Games That Time Forgot

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Break:

you piloted a little ship through a three-dimensional maze and blew up robots to a pulsing electronic soundtrack. It was a first person shooter where the "person" was a futuristic fighter plane and you usually couldn't tell which direction was up.

I know you were talking about a completely different game, but I couldn't stop thinking about Forsaken for the N64 after that description.

Forsaken was also out on PC. Pretty much Descent, yeah, but with a stupid story and bad single player. Multiplayer was fun though.

So amazed and glad to see the Sacrifice love!

That and the Spellforce games define my ideal genre. They could all use some tweaking, but overall, that style of game needs to exist more in the world.

More space exploration sims too! I've tried it, but I can't get into EVE and the only thing that's come close to Freespace 2 is maybe X2 or X3. Anyway, it's a tragically underused genre.

sir.rutthed:
Damn, now I gotta fish up our old copy of Decent 2. First game to ever give me serious vertigo/headaches. Great stuff, that. Fortunately a couple decades of gaming have boosted my tolerance for crazy 3D action awesomeness.

All the Descent games are on Gog.com, and I believe they're bundled with DosBox to ensure they run on the latest computers. http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/descent_1_descent_2

Of all these titles, Starflight sounds the most interesting to me, although it seems pretty hard to find a copy of these days. Maybe Star Control would be easier to track down....

Still fondly remember playing Magic Carpet all those years ago...

I'm pretty sure I read that the rumors of the demise of Mirrors Edge Sequel were false... pretty sure I read that posted by our own people Russ.... :)

Heh, I thought a bit about Descent earlier this month. I remember nothing whatsoever about any setting, though. You go in ---> shoot the tings ---> blow up the central core ---> get out. Then again, when I played it I had a pretty basic grasp on English, so if the story came in, say, walls of text, then I most likely didn't read them.

I miss turnbased tactial games. Everything gets remade as first person shooters nowadays, for some reason. I hate both first person and shooters.

Edit: Something I miss? Dungeon Keeper/Evil Genius-type games. Why are these not around? They're great! Recently Kalypso came out with "Dungeons" which looked like a carbon-copy of Dungeon Keeper, but sadly it was really some sort of strange tower defence/Themepark Tychoon thing.

Break:

you piloted a little ship through a three-dimensional maze and blew up robots to a pulsing electronic soundtrack. It was a first person shooter where the "person" was a futuristic fighter plane and you usually couldn't tell which direction was up.

I know you were talking about a completely different game, but I couldn't stop thinking about Forsaken for the N64 after that description.

Forsaken was a descent clone. That game had its place in my heart, but it isn't nearly as good as I remember it. GOLDEN POWAH PODS.

Shamus, no Battlezone (and the ill-fated battlezone 2?) That game would thrive in today's environment, it was just too ahead of its time when it was released among quake-style FPS.

Two games i would really like to see make a return are Battlezone and Pikmin.

Battlezone 2 and Pikmin were amazing, and i wish more were made.

Man, i loved magic carpet, and the irony is that the biggest fun wasn't even in singleplayer.... get a buddy on the lan, and you're unable to stop playing for hours. I wouldn't really put it into the FPS corner... the gamemechanics are too different to an FPS.... thanks mainly to the way castles worked... it was either defend own castle ressources XOR collecting more castle ressources XOR reducing the opponents castle ressources... and switches between those tactics happened in a matter of seconds. In principle first-person RTS played at warpspeed.

And yep, i too am perplexed how this gameconcept could not have been picked up. The success of the original was a bit like matrix - it had it all: massappeal, intelligence, fancy fx, action.... and very replayable.

As for unusual space-based games.... all i've got to say is: Hard Nova.
It had all the sandbox-style exploring of starflight, but in addition to this it also had heavy RPG elements. You could land on stations and planets, board starships and move around from topdown perspective... go to bars, talk with people.... i cannot remember any other space rpg, that did this.

Starflight and Star Control 2 will always live in my memories. I actually used a notebook to create a log of my discoveries in both games (did it first with Starflight, then did it again with Star Control 2).

