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Star Control: Origins - Star Control reboot from Stardock

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Dr Tomo, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. Yosharian Magister

    Yosharian
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    So is this game any good, or what?
     
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  2. Efe Erudite

    Efe
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    its average..
    doesnt last too long, which would be a minus for a better game but here it overstay its mehness so a positive for me.
     
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  3. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    Codex 2014
    Part 4 of expansion is out now.



    https://steamcommunity.com/games/starcontrolorigins/announcements/detail/1692730251238859529

     
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  4. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Prestigious Gentleman Filthy Kalinite Patron

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
    At last.
     
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  5. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    I'm one of the optimistic souls who bought this game on GOG - and I have no idea if the version there currently has the latest version of the Earth Rising DLC.

    How can I tell? Does the version number in the bottom-left corner yield a clue? Mine is at 1.41.67664.
     
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  6. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Prestigious Gentleman Filthy Kalinite Patron

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
    Mine says 1.42.something.
    Got an update today via Galaxy.
     
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  7. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Right - this game was released roughly 18 months ago, and I played it then up until the point I just met the Mowlings, and while I was loading up the Heavy Flamer to deal with them I heard of the game's DLC-plan, which made me abruptly stop playing, because standards. Like some I've been waiting for the final DLC to be released, which happened last week.

    Now consider the scenario of today - Coronavirus is throwing the world upside-down. I have the (regular) flu, and I need something to kill time while stuck at home. What a fortuitous series of events!

    I quickly get to re-installing the game and 'catch up' to where I was the last time, then proceed onwards (and abort my Heavy Flamer-activities). One of the races I had yet to meet in the game was the Pinthi.

    So imagine the look on my face when I meet the Pinthi face-to-face and learn about them.

    Just fucking imagine it... (open)
    [​IMG]


    (A detailed 'review' of the game is imminent. Watch this space.)
     
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  8. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Meanwhile, on the Mowling homeworld:

     
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  9. Jiggy Boobles TESTOSTERONIC As Fuck™ Patron

    Jiggy Boobles
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    Got gifted this and what a surprise, it sucks.

    2 minutes in:

    Cartoony characters a la Nintendo Wiiiii.

    Snarky millennial snark

    "Lexites" sound awfully like the Androsynth. *Unhappy cows*

    Dialogue choices don't change colour when already discussed, something the real Star Control 2 had down pat in 1992.

    :greatjob:

    edit:

    Also, DOESN'T FUCKING WORK on my laptop with intel graphics. Crashes on launching a new game. Had to pull out the big guns.

    And of course it looks like a GalCiv reskin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
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  10. Jiggy Boobles TESTOSTERONIC As Fuck™ Patron

    Jiggy Boobles
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    Oh wow a drone that speaks with the voice and authority of the Ur Quan Scribes.

    Seriously? For real real?

    This is Star Wars the New New trilogy level of unoriginality :decline:
     
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  11. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    If it helps you feel better, you actually get to meet the Lexites Androsynth in this one. Eventually. Don't hold your breath over it.

    And just wait until you meet the Kohr-Ah stand-ins. You will shit ragebricks.
     
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  12. Jiggy Boobles TESTOSTERONIC As Fuck™ Patron

    Jiggy Boobles
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    The Androsynth are in the first SC too, one of the best ships. (although that doesn't have a story, point taken).

    I hope the fake Orz are there at least. I need the ships with the GO! GO!

    hello to our *house*.
     
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  13. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Closest thing you'll get to the Orz: INGINGINGINGINGINGINGING

    I'm gonna let you enjoy/suffer the rest of the game on your own, but I have three further pointers:

    # The only 'OG' Star Control races (besides humans) you'll meet in this game are the Arilou (who kinda get in your face) and the Zoq and Pik of the Zoq-Fot-Pik... but you're gonna have to look for them to find them. (No, you don't get any of their ships.)

