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Mage
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Star Control 3?
« on: December 06, 2002, 09:28:07 am »

Never played the game, loved Star Control 2 but lost any interest in SC3 once I read some initial reviews and learned that it wasn't done by the original team (I'm actually not quite sure if that is even correct) but mostly because they made the Syreen bald (WTF?! How does an entire race suddenly GO BALD, they're supposed to be sexy anyways!) and that fact shows a massive amount of stupidity on the designers' part.

Anyways, my question is should I go get the game and play it?  I was curious about all the stuff about the Orz, Androsynth, and what the Arilou mention, mostly about the Orz and wtf they came from... does SC3 provide good answers?  Does it have the same level of humor of SC2?  
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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2002, 10:19:12 am »

Well the thing with the Syreen is that they were built instead of drawn. So, they looked strange to say the least (why they couldn't higher a model is beyond me). Now they do provide lots of answers, but they're a mix of real ideas by TFB and ideas that they came up with (they weren't well thought out if you ask me) so the entire thing is just a mess and it's more of a Star Trek game then a Star Control game (for non Sci-Fi fans like myself this is a bit hard to look past). And to make matters worse the new races aren't well thought out (most new ships look like flagpoles and one ship can repair it's hull, which all SC fans know doesn't happen when you're hit). Then they said the Supox were killed by the Orz simply because TFB wouldn't allow them to put it in the game. I could go on and on, but this post is getting too long as is. So, in short, I dislike the game (i refused to finish) but the main plot was ok and some say it's an ok game. If I were you I'd get the game just because I was a SC fan and decide how much of it I believed (the Precursors were cows in SCIII, which, although stupid, was TFB's idea at a joke).
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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2002, 01:59:19 pm »

I played the original Star Control when it came out.  It was a relatively straightfoward game, based mostly around pure melee.  There were campaigns you could play, but they were fairly simple (compared to SC2s huge story).  Still, it was so much fun to play melee with another person.

When Star Control 2 was released, a good (new at the time) friend of mine and I played it together during part of the summer of 94 at his house (since he had the better computer).

We loved it.  We went nuts.  We kept logs (notebooks) of every star we visited, what was found, mineral-wise and in bios.  We actually worked very well as a team.  I had a knack for scouring the planets without losing crew ... well, also I had the insane patience to save before landing and reloading if we lost too much crew ... yeah, I know that's cheap, but I'm nuts, he didn't care and in the long run it ended up saving us a lot of time and RUs.

We were both good at battles, but he did most of them.  Together, we solved the puzzles, laughed at the jokes, and shared in the excitement of new discoverys.  I kept most of the logs and notes (again, the nuts factor).

Playing and completing SC2 together solidifed our friendship.  The day we took out the Sa-Matra ... I can tell you, there was a lot of cheering, yelling and perhaps even jumping around (and a bit of sadness because it was over ... we did start over with our notes to see how fast we could do it the second time ... much easier!)

So, now to how this relates to SC3.

When initial announcements were being made on the net about SC3, we were understandably ecstatic.  But, the more my friend read about it over the months, the more upset he got.  I still kept an open mind and made a point not to read too many reviews.  Most of what I knew about the game development, I got from him.

The first complaint and worry, of course, was that it was being developed by another group.
Then the news about the use of puppets.  He told me it was going to suck.  I was still hopeful and wanted to play it.

SC3 came out and he bought it regardless of his reservations.  Together, we started playing it.
Frankly, I liked it.  Although some of the puppets look poor, like the Syreen (YUCK!), I found a lot of them to be funny, especially with the voices. ("We are XChaggers!")  Since, I had never played the 3DO version of SC2 (then again, I've never even seen a 3DO), the idea of voices was exciting enough to me.

The colony management system was a bit strange at first, but then again, as stated early, I'm a bit nuts and actually enjoyed finding suitable worlds for each member and then setting them on their way.

The plot did have some holes, and dead ends, like the unfinished Kohr-Ah uprising story.  But, for the most part, I enjoyed the overall story, twists, and jokes.

I enjoyed how you systematically took apart the Crux.  Some of those race's solutions were hilarious.  Tell me you didn't laugh the first time you saw the DakTakLakPak "rebooted"?