Unfortunately I got kinda pissed with SC2 the first time I played it because there's a part in the story that, if you don't know what to do, the opportunity will go away and you'll never be able to beat the game.

Never played Starflight 2, though.

You know what game I miss and wish they made a sequel for... Dark Cloud 2... It was one of my first JRPGs and among my first PS2 games, period. I still get all nostalgic when I hear the song from it...

Seriously, the game had elements from Steampunk, Fantasy, Time Travel, and was just fun and overall original, I'll miss it for sure...

One of my brother's friends loaned him the Sega Genesis version of Starflight back in '93. We couldn't wait to play it. We were on our way to our Genesis when the Blizzard of '93 hit and our power went out for seven days. I spent seven days reading the manual of that game dying to play it. When the power finally came back on, we took to it and I have to say, it was worth that agonizing wait.

The_root_of_all_evil:

And complexity has been steadily been reduced as far as possible. Even in MMO-RPGs, there are "set builds" to max DPS, which reduces the play experience to "use spell on bad guy".

I'm going to just assume you've never raided or even done a challenging dungeon.

Lyx:
Man, i loved magic carpet, and the irony is that the biggest fun wasn't even in singleplayer.... get a buddy on the lan, and you're unable to stop playing for hours. I wouldn't really put it into the FPS corner... the gamemechanics are too different to an FPS.... thanks mainly to the way castles worked... it was either defend own castle ressources XOR collecting more castle ressources XOR reducing the opponents castle ressources... and switches between those tactics happened in a matter of seconds. In principle first-person RTS played at warpspeed.

I agree, it was definitely more RTS. Hell, it was WAY more fun at melding action with RTS than Brooeutal Legend could ever hope to be.

Syndicate and Crusader both had two games each, and are some of my favourites. However, it's almost in a way such that I wonder if maybe I'd rather they remain a fond memory and not be touched by modern gaming?

Another game I was a big fan of that not only did time forget, but nobody really played to begin with, is Planet's Edge: Point of No Return. Try to imagine a game that is an adventure with bold RPG elements. Easy enough? Ok, now picture a game where piloting your spacecraft is like Star Control, and the landing missions are like a sci-fi Ultima 6. Throw in resources, intergalactic trades, loose and pulpy plot, and a truly epic space opera adventure. It certainly had a few flaws, but not enough for me to hold to hard against it. Problem is, it's so unknown that the last time I looked it up on GameFAQs, it did not even acknowledge its existence. EDIT: Just looked it up now, and it finally has a page on GameFAQs.

Larmo:

My mom played the heck out of that game, joystick and all. And I got a kick out of watching her play it being to young to at the time, that and Readneak Rampage.

REDNECK RAMPAGE! That was a fun one. One of the most offensive games I've ever owned. Another CD I now have to dig up lol

Optimystic:

I'm going to just assume you've never raided or even done a challenging dungeon.

You'd assume wrongly. That's the problem with assumption.

If one guy can run 30 character raids with his own custom setup, it can't be that hard.

I'm sure there are instances like Hamidon, The Batcave, Ragnoros(sp?),Bertoxxulous, Nrz Ghshu where you have to be careful of "that bad thing" happen, but you can't tell me that most raids are more than stick to monster, spam weapon attack (spam taunt if it moves away).

So does this mean that Experienced Points is officailly back from hiatus? I always liked this column and was sad when it wasn't around.

I prefer it when Shamus writes a column when he really has something to say, rather than a forced one every week.

Also, I wonder why there's a new iteration of Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic every few years, while Master of Orion is dead and forgotten. Master of Orion 2 with a few subtle changes and modernizations, and, voila, there's your strategy game of the year.

I still love Mirrors Edge for me the main flaw was there was not enough of it play wise or story wise but the actual gameplay and art style was perfect.
Anyone else remember Vigalante 8 it was a sort of Twisted Metal that looked like a Mad Max version of the 70's with stolen alien technology so you have lasers and rocket launcher attached to these muscle cars and truck and buses and the soundtrack wasca lot of 70's style rock and disco. I think it got one sequel then I never heard of it again.

no mention of Legacy of Kain? for shame! if Descent and X-com were on the list, why not this jewel? also, Homeworld should get another sequel IMO

tur2n:

So does this mean that Experienced Points is officailly back from hiatus? I always liked this column and was sad when it wasn't around.

