Review: X-Com Revival Package

Review: X-Com Revival Package

The X-Com games are practically antiques, so why buy the five-game bundle from Steam? Because they're awesome, that's why.

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Damn, that feels nice to see that up there. :)

That's a pretty damn solid review.
Not a game that I know anything about, but a good review all the same.

good review, too bad I don't have steam though, or money.

Good work my friend. I only remember playing INTERCEPTOR when I was younger. Might have to check the rest out at some point.

*cough* give this man a job *cough*

You'll have a video blog in no time dude, keep up the good work!

darkstone:
good review, too bad I don't have steam though, or money.

Don't worry, I'll review something free next time. :)

Nicely done mate, witty, informative and absolutely fantastic games, well the strategy ones anyhow.

I remember UFO defence was genuinely hard as well, juggling resources, attack and defences and manageing your funding as well

So many mixed feelings about Terror from the Deep. Basically, you have just rid the earth of aliens from the first game when the phone rings:

"The world is in trouble, and only YOU can save us, sir. Here's some money to build a base. Well, ok, here's $10k for a car anyway. How do you get more money? Well, erm, make some of those alien guns you researched and sell them. I think the Sudanese are buying. What, you want to hire soldiers? Ok, i'll send you raw recruits if you pay me. Yes, I know some of them are too weak to hold a gun, run, or even scream loud enough to be heard while they're being ripped apart by a lobsterman. Just send the weak ones home. No you don't get a refund."

So, you have your scientists working full shifts to sell the guns you need to buy more soldiers. You can only realistically keep 1 in 10, and new recruits tend to die very quickly until you have some good commanders. It's because without a good commander unit morale is so low, they run soon as they see a little bald green head.

Still, after some hard fought victories (or even draws) you have a crack team going with some seriously good guys. Then one of them gets mind controlled by an alien, and dies. But not before taking out most of the squad. The only the recruits made it out because they dropped their guns and ran like little girls* to the evac zone.

"What? Your Major got mind-controlled and took out your squad? Maybe he didn't have mental fortitude. What's mental fortitude you say? Well, it's this other stat that all soldiers have. Only you have to send them for 2 weeks of testing to see how good they are. Of course we'll charge you. Yes, you can send the crap ones away. Yes, we take AMEX."

So you have to rebuild your team again... all the while trembling that the aliens don't actually find your base and FLATTEN IT LIKE A STRAW HUT.

Balanced against this was that creepy feeling of going into an invaded cruise ship and hunting those alieans down. Or unloading round after round of sonic ammunition into that charging lobsterman before he can rip into your soldiers at close range. Or that glorious day you get yourself a LARGE UFO that's just sitting on the seabed, and come in silent, stun the whole alien crew before they know what hit them and haul the WHOLE LOT OF THEM FOR RESEARCH. Which involved sharp knives. And probes. Lots and lots of probes.

Oh, and the first time YOU mind control ONE OF THEM and use your SLAVE to shoot his buddies in the back... Bliss!

I never finished a game of Xcom (seriously, you need a LOT of time), but I've never forgotten it neither. What a game.

---/---
*The morale of the average raw recruit in XCom was an insult to little girls.

Haha nice post. I dont agree fully on the morale statements youve made. Morale is as good as you fight. Sure, take a couple of casualities and people will be screaming and running around panicked. The cool thing about XCOM is that shit can turnaround so fast.
One of the enemies could plant eggs in your soldiers and turn them into zombies. When they were killed a new would get out of the body of your zombified soldier, like the aliens movies. One of these could wipe out an entire team in one round. Scary shit.
But the case is the same for your own forces especially when equipped with the blaster launcher. A homing explosive weapon that devastates buildings and everything and one in its way. You could destroy whole maps with this weapons, if youd be able to afford it.
I regard XCOM UFO as one of the best games ever made and sometimes i install and play it and its still very good. A slowpaced, tactical, chess-like, resources and building bases typ of game that makes you feel like the commander of an elite unit. The best thing about the elite part is thats its only as elite as your good at playing. Would rock in MP if ever made...

UFO defense, Terror from the Deep, and Apocalypse are among my favorite games of all time. glad to see steam reviving them.

