Author Topic: Games of comparable quality to SC2??  (Read 26782 times)

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Offline spinsane

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Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« on: June 18, 2009, 02:10:14 pm »
Does anyone know of any?

I try to play through SC2 each year, dedicated as ever to every bit of dialogue that the aliens have to say. I find myself inspired in new ways every time I play it. I'm not attracted to playing it out of nostalgia, there's just something smart about how the game was orchestrated. I find myself moved to tears in more than three areas of the game and when the yehat special theme plays at the end of the game I still get goosebumps. The game itself isn't particularly replayable, except perhaps to see the subtle differences in dialog prompted by playing an 'evil' emperor captain. The plot is also pretty linear in many ways, with a very small number of optional quests/alliances and a mostly linear list of objectives (you can choose the order, but you're still pretty limited into what solution you can find to completing the game)- even if you antagonize the Supox, they still give you the ultron. And yet, the story, the history, the literary quality is just fantastic, both in the sattire and drama. Oh, not only that, but intelligence- I attribute the entire development of my vocabulary and knowledge of philosophy to this game... well, when I was young at least.

So what other games out there are of comparable quality?? I think I'm mostly interested in literary quality, something so immersive that you don't even notice that the plot is simple or that the gameplay is monotonous.

Offline Sage

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 03:12:52 pm »
If you're after the literary quality and role playing aspects, you might like Planescape Torment. It at least has those two things in common with UQM.

The original thread where I went into more detail about it may be found here.

Offline spinsane

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 03:30:37 pm »
I'm actually in the process of getting my hands on torment because I had heard of good things about it. I was thinking more along the lines of a list of games that are just brilliant. Where in the end you feel as though you've witnessed the accomplishment of something great. I guess what I feel I am missing in games these days are complete story and character development arcs. In SC2, you've got several arcs within each race's own history and where they are along in the story, and as you find your quest, find the means, and make the ultimate sacrifice to destroy the 'ring', it's incredibly satisfying even though the somewhat ambiguous line talana speaks regarding the post sa-matra conclusion is of marginal importance. I'll never forget that most rewarding victory music. I think I've simplified my question a little bit- what games are actually rewarding to play?

FF7 and SC2 are among the only two I can think of off the top of my head.

Offline Dragon

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2009, 01:35:25 am »
Are you looking for any specific genre?  For instance Halo has was a lot of fun and - whilst linear - was driven by the story.  Just off the top of my head Baldur's Gate II was also excellent.  Then there's always the omnipresent XCom/UFO or the similar but updated Silent Storm.  So:

[EDIT] Fixed and linked

Actually there's dozens out there (depending) but that'll do for now.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 06:04:50 am by Dragon »

Offline spinsane

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2009, 04:29:19 am »
I actually tried Baldur's Gate 2 recently- gave up on it at the end of the first disk. Boring and terribly written IMO. The storyline was driven way too much by the machine instead of the player's actions. The reward for doing the 'right' things is just waaay too much just as the amount of things you get to do is much higher if you're all goody goody. The reward system and the impact of what you're doing just wasn't there. No sympathy for losing imoen- Didn't even really desire to find her much less Irenicus... I did play through BG1 quite a while ago and remember it with some fondness- but what blows is the faction system. If you break faction you get hunted down by super guards... Soooo many complaints about BG. It would be fine if the story was engaging and what you said was marginally important...

I enjoy all genres. Genre isn't important in a good story. I need it to be playable on computer though (or 32-bit consoles- my computer cannot handle higher).

Offline Dragon

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2009, 05:56:58 am »
Ah, I made a mistake there.  I actually meant Baldur's Gate one, I played them years ago and your faction comment jogged my memory.  I remember the first time I played I couldn't complete the game because I pissed off the palace guards or something so I couldn't go near to them without being attacked.  And I think I had to talk to a guard infront of the palace to get in for the final confrontation.  Heh, oops.

Also - it's all coming back to me now - I got bored about a third of the way into 2 and set god mode, gave myself all spells and just ramapaged through to the end. 

