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Never knew Star Control 2 is so good

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Heresiarch, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Jeff Graw StarChart Interactive Developer

    Jeff Graw
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    Paul Reiche III didn't create Starflight. In the credits to both games of the series he's only listed under the "special thanks to:" section. I'm not completely sure, but I think EA sent him in to clean up the code a bit both times. So yeah, SC2 did copy the Starflight games.

    Since this is the Codex and all, I'll start with the more in depth RPG elements. For example, in Starflight you have a communications officer who determines how precise alien translation is. The skill of the science officer determines how much information you can glean from scans, etc. Each crew member has skills that can be trained (which skills they are best at and how quickly they train depends on race) and hitpoints based on the race of the character.

    The next biggie is planetary exploration. In the Starflight games worlds are *huge*, and you could spend hours on just one planet if you wanted to (and there are hundreds of planets). In Starflight 2 there are also alien settlements where you can trade and bargain for resources. This is an area where Starflight absolutely crushes SC2, since SC2's stupid mining mini-game is repetitive, annoying, tedious, and ruins the feeling that you're actually flying around exploring the galaxy. When it comes to space exploration, huge ass fully explorable planets are a must.

    This is going to controversial, but I see Starflight as having much better combat than SC2. Sure, SC2's combat is fun in a stupid arcade game kind of way, and it does have a nice kind of rock-paper-scissors balance between ships, but lets get real for a second. Using crew as hitpoints is on a Bethesda level of stupid. Starflight's combat model has shields, armor, different subsystems that can be damaged, and crew can take damage during combat (but are not used as hitpoints!). The big kicker here, is the fact that SC2 only has 1-on-1 combat while in Starflight you can be up against whole fleets of ships at a time. I don't know about you guys, but it's clear which combat model I prefer.

    Humor. Oh boy. This is really subjective so I will just touch on this a little bit, but I found Star Control 2's humor to be a bit too too forward while the humor in Starflight games was generally more subtle and subdued. Kind of like Family Guy Vs. Futurama. I prefer the later, but lots of people will disagree.

    I'm not going to spoil anything, but in terms of story Starflight > Star Control 2 > Starflight 2.

    In terms of atmosphere it's no contest. SC2 has a kind of happy-go-lucky cartoon feeling which goes hand in hand with the arcade elements. Even though many of the solar systems are empty and lifeless you never get a sense of the vastness of space because of the stupid mining mini-game. Starflight, although the atmosphere varies a bit between 1 and 2, is a complete 180 of this. The first Starflight in particular is an incredibly dark, foreboding, empty and vast universe. Care to guess what I prefer in a space exploration game?

    Finally, Starflight 2 has a black hole in the far corner of the universe that, if your ship is strong enough to survive the journey, you can let it swallow you up and arrive at a past version of the universe where two ancient and powerful races are just finishing a war of galactic domination. Star Control 2 has nothing that begins to approach that level of awesomeness.

    So what does Star Control 2 do better? Well, as I said it has a better story than Starflight 2, though at the same time it's worse than the very original story of Starflight 1. Besides that, graphics and sound is superior in Star Control 2 by a long shot, so the graphics whores-in-denial Codexians will like it better for sure. The expanding/moving spheres of influence are also quite cool. Besides that, Star Control 2 is just plain worse and dumbed down in pretty much every conceivable way.
     
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  2. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron Sad Loser

    Jasede
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    I honestly wish the interface of Starflight/2 were a bit less clunky and the graphics a tiny bit more pretty. I have some trouble getting into it, but am willing to try again. It's certainly one of these games where I know I'd consider them a best game ever, if only I could be immersed into them.

    Does the Megadrive/Genesis Starflight have everything the PC one did? Or is it console dumbed-down?
     
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  3. Jeff Graw StarChart Interactive Developer

    Jeff Graw
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    In terms of content I think it's just missing one or two small things, although the ship and lander upgrades are completely different, the interface is IMHO more clunky (never had a problem with the PC interface myself), mining and combat is also quite different. Graphics are much better though. Most people (myself included) seem to prefer the PC version, but maybe that's just nostalgia talking. If you want the ultimate Starflight experience you should download the Amiga versions and an emulator. The graphics are touched up and there is mouse support for the interface.
     
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  4. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron Sad Loser

    Jasede
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    There's an Amiga version? Fuck yeah! I'm set! Thanks! I didn't know that.
     
