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XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #175 on: August 06, 2016, 06:40:50 AM »
 

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I've been reading about XCOM 2, the new entry in the XCOM saga. I didn't want to start a new topic about it because Art and I would probably be the only ones interested, and I'm sure Art won't be after I pass on what I read. I'm certainly not.

It's been getting pretty lukewarm reviews, the biggest gripes concerning some pretty game-breaking glitches. CTDs, enemies that can hit your guys through walls (when they shouldn't be able to), troops shooting at targets other than the ones you order them to, issues with cover not functioning as it should, the procedurally-generated play areas sometimes not being generated very well with stuff stuck halfway through walls and such, and a few other negatives. I'm surprised at this as Firaxis games are usually pretty stable, but this one sounds like the family's naughty child.

I'm not crazy about the premise either, and the whole thing sounds like a test of your exasperation threshold. I especially don't like the reported fact that at least half the missions are time-limited, or rather turn-limited, where you'll only have a miserly number of turns to complete the objective or you'll fail the mish. One or two of these in a game I can put up with, but not more than half of the whole thing. A game of the original XCOM (Enemy Unknown) might see one, or at the most two, of these sort of missions (called "Bomb Disposal" missions), but no more. I've even had one 'thru where there were none of those at all. I went off the Enemy Within EXP largely because they introduced too many turn-limited aspects into the game. It wasn't so much the turn-limitation that bugged me - well, to an extent it did - but it was the ridiculously short turn limit. There's challenging and then there's exasperatingly near-impossible, and the latter isn't terribly conducive to gaming bliss.

I won't be getting into XCOM 2, I don't think. Anyway, No Man's Sky and Civ VI are just around the corner, so bugger XCOM 2 (thumbs-down emotie here).
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #176 on: August 06, 2016, 11:38:45 AM »
 

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You're right fragger, ever since XCOM2 news popped up on the net, there were none that caught my interest. On the contrary. Mostly because of the turn limits indeed.

Contrary to you, I finished EW and I had a good time playing it but just like you I was not exactly fond of those bloody limited turns, not to say I hated them, and that was true in particular regarding those bloody timed events during most missions that were to obtain some "melt" or "meld" (whatever it was called, some type of currency that you needed in order to acquire the newly introduced genetic and robotic upgrades)

The 2012 XCOM still is my favourite, however EW was indeed a lot more challenging.

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #177 on: August 07, 2016, 01:23:58 AM »
 

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I could have tolerated the Meld thing a bit more if only they had allowed a few more turns until it disappeared or switched off or whatever it did. You not only had a terribly short number of turns to get to it, you had to find it first in the fog-of-war. Then the only way to get it usually meant sending your guys sprinting to get there in time and consequently leaving them either out of cover and vulnerable, or unable to engage until the following turn and subsequently getting hit. Then it was a decision of using up a precious turn to return fire, or run ahead toward the Meld again and risk getting hit some more.

So many times I'd get a dangerously wounded soldier to the Meld just one turn too late and I'd want to tear my hair out :-()
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #178 on: August 07, 2016, 05:54:40 AM »
 

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hehe  :-()

I remember losing one or two meld canisters because it would have been a tad too dangerous trying to get them. Albeit I have to admit that in order to get some of those more difficult ones, I did take a few silly risks -- not wanting that meld to go to waste. Actually, it was more like I very much wanted to get all those nifty tech and gene upgrades for my men so I had no choice but to try very hard to get that blasted meld :-() In the end, I managed to get most of it and all the upgrades I wanted.

I also remember that trick to try and see through the fog of war in preparation for getting close to the meld without revealing it too soon, not wanting to trigger the turn-based timer. With a bit of luck, you could perceive the silhouette of a meld canister that was sticking out in a different shade of gray just like you could recognise shapes of structures.

Most of the time there were enemies slumbering close to the meld canisters so with just a bit of luck you could kill two birds with one stone: charge, kill, and casually collect -- since you were already there "anyway." :-()

But yes, I'd have been a LOT happier if there hadn't been any timers at all.

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #179 on: November 08, 2016, 10:15:41 AM »
 

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Having another play of this, I still love this game.

This was a first for me - an all-girl squad!


It's early in the game and I'm only at squad size 4. For those who haven't played, you start every new game with 12 soldiers in your barracks, of which you can choose 4 to go on a mission (later in the game, the squad size can be increased to 5, then eventually 6). Genders and names are generated randomly each game, and typically there will only be 3 or 4 female troops in the barracks. This time it created seven women and five men.

I got a reward for successfully completing a mission with an all-female squad - the "Flight Of The Valkyries" achievement :-()

(I've always known of the piece as "Ride Of The Valkyries", not "Flight Of The Valkyries". The original title is either "Walkürenritt" or "Ritt der Walküren", so "flight" can't be correct. I thought "ritt" was "ride". Maybe Art can confirm :)).

