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Re: Together Retro: X-COM: UFO Defense

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:49 am
by MrPopo
nutbar wrote:Hi everyone! I'm new here (obviously, see the post count). I signed up to join in on the Together Retro, sounds fun.

I'm completely new to X-COM: UFO Defense, but I have found a DOS copy and I am running it in dosbox. My initial impressions are that this game is one of the most downright complicated things I have ever seen. It's also very hard (and I'm playing on Beginner). I can see the appeal, though. It kind of reminds me of a Civilization + Syndicate hybrid of sorts. I'll keep playing and see how far I can get.

It is VERY complicated. There's a lot you need to keep track of if you want to be successful. The base management can set you back if you don't approach it properly, but the combat is where you really are made or broken. So here's a list of tips.

Be cautious. Your guys will die with approximately one hit at the start of the game. Fortunately for you, enemies are lousy shots. Still, it makes assaulting a building a dicey concept; an alien might be just beyond the door and kill you on reaction. Combine that with fog of war and you have the potential for one alien to take out your entire squad if you don't move correctly. Treat it like the tactical game it is. Move everyone in pairs. That way if one bites it his partner can avenge him. Don't use all your RUs when moving. There's nothing worse than moving, suddenly spotting an alien, and not being able to fire at him. Usually the alien will fire at you on his turn and retreat out of vision. There are several buttons on the interface that can be used to manage your RUs. If you click one of them it will save you enough RUs to be able to take the shot type you specified. Also, you almost always want to be using Auto-shot. If you do the math you end up doing more damage with it than Aimed shot, AND your chance of hitting with at least one shot is only slightly less than Aimed shot, but for a much lower RU cost. Finally, the first two research projects you should do are Laser weapons to get the Laser rifles and the Alien metal (can't rememeber the name off the top of my head) to be able to research Body armor. The body armor will let you take a shot before dying, and later on you can get even better armor.

Re: Together Retro: X-COM: UFO Defense

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:20 pm
by noiseredux
all good tips from Popo. Especially the "buddy system" concept, which hadn't really occured to me. Good call. I was basically thinking of keeping the entire party together (probably due to watching way too many slasher movies) but splitting them into parties of 2 is a good idea.

Re: Together Retro: X-COM: UFO Defense

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:28 pm
by fastbilly1
Think of it in terms of swat movement. Keep a guy in overwatch, try to gain a vantage point, and for the love of your ensigns keep em in pairs. And ofcourse, Laser Rifles as soon as possible.

Take it slow, think, and calculate your risks. It is a game that does not work if you rush into it, you have to plan. And trust me, as a twitch cowboy, this is a hard thing to do properly.

Re: Together Retro: X-COM: UFO Defense

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:31 pm
by noiseredux
fastbilly1 wrote:Take it slow, think, and calculate your risks. It is a game that does not work if you rush into it, you have to plan. And trust me, as a twitch cowboy, this is a hard thing to do properly.


understandably. Overwatch is genius, but you have to have restraint to actually stick to it. If yr not a fan of tactical games (I definitely am) then yr initial reaction is to just go in with guns blazing.

Re: Together Retro: X-COM: UFO Defense

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:51 pm
by fastbilly1
True, but just like getting an old game to work in a modern OS, there are certain things you will want to do. (ok so that was a thinly veiled jab...)

For those who are not going to buy it off of Steam or D2D, and cant figure out dosbox, I highly suggest D-fend Reloaded:
http://dfendreloaded.sourceforge.net/
It is dosbox with a MAMEUI/32 like frontend. Very point and click and very user friendly.

And for those who do not want to play the game on a PC - for whatever reason, there are PSX, Amiga, and Amiga CD32 ports, and a semirelated title on the GBA: Rebelstar Tactical Command. Rebelstar is the series that the creator made first, Tactical Command was released in 2005 and is a more Xcom styled game than its predecessors (dont let the comically styled cover fool you). Though it has a heavy SRPG vibe to it.

Re: Together Retro: X-COM: UFO Defense

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:58 pm
by Ivo
I had this game on CD32 and then played it on PC. It is one of the best games I ever played. It often shows up near the top of lists of best games of all times.

I don't think I will be replaying it for TR, but it really is such a great game.

Ivo.

Re: Together Retro: X-COM: UFO Defense

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:02 pm
by MrPopo
Another thing you might consider is picking up a HWP-Rocket. This is a tank that takes up the space of 4 soldiers. However, it has a ton of RUs and a great sight range, so it makes for a fantastic scout. You probably don't want to use it to actually kill any enemies (except maybe the large guys when your weapons are still puny) since it doesn't gain experience, while your soldiers do.

Another thing to keep in mind is the day/night cycle. Your vision is reduced during the night, which can make the missions harder. A crashed UFO will stay around for a while, so you might want to save the game, then see if you can wait for daylight. If not, you can reload and assault anyway. The one exception to this rule is Terror Sites. If you see one, drop EVERYTHING and go there right away. Not responding to a terror site will completely kick your ass from the standpoint of relations with the countries. Also, in terror sites don't worry about killing civvies. You lose a few points but it's miniscule; you usually make it back up on all the other kills and loot points.

Re: Together Retro: X-COM: UFO Defense

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:08 pm
by noiseredux
fastbilly1 wrote:True, but just like getting an old game to work in a modern OS, there are certain things you will want to do. (ok so that was a thinly veiled jab...)


:?

and a semirelated title on the GBA: Rebelstar Tactical Command. Rebelstar is the series that the creator made first, Tactical Command was released in 2005 and is a more Xcom styled game than its predecessors (dont let the comically styled cover fool you). Though it has a heavy SRPG vibe to it.


You win! That's exactly what I've been playing. And I LOVE it! Reminds me so much of Terror From The Deep. It's awesome.

Re: Together Retro: X-COM: UFO Defense

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:12 pm
by fastbilly1
Actually I am curious to how everyone is playing this? Just your desktop/PC/Netbook, or something more daring like an otherOS PS3, softmodded Wii, or smartphone.

Re: Together Retro: X-COM: UFO Defense

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:23 pm
by dsheinem
noiseredux wrote:
You win! That's exactly what I've been playing. And I LOVE it! Reminds me so much of Terror From The Deep. It's awesome.


I should win! I guessed this back on page 1!


fastbilly1 wrote:Actually I am curious to how everyone is playing this? Just your desktop/PC/Netbook, or something more daring like an otherOS PS3, softmodded Wii, or smartphone.


Since I bought the pricey longbox version for PS1 in my ongoing efforts to acquire those titles, I'll be playing on it. I put in about an hour yesterday - still working through the tutorial in the book.

FYI, this is a game that you NEED the PS1 manual for to get going. If you don't have (or can't find) the manual, I'd suggest going the PC route (and using that manual).