I did really like the scripting support in BG.  It let me use all the tedious spells that I couldn't be bothered to cast manually.  Very cool because whenever I got into a fight I'd active the characters scripts and they'd support each other and run away and gang up on the enemy all without my intervention.


Offline Draxas

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2009, 08:05:55 am »
If you have a PS2 (or are willing to get one; they're pretty cheap nowadays), I would highly reccommend the Shin Megami Tensei games. While a lot of them are pretty hard (and expensive) to find, you should still be able to Get Persona 3 FES, Persona 4, and Devil Summoner 2 pretty easily. If you're willing to delve into the back catalog, I think you'll also enjoy Nocturne.

No discussion of this subject would be complete without mentioning Fallout 1 and 2. I've heard 3 is pretty great as well. I recently saw a collection for 1, 2, and Tactics on the shelf at Target, so it shouldn't be hard to find.

Final Fantasy Tactics for PS1 is an old favorite. While the plot is sometimes difficult to follow (no thanks to the somewhat poor localization), there's a lot of meat there, especially with regards to Delita. There's also a lot of room for personal interpretation as to what happens in the end, which means discussion is still rampant to this day as to how everything is resolved.

Offline Eth

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2009, 09:39:37 am »
  The only PC that exceeded SC2 / UQM in my esteem was TIE Fighter.  The Player doesn't have much control over the plot (you either win a mission or lose it) but at least there WAS a plot, and it was pretty interesting.  Good gameplay (considerably more complicated than SC2) coupled with an interesting plot which really causes one to sympathize with the evil Galactic Empire from Star Wars.

Offline Megagun

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2009, 12:09:01 pm »
Hahahahahaha. Halo? No.

Deus Ex is what you're looking for. Immersive? Yes. Literary quality? Heck yes. Amazing plot? Most likely the best plot in any game ever. Diversity? Yes; both in dialogue and gameplay styles. Honestly, the only bad thing about it is the voice acting that's... odd and slightly cheesy.

I'd link you to the most awesome conversation in video game history, but that contains some rather major spoilers, so I wont, and will instead give you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgOKduU05t4 which is awesome and not very plot-revealing.. :)
And here's the intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKp0DP1O4bs (Eh, remember when games came with intro cinematics that were actually rewatch-able?)

Also, I'll second Planescape: Torment, because I've heard similar comments on it (must admit that I haven't ever played it myself, though)

I'd guess that there's also Mass Effect, but that's quite hit-or-miss-ish, but certainly one of the very few highlights in the past 5 years.

Offline Shiver

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2009, 12:43:03 pm »
No game matches Star Control 2 in my book. One could argue that something with more longevity such as a Blizzard game surpasses it for that reason alone, but I don't subscribe to that way of thinking.

Lots of recommendations for Planescape Torment. If Spinsane disliked Baldur's Gate 2, he might not like that either. Planescape Torment's gameplay is very reminiscent of Baldur's Gate, only much less fun. What it has is great writing. The writing carries the game. PS:T is clearly inferior to SC2 because SC2 is a pretty fun game even without its story.

Offline spinsane

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2009, 01:24:03 pm »
I'm actually really enjoying PS:T, the story is hilarious and somewhat interesting. I have some doubts as to how the story goes (I mean, it's like 100% obvious that at some point I have to kill Morte- if I'm wrong in that regards I'll be pleasantly surprised), it's a bit... too much like Fallout in that your character's involvement with events is very microscopic and, as I presume, many of the sidequests will have little to no meaning in the grand scheme of things, but the dialogs are quite good, even with random folk. Though, like Fallout, I think that the story will most likely follow a series of sub-quests until you finally get tasked back onto the plot at the end and finish the game, which is, in a way, dissatisfying. I did enjoy Fallout 1 and 2 though- 3 is hellishly boring and ends suddenly.

FFT was okay- I played up to a point, but as soon as the protagonist gets ass-chaps I found the combat system to just be too tedious. Having played TIE fighter, I can say that I don't remember the story at all, only the game-play, so I'm not certain if I'd like to go back to it. I'm kind of sick of games that just have good gameplay, I want to be impressed by writing that is so good that, even if there were plotholes, I would jump to their defense to an almost unreasonable degree.