I prefer it when Shamus writes a column when he really has something to say, rather than a forced one every week.

Also, I wonder why there's a new iteration of Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic every few years, while Master of Orion is dead and forgotten. Master of Orion 2 with a few subtle changes and modernizations, and, voila, there's your strategy game of the year.

Master of Orion 2 is fine as it is. Sure nice gfx and sound would be nice, but not worth buying the game again for.

So yes to a new MOO2, XCOM, Magic Carpet, etc. but not without significant expansions to the gameplay. Even more variety in weapons, better balance, etc.

tur2n:

So does this mean that Experienced Points is officailly back from hiatus? I always liked this column and was sad when it wasn't around.

I prefer it when Shamus writes a column when he really has something to say, rather than a forced one every week.

Also, I wonder why there's a new iteration of Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic every few years, while Master of Orion is dead and forgotten. Master of Orion 2 with a few subtle changes and modernizations, and, voila, there's your strategy game of the year.

They did MOO3, but that sucked. I'd like to see MOO2 done again. And Master of Magic, too.

AlgarWolf:

Larmo:

My mom played the heck out of that game, joystick and all. And I got a kick out of watching her play it being to young to at the time, that and Readneak Rampage.

REDNECK RAMPAGE! That was a fun one. One of the most offensive games I've ever owned. Another CD I now have to dig up lol

Sorry i tweaked your nostalgia button.

Shamus

You win my adoring fanship for mentioning two of my absolute favorite old school games, Descent and Starflight. I thought I was the only undying fan of these two! I also completely agree that Descent 3 went in a completely incorrect direction; however, Descent 1 and 2 have some awesome openGL remakes going on if you want to experience the original (they even support Windows joysticks!).

Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I think Descent featured some of the first real time lighting in any game. I still get shivers thinking about firing a flare down a long dark pit and watching it snuff out somewhere in the distance. Also, this was a SOFTWARE renderer, done completely on a 66mhz 386 :)

I think a modern day Starflight would be almost impossible due to the game's NUTS scope. Can you imagine being able to go from interplanetary diplomacy and trade, to stellar navigation, to planetary navigation, rpg stats, mining, biological sampling AND ship to ship combat with modern production values??? We're talking a budget in the 100 of millions for an untested concept. Never gonna fly. Ironically, now that you have me thinking about it, Sid Meiers Pirates is the closest any modern title has gotten to Starflight's gameplay.

What might be able to fly for Starflight is something more akin to the original 2d sprite based production values . . . perhaps something on the 3DS?? We can only hope.

Now if only you had Homeworld on your list ;)

Fanghawk:

sir.rutthed:
Damn, now I gotta fish up our old copy of Decent 2. First game to ever give me serious vertigo/headaches. Great stuff, that. Fortunately a couple decades of gaming have boosted my tolerance for crazy 3D action awesomeness.

All the Descent games are on Gog.com, and I believe they're bundled with DosBox to ensure they run on the latest computers. http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/descent_1_descent_2

Of all these titles, Starflight sounds the most interesting to me, although it seems pretty hard to find a copy of these days. Maybe Star Control would be easier to track down....

Starflight (still in possession of the original floppy!) will run fine is DOSbox (looks great with a little filtering), but brush up on your command line skills, as a lot of copying is required.

Freelancer.

Come on, that game wasn't even properly FINISHED.

There is a Descent-like game being developed, called Miner Wars 2081. Don't know how good it is.

And I would like to add Sacrifice, Populous (both are a bit Magic-Carpet like), Battlezone, Homeworld and the Desert/Jungle/Urban strike series. A full 3d Strike game with controls like the Battlefield/GTA series for your helicopter... I'd buy it.