This below made me chuckle. The game generates the soldiers' first names and last names at random at the start of a new game, and whenever a soldier attains the rank of Sergeant, a randomly-generated nickname is assigned to him or her. All these names can be changed by the player. In the last game I played, the game just happened to come up with this name for this soldier. I felt compelled to change the nickname to this, I couldn't help myself (next to the little English flag in the info display - you may have to click on the picture to read it):


I may have jinxed her though - she nearly got killed a couple of times :-()
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #180 on: November 08, 2016, 04:02:22 PM »
 

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Can you change their country of origin? Molly Brown was American, I believe.....

I watched a friend play this game, and though it looks cool, definitely not my cup o' tea. Setting stuff up ahead of time and just letting things roll from there isn't in my skill set, I always fail miserably.
"You've read it, you can't un-read it."
D_B
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #181 on: November 08, 2016, 05:38:59 PM »
 

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D_B: ^-^

fragger: you're spot on :-X :)

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

What doesn't kill us, makes us weirder.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #182 on: November 08, 2016, 09:23:23 PM »
 

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@Art, thanks :)

@D_B, Brown was indeed American, but you can't change the nationalities. And no matter what nationalities the soldiers are, they all have American accents ???? You can change a bunch of other stuff though - their faces, skin colours, hair colours and styles (plus different facial hair types for men). I don't bother with all that though because I like to put head-covering helmets on them to complete their ensembles, so their heads aren't visible. I just took the helmets off for the screenies.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #183 on: November 08, 2016, 10:01:54 PM »
 

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as far as I know, XCOM enemy within utilises the game's installation language packages so that you get to hear all the messages however in like five different but real spoken languages.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

What doesn't kill us, makes us weirder.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #184 on: November 09, 2016, 05:57:42 AM »
 

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Interesting, I didn't know that :-X
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #185 on: November 09, 2016, 06:47:03 PM »
 

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 ^-^

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

What doesn't kill us, makes us weirder.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #186 on: November 23, 2016, 11:00:21 AM »
 

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I'm currently alternating between this game and FC2, with a bit of Civ V thrown in (I gave up on Civ VI, I decided I didn't like it).

I'm impressed with how different one game of XCOM can be from another, it has great replay value :-X I'm currently on my 53rd playthrough and even though I've gotten to know all the maps, the randomness of values, event timing and enemy combos between games makes every playthrough a unique challenge.

I took on the alien base mission early, at the start of Month 3 (May) and for only the second time ever, all 21 enemies attacked me at once in the initial part of the base. It was a hell of a fight - my guys ran out of ammo for their primary weapons since they couldn't get a chance to reload so they all ended up falling back on their laser pistols ??? I had one Heavy along who managed to even the odds a bit with his single well-placed rocket, and my two Support guys had a grenade each which helped. By the time I'd cleared the enemies out (and my guys finally got to reload) I'd used up six Medikits (my total supply) and three of my guys still had some hit points knocked out. With all the defenders down, my squad was able to sprint through the entire base unopposed until they encountered the Commander at the far end, whom my Sniper duly dispatched with a long-distance head shot.

I'm doing well this go-around, I haven't lost any soldiers or had any countries drop out of the project. But because of the way I've gone about things this time, the Overseer ship keeps appearing but I haven't yet been able to get any Firestorm fighters into operation. These hybrid jobs seem to be the only fighter type that can deal with the Overseer ship, the default "Raven" jets can't do enough damage to bring it down within the few seconds you get to intercept. Three times the Overseer ship got away - and now a Battleship has appeared. I haven't seen one of those for ages, so I'm wondering if my repeated failure to splash the Overseer ship has triggered the Battleship's appearance. The last time I saw a Battleship was around game #20.

It's got 23 enemies on board, according to the Hyperwave report. Oh boy... At least I have three Firestorms up now, armed with plasma cannons, and two more in production from Engineering with plasma cannons waiting to go onto each of them, so the next time that danged Overseer ship turns up, I should be ready to ruin its day. Because it got away three times in one month, I got a "D" on my monthly report card from the Council and that faceless bugger who does the talking scolded me, saying something like, "We believe there is still room for improvement". Well, up yours then, Mr. Backlit Silhouette Head! I've only saved the world so far for you! Ingrate.

I like how sometimes when you're preparing for a mission and the Council guy says, "We're confident that you will handle this matter with discretion", then you go in and demolish walls, blast storefronts apart, cause parked cars to explode, blow up gas station petrol pumps and leave dead aliens everywhere. Oh yeah, very discreet :-()
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #187 on: November 23, 2016, 04:37:22 PM »
 

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It is but a thin line that separates the sublime from the pathetic. But who cares as long as the result is but a glorious victory :-D

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

What doesn't kill us, makes us weirder.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #188 on: December 20, 2016, 09:05:14 AM »
 

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What the - ?

