No but saying something is 'broken' isn't really an opinion, it's stating something as fact, and again, lots of people got a lot of enjoyment out of it so I don't think it can be broken. It can still be 'shit' - in your opinion - of course.Quote:
It's also kind of silly to discredit my argument simply by saying other people appear to disagree with it. Is this a discussion board or not?
This is a handy thread for playing Opinion Thread Bingo. We have 'poster-who-claims-hard-game-very-easy-for-them', 'poster-who-played-game-for-dozens-of-hours-but-says-it's-bad', 'poster-who-says-a-game-lots-of-people-liked-is-objectively-bad' and right next to it on the board is 'poster-who-wants-you-to-stop-liking-that-game-you-like.'
The original was broken as well. However, it was closer to an actual tactical game, mainly because it included facing, inventory management, and (the appearance of) a dynamic campaign map.Quote:
Remind me again, what kind of tactics there were in the original? I vaguely remember spamming the map with grenades and then getting shot or mindcontrolled from fog of war. And I replayed the game just couple of years ago, probably for a twelfth time. Equipment and inventory management were a big thing, sure, and combining different weaponry made sense because some aliens had resistance to some damage, yes. But anyway I completed it with "Heavy plasmas for everyone" type of squad and some rocket HWP's.
When Jake said he "got" XCOM, I thought he meant he would improve those elements, not make them even worse.
When I say the game's mechanics are broken, I do not mean that the game crashes to desktop. I mean that its mechanics are broken.
See I have an issue with the idea that a game you enjoyed for two weeks being 'fundamentally broken'. Flawed for sure, but I can't see it being broken. It clearly worked on some level.
It booted up and I got some enjoyment out of it, but uninstalled it soon after I realized how gamey it is.
And, yes, when I criticize XCOM for being "gamey," I don't mean that it should be realistic. As another poster pointed out, I mean that being a good XCOM player simply entails understanding some very silly facts about the game mechanics, and then going on autopilot after that.
Example: (Since someone else complained that I wasn't offering any specifics): Once you learn scientists are worthless, engineers and sats are key, there's not much choice to be made in the game on the strategic layer. On the tactical layer, the class leveling up becomes automatic after the first playthrough, and you learn that the only way to play is to inch up one move at a time -- due to the bizarre alien activation mechanic and the tiny, repetitive maps.
there are also the user scores, currently at 8.1 at metacritic. And the fact that the game is consistently in the Steam top 20. Look, just because you want to project an image of great intellect by slandering a popular game with broad claim like 'broken' and 'no tactics' and not even giving evidence doesn't impress anybody. XCOM is the best game of the year and the best tactical turn-based game probably since Silent Storm in 2003. Uninformed opinions of XCOM 1993 fanboys don't change anything.
You are citing user metacritic scores? Seriously?
Just compare XCOM to Civ 4 to see how badly Jake screwed up XCOM.
In Civ 4, you had a wide array of choices right from the start as to how to approach a game. Depending on your start, you had the option of going for religious techs, military techs, or growth right off the bat. You had to size up your continent to see if a culture run was in the cards. With each progressing turn, you had to weigh the risks of continuing on your path (whether it be a particular wonder, or the tech tree) versus abandoning ship and going for a new strategy.
In XCOM, if a player doesn't prioritize engineers and satellites, he is playing THE WRONG WAY. No ifs ands or buts about it. There's no choice there. It's dumb.
There's a few fundamental reasons for that -- again, I think part of it is the lack of any strategic level alien AI -- but whatever they are, they kill the game completely.
Scientists are useless? I haven't managed to finish a Classic game yet - and perhaps that is why - but my best results have all been from sciencecentric playthroughs. When and why do they become useless? Not arguing (I'm not in a position to), but genuinely curious - that claim is going to hang over all my time with the game from now on so I'd like to know the why. Preferably without spoilers. I actually thought I'd improved my performance a lot by abandoning the engineer rushes I'd tried earlier, so this is odd to hear.
Yeah, they are useless in the sense that you never want to go for them first if you have the choice. You're going to run out of research eventually long before you finish the game, and keeping countries to get full satellite coverage for the bonuses and money is much more important early on than any tech you can research (which requires as many engineers as you can get since they make everything cheaper).
Even a minimum amount of scientists is enough to comfortably finish the game, and labs are a waste of space.
Labs are particularly useless once you realize that autopsies/interrogations yield massive boosts to the research speed of plasma, which is really one of the few key techs in the game. Particularly if you are in South America, which grants instant autopsies, you will have no trouble getting techs very fast with no labs or additional scientists!
Once you learn that you need to skip labs and lasers entirely, and just pump out sats and engineers, you will do a lot better. Also, the game will lose a lot of its appeal.
Mission in Space: The Lost Colony
This flash game is another tactical space marine game. Command your squad to complete a sequence of missions in a claustrophobic space station. Typically there's a turn limit, aliens keep spawning. You need to rescue other team members, operate machinery, retrieve items or just evacuate most of the team to the elevator.
The game has separate action points and [/i]movement points[/i], around 6 per soldier. They are used independently, action for shooting, handling items and operating stuff like switches while movement is solely for moving around. There are numerous passive and activated abilities you can purchase for your marines. Things like shotgun, sprint, flamethrower, bombs, nanohealing. Each of the 6 marines has a different class. Reaction fire is limited by ammo left in your clip and reducing movement points on the next round.