Oh, and something like Secret of mana 2. With the option to pick your own three heroes, various end bosses... would be cool.

i haven't forgotten descent, a game that later led to forsaken. not many of the kind lately though.

i like that you give example of a game with huge emphasis on galaxy exploration and then a game were you pilot some kind of spacecraft in 3d. these to concepts must have led to games like freelancer, evochron mercenary and lately black prophecy.

I agree with magic carpet; i still play the sequel. Its just FUN.

Casimir_Effect:
Sacrifice. If ever there was a game that deserved more it was this. Fell through a gap between genres which confused the hell out of people, and also was almost like the Crysis of it's day in needing some pretty hefty resources to get going.
But the things it did and still does. The look of the game drew you in more than most others I can think of.

On a lsightly related note, I also with Planet Moon studios hadn't gone the shitty handheld game and Wii route as Giants: Citizen Kabuto and Armed & Dangerous were, if not the most innovative, two of the funniest games I've ever played. And so few studios do funny. Or at least, do it well.

You might want to check out Brutal Legend if you haven't already. It's very similar to Sacrifice gameplaywise. In fact I think some of the people from Shiny went to DoubleFine, hence why it's so similar. It would also explain Stacking, another DoubleFine game which is very similar to Messiah, another Shiny game.

Nitram22:
May I suggest Republic Commando as a game that definitely should have got a sequel.

I concur. +1 for a new Republic Commando game.

I can't believe Shamus didn't mention the true 3D effect of Magic Carpet. I'm still getting migraines from that!

Otherwise, I'm not sure I agree about XCom. It had its chance, they made a bajillion games out of them and, ultimately, nothing could hit the simplicity and timing of the first one.

So there's really not much cause for regret there... just nostalgia :)

what a bout psychonauts huh?
one of the best games ever made and doesn't have a sequel ...

I followed that link for Magic Carpet gameplay... and I have no idea what I just saw. Very strange but at the same time very fancy for 1994.

CD-R:

Casimir_Effect:
Sacrifice. If ever there was a game that deserved more it was this. Fell through a gap between genres which confused the hell out of people, and also was almost like the Crysis of it's day in needing some pretty hefty resources to get going.
But the things it did and still does. The look of the game drew you in more than most others I can think of.

On a lsightly related note, I also with Planet Moon studios hadn't gone the shitty handheld game and Wii route as Giants: Citizen Kabuto and Armed & Dangerous were, if not the most innovative, two of the funniest games I've ever played. And so few studios do funny. Or at least, do it well.

Ypu might want to check ojut Brutal Legend if you haven't already. It's very similar to Sacrifice gameplaywise. In fact I think some of the people from Shiny went to DoubleFine, hence why it's so similar. It would also explain Stacking, another DoubleFine game which is very similar to Messiah, another Shiny game.

The staff did? Thought they were too similar, still, that's good to hear, Shiny was a damn decent company early on. Earthworm Jim, Sacrifice, MDK 1&2 and Giants: Citizen Kabuto. Then they went into licensed games and just never seemed the same.

Since Descent is coming up, I'll say only that I've never played it, but, I always wondered about that series' relationship with Descent: Freespace and Freespace 2? Since Interplay published all of them, was it just a name drop to get existing fans of the Descent series or was there an actual story connection between them?

At that, Volition being still around and going strong, and recently making a headline of the Escapist, seems like there's a good chance we could get Freespace 3, though I think it was something to the head Volition guy saying he'd murder someone to make it, don't know if that's a good or bad sign. ^^'

A new Master of Orion I'd like to see, and I've read that Stardock are looking at the property but I hadn't read if they'd actually bought it. They were also looking at the Star Control series. Given their work on Galactic Civilisations, Stardock I think are just about the only company I think who could do it justice, it would be even better if they could get Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford in as creative directors or something, that would just be awesome then.

Battlezone. Battlezone is an Activison product through and through, back when they were a wee developer rather than the publishing giant they are now (though they did do publishing back then too). I can say that the series is worth taking a look at again, but I'm wondering if it's such a good idea given the lacklustre sequel. Doesn't seem like they'd be interested in it though.

Now that Bungie is free of rehashing Halo, Oni should get a sequel.

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