I've heard a lot of people complain about the Precursor story, including me friend, but it seemed to fit ok with what is said about them in SC2 by the Slylandro.  Also, didn't you ever wonder why the Melnorme trader seemed so interested in BOTH bio info AND Rainbow worlds?  Plus the discovery that the "big bad guy" (with that hilarious accent - he was so much fun to anger) is not your biggest problem added that sense of urgency that SC2 had.

Plus, the elimination of Hyperspace, I feel actually improved the flow of the game.  Think about how much time is spent in SC2 looking at a red screen as your ship flies through Hyperspace.  God forbid you don't have full engines!  We used to spend Hyperspace time updating notes or discussing plot and strategy.  For SC2, it worked and is important to the story, but I was not sorry to see it go in SC3.

My friend did finish it, but to this day, he still doesn't feel it is the "true" sequel, which he is still waiting for.

I eventually bought SC3 myself, played through it again and enjoyed it the second time as well.

If you can still find it, get it and give it a shot.  Judge for yourself.  You may hate it, or like me, you may have some fun.

(Side note: I feel that the time to finish the UQM should not be altered.  You need that feeling that time is running out and you're not out for a joy ride.  Besides, if you really want to do that, get the Portal Spawner early, map all of quasi-space which is not hard if you save and reload, find all the rainbow worlds early, sell that data for tech first, info later, clean out a few systems which is much eaiser with full shuttle shielding, upgrade your ship into a melee nightmare and your all set to do what you want.  Of course to do all that immediately, you'd have to have either played the game before, or use a walkthrough which I DO NOT recommend.  Explore yourself!  That's half the fun of the game.  If you're really worried about time and fuel early in the game, save before you leave a star system for another.  When you get to the new one, if you don't like it, write down that it stinks, reload and try another.  The star systems are not random, so the notes are always good.  Yes, it is possible to finish the game in a few hours if you know exactly where things are and the best order to do things.)

Remember, have fun!

OH, one thing:  In SC3, ICOM (your on board computer which was modeled after HAL9000 from 2001) was a mistake!  Do NOT touch him!  He will completely ruin the game for you!  They should have just added a label to him that says "CHEAT HERE".
« Last Edit: December 06, 2002, 02:07:44 pm by PsiPhi » Logged
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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2002, 11:08:34 pm »

wow.  i totally agree =)
Starcon 3 may not have been the opus that sc2 was, but it was still a lot of fun.  The Orz voice made the game for me =)


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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2002, 11:19:08 pm »

The second I noticed Legend Entertainment had done the game, I knew enough not to buy it. Legend more or less existed by buying rights to cool things and then churning out a substandard game based around it. Well perhaps some people liked Death Gate, Shanarra, and their other stuff, but I certainly did not. They were also among the worst of the "big box" contenders, shipping large quantities of air around the nation.
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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2002, 11:36:52 pm »

I was totally unimpressed with SC3.   I had actually gone to the store to buy an entirely different game the day I bought SC3.  I had somehow missed that it had been released. I of course immediately bought it instead and rushed home.
At the time I didn't know it was made by a different developer, all though I figured it out soon enough.

Maybe I was naive, expecting the game to remain somewhat true to the SC2 in format.  Afterall SC1 and SC2 are very different, SC1 being more like a turn based strategy game/arcade combat and SC2 being RPG/arcade combat.   But after a few minutes of play I immedietly disliked SC3.   It reminded me of a a poorly done strategy game.  A master of orion interface (though horrid in implementation) , mixed in many poorly done quests, unrealted storyline, horific combat engine and then removed any element of SC2 that made you feel connected to the game.. like you were actually exploring, or that you were the main character and instead replaced it with the point and click interface.  Blah

Every few years I reinstall it, thinking to myself.. "Maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance" or that "Maybe my expectations after SC2 were too high, and with all the time thats passed I can look at it as a different game"  It never fails though, it was awful then and its awful now.  

I always thought the idea of controlling colonies might be interesting for a SC2 sequel.  But I would expect something more streamlined, with a much better interface.  And most of all it shouldn't take away from the gameplay itself but add to it.  Anyway don't mind me, once I get going about how horrible SC3 is its hard to stop.
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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2002, 12:22:08 am »

I played 3 before 2.  I didn't like 3 enough to finish it, but man oh man were the VUX hilarious in 3.  (I haven't finished 2 yet, but I think I'm liking it enough to do so  Grin)
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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2002, 01:41:45 am »

I make no apologies and offer no qualifications for my loathing of SC3.

