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Proud anti-fascist & bird-person

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Sword of the Samurai and Covert Action fans have long since given up.

inkican, to scifi

So what did you think of Dune 2? Honest answers only.

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Some of the most interesting cinematography I’ve seen.

I’m more into hard sci-fi, but I thought it was enthralling. I did have to ask my seat neighbor to STFU during the movie though.

Never read the book, but I might give it a go.

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Here’s a transcript to make it readable:

Two Roads to Jedi-hood

Can KOTOR be a better game than Galaxies, but not a better RPG?

We’ve waited decades for a Star Wars roleplaying game. We sat patiently while space-sim fans hunted TIE Fighters and shooter fans blasted Stormtroopers. We even idly watched pen-and-paper Star Wars RPGs be released, sulking as our tabletop- playing kin commenced aping Han Solo’s best lines. But now, finally, PC gamers. have been given the chance to roleplay characters in the Star Wars universe.

Well, actually, we have two opportunities, but the experiences offered by Star Wars: Galaxies and Knights of the Old Republic are radically dissimilar. Which one is the better RPG? Most of you will likely feel that KOTOR is the better game, since it’s far more polished and features a great story and extremely entertaining Jedi combat. But since you’re read- ing this column, chances are you like RPGs-and KOTOR is absolutely not a better RPG than Galaxies.

How can this be, you ask? Let’s first get a few things straight.

Roleplaying games are about meaningfully roleplaying personalized characters in a non-linear fashion. The first tabletop RPGs were designed with malleable rules systems that accommodated even the most imaginative player-actions. Those games were designed to allow you to create an alter-ego from among near-countless variations within the framework of the game world. The best computer RPGs (CRPGs) still strive to provide that sort of experience. although the medium naturally imposes. limitations on story and character.

RPGs are not primarily about “leveling up,” tweaking abilities, or acquiring swag. Those aren’t even RPG prerequisites, although they’re usually featured as a means of allowing gameplay to evolve. If you’re not given the opportunity to make consequential decisions, and to internalize the experience, then you’re not being given a meaningful opportunity to role-play. The more freedom you’re given to do whatever you want to do, the richer the roleplaying environmentalmost by definition. That’s what makes Morrowind, Fallout, and Gothic “true” RPGs in the classic sense.

This point brings us to KOTOR, and its superficial roleplaying. KOTOR’s environments are restrictive and linear in design, and there’s only one occasion when the player’s decision can significantly alter the direction of the story. Galaxies, on the other hand, is a more open-ended gaming world that lets you hunt Rancors, take bounty- hunter missions, craft hundreds of items. build factories, landscape cities, and par- ticipate in a player-run economy. Even if tending flora farms and building sofas aren’t emblematic Star Wars activities, they’re representative of the tremendous freedom you’re given to roleplay a virtual lifestyle of your own choosing. KOTOR’S largely non-interactive settings are just so much eye candy while you’re walking to the next action set-piece or predetermined NPC conversation.

Again, just because a game offers a richer environment for roleplaying doesn’t mean it’s more entertaining. Ultimately, KOTOR has it all over Galaxies for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that its battles are more tactically and viscerally satisfying. It’s chock-full of amazing. displays of Force powers and combat feats, and its story is genuinely compelling. There’s also a lot of reason to question. Galaxies design decision to limit Jedi abilities to the hardcore players willing to endure the extremely unintuitive and cryp tic process needed to reach Jedi status. Of the two Star Wars “RPGs” for PC, KOTOR is the one that delivers the quintessential “Jedi experience,” despite the fact that its strengths have little to do with roleplaying.

The CRPG genre has been steadily broadened to encompass games that offer few real chances to actually roleplay. It’s as if “story-driven game with adjustable stats” has become the new definition of “RPG.”

But the best RPG is still the one that allows you the greatest freedom to meaningfully roleplay- not the one with the best combat system or the coolest plot twists. If you accept that premise, Galaxies is a better RPG than KOTOR, and rarely have two RPGs better highlighted the evolving genre’s competing, almost schizophrenic, design philosophies.

What adventure games do you recommend?

pretty much the title. i have played most of sierra, lucasarts and telltale catalogues so if you are suggesting one of their games i’ve probably already played it. it doesn’t have to be a copycat, homage or in the same style as these companies’ games either, just that it must satisfy the vague definition of being an...

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You’d probably find Pentiment interesting.

Also, maybe the Ace Attorney games.

And also seconding Disco Elysium; it has some of the best writing I’ve seen in a game.

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Her contract wasn’t renewed.

Conservative entitlement is a hell of a drug.

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Look at fancy-pants here rendering four colors at a time!

In my day we had green and black. And we were greatful for it!

Procedural detective noir Shadows of Doubt adds infidelity investigations next week (www.eurogamer.net)

Shadows of Doubt, the ambitious procedural detective noir sandbox from developer Cole Jefferies, is introducing new cases themed around infidelity on 25th September, as part of its first major update since entering Steam early access in April.

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If you like the immersive sim genre, this one is very promising. I feel like it needs to bake just a little longer though.

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The world generation is actually one of the best I’ve seen in a 3d space, and the emergent gameplay from that is very fun.

I feel like the crimes still need a bit of work though.

MechWarrior 5: Clans Stomping to PC, PlayStation and Xbox in 2024 from Piranha Games (www.techpowerup.com)

Piranha Games revealed MechWarrior 5: Clans today, a new stand alone MechWarrior game coming to PC, Xbox and PlayStation consoles next year. MechWarrior 5: Clans, while retaining the MechWarrior 5 designation, represents a transformative step forward in the MechWarrior 5 franchise. MechWarrior 5: Clans linear campaign will be an...

Zombiepirate, (edited )
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Nice! I’m loving Armored Core 6, even though I prefer the stompy Battletech mechs, and the Timberwolf is particularly iconic from MW2 (so I’m looking forward to driving that puppy around again).

Never been a better time to like big robots.

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Not nearly enough though.

They’re still exploiting their customers who’ve been developing products based on a completely different fiscal agreement; you can’t just change engines after years of work.

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Looks like still nothing on hardware specs.

I imagine they’ll keep the docked/portable form if they’re keeping the Switch name though.

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