We Interview Chris Avellone From Obsidian Entertainment: Part 2

Chris Avellone metal

 Chris Avellone From Obsidian Entertainment

Be sure to read Part 1 here!

General Questions About Gaming And Game Design:

What do you think about games that are based around an alignment based system? Are they too limited? How would you enforce the alignment role-playing aspect?

I don’t always believe in a game imposing morality unless it’s part of a franchise (Star Wars). In Alpha Protocol we did away with a player morality bar because in the espionage world, it’s difficult to say whether you’re “good” or “bad,” you’re just out to accomplish your mission and your reasons are your own. I do feel it’s fair if you set up reputation bars for other people, companions, and factions because it’s easier to imagine how NPCs and communities would judge your actions that us trying to judge the player and slap a +/- on it.

I did dislike the alignment system in D&D because it always assumed the player should choose an alignment before adventuring in the world. So in Torment, we let the player be a blank slate and let the alignment evolve (and reverse) over time depending on your actions. We felt that this was a better interpretation of the alignment system and it made more sense in the context of the narrative.

What do you think about the trend that we see in modern gaming where people consider MMORPGs to be RPGs? Is this correct or have they simply not had then chance to play a real traditional RPG?

Advancement schemes are similar, and some of the cause and effect you experience in RPGs is there, and I’d argue the ability to form your own party from other players provides the equivalent of an RPG experience in many respects. You may not always be able to make your decisions and actions felt in the environment because you can’t disturb the MMORPG equilibrium to the same extent as you can in a single-player RPG, but some of the core elements are there, yes.

If you had to remake a classic RPG made by another studio, which one would you remake and why?

SSI Wizard’s Crown or Eternal Dagger because I loved the way they showcased the dungeons and allowed you to develop your character. Pool of Radiance would also be fun (the 1st Goldbox one) as would Dark Sun’s Shattered Lands (which I loved).

What is the most influential yet obscure game you have ever played and why do you find it so important in your gaming history?

Well, in terms of influential yet obscure, that cuts a lot of games out – I feel a lot of the more common games have had a big influence on my designs (Portal, Chronotrigger, Ultima Underworld). If I were to name some “obscure” ones, I’d probably say System Shock 2 is the top of the list (it’s basically a design doc for how to make a great game), Amnesia: The Dark Descent for introducing a challenge mechanism that could simultaneously terrify you, Bastion’s narration mechanics, and Wasteland for proving to me how you could use game mechanics in the context of a “conventional” RPG to make some truly brilliant levels if you took a step back and thought outside the box.

What was your favorite character from RPGs you have worked on and why?

That’s tough, and it varies. I liked most of the Torment cast for different reasons, even Ignus and Vhailor. If I had to choose one, it would probably be Fall-From-Grace, I always enjoyed the premise of a puritan succubus who’s simultaneously the nicest, wisest, and gentlest people you can meet on the Planes. Jennifer Hale did a great job with her voice.

Who is your favorite co-worker and why?

Brian Menze, our concept artist and the lead artist on South Park now. I’ve known Brian ever since the Black Isle days, and he’s been my friend for a very, very long time. We still try and do comic book Wednesdays every week, and the studio would be a sadder place without his presence. He’s brought a lot of characters in the studio to life, and he’s incredibly modest and humble about his pieces, which makes me like him all the more.

Who in computing or video game history has been your idol and why?

Tim Cain, Tom Hall, Richard Dansky, to name a few. Tim reimagined how RPG mechanics could work for me, Tom Hall reimagined how design aesthetics could be applied in unconventional ways (Anachronox), and Richard Dansky never stops being a great guy and helping people.

I couldn’t possibly name everyone, but those are the people that jump to mind. I have the good fortune to work with Tim Cain on this project, and that’s one of my life goals on my bucket list.

First Project Eternity Screenshot

What do you watch/play/listen-to/read while trying to get creative ideas for projects?

Mostly trance music. I can’t listen to anything with lyrics while writing a character, I find the words and inner speech of the character I’m writing gets all jumbled up.

Going to see a live show or play I’ve found is one of the best means to stir the creative pot up when I have writer’s block (or even if I don’t). I have a lot of friends in the theater or who play in bands, and watching them live is enthusiastically contagious.

Other times, I immerse myself in research. Often when tackling an area, concept, or type of game, I try to read as much literature and watch as much media relevant to it (example, for Fallout New Vegas: Lonesome Road, I re-read Damnation Alley again, watched The Road, etc, etc.). When I got back into Wasteland, I started listening to a lot more 80s music, watching 80s movies and even researching 80s commercials to get a feel for the era… I’m embarrassed to say my memories of the 80s have slipped away, so it’s a shock to remember some of the big moments and media of the decade.

Project Eternity Specific Questions:

I always loved the interaction between my party members in some of your previous games, especially in Planescape: Torment. I did not like how rare these interactions did happen though. Do you plan on implementing a more ongoing interaction between the party companions? Have you considered adding interactions that will only happen when you have certain companions in the party?

Yes and yes, we feel companion commentary with each other is a strong means of showing how alive and reactive your companions are – not just to the world and your actions, but to each other’s presence. Plus, they’re fun to write, I certainly enjoyed writing the ones in Torment and would have loved to have written more.

Are we going to be limited in party size? Yes, it would probably make the game a lot easier to be walking around with an army so what we are asking is, what would be the magic number and how can you logically limit the size? Have you considered implementing the hiring of mercenary NPCs?

Party size will be a single player character and up to five companions – or as you mentioned above with mercenaries, you can also round out your party with recruited allies (which you can customize and build in the Adventurer’s Hall).

How do you plan to sell the game once it is finished and live? Retail? Steam? Impulse? GOG?

GOG (DRM-free) and Steam are our digital distribution outlets. We are also going to see if we can work on distributing the boxed version at retail as well, but we have not specific plans on that yet.

Have you considered making certain parts of the game have a randomized value that would add to the replayability of the game? Have you considered randomizing major plot points or the true intentions of certain characters?

Right now, our efforts have been focused on the hand-crafted elements that will make up the spine of the game.

project eternity wallpaper

Will gear be generally usable by most characters or will it require a certain adjustment for use? By this I mean, can a mage wear at least some level of real armor. Also, a dwarf wouldn’t be able to wear a troll’s armor unless he had an armorer make a suit of armor from that troll’s armor. Do you plan to implement that kind of level of equipment realism in the game? Will gear have wear and tear? Will the game offer some level of crafting element?

We won’t restrict gear according to player race. If you find armor, any race can wear it.

Would somebody be able to simply play not caring what the game’s plot is trying to get us to do? What I mean is similar to what’s found in the game Mount & Blade, for which you can pick what you really want to do such as hire one-self out to work for the highest paying empire or faction.

Like an Infinity Engine title, there is a plot, and while we will have dungeons that respawn and events in the world that you can cause to happen through your actions (such as turning a town or city hostile), the game requires some interaction with the plot from the player to progress. That said, we do want the player to feel free in how they approach the plot and feel that they can make the choices they want to make.

Will you give players the option to dramatically change the world in the RPG such as by ending it or potentially creating utopia?

The story hasn’t been nailed down yet, we’re still crafting it. We do want the world to persist in some fashion after the first installment, and even if great changes occur in the first game, there’s still plenty of world to explore in future games.

Would we be able to have our character fall in love with other characters in the game? Do we get to choose this or what if the game chose for us? Would it be possible to start a family, such as in the Fable games or Europa 1400 The Guild?

There’ll be a variety of mature relationships in the game, and you can choose to interact with them as little or as much as you want.

How is time handled in the game? Will the game take the course of a year? Will it take many years with some of the effects from the earlier part of the game affecting the mid and end game?

