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MeetyourUnmaker

unpopular retro opinions

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I started playing Commander Keen games (playing original ones for the very first time) after the announcement of that mobile game (I am at Keen 6 now). Well here are my opinions:

 

- Keen 1 to 3 have not aged very well because:

1) The controls are clunky. For example, when I press the jump key, there is a delay of around 0.5 sec before Keen jumps.

2) No mid level saves coupled with difficult levels especially in Keen 2 and 3. If it wasn't for using Commander Genius port (that allows mid level saves), I probably wouldn't have managed to get past Keen 2.

3) No music like in Keen 4 onwards.

4) No HUD (unless if one is using Commander Genius port)

 

However on the bright side, Keen 4 onwards games are very enjoyable. I have beaten both Keen 4 and 5 and I really liked them. They are an improvement over the Vorticon trilogy in every way possible (better controls, better level design, being able to look+shoot up and down, music, mid level saves, visible HUD)

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Agree with the above and, furthermore, not only Keen 1-3 age shows today, but it showed itself basically as soon as Keen 4-6 were released. Already in mid-nineties the original trilogy was technologically very outdated, and I don't think I ever could be bothered to play it through. The same thing happened to Duke Nukem I when Duke Nukem II was released.

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Posted (edited)

Well, the first Keen games were practically NES-level. They would hardly impress anyone who had grown up with it, let alone anyone coming from the Amiga or Atari ST. But yeah, by PC standards for their day they were pretty much as good as it got. They were really better appreciated for what they were, without drawing comparisons

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Posted (edited)

Yes, they were the first PC games with smooth scroolling AFAIK, that was a big deal at the time.
I still like the first trilogy for what it is, but it's true... they are very dated compared to what came next

Edited by Noiser

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Mario kart 64 is a smeary uninspired mess and CTR blew it out of the water :V

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, ReaperAA said:

I started playing Commander Keen games (playing original ones for the very first time) after the announcement of that mobile game (I am at Keen 6 now). Well here are my opinions:

 

- Keen 1 to 3 have not aged very well because:

1) The controls are clunky. For example, when I press the jump key, there is a delay of around 0.5 sec before Keen jumps.

2) No mid level saves coupled with difficult levels especially in Keen 2 and 3. If it wasn't for using Commander Genius port (that allows mid level saves), I probably wouldn't have managed to get past Keen 2.

3) No music like in Keen 4 onwards.

4) No HUD (unless if one is using Commander Genius port)

 

However on the bright side, Keen 4 onwards games are very enjoyable. I have beaten both Keen 4 and 5 and I really liked them. They are an improvement over the Vorticon trilogy in every way possible (better controls, better level design, being able to look+shoot up and down, music, mid level saves, visible HUD)

I recently bought the Commander Keen Complete Pack on steam (well a few weeks ago when it was on sale) but i haven't played it yet so this info comes in handy! Thanks!

 

9 hours ago, Fuzzball said:

Mario kart 64 is a smeary uninspired mess and CTR blew it out of the water :V

But those loading times bro JK. Also didn't CTR come out like 3 years later? 3 years in the 90's in the videogame world is a huge chunk of time tbh.

 

But i'm not too attached to either one so no worries. I don't agree nor disagree tbh. A lot of N64 games looked blurry (well pretty much all of them did). Plus that controller...Anyway's, my favorite Mario Kart is still the original, aka Super Mario Kart. I didn't have a PS1 as i choose an N64 instead so i didn't play CTR until i had a PS2, around early 2002-ish, although my first PS2 game was GTA III. I actually enjoyed Diddy Kong Racing a lot more than Mario Kart 64 tbh.

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Posted (edited)

@ReaperAA I pretty much agree with what you've had to say. Yeah, the original Keen trilogy doesn't hold up very well for its clunky controls and antiquated sound, but the actual level design is very good. I'd place it above Keen Dreams for sure though, which is usually regarded as the weakest Keen game developed by id. I've beaten it, but only by means of cheating, because I really didn't feel that it was worth my time. If you decide to bypass it then you're really not missing much, but if you try it out then I'd be interested to hear what your thoughts on it are. 

