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Reply 2640 of 2900, by newtmonkey

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kolderman wrote on 2021-01-11, 21:14:

Slowly getting into the rhythm of Pool Of Radiance (1986). It's been over 20 years since I played a Gold Box game, and even then I started with the Krynn series where you at least could auto-heal/memorize during rest. Having to constantly manually heal/memorize each time was turning me off, but I am starting to do it by reflex now without much thought. I just wish I had another fighter/mage so I could bother keeping Detect Magic available for sorting through loot. Playing it with TNDLPT for sound really makes a difference to overall enjoyment I think.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this one as you get deeper into it. I completed it for the first time last year and really enjoyed it from start to finish. Your spellcasters are of low enough level that having to re-memorize spells isn't too annoying (and as you said, you eventually commit the keys to muscle memory haha).

---

As for me, I've mostly been playing console games in the living room (my office is VERY cold in the winter). I have, however, been playing System Shock: Enhanced Edition this week. I am using the classic controls because I enjoy the challenge of getting used to them (the enhanced controls are definitely better, but also make the game way too easy from what I've played). It's really quite a nice port, as many of the enhancements can be toggled on and off... it even allows you to play the music on an external synth so I've been playing the music on my SC-88.

Reply 2641 of 2900, by Joseph_Joestar

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Just reached the sunken ship in Tomb Raider 2. Guess I'm about half way through the game.

Feels nice to do some actual "tomb raiding" again. Was getting kinda bored with all the urban areas. Digging the music and sound design though. In particular, the Oil Rig ambient track sounded like they recorded it on the actual location.

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Reply 2642 of 2900, by clueless1

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I'm having a heck of a time beating the last big battle in Half-Life 2 Episode 2. The one where you defend the base against the waves of Striders. I've tried and failed at least 3 times and each go takes a good 10-15 minutes. So far I'm almost 9 hours into this add-on. I know I'll get it eventually, but it's easily the toughest segment in any of the Half-Lifes. I have to say I've been really impressed with Episodes 1 and 2! I'm not one to EVER play any extra content, DLC, etc in games. Once I finish the main game, I'm typically done and ready to move on. But Half-Life 2 has been the exception. It was that good. I'm not super crazy about how on rails it can be, but the story and characters are so good that it makes all the difference.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
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Reply 2643 of 2900, by kolderman

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clueless1 wrote on 2021-01-13, 02:22:

I'm having a heck of a time beating the last big battle in Half-Life 2 Episode 2. The one where you defend the base against the waves of Striders. I've tried and failed at least 3 times and each go takes a good 10-15 minutes. So far I'm almost 9 hours into this add-on. I know I'll get it eventually, but it's easily the toughest segment in any of the Half-Lifes. I have to say I've been really impressed with Episodes 1 and 2! I'm not one to EVER play any extra content, DLC, etc in games. Once I finish the main game, I'm typically done and ready to move on. But Half-Life 2 has been the exception. It was that good. I'm not super crazy about how on rails it can be, but the story and characters are so good that it makes all the difference.

The toughness of some of those last battles is one reason I will probably never replay HL2. Good game but I still feel exhausted thinking about it. And then there was that horror level...

Reply 2644 of 2900, by Namrok

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clueless1 wrote on 2021-01-13, 02:22:

I'm having a heck of a time beating the last big battle in Half-Life 2 Episode 2. The one where you defend the base against the waves of Striders. I've tried and failed at least 3 times and each go takes a good 10-15 minutes. So far I'm almost 9 hours into this add-on. I know I'll get it eventually, but it's easily the toughest segment in any of the Half-Lifes. I have to say I've been really impressed with Episodes 1 and 2! I'm not one to EVER play any extra content, DLC, etc in games. Once I finish the main game, I'm typically done and ready to move on. But Half-Life 2 has been the exception. It was that good. I'm not super crazy about how on rails it can be, but the story and characters are so good that it makes all the difference.

Oh man, you just reminded me that I in fact never beat Half-Life 2 Episode 2! I got stuck on exactly that part, and then got distracted by another game.

Reply 2645 of 2900, by Namrok

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So I finally finished Unreal on my K6-2+ 500, Geforce 2 MX 400 pc. Framerate was probably between 20-30 the whole time, with some serious stuttering during some of the more intense "the whole level is exploding" moments. Which is better than the first time I played it! I believe in 1998 I chugged through Unreal in software mode on a P120 with a Riva 128. Of course, back then 14 yo Namrok played with cheats. So god mode probably alleviated the frustration of trying to dodge and fight back at sub 10 fps.