We’re handling time in a similar fashion to the BG and IWD games. Events happen in more-or-less real-time (real game time, that is, not literally minute per real world minute) except for rest sequences. We probably won’t be advancing time artificially off screen (“Act 1 is over, so X years pass,” for example).

Will the game offer any kind of multiplayer, such as letting our friends take over our party members in combat?

We want to focus on the single-player experience and make sure that’s solid. We don’t have any multiplayer plans at this time.

Would you let players submit translated versions of the game in other languages that haven’t yet been scheduled for translation?

They would most likely be part of the translation efforts if they wanted to volunteer. We’d welcome the help, and we’ve already received a huge amount of support from international fans that would love to do the translations for us (and if you are one of them and you’re reading this –thanks again).

Do you plan on updating the game with expansions once the game is released? How often would this happen? Would players be able to make their own mods or expansions once the game is live and would an editor be made available eventually?

We would like to do this, although we’re still examining how the pipelines for expansions would work. We don’t want to promise something that we couldn’t do until we’d done more research. We recently released an update with our modding views – we like modding, we want to encourage it, but we don’t want to promise it unless we know we can do it, or else we’d do our players and backers a disservice.

Although I have asked about technology already, since this is such a game changer, I made it a separate question: Will this universe have guns or gunpowder?

It has both. Gunpowder weapons exist, though they are single-shot wheellock variety, and are primarily used to give mages an unprecedented run for their money.

Will all the major races be humanoids or will you implement at least one really weird non-humanoid races a major player in this world?

We’ve got a selection of races, both seemingly-traditional and ones that are more off the beaten path. Some of the concept pieces we’ve released (notably the female dwarf) should give some clues as to what to expect from the choices for race in the game.

What’s the major mode of transportation in this universe?

Foot travel is the primary mode of transportation, although occasionally players may find themselves magically transported somewhere. To speed up overland travel, we will implement a map UI so the player can quickly move their party to locations they’ve already discovered. Note that our map UI is similar to what’s been found in the Icewind Dale and Baldur’s Gate games, not Elder Scrolls or Fallout 3/New Vegas-style fast travel.

What kinds of religions will we see in the game?

This will fall on Josh Sawyer (our resident theologian). More to come on this as the world is fleshed out in future updates.

GOG unleashes several classic titles from Activision

Zork Anthology
Zork Anthology

The classic gaming gurus over at Good old Games have added a number of awesome Activision titles to their line-up with more coming in the next few weeks. For those of us who loved to play the non-cape and cowl type of detective will be able to enjoy GOG’s bundle of Police Quest games, which includes part 1 through 4 for only $9.99.

Next up is the Zork Anthology for the adventure fan in us all. This bundle will offer six classic text adventures going back to the golden age of gaming in the 1980’s. With the GOG.com bundle, you will get the first five Zork games as well as Planetfall for only $5.99

So if you pick up these titles and you should, tell them Obsolete Gamer sent ya!

The Interview: Good Old Games

gog Good old games logo
gog Good old games logo

Good Old Games

Good Old Games offers classic PC game titles at low prices with no DRM. Pretty much any classic PC game you are looking to play you can find there with more added regularly, which is why we, as classic gamers ourselves, love them so much. Obsolete Gamer had an exclusive interview with Lukasz Kukawski from Good Old Games where we discussed the origin of GOG.com, his personal gaming background and the infamous re-launch marketing stunt that caused quite a bit of heat.

Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us in your own words what Good old Games is?

In one sentence Good Old Games, or GOG.com, is a digital distribution platform with cheap and DRM-free classic PC games. But there’s more know about GOG as we’re one of a kind :). First of all game. We’ve got such great classics like Baldur’s Gate series, Fallout, Duke Nukem 3D, Freespace 2, Outcast, Arcanum, Heroes of Might and Magic, Beyond Good & Evil (overall we have 300+ titles) for crazy low prices $5.99 or $9.99, no matter where you live. The second big thing on GOG is the DRM-free feature – this means we don’t have any copy protection in our games – when you buy a game on GOG you can download it anytime you want, as many times as you need, you can burn it on a CD, install on any PC you own and you don’t have to be online to play. What’s even better every game is guaranteed to work on modern operating systems and comes with additional materials like soundtracks, guides, artworks, wallpapers and more.

That’s pretty cool, right? But GOG isn’t just a digital outlet. Our goal is to make it the ultimate destination for all classic games fans, that’s why every game has it’s own forum where you can meet people who share the same passion for old games as you. We publish retrospective articles and interviews with developers which bring you the idea how the game was made and what decisions developers had to make during the development.

But you don’t have to listen to me, just visit GOG.com, create a free account and download one (or all) of four free games to check the GOG experience.

Obsolete Gamer: How did the idea come about and how did it get started?

I suppose the concept of offering old games had long been germinating in the minds of CD Projekt’s management guys, as GOG.com is part of the CD Projekt group of companies that also includes CD Projekt RED development studio who created the acclaimed RPG The Witcher. CD Projekt started their business as retail distributor of games in Poland in mid-90’s. One of the biggest successes in pirated-driven Polish gaming market was introducing to the Polish gamers a budget series of classic PC games called “extra classics”. Sometime around 2007 they have started to think about offering the old and beloved games with full compatibility on modern operating systems to a worldwide audience and the best way to reach such audience is via internet. A quick research showed that most of classic PC games are no longer available to buy legally, often are very expensive at on-line auctions and there are lots of issues with running them on modern machines with latest operating systems installed. That’s how the idea of GOG.com came to life.

The next couple of months were strictly dedicated to analyzing the digital distribution market, expanding the concept of the service and preparing the design and programming side of the project. At first the team was consisted of a very small group of designers and a programmer, but it quickly developed into 20 staffers including more programmers :), business development people, a band of support guys/testers and marketing folks. With Interplay and Codemasters as the first publishers getting on board, the service has been announced on July 2008 and started operating in September first in closed beta and then in October in an open beta for everyone. Since then we’ve managed to sign more than 40 partners (publishers and developers) and offer more than 300 classic PC games.

Obsolete Gamer: What made you want to focus on Classic games?

There are already services that offer digital distribution of new games, so the idea was to find a niche and develop it. As CD Projekt already had experience in bringing back classic PC games to gamers on the Polish market it was a good idea to expand this successful concept to a wider audience. Gaming industry is the only one in the entertainment business that isn’t actively preserving it’s heritage from fading into the black. You can always see new, remastered versions of old classic movies or music albums, but games are stuck somewhere in publishers’ magazines and getting covered with dust. Our research showed us that gamers are really interested in reviving the classics they used to play back in the days or the games they heard of, but  were too young to play them. GOG.com’s big success confirms that there’s a demand for those games and we’re happy to bring them back for old and new generations of gamers.


Obsolete Gamer: Were you worried it would be hard to get people to purchase older games even if they are DRM free?

GOG wouldn’t be such a success venture if we would just license the content and distribute it in an industrial store-front way. Without any added value for the end user we would probably end up as a service with old games that you can actually download for free on abandon-ware sites. But that’s not how we do business 🙂

Our approach to reviving the classics is way different. We are gamers ourselves and we have passion for titles we offer on GOG, that’s why we want to give our customers as much added value as possible. That’s why you won’t see any DRM in our games, that’s why we test all titles from the beginning to the very end so we’re sure they work on modern operating systems, that’s why we’re searching the whole internet and our own gaming archives to get all the best additional materials for games on the offer. Our commitment to revive the classic brands for gamers is rewarded by our users respecting our business model and supporting the idea behind GOG.

Obsolete Gamer: How many games has GOG sold and how many members do you currently have?

Unfortunately, these are all confidential information and I can’t share that with you. I can say that GOG is a huge business success for CD Projekt – after 2 years of operation our service is one of the top players in digital distribution of games and we’re just getting started so expect even more from us in the upcoming months and years.