I was gonna mention the Chyrsalid or the Popper, but I was running low on words by that time. It's an awful lot harder than you'd think.

Very solid review, and well done. The only problem as I see it, is that because of the restrictive word count, there isn't much said about each game. The information about the non-spinoff games is adequate and interesting, but the spinoffs only have a couple of paragraphs each, and while I understand that they're not meant to be the meat of the package, it would be nice to see the specific arguments for and against these games as well. Apart from that, well worth the read.

Nice review. I can see that the word limits pounded you though. It's a shame you didn't get more space to talk about a couple of the spin-offs in greater detail.

Well, given people have asked...I'll knock up a quick review on the spinoffs and put it up here. :) BRB.

deftune:
Would rock in MP if ever made...

It exist already. Basicly UFO: Enemy Unknown, with multiplayer.

http://ufo2000.sourceforge.net/

What are you waiting for, go download it already!

The X-Com Spinoffs - Interceptor and Enforcer

Strawberry Jam(Jelly) tastes great on a sandwich. Mayonnaise tastes great as well. But put the two of them together and, although there's a great taste, you feel slightly weird, as if something's not quite right.

That explains both the spinoff's nicely.

X-Com Enforcer

Imagine Psychonauts made by Michael Bay.

Got that? Are you holding that in your mind?

...Well, it's not quite like that...

And that moment is what spreads throughout the whole of Enforcer, there's the usual mad-cap running around, leaping tall buildings and firing a whole array of weapons; but there's still that feeling of 'It could have been so much more...'

The story, as it is, concerns the idea of one of the scientists building a Terminator style robot to kill the alien invasion. And as with most of the movie-based console games, this consists of you going through a ludicrous plotline in weird locations collecting powerups.

Within it are some set-pieces, that in the hands of someone like Bungie/Take 2 or Lucasarts could have been awesome...
Riding a speed boat into New York whilst fighting off aliens teleporting onto it, Breaking up a Muten Wrestling Match, Saving a Mall from a 30 foot tall monster....but...

And it's always a but...

It just doesn't really work. Like the sandwich. No-one will believe you can consume something like that, and after a while, neither do you.

Special mention must be given to the Professor though, who manages to challenge Navvie as being the most annoying sidekick ever.

X-Com Interceptor

Two sets of people will never really join hands. Role-players and Twitch Gamers. And this game wants to force them together.

From the start, you're at some unknown point in the universe, trying to gain materials with your ships that appeared from nowhere...I've played it for sometime and I still don't get the rationale behind it.

To start with, it's the usual research/plan/recruit before there's a blip and off you shoot.

Then you get there and "KER-CHUNK", you're now in a twitch game. If you've ever played Tie Fighter, (imho, the last GREAT Star Wars game) then you'll know what to expect. If you're of my age, imagine Elite dogfights turned up to 11.

It's really quite cool, your compatriots have their own little personalities and jokes as they buzz the aliens, blasting them into goo and you will feel sorry for some of them. (Others you really want to lodge a missile in their tailpipes)

But then "KER-CHUNK", you're back to the strategy/roleplay.

Imagine going out for a nice pint with a great mate, but the sod wants to pub-crawl and you're being dragged from one great place through cold dark streets to another, and then as soon as you've just got halfway down your pint, he tells you to neck it as they're off in ten seconds.

After a while, you just want to slap him.

Root's final thoughts

So...in summation, whilst there are great things to be had in them, the games really don't stand up to the overall awesomeness of the other three 'pure' X-Com's.

Interesting. Well done - and thanks to the wonders of internet archiving, this 19-year-old even knows what you're talking about when you relate Interceptor to Elite.

Good review, GREAT game.

Small problem thou, Those bastards at steam wont sell it to me!
It says "This game is not avilable in your region", Bastards!

Some of the best games ever, bundled at a low price, and I can't buy it!
Seriously, I consider moving to another country, either that or blackmail steam into selling it.

Good review, but factually wrong. STEAM doesn't own 'rights' to games,any more than Amazon.co.uk does; it's just an internet retailer that does downloads instead of mailing games to you! Take 2 actually own the rights to X-Com, and ever since there has been constant rumours that one of Take 2's companies is going to do an X-Com game!

 

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