Well, I'm going to buy a couple of games this week. Everyone's telling us to spend spend spend to help the economy and I need a night or two away from MSNBC or I'll go crazy. Think I'll pick up Rails Across America and Red Faction on the way home tonight.
By Raife on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 02:46 pm:
I've been playing a lot of Arcanum lately, it's nice to immerse yourself in another world for awhile. Get your mind off of things like war and terror.
By Dave Long on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 03:53 pm:
Rails is out?! Gotta check that out...
By Robert Mayer on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 04:06 pm:
I'm going to buy living room furniture. Too bad you have to wait four to six friggin' weeks to actually get it....
By Willow on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 04:13 pm:
"I'm going to buy living room furniture. Too bad you have to wait four to six friggin' weeks to actually get it...."
And it's not really as fun, is it.
By Robert Mayer on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 04:28 pm:
I dunno. It's necessary if you want to sit on something when playing your video game consoles, or watching a movie. And it beats the hell out of a milk carton for lounging about.
By Frank Greene (Reeko) on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 05:05 pm:
If you have $25 burning a hole in your pocket, I recommend you go over to Spiderweb Games and register a copy of Avernum2. I played through the demo and it is a well-done RPG if you are into the old gold-box games.
By kazz on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 10:39 pm:
The Diablo 2 expansion has been my balm the past week. Hey-I finally killed Mephisto! Woo! I may be the only person in the 'ooniverse with worse reflexes than Jeff Greene (grin).
By David E. Hunt (Davidcpa) on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 11:15 pm:
The gaming gods were good to me yesterday. I came home and looked through the mail and found three letters from the Electronics Boutique rebate center. I bought D2:LOD at EB and sent off for the $10 rebate the day it came out. Lo and behold, they completely screwed something up and sent me three $10 gift certificates. The address on the letters were all slightly different - one with no middle initial in my name, another exactly correct and the last one with no space between my house number and street name. Go figure.
Being the honest chap that I am, I called the rebate center manager and pointed out the problem. He said they were checking into how the error happened, but to keep all 3 gift certificates. He also asked about which game I bought to get the gift certificate. When I said D2:LOD, we talked for a couple of minutes about how we liked the game. He also mentioned that the have a room at the center where they can play games. We only have a coffee machine and water cooler in my break room:-(
Hmmmm...what to do with $30 at Electronics Boutique? Any suggestions.
By Brad Grenz on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 11:56 pm:
Look in the Bargin/used bins for anything a little older that you always heard was good but never got around to buying. That way your free money'll go farther!
By Brian Rucker on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 01:04 am:
After ragging on the alt.war-historical grognards for probably working on Afghanistan TOAW scenarios already (which I've heard they actually aren't) I've felt myself compelled to play Enemy Engaged: Commanche vs. Hokum (Lebanon vs. Syria and Saudi Arabia vs. Yemen) and a Dreamcast version of Spec Ops II called Omega Squad which has missions set in Pakistan involving the elimination of nuclear weapons and scud missiles.
I have to admit this is probably in bad taste verging on the stupid but it does get my mind off things while also burning a bit of aggression harmlessly. It's hard being reasonable all the time.
The psychogaming should end soon. Just got Sega Bass Fishing 2 and I finally got around to ordering Darklands from UltimateDarklands. It comes with a hardcopy strategy guide, a .pdf manual and all the patches preinstalled. I got a hardcopy manual from someone online who thoughtfully decided to find it a new home.
Buy games. Help the economy. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
By Tom Ohle on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 01:15 am:
I've been trying to get into Arcanum, but I just can't. I just can't really play an RPG with guns. Fallout, although brilliant, made me feel the same way. I've never been able to finish Fallout 1 or 2. I've been playing Donkey Kong Country 2 on SNES more than anything lately.
By Jason McCullough on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 01:35 am:
'I've never been able to finish Fallout 1 or 2.'
Whoa. I can see Arcanum, as it's really a mediocre game(my final assessment), but Fallout 1? To me, that's like stating you just "can't get into" *insert best literature EVAR here*.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 01:45 am:
Well, really, I feel the same about Fallout. It's just not my flavor of choice for an RPG. That's not any kind of comment on the quality of the game; I'm just not into that era. The gameplay may very well be spectacular, but the setting is lost on me.