Obsolete Gamer: How do you choose which games you will offer and how hard is it to get the licenses to sell them?

There are no strict rules which games should be made available via GOG.com. Of course we won’t be releasing new games (yes, The Witcher 2 is a one-time exception, as it’s a game made by our sister company ad we just couldn’t resist to promote this great game on GOG), we try not to cross the “at least 3 years old” line. As for “is that game good enough to appear on GOG?” it’s a difficult thing, as there are as many opinions on a game as many people that played it. Basically that’s very subjective and one can agree that game X is a true classic while other will say it doesn’t deserve to be called a classic. What we do is try to offer not only the games that were acclaimed by press and gamers, but also games that went under the radar of journalists and mass audience, because of different reasons like bad marketing or bad release date, but are still considered as cult games. You’ll find different games in the catalogue, so everyone can find something for themselves.

As for getting licenses for games, it’s different for every game. The whole process is a time consuming work as we need to find the rights holders of the games and this could be tricky as some of the IPs are either shattered among couple companies or have been sold to other company, etc. So finding the people who own a game is half of the success. Then we have to convince the owners of an IP that it’s worth reviving it and selling via GOG without DRM. The DRM-free feature isn’t actually helping out in negotiations as still most of publishers are afraid that this will imply the game being pirated all over the internet, while we believe that it’s exactly the opposite – offering a hassle free experience and a good value for money will convince gamers that it’s worth spending their hard earned money on original copy of a game rather than pirating it. If that works for the publisher we’re pretty much good to go, if the legal department is ok with that of course and this could take some time ;).


Obsolete Gamer: What features does GOG offer that sets you apart?

As I mentioned before GOG is not an ordinary digital distribution service, we do things differently. First we’re solely focused on classic PC games, so if you’re looking for a good selection of acclaimed titles from the past GOG’s your place to go. Then we have no DRM in our games, which makes the whole experience with GOG games totally hassle free – you don’t need to worry about any kind of activations, limited number of installations or being on-line while playing games. On GOG when you buy the game it’s practically yours – you can install it on all your computers or even back it up on a CD or external HDD. We’ve got one, fair pricing for everyone worldwide, so it doesn’t matter if you live in the US or on Ivory Coast, you’ll always pay $5.99 USD for Fallout or Duke Nukem 3D. Last but not least, every game on GOG comes with some cool additional materials like artworks, soundtracks, wallpapers and more, and every title has been remastered and tested to run on Windows XP, Vista and 7, so you get the best value for your money.

Obsolete Gamer: How important is it to the people at GOG to spread the word of classic games?

As I said before, we are gamers ourselves and in most cases, we played those games back when they were released, so we keep a special place in our hearts for those titles. Our goal from the very beginning was to bring those great games back to gamers, both the older ones who already played them and the new generation of gamers who never had a chance to get their hands on those.

Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us about the member interaction on your site including GOGmixes?

GOGmixes were designed for gamers not familiar with the GOG offer in mind. They allow more experienced gamers create a list of games around a theme they like, for example, games that feature big robots, or games you can beat in two days, etc. This way those users who don’t know many games from the catalogue can browse through GOGmixes and find e.g. “genre defining games” or “games with unique atmosphere”. With the ever growing catalogue of games at GOG such tools will be more and more useful for our users as browsing through 400 or more products might get “difficult” ;).

Obsolete Gamer: What games do you hope to offer on GOG.com in the near future?

All the best you and other gamers can think of :). Seriously, we’re discussing with every publisher, developer, rights owner who have back catalogue games about getting them on GOG. With Atari-Hasbro games the whole process took more than 2 years, so as you can see some things just require time.


Obsolete Gamer: The re-launch marketing stunt that made people believe you were shutting down, what was the thinking behind and execution of that plan?

Because of replacing the old, beta version of the service with the new one we had to take down the site. So if we had to do it we thought we’ll make it in a different, more creative way. In our opinion, the gaming industry is getting a bit stiff and too serious and we wanted to show people we’re not like that. Unfortunately, there were some assumptions we made which were wrong and we made some of our users mad.

But GOG’s closedown also raised the question about DRM systems in general. It basically means that if a DD service selling games with DRM shuts down for different reasons, be it financial problems or issues with servers, every user is cut off the games he paid for. I’m sure every company that has a digital distribution platform is making everything not to allow such situation to happen, but if something goes wrong all opponents of DRM, including us, will add another reason not to use those systems to the list.

Obsolete Gamer: Do you think the reaction was too harsh?

There were different reactions for the “PR stunt” – some users felt deceived, some laughed and some were angry they can’t download their games. And all those reactions were understandable and show us how or users are engaged with the service we’re providing them. We’ve apologized everyone who felt deceived by the fact we didn’t inform them about the closure beforehand and we didn’t provide an option to download the games they bought.

Putting aside the inconvenience of not being able of downloading games for 4 days, the closedown pushed the word about GOG out to the world and we saw many comments on different sites where people admit that “thanks” to this they have heard about GOG for the first time.

Obsolete Gamer: What would you do differently if you had the chance?

Our biggest mistake in taking this action was a false assumption we made. On GOG.com when you buy a game, you download the installer and you can back it up somewhere as the service is DRM-free. You don’t need the service itself to play your games. We believed that most GOG users keep their installers somewhere on their local disks, etc. Of course, we give everyone the access to re-downloading their games anytime they need, but we felt like it was an additional feature, a backup option if they lose the files.

Unfortunately, as I said, our assumption was wrong. Gamers are probably used to digital distribution services like Steam where you have to have constant access to the service to play your games. If we would have a chance to do something differently, we would find a way to give our users access to download their games.


Obsolete Gamer: The site is all-new can you tell us about the changes?

GOG.com is full of new or redesigned features on which we have spent quite some time – some of them are visible when you enter the site, but some were done on the backend so you won’t see them but you can feel the difference. Our dev team has rewritten 98% of the code so the site runs faster and can handle more users. As for other changes, let’s name a few:

– GOGmixes, which allow you to share your tastes and passion for games with other users by creating theme based list of games;

– new product pages (“what’s cool about it” description of each game, which in short three lines sums up each title – this comes straight from our super knowledgeable QA team – these guys spent hundreds of hours with every single game at GOG.com and they know what they are talking about);

– the super -simple sign-up process (just 3 fields to fill out), which enables new users to register in just a few seconds and get access to the free games we have up on GOG.com to start with.

The above is just a short selection – there’s a full list of what is new and redesigned at http://www.gog.com/en/overview/

Obsolete Gamer: Was there anything you were not able to add or wish to add in the near future?

There are still things we can add to the service and our dev team is actually working on now, so expect another big update in 2011, but I won’t spoil the surprise as to what you can expect 😉

Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us about your own gaming background?

I’m a gamer from the late 80’s. My first computer was Spectrum and I actually learned English on it 🙂 Then I had a Commodore 64 with a floppy disc so the games were loading lightning fast ;). After Commodore I had Amiga 600 to which I have a huge fondness – I fell in love in point and click adventures on that system. After Amiga I started to play on PC (486, then Pentium, then 3D accelerators, etc.) and that’s how my story goes. Right now I don’t have a gaming PC, so for new games I use my PS3, but I love to play some GOGs on my laptop and some Amiga classics on the Amiga 500 system we have in the office.

Obsolete Gamer: What is your favorite classic video game and why?

That’s a very hard question and I don’t think I’ll manage to give you a clear answer for that 🙂 As I told you, I’m a huge point and click games fan, so for my favorite games I would probably go with the likes of Sam & Max Hit the Road, Day of Tentacle, Indiana Jones series, Space Quest series, Larry series – mainly because the stories in those games are awesome and funny plus I love those puzzles. As for new games, I loved Red Dead Redemption, Uncharted and Assasin’s Creed, plus I like to play some Fifa and Buzz! with my friends.

