just an expansion pack.

As a side-note, I liked the solution to the final boss fight a lot. Without too many spoilers (wouldn't want to spoil a 22 year old expansion pack), you win by refusing to participate in the fight, sort of like in the Paladin cave in Final Fantasy IV. It doesn't feel like the game has robbed you of a final battle, partially because the level has been hard as fuck anyway up until that point, and partially because it's more satisfying story-wise to have no battle.

Other than that, there's not a huge amount to say that wasn't already said in the Dark Forces 2 review. It's essentially more of the same, and if you're up for more Dark Forces 2 - which I was - then it's worth the time. And you get to kill some Gran.

It's interesting to also briefly note the contrast between Klingon Honor Guard and Mysteries of the Sith. Going back to the Dark Forces 2 engine after playing a game on the Unreal engine feels like a step back towards early 3D wonkiness, both in visuals and gameplay. That's crazy considering how fresh the engine actually was at this point - Dark Forces 2 only came out in October 1997. Imagine if a game that came out at the end of 2019 already seemed a little dated today. INSANE PROGRESS

FINAL RATING: It's more of Dark Forces 2, but with weaker levels in the mid-game. 3 Dark Maras out of 5 seems like the right score.


Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #526 on: May 05, 2020, 11:18:47 PM »
Quote
Imagine if a game that came out at the end of 2019 already seemed a little dated today. INSANE PROGRESS

My core gaming experience growing up is of almost psychotic progress in graphics. As of about 2003 nothing really wowed me but only because of the mentality that 'pfft that should have been done 5 years ago'

AsparagusTrevor

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #527 on: May 06, 2020, 10:15:48 AM »
My core gaming experience growing up is of almost psychotic progress in graphics. As of about 2003 nothing really wowed me but only because of the mentality that 'pfft that should have been done 5 years ago'

I remember seeing the first footage released of Doom 3 and thinking it was all fake, pre-rendered stuff, it was just such a huge leap from what was out at the time. By the time it came out lots of stuff looked as good or better, Far Cry was released a few months before and Half-Life 2 a few months after and graphically they both had the edge over Doom 3 in my opinion.

H-O-W-L

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #528 on: May 06, 2020, 02:32:34 PM »
A bit like Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines coming out before HL2, despite using its engine.

It actually didn't. It released the same day, though it WAS in development long before it, yes. Valve mandated that it release AFTER HL2, and Activision mandated it release ASAP, meaning they basically had to release it like, technically hours after HL2 though realistically it didn't matter.

Lemming

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #529 on: May 11, 2020, 02:33:01 PM »
I've been waylaid from playing FPS games by the sudden unexpected glut of turn-based tactics games that have come out over the past month or so. Nevertheless, here's Hexen 2's expansion:

Hexen 2: Portal of Praevus (1998)





RELEASE DATE: March 31st, 1998

STORY: With all the Serpent Riders dead, the cosmos is at peace! This lasts for about 30 seconds, and then a new threat emerges - a sorcerer named Praevus, who has ensnared the spirits of the Serpent Riders and is going to do weird things with them. Before the final Serpent Rider was killed, he created a hideous demonic minion, who's now furiously on a determined quest to free her creator's spirit.

MUSIC: The Tibet music is weirdly chill.

YOU HAVE THE TOME OF POWER: Here's another expansion pack. Like with Mysteries of the Sith, there's not a huge amount I can say about the basic game mechanics here because they're the same as the base game, so all praise and criticism of Hexen 2 applies. What's notably different here is the approach to level design.

You can play the new levels as any character from Hexen 2, but you're obviously meant to play them as the new Demoness class (and when you beat the game you can play the original Hexen 2 as her as well). Like the Hexen 2 classes, the Demoness has three basic weapons and then a superweapon. These are a fire bolt (this is in the melee weapon slot, so has infinite ammo), a poison bolt and a blast of flame. The superweapon is a staff that fires balls of electricity that fuck up anything they touch, GIBBED IN SECONDS. As usual, the Tome of Power enhances all of these to ridiculous levels, the lightning staff becoming essentially an electricity flamethrower which might be the most pleasantly overpowered weapon I've ever seen in a videogame.

Additionally, the Demoness class moves fast as fuck and, after you level up (the expansion retains Hexen 2's weird level up system), you can glide for short distances. With further levelling up, you can almost fly. Gliding/flying lets you negate a ton of fall damage, giving you platforming opportunities that the other hero classes lack.

