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Thread: The Last Federation

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis

    The Last Federation

    How many games can I play at once? Let's find out.

    I find The Last Federation immensely appealing. You're in a solar system with nine sentient races, all within a hundred years of achieving spaceflight. There are three asshole races, three nice ones, and three hapless ones. You play as the last survivor of the tenth race, who once subjugated the entire system, and is the reason why they're all at such technological parity. In the absence of outside intervention, one of the three asshole species will invariably win: the hive-mind warrior species via military conquest and genocide, the ultra-capitalist species via conquest and enslavement, or the high-technology species via genetically engineered diseases. You, the last hydra, an idealist with an overpowered flagship, have to play the species against each other with the goal of ensuring as many species survive as possible. First, you give early spaceflight technology to two or three of the races, granting them a headstart and securing yourself an ally. Once that's done, the game shows you its systems.

    Imagine it's your first time playing Civ, and your first game puts you at the start of the industrial era, your nation comprising a half-dozen specialized cities with construction already in progress. On top of that, there's a web of alliances with a war about to start, and winning requires you to build a world wonder. That's what it's like to play The Last Federation for the first time. My second try didn't make it past the systems deluge either. This is my third try. There is a tutorial, and it's, um... good at teaching you spaceship combat.

    This time, I'm not trying to save everyone. I'm just going to try to protect the hapless and nice races against the asshole ones. I'm also going to disregard the spaceship combat entirely, and focus entirely on the economic, diplomatic, and technological systems.

    Also, since it's funny. Here's my list of games in progress, in order of when I started them, with explanations for why they're not finished yet.

    • Shadowrun: Dragonfall. I just... don't enjoy tactical RPGs, or other turn-based tactical games. Yes, I know that's a character flaw. I'll make it through, though, as the plot and character-building are great.

    • Night in the Woods. A wonderful game, but there was one scene... the game smiled at me, looked me in the eyes with compassion and understanding, and cut me open. I can't go back until it stops hurting.

    • Crosscode. A superb 2D action RPG, comparable in style and quality to Hyper Light Drifter. But it had too many gameplay systems for me to handle simultaneously in a real-time game, and toward the end became very stressful to play, even though I wanted very much to keep playing. It's set aside until my mental health is better.

    • Waking Mars. The Randy Smith game that proves Randy Smith was not the source of Thief's brilliance. Even so, it would have been a good game if it were half its length. I feel an obligation to finish it due to its LGS heritage, and would have stopped otherwise. I'll pick the game up, finish a cave, roll my eyes and set it aside for another two weeks.

    • Darkwood. An amazing game, so reminiscent of my psychotic episodes that it's therapeutic to play. However, my mood has to be one of grim determination to face such a personal ordeal.

    • Dragon Quest Builders. I've been yammering about this in the other thread.

    • SpelunKing. A match-three game crossed with a town-building game. Yes, I know match-three games are a vice, but the town-building portion and the interactions between the two halves are so good. It has like twenty levels, and I only have the appetite for one or so per day.

    • Cultist Simulator. A game is ongoing, but I don't know whether I can push past the tedium.

    • BEEP. A solid little physics-based puzzle platformer. I'm about five-sixths through, but the last world jumped quite a bit in difficulty, so I'm setting it down until my patience returns.

    • The Last Federation. And now, this one, by the makers of AI War, with a comparably nutso level of complexity.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 2nd Jun 2020 at 00:16.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I found Shadowrun: Hong Kong to be far superior to Dragonfall. Had more in the way of content, especially after the later expansion to it many months later. It has some good choices as well, and does not force you to be a hacker to succeed. Though in all Shadowrun games it certainly helps if you at least dabble in it.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Crosscode was very very well made, but like you I found it stressful, and have still yet to finish it. Very clever concept though and good story.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchic Fox View Post
    Night in the Woods. A wonderful game, but there was one scene... the game smiled at me, looked me in the eyes with compassion and understanding, and cut me open. I can't go back until it stops hurting.
    One of my absolute favourites of recent years. Which scene is it that got to you this much?

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    I found Shadowrun: Hong Kong to be far superior to Dragonfall. Had more in the way of content, especially after the later expansion to it many months later. It has some good choices as well, and does not force you to be a hacker to succeed. Though in all Shadowrun games it certainly helps if you at least dabble in it.
    I'll play it someday, too. I love the RPG and story parts of this series. *shrugs* But for reasons unknown, the only game of this type I've fully enjoyed was Final Fantasy Tactics, and I've tried a fair number.