GOG Holiday Sale: Half off almost every game.

gog holiday sale banner
gog holiday sale banner

So you are a little short on cash this year, but you are a classic gamer and you need your fix. Well Good Old Games has just launched their holiday sale that gives you 50% off pretty much every title they have. The offer is good from December 14th, 2010 until January 3rd, 2011.  In addition, GOG is also giving a free copy of Tyrian 2000 as a virtual stocking stuffer.

Check out just some of their awesome games:

gog sale list
gog sale list

And that is just a few of over 290 games they have on sale so head on over to GOG.com and tell em Obsolete Gamer sent ya.

Are game reviews valid?

Are game reviews valid? by Honorabili

You might read a game review and be enticed to go buy or play a game but is a review really valid? How long did the reviewer play the game? Does it take into account replayability and updates over the life of the game?

The Quality Triangle
The Quality Triangle

I’ve written a bunch of game reviews but I often find myself with the dilemma of when I sit down and think about how effective the review really is. One of the reasons I created Obsolete Gamer is so that I can honestly review games in a reasonable and realistic manner. It’s really really hard to play a game that hasn’t come out yet or has just come out and play it like a crackhead non-stop to try to simulate having played it over a series of days and weeks. The problem with even doing that is that the game will still be new to me within a week timeframe as opposed to the game having been around in my collection for months. One would be more excited about a new game rather than an old one, unless it’s a really old game that was your favorite and you haven’t played in a while and you just found it because you lost it for some reason.

Planet Side cover
Planet Side cover

This question might not just apply to games but to maybe some movies or things like electronics and cars as well. Most reviews that just get mass produced will say this thing is “the next best thing since sliced bread and you must have it!” but they don’t take into account that for instance a car might have a defect that you will only see after owning it for a year or a game will get ruined by the 5th patch because they changed something that fucked up game balance and it will make people flee playing a game like a sinking ship. This especially happens for MMOs which are changing all the time. PlanetSide comes to mind, which a ton of my friends used to play when it was really, really popular. Your best bet it to read a game review by somebody that has the same tastes as you or to read a review written recently about an old game (like what we write here often, ahem).

A problem I have sometimes running Obsolete Gamer is that some reviews I’ve written, in order to keep them valid, I have to go back and play a game and update the review. One game that does this a lot to me is Nation Red, which updates like at least once a month, with new content added ALL THE TIME! I keep track of this for Obsolete Gamer but many sites will just pump out an article and just file it forever in its archives, never ever updating it again. In my book that makes those reviews useless. If you haven’t already checked out our game reviews do so in this section of the website.

Civilization 5 Crash
Civilization 5 Crash

So what’s the point of reviews? I see many as pieces of writing intended to get the reader to buy or play a game. Many get used to hype up the expectations of the potential and existing fanbase to a game or product. Some are genuinely written to try to warn people to stay away from a particularly poorly made game that would just be a waste of time and money for the player. Sure, I’ve played some games that have gotten bad reviews and found them somewhat more pleasant than this horrible picture the media painted for me. For example, I gave Elemental War of Magic a fair chance and actually it was sad that I enjoyed it more than Civilization 5, a game I had pre-ordered for $50 and now hate with a passion. The media crucified Elemental War of Magic because of its many bugs and shortcomings and yes even Stardock admits screwing up and it resulting as a flop but the difference here is that Elemental War of Magic got patched to the point where it’s very much enjoyable now but it still has a bad reputation as opposed to Civilization 5, which is PRAISED to be the strategy game of the year, although in my and in the eyes of every true Civilization game fan, it’s the biggest pile of shit ever made with the Civilization name. The game is months old and still has most of the bugs and missing features I mentioned in my early review of the game. It’s disappointing especially when they are still selling this turd for so much money. If you want to see this rage, visit the Facebook Civilization Page to join in on the fight!

Psychonauts Box, groovy huh?
Psychonauts Box, groovy huh?

This kind of hypocrisy has been around for many years, and not just in the gaming industry. Whatever has the biggest budget will get hyped up and up and some stuff that does deserve attention will sink into obscurity. Let’s look at small games though because it’s easy for people to say that Call of Duty or Halo or World of Warcraft are the best games EVER but let’s look at small games to see where the industry nailed it and where it dropped the ball. The industry rightly praised Plants vs Zombies and Trine and rightly so but it dropped the ball when it came to a classic gem like Psychonauts. You might say “Yeah, Psychonauts got famous later as a cult classic” but seriously, the people who made it needed the money from the game when it came out, not 4-6 years later! Most people pirated Psychonauts or bought it on Steam for $2 when they had its sale or even from Good Old Games. Think about how many people might have been laid off because the game didn’t do well when it was fresh.

Games are sort of like cars in the economic sense: they degrade in value over time. The money they make for the developer the most is earned when they are new and fresh. When they are on sale because they flopped or they’re old is marginal. The money the developer gets from ebgames or some other place selling you a used copy is NOTHING. I’m not saying go out there and buy every game because I do believe some stuff should have never come out and is not even worth downloading a pirated copy (a topic for another article), but if you do LOVE a game, whether you played it a friends house, got a demo, or are playing a warez copy, do try to buy it to pay back the creators and people whose life was spent writing that game. The economy is a democracy in the sense that you vote with your wallet. If you like the games made by certain authors and programmers and studios, keep them in business. Don’t you want your friends to do well?

Odium, a game few have played with like no reviews
Odium, a game few have played with like no reviews

I’m getting sidetracked, so going back to reviews, if you can’t find a good review for a game or a review at all, do a little research instead. See if there are people who posted information on forums regarding the quality of a game. Some stuff might be too new and small for people to review or it might be just really really BAD. Sometimes that’s a way to tell but sometimes the game might just be a lost gem that you have found. Give games a chance and don’t always go with what the mass media wants you to play. I don’t know how busy your life is, but try to not let people make a decision for you. This also doesn’t apply to just games as well but life as a whole. Discover something you will like. Try out a new genre if you’re bored of gaming in general or go out and do something else to get a new perspective. This might keep you from burning out on something.

Who knows what may happen? You might just find a game that becomes a new favorite of yours and you might end up like us writing reviews on them yourselves and websites like this one or maybe this one as well. ;] Just make sure that you honestly share your opinion on a game… To yourself be true and to others as well, if you can. Save people the aggravation of buying a lemon!

Descent 2 Music

Descent 2 Music

If you love techno, heavy metal, and music like in the cartoon Batman Beyond then the soundtrack to Descent 2 is for you!

I remember when I first saw the first Descent while I was in high school I thought that it was light years ahead of Doom and other FPS games that were popular at the time like Duke Nukem 3D. Although they kind of faded into obscurity the Descent series always had a special place in my heart for causing epilepsy and nausea in its players.

Descent 2 box

Although the Interplay that brought us this game pretty much disappeared you can still get Descent 2 from Good Old Games at this link. If you ever played them, I seriously recommend Descend 2 if you want to play a game that’s a real challenge, especially at the higher difficulties.

Anyways, here is the Descent 2 music, ripped from my original game CD. The soundtrack is an excellent blend of techno and heavy metal. It’s particularly effective the louder you play it, even with some other games! Enjoy it!

GOG: Age of Wonders Half Off

gog good old games logo
gog good old games logo

If you are a fan of the Age of Wonders series you can now pick up three different games for half off. Starting at $2.99 to $4.999 you can own the original Age of Wonders, Age of Wonders 2: The wizard’s thrown and Age of wonders: shadow magic.

