Help me enjoy X-Com

Well, I bit the bullet and started my own Goodjer-Com chapter. Sadly for Pharacon and Legion, they did not make it out of the first mission, as they were ungloriously killed by those darn sectoids in some crazy mexican stand-offs. Prozac was selected by the shortest straw to open the hatch of the downed ufo and that was the end of his promising young career. My second mission was a terror site on New york, first turn I have a tank-like creature dead ahead of the x-com ship, and those don't go down easy so I bailed out. I'm playing in Veteran difficulty and it shows.

It's hard to find a game more appealing than this one, except TFTD which I played first back in the day.

I wanna be a soldier!

Prozac wrote:

Lilcodger got sniped by a snakeman in the upper levels of a barn,

See kids? Farming is bad.

Given my play style -- an oddly appropriate demise.

demonbox wrote:

Ok, I see-- incredibly difficult and time-consuming with the added bonus of being unfair and quite likely not worth the trouble-- um, so why is this game so lionized?

It's hard at the beginning but it gets quite a bit easier as you tech up. It is time consuming, but I never think that it's unfair. Most certainly worth the trouble to play.

If you are looking for easy, look elsewhere. If you are looking for a deep and rewarding turned-based tactical game (plus a whole strategic-light meta game), this is probably the perfect example of that sort of thing (JA2 is up there too, don't hate ).

If it sucked, why would so many folks be posting here about a game that came out in the early 90s? Answer: because it doesn't suck and holds up really well, even after all that time.

Nightmare wrote:
demonbox wrote:

Ok, I see-- incredibly difficult and time-consuming with the added bonus of being unfair and quite likely not worth the trouble-- um, so why is this game so lionized?

It's hard at the beginning but it gets quite a bit easier as you tech up. It is time consuming, but I never think that it's unfair. Most certainly worth the trouble to play.

If you are looking for easy, look elsewhere. If you are looking for a deep and rewarding turned-based tactical game (plus a whole strategic-light meta game), this is probably the perfect example of that sort of thing (JA2 is up there too, don't hate ).

If it sucked, why would so many folks be posting here about a game that came out in the early 90s? Answer: because it doesn't suck and holds up really well, even after all that time.

This.

Demonbox, it really seems like you are trying to convince yourself to not want to play this game. The thing is, this is actually a game, that while it takes quite some time to beat, especially the first time, can be handeled in small 15min chunks if you just jump in, do some base management, and then run a single mission. The thing is, what usually happens is when someone starts playing they end up not doing that and playing until sunrise. Not that I would know anything about that.

Also, I played it through on the easiest diffuculty first, and while it was still hard, I had no help and still played it to death. Until after I had beat the game twice and realized some things I had been doing inefficiently (not wrong, as they still worked) I found the higher diffuculties too punishing. One of the great things about this game is you can do things along your own path and still make it work, and sometimes it will work better for you one way and not the other.

Tamren wrote:

Speaking of which how does the Steam version run? Any slowdowns or bugs? Does it work right out of the box?

I have the collectors edition CD around here somewhere that installs the windows 95 version of the game, not the dos one. But its buggy and I have to patch it to make the graphics work.

I was leery about buying the steam version since I already had a few XCOM discs laying around but I glad I did. I kept trying to play form the disc, but everything seemed broken, the videos wouldn't load, and it kept crashing. I gave up. Last night I bought the Steam pack, (you can thank me when it goes on sale) downloaded the 10MB file, double clicked the icon and it ran perfectly. PER-FECT-LY.

If you are even thinking about playing XCOM again, buy it.

Forgot to mention that while I wouldn't dare compete with Prozac in naming my soldiers after Goodjers, I did add a two-letter code to the end of their names to help me remember how to equip people in the inventory screen prior to the start of the mission:

HW - Heavy Weapons; high bravery and moderate to high strength. Starts with the heavy cannon with incendiary rounds or the rocket launcher; later with heavy plasma and the blaster launcher. Bravery a must since they're the last person you want to panic or go berserk in the clutch.

RM - Rifleman; moderate bravery and good accuracy. Starts with the generic assault rifle before upgrading to the plasma rifle. The basic starter unit.

SB - Suicide Bomber; chickensh*ts who can't shoot or lift heavy things. Give them a stun rod and a couple grenades and have them sprint out of the Skyranger towards the enemy. If you're lucky, they can get the drop on aliens, stun them, or drop a live one at their feet. If not, then hopefully they'll die, explode, and get their 72 raisins.