Arcanum seems like something I could stomach more easily, though, because it retains the fantasy element. It's one I'll certaily pick up one of these days.
By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 04:05 am:
ah Darklands. I just recently reinstalled it! great great game. I remember reading that this was the game that influenced XCom.
pretty cool eh?
By Lee Johnson (Lee_johnson) on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 11:31 am:
Heh, and here I've finally just finished the first Baldur's Gate, after more than two-and-a-half years... I have Fallout and Fallout 2 languishing on my shelf, unfinished--and for the most part, unstarted. ;-) I think FO2 is still in the shrink wrap, egad.
Of course, when it looked like I was actually going to finish an RPG, I grew alarmed and picked up the Throne of Bhaal expansion for BG2, just to keep the backlog stack at a consistent height. :-P
By Bub (Bub) on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 11:54 am:
I've been playing Alpha Centauri actually. Obsessively. Maybe it's in poor taste but dominating a world and it's petty inhabitants has let me feel, I dunno, in control of something? Also the obsessive/constantly busy nature of Sid and Brian's games feels good right now.
I've been playing that Q23 PBEM SMAC game as well. Y'know, the one where Chick and I are apparently having a "grudge match" so severe he has to bring the battle to public forums? Yeah, that one.
I don't have Sim City 3000. I've been thinking of getting it. I think I'd turn disasters off at first....
I also got something in the mail the other day. It's called Operation: Flashpoint. I was wondering if anyone here has, y'know, heard of it.
By Jason McCullough on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 01:54 pm:
'Arcanum seems like something I could stomach more easily'
Ah ha! Yeah, well, Fallout's pretty nihilistic. Now that I think about it, the game's up there with Ultima 8 on that scale.
By gregbemis on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 02:05 pm:
"I've been playing Donkey Kong Country 2 on SNES more than anything lately."
That's odd. A few days after the attack, I started up Donkey Kong 64. I guess I needed something light with great gameplay. Maybe I'll beat it this time.
By Rob on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 07:43 pm:
So who's winning the Q23 SMAC PBEM? Lets have a status report. I want things to get heated, and then watch Chick chase Bub out of this thread like his tails on fire.
I've been thinking about playing SMAC ever since the last mag superhyped Civ III. Boy, that article made me drool.
By TomChick on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 08:52 pm:
"So who's winning the Q23 SMAC PBEM? Lets have a status report. I want things to get heated, and then watch Chick chase Bub out of this thread like his tails on fire."
We were thinking of doing an ongoing update page, but it kind of went by the wayside. We're only 30 years, but Dean O'Donnell's Cyborgs have the tech lead, Bruce Geryk's Spartans have the military lead, and Dave Long's Morganites have the economic lead. I'm royally screwed, having lost one of my two starting cities to a fucking mindworm. Luckily, I think I'm surrounded by neighbors with honorable intentions.
Bruce Geryk and I have been wanting to do a "live" PBEM game with regular reports since way back when Rising Sun came out, but for various reasons, it hasn't worked out.
By Bub (Bub) on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 10:35 pm:
Maybe we should do that with Civilization III next month Tom. Also, I've noticed that the "leads" are changing with almost every turn. It seems like the opening 15 turns had you as leader in almost everything.
Glad to hear you're doing poorly though.
By Bub (Bub) on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 10:38 pm:
Another good game for your "live report" concept would be PBEM Combat Mission. Robert Mayer and I played one recently that was very exciting and thus far he's been too cowardly to come back for a rematch.
*koff* he won *koff*
CM would be good though, 15 turn scenarios are the norm and people wouldn't burn out reporting as quickly.
By Mark Asher on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 12:36 am:
That was my fault about the updates. I could start putting them up. I'm not sure I got updates from everyone, though. Did everyone send me SMAC updates? Tom, email me and tell me who's playing that game.
By Bub (Bub) on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 12:43 am:
I don't think it was your fault Mark. I've done only one thus far, we're supposed to do one every ten turns so we should each have three or so. But with various problems, ranging from personal tragedy to business travel to last week, I'd expect we've all failed to keep up in some way. If everyone is still committed I'll promise to keep up in the future.