Age of Wonders 2 box
Age of Wonders 2 box

Head on over to Good Old Games for more information and tell em Obsolete Gamer sent ya.

GOG: Rebellion titles up to 50% off

gog good old games logo
gog good old games logo

Feel like collecting some classic games? Well this weekend you can save a bundle on Rebellion titles at Good Old Games. They have titles starting from $2.99 to $4.99 including: Ground Control, Empire Earth and Lords of Magic. The promotion is only for this weekend so if you are interested hit it up now.

promo rebel gog deal
promo rebel gog deal

Free Stuff: Teen Agent

Teen Agent
Teen Agent

Good Old Games is giving away the classic point-and-click adventure detective game Teen Agent.

Great game to play if you like adventure games which happen to be hiliarious. 😉

You can get the full game here at this link. Enjoy it!

GOG sale: Complete Tex Murphy Collection

Tex Murphy: Mean Streets
Tex Murphy: Mean Streets

GOG sale: Complete Tex Murphy Collection

Are you a fan of detective science fiction adventure games? You’ll be happy to know that the Tex Murphy series of games are on sale 50% off this weekend from Good Old Games!

Get the collection here from our friends at Good Old Games.

The games feel a lot like Blade Runner.

The collection includes Mean Streets, Martians Memorandum, Under A Killing Moon, The Pandora Directive, and Tex Murphy: Overseer.

I played the living hell out of Mean Streets on c64…

The later games included a lot more video:

Check them out, fans of adventure and detective gaming!

GOG sale: Gabriel Knight games

Gabriel Knight cover
Gabriel Knight cover

GOG sale: Gabriel Knight games

Good Old Games this weekend is offering the first three Gabriel Knight adventure games on sale at a massive discount.

You basically get Gabriel Knight: Sins of Our Father, Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within, and Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned.

You will enjoy the games if you like puzzles, mysteries, and the occult.

Click here to go to the sale.

GOG sale: Kalypso god-games

Constructor cover
Constructor cover

GOG sale: Kalypso god-games

This weekend, until Monday May 10 at noon, Good Old Games is offering all their Kalypso god-game simulators on sale.

Constructor involves you being a construction company that builds houses and rents them out to different kinds of people. You must meet their needy demands while maintaining the buildings, building more houses and properties, and keeping your enemies from building all your stuff to the ground. A very hard and fun strategy game!

The Good Old Games version includes the manual.

Click here just for Constructor.

Creatures: The Albian Years is a huge compilation of the game Creatures. Creatures involves the exploration of a world and the caring of different creatures that you manipulate.

The Good Old Games version includes Creatures, Creatures: Life Kit 1, Creatures: Life Kit 2, Creatures 2 and Creatures 2: Life Kit 1, Object Packs: C1 Christmas Pack 1, C1 Object Pack 1, C1 Object Pack 2, C1 Christmas Pack 2, C2 Object Pack 1 and C2 Object Pack 2.

Click here to go to the sale just for Creatures: The Albian Years.

Creatures: Village adds on to Creatures, adding new environments.

The Good Old Games version includes the manual and is a compilation of Creatures Adventures and Creatures Playground.

Click here to go to the sale for Creatures: Village.

Creatures: Exodus is Creatures 3 mixed with the Docking Station expansion. It’s like the previous Creatures games but with a science fiction twist to it.

The Good Old Games version includes the Creatures 3 walkthrough, manuals (66 pages), and reference cards.

The link to the sale for Creatures: Exodus is this one.

Mob Rule is supposed to the the sequel to Constructor but it’s also much, much harder. (As if Constructor wasn’t hard enough as it is.) If you need more of a challenge, check it out. (It will hurt!)

The Good Old Games version includes the manual and the in-game soundtrack.

Click here for the sale of Mob Rule only.

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If you want to see the overall sale of these games and the savings tabulated, click here!

I enjoy that they sell these games cheaper on the weekends when most working people have time to play. 😀

Free Stuff – Lure of the Temptress

Lure of the Temptress
Lure of the Temptress

Free Stuff – Lure of the Temptress

If you love old point-and-click graphic adventure games then you will enjoy playing Lure of the Temptress for free from Good Old Games.

This game was like previous graphic adventure games except that the NPC characters would go about doing their own thing, even if you didn’t interact with them. That’s a very cool factor in a game, and even many games these days don’t have that.

You get the full game and the manual from this version.

Click here to download the full free game from Good Old Games.

GOG Sale – Interplay Action-comedy Games

MDK1 Cover
MDK1 Cover

GOG Sale – Interplay Action-comedy Games

This weekend only, you can pick up MDK 1, MDK 2, and Giants: Citizen Kabuto for $4.19 each from Good Old Games. These are the finest action-comedy games made by the old Interplay (back when it was good and run by Brian Fargo!).

MDK 1 is a 3rd person shooter that is a ton of fun! You take the role of a janitor that works in a space station and this crazy scientist commissions you to get into this badass powerarmor, morphing suit and go down to the surface of the planet and blow up a bunch of asshole aliens. The game involves a shitload of bullets being fired, jumping, sniping, and gliding with your morphing suit. It is simply BADASS! On top of that, the game is hilarious.

This game came out in 1997 both on PC and Playstation 1. It was the first game I remember seeing from Shiny. The Good Old Games version of the game comes with the manual, hi-res wallpaper, the original soundtrack, and avatar.

MDK 2 is the sequel to the awesome MDK 1. It’s longer, looks much better, but it’s a lot like the previous game. Difference here is that you don’t just play as the janitor but also as the professor and as his doggie, which has 4 arms and can fire 4 guns (pistols, uzis, etc) at the same time. More boom boom! MDK 2 is also much, much harder!

The Good Old Games version of MDK 2 comes with the manual, hi-res wallpapers, the soundtrack, artworks from the game, the storyboard artwork, and avatar.

Giants: Citizen Kabuto is the last kind of game of these action-comedies that Interplay put out. There are three different factions to play in this game: space rangers which crash landed their ship in these world while drunk flying, a super-hot heiress to an evil sea kingdom that cuts everything apart with scimitars, and the Kabuto (a giant Godzilla-like monster that goes around terrorizing the citizens of these worlds). There is just so much variation of gameplay in this game that it is such a classic, since it is basically like 3 games in one, each of those being a great game itself. The humor in the game makes fun of other kind of similar games as well and some of it is pretty braindead in a good way.

Conclusion:

You will like these games if you like action games. You will like these games if you are a fan of games like Ratchet and Clank. If you like off the wall humor in games and want to blow shit up, you will also like these games. You will like these games if you like Psychonauts. You will also like these games if you like the game Armed and Dangerous.

Click here to go to the sale!

I only recommend sales for games that are worth owning and that are actually worthwhile. 😀

GOG Sale – Master of Magic

Master of Magic cover
Master of Magic cover

GOG Sale – Master of Magic

The grand daddy of Magic meets Civilization games (literally) is finally available on Good Old Games for $5.99. This game had many improvements over the original Civilization 1, that we now see in modern games, and the later sequels of Civilization.

You could make cities, just like in Civilization but you could do things like boost production or change the terrain using spells. Your armies level up (to a degree), as well as you getting hero units which can dramatically change the way your armies behave (sort of like Heroes of Might and Magic except that these heroes fight). You could boost army performance as well by enchanting their weapons, stats, etc. You could boost heroes as well by giving them magic items.

You research spells, manage your economy, explore areas that have monsters or the armies and cities of other wizard’s empires, etc. You cast spells in combat or in general to manipulate the world. The game is AMAZING and one of my favorite strategy games of all time. Basically, any of the early games published by Microprose were! (Civilization 1 & 2, XCOM 1 & 2, Master of Orion 1 & 2)

Click here to go to the sale!

gog.com sale: Special RPG Promo, 50% off

Spellforce
Spellforce

gog.com sale: Special RPG Promo, 50% off

This weekend Good Old Games has 4 RPGs on sale at 50% off: Sacred Gold edition, Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator, Spellforce Platinum edition, and Stonekeep.

