(aka X-COM: UFO Defense)
Post game thoughts
April 5, 2019 at 6:37 pm #2417
I’ve beaten the game today \o/
I actually started playing this game months, maybe even years ago. I made it all the way to the final world back then, so this time I only had 4 levels to do before I reached the end, haha.
It’s not a very long game to begin with. There’s only 17 levels in total, and the last level only contains the final boss. The game is split into 4 worlds, so it’s 4 levels per world.
Along the way your weapon and health are upgraded, but the enemies become better too. All in all the game is not too difficult though. It feels comparable to Prince of Persia imho. Surely you will die a few times along the way and will have to find your way through the largish maze-like levels. But at no point it’s really punishingly hard or unfair.
The game feels really solid and well-made. The controls are tight, the presentation is great and it all just works well without any real problems. The only real ‘bug’ I encountered is how the big stone guys don’t always use all available floor surface when patrolling, often stopping at an elevator or another obstacle. This allows you to safely stand at a distance and fire away without any threat of getting damage, which is a bit odd.
The main thing about this game is just how cool it is. The walk cycle, the long hair, the shotgun, the way you can shoot behind you without even looking, it’s all just very very cool. The world has a great mix of fantasy and sci-fi, which just adds to the coolness.
What’s also cool is the vast array of different items you can gather and use through out the game. It starts out with bombs, but soon you’re flying remote-controlled wasps, turning on laser-powered bridges, setting man-eating plants on fire and levitating yourself to great heights. You have to be careful using these items though, because you can easily get yourself stuck if you’re wasteful.
I really enjoyed this game. I did play it some when it came out, but never came very far back then. Playing it now, it’s not as hard as I thought it was, but a solid challenge nonetheless. A solid entry by Blizzard and above all just very, very cool.
dr_stParticipantApril 9, 2019 at 1:55 pm #2424
If you are feeling especially nostalgic, get the Sega 32X ROM, which has 4 additional levels in snowy mountains; if you don’t want to replay the first world, and only wish to see the snow levels – enter DTF3 as a password.
PixParticipantPodcasterApril 14, 2019 at 6:55 pm #2430
Just finished it! I’ve found getting to the end of this one a real challenge, much more so than anything else I’ve played for DGC so far. Level 12 was a nightmare – that jumping section that you have to do right at the end of the level got me time after time. When I eventually did manage it, I only then discovered I needed the key I’d just used for later on and had to start the whole level again! Part of the problem was the difference between this and Prince Of Persia in timing, I was always jumping too early.
The ending boss on the other hand was a real let down – I got through that on the first attempt and didn’t even figure out the strategy at first. It needed a more climactic battle to round off the end of the game.
It’s curious how little was introduced after the early levels in terms of new enemies or items. Near enough every game mechanic was there from the fist few levels. Other than the bit on level 12, the level design built really well on my slowly increasing skills and was extremely fair. I wouldn’t say the 17 levels felt short at all as a first timer. I’m sure I could play through it relatively quickly on a second attempt but beating it this first time has taken me a good number of hours.
I do still prefer Flashback which has more going on in it’s world and more variety to the levels. I’m heavily biased toward more story driven games also and the story in this was clearly tacked on for the sake of it. It’s a really well put together game anyway. Not good enough to be a classic for me but extremely solid.
My 32X doesn’t exactly see a lot of use so I’ll give that version a go and see how it compares.
sirskidParticipantMay 9, 2019 at 8:45 pm #2525
I played this game in the early 2000s and really liked it but couldnt get the sound to work for some reason. I replayed it recently and got the full experience. This is indeed a cool game. I completely forgot about it and im happy the DGC inspired me to play it again.
dr_stParticipantMay 11, 2019 at 4:15 pm #2529
It does appear the game is finicky with sound. On my ‘real DOS’ system I can almost never get the music to work, and with certain sound cards, even sound effects break up. Works perfectly in DOSBox, though.
PixParticipantPodcasterJune 30, 2019 at 5:34 pm #2609
Only just listened to the podcast where it was mentioned that I never did give any feedback on the 32x version. Better late than never but there isn’t too much to say.
The cutscenes were very much like the PC except with some tiny added animations. The rest of the game played identically except it was a whole lot more colourful with some pre-rendered sprites. I can’t say I hated either of these but they weren’t really an improvement.
Other than the extra levels, the main thing of note about the 32x port is how pointless it was doing it for the 32x in the first place. I gather the hardware added extra colours but that appears to be the only feature being used. If I’d bought a 32x, I wouldn’t have been looking for yet another MD platformer to show it off. The likes of Aladdin were way more advanced without the 32x.
I didn’t play all the extra levels but they seemed to be more of the same from what I did see.
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