    # There's a Melnorme 'stand-in', and as in SC2 you can find them near big suns. They mostly only sell fuel, though.

    # You will come across starbases in space. They are OP because they both offer shipyard services AND Hypergate services. What is Hypergate? QuasiSpace travel without all the hassle. And the Hypergates link together, meaning that the more starbases you find, the faster you can travel. It costs NOTHING to use the Hypergates and there are no drawbacks to them. What's worse, for each new starbase you visit, new modules become available for your flagship. Cool modules, like stuff to protect your feeble little lander from environmental hazards, and fleet-beneficial modules. So you'll want to visit as many starbases as quickly as possible. So if you feel like making the game *smoother* to play, look at the starmap provided in spoilers below, and become a starbase tourist. Ignore everything else (as no time limit has been found in this game so far). Do this early enough and you can start saving up for the useful modules early on and pull doughnuts on the hottest, most irradiated worlds out there without a care in the world.

    Starbase location map (open)
    [​IMG]

    If you want the known Rainbow Worlds as well... (open)
    Fwiffo, Accolade, Geminorum, Serpens, Alpha Gladius.
     
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  14. Jiggy Boobles TESTOSTERONIC As Fuck™ Patron

    Jiggy Boobles
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    That map is in vodka-speak.
     
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  15. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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  16. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

    Zombra
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    Make the Codex Great Again! RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
    :|
     
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  17. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Why don't you just go back to ignoring half the forum and leave us alone?
     
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  18. Jiggy Boobles TESTOSTERONIC As Fuck™ Patron

    Jiggy Boobles
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    Found those bastards. They say nyanynyanyanyanya but the subtitle says inginginginginging.

    Beeblebrox or something
     
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  19. Jiggy Boobles TESTOSTERONIC As Fuck™ Patron

    Jiggy Boobles
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    Actually I don't thnk the INGINGINGINGINGING are the Orz.

    Show Spoiler
    Those four-armed interdimensional freaks that speak in a very Orz-like manner, are the Orz stand-ins.

    Talking about above/below, "doilies", chaos etc?

    100% they're the non-copyright infringing Orz. They pretty much say they are making way for some interdimensional beings. Same as in SC2. Wouldn't be surprised if they also *disappeared* the Androsynth Lexites
     
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  20. Jiggy Boobles TESTOSTERONIC As Fuck™ Patron

    Jiggy Boobles
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    What kind of utter mouth-breather programmed the battle AI????????????????????
     
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  21. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Remember when I said I was gonna write a review for Star Control: Origins? I was planning on a massive wall o'text that would encapsulate all things Star Control from beginning to end, culminating in an in-depth review of Origins. But as time passed, I realized something... Origins just isn't worth the effort. I may still put together that whole thing, but now is not the time.

    But to make it short (LOL) there are three main reasons why Origins is ultimately a failure:

    1 - It fails to grasp the basic design concepts of Star Control. 'Keep it simple, stupid!' is the key element. Star Control doesn't think that its audience is stupid, but it is designed and set up in such a way that even mouth-breathers on the bottom rungs of the evolutionary ladder can grasp it, understand it and enjoy it, even if only in part. I have written about this earlier, like how ships and aliens were named, how they worked in-game and how it all was made to look easily recognizable and apart, even at a glance. Star Control 1 did this, Star Control 2 did this, and Star Control 3 at least tried to do this. But Origins went the other way, it complexified almost every step. Before you looked at a race's ship, knew exactly what it was and what its capabilities were and could quickly come up with a plan. In Origins you look at a race's ship, then double-check that it's the ship you think it is (because there are numerous hulls for every race now and far too many of them look the same), then you need to check its weapon systems (because they're not always the same) and then you can start coming up with a plan. The planet-landing sequence in SC2 was a vital part of the gameplay but ultimately not its center, so it was kept fast-paced and simple. In Origins there are pointless extra steps and obstacles in it. Even flying in-system is made more convoluted due to the absurd zooming mechanic and abhorrance of basic physics.