Sacred is similar to Diablo and Morrowind. The Good Old Games version includes the manual (21 pages), hi-res wallpapers (6), quick-start guide, original soundtrack, Underworld soundtrack, a map of Ancaria, and avatars, as well as the expansion Sacred Underworld.

Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator an underdog of japanese sci-fi RPGs. The Good Old Games version includes the manual (36 pages), hi-res wallpapers, artworks, maps, and avatars.

Spellforce Platinum edition is both an RPG and RTS. Made by the creators of BattleForge. The Good Old Games version includes the manual (49 pages), hi-res wallpapers, hi-res wallpaper (second pack), characters making of animation, artworks, game editor, and avatars. The bundle includes the original SpellForce: The Order of Dawn as well as the expansions SpellForce: The Breath of Winter and SpellForce: Shadow of the Phoenix.

Stonekeep is a first person RPG with more doom-like 3D but it’s the same kind of game as the Eye of the Beholder games. This version includes the manual.

Click here to go to the sale!

gog.com sale: 2010 Spring Promo, huge sale!

Beyond Good & Evil
Beyond Good & Evil

gog.com sale: 2010 Spring Promo, huge sale

To celebrate the coming of Spring, Good Old Games is having a huge sale on all their top selling games. Let’s see what they are offering this weekend!

1. BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL™ (30% OFF) $6.99
2. DISCIPLES 2: GOLD EDITION (50% OFF) $4.99
3. DIVINE DIVINITY (50% OFF) $2.99
4. EVIL GENIUS (50% OFF) $4.99
5. FALLOUT (50% OFF) $2.99
6. GOTHIC 2: GOLD EDITION (50% OFF) $4.99
7. HEROES OF MIGHT AND MAGIC® 3 (30% OFF) $6.99
8. MYST: MASTERPIECE EDITION (50% OFF) $2.99
9. RED BARON PACK (50% OFF) $4.99
10. SIMON THE SORCERER (50% OFF) $2.99

About each game:

1. BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL™ (30% OFF) $6.99

Praised by almost all adventure gamers as one of the top adventure games of all time, Beyond Good And Evil actually lives up to its hype.

The Good Old Games version includes the manual (16 pages), hi-res wallpapers, the soundtrack, and artworks.

2. DISCIPLES 2: GOLD EDITION (50% OFF) $4.99

You will like this game if you like games like Heroes of Might and Magic and Age of Wonders. It’s that same kind of strategy fantasy game.

This versions includes all of Disciples II including Dark Prophecy, as well as new scenarios, and all the three expansion packs: Guardians of the Light, Servants of the Dark, and Rise of the Elves. The Good Old Games version includes the manuals (3), hi-res wallpapers, in-game soundtrack, artworks, and avatars.

3. DIVINE DIVINITY (50% OFF) $2.99

We’ve promoted this game before and it’s a highly praised diablo-clone action RPG but with its own special style.

The Good Old Games version includes the manual (37 pages), wallpapers, prequel story to Divine Divinity (31 pages), in-game soundtrack, artworks, and avatars.

4. EVIL GENIUS (50% OFF) $4.99

Ever want to be Dr. Evil from Austin Powers? Here is the perfect Sim-strategy game for that!

The Good Old Games version includes manual (31 pages), hi-res wallpapers, in-game soundtrack, artworks, World Domination Starter Kit, avatars, as well as the English, French, German and Spanish language versions.

5. FALLOUT (50% OFF) $2.99

Fallout 1 is a game that changed the ways computer RPGs were from that point on. This to me is a game that created a golden age for that genre.

The Good Old Games includes the manual (124 pages), hi-res wallpaper, Fallout series wallpaper, Fallout Bible (205 pages), reference card, in-game soundtrack, original soundtrack, artworks, avatars, and PipBoy avatars. So you get a LOT of Fallout for just $3.

6. GOTHIC 2: GOLD EDITION (50% OFF) $4.99

The Gothic series pack a lot of interesting RPG aspects as well as replayability. For some reason these games have become their own classic series from one of our favorite studios, Jowood.

The Good Old Games version includes manuals (78 pages), hi-res wallpapers, soundtrack, and avatars. Gothic 2: Gold Edition includes Gothic II and the expansion pack Gothic II: Night of the Raven.

7. HEROES OF MIGHT AND MAGIC® 3 (30% OFF) $6.99

Apart from Panzer General, the Heroes of Might and Magic games are awesome turn-based strategy war games. Level up your heroes (generals) which modify the performance of their armies.

The Good Old Games version includes manuals (209 pages), soundtrack, and creature tables. You get the original game as well as the two expansions, Armageddon’s Blade and The Shadow of Death.

8. MYST: MASTERPIECE EDITION (50% OFF) $2.99

If you like adventure games and you haven’t played Myst then I don’t know what to tell you…

The Good Old Games version includes the manual (17 pages).

9. RED BARON PACK (50% OFF) $4.99

People might think World War I is cheesy but flight combat was extreme back in that war. It was a test of pure skill. No bullshit computer to calculate a lock-on from a missile back then. Just the machine, your machine gun (if it worked) and your enemies.

Red Baron is probably one of the top flight combat sims of all time. If you love WWI stuff or flight combat, you need this game.

The Good Old Games version includes manuals (306 pages), maps, and reference cards. In this version you get Red Baron 1, the Red Baron: Mission Builder, and Red Baron 3D (a heavily patched version of Red Baron 2).

10. SIMON THE SORCERER (50% OFF) $2.99

A must for fans of the old Sierra and LucasArts adventure games, although this one was made by Adventure Soft.

The Good Old Games version includes the manual (7 pages), Simon the Sorcerer series wallpaper, as well as being able to pick between playing the subtitled and talking version of the game.

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Click here to go to Good Old Games and see the sale!

gog.com sale: Kalypso’s strategy collection 50% off

Commandos 2+3
Commandos 2+3

gog.com sale: Kalypso’s strategy collection 50% off

All the Kalypso strategy games sold at Good Old Games are now on sale, 50% off.

The games on sale includes all the three Commandos titles, Imperial Glory, Patrician 1 and 2, Port Royale, Praetorians and Tropico: Reloaded.

The Commando games are great stealth murder games where your team are usually on a mission to blow up a German objective in World War 2 and usually there is a pile of bodies involved on the way to complete that objective. The Good Old Games version comes with the manuals, wallpapers, the Commandos 2 soundtrack, artwork from the games, and avatars for the series.

Imperial Glory is similar to Empire: Total War except that it came out first! The Good Old Games version comes with the manual (36 pages), hi-res wallpapers, the in-game soundtrack, and avatars.

The Patrician games are classic games about being a noble and working your way as a trader. The Good Old Games version comes with the Patrician II manual and wallpaper.

Port Royale is like Sid Meier’s Pirates but with more trading. The Good Old Games version comes with the manual (34 pages) and game map.

Praetorians, I have yet to play but I heard it is a mix between the Total War games and Dawn of War games. The Good Old Games version comes with the manual (38 pages), hi-res wallpaper, the soundtrack, artworks, and avatars for the game.

Tropico: Reloaded is a pack that includes the original Tropico, the expansion Tropico Paradise Island, and the sequel set in pirate times Tropico 2 – Pirate Cove. The Tropico games are essentially games like Sim City except you’re Castro or another of your favorite Latin dictators. The games are filled with humor and are fun as hell. The Good Old Games version comes with the manuals (127 pages) and soundtrack. The soundtrack for all the Tropico games are always very funny Latin songs.