 

Never heard of Commander Genius before, but it looks neat. I'll have to try it out at some point with the unofficial 'The Universe is Toast' mod. 

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Bioshock is a massively over-rated game with bad mechanics and no meaningful choices, although it does get a bonus point for mocking Ayn Rand.

 

Invisible War is the best Deus Ex game.

 

 

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Bioshock is a masterpiece and superior to both System Shocks. System Shock 2 has better gameplay than Bioshock, but Bioshock's story is better. I'd probably like System Shock 2 a lot more than I do if the ending wasn't so insultingly stupid. 

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The problem I've had with Bioshock is the same that I have with most games I dislike - it get repetitive and boring halfway through. Nowhere near as bad as the original Assassin's Creed; that one I didn't even have the energy to finish.

 

I have a feeling that many such games become overrated because many people review them after only playing through part of them - enough to see all the nice graphics, story and interesting ideas, but not enough to get bored to death.

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Bioshock may or may not be better than the System Shock games (I haven't played them and don't intend to), but IMO no game with mechanics that bad can be a masterpiece, and we will just have to disagree on how good the story is, because I think it isn't.  I actually liked Bioshock 2 better, since the mechanics were improved and the visual level design was more interesting.

 

 

 

Is Dungeon Siege III old enough to be "retro"?  Probably not.  But if it was, another of my unpopular opinions would be that it's the best DS game.

 

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Of the original Keen trilogy I only hate episode 3. The fact that you can skip so many levels and that one big mountain level where you're punished for playing it properly instead of taking the shortcut. My memory may be crappy though but I remember the level being that way. Well to be fair in Keen 4 you can skip almost all the levels that don't contain old guys, but Keen 4's level design is awesome.

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8 hours ago, Ajora said:

Bioshock is a masterpiece and superior to both System Shocks. System Shock 2 has better gameplay than Bioshock, but Bioshock's story is better. I'd probably like System Shock 2 a lot more than I do if the ending wasn't so insultingly stupid. 

 

The final few levels of of System Shock 2 are a pretty sad story. Dev team had to hastily slap a bunch of maps together in order to reach their deadline, and a bunch of cool shit got cut like a zero g level that took place outside the Rickenbacker.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/23/2019 at 6:13 PM, Maes said:

Well, the first Keen games were practically NES-level.

 

I disagree because the scrolling is not perfectly smooth. ;) It works a lot better than what appeared in many PC sidescrollers even years later though. Also, NES did chiptunes and sound effects way better than the PC speaker which is the only thing the first Keen trilogy supports.

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Am I one of the few people that actually prefers the cutscene formats that were in Wing Commanders 1 and 2? The live action is pretty nice, and as much as I like Mark Hamill, I do love the idea of Bluehair being my ingame avatar. Though Super Wing Commander's character looks can pretty much fuck itself, looks awful and the voice acting.

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23 hours ago, Fuzzball said:

Mario kart 64 is a smeary uninspired mess and CTR blew it out of the water :V

 

Agreed 100000000% about CTR. 

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God I wish CTR had been online. I would have somehow played it more than I already did, which was constantly for like half a year.

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14 hours ago, UNERXAi said:

Of the original Keen trilogy I only hate episode 3. The fact that you can skip so many levels and that one big mountain level where you're punished for playing it properly instead of taking the shortcut. My memory may be crappy though but I remember the level being that way. Well to be fair in Keen 4 you can skip almost all the levels that don't contain old guys, but Keen 4's level design is awesome.

 

Ah I hated that level. At first play, I managed to get all the keys but couldn't manage to find the doors or exit. I then gave up and decided to see a playthrough of that level, where I realized that I only had to go through the outside area (and jump on the clouds) to get to the exits and no keys were required. That level is a borderline troll level.

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The first trilogy also has a darker vibe due to the fact Keen actually kills the mind controlled vorticons, while in Goodbye Galaxy he just stuns hostile wild creatures. Call me a weirdo but I felt sad for those dog looking guys. Heh.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/24/2019 at 6:17 PM, xttl said:

 

I disagree because the scrolling is not perfectly smooth. ;) It works a lot better than what appeared in many PC sidescrollers even years later though. Also, NES did chiptunes and sound effects way better than the PC speaker which is the only thing the first Keen trilogy supports.