If I can step in and answer Mark's question though:
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 02:38 am:
If you've got a Game Boy Advance, you GOTTA pick up Advance Wars.
If you can find it. It's selling out all over, and Nintendo's in shock - they're trying to catch up with supply.
By Robert Mayer on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 09:03 am:
Ack, sorry Andrew. I've been sadly remiss in my PBEM stuff. I do want to play again. I'll try this weekend to send you a turn for a new game.
By Dave Long on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:56 am:
I hadn't sent in a report yet on the SMAC game mainly because so far it's been pretty dull (not the friendly company or my playing the game, but the events). I think everyone will be much more interested in what's going on in another 10 years than this formative stage we're currently in. Give us about a week and I'm guessing we'll all have something interesting to say.
By Dave Long on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 12:19 pm:
OH...back to the topic of this thread... I picked up Rails Across America last night. Looking forward to trying it this evening. I'm knee-deep in Nimda Virus destruction today at work so it'll be a nice change of pace to run some choo choos around.
By Chris on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 01:18 pm:
I wanted to do my little bit for the economy so I picked up the Dreamcast Sports bundle. I have been lighting up the NFL with the Cowboys ever since. NFL2K1 is a lot of fun and its interface is easy to pick up. I'll probably search around for a few older Dreamcast titles before they are all gone as well as get NHL2K2.
By Lee Johnson (Lee_johnson) on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 02:12 pm:
Mark: I admit I've been remiss in my status reports (none filed so far!) but I can summarise the first 35 years from the Peacekeepers' point of view, if we're actually going to start posting the diaries.
Dave: Hey, you didn't mention that you'd grabbed Rails yesterday. I want a review, so I can decide whether to trade Trade Empires for it at the EB. :-) TE is leaving me a bit flat... it's not that different from Railroad Tycoon II, except that RRT2 seemed to have more in it.
By TomChick on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 03:30 pm:
I would heartily recommend Rails Across America over Trade Empires. Although I've only played a beta, I was pretty disappointed with TE. It just didn't hang together very well for me. I set up a few trade routes and suddenly felt superfluous.
Rails, on the other hand, feels exciting and new. Bruce Geryk and I will be running some multiplayer games soon, so if any of you guys pick it up, drop me an email (linked to my name above this message) and join us.
By Jason McCullough on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 03:31 pm:
Here's my summary of the first thirty five years:
"I built a couple cities and a harvester. I fought a worm. I have no idea where anyone else is."
By Jason McCullough on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 03:32 pm:
Former, not harvester. No idea where that C&C freudian slip came from.
By TomChick on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 03:39 pm:
"Former, not harvester."
Whew, you scared me there. I was bracing myself for a Nod Buggy rush.
By Alan Au (Itsatrap) on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 05:50 pm:
Nah, I'd worry more about the impact rover rush. (heh)
By Bub (Bub) on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 06:22 pm:
I've never played Railroad Tycoon or RRTycoon 2. But I've been meaning to. I love railroads in that distinctly and unexplainable male way... I've been waiting for the new platinum RRTycoon2 bundle that's coming soon to get into it.
Should I instead start with Rails Across America?
By Rob on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 08:17 pm:
I've never played a train game either, but who doesn't love trains. If the reviews are good for RAA I'll pitch in for the economy.
"I don't feel like a train anymore,
I feel like a track,
If you want to change your luck,
Put a penny on my back."
By Dave Long on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 01:07 am:
Lee and I played a game of Rails Across America tonight. Great fun. We both were thinking it would increase the fun exponentially with more players. Building track and running trains is only one part of all that goes on. You'll find yourself "attacking" other lines with cards as well as wrestling over control of the various shortlines that pop up.
Just like Railroad Tycoon II before it, this looks like a simple game at its core with multiple strategies possible through experimentation. It meets my criteria for favored game status...easy to learn, lots of possible strategies. The real-time gameplay also keeps things really rolling. You'll never get bored waiting for something to happen. Games can be very short too. We played a 20 year game that ran for about an hour and change.
I won. :)
One other neat bonus for me is that some of the pictures in the Encyclopedia of Locomotives come from the nearby Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. That place is just packed with trains and I love taking the kids there. Living in Reading, PA...it's hard not to be a railroad fan. I live about ten blocks from where the station used to be and much of the rail yard still exists.