Click here to go to the sale.

gog.com sale: Gobliiins Pack now available

Gobliiins Pack
Gobliiins Pack

gog.com sale: Gobliiins Pack now available

All the first 3 Gobliiins games (Gobliiins, Gobliins 2: Prince Buffoon and Goblins Quest 3) are now bundled together for a total of $5.99 by our friends at Good Old Games. The bundle includes the games, their manuals, soundtracks, and hint books.

The games are comical point-and-click adventure games. Click here to go to the sale.

gog.com sale: The Longest Journey & Sanitarium 50% off

Sanitarium cover
Sanitarium cover

gog.com sale: The Longest Journey & Sanitarium 50% off

Two of the most amazing adventure games from the late 90s on sale by our friends at Good Old Games! You can get either one for about $5 each or slightly under $10 total.

Sanitarium is probably my favorite creepy adventure game. You play as a man with a bandaged head that keep slipping further into insanity and hallucinating being in weird places and being weird beings. The voice acting is phenomenal for the game and it’s an unforgettable experience.

The Longest Journey deals with being a Shifter, someone who can travel to different dimensions. In the game the protagonist has to deal with a growing problem in between a world that’s all about magic and another one that’s all about science and technology.

Click here for the gog.com sale, if these games sound interesting to you.

Another World

Another World (Out of this World)
Another World (Out of this World)

Another World review (Out of This World) by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“Masterful action-adventure storytelling that set the way for games like Abe’s Odyssey and others.”

Overall Score:
10 out of 10

Overview:

Another World (Out of This World in the US) is a CLASSIC video game that is a perfect blend of adventure and action. The game is a platformer and plays similar to the original Prince of Persia, except with guns and the later Abe’s Oddysee.

The story goes something along the lines that you were working at a science lab with a particle accelerator during a really bad thunderstorm and lightning hit when you were conducting an experiment and that made a dimensional shift happen that took you into… Another World! As soon as you get there, you are being surrounded by these crawling little creatures that if you allow them to get near you will paw at you with a little venom tooth and it’s pretty much game over. I won’t ruin any more little surprises. This game simply has to be played.

The game needs no dialogue as the ways the characters react was simply amazingly done. The gameplay is fast and fluid. The game has cut-scenes that are really quick and whose animations are really well done for 1991. They’re not like cut-scenes in today’s games for which you might as well just eat popcorn or something else while watching. Another World plays very fast.

The game is available on 3DO, Amiga, Apple IIGS, Atari ST, DOS, GBA, Mac OS, Mega-CD, Mega Drive, Mobile phone (Symbian OS), SNES, Windows, Windows Mobile.

The game is from 1991, made by Eric Chahi, with music by Jean-François Freitas.

Here is the intro to the game:

Fun Factor:

Games where everything kills you are a lot of fun for me. There’s parts in this game where you are running for your life and shooting like a real gun fight. It feels more like combat from a movie like Ronin rather than something like Rambo.

The first time one plays this game, the game will most likely blow you away. The fun of exploring a hostile environment plus being a fugitive makes for a great adrenaline rush, as well as having to THINK. Fun Factor gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility:

Although I’ve played this game many, many times, it’s relatively easy to die. Pretty much everything will kill you in one attack, so you need to be careful at all times. Since the death system is realistic and it will depend on your knowledge of knowing how to react as well as your reflexes, the difficulty is perfect and real. Difficulty gets a score of 10 out of 10, since it’s realistic. I’d say this game is “NES hard”.

Since you can’t change the difficulty, Difficulty Versatility gets a score of 7 out of 10. To make the game easier would take away some of the excitement one gets playing the game. (This isn’t a modern noob-friendly game, so deal with it!)

Value:

You can pick up Another World at gog.com for $9.99. Their version gives you the game DRM-free, its manual, a bunch of hi-res wallpapers from it, its development diary, a technical handbook, as well as the soundtrack for the game. Considering how much of a classic this game is to me, $10 is a good value (the cost of going out to dinner) for a classic game that one will never forget. Value gets a score of 8 out of 10.

Replayability:

I’ve replayed this game about 30 times so far, although I know exactly what’s going to happen in every scene. I enjoy having the factor that I might not respond fast enough and still die. That makes the action more realistic offering a challenge not found in most of today’s games. Replayability gets a score of 8 out of 10.

Sound:

The sound is particularly important for this game. It makes up a lot of what make it great and what keep you feeling inmersed in the atmosphere of this game. My favorite sounds are the blasts from the energy gun and the cackle of the lightning and particle accelerator in the intro, as well as hearing enemies die. Sound gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Music:

Music is absent from most of the game except during the intro and ending. Although we are used to having most games playing music most of the time, in real life we don’t go around hearing a theme song in the background all the time, which makes the game have a suspenseful atmosphere. The intro music is tenseful. The ending theme nice and very soothing. Overall the music in this game gets a score of 7 out of 10.

Graphics:

For its time, the graphics and animations of Another World were simply amazing. I remember when I first played this game it had made me justify having upgraded to the Amiga for my gaming platform from my c64. Considering how well this game has always ran, how fluid everything looks, and how real the characters act, Graphics get and deserve a 10 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

This game almost never crashes, except maybe my Amiga version (mainly because my machine had overheating problems, my old Amiga 600). I give Stability/Reliability a score of 10 out of 10 for the gog.com version. I give the Amiga version a score of 8 out of 10 because of the rare crashes.

Controls:

The controls for this game are self-explanatory. The only thing that might get some getting used to, the first time you play, is how responsive the character is to running and shooting. One quickly learns to control the character perfectly. Controls get a 10 out of 10.

Performance:

This game has always run flawlessly and fast on all platforms. Performance gets a score of 10 out of 10.

My history with this game:

This is one of the games I’m most fond of from my Amiga gaming days. The story, atmosphere, and cinematics are unforgettable.

Longplay of the game:

The following video shows you somebody playing the game all the way through. It’s not a super long game but it’s still a classic game that holds a special place in my heart. This is the Amiga Longplay playthrough by cubex55 for Another World.

Leave your comments and feedback below, on our forums, or our social networking websites!

gog.com sale: Real Myst & Uru 25% off

Real Myst
Real Myst

gog.com sale: Real Myst & Uru 25% off

Myst redefined the adventure game genre and slowly after that it sort of died. If you’ve never played it, you’re missing out on a major part of gaming history. Uru was the sequel that followed it.

Click here to go to the sale for these games.

The Death of PC Gaming: Not just yet!

Game Over tombstone
Game Over tombstone

Now if you’ve read any of the other articles in the series you would have seen me write about how many software companies rather not create titles for PC anymore choosing instead to go with consoles. Even though this is still the case for many developers the last few months have been pretty good for PC titles.

Below are the PC Digital Download charts for the week ending Feb 27th as well as overall top PC game sales for direct download sites and though some of the games listed there are also multiplatform titles there are a lot of big names there and exclusive PC titles.

