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I used to be a big defender of the first one over the sequel as well. Though about 10 years ago, I changed my mind fundamentally.
I really love the match music in the first Speedball and its absence in the second was hugely disappointment. Yet, finally, I realized that the larger playfields in Speedball II allow for amazingly nice maneuvers. Strings of passing the ball on feel really good, and the AI controlled players of your own team enable this smartly through intelligent placement and movement.
The team management, admittedly, is a little overcomplex. But, really, you don’t need 90% of it. Simply buying those star players when they become available is the best strategy. So all the upgrading of individual attributes is unnecessary.
Well, if you think those beholders were not so bad, then just wait for the mindflares towards the end. Happened to me several times that they just paralyzed my whole party with one single spell 😉
I wholeheartedly agree about the world feeling much more alive. I also really appreciated how my party was much more talkative, regularly remarking on the current situation, the dungeon etc. Even if it rarely had much of a real relevance, it felt very satisfying to explore. Likewise, I appreciated the baddie popping up semi-regularly in the course of the game. Made it feel much more targetted and actually building up to something.
Hrm… I fear I won’t make many friends with this, but I really feel this game has not aged that well. It was really flashy looking at the time, but that has worn off. It filled a gap as Dungeon Master wasn’t out on IBM, as mentioned. Not a factor anymore today. The only thing which really kept me occupied in the first one back in the day (I bought 1+2 back then) was the lack of automapping plus those secret passages, spinners etc. Without these obscurity factors (which I really don’t like anymore), there isn’t much holding you up, is there? The second one at least is a little less linear. Or pretends to be so.
For sure there must be a lot of nostalgia involved in all those glaring “look back” videos etc. these days.
It is the echo chamber effect. Everyone says it’s bad, so it must be bad. When in fact, it’s a rather decent game. It was slightly panned at the time it came out, because it offered almost no innovation. Though in retrospect, 30 years later, what difference does that make?
Honestly, I think the main issue with this game is that its starting level, the forest maze, is rather awful. If you manage to get through that, it’s rather worth playing and certainly on par with the first two.
It’s really surprising how little I remembered from the second half of the game. After storming the prison to free the general with the rebels, it all seemed unknown… until the construction site, which I actually did remember again.
Concerning your amazemenet about the change in style at this point, I think the whole game is supposed to be about the modern-times, industrial world (represented by Funfrock and his minions) taking over a serene world which used to be in a magical, peaceful balance. After all, even in previous sections, you could see Funfrock’s army using tanks and other mechanical machinery. In that sense, I find it fully appropriate for this last secton to be about complete desctruction of the natural environment.
This auto-saving is exactly how the original works. I assume the idea was to take the load of managing manual save states off the player. “Just play, we’ll take care of this for you.” Also, encourage/enable one continuous “experience” in playing. You get captured, you get captured. Live with it and play on instead of restoring.
It’s funny that next month’s game, The Last Express, also goes a similar way of handling all this automatically. Though in a vastly superior way.
In LBA, I remember spending hours at the water tower farming for resources. Just going in, grabbing everything, out and entering again. Rinse and repeat.
The lore sections, displayed as text between the missions, are fully optional. The original MechWarrior is quite a different game as well.
In the end, it depends what you are looking for. You can play and enjoy this game as a “battle robot simulation” without any prior knowledge.
You can use the mouse plus cursor keys, you know. While good for exact aim, I find it inconvenient as the left hand (controlling heading) has to regularly leave the cursor keys in that setup to access all the other functions. Controlling heading + torso on the numpad solves this nicely.
Scroll wheel for zoom for sure sounds like a great idea, though! Then, if the mouse had a couple of more buttons (to activate schematic camera, switch nav point and cycle through enemies, activate jump jets etc.), it could work. In the end, you need keys somewhere 😉
Personally, keyboard all the way. I love the way they set up heading plus torso control all on the numpad, so that both can be handled with just the right hand. Left hand on shift/z/spacebar for zooming and firing. Occasionally travelling to the numbers for speed, navpoints, targetting etc.