    SC1 took Spacewar! and made it its Inner Core, then added new gameplay elements of its own and made that the Outer Core. We know this as the Melee-mode of the game. It then attached a module to this Core (the strategic rotating-map-of-death) to justify the spaceship combat. Then SC2 came along and replaced that module with a large exploration module (with smaller solar-system exploration and then planetary exploration modules), a resource-management module and then finally a conversation-module. The Core was barely touched, save to add some more ships. With this a Point was proven: Melee-mode is the core of the game, anything can be built around it. Then SC3 came along and tried to follow that idea, and the Point was quickly amended to add the word 'almost'.

    2 - Stardock missed the Point. Spacewar! was made literally using what limited hardware was available at the time. SC1&2 were made when greater hardware/software resources were available, but still with its limits. Origins was made when there are literally no hardware/software-related obstacles left - short of quantum computing the sky is the limit. Spacewar! and SC1 are spaced roughly 25 years apart, and the jump between the two is massive. By coincidence SC2 and Origins are also spaced roughly 25 years apart, how big is the jump between them?

    (awkward silence)

    The Point was that Star Control could be re-shaped in almost every way, as long as the Core was retained. 25 years of technological progress should have made people realize what aspects of SC2 still applied today, and which ones didn't. Stardock must have seen this... but they either didn't and went ahead blindly, or they saw it and ignored it outright. Comparing SC2 and Origins, Origins added things that did not need to be added, removed things that should not have been removed, changed things that should not have been changed, and did almost nothing with the rest except bloat it up. Even the Core. The end result is something that looks, sounds and plays like SC2... but it doesn't feel like it at all. There's plenty of space and time to add something new here, but the only new thing I found was how the game tries to declare itself as part of a multiverse - it's just one facet of a greater, grander image. Sounds cool and all, but ultimately this one boils down to future events. The fans have yet to act on it, but Stardock seems to use this as justification to include the Star Control aliens in their other games, like Galactic Civilizations III.

    3 - It has almost none of the charm. SC1&2 are two of the best-designed games I've come across in terms of appearance, style, audio, character interactions and storytelling. Combined these elements give the games a charm that is greater than the sum of their parts. SC1 probably sits there in people's memories as 'a fun little game', but people do not forget having played SC2. (They also don't forget having played SC3, just not for the same reasons.) Origins had some damn big shoes to fill in that regard, and sadly it was almost impossible for Stardock to beat that... but could they at least have tried, I ask?

    Don't get me wrong, there are some really good moments in Origins... but that was also the case with SC3. And they were just moments. Graphically Origins ranges from good to great, but it lacks a style to make it stand out more. The audio department is the biggest personal disappointment to me. I spent extra time looking into the soundtrack, so I'm leaving my words on that in an extra section.

    About the soundtrack (open)
    SC2's soundtrack is one of the best and most unique ones out there. There had never been anything like it... and sadly there never will be again. It's forever burned into my mind and I went to painstaking lengths back in the day to get my hands on it. Toys for Bob took a huge risk in creating it like they did, but it paid off in spades. Stardock by comparison played it relatively safe, even though they brought in Nuottajärvi (who had a big hand in SC2's soundtrack) to oversee it.

    Listening to the soundtrack in Origins, I could spot the Hyperspace theme, Arilou theme and the combat-theme from SC2 making a return. Makes sense, but then I listened to the rest and was... unimpressed. While an Official Soundtrack is available, it's only about 60% of the game's tunes, so again I had to Take Steps to secure the full soundtrack. Only three tunes stand out in a positive manner: The two tracks associated with the Mowlings and then a tune called 'The Spymasters' that is included in the Official Soundtrack, but not in the game. It's not even in the game files, which is a shame. (If anyone can shed any light on this, let me know.) The rest of the soundtrack just mulls and mills about, rarely overstaying its welcome, but the Trandals-theme in particular is one that bugs me. Without spoilering anything, the Trandals are a race that has grown too fond of technology, to the point that they carry cellphone-looking devices around all the time. And the theme alludes to this by having a smartphone vibrate-sound in it. :|

    In the end the soundtrack of Origins joins an overcrowded shelf: One where the soundtrack has an interesting tune or two, but otherwise doesn't leave a marking impression. Considering the accomplishment of its predecessor that is quite the disappointment. On the upside at least it didn't crash and burn so spectacularly in this department as SC3 did.


