Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Gamers vs Developers vs Publishers

The Escapist Staff | 1 Feb 2011 13:25
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In response to "16-Bit Generals" from The Escapist forums: Am I the only one seeing the similarities between this game and the strategy sections of Brutal Legend? In that game, you also controlled everything through a general unit who could fly around to give orders and land to join in the fight. The enemy had a unit that did the same thing. And in both games, there were neutral bases to take over, and the game ended when the enemies base was taken over. I'm starting to think Tim Schafer was a Herzog Zwei fan.

And Steve, every industry needs more giant robots.

- Crimson_Dragoon

I am proud to say that I have kept my Mega Drive (personally I prefer our UK name) for the exact same reason.

Herzog Zwei was the first game I bought for it (and in fact the first game I had ever bought), but it was down to complete chance as I was actually after a top down scrolling shoot everything game which would easy to mistake it for based on the box art(and that I was 8 at the time)

It was a mistake I will forever be happy with as the gameplay as not really aged due to the unique way it plays compared with the modern RTS.

This game has been a secret love affair of mine for many years now - against all rational thought, I'm still waiting for a "Herzog Drei".

^^ oh how true this is, I would spend hours thinking of the ways you could improve the game and units I would like to have seen, but maybe that is why it still holds up now is due to the small unit pool.

I love the way that you could not take direct control of your units only give them orders which they would follow until they die or run out of fuel or ammo.

Many see Herzog Zwei as a footnote in gaming history but for me it will always be so much more.

- Niveama


In response to "The Genesis Effect" from The Escapist forums:

Russ Pitts:
The Genesis Effect

The Sega Genesis arguably revolutionized console gaming, and inarguably, Russ Pitts' life.

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You probably know this, but nostalgia comes from two Greek words: nostos, meaning roughly "homecoming," and -algia meaning, strangely enough, pain. It really came into play in those Greek tragedies where the tragic hero would return home... only to find it was no longer home, either because of home had changed or because the hero himself had changed so much.

NES and SEGA both had that magic. It was a different type, depending on your age at the time, but magic nonetheless. It was discovery. It was the future coming into your home. And, because it was a gaming system, it was a portal to worlds you never imagined would be so readily available.

In a way, it's sad to think that a new video game technology won't really have that same magic. Maybe some magic, but almost certainly less. Gone are the days when simply "pulling a quarter from behind our ear" would leave us spellbound, and gone are the days when we are amazed to have arcade-level technology in our homes.

And so it is, when we look back at those moments that defined us, that we remember them fondly... but also heavily. You can only discover something once. As great as new experiences will be, they won't have that same sense of discovery or wonder. I had a similar experience with school band, and it changed my life. Now, as a teacher, a lot of the magic and mystery are gone, but I can at least relive them vicariously through a few of my students.

Perhaps being in your position, commenting on (and thus helping to define for posterity) the gaming world will continue to afford you that same opportunity.

- Dastardly

The Sega Genesis didn't represent arcade-perfect conversions, in fact the first home console the featured an absolutely arcade-perfect experience was the Dreamcast. Many of the arcade conversions on the Sega Genesis were missing or lacking in the areas of video or sound. Sound for the Sega Genesis was especially lacking with its tinny sound and distorted voice cuts. Color palettes for arcade conversions seemed too dark and/or were missing noticeable frames of animation.

Desert Strike is a poor example of "arcade-like" gameplay. Yes, the action is fact and furious and challenging, but the game becomes boring looking for the next objective to destroy. And by boring I mean you could fly for at least 15 seconds to parts of a map and not face the threat of AA or AAA. In arcade games, the threat of defeat was ever-present. Desert Strike lacked that.

That brings me to why I enjoyed about the Genesis system: arcade-style scrolling shooting games. Compared to other contemporary systems the Sega Genesis had the largest catalog of arcade shooting-wannabes and conversions, second to the Turbografix-16. Thunder Force 3 & 4 definitely warrant mention.

- Michael O'Hair

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