Honestly, I struggle to understand how you can call this “archaic”. If you were a developer, how would you set up this many functions in “modern” ways? It’s a real question, I haven’t played later parts of the series, so maybe they had some amazing idea?
Of course it is worth talking about Mercenaries. It was not my intention to put this into question. Rather, the other way around: is Mercenaries part of a generic MechWarrior 2 discussion or is it worth being treated on its own? After all, it is a standalone game (not requiring the original) with greatly enhanced gameplay, a totally different scenario etc.
Playing the tabletop, playing against other human players, I never like the clans. In computer games, playing against a machine, I really appreciate scenarios of clan versus inner sphere, on the other hand.March 4, 2022 at 7:47 am in reply to: How to play Mechwarrior 2 + information resources on the game #5782
Point of note: when playing this on Dosbox with “max” cycles, when starting a mission, your Mech will sometimes just explode immediately, failing the mission. Setting it to a reasonable cycle setting (equivalent to a common machine of the time) will fix it.
I wrote down my thoughts end of last year: https://www.goodolddays.net/game/id%2C583/Raptor-Call-of-the-Shadows.html
I *definitely* recommend Planetfall. It was a landmark in the move from classic and (by today’s standards) bland treasure hunt adventure games towards much more fleshed out plots and characters. Still holds up pretty well today. Keep your handkerchief within reach when you play it.
Maybe of relevance here: https://ifwiki.org/index.php/Cruelty_scale
The Zarfian Cruelty Scale has been coined for text adventures, but the levels can be easily applied to point & click. It’s quite a smart way of categorizing games in my view.
One very important aspect which took me long to figure out: to make a city grow, arrange some inner-city transport. In my first attempts, I would just build a nice station and transport passengers to other cities, and then wonder why the city never became larger. Only with multiple stops, this will happen.
What also helps speeding the process up is building roads for them. Preferably in a chessboard structure. Two-by-two squares for houses, then road again.
I fear this is how it is. Though also playing Simutrans extensively (the other open source transport type game apart from OpenTTD these days), “drawing” is not always an advantage, I can tell you. As it is in the other game, I often end up with unwanted cross-connections etc. The manual way of Transport Tycoon at least allows for anal-retentive fine-grained control.
I actually liked that this game tried to give some hints here and there. Not exactly subtle when standing at the foot of the waterfall to tell me I should try blocking the water off somehow on top, but it certainly did its job. I also didn’t mind looking behind the boulder, as this was also clearly hinted at with the scroll. The only really inane part this time around was finding the spellbook. Made worse by the fact that this “evil spirit” was unnecessary to begin with.
Oh well… forgettable game. It’s blissfully unoffensive, especially compared to the second, but also has little going for it. It’s sort of solid, but that’s about it.
Phew… that was tough. I had to inch pixel by pixel, and even then fell more than a dozen times. Thanks for the reassurance I was on the right way!
Anyway, overall, this one almost got me at the end. I really like those classic country house murder mysteries. Though what are we forced to sit through in this game? It is hardly thematically appropriate. The only two puzzles which were sort of good were the ones where you had to observe some evidence after distracting someone else. I also liked the joke with the cook and the bloody knife (as well as punching the riddling old man).
But those few good moments were not really worth all this impertinence the game put me through otherwise. I don’t even mind a maze if well done, but if I don’t even know what I’m looking for in there (and how many objects), it’s truly stupid. Yes, it’s longer, but for all the wrong reasons.
Could anyone help me with the chasm? According to the Internet™, I’m supposed to simply walk across an invisibile path, but moving Penelope all the way down the screen and then right still has me falling. What is the right position?
Objectively speaking, it’s pretty awful, isn’t it? But, yes, it has a sort of anarchic charme and the tiny size mitigates most of the worst impacts of the dead ends, the random deaths, the bugs etc. My main gripe after today’s playthrough remains that there was not even a single imaginative puzzle inside.