I’m glad you told me that, because despite me -not wanting to play it-, every single time it goes on sale I reconsider. “Was the first one really that bad. I mean i had fun, right?”
If I could add you to my Family Library on Steam I would and save you the $$$.
How about Xenonauts? Is that any better as a successor?
Haha, I have both XCOMs (1 & 2) sitting on the backlog AND Xenonauts. Getting there…
Xenonauts is fantastic. It’s the best X-COM clone out there.
I’m really hoping the sequel comes out this year as planned.
It has one unfortunate late game bug that only occurs if you get happy with your rocket launchers…but otherwise agree :)
The more I learned and understood the original X-com and a lot of the tactical games, the worse they ended up being. I think there was a lot of sense to the changes they made for the modern XCOM, though I think there were also some missteps.
For example, the customizable bases were largely illusory- there’s an optimal layout and the alternate bases were optimally just launch bases for fighters with extra radar. There was a way to lay out each base that made invasions most difficult for the Aliens, etc.
FWIW, I don’t think XCOM actually questioned enough of the assumptions from the original- for example, the geoscape in XCOM and XCOM2 is something that always felt half-done, like they wanted to get the feeling of, but without any depth. IMO, they should’ve worked to find new, better mechanics because I don’t think the old geoscape was THAT great in the first place, but instead there was just something there with few meaningful decisions. It took Long War to improve it, but there’s still a long way to go there.
The tactical game, I think, is better realized- the timers are there to prevent the most degenerate defensive strategies, sometimes they’re tough, but they are there to push you out of your comfort zone. I think that’s a better kind of pressure than ‘random alien walks around the corner and blaster bombs your avenger’ which is something that can absolutely happen in the original.
I didn’t think much of JA2, either, once I started to understand it.
Oh I’m certain I have both nostalgia going on and rose-colored glasses in reference to the older games and how they hold up now. I think my lone comment on me not being the target market is valid. There certainly is/was a lot of room for improvement to the originals, but it was some of those improvements that rubbed me wrong.
Why the constant drop ins on the new one? I mean, you still end things nearly randomly, somewhat like the original you don’t know how many are left. But you usually started the map with them all there, for better or worse. And that meant a more war gaming strategy could be played: Mop the map but watch your six and you know what you’ve cleared and/or leave some folks behind for that purpose. Keep wounded troops safe as well. And you could do a lot more because you could bring more troops to a fight. Instead, you cannot count on that at all in the new XCOM. Quite literally, until you play through, you don’t know if you’ll have a reinforcement drop RIGHT BEHIND YOU, at any time. So you have to game that gameplay addition by saving constantly and rolling back if that causes you to lose an entire team, etc, etc.
They added new mission types. Which seemed cool, as it took away the monotony. But it was more of rubbing RTS items into a TBS game. Things like bomb deactivation, finding and returning a hostage, etc. I did like some of them, but again, sometimes that gets out too far in front of the strategy part of what made the original great, and injects randomness and pressure for the sake of variance. I’ll give them a half-win for the added mission types. Not happy with them all but not dissatisfied they did that, either.
Again though, I’m old. I’m most assuredly being nostalgic for the original. Those games admittedly were a long slog and not as quick to finish, even just a mission or two. And that’s something the new game did excel at, quick fun and broken up into missions that could be played through rather quickly, along with the addition of beautiful presentation and cutscenes.
I think you’re right. I remember the first JA having a few quirks that made camping after hours a bit more difficult. If any merc didn’t have a radio on, I think there was a chance they would disappear. Also, some mercs were more likely to kill others, like JA2 referencing Fidel after the disappearance of Hurl… Then again, in JA2, travelling at night meant there was an increased chance of being ambused by blood cats? Think that was their name.
With XCom, I didn’t mind the game in general. However I absolutely hated the fact that I couldn’t really rotate soldiers effectively. There was a power curve and it was important to be ahead of that curve in every mission. The loss of one soldier, or one mission going badly could ruin a whole campaign. By the mid to late game, there were no rookie safe missions. It was the same high tier aliens again and again. The original 90’s XCom at least had the option of engaging in simpler missions. I don’t think it is sustainable for any game to maintain such a high tension every step of the way. Allowing a few more mellowed, easier missions in the recent XCom games would have been nice as opposed to unending pressure.
Cheers. In JA I found stuff to be less readily available. Every rifle you scavenged felt like an immense win. In comparison, by the end game of JA2 you were pretty much commanding an army. Which I loved, but I loved more the more “subdued” gameplay of the first.
I must say I am not sure I remember the original JA2… Wildfire and the 1.13 certainly are mixed in with my actual memories of JA2 vanilla.
That was a gripe of mine too. Short of reloading the campaign and trying to level up the mechs instead of the cyborgs, or that sniper over the other one, if you weren’t taking the A team you were pretty much dialing up difficulty. Sometimes made for a good challenge… but how many times can a sane human go through the same insane mission?
My strategy late game was to use 1-4 rookies as grenade/rocket troops. Especially once you got the controlable launchers. You could just have them take one step out of the vehicle and take a shot. That usually got them some experience, and deadly accuracy wasn’t as big an issue, or losing them if the worst happened. The only issue with that was mind control, so the balance of finding, discovering and using a rookie less susceptible to that was that the loss became harder. The strategy actually worked early game as well. “Ensign Smith” was sent out first, or had to throw lights if needed, etc.
The true hard part of the game was when massive UFOs/bases came into play and reaction shots, both yours and the aliens. You’re behind the curve on armor and weapons from the start, and not getting control of that early on just meant you were going to fail, it was just a matter of time.
JA1 was definitely tougher than 2. I really didn’t like the need to constantly repair weapons though, that was a real chore that just sucked the entertainment value out of it for me. And being stuck or losing people because they couldn’t swim was a pain too even though it was realistic.
So this is coming out in 3 weeks?
That’s potentially just as exciting as it is concerning…
I wanted to check out the official page but I just got tired when it wanted me to put in a birthday. Is anyone else as sick and tired of that shit as I am?
But yeah, I think 3 weeks out from now (and only what, a month from announcement?) makes me pretty concerned. It didn’t look that great to start with, and some of that I thought was due to early art assets. Yikes.
Glad you said that Scott, I’m completely unexcited the art makes me think they will skimp on gameplay and depth. I already played too many poor knockoffs.
Definitely going to wait for the reviews…
Oh no. I can’t see any happy reason for them to rush it out like this. Here’s hoping I’m wrong, but I’m managing my expectations at this point.
I mean, realistically I’m sure I’m still going to buy it, be disappointed, retreat back into wistful fantasy for another few years. (Wow, that 2007 JA3 with the Silent Storm engine sure would have been something).
Who thought this art direction was a good idea?!
I’m curious of all the JA remakes, which one do you guys think was the best homage to the original?
JA 2 was pretty good. OTOH I liked Back in Action too. ::ducks::