So the big problem with Hexen 2 (and Hexen 1) was that the levels were fucking monstrous, insane labyrinths where it was often unclear what the hell you were meant to be doing next. Portal of Praevus seems to intentionally reject the school of design that's defined the Hexen series until now, and instead gives small, relatively streamlined levels where the solutions to puzzles are heavily telegraphed, and the switches/items needed to proceed are always relatively close by.

No more "what the fuck did that switch do, shit, i've been here for six hours" type stuff here. When you press a switch, you usually get a cutscene showing you exactly what has changed, and where. The on-screen hints telling you what items you need to solve puzzles are far more plentiful than in the base game, there are signs and plaques with clues that point you gently in the right direction, and the game demands much less backtracking than previous Hexen titles. And the thing is, it still feels like Hexen. The puzzles are as solid as they ever were, the exploration is as engaging, the combat (which still focuses mostly on managing how much mana you have) is still fun, it just removes 90% of the frustration and tedium. Pretty much distilled Hexen.

Puzzles also increasingly revolve around tangible obstacles now. In Hexen 1 and Hexen 2, many puzzles were essentially about trying to find which door had opened where. In Portal of Praevus, the things blocking your way are things that have logical solutions - for example a barrier of magical light, which must be shot through with a crossbow that uses an enchanted bolt that negates the barrier's magic. Combined with the clearer instructions you receive, this does a huge amount to make the puzzles more comprehensible, and the solutions more apparent.

I also love the final boss battle in this. Hexen's final battles have been pretty stupid thus far, and this one is no exception, but there's something almost hilarious about it. Your enemy teleports around the room and covers the floor in streaks of fire while throwing glowing shite at you, and you end up bouncing around bullet-hell style, like a 3D first person Touhou game. FPS games generally don't do final boss fights well, but this was a good one (especially if you're playing as the Demoness, as her pseudo-flying abilities come in handy).

The only issue is that the expansion is about two fucking hours long. Expanded to full game length, this would easily be the best Hexen game, but as it is, it's just a really tight expansion pack that shows how the Hexen formula can stay intact while being made simpler to have a wider appeal. It's hard to say much more about it given how short it is, but it's a nice glimpse of how the Heretic/Hexen series could have progressed, if it hadn't ended with Heretic 2 later in 1998.

As a final note, the Tibet levels REALLY remind me of Tomb Raider 2, which came out a few months before this. Some of the textures look almost identical. There's even a whole puzzle dedicated to finding a missing prayer wheel and putting it back in its place, and then assembling the prayer wheels to open a door, just as you do in the monastery in Tomb Raider 2. So who wins in this battle of the late 90s Tibet-based action games? The answer is Tomb Raider 2, because it has a snowmobile chase, but Portal of Praevus is still good.

FINAL RATING: It's great, I just wish it was a full game and not an expansion. 3 Textures That Could Easily Be From Tomb Raider II out of 5, but with this level of quality expanded to a full game it would easily be 4 or more.



NEXT GAME: Forsaken

Lemming

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #530 on: May 19, 2020, 03:39:55 PM »
Been steadily playing Forsaken alongside some other games, but predictably enough, I have made what is known in the business as a GIGAFUCKUP. I'm playing Forsaken Remastered, which is not a remaster of Forsaken as the name would have you believe, but actually a project that combines the PC and N64 versions of Forsaken together. So I'm not playing/reviewing the 1998 PC Forsaken, as intended, but instead this weird Frankenstein's monster version made of both the PC and N64 verisons. Either way, it's great. It's like if Descent was about fun and explosions rather than staring at a 3D wireframe map for hours on end and crying. In other words:



Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #531 on: May 19, 2020, 04:07:00 PM »
I think Forsaken (64) is the first of these since Doom 2 that I've played. I'll be interested to see how it holds up, even if it's not quite the same game that I had.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 04:28:05 PM by Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth »

Jim Bob

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #532 on: May 19, 2020, 04:23:53 PM »
As someone who's played the original PC release of Forsaken, I can confirm that it is a very good game indeed, so your thoughts on the "remastered" version aren't far off from what you'd have said had you played the original game, I should imagine.

earl_sleek

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #533 on: May 19, 2020, 08:24:52 PM »
I liked Forsaken 64 so much, I took my screen name from one of the characters. I could easily have been LA Jay, or Foetoid.

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