20 December, 2008

Impressions: Space Rangers 2

It's the holidays. It's a lazy time. And for the most part, I'm playing console games which provide no screen shots. Maybe someday I'll get a video capture device. But when I say maybe, I mean I have no intention. And by someday, I mean never.

I was killing a fair amount of time with one PC game, Space Rangers 2: Rise of the Dominators. But that was mostly just because it was on sale for $4 and I was bored. I'd heard it was reminiscent of Star Control, but StarCon 2 is still the best in the genre by a number of parsecs. For one thing, the combat is turn based. This could be seen as a plus as it allows for much bigger battles.

But said battles are really big piles of randomness. If three bad guys decide they don't like you, you're toast. It's more about picking off the weak ones from the edges and scavenging what the bad guys drop and watching the tide of the battle so you run away just at the right time. I can't tell you how many times I jumped out of a system with enough missiles chasing me to destroy my ship twice over. Theoretically I was earning experience and making enough money by selling wreckage to maintain my ship. But it was so slow I lost all interest in sticking with it.

The text adventures I got by running errands for the "smart" race of aliens were easily the best parts of the game. But the game was originally in Russian and it shows, with many small errors that occasionally made it difficult to choose intelligently.

Sid Meier said it before, and I will say it from now until I die. Games are about giving the player interesting choices. The combat pretty much entirely failed to do that, and the multiple choice text adventures just weren't enough to keep me wading through the combat.

Oh, and there was an RTS in there too which was so pointless and lame I would have liked the game better if it had been left out. Meh.

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