Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Settlers 2 Gold Edition (1996)


Date: 1996 (1997 for Gold Edition release)
Developer: Blue Byte Studio
Publisher: Blue Byte Studio

System Requirements:
 - 486DX/2 66 MHz
 - 8MB RAM
 - 30MB HDD space
 - 2X CD-ROM
 - SVGA capable video card

Where to purchase?
 - GOG.com


The Settlers 2 Gold Edition is a real-time strategy game with elements of city building and management.  I've never played any of the Settlers games, but I am a fan of similar modern games such as the Tropico series, the Anno series, and the Sim City games, so this seems like the kind of game I should love.  I'm surprised I never got around to playing a Settlers game as the series has been quite popular.  The original was released in 1993 and sequels were released fairly regularly, the most recent of which was in 2016 (renamed to a new IP).  The original Settlers 2 was released in 1996 and the Gold Edition, released a year later, added a new campaign, over a hundred custom maps, and a bunch of gameplay and graphics improvements.  I'll be playing the GOG.com Gold Edition version without any other mods or changes.  There was 10th Anniversary edition released in 2006 that is a full 3D remake, so if anyone wants to play an more modern version of the The Settlers 2, that would be the way to go. 

Prior to starting this post, I played through the first mission of the campaign to get a general feel for the game so I wouldn't be a complete mess starting out, but otherwise I have no experience with the game and I'll be going essentially blind.  Let's dive in to The Settlers 2 Gold Edition!  


Monday, March 19, 2018

Metaltech: Earthsiege (1994)


Date: 1994
Developer: Dynamix
Publisher: Sierra On-line

System Requirements:
 - 386DX/33MHz
 - 4MB RAM
 - 27MB HDD
 - MSDOS 5.0
 - VGA Capable Video Card

Where to purchase?

 - It is FREE!  Hi-Rez Studios, the owners of the Tribes (and Metaltech) IPs have released all the old games in these series as free downloads.

 - Download links


For my next game, I'm moving on from the 4X genre but I'm sticking with a scifi themed game.  I'm going to be playing Metaltech: Earthsiege by Dynamix, a giant robot mech sim game.  I messed around with this game a bit when it originally came out and a friend of mine had a copy, but I never progressed beyond the first or second mission.  I remember thinking this game was the best thing I had ever seen when I originally played it as a teenager, so I'm curious to see how it has aged.  When compared to the relatively simple games I had been playing at the time such as Wolfenstein 3d, Doom, or Rebel Assault, Earthsiege blew me away with its amazing polygonal graphics, FMV-type characters, sound effects, and complex simulation gameplay.  I'll give it an honest try and see how far I can make it before I decide to move on to the next game.

Lets jump into Sierra's ripoff competitor to the Battletech universe!


Monday, March 12, 2018

Ascendancy - Part 3


Ascendancy - Part 1

Ascendancy - Part 2


Today I am continuing my playthrough of the fantastic 4X game Ascendancy.  My Nimbuloid empire continues to exist while struggling against the tyrannical Fludentri, conniving Chamachies, and war mongering Marmosians.  My goal for this post is to eliminate at least one of these opposing species so I can get to a good stopping point to wrap up my coverage of Ascendancy.  The game is great fun and I'm enjoying my time playing it, but this is the third post covering the game so I think it is time to finish it and move on to the next game.  If I can't get to total galactic domination, at least I should be able to wipe a few of these other species.

Click below to continue to follow the rise of the Nimbuloid empire.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Ascendancy - Part 2


Ascendancy - Part 1

The Great Nimbuloid-Fludentri War continues in Part 2 of my Ascendancy playthough.  "Great" may be too strong of a word since nothing has happened yet, but I can tell those shifty Fludentri are going to be a tough opponent.  They look like toothpaste.

In this post, I hope to capture the essence of war in Ascendancy with ship-ship and ship-planet battles along with planetary invasion.  I should see some of this pretty soon since it did not take long for the Fludentri to declare war on me after we made first contact.  I can also start to show some of the weird tech tree gizmos that the game encourages me to place in my ships.  I will try to provide occasional overviews of the galaxy map to allow readers to follow along and understand how my Nimbuloid empire is progressing as well.  Hopefully we can conquer the other galactic denizens and spread our strange, gaseous cloud people to the farthest reaches of the galaxy!  To continue reading about Ascendancy, click below!


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ascendancy (1995)


Date: 1995
Developer: Logic Factory
Publisher: Logic Factory

System Requirements:
 - 486DX/33MHz
 - MSDOS 5.0
 - 2x CDROM
 - VESA compatible SVGA
 - 8MB RAM

Where to purchase?

 - Unfortunately Ascendancy is not sold anywhere digitally, so your best bet is Amazon or Ebay looking for use copies.  There used to be an iOS version, but this was taken down a few years ago.


Today's game is a change of pace from my previous outings of the past few weeks.  After playing mostly action games for my initial posts on RPDG, I'm going to slow down and play through Ascendancy, a 4X space strategy game.  Before starting, let's get some acronyms out of the way first: 4X stands for eXpand, eXterminate, eXplore, and eXploit, these being the primary driving motivations behind the gameplay in these kinds of games.  Like many of these kinds of games, Ascendancy is a turn-based strategy game (TBS), in comparison to something like Command and Conquer, which is a real-time strategy game (RTS).  Sometimes I find ATBA (Acronyms To Be Annoying), but in this case it is helpful to know this stuff ahead of time.

I have limited experience with Ascendancy from playing the demo way back in the 90s, so I'm going in to this game fairly blind.  But I do enjoy these kinds of galactic conquest games, so I'm looking forward to it.  Let's fire it up!


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Dark Forces - Part 2


Dark Forces - Part 1

I'm continuing my playthrough of the FPS game Dark Forces, and so far I am enjoying the game.  It has enough in common with modern FPS games to limit the frustration over its dated engine and gamplay, while also maintaining that 90s era nostalgic charm.  I'm about 1/3 of the way through the game, and I aim to finish it in this post or the next one.  So lets continue on with mission 5, I look forward to blasting more stormtroopers!


Monday, January 29, 2018

Star Wars: Dark Forces (1995)


Date: 1995
Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts

System Requirements:
 - 386/DX-33MHz
 - 8MB RAM
 - 3.5MB HDD space
 - MS DOS 5.0

Where to purchase?


Last week I played a game that was completely new to me (Alien Odyssey), so this week I am playing Dark Forces, a game which I know very well.  I purchased Dark Forces new when it was originally released and played it through to completion.  Since that time, I have played a number of custom levels, the sequel Jedi Knight, and Jedi Knight's sequels Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy.  So it is accurate to say I am familiar with this game and I am also a fan.  I'm really looking forward to going back and playing it again for RPDG.com.  For this playthrough, I'll be playing the Steam version, which means I'll be playing the original vanilla version through DOSBox.  I won't be using any modern updates or mods, of which there are many.  If you are interested, the most popular update for Dark Forces is the DarkXL engine, which can be found at its's website: XLengine.com.  

Dark Forces is an FPS (first person shooter) set in the Star Wars universe just prior to the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.  To read about its development, my impressions on a playthrough, and my thoughts in a review at the end, read on!