Oh man… I’d forgotten all about this. Truly tragic. That was an amazing game. I got the refund for the '99 version of that game.
Oh, that’s a great one. I remember actually getting a refund from Sierra for it. Was so depressed that they killed it off.
Fun fact while making Infantry we chatted with Origin briefly about making a Crusader online game.
Just about anything that SSI published.
Yeah, lots of great games have been mentioned but this one’s my long lost love. My friends and I used to do a fictional player league with drafts, submitted our training camp numbers, and then choose the playbooks while the AI would handle the playing of the games. It was great fun.
When they went 3D in the misguided attempt to go head-to-head with Madden, I was quite sad because I saw the writing on the wall. Then when the complete mess of a sequel hit the shelves, got recalled, and the series got dumped, it was kind of like thinking your girlfriend might be cheating on you but it’s probably just your imagination to then walking in on her with your best friend.
The silver lining is FPS: Football got me into sports sim gaming. Front Page Sports: Baseball just didn’t do as a good of a job, and so I worked throughout college on my own baseball sim game as I was learning the joys of C++.
For my friends and I Front Page Sports Football never got it’s hook sin us. I don’t know why; we loved that sort of thing. I think we had a version that maybe wasn’t as good at season simulation stuff? We had a ton of baseball sims we loved though. None moreso than Microleague. We played the crap out of Microleague 4, a good bit of Earl Weaver (I still like to crow about the time Darnell Coles turned into Babe Ruth for one of our shortened simulate seasons and lead my 87 pirates to the INTERGALACTIC CHAMPIONSHIP) , and even a good bit of Tony LaRussa (but we never did leagues in that. the sim engine there was, ah, loose. Like Greg Maddux going something like 85-2 in a 3 year stretch loose).
I think all those classic sports sim franchises died off when publishers started chasing other stuff in the mid 90s. We’ve gotten good replacements since then for the most part, which is great. Although I feel like we never got a football title quite as well done as Out of the Park Baseball.
Yeah, Tony Larussa was rather … humorous. Earl Weaver was fantastic, though. And Micro League was also quite sharp, but I recall having to do a lot of actual paperwork to make that function like the kind of league my friends and I wanted - just a limit of programs at that time. As for FPS: Football, the '96 version (third in the series) was my personal favorite.
The football game that got its hooks in me in the 80’s was NFL Challenge. It came in a fancy bookcase box, had glossy spiral offensive and defensive playbooks and X’s O’s that moved around the field when you ran the plays.
If we’re counting games that were overambitious but got gutted before release: Republic: The Revolution
I should also note I am covering a period of basically ~85 to ~92. I think I recall the first FPS:Football coming out and us being excited. But another issue was drift (it was a mixed group and several guys graduated not long after we got a copy).
LaRussa was great for things like “Ellis Burks is a great 2nd round pick. If you turn off injuries he basically hits .350 with 400 Hr for the next 10 years” and “Rico Brogna is a lock for 3500 career hits” and the like. We actually had him become the all time hit leader at one point.
I recall Microleague 4 being much more difficult to work with than Earl Weavers. but somewhat satisfying once you mastered it (e.g. the ability to simulate batches of seasons).
Earl Weaver had the ability to create players and stadiums. Many’s the day we sat down after school with the Baseball Encyclopedia and built some dumb stadium with 380 foot foul lines and 310 foot center field to see what would happen.
I also remember Pete Rose Baseball mostly because it had the multi-season carryover feature when that wasn’t common, and because it had real players and if you had Pete Rose on your team, when he came to bat the stands would go nuts.
God I miss SSI. Them and Microprose.
Star Wars Galaxies.
It was damaged through unintended consequences of the Jedi unlock, inadvertent combat unbalancing by mistakes in the implementation of certain craft professions, and ensuing attempts to fix those imbalances indirectly rather than directly. And by unrealistic expectations.
It was destroyed by meddlers who did not understand the core concepts that made the game fun.
It was released exactly a year after the first and offered nothing new in terms of gameplay. They called it a sequel, but, in today’s terms, it would’ve been DLC. Even Wikipedia states that most fans consider it just a standalone expansion. I want a franchise, dammit!
Whoops! Wrong person. Sorry!
Guardians: Agents of Justice teased enough in the preview demo to show a game I had always dreamed of for superheroes. I saw it twice at E3, the last time I got to play for 5 min. Punch with a guy, knock back with destructible terrain, flight, lots of different powers kind of XCOM meet Freedom Force. They also had a superhero base you built up, they were talking about how it would start as a single small building and you could build training areas, a quin jet type transport and a bunch of other stuff.
It was ambitious but man they had ALL the things I wanted to see in a superhero game, building and recruiting the team, evolving powers and your base, destroying the battlefield as you battle. I don’t recall on it having anything about secret identities, but just about everything else you could wish for from a turn based superhero game.
Some screenshots if you want to torture yourself. I’d still play that game today if it had been made
Oh well, Freedom Force came close…
I played Diablo, Dark Forces, Crusader, No Remorse, Medal Of Honor and one of those 2D war games (Allied General maybe) all on the original PlayStation in the 90s.