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  5. Jeff Graw StarChart Interactive Developer

    Jeff Graw
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    Just try to resist the cluebook this time ;)

    It might take you a few weeks to finish the game that way, but you'll retain the sense of exploration that the game is all about. These are supposed to be 150+ hour experiences.
     
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  6. elander_ Arbiter

    elander_
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    Try the Amiga version which has the best interface. You can download the game and the emulator from this site.
    http://www.starflt.com/

    The download link is in the 'download' section:
    http://www.starflt.com/starflt.php?ID=intro

    Don't forget to read the manuals first for the clues. You are supposed to read the manual to get the briefing from the Interstel dude.


    "Paul Reiche III didn't create Starflight. "

    I was talking about Greg Johnson. He is the guy who wrote or helped writing all of these games.

    My opinion on both series.

    Mining in Starflight is a pain in the ass. I like the huge planets over the SC2 mini-game however. A cool trick is when you leave the planet, leave orbit and return immediately it regenerates all life-form, trading and mining resources on the planet surface.

    SC2 combat is much better and has many more options than Starflight combat. WTF have you been smooking Jeff Graw?

    Skills and crew members work like resources. You pay money for training them and that increases the efficiency of the system they control. When one is killed you can get another for free and train him again.

    The first thing i do is to check the Starport news several times in the first weeks to get a few interesting planetary coordinates and then mine or collect life forms until i have enough money to train everyone to 250 max. I can do this with just a full cargo trip of minerals but fulling equipping the ship is not that easy.

    When you get a fully trained crew and a fully equipped ship don't expect an easy ride. You will be killed almost instantly unless you improve your ship with ancient technology and that you can only do by getting on the good side of the other aliens. In Starflight 2 trading is the way to make money.
     
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  7. Jeff Graw StarChart Interactive Developer

    Jeff Graw
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    Ok, so a guy who did some minor work on Starflight was a lead designer for SC2, and a guy who was one of the lead designers of Starflight wrote some of the dialog (and maybe some other more minor work) for Star Control 2. Still, it was hardly the same team making both games. If Greg was a lead developer for SC2 or Paul was for Starflight I'd be more inclined to agree with you.

    It's not that SC2 combat isn't good, it is (minus crew as hitpoints stupidity), but only for an arcade game. I don't feel it works as well for a space exploration simulation than a more realistic alternative. If it wasn't limited to two ships at a time it would have fit in much better. I suggest you read my post again because, unlike your two sentence response that said nothing, I explained myself quite well.
     
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  8. elander_ Arbiter

    elander_
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    Greg is the writer. I think it's easy to recognize his humor and writing style in all of those games.

    The reason for the hit point = crew members is because crew members are a limited resource so it works as an health regeneration limit. When you get new aliens to join your cause the you can hire more crew members i believe, which makes it an interesting gameplay mechanics.

    "If it wasn't limited to two ships at a time it would have fit in much better."

    Ok but this is compensated by their AI which is different for every ship and a greater variety of weapons. Starflight combat is very poor. You can defeat any fleet easily when you have class 5 engines and shields. You flee and drag all the ships behind you then make circles around them while firing missiles. It's almost an exploit.
     
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  9. Trash Pointing and laughing.

    Trash
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    You can argue all you want about which one is better, but does it really matter? Come on, both games are awesome. Not just for the time, but still to this day. Enjoy them for what they are and be sad that after about 20 years there is nothing that can even compare to these games in the genre.

    What I really dig is that the original starflight games were only a few 100 kb's. They managed to cram a buttload of gameplay and an entire universe in it.

    Anyway, is that starflight 3 project still around? That website looks a bit dead.
     
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  10. elander_ Arbiter

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    It's still active but things are going slowly. Someone has created a remake of Starflight 1 and released an alpha version.
     
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  11. Hory Erudite

    Hory
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    Thanks for the replies. Starflight seems to have some better game mechanics, but these days I guess I''m not satisfied by that alone, unless they're very interesting/tactical (as in JA2, for example). This whole "space exploration" seems just like a time waster for finding semi-random, washed-down content. Vastness leads to grinding. In SC2, the story (and hand-written content) comes first.
     
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  12. Jeff Graw StarChart Interactive Developer

    Jeff Graw
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    Greg is *a* writer, one of eight. Big Difference. I wouldn't be surprised if Fred Ford did more of the writing, seeing as his name is much more prominent, but I could be wrong.

    No. Crew members aren't limited, or at least I've never been able to run out of them, but there's a one time price hike if enough of them die. New aliens only let you build new ships for your fleet.

    Yup, though it's a pretty dead genre so it's no surprise that these games are unequaled.