Steam

    1. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 LE (Pre-Order) – DICE
    2. *Supreme Commander 2 – Gas Powered Games
    3. *Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Infinity Ward
    4. *Napoleon: Total War Imperial Edition – Creative Assembly
    5. *Aliens vs. Predator – Rebellion
    6. *Napoleon: Total War – Creative Assembly
    7. Assassin’s Creed 2 (Pre-Order) – Ubisoft Montreal
    8. SpellForce 2: Gold Edition – Phenomic
    9. Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising (Pre-Order) – Relic
    10. BioShock 2 – 2K Marin, Digital Extremes
    11. *Left 4 Dead 2 – Valve
    12. Mass Effect 2 – BioWare

Direct2Drive

    1. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 LE (Pre-Order) – EA DICE
    2. Star Trek Online Digital Deluxe Edition – Cryptic
    3. BioShock 1 + 2 Bundle – 2K Games
    4. Star Trek Online – Cryptic
    5. Dragon Age: Origins + Awakening Pre-Order Bundle – BioWare
    6. Civilization 4 Complete – Firaxis
    7. Aion – NCSoft
    8. Mass Effect 2 Digital Deluxe Edition – BioWare
    9. BioShock 2 – 2K Marin, Digital Extremes
    10. Mass Effect 2 – BioWare

Impulse

    1. *Sins of a Solar Empire Trinity Pack – Ironclad
    2. *Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy – Ironclad
    3. *Sins of a Solar Empire Expansion Bundle – Ironclad
    4. Dawn of Discovery Gold – Blue Byte
    5. Mount & Blade – Taleworlds
    6. *GalCiv II: Ultimate Edition – Stardock
    7. *Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment – Ironclad
    8. Ecochron Legends – StarWrath3D
    9. Eufloria – Omni-Labs
    10. Supreme Commander Gold – Gas Powered Games

GOG

    1. Psychonauts
    2. Advent Rising
    3. Bloodrayne 2
    4. Bloodrayne
    5. Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within
    6. Arcanum
    7. Phantasmagoria 2
    8. Call to Power 2
    9. King’s Quest 4-5-6
    10. Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

Now add to this the fact that the rising popularity of direct gaming download sites are promoting older games and the upcoming releases of PC mega hits like Civilization V and we could be seeing the beginning of a resurgence.

Free Stuff – Beneath A Steel Sky

Beneath A Steel Sky box
Beneath A Steel Sky box

Free Stuff – Beneath A Steel Sky

Our friends at Good Old Games are offering the full Windows XP & Vista converted version of Beneath A Steel Sky for FREE.

I first head of Beneath A Steel Sky when I mainly used to play games on my Amiga. I unfortunately was not able to play it at the time because I only had the version for the Amiga 1200 available to me and my simple Amiga 600 could not handle it.

The game is a cyberpunk/dystopia futuristic adventure game where the protagonist is trying to pursue the truth in that kind of a sinister setting.

Dave Gibbons, which worked on the Watchmen and Rogue Trooper comics, created much of the art and the setting for this game.

You can download the full game here from gog.com

gog.com Sale – Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity for $8 total

Divine Divinity
Divine Divinity

gog.com Sale – Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity for $8 total

You can get both Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity for $8 total from gog.com this weekend only.

I’ve played Beyond Divinity the most of these. They are action RPGs similar to Ultima 8, Sacred, and even Diablo.

Click here to go to the sale.

Master of Orion

Master of Orion box cover
Master of Orion box cover

Master of Orion 1 (MS-DOS) Review by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:

“The original explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate space mega empire game.”

Overall Score:

10 out of 10

Overview:

This is the grand daddy, 5000 lb gorilla of space empire games. From the now dead Microprose, this is one of those games, among XCOM and Master of Magic and Civilization that made that company a gaming legend.

You take the role of the immortal emperor of one of many emerging races that just discovered the ability to travel to other star systems and begin the competition for colonization, later leading to war, and galaxywide politics as to who will win the war for supremacy or the votes of all nations as the race to unify the galaxy as the leader of a mega empire (ending the game).

The game consists of you taking turns (non-simultaneous) with your rivals, managing your planets’ development, research directions (allows multiple research projects at a time vs 1 in later space empire games, which I think that’s unrealistic), your spy projects (they can sabotage, steal tech, be sleepers), your diplomacy (make alliances, actually never do almost, and trade tech, start trade deals, threaten and demand tribute, end and start wars), and conquer conquer conquer. You can orbitally bombard planets to dust basically or be smart about your killing (because later the weapons can literally scorch all populations out of existence, even one ship) and enslave, I mean welcome the conquered population to your empire.

There are different races that each has an advantage, whether a bonus in diplomacy or faster production or research or better combat skills (space or ground combat, which is good for taking over planets) or spying or their people breed like rabbits or some don’t require any terraforming whatsoever (which is a major part of the game, being able to actually claim and live on planets aka breathing is a major technology).

The game is won be either eliminating all rivals or becoming the new emperor of a unified star empire.

This is the game that inspired most future space empire games such as Space Empires, Galactic Civilizations, Sword of the Stars, Sins of a Solar Empire, etc.

Fun Factor:

This game is like crack. If you love micromanagement and having to defend 6 fronts at a time, this is the turn based strategy game for you. Since the game is turn based, you can take your time planning where to attack next or who to try to start a war with (or make them fight each other by making your spies start a fake terrorist attack vs each other). The game makes you feel as though you are using your brain and even to this day, over 15 years of me playing it, I’m always finding out new little secret strategies to deploy. If you’re a war gamer, you will agree that this game has a Fun Factor of 9 out of 10. It’s a game for thinkers.

Difficulty Versatility:

The game has like 5 difficulty settings and it becomes really brutal the higher you go. You can scale the size of the galaxy so that you can play a long or REALLY long game. This sometimes has a harsher effect on how hard it is. Imagine having to fight a fleet of 20 war planets producing full time vs one of 4 planets. It requires you to have the logistical foresight to be able to take on such an onslaught. I give the Difficulty Versality a score of 10 out of 10.

Value:

Well, Microprose is dead and basically so this game is now free. You can get it from sites such as http://www.abandonia.com/ or http://www.homeoftheunderdogs.net/ and run it on DOSBox for free. You can also opt to buy Master of Orion 1 + 2 together for $5.99 from Good Old Games. Since this game is amazing and it’s free or very cheap, the score for Value is maxed out at 10 out of 10.

Replayability:

I’ve been playing it at least 2-3 times a year since the mid 90s. It’s one of those games that is on a permanent list to play each year. Like Civilization, once I start playing this game it’s hard for me to do anything but that for a good 2-4 weeks, each time. Replayability gets a 10 out of 10.

Sound:

I usually have the sound off, but the sounds are okay for an early 90s DOS strategy game. I give the Sound a score of 6 out of 10.

Music:

The music is alright but I usually shut it off and play some classical or epic music in the background. Keeps the game play strong and my concentration on maxing out planets and blowing up enemy fleets. The Music that comes with the game gets a 6 out of 10.

Graphics:

Of course, the graphics are now way dated, but for it’s time they were pretty great for a war game. The weapon beam effects look great for DOS and even the homing missiles look threatening although it’s just a grey arrow almost. Considering the style behind the Microprose games of this time and that it’s a war game, Graphics get a 9 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

The game never, ever crashes, itself. Sometimes DOSBox has some issues when you ALT-TAB but that’s a problem with DOSBox, not the game itself. I give Stability/Reliability a score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

The controls are simply point and click with a few hotkeys integrated. The hotkeys however are not necessarily shown in game and you’d have to read the manual or look them up online. Some are essential like B for scrapping your missile bases in case they are too obsolete or your war front has moved up from that location and you’re wasting resources maintaining them. I give controls a 7 out of 10 because although some are hidden, they do what they’re meant to do properly and keep the game playable.

Performance:

This game will run godlike on any computer, maybe even a mobile phone. Performance instantly gets a 10 out of 10.

My history with this game:

This is actually one of the first PC games I’ve ever bought and it was well worth it as it has given me literally over 1000 hours of gameplay. I played it first on a 486 so you have an idea how much of a place in my gaming history this game has. Because of it’s turn based nature I’ve even played this game while working and that’s very doable so long as you have good multitasking skills and a good memory as to your strategems. I hope you will all start playing this classic even as a new gamer, you will learn new ways to think and that’s always, always rewarding in itself.

Master of Orion manual
Master of Orion manual