I fired up the game after a break from it and my most recently saved game was gone. Instead, there was a saved game from about ten months ago. I've also played through over fifty times, but now it tells me that I've only had twenty or so games (for non-XCOMers, each save slot shows how many games you've played).

I think it was because I play XCOM offline and I recently cleared out my cache and did a thorough web-history cleanse, so the recent save and the game counter must have been cached, they got wiped out and that part of the game got reset back to whatever was last written to disk.

It's not that big a deal. I was going to start a new game anyway as I'd forgotten what I was doing in the last game. It's just a curious turn of events.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #189 on: December 20, 2016, 06:04:05 PM »
 

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that's where cloud saving comes in handy. It's particularly obvious when installing the game on a new computer, it downloads your last save games and you're ready to take off where you left off.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

What doesn't kill us, makes us weirder.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #190 on: January 25, 2017, 07:07:14 AM »
 

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I still dig this game, never gets old for me. I now know all the maps back to front, but due to the large degree of randomness involved in the way each game unfolds and the mission generation (types of enemies and how many, what combos of them, their starting locations on the map, etc) every field mission has its own challenges. Even after 60 games, I still find myself in some interesting (read perilously fraught) tactical situations that I haven't encountered before. I don't think I've ever played a game which makes me cheer and curse in equal measure :-()

Out of those 60 games, about 5 or 6 were aborts. Sometimes the randomness of the game produces a set of circumstances which just make things so tough that you can't get anywhere - or rather, you can, but it's such a steeply uphill struggle that it becomes less like fun and more like exasperation. It's relatively rare, but if it gets like that, I quit and start over. This can happen even on the easiest difficulty setting, which is what I always play on (occasionally I'll play on Ironman mode to give it a bit more of a challenge, but even on easy it can be a pretty tough game).

I've played through so often now that when I get to the final mission to assault the aliens' orbiting mother ship (called the "Temple Ship" for some reason) I don't bother and will start afresh. The reason is because unlike the rest of the game, the final mission is always exactly the same, i.e. the exact same enemies spawning in the exact same places at the exact same points in the mission. I've played this mission enough times that I know the best ways to deal with the enemies as they appear and I pretty much just breeze through the mish, so there's no challenge to it anymore - in fact, it's way easier than many missions that occur previously during the game. Besides, I think I've proven myself capable of saving the world enough times now, so bugger it :-()

The most fun to be had in XCOM is from the beginning through to somewhere past the halfway mark. Where that halfway mark occurs is actually dependent upon the player's actions. Some key missions appear only after you've achieved some prerequisite tasks, and these missions can be undertaken at the player's discretion, so how long a game will last depends on how long you shilly-shally before attempting those key missions or completing the tasks that unlock them. Delaying those tasks and missions will lengthen the gameplay but will also make things more difficult for you in the long run.

There is a special rule which can be enabled that will greatly increase the research time for new techs, so that's one way of lengthening a game if you feel it's too short. Personally, I feel the default kind of length is fine - not too long and not too short. I guess anywhere between about 20-40 hours per game. As mentioned, that can be largely dependent upon how the player goes about things, but can also depend on how the game itself develops, which is a bit different every time.

Wonderful game, one of my all-time faves. I have my good friend Art to thank for making me a gift of it a couple of years back. Dashed fine choice there, Mr. Blade 8) :)


PS  I have a tip for anyone who might consider taking the game up. It's worth playing the tutorial as it is very good for learning how the game works, but once you've finished the tutorial, quit and immediately start a new game without playing the tutorial. You always - always - lose a couple of soldiers in the tutorial, it's scripted that way. The loss will then carry over into the game proper, meaning that you'll be starting the actual game with only 10 soldiers in your barracks instead of 12 (mind you, I always finish a game with three or four rookie soldiers in the barracks who never get to see any action, and you can only ever take a maximum of six troops into any given mission). You can buy more recruits if you really need to and they're cheap, but I have never needed to do that. The loss won't seriously impact your performance in the game unless you totally stink, and none of you guys are dunderheaded enough to be that bad at it, but it will show up in your post-game stats. I don't know why the devs made the tutorial that way, but they did.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #191 on: January 25, 2017, 03:49:39 PM »
 

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Hehe, I'm really glad that you came to realise just how fine a game it is -- I hoped that you'd enjoy it and enjoying it you are indeed :-D

Yep, the guys you lose during the tutorial also count as lost soldiers when the final stats roll.. I didn't want to lose a single soldier and more on the contrary, I wanted to keep one set of soldiers all the way through to the finish which I did. That was an achievement that I still remember fondly. :)

Fragger, after all the EU, you should really try the alternative, Enemy Within. It is a lot more challenging even on easy difficulty and again it is just as you said: a game which makes you cheer and curse in equal measure -- only a lot more of each. :-()

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

What doesn't kill us, makes us weirder.