    That's not really a problem with Starflight since the amount of time it takes to get a fully upgraded ship is minuscule to the amount of time you'll be playing the game. In an RPG what you say might be true, but in Starflight vastness leads to exploration. Depending on your tastes, the universe of Starflight 1 might be a little too sparse and lonely, but Starflight 2 has more that enough "hand-written" content spread around to keep exploration interesting.
     
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  13. Fez Erudite

    Fez
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    Wasn't there only five people working on the original?
     
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  14. Jeff Graw StarChart Interactive Developer

    Jeff Graw
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    I beleive there were just five core people from Binary Systems, and then some EA guys that helped out a little bit here and there (like PR III).
     
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  15. Grim Monk Arcane

    Grim Monk
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    Just started playing Ur-Quan Masters yesterday, and so far found :thumbsup: its been very fun.

    My only problems is the lack of manual, and list of key controls.

    I had to find both on the web...

    Also, I totally :M missed Pluto while playing, and probably wouldn't found out it existed "in-game" if I hadn't looked at the "Non-Spoiler Hints" on the UQM wiki.
     
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  16. Jiggy Boobles TESTOSTERONIC As Fuck™ Patron

    Jiggy Boobles
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    Nice thread necro. Also, the Spathi on the moon tells you about Pluto.
     
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  17. Grim Monk Arcane

    Grim Monk
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    I thought it'd be better to bump an old :? relevant thread, instead of making a new one.

    That way the number of redundant threads is minimized...

    I didn't find any thing on the moon except for the abandoned base, robots, and minerals...

    Anyway, I'm guessing that the correct way to play this game is not to worry about winning on your first time, and to instead just have fun exploring the galaxy...
     
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  18. Overweight Manatee Scholar

    Overweight Manatee
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    SC2 is a great game :salute:. One of those games you can't really have fun replaying until 10 years have elapsed and you have forgotten most of it, though.

    Any other games that let you sit around and do nothing for 4 years while the bad guys do your work for you, then go beat them easily?
     
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  19. Jiggy Boobles TESTOSTERONIC As Fuck™ Patron

    Jiggy Boobles
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    Ah, sorry, seems you only find Fwiffo on Pluto. It's been a long while since I played.

    But seriously though, don't read the hints, tips, etc too much, apart from the ones in the manual like for example telling you which planet types tend to have the best minerals. Walkthroughs and the like really spoil the 2 best things about this game, the exploration/discovery and the story.

    And yes, the first time you will very likely not finish the game. It comes from a simpler time where the chance of failing in a game not only existed, but was very possible. No faggy quest compass or regenerating health. Without giving away too much, I can tell you that the events of the story will go on in real time, mostly without your intervention, critical characters or races can be destroyed and the campaign definitely will end (badly) if you don't act in time. You can even find out the approximate date in-game.

    So basically yes, it's about the exploration and making notes of where the good/interesting stuff is located. One great thing about the UQM version that wasn't in the original is that the starmap is searchable by name.
     
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  20. Renegen Arcane

    Renegen
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    I played Starflight a long time ago on the Genesis, makes me sad that it was the height of these space exploration games. If only I knew. Star Control 2 was quite good, the graphics add a lot but the gameplay left a little wanting I guess. How is this Starflight - The Lost Colony game?
     
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  21. Wyrmlord Arcane

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    Ugh, I have been in this forum for three years? I hate it when these bumps happen.
     
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  22. BLOBERT Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    BLOBERT
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    BROS PLAY BOTH STARFLIGHT AND STAR CONTROL 2 ARE 2 OF THE BEST GAMES EVER

    SERIOUSLY

    I THINK STAR CONTROL 2 WAS A A LITTLE POPAMOLED COMPARED TO STARFLIGHT IN SOME WAYS I FORGET I POSTED ABOUT IT A WHILE BACK

    I NEVER PLAYED PC STARFLIGHT BUT THE GENESIS VERSION DEFINITELY IS A GOOD GAME AND THE GRAPHICS AND INTERFACE AND SHIT SHOULD HOLD UP TODAY

    BROS DID ANYONE POST THIS

    http://sc2.sourceforge.net/
     
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  23. Black Arcane

    Black
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    Wyrmlord has no sense of humour, best to leave him alone.
     
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  24. Wyrmlord Arcane

    Wyrmlord
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    Good job responding to a 3 year old post.
     
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  25. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
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    So what's the verdict on the first Star Control game? How does it compare to the Starflight games?
     
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