As time goes on, people get promoted (like the SBs, for some reason) and level up their stats, I'll probably reclassify my soldiers and invent new roles to fit them.

I wouldn't say that the game is unfair. It's strict, it's firm, but not unfair. It's a game that believes in tough love.

Part of the reason that the game is so difficult at the beginning is that your guys don't have good armor, they aren't that skilled, and their weapons are pretty terrible. The biggest part though has to do with the player. The first time that transport lands and you have 10 military guys with large guns under your command you are going to fan out to go kick some alien butt.

1. You'll move everyone quickly to cover more ground, so they won't have time to react to aliens that attack them.
2. You'll ignore cover so that your guys are standing out in the open at the end of their turn.
3. You'll separate your guys too much so that they don't have overlapping fields of fire to protect each other.
etc. etc.

Each of these things is a mistake, a big one. It's not unfair that these mistakes can cost your soldiers their lives.

As you get more experienced you will order your men out more cautiously and carefully, they'll live longer, and they will become more skilled. Soon you will be able to take your opponents down in 1-2 shots instead of 6-8 wild ones, your guys will have the reaction times to shoot at the aliens before they get off their first shot.

You will play flawlessly, your men will uphold their end of the bargain, and some of them still won't come home. I guess that's not really fair, when you get right down to it, but who ever said it was going to be fair?

Jumping out of the chopper, turning a corner, kicking down a door; any time you tell one of your men to do those things it may be the last thing that they ever do. Sometimes it will be ok; they'll kill the alien, capture the technology, and save the princess. Sometimes, though, you'll have to write a letter. And you're right, that's not fair. That's war.

There's a in-depth game diary here for Terror from the Deep, though I don't think it was ever finished.

Whoa, I just learned that the heavy plasma is as light as a rifle. Screw rifles, then, except for guys with high accuracy.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

You f*ckers better salute.

You mean like those beer commercials?

Announcer wrote:

We salute you, Mr. Scary Internet Forum Poster!

That'll do.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

There's a in-depth game diary here for Terror from the Deep, though I don't think it was ever finished.

Quintin_Stone, filthy Skimmer.

mrtomaytohead on page 2 wrote:

Here's some threads on x-com since I joined that are all more than a year dormant.
Terror From the Deep Diaries
X-Com comes to Steam
Wave if You Love X-Com <- closest thing to a wave I can get from the built in smileys, and I think it works on a few other levels.

Man, this game gets a lot of love around here.

demonbox wrote:

Ok, I see-- incredibly difficult and time-consuming with the added bonus of being unfair and quite likely not worth the trouble-- um, so why is this game so lionized?

Really what it comes down to is not "it's incredibly difficult" so much as "it comes from an era in which you were expected to sometimes lose." More than that, it's very easy to take the death of any one of your guys (or even a whole squad) as a "loss", when it's actually not. It's certainly not a good thing, but it's not absolutely the end of the world.

And really, it's these properties that help make the game so brilliant. You're managing the global fight against an alien menace. Good men are going to die. Poor innocent boys who never should have joined up in the first place are going to die. Occasionally, even your grizzled old veterans are going to die.

And you know every one of them by name.

These guys are simultaneous some of the most disposable and some of the least disposable heros in all of gaming history.

Also, you can blow up terrain. It's awesome.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

Quintin_Stone, filthy Skimmer. :P

Guilty as charged. This thread got looooong.
IMAGE(http://villagethinker.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/longcat.jpg)

This needs to be released on gog.com I'm surprised it's not there already. This is the kind of old game I'd like to be able to throw on any random system I'm in front of - like when visiting Grandma, etc.

I seem to have more patience and will give a game more time when I'm away from home.

Certis wrote:

It's amazing to me no one has made a proper X-Com update with improved graphics. Similar to Bionic Commando on XBLA, leave the gameplay intact and make it spiffy.

I was always expecting someone to fan-mod Silent Storm into X-Com, and I'm surprised it didn't happen.

By the way, the first half of Silent Storm is almost as good as X-Com. It's an incredibly good game. Then they screw it all up with science fiction and it becomes terrible. Play up to the SF part and you'll get your money's worth. You can continue from there if you want, but you probably won't enjoy it much.

demonbox wrote:

Ok, I see-- incredibly difficult and time-consuming with the added bonus of being unfair and quite likely not worth the trouble-- um, so why is this game so lionized?