The game is on hexes. There's light radius, motion sensor, all aliens so far are melee. The game might have a more Space Hulk-y feeling than X-COM. Difficulty level picks up quite fast. It's hard without being frustrating or random.
Presentation is very good for a flash game, and with nice music and sounds.
That's all bunk, pretty much every strategy game has an optimal build order while at the same time leaving some wiggle room for variation and the same is true for XCOM. Labs are not remotely 'useless', having a lab means having access to tech a few days sooner, which can be the difference between your team being outfitted with, say, carapace instead of standard armour for the next field mission. This can be a life-or-death difference when you're playing Ironman (or at least refrain from savescumming).
George, I don't know how you claim such experise at base construction if you admitted only completing the game once. Read wikis much?
Also, the game has tonnes of interesting tactical and strategic decisions basically at every minute. Buy heavy plasma or titan armour (since you can't afford everything most of the time)? Move to a half-cover flanking position or try to take a lower chance shot from full cover? Use this shredder rocket now on this Cyberdisc or save it in case a bunch of Mutons pops out later? The critics have a reductionist view of the game which is plainly ridiculous.
And why would you say scientists are useless? Having more would do wonders for research. Other than just speeding up progress, you need a lot more for those precious plasma weapons research, right?
This entire discussion is useless because XCOM is obviously a thousand times better than the original because it has the action cam. I'm totally serious. That shit never gets old.
It amazes me how much I like the action cam. I hate those Mutons so much, and I always want to cheer when it switches to that panning view and I get to see it eat lasers.
Sign me up for the reductionist view being nonsense (hey, another one for my Bingo board). I find moving around the map while keeping my squad optimally deployed should any given move trigger an encounter to be tense and engaging. When battle is joined I find myself weighing numerous risks, opportunities and options. Lots of interesting decisions to make.
Any game ever can be dismissed with a couple of reductionist sentences. Doesn't make any of them meaningful.
I have to agree that the game is flawed most seriously in the strategic layer. Scientists are extraordinarily worthless when compared to engineers and many of the upgrade choices for soldiers aren't really choices at all (like Squad Sight for the Sniper; why ever take the other skill?).
However, I think that Gods and Kings proves that Firaxis is willing and able to seriously retool--even gut and rebuild--aspects of their games. I'm not saying that we should expect an expansion to XCOM, but, well, I didn't expect an expansion to Civ V, especially after the mediocre DLC offerings. Just sayin'.
So what would help iron out XCOM's problems without completely destroying the game?
1) More technologies, to make the opportunity cost of spending time researching more of a factor. On that note...
2) Some research that provides direct boosts rather than just leading to engineering. This is a big part of why engineers are such a bottleneck: you'll spend far more resources building upgrades and buying equipment than you will researching (plus researching doesn't cost money!), so it's not uncommon to be able to research whatever you want while struggling to get anything out of engineering. This, of course, further devalues the research, since you'll be chugging right along with it regardless. Now, if research could provide some benefits that don't require engineering, suddenly you have something for scientists to do that can have a benefit even if you've already spent all your money for the month. Genetic manipulation is an obvious route to take--the aliens use a ton of gene altering tech, but it doesn't come up outside of PSI stuff.
3) Better SHIV weapons. SHIVs aren't bad, but I never feel like there's a compelling reason to use them. Bringing a little death robot into battle should be fun and compelling, not something I actively avoid because it doesn't serve much purpose. I think the game needs to take some lessons from its own enemy selection. The SHIVs, like the Sectopods, should have some kind of "attack but still go into overwatch" upgrade; they don't get cover bonuses or experience, so they might as well be really focused on aggressive, risky tactics. And why not an upgrade that adds a limited-use rocket barrage? I'm thinking like a mini-Calliope from Company of Heroes that can be used once per mission.
4) Obviously more maps. I know this gets said every time the game is discussed, but Firaxis absolutely needs to hear this. They should be driven mad by it, Telltale Heart-style. If nothing else, they need to have UFOs that can crash in occupied areas like towns, cities, farms, etc. The fact that Bradford always notes--pointlessly and stupidly--that UFOs crash in "sparsely populated areas" and hopes that "anybody down there stays away" makes me suspect that Firaxis planned on having different setups but scrapped them for whatever reason.
5) (Now this one goes into game-breaking territory, but I'm just thinkin' aloud here. It would be less extreme if the end game was more engaging.) To go along with #2 and #3, maybe they could add in some base weapon systems. I'm thinking maybe a long range laser system or something that can be called in during missions. Rather than being usable once per mission, these systems would have cooldowns measured in days or weeks. They'd also have limited ranges (i.e., you won't get to use your Asia-based laser in Europe) and wouldn't start off very accurate (oh no, I just incinerated my heavy with an orbital laser!). Throw in research and/or upgrades to improve these weaknesses, and you've got a feature that could either lure you to your doom by being a money/time sink or prove an invaluable tool in your arsenal. If nothing else, it could at least give you something to do late in the game, where you've either quit because you've clearly lost, or running down the clock on autopilot.
Funny how people love and defend this game, but come out with alternatives which would make the game so much better (in their eyes).