Ur-Quan Masters 2 -- The Official Thread for the Official Follow-up to the Official Best Game of All Time

Yeah Starflight was much bigger for me personally than the Star Controls. Maybe just because I played it first.

I’m ok with that, but I’d be even more ok if there were much less combat. Obviously if you enjoy the combat it won’t seem grindy but I didn’t really, it feels arcade-y and simple in a way that doesn’t seem to match up with the scale and capabilities of the ships and aliens you’re fighting. But, as per usual, I accept that I’m in the minority on that one.

I don’t know much about SC2 but I feel that understanding the design choices that went into it also requires understanding SC1. The melee combat was essentially the whole game in SC1, so it’s not surprising to me that it would be retained as a core element of the sequel.

This doesn’t make those design choices good, necessarily. But if they switched to I dunno, turn based tactical combat, or something else that is substantially different from the Space War feel of the original, that doesn’t seem like something that would even have been on the table when you’re doing a sequel to a previous hit that was itself extremely arcadey.

I had no problem with combat or arcade sections in SC2, I just hated how clunky they were. I was a huge Space War and Asteroids fan back in the day, I loved the vector graphics, the smooth way the ships moved, the skill necessary to master momentum. Most home versions just couldn’t do it justice, and Super Melee in SC2 felt like another janky effort.

The only one to really get the feel and look right was Starship Command on the BBC Micro. Every so often I’d get the chance to take a BBC Micro home (I mean, virtually nobody I knew actually bought one of the damn things!) and spent every waking moment playing it! Put that version into Star Control 2 and I’d still be playing it.

I wonder if it varies by port. The PC rather famously couldn’t do smooth action very easily, which is why it was a big deal for Carmack to be able to replicate the gameplay of Super Mario Bros. 3 on that machine. Perhaps this is one reason why the 3DO version is considered the best? Just speculating.

I will only say that the melee in the Amiga version of SC1 felt great to me.

Even ancient PCs were perfectly capable of moving a few small sprites around. Carmack’s accomplishment with his Super Mario demo was simulating full-screen smooth scrolling.

So did you just hang out in Ur-Quan space a lot during SC2? Lots of combat encounters there because it is a warzone…in space! Outside of that, I don’t recall too much combat until the end when you need to enter Ur-Quan space. It came up sometimes but it wasn’t that much.

My recollections don’t align with yours.

Maybe you were mad at the Von Neumann machines.

I played Starflight before SC2 and didn’t realise the connection between them at the time. I thought SC2 was a bit of a design rip off from Starflight. The exploration side of things is better in Star Control, but I never enjoyed the hypermelee - much preferred Starflight’s combat.

I think the reference is actually Starflight iirc

I found Star Control before Starflight, but also before we could read English. We played a lot of Super Melee and loved it.

But then I found Starflight years later and that’s also my main reference in this genre (Starflight Genesis being the best of both worlds imho)

Not surprisingly, it’s both.

From Star Control Wiki:

Founder of BioWare, Ray Muzyka, cites the Star Control series as an inspiration for the Mass Effect series of games, stating that “the uncharted worlds in Mass Effect comes from imagining what a freely explorable universe would be like inside a very realistic next-gen game”.

From Starflight Wiki:

Mass Effect director Casey Hudson tweeted in 2011 that “Starflight was a key inspiration for the ME series.”

The Genesis version of Starflight is the on you want for anyone looking to experience that while waiting for this.

That’s the one I played and loved. There was never a Genesis version of SC2, right? I recall playing SC1 on it extensively.

Right. Star Control 2’s best version (IMO) is on the 3DO. That was the only console port.

Yes it was.

Put me in the camp where the melee combat is an important part of Star Control. It helps that it was done so well in SC2, with good ship variety - figuring out what ships worked best against others was definitely part of the fun, although your mothership quickly became very dominant so the only reason to use other ships was for more varied gameplay. As someone who grew up playing Space War and Asteroids, it was a hell of a lot of fun to have a Starflight game grafted onto that combat - best of both worlds, imo.

I feel the same about Mass Effect 3 - While I like the additional RPG depth of Mass Effect 1, it really took until the third one for combat to really be first rate as a shooter – so it was essentially a BioWare-written game with excellent situational writing and characters (ignoring overall goofy plot), along with some great shooter combat to resolve encounters.

The one aspect of SC2 that I hope makes it into the sequel is the dynamic universe – it was very cool seeing empires expand/contract, at least until the Kohr-Ah start steam rolling (which happened too quickly). I love the different races and hope we learn more about them and some of the mysteries SC2 hinted at, such as the fate of the human androids from SC1 and the Orz,e tc.

Isn’t that the same version that’s available as Ur-Quan masters? Main different between the PC version was the voice acting addition.

Yeah, SC2 still remains one of the best examples of a dynamic world where player choices and actions matter.

Yes, UQM is based on the 3DO port.