For those exact reasons.

mrwynd wrote:

This needs to be released on gog.com I'm surprised it's not there already. This is the kind of old game I'd like to be able to throw on any random system I'm in front of - like when visiting Grandma, etc.

I seem to have more patience and will give a game more time when I'm away from home.

Now that I think about it, a direct port to DS would be pefectly awesome, and if they really wanted to, they could show inventory or the map on the bottom screen.

Certis wrote:

It's amazing to me no one has made a proper X-Com update with improved graphics. Similar to Bionic Commando on XBLA, leave the gameplay intact and make it spiffy.

I was always expecting someone to fan-mod Silent Storm into X-Com, and I'm surprised it didn't happen.

By the way, the first half of Silent Storm is almost as good as X-Com. It's an incredibly good game. Then they screw it all up with science fiction and it becomes terrible. Play up to the SF part and you'll get your money's worth. You can continue from there if you want, but you probably won't enjoy it much.

Silent Storm was incredible. I picked up a copy of it dirt cheap from GoGamer like 3 years ago. Not sure whatever happened to it.... hmmm

Ranger Rick wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

You f*ckers better salute.

You mean like those beer commercials?

Announcer wrote:

We salute you, Mr. Scary Internet Forum Poster!

It amazes me to no end what you can find on Wikipedia.

Hm. Need to look on my old HDD as I am pretty sure I backed up my install and saves before my old laptop died about seven years ago. I think I may have found something to put on our netbook that will stifle my wife's Farmville career.

Malor wrote:

I was always expecting someone to fan-mod Silent Storm into X-Com, and I'm surprised it didn't happen.

People were working on it, but there's only so much you can expect from fan projects. Their grasp usually exceeds their reach and the project collapses. I don't know how truly moddable S2 really was either. The only stuff I did was changing text strings for items to give them proper/Americanized names.

Prozac wrote:

Well I'll need some more replacement, Podunk went down in a blaze of glory scything down a snakeman and incapacitating another, unfortunately there was one more snakeman in the ship and podunk was out of time... Yoyoson wasn't fast enough to save Podunk, and in a way I feel there is the blood of two dead Goodjers on his hands now. How does that make you feel Yoyoson! you murdering Bastard!

Nooooooooooooooooooo!

Join me in Valhalla, Podunk.

Filthy enablers.

Not like I needed another reason to spend more money at Steam after the last big sale, but it definately sounds like less hassle than trying to find my cd and getting it to work.

This game scared the bejeesus out of me, playing in the basement, in the dark, into the wee hours of the morning, with creepy music, being shot at from who-knows-where, or walking around the corner of a building with barely any TUs left and coming face to face with a chryssalid.

Good times.

(offtopic)

Malor wrote:

By the way, the first half of Silent Storm is almost as good as X-Com. It's an incredibly good game. Then they screw it all up with science fiction and it becomes terrible. Play up to the SF part and you'll get your money's worth. You can continue from there if you want, but you probably won't enjoy it much.

I would love to get my money's worth of this game, but I can't find it anywhere to spend that money. Anybody know where it can be purchased outside of EBay?

(ontopic)
XCom is one of the best games I ever played. I have it on Steam, but it runs slower than molasses. I think someone mentioned finding a way to run it with DosBox at a decent clip? Also I will always volunteer to get an expendable 5 bravery 'hero' named after me so I can feel a little empty when (s)he dies.

gbuchold wrote:

((ontopic)
XCom is one of the best games I ever played. I have it on Steam, but it runs slower than molasses. I think someone mentioned finding a way to run it with DosBox at a decent clip?

See this thread on the Steam forums for information about various tweaks you can make to the dosbox config.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Join me in Valhalla, Podunk.

But you are alive Quintin. You're a high ranking officer

Not an expendable hero like Podunk.

Now that I've weeded out all the redshirts, it kind of means that Goodjers have to open doors and the various other things that can lead to instant death.

Hypatian wrote:

Good men are going to die. Poor innocent boys who never should have joined up in the first place are going to die. Occasionally, even your grizzled old veterans are going to die.

And you know every one of them by name.

These guys are simultaneous some of the most disposable and some of the least disposable heros in all of gaming history.

That says it all really. (especially when you play Ironman mode and the deaths are for real)

I wanna be a hovertank.