Yeah, unfortunately I have to concur. While I have my own categories that thankfully weren’t nuked during the transition, for the most part scrolling is much slower and it seems as if the window where the selected game is displayed, is more cramped.
Other than that I have managed to put a few more hours into Fallout 2. Trying to clean out the rats in and below the Trapper district of Klamath proved to be the right choice. I eventually found a 10 mm pistol, a good amount of money and some Stimpacks. After that I was able to afford paying off Sulik’s debt, so that has already made combat more manageable. Even so, getting rid of the Golden Geckos in the Toxic Caves was still not easy and I used up all of my Stimpacks. I was able to stock up on ammo at The Den, but I can’t afford anything else for the moment.
And yesterday I decided that I should maybe take another look at some of the other games I have still installed, but not played in a while. I did try the demo of Windchaser (tactics RPG) for a bit, but ended up not being terribly impressed with anything and uninstalled it. Maybe moreso because it’s one of these cases where the tutorial manages to be more annoying than anything. Some dialogue to the top left, help-window to the top right, unfamiliar interface and tooltips to read and while I’m trying to pay attention to any of them, my character is introducing me to the setting. I felt similarly about Universe at War, which also refused to leave me alone even for a moment. I was especially perplexed when it decided to literally throw lots of new units and abilities at me in a matter of maybe half a minute or less. While some character was uselessly babbling away of course.
Other than that I have found UaW to be just “ok”. I’m not a fan of the soundtrack, but I like the factions both aesthetically and in terms of them being distinctive in the area of gameplay. I haven’t tried the Hierarchy yet, but I suppose I like the Masari (Sci-Fi Atlantians) more than the Novus. The latter have these little automated robots that collect materials on the map and convert them into ressources, whereas the Masari only need to put down up to five buildings that are essentially power plants that produce ressources. There’s a limit to how much one can store at any one time. Other than that Novus infantry can quickly speed along cloaked power lines to wherever they are needed. The builders of the faction can cooperate on the building process. In that regard the Architects of the Masari are limited to just two, but they can be used to speed up anything: Research, Ressource collection, production etc. The main feature of the faction is that they can switch from “Light”-mode to “Dark”-mode, wich influences various things like sight range and such. Dark Matter Armor only builds up in Dark-mode, but aircraft are grounded.
However, when it comes to some other standard building blocks of the genre, I’m not a fan. The research system is made up of overarching upgrades which usually contain a few things and unlock the next upgrade in the line. I really don’t like how messy this makes everything. On the one hand I can’t just pick and choose what I want, but it also just makes it hard to make good decisions and it makes the system harder to learn. I wouldn’t find this as annoying, if it was just one upgrade per research line, but this way it just unnecessarily restricts choice and makes things more complicated. It’s particularly bad with the Masari since Light/Dark also come into play as a factor to keep in mind.
Bad tooltips are a pet peeve of mine and unfortunately that’s another area where UaW loses more ground with me. There are no numbers, just vague text. This is true for everything but costs. It simply doesn’t allow me to try and gauge anything without first trying it out in a few different scenarios.
And these scenarios are limited, mostly because the maximum supply cap is just 90. In all skirmishes which I have let go on even for a bit too long I did eventually end up just building as many of the “biggest” available unit type as possible, because nothing else really worked. I managed to win one short game by just rushing my opponent with the basic Novus infantry tpye, but massed Aircraft have always failed so far and mixed armies of low- to mid-tech units have generally just slowly died off during attempted offensives. All these options I have just don’t seem to matter much in practice. I just pick the research path that seems to offer the most straight-up power and either go with something fast or powerful and that’s it.
I will try a few more skirmishes, but I’m not really enthusiastic a the moment.
And for last; Painkiller. I still have it installed and after finishing the base-game I decided to give the first expansion Battle out of Hell a try. It’s basically just a few more maps, some new enemies and two new guns. I suppose it’s fine if one really likes Painkiller, but I had stopped playing a while back and so did give up on it yesterday and just watched parts of an LP. It didn’t change my opinion and since the version of Painkiller I have is the Pandemonium edition which also includes Resurrection, I did give that one a try. And interestingly I already like the design of the first map more than anything that was in the other ones. There might be constant physics glitches and the enemy spawning is definitely handled rather cheaply, but aesthetically it’s surprisingly good with some nice ideas. Hopefully the other maps will be as good.