By ahoodedfigure 0 Comments
Independent of the Giant Bomb video that mentioned Star Control 2, a friend of mine brought my attention to the freeware clone of the game made from the source released by the creators. I remembered having downloaded the game before for my off-line gaming PC, but the thing requires certain files to be downloaded actively for reasons I don't quite understand. Off-line meant I couldn't play, apparently.
But now I installed it using my on-line system and got the file thing sorted out. It doesn't need online capacity to be played, though; and play it I have been-- much too much, really. I have a bunch of problems with the game system, but I love the concept, combining Star Control starship melee with adventure and sorta-RPG elements. One of the species you encounter even refers to what the player is doing as a quest, and I think that's apt.
I'm a bit late to discovering the game, but I like a lot of it, and I especially like the conversations with the different races. I played SC 1 on the Genesis and loved it, but their expansion of each of the species into complete characters in their own right is engaging.
Getting resources from planets is on the other side of the spectrum for me on this. Parts of it are fun, I like deciding to take the risk on a given planet and regretting my rash actions when I lose crew members, but I guess the Starflight version of this, which is fairly similar, is more my speed. It felt more like I was discovering a world in Starflight, not just scouring it for resources (although there was plenty of that. Not that you ever emptied a planet of its minerals; that was impossible. Things were on a more personal scale in Starflight, not dealing with hundreds of crew members as in Star Control (and thousands of dead ones, in my case)).
I imagine someone trying out the Star Control version of combat might be very put off by the unforgiving strategy and tactics involved, but given my training on the original Star Control, I knew what to expect. I sorta wish one's new allies would quickly give you an idea about their strengths and weaknesses, though. It took me forever to figure out what the fish guys' special attack was (eeee! and now it's one of my FAVORITES!!), for instance.
One of the things I can't get enough of is that none of the races are completely evil or good, or easily hated or entirely sympathetic. In the first Star Control I felt as though each side was pretty obviously there for a reason. Even though the lines are drawn -and you won't get unfairly emotionally manipulated by an enemy's stories of their tortured past- you understand those you interact with as more fully fleshed-out species and cultures now, which is gratifying.
What this game needs more than anything else (for everyone who isn't a savant or loves to write stuff down on notes they'll likely lose) is to have some sort of note system for the game, either automatic or in the form of log entries. Didn't Starflight have that? I loved that, being able to write down my observations and call them up later in-game. With all the coordinates and clues I would like to have some sort of in-game compilation of this (with a bigger star chart sitting next to it, maybe) to ease my pain a bit.
Anyway, I feel like I've just scratched the surface of the game, despite having tapped out the creepy merchant guys for fun junk to use. This game was a pleasant surprise, and I hope there are more such surprises in store around the game's galactic corners.
This entry is dedicated to the Pkunk.
Oh, and Fuffle-wup [sic] can kiss my ass.