Posts Tagged ‘microprose’

Have You Played… The Legacy: Realm Of Terror?


Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

SPINE-TINGLING GRAPHICS WILL TURN YOUR SKIN CHALK-WHITE WITH HORROR!
HAIR-RAISING COMBAT WITH SICKENING CREATURES!
STUPEFYING STUMPERS IN SURREAL ROOMS!
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1942: The Pacific Air War Is The Game Most Worth Saving From 1994

Every game released before 2005 is being destroyed. We only have time to rescue one game from each year. Not those you’ve played to death, or the classics that the industry has already learned from. We’re going to select the games that still have more to give. These are the Saved Games.

1942: The Pacific Air War is a game about jinking the Zeroes from your tail and also wondering where the Japanese fleet has gone since you last sighted it. It’s a game about being the best goddam tailgunner in the Pacific Theater and also about worrying that the Americans have shot down too many of your spotter planes. And it’s a game about holding steady and hoping your last torpedo will destroy the carrier that will send out planes to bomb your airfield.

It’s the game I think is worth saving from 1994, because of its incredible scope and scale. It interweaves a complex naval strategy game with a full-featured flight sim, and it’s a perfect example of the ambition of its age, ambition that was realised on 486 processors and yet is so rarely lived up to today.

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Have You Played… Magic: The Gathering?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Not Duels of the Planeswalkers, not the cardboard version – I mean MicroProse’s MTG game from 1997. Far less literal than DotP, it took Wizards of the Coast’s collectible card game into an open world RPG-ish thing. Your wizard roamed around battling monsters and winning cards to build a better deck, grow stronger, and challenge an ultimate evil, which was an interesting adaptation. But, as far as I can recall, this is the only video game I have ever returned for a refund because I didn’t like it.

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The Ambitious Failure Of Cybervamp RPG BloodNet

I’m known for writing about old games that are worth playing today. This is something of a departure, as I can’t really recommend Bloodnet [Wikipedia page] with a clear conscience. It isn’t a good game. But it’s been lurking in my mind for the better part of 20 years.

It’s a rare game that would excite a traditional RPG fan as well as a genre cynic like me – an unforgiving, non-linear, party-based adventure with turn-based combat and minimal handholding, set in a world devoid of goddamn elves. Instead, it’s set in the kind of future that only the early 1990s could conjure up.

Cast as Ransom Stark, you’re a ‘disgrunt’ – a former employee of evil megacorporation du jour, TransTechnicals, discarded when your work made you sick. Now you’re one of many surviving the dystopian microcosm of Manhattan via illegal activities like ‘decking’ (unauthorised Matrix use. No, not that one. Well, actually….), theft, espionage, and of course murder. Then you’re bitten by a vampire.

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Darklands Retrospective: What RPGs Are Supposed To Be

A lesson that often eludes the games industry is how much names matter. Though it’s hardly the worst offender, Darklands is about as generic as a name gets, and its cover image (which mattered once) is even worse.

Even discounting that, it faced an uphill struggle, as its original 1992 release was marked by a plague of bugs, which Microprose’s patching never entirely expunged. It can still fritz during longer, complex sections – the ones you’ll save at most – and its occasional glitches compound cumbersome controls and an interface that’s awkward and often repetitive. Its sounds are few and its animations simplistic, with minimal feedback. On paper, it’s a bit of a mess.

It’s one of the best RPGs ever made anyway.

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The Flare Path: Orientally Oriented

When a Flare Path Friday falls on Chinese New Year, it’s traditional for all the stories to be Sino centred. Back in 1997 that meant coverage of Taiwan invasion TBS 以臺海兩岸緊張, thoughts on Ding Ding, a work-in-progress Hong Kong tramway sim, and an interview with Implicit Sextant, the team behind heavenly 14th Century fireworks sandbox, The Fire Drake of Fuzhou. Today it means Silent Service II patrols in the South China Sea, and a swift inspection of Just Trains’ new SS7C CR electric loco. Read the rest of this entry »

Microprose Now Making Special Forces: Team X


Ah, you couldn’t make this stuff up: Microprose, which was resurrected and attached to bunch of obscure console games in the past couple of years, has been assigned to make a game in conjunction with Zombie Studios. No, really, that is an actual thing that is happening. Anyway, the famed old undead name is now going to appear with third-person tactical shooter Special Forces: Team X, which was first announced last year. The game might just be interesting, what with it supporting “asymmetric game play with 2-4 teams”and also having dogs in. Yep, player dogs. And player-customisable maps as part of gameplay. Intriguing? Video below.
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