    Quote Originally Posted by PigLick View Post
    Crosscode was very very well made, but like you I found it stressful, and have still yet to finish it. Very clever concept though and good story.
    Heh, after you said that I tried thinking of how many systems are at play simultaneously. You've got melee fighting alternating with mouse-look projectile fighting. The melee fighting has dodging, dashing and positional advantages. The projectile fighting is split into four elements (not the classical ones, novel ones) plus a neutral one. The elemental ranged attacks have different trajectories and many distinct quirks. Each element has a pertinent status effect, each quite different. There's the usual elemental weaknesses, but you'll often be simultaneously fighting two enemy types with distinct vulnerabilities. The vulnerabilities govern both damage and status effects. In the meantime there's a meter building to be spent on powerful attack spells, each with a distinct geometric pattern and dangerous side effect. Your two AI companions are going at it too, while the loot drop system asks that your breaks from fighting take no more than ten seconds.

    It's fun! It's very fun! But engaging all those systems at once is way beyond my abilities. Thank goodness it's an RPG too, so I can just level up. Still... why is this cute-anime-girl game designed for demigods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    One of my absolute favourites of recent years. Which scene is it that got to you this much?
    I'll tell you once it no longer stings. :P

    Edit: Well, I'm not going to look it up, but I can say how I remember it. Gregg: "Hooray! Back from another wild adventure." Mae: "Yeah, that was a blast! Just like old times." Gregg: "Yeah, it sure took me back." Mae: "So what's up with you?" Gregg: "Oh, Angus and I are moving in three months. We're finally going to escape this town that's slowly killing us." Mae: "Great! Can I come with you?" Gregg: "Nope. Hey, wanna have another wild adventure next weekend?"

    I live in a cage. Its door is unlocked, but it's still a cage. In a year I will again attempt to escape my hometown. This is my third escape attempt, and this time I will succeed. That's as much detail as I'm willing to give in public.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 1st Jun 2020 at 16:28.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Actually, you know what, I'm done with Waking Mars. I just discovered its big secret a few days ago, but instead of going any deeper my dude is heading back to the surface to be rescued. He's already done heroic work, other astronauts can come do the rest.

    It's very strange. This game displays utmost professionalism in every respect, and yet fails. The two main characters, excellently voice-acted and portrayed with nuance, show themselves to be caricatures at the big reveal. The story is thoroughly researched, relatively scientifically grounded, schlock. The ecosystems you interact with are complex, interlocking affairs that allow for emergent behavior, and somehow feel completely artificial. The controls are smooth, simple and intuitive, enabling me to make critical mistakes at the slip of a finger.

    I struggle for an explanation. The best I can come up with is that Randy Smith never learned that what's fun to design, and what's fun to play, are not the same.

    Anyway. The two heroes, though fascinated by their discoveries, realized that dude's life is more important than anything else. They used their combined scientific and engineering know-how to devise ways around the obstacles of the descent's final third. Did I play that final descent? Hell no, because in my head, dude finally, after two days of exploration, encountered problems that can't be solved by throwing seeds.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 1st Jun 2020 at 14:53.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchic Fox View Post
    I'll play it someday, too. I love the RPG and story parts of this series. *shrugs* But for reasons unknown, the only game of this type I've fully enjoyed was Final Fantasy Tactics, and I've tried a fair number.
    Shadowrun is a universe much like Warhammer to just lose yourself in where you have classic cyberpunk set in the near future mixed with a healthy dose of D&D. Its a great world to immerse yourself in, and then every new game in it is a treat.

    Whether its the original games on the Megadrive and SNES or it's more modern counterparts. All excellent. I will say that if your not digging the tactical XCOM-y battles and want something more real time then the originals may be more to your liking if you don't mind 16 bit graphics.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    Shadowrun is a universe much like Warhammer to just lose yourself in where you have classic cyberpunk set in the near future mixed with a healthy dose of D&D. Its a great world to immerse yourself in, and then every new game in it is a treat.
    The problem there is, our world has some of the worst stuff in Shadowrun, with none of the cool stuff. For me, Shadowrun is fascinating but depressing.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    How is D&D races and magic mixed with cyberpunk not a cool thing?

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I think he's complaining that the real world lacks magic rather than complaining that Shadowrun does?

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    I think he's complaining that the real world lacks magic rather than complaining that Shadowrun does?
    That's right. Megacorporations, but no arcologies, magic, or virtual reality.

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