As soon as they attach the title "Star Control" to a game, they better be prepared for the comparisons to the rest of the series.   In offering a mediocre-at-best game as the sequel to one of the finest ever made, they deserve every poor review,  insult  and mockery that has been said about it.

If they wanted the game considered on its own merits, they shouldn't have attached the "star control" name to it.  As it is, they took the potential for an amazing series of games and crushed it into the tepid pile of code, and they deserve no sympathy for it.

The same argument holds against George Lucas and his recent star wars movies.  YOU HEAR THAT SOUND, GEORGE?  THAT'S PETER JACKSON WHISKING AWAY THE DREAMS OF A WHOLE GENERATION THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN YOURS IF YOU MADE A DECENT MOVIE!

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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2002, 06:25:32 am »

To help you decide you might want to go to http://www.classicgaming.com/starcontrol/sc3/sc3www.shtml It lists all the problems that make SCIII bad. Again, you might want to buy the game, besides this, just because your an SC fan (I know I would even after I heard all of this). But, just remember not to get your hopes up. Some ideas were by TFB, (most were weak ideas created by the devolpment team who worked on SCIII) but things like the fate of the Precursors was just that,  an idea. Personally I believe that if they worked on SCIII, themselves they would've stuck with their orginal idea of making them "Shaggy Ones."
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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2002, 03:26:46 pm »

I remember when I got SC3 as a Hannukah present in 1995.  I was very very excited!  Wow!  A new Star Control!  I went and installed it right away.

My high hopes began to dim as soon as I saw the opening animation.  "Legend Entertainment" flashed across my screen, and I groaned, slapping my forehead with my hand.  I had played some other Legend games, and they had been, at best, mediocre.   Death Gate had sucked, and Companions of Xanth...oi.  And now those bastards, those hacks, had gone and tried to do Star Control?!   Cry  

Well, I played it anyway.  How bad could it be?   And to be fair, some FEW things in the game were interesting.  So here's a quick rundown of my impressions at the time.

Good Things:

I found the general "Eternal Ones" idea to be fascinating.  If you're into Lovecraftian horror (which I am), the idea of an Ancient Cosmic Evil that devours sentient life is quite compelling, and familiar.  Ties in nicely with the warnings the Arilou made in SC2 about "things...from beyond". And it was done fairly well, all things considering.  I had feared initially that you would end up MEETING the Eternal Ones, but I was glad to see that not even Legend had that little class.

The Precursors devolving themselves to hide from the Eternal Ones was another element I actually quite liked.  It's an ingenious solution!  And it's an excellent explanation for why they aren't around, and why their technology looks so...advanced.  It also tied in well with what the Slylandro had to say.

On the HyperMelee side of things, I was quite fond of many of the new ships...though I would have liked to have access to all the old ones, too.  Still, the new ships were quite fun, especially the little ones like the Daktaklakpak and the Vyro-Ingo.  I got quite good with those Vyro-Ingo!  I knew they would turn out to be my favorite ship as soon as I saw the manual say "these ships are really not very good for actually damaging an enemy, but may prove an annoyance."  The new Colony Ship, on the other hand, I knew was overpowered...and easy prey to my little dudes with attitudes!

Mediocre Things:

Having one or two of the races in the game worship the Precursors and strive to be like them would make sense.  After all, these ancient beings of enormous power who vanished mysteriously would command attention from just about anyone, and why shouldn't that attention occasionally turn into worship?  It seemed a bit much to have EVERYONE go that route, though.

The puppets were a bit...underwhelming.  I heard about the use of animatronics in the game while it was still in development, and had gotten very excited.  Wow, a new technical advancement!  This would make it a really cool game!  (Oh, how young I was...I still used Windows back then, so that shows what I knew.)  As it was, they worked okay, except for the humans and the Syreen.  I winced watching the Syreen, actually.  They were supposed to be space babes, not freaky smurfs!  And it occurred to me later that the time spent on getting the animatronics working might have been better spent working on other aspects of the game.