I still have a PS2 (not hooked up =/), so I'll see if I can't find a copy of Deus Ex, it looks pretty good.

Offline Dragon

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2009, 01:15:05 am »
This is quite depressing, I've been racking my brains but can't think of a single recent game I'd recommend.  Homeworld was very good and whilst it's been supplanted by Homeworld 2 I preferred the originals style and story.  If you're looking for an epic (but very very long) multilayer game you can't go wrong with Homeworld 2 Complex.  Not everyones cup of tea though.

On the subject of space games there is always Elite although you might want to find one of the *slightly* more recent versions.  Unfortunately that franchise has been mired in a legal mess for decades now.  The BBC micro version was apparently best though I played the C64 one.  Also ancient is the strangely titled Captain Blood.  I wouldn't recommend it - it's very dated now and would require a big time investment to learn how to play - but it's races were more engaging than the ones from SC2 because their personalities were AI driven and they had to be spoken to through the symbolic language Bludian.

More recently give Beyond Good and Evil a try, the XBox version if you can.  The PC version is basically broken.  The characters are a bit whacky but it's good fun.  Fallout also comes highly recommended and whilst they should be played in order; I'd suggest starting with Tactics.  The first one has dated and might be off putting.  Fallout 3, the recent one using the oblivion engine had huge potential but feels rushed and unbalanced.  Particularly towards the end it's pathetically easy and, well, boring.

For an adventure you could try The Dig, it's generally frowned upon in adventuring circles but I like it.


Hahahahahaha. Halo? No.
I see you and raise you a Yes.

Deus Ex is awesome and if you don't mind that it looks very 2000ish then it's well worth a play.  I really like that some of your - almost incidental - decisions can have an impact later on.  I'm still waiting for another game like it, but it hasn't happened yet.  Deus Ex 2 was a horribly dumbed down console game which whilst not that bad was utterly forgettable.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 01:17:32 am by Dragon »

Offline Lukipela

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2009, 10:16:45 am »
If you're looking for an odd and goofy adventure in a world that feels very large and fantastic, I'd recommend Little Big Adventure and Little Big Adventure 2. The first one is a isometric adventure where you control a Quetch (sort of human) called Twinsen adventuring on the world of Twinsun. It's sort of a mix between a puzzle game, a platform game and a fighting game. The story is small and funny, but mostly the scenery and characters are just pretty adorable. the control system is also fun, you choose between different "modes" in which the character moves and behaves differently. The second one does the same, but with actual 3D outdoors. Not that advanced though, it is an old game. More information can be found on wikipedia, LBA and LBA2

The game is pretty old and can be hard to find. if you do find it, there's a thing called LBAWin to make the first part behave on a modern system. The same holds true for the second part to as well. They've got a fandom of their own which can probably help you out with getting started at "The magicball Network". I'll laso be happy to give you pointers and help since I've finished the game quite a few times.
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Offline Eth

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2009, 01:19:32 pm »
For an adventure you could try The Dig, it's generally frowned upon in adventuring circles but I like it.
Haha!  "I can't use these two things together."  It's been a while.  That was a fun game, though it was maybe a bit too easy.

Offline Draxas

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Re: Games of comparable quality to SC2??
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2009, 07:11:02 am »
FFT was okay- I played up to a point, but as soon as the protagonist gets ass-chaps I found the combat system to just be too tedious.

That's a shame; the ending really does make it worthwhile I think. Your best bet to utterly obliterate any opposition is to build up a master Calculator or 2, and just use Math as a secondary. Between those and TG Cid, the rest of the game at that point should take a couple hours tops.

Since everyone seems to be trying to sell you FPSes lately, I may as well mention that the System Shock games are supposed to be really good. Can't say I've ever played them myself, though.

On the subject of adventure games, I've always been partial to the Monkey Island and Quest for Glory games myself. Good luck finding them at this point, though.

If you're looking for top notch writing in a game... well, disregard my next suggestion. But I can't, in good conscience, not reccommend the Katamari Damacy games; they're just too much fun to ignore.