    The story and interactions with the various aliens are overall enjoyable, and part of that is due to something that Origins gets right: The aliens are excellently animated. They make entrances and use body language; the Tywom cower when discussing unpleasant things and the Drekend make menacing gestures when they're likely to stop rarking and just attack. SC2 only had short cyclical animations and SC3 had the knock-off Muppet Show, so this is a huge improvement that helps players relate better with the game's cast. The writing is good on the whole, but it's still a little unbalanced: I felt that the interesting aspects of the world and aliens were glossed over, while the tedious bits were dragged out. And whomever did the writing for the DLC-packs should consider another career. The whole section with the bar is so badly written it makes the official Star Control-novel look passable.

    What little charm Origins offers fortunately comes through talking to the alien races, but in terms of 'fitting' or 'feeling' like a true Star Control-race, one stands out above all... the Mowlings. At a glance they seem to be the exact opposite, but after talking with them (and Jeff) I felt that they were the best executed alien race in the game: They have a unique premise, definable characteristics and both a tragic and comedic element to them. I also liked the Pinthi and the Phamyst, but the Phamyst are only present for roughly five minutes. That point of criticism also applies to far too many other races in the game. The Drekend, The Measured, the Gloosh - they come and they go, the end. The DLC fleshes out The Measured, but it feels a bit too little, too late. If only more time had been spent on improving the writing, Origins would be in much better waters.

    Origins is not a bad game overall, but it just fails on so many things that should not be difficult to grasp, or work with/around. And it's bloated. How much?

    (1962) Spacewar! = Some Kilobytes at most
    (1990) Star Control 1 = 675 Kilobytes
    (1992) Star Control 2 = 8.9 Megabytes
    (1996) Star Control 3 = 321 Megabytes
    (2006) Ur-Quan Masters = 329 Megabytes (Compressed)
    (2018) Star Control: Origins = 20.8 Gigabytes

    That much.
     
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  22. Reality Learned

    Reality
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    SC2 combat really is the core of this game, even this year I know someone new to the game who approached the adventure mode by looking at everything in Super Melee first. I love it, but I play Moonlander clones all the time so I just love my Thrust physics.

    I gotta agree that SCO attempts to put the adventure module foremost in front of the combat - The bizarre inertia, the closed ring arena instead of screenwrapping, the weapon design (homing and circle based AOE everywhere to encourage you into using big ships instead of mobilty ships) and SC3 level of near infinite resources anyway to let you just bring in your doom squad all the time from the beginning with little scaling from weak to powerful.

    My only feeling on SCO's story that hasn't been discussed to death is that the whole lower-left quadrant of the map seems to be front-loaded - it's where sidequests and the "minor" aliens are most common, before they start to thin out further away - there is still stuff populating other quadrants like the Radiant and such, but by proportion, it feels much more heavily like it's only the main aliens, and the game kinda drops the big mix of random (refugees) and (semi-indigenous) aliens that it purports to have at the begining- and is further hurt by these later main aliens having much shorter homeworld dialog chains than the 3 aliens in the lower left (greegrox/trandal/phaymst,etc)
     
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  23. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    It would be a huge departure and disbelief from what has been established, but at the same time it has never been said as "not working". But look at SC2 and onwards: Each of them puts the protagonist in the unique position that HE ALONE can define the future, HIS SINGLE SHIP makes or breaks things. It puts the onus on the player, he's the one in control, and not someone else. Wish fulfilment is a helluva drug, yo.
     
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  24. Jiggy Boobles TESTOSTERONIC As Fuck™ Patron

    Jiggy Boobles
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    What the actual fuck?

    Melee is definitely not the core of SC2.

    It's possible (and in fact, recommended) to skip it entirely and it's still the best game ever made. The exploration/space adventure is the core of the game. That's the reason it's a LEGEND while SC1, where the combat IS the core, is barely spoken about.
     
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  25. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Tell me how you stop the Sa-Matra in this "skip it entirely"-pacifist run.

    And when you're done with that, do Fallout next.
     
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