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Beloved Underdog
Jakkar
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July 17, 2011 - 5:45 pm
Member Since: February 11, 2011
Forum Posts: 168
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Name yours.. I could be here all day trying to choose just one, but I'll go with the impulse that brought me here;

Future Cop: L.A.P.D.

Anyone else had the pleasure of this one? PC/Mac/PSX release by an EA in-house studio. Spiritual sequel to the 'strike series of games, not that I've ever played them o.o

Third person action, unrelenting, entertaining and exceedingly violent - a mixture of superviolence and tongue in cheek childish humour set in a future Los Angeles so excessive in its b-movie styling six armed mutants walk the streets and armies of cyborgs are unleashed against zombie-like drug addicts with rocket launchers, while the player - a royal blue bipedal police mech - kills or blows up virtually everything in sight.

With fantastic visuals for the time (explosions that can still dazzle you with the vibrancy of the light, reminding me of modern HDR techniques), extremely catchy music not a little reminiscent in places of Brad Fiedel's Terminator soundtracks, full co-op support on all platforms (including online multiplayer with a little jiggery) and an independent, excessively entertaining competitive multiplayer segment that mixes action and real time strategy by balancing unit production with base defense and the acquisition of territory...

The singleplayer campaign is a long set of detailed hand-crafted missions filled with activity and optional events - you fight everything from giant robots to battleships to wave after wave of fleshy little soldiers spraying gore and limbs in all directions! The unique voice-overs are nonstop, with your dispatch agent giving constant advice, sarcastic comments, glib jokes and a bit of worried nagging - interspersed with the level boss shouting abuse, mocking and threatening you via the same channels - before the inevitable face-off with his giant robot/supergun/whatever the hell, followed by a satisfying end-level CG showing the mop-up operation.

The multiplayer either the same thing with two mechs in splitscreen sharing a single health reservoir, or a competitive head to head game that predated 'Defense of the Ancients' and its derivative products like Demigod and League of Legends as a 'build units, follow them along a variety of pre-programmed paths and try to help them infiltrate the enemy base' while preventing the enemy from doing the same thing - capturing outposts, gun turrets and special weapons along the way.

It's a complete package in a way you rarely see in modern games - love and dedication applied to all aspects of the design, and not a bug in sight, except in the case of giant robotic insects.

NARGH. I can't recommend it enough. It's one of the most pure, rounded, polished, and satisfying games I've ever had the pleasure of playing, and I've loved it for the last twelve or thirteen years, since being fortunate enough to be gifted with a pirated PS1 copy as a kid..

The PS1 version isn't too hard to find on Amazon or eBay, and the PC version can be downloaded in a number of locations. Some claim it's abandonware, others claim not - being as I'm uncertain I won't post a link here but will provide it via PM if anyone wishes to make up their own mind. If you enjoy simplistic violence and b-movie humour with huge explosions that never stop, you will not regret it.

As is often the case, the development studio (an unnamed in-house EA group) fractured after release, when the game failed to sell more than 200,000 copies. No-one involved in its production ever seemed to do anything special again ._.

We've got a 'what're ye playin'?' thread but this felt like something I wanted to bring up seperately - share your love for the forgotten ones, the special games, and what makes them unforgettable for you.

 

 - Jack

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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July 18, 2011 - 1:25 pm
Member Since: April 10, 2009
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Project I.G.I.: I'm Going In.

 

GOD, the shame. You know, I think I'll republish my review of it... done for Gone Gold In... hell, I don't even know. I think I was about Jakkar's age when I wrote it.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

Jakkar
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July 18, 2011 - 3:34 pm
Member Since: February 11, 2011
Forum Posts: 168
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Oh gods. IGI. Impossible to replay, but such fond memories. It was like a 'shiny graphics age' remake of Delta Force, other than.. the later Delta Force games.  I did enjoy that. The AI made 'mentally retarded' sound like a remark upon competence, however. Seemed to just.. wait to die. But the silenced sub-machine guns. The ziplines. There were ziplines, I'm almost sure of this. In other news most certainly unrelated to underdogs, it's my birthday today - I treated myself to Medal of Honour: Allied Assault + 2 expansions, Medal of Honour: Pacific Assault, and Call of Duty + one expansion for that too. All from a charity shop! I MIGHT ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO RUN THESE ONES! ^_^

Time for some disgusting indulgence in dated simplistic mass murder <3

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Yapette
Tangentistan
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July 18, 2011 - 5:49 pm
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Excellent topic, Jakkar, now if only I could remember back past this morning. I will go look at my disks.