Some of the subplots were a bit contrived, and seemed silly.  Like the Mycon thingy.  I couldn't see much point in having the Mycon along in the first place...why would they ally with anybody?  They were too weird even for the Ur-Quan to deal with much of the time.  Also, the business with the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah uprising...how was that supposed to work when Hyperspace wasn't working, and your ship was the only ride to another system?

Bad Things:

The music!  GODS, the music!  Why, why, WHY?!  SC2 had incredible music, why couldn't SC3 have followed its example?  I thought at first it was the fault of my sound hardware being kind of crappy, but then I realized: SC2 could sound good coming out of a PC speaker on a 286, there was no excuse for SC3 sounding so bad on a Pentium with a SoundBlaster AWE32.  And the CONSTANT drone of the background music...oy.  You could hear it underneath the animation music, even.  Didn't they know about suspending a background process?

The actual gameplay was lacking in several things, notably goodness.  I found myself wondering why it was important to build fleets of ships, colonies everywhere, and do lots of exploring, when nobody else in the quadrant even had a warp bubble drive.  And even if someone else did, it made mobility too much of a problem for there to be any real threat.  Enemy ships wouldn't attack mine, unless there was a plot reason.  If I built a colony right underneath a fleet of colonizing ships, they wouldn't notice.  I could ignore enemy ships, and they wouldn't respond to my presence unless I just hung around doing nothing.  

This tied into the worst thing about the game, I felt: you were led by the nose through it.  SC2 represents, to me, the best model for doing computer RPGs.  Present a universe, present a hook or two to draw people in...and then give them freedom to explore!  And let them screw up, with consequences!  If you didn't visit the ZoqFotPik in time, they would be wiped out.  If you didn't find out how to stop the Kohr-Ah in time, they would destroy all sentient life in the galaxy.  If you didn't do any number of things, you could continue to explore the galaxy, but bad things would happen!  It felt like what you did in the universe really mattered.  There were almost no clearly defined, obvious things you had to do.  Even buying information from the Melnorme would only give you information, and some of it (like the stuff about the Ultron) wasn't entirely accurate.  You had to make decisions.  YOU were in charge.

In SC3, by contrast, if you don't go the way the game wants you to...the game will go that way anyway.  If you don't go around digging for artifacts, you'll still get all the "we found this cool new artifact" messages.  If you didn't go to the Eltanin system when it collapsed and meet the Crux forces, the League would STILL declare war on the Crux.  At every turn, though you might have multiple choices, only one would be correct...and that one would be blatantly obvious as the correct choice.  Of COURSE you'll give the artifact to the aliens who want it!  Of COURSE you'll rush to the rescue of this or that alien race!  Of COURSE you won't join the Ploxis when they offer!  The game allowed you no real freedom.

They also took several plot hooks from the last game and ran them into the ground, or at least in the complete wrong direction, if you ask me.  The Ariloulaleelay, for example, gave the impression in SC2 that they had many reasons for wanting to help and watch over the Earth and the humans.  In SC3...oh, yeah, our DNA is compatible, they want us as organ donors.  Gee, thanks, Legend!  

And finding out that the Orz were allies of the Eternal Ones, the Mycon were built by the Precursors, etc., etc., etc.  Not EVERY plot element has to be tied up, guys!  And not everything has to relate to the one main storyline.  I, for one, did not WANT to find out that the Mycon were built by the precursors.  It took away a lot of the quiet sense of menace they projected to discover that, oh, no, they're not a collective consciousness bent on expansion for unknown reasons and with sinister goals, they're just malfunctioning terraforming biots!  Not to mention the Slylandro being a race that changed itself to escape the Eternal Ones...ya know, I liked the idea of them evolving IN that gas giant.  It made them more interesting.