By TomChick on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 02:59 am:
If you've never played Railroad Tycoon II, then I'd actually recommend that over Rails Across America. Railroad Tycoon is much more steeped in a love of trains. It's more about laying track, planning consists, and maintaining engines. It's hands on, low level stuff. Rails, on the other hand, is a higher level strategy game with all of that stuff abstracted.
They're both excellent games, but the whole 'love of trains' angle is more vivid in RRT2.
By Jason McCullough on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 04:30 am:
RRTII also has the creepy old man that gives you campaign "briefings." My roommates inferred he was trying to sex me up the entire time I played that game.
By Dave Long on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 11:22 am:
I agree with Tom, though I think the recommendation really relies on whether you want to mostly watch trains run or you want to play at that higher level. RRTII is a much better train watching game than Rails, that much was clear last night. But Rails has a different focus that's much more in tune with one of my all-time favorite games, the PC conversion of Avalon Hill's 1830. In fact, it seems clear the developers of Rails played RRT I and II as well as 1830 and kind of built their own game from there.
Either way, you can own both and have two different experiences. Since Rails is new, personally I'd pick that up if you have any interest in multiplayer as it'll be easier to find opponents in the first six months. But Railroad Tycoon II is an evergreen title that never grows old in single player until you've beaten every scenario out there. Even then, it still has a ton of appeal.
By Gordon Berg on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 02:09 pm:
"I wanted to do my little bit for the economy so I picked up the Dreamcast Sports bundle. I have been lighting up the NFL with the Cowboys ever since. NFL2K1 is a lot of fun and its interface is easy to pick up. I'll probably search around for a few older Dreamcast titles before they are all gone as well as get NHL2K2."
Then stop whatever you're doing *right now* and go find a copy of Virtual Tennis for your Dreamcast.
By Bub (Bub) on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 02:46 pm:
Or wait a bit and get the improved Tennis 2k2, which is the inconveniently but plainly named sequel and, I think, will be out in a month or so. It's got the lady players too.
By Dave Long on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 07:02 pm:
I'd still get the first one... it's only $14.99 at Best Buy now. It's so vital to any Dreamcast collection, even if the sequel bests it.
By Gordon Berg on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 04:00 am:
Egads, I called it "Virtual." I'm so ashamed, my gamer's card should be revoked. Yes, Virtua Tennis is essential. And I think Jet Grind Radio is what, now $9.99?
I've been so engrossed in D2:LOD, Max Payne, Operation Flashpoint (that first forest mission took me over a week to finally survive and damn if I didn't love every frustrating minute of it), Throne of Bhaal, Day of Defeat, the Return to Wolfenstein Test, and now the latest version of Counter-Strike that I just downloaded. I can't remember having this much fun on my PC in ages.
(I've been in Nimda hell at work as well. One day, I worked thirty hours straight with just one half hour nap. Been fighting it all week and still losing. The damn thing keeps cropping up, but I think I finally have a handle on a complete cleaning procedure. Looks like *every* single workstation throughout our WAN will have to have a personal visit paid to it)
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 02:55 pm:
"If you've got a Game Boy Advance, you GOTTA pick up Advance Wars."
Ditto that. Advance Wars is freakin' amazing. Astonishing depth for a handheld turn-based game. Best of all, it reminds me of Total Annihilation. A nice choice of land/sea/air units, all with strengths and weaknesses. Incredibly addictive, and I did I mention that it's deep? Or that up to 4 people can play on the same copy of the game, with or without additional gameboy advances?
I worry, though, that allowing us to build units will cause the same old "production = victory" substitution for strategy.
Anyway, I digress. If you own a GBA and are a gamer worth your salt, you buy this game. Period.
By Dave Long on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 06:29 pm:
We arrived at that conclusion where I work as well. We simply cannot seem to stop this thing any other way. This week will see me and possibly 50% of the entire IT department touching every PC where I work.
Looks like *every* single workstation throughout our WAN will have to have a personal visit paid to it)
Don't forget to remove the guest account from the administrators group. Another "gift" from nimda.
These worms that spread via port 80 (eg, HTTP) are really vicious. IIS based web servers are so pervasive now..
Here's some help for you--