No cheats this time around though. Overall, I'm not sure I enjoyed the experience. The enemies were bullet spongey and too hard to hit with their dodge rolls, shields, all the often slow projectile weapons. Hitscan weapons like the pistol, ASMD, sniper rifle and minigun helped. But I always burned through ammo for those like nobody's business. After that, the flak cannon pulled a lot of heavy duty, if I could close in.

Some of the levels were incredibly confusing. I think the Sunspire was the worst in this regard. Just so much space to explore, in the dark, with infinitely respawning spiders (?), all of it looking very similar, and your movement speed just wasn't brisk enough to make all that traversal interesting.

So if I didn't enjoy the combat all that much, and I found the level design too indulgent, what did I enjoy? Probably the sense of verisimilitude. The fact that each level actually connects to the next, and there are logically laid out living spaces, villages and towns creates a sense of a journey through a real world. I think Nali Castle and the Na Pali Haven were my favorite levels for this. Maybe also the ISV Kran.

Next up is Doom 3 on my new Athlon 64 3200+, Geforce 6800 GT rig.

Reply 2646 of 2900, by clueless1

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kolderman wrote on 2021-01-13, 02:26:

The toughness of some of those last battles is one reason I will probably never replay HL2. Good game but I still feel exhausted thinking about it. And then there was that horror level...

After about another hour of trying, I gave up in frustration and just watched the last 10 minutes of the game on YT. 🙁 And yeah, I was playing on Easy. I'm not counting this as a Did Not Finish, because I was literally 10 minutes away from beating the game. I spent 9.5 hours on this guy. Now to decide my next game...

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 2647 of 2900, by foil_fresh

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24 years later I have finally finished ufo: enemy unknown aka XCOM!!! This game beat me so hard so many times but each loss was worth it. Learning the hard way? I guess so. I have never had this much satisfaction from finishing a game, ever. Seeing the comic book styled ending screens was pure bliss.

Reply 2649 of 2900, by xcomcmdr

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foil_fresh wrote on 2021-01-13, 13:16:

24 years later I have finally finished ufo: enemy unknown aka XCOM!!! This game beat me so hard so many times but each loss was worth it. Learning the hard way? I guess so. I have never had this much satisfaction from finishing a game, ever. Seeing the comic book styled ending screens was pure bliss.

Congratulations, Commander ! 😁

Ready for Terror From The Deep ? 😀

Reply 2650 of 2900, by foil_fresh

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xcomcmdr wrote on 2021-01-13, 13:35:
foil_fresh wrote on 2021-01-13, 13:16:

24 years later I have finally finished ufo: enemy unknown aka XCOM!!! This game beat me so hard so many times but each loss was worth it. Learning the hard way? I guess so. I have never had this much satisfaction from finishing a game, ever. Seeing the comic book styled ending screens was pure bliss.

Congratulations, Commander ! 😁

Ready for Terror From The Deep ? 😀

😀

A few years ago I'd have straight up said "hell no". Lobstermen are the worst part of any game. Buuuuut... now that I have the xcom bibles (Prima strategy guides that come with the Unknown Terror box set) I am considering it. David Ellis' Xcom strategy guides are nicely written and helped me immensely on this playthrough.

Is Xcom Apocalypse worth it?

Reply 2651 of 2900, by appiah4

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Terror from the Deep takes UFO's atmosphere and multiplies it by 10. It also takes the playability and halves it because in trying to make it bigger they also made it frustratingly harder in many unnecessary ways. Also, the tech tree balance and weapon efficiency curve is really off, with gauss weaponry becoming obsolete as soon as they become available and anything less than a heavy sonic rifle being useless by midgame.. It's still my favorite though. You get to kill Cthulhu. You can't top that.

X-Com Apocalypse is criminally underrated, amazing game.

Last edited by appiah4 on 2021-01-14, 12:00. Edited 1 time in total.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 2653 of 2900, by Joseph_Joestar

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Tomb Raider 2 was getting a bit repetitive so I decided to play some Quake 2 alongside it. I'm using a Voodoo card + MiniGL for that old-school look. A bit washed out when compared to full OpenGL ICD, but all the cool kids played it like that in '98, so I figure it's good enough for me. 😉

IIRC, Quake 2 was the very first 3D accelerated game that I played on my own computer. I still remember being in awe after seeing the blaster light up the floor and walls for the first time. Having only experienced software rendering before, the difference in visual quality really blew me away. Good times.