I could mention just plain hating the Ploxis, but I'll save that.  :-)
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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2002, 10:16:00 pm »

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And finding out that the Orz were allies of the Eternal Ones, the Mycon were built by the Precursors, etc., etc., etc.  Not EVERY plot element has to be tied up, guys!  And not everything has to relate to the one main storyline.  I, for one, did not WANT to find out that the Mycon were built by the precursors.  It took away a lot of the quiet sense of menace they projected to discover that, oh, no, they're not a collective consciousness bent on expansion for unknown reasons and with sinister goals, they're just malfunctioning terraforming biots!  
Actually I think it was TFB's own idea that the Mycon were the tools of the Precursors.  If you listen to their speech files, there are "flashbacks" where the Mycon repeat (presumably) the Precursors' spoken orders to them.
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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2002, 12:54:46 am »

SC3 was absolutly crap, IMO. I had a few technical issues with it as well as some issues with the game itself.

Technical issues:
1.) When I would try and play the melee, it would replace the ships I wanted on each team with a random selection.
2.) The above happened when it even worked at all. Most of the time it would play the melee music for a couple seconds, refresh the screen (as if it was going to start), and return to the ship selection screen.
3.) The speech would often slur, especially with the Pkunk.
4.) When the critter was talking, or just after it would stop, there would be a faint, strange, kind of staticy sound in the background.
5.) Sometimes there would be sort of a "clicking" when there would be a sound of some sort sometimes (not always).

Note: All of these technical issues happened on 3 completly different computers.

I'm not even going to get into the gameplay issues (the eternally lame eternal1's, bad puppets, etc). There are just too many.
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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2002, 04:58:01 am »

Quote
To help you decide you might want to go to http://www.classicgaming.com/starcontrol/sc3/sc3www.shtml It lists all the problems that make SCIII bad.

That list seems like so much whining to my eyes -- I see a long list of bullet points that all distill down to "SC3 is a bad game because it's not SC2"

Of course it's not SC2.  That was SC2's job. Wink

SC3 failed on its own as a game (tedious gameplay, uninspired story, unchallenging puzzles) even without drawing comparisons to the earlier sequels.  But if one does draw comparisons, I think what it tried to do was combine the strategy aspect of SC with the adventure/RPG aspect of SC2, and it failed miserably on both counts. (I'm not bitter, am I? Tongue)

Of course, this opinion of mine leaves me completely unenvious of those brave souls at the Timewarp project who have picked up the mantle of writing a Star Control sequel: if they make a "Star Control 2, part 2" style game, they'll be accused of being uninspired (or worse), and if they go with a different paradigm, they risk falling flat on their faces like SC3 did..  And as this particular alpha demonstrates, just because you're doing it for free doesn't mean that people won't bitch about it.. Smiley

Are there any Timewarp coders in the house?  Would you care to comment on what's being kept from SC and SC2, what's being thrown out, and what's all new, from a gameplay perspective?  The info pages have always been appetite-whettingly vague..
« Last Edit: December 08, 2002, 04:59:28 am by Nic. » Logged
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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2002, 05:33:44 am »

Quote

That list seems like so much whining to my eyes -- I see a long list of bullet points that all distill down to "SC3 is a bad game because it's not SC2"


Well that's because that's just what it is. Wink Despite that, I do think it does give some good points to remember while playing the game, though. Like how some historical data from SCII was completely changed (game making 101: don't change real events!) and I completely agree with their take on ships (some new ones don't make sense, how can you repair hull to bring crew members back to life!?!). In either event it was the only pre-written list I could find, so it saved me some work.  Tongue
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Re: Star Control 3?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2002, 06:59:11 am »

Sure, the game wasn't as good as SC2, but if that is the criteria you judge games on, you must not play many.  It was a above average game, but suffered from being in the shadow of SC2, which, to be fair, is a pretty big chip to be on it's metaphorical shoulder.

Some good features
-Some of the races were brilliant (Daktaklakpak, K'tang)
-3D starmap was suprisingly easy to use due to name filter, four different information types, rotation and the fuel spheres
-You really hated Plexor and his Crux, that accent alone is enough to inspire genocide.  You really HATED the guys, which made crushing their empire and anhilliating their flagship even more fun
-3D combat, while useless for actual fighting, looked pretty
-Some of it was hillarious.  e.g.
K'tang - What is the significaments of us being Dolts?
You - Er...  It's short for 'incredibly impressive, big, tough, conquering guy!
K'tang - Hmph.  We were in full awarements of that.  The K'tang are the biggest Dolt's in the quadrant!

It you want to give it a try, the game is up on theunderdogs.org anyway
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