Due to recent changes, I was forced with a tough decision this video series. I explain in this video why I have decided to put the entire series on hold and discuss what will be coming up in the future. With a strong focus on bringing quality content, I will spend the next few weeks analyzing what needs improving and how we can do so moving forward. For now, don’t expect too much content in the upcoming weeks as I will be working on a few new ideas for the future of Fraxial Gaming.
We wrap up another week of games with another very important first-person shooter called Half-Life. The first game developed by Valve is important for many reasons, the biggest being how it changed the way we think about single player experiences. The dialogue, storyline and overall gameplay was very different than anything else at the time. But it’s importance does not stop there, the mod kit for Half-Life eventually lead to three new series for Valve. The Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat and Team Fortress series started life as mods before being acquired by Valve.
Grim Fandango is another classic point-and-click adventure game released by Lucas Arts. Like other Lucas Arts adventure games up to date, the art style, dialogue and puzzles in Grim Fandango are simply great. Despite it’s praise from day one, the decline in popularity with the point-and-click genre would turn the game into a commercial failure. Lucas Arts would give the genre one last try with a new Monkey Island, but it would be over a decade before new title in the genre would see the light of day.
One of my concerns with this video series was that certain games would be quite a hassle to get working. Things where looking good as most games moving forward should not have too many issues running under Windows 7 or XP. Falcon 4.0 is the first title that no matter what I tried, I could not get it working at a reasonable performance due to compatibility issues. From the brief time spent on the game, I can see that it is a pretty solid combat flight sim. However without being able to play it at reasonable performance I cannot give it a final judgement.
This week ends with a first-person shooter and real-time strategy hybrid called Battlezone. This game developed by Activision takes the best parts of both genres and combines them into one great overall package. I don’t have a whole lot more to talk about beyond this either. The game is pretty solid and it’s quite fun too, the only complaint is that we do not have a modern title that resembles this.
Our last fantasy RPG was way back at episode 11 where we played Ultima. Lucky for us we break out of the typical shooters from the past few weeks with another RPG called Baldur’s Gate. The game is based on an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons ruleset like the majority of role-playing games at the time. What made the game different from others was the strong emphasis on story and dialogue with other characters. Not only was this well done, BioWare handled it in such a way that you can see a direct evolution from Baldur’s Gate in their latest titles like Mass Effect 2.
Like most of the games on this list, Total Annihilation did something special compared to every other real-time strategy at the time. One of the most obvious would be the massive scale battles where you could have up to 5,000 units on the map at the same time. Another neat thing was how the resources where handled in this game. Instead of having harvesters going to work, Total Annihilation depends on structures which provide a steady stream of metal and energy. What makes this mechanic interesting and complex is the fact that different structures and building units will have different rates at which they consume both resources. Overall, what do I think about this game after all these years? While there is a definite nostalgia factor, I would have to recommend the much more modern Supreme Commander.