Without a doubt, on any list should be adventuring with "Eleanor" (male, we renamed him) group played on a now vanished Bollocks thread - The Fifth Disciple.

One of mine is Once Upon a Knight (also went by Knightshift). Very silly, vaguely reminded me Monty Python (and yes, I played both Meaning of Life and Quest for the Holy Grail in days of yore). MobyGames' description states Reality Pump decided to cancel Knightshift 2 in favor of Two Worlds. What do you know, TW is also among my favorites!

Two oldies, both indies, provided hours & hours of enjoyment:

Passage: Path of Betrayal - developed & sold by a 16 yr old. Wonder what became of him?

Pleurghburg: Dark Ages - played over week of Christmas 2001 when I developed a strong affection for blocky headed Jake.

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kaythomas
Somewhere in the frozen tundra
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July 18, 2011 - 6:33 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2009
Forum Posts: 307
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I will go way, way back to my early days of playing adventure games and say The Quivering.   Such a fun game to play  despite the severe limitation on being able to save -- you needed to sacrifice [Image Can Not Be Found] an imp to save.   In fact,  the limitation was one of the challenges of the game -- finding enough imps and using them wisely.  It could be done.

There are many others but this is one I keep hoping GOG will resurrect.

kay

Imagine life with no hypothetical situations. 

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sennebec
searsmont, maine
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July 20, 2011 - 4:06 pm
Member Since: April 19, 2009
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ahhhh... the quivering... one of my all time faves 🙂

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xtal
planet
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July 21, 2011 - 10:09 am
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Not exactly beloved ... but there was this practically unknown LucasArts game that came out in 1995 or 96 called Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion. It was their attempt at appealing to young children (I was probably a bit older than the target audience, being 12 at the time, buy hey, whatever!).

The game itself was largely forgettable, with a few parts to smile at ... it was pretty much riding on the back of this flying snail, the titular Mortimer, and, like, doing stuff? (The snail was on rails-- LucasArts reused whatever engine powered Star Wars: Rebel Assault)

Anyway, it wasn't the game itself that was memorable and beloved by me, but rather how I discovered the game. My parents had shown it to me several times and watched me play it, but it was only later, on my own, that I discovered this snail-tacular demo wasn't the only thing on the disc!

You have to remember back in the mid-'90s how shareware was the backbone of a lot of young people's gaming universe. And you remember the demo discs ... you didn't just pop it in and have a folder of a few .exes show up. You put that disc in and it was a minigame in itself just getting to the content. Who doesn't remember the ridiculous Coconut Monkey shenanigans?

So anyway! After playing Mortimer one day I discovered that I could go back to the "hub," so to speak, of the sampler disc. For whatever reason this thing must have been backed by Plymouth somehow, because the hub where you'd go in between the demos was called the Plymouth Pavilion, and when I eventually found the sleeve for the compact disc itself I remember it having one of those eggplant-coloured Plymouth Prowlers on it. If that sounds funny it's not the best part. The best part was that this whole intermediary world, well it was inspired by the very popular Myst. I didn't know that at the time, because at my age I hadn't been introduced to Myst yet, so that was another fact I only discovered two or three years later.

So ANYWAY! The point of this all is to say that the disc contained more than just Mortimer. It actually contained two other demonstrations: one practically unknown called Afterlife, which I think was LucasArts' attempt at twisting the SimCity formula. But finally, the third demo on this disc was my first introduction to a very well known game called TIE Fighter.