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Reply 2654 of 2900, by foil_fresh

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-01-13, 14:25:

gauss weaponry becoming obsolete as soon as they become available

that explains why i felt they were underwhelming...

appiah4 wrote on 2021-01-13, 14:25:

You get to kill Cthulhu.

maybe you have swayed my opinion 😉

Reply 2656 of 2900, by clueless1

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I started Eschalon: Book III last night. I really love this series! I played Book I in late 2017/early 2018, Book II in mid-2019, and now completing the trilogy. It's a great RPG for those who love old school-style RPGs, those who don't have a lot of time, and those who like a relaxing, yet interesting experience. The ambiance and music are great, lots of low stress exploring, reading of backstory lore, plenty of side quests, and good character development. The graphics are charming, not amazing by any means, but still several steps up from the best graphics in any DOS RPG. Like the best DOS RPGs, it supplements the graphics with great music, sound effects, atmosphere, and story. The games are also pretty short if you don't have time for an 80 hour epic RPG. Typically around 20-30 hours per game. I highly recommend this series to any RPG fans. Best of all, Book I is free on both GOG and directly from the developer.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 2657 of 2900, by appiah4

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xcomcmdr wrote on 2021-01-14, 14:31:

TFTD Plus fixes a lot : https://openxcom.mod.io/tftd-plus

Some of the changes and additions sound a bit disagreeable to me.. I would have made balance changes to the opponents rather than alter weapons or mechanics to be honest.

In other news, I finished Pillars of Eternity. It ended on a high note despite feeling a bit drawn out in Act 3, although part of that was due to me finishing the White March expansion before that. I hit the expansion level cap way before I started Act 3 and unwisely decided not to use the level scaling feature, which made most of the original story a walk in the park. Including the final battle, which took me all of 15 seconds to annihiate the ultimate villain and two demigods. Regardless, the game ended on a high note. The endgame was incredibly satisfying, and getting to finally understand how you tie in to the whole story was very fulfilling. The final revelations also opened the door for a sequel without ending on a cliffhanger. I found myself uncharacteristically attached to my companions, and I am really looking forward to playing Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire after getting it in the next Steam sale. All in all it took me exactly 150 hours to completely 100% the game and expansion while using some guide/walkthroughs in some parts. I feel it should have been 20-30% shorter, but then it would have been if I skipped non essential side quests.

Now, I will go back and finish Doom 2016. Once that's done, I will start Tyranny.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 2658 of 2900, by Shreddoc

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-01-15, 07:07:
xcomcmdr wrote on 2021-01-14, 14:31:

TFTD Plus fixes a lot : https://openxcom.mod.io/tftd-plus

Some of the changes and additions sound a bit disagreeable to me.. I would have made balance changes to the opponents rather than alter weapons or mechanics to be honest.

In other news, I finished Pillars of Eternity. It ended on a high note despite feeling a bit drawn out in Act 3, although part of that was due to me finishing the White March expansion before that. I hit the expansion level cap way before I started Act 3 and unwisely decided not to use the level scaling feature, which made most of the original story a walk in the park. Including the final battle, which took me all of 15 seconds to annihiate the ultimate villain and two demigods. Regardless, the game ended on a high note. The endgame was incredibly satisfying, and getting to finally understand how you tie in to the whole story was very fulfilling. The final revelations also opened the door for a sequel without ending on a cliffhanger. I found myself uncharacteristically attached to my companions, and I am really looking forward to playing Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire after getting it in the next Steam sale. All in all it took me exactly 150 hours to completely 100% the game and expansion while using some guide/walkthroughs in some parts. I feel it should have been 20-30% shorter, but then it would have been if I skipped non essential side quests.

Such a huge time commitment. It's really impressive. Might I ask in which era you began playing computer RPGs?

Secret of the Silver Blades was my first PC RPG. Or going back a touch further: the Phantasy Star games on the SMS.

I'm not sure it's in the scope of this thread, but it would be interesting to hear your brief thoughts on contrasts between the computer RPG experience of various decades.

Reply 2659 of 2900, by Namrok

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So, making my way through Doom 3, a few things jump out at me.

To this day, it has such a unique look to it. Weirdly enough, it reminds me a lot of the ray traced games I've been playing lately on my modern machine. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it's because it has no ambient lighting.

Then I realized how much I truly detest the look of ambient lighting in games. It makes everything look profoundly fake and stupid. It's a shame Doom 3's lighting engine never really caught on at the time. Or at least how much it forsook ambient lighting.

Also I'm an old. I only have the concentration for 2 levels at a time. Then I need to play something more relaxing, like Command & Conquer.