Man, that game was a revelation. Flying missions for the emperor was awesome then, and I'm sure if I booted up TIE it would be awesome today. It's still one of my favourite games, and it wasn't long after playing TIE Fighter that I discovered another love of mine, Wing Commander (IV, to be specific).

 

So that's my story. I guess you could call the demo disc the underdog? Or not. I just wanted to tell that story.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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geggis
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July 21, 2011 - 10:18 am
Member Since: September 26, 2009
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For me there are two games which stick out and both hark back to the Playstation days.

Firstly, there's Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012. On the surface it looked like any other vehicle blast 'em up but what made it different was the Crazy Taxi style people pick-ups. On each level was a tourist, or a few (I can't remember), and you had to pick them up and take them to different tourist attractions so they could take snaps. Snaps made you money and money bought you weapons and repairs. Obviously, every other driver wanted those damn tourists too and with each vehicle being kitted out with all manner of destructive gadgetry (a giant hot dog for one character, no less) there were plenty of opportunities to 'incline' the tourist to ditch their driver and choose another. Rogue Trip gave the Twisted Metal games an ulterior motive; a reason for blowing shit up. Each snap was followed by a bombing run to the next attraction before the other drivers caught you out. It was ace. I'm surprised that this 'mode' of play hasn't been included with all the other vehicle blast 'em ups since but it seems to have been entirely forgotten or worse, outright ignored in favour of the typical deathmatch mode. It's a shame really because it was a lot of fun fighting over those snap-happy wackos, and they were wackos, because the game was set in an post-apocalyptic hell hole and all the 'attractions' were fucked.

Secondly, The Unholy War. One part hexagonal turn-based strategy and resource gathering, the other part real-time arena combat. There were two warring factions: the Teknos, a robotic technology led bunch of miscreants, invaders of the planet Xsarra; and the Arcane, the primitive natives of the planet. The aim of the game was to eradicate the other faction on each hex map. This was done by acquiring resource 'Aur' hexes, purchasing new units and marching them into battle. Each faction had unique units with their own abilities on the hex map and on the battlefield. When two rival units came into contact with each other the game would zoom into an 'arena' depending on the hex type the battle commenced on. Here the game would switch to real-time and the two units would face-off with each other using their unique abilities, various random pick-ups and environmental elements. Think Power Stone but with a little less scope. What made the game so appealing was the two tier structure. You had the satisfying and surprisingly deep turn-based strategy of the hex map layered over the frantic and exciting real-time arena duels. Again, it was ace and such an elegant, tight game design. Me and my brother used to love it and in fact, I still own it. Hmm, might give Lew a call…

Edit -- Moby Games trivia snippet: "Did you know this game was created by the same folks (Toys for Bob, part of Crystal Dynamics) that created Star Control? In fact, the mayhem mode is very similar to Star Control's melee. Each faction has seven playable warriors, very similar to the original seven ships per faction. The influence definitely shows!"

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geggis
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July 21, 2011 - 10:42 am
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Nine minutes after you xtal 😉

Edit: Afterlife, yeah I remember that. Sim City in Heaven and Hell.

Finkbug
Maine
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July 21, 2011 - 10:59 am
Member Since: August 9, 2010
Forum Posts: 468
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Nox. Funny game and blisteringly fast multiplayer which most reviewers never bothered to try. (90% of the game's abilities were only in multiplayer). Killed by the superficially similar Diablo 2 release not long after and the multiplayer killed by Westwood going belly up.

 

Going way back, Sundog on the Apple ][. Not seen it since I was a kid so that may be purely nostalgia speaking.

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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xtal
planet
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July 21, 2011 - 11:02 am
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I remember Star Control. I have that installed on a computer somewhere. That or the "remake" Ur'Quan Masters. Pretty neat little game.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

Finkbug
Maine
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July 22, 2011 - 2:33 am
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Forum Posts: 468
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I've played a truly unhealthy amount of Starcon 2. (Ur's a free fan remake of 2) Wonderful game though doesn't play like a modern one. The very merry general of open world with a running clock. Large chunks of the game can disappear before the player finds 'em.

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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