 

It's true about the scrolling, but then again scrolling on PC games in general was at Amstrad CPC/ZX Spectrum levels. Only with the advent of VGA most game companies seemed to get it (finally) right-ish.

 

As for sound...I quite liked Keen's PC speaker sound for what it was. I even installed a larger internal speaker for its sake :-P

 

Somehow, id's PC speaker effects were quite elaborate and distinctive. Most other games with PC speaker "sound" seemed to have an intro tune, and a single beep or "crash" sound for everything else.

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A game that imo has really cool PC Speaker sounds is Crsytal Caves by Apogee. It's a pretty underrated platformer but understandably so if you consider the year it came out (1991). Console platformers were very ahead at that time.

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42 minutes ago, MasterfulDark said:

Redneck Rampage is better than Duke Nukem 3D

I will have to reserve judgment on this one until after I actually got to the end of the first level of Redneck Rampage. I've been playing for 6.5 years, and I think I'm about 80% done with it, so not so long to go...

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35 minutes ago, dr_st said:

I will have to reserve judgment on this one until after I actually got to the end of the first level of Redneck Rampage. I've been playing for 6.5 years, and I think I'm about 80% done with it, so not so long to go...

 

So hopefully within this year or the next one u will finally complete it.

 

The first level that is 🤣

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On 6/24/2019 at 10:25 AM, unerxai said:

Of the original Keen trilogy I only hate episode 3. The fact that you can skip so many levels and that one big mountain level where you're punished for playing it properly instead of taking the shortcut. My memory may be crappy though but I remember the level being that way. Well to be fair in Keen 4 you can skip almost all the levels that don't contain old guys, but Keen 4's level design is awesome.

Yeah, as far as episode 3 goes, it was apparently super rushed in order to have a 3-episode set out in time and personally I think it's the worst episode with even Keen Dreams being better.  But the Caves of Oblivion thing is totally on purpose, they even hint somewhere in the documentation that it's an "impossible maze" and there's an SGA sign that says "go up" at the beginning.  Going over the top is the "proper" way to play it.  Whether this was a good choice or not is another matter, but I remember thinking it was rather clever when I first figured it out back in the day.  More annoying to me are the levels that have areas with bonuses that you flat out can't get to.  I'm not talking about the ones where you're pretty much taking a 99% chance you die to get them because of those jacks flying around and whatnot (although that's a thing in its own right) but there's at least one level where a whole big section of the level is closed off and only accessible in cheat mode, if at all, despite having all sorts of stuff in it suggesting it was meant to be accessible.  The fact that you only need to complete 3 levels to beat it is also kind of dumb but I suppose the idea was that for a first time you wouldn't know which path to take to do that given the map screen itself was also sort of a maze.

 

Episodes 1 and 2 are good though, the only complaint I'll agree with is that the whole "one button to jump and one to pogo and hitting both at once makes you fire" can get annoying.  I suppose this is related to PC joysticks prior to the Gravis Gamepad only having two buttons (which, heck, is still better than the one button ones a lot of contemporary computers were still going with). I think there's a mod for that though if it's that bad.

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I'm probably gonna get a lot of heat for these:

 

WipEout > F-ZERO.

 

Earthbound wasn't all that hot.

 

Half-Life 2 wasn't that big of a deal. HL1 was better.

 

Burnout 2 was the best one.

 

Thunder Force > R-Type > Gradius.

 

Gunstar Heroes > Metal Slug > Contra.

 

1990 Aliens arcade game is still the best Aliens game, and Aliens Colonial Marines was actually quite fun.

 

Quake II on the N64 > all PC mission packs.

 

Super Mario Kart > all other Mario Karts.

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1 hour ago, scalliano said:

1990 Aliens arcade game is still the best Aliens game, and Aliens Colonial Marines was actually quite fun.

 

I've played through it. It's fun, but it's got nothing on Alien vs Predator by Capcom. 

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27 minutes ago, amackert said:

Quake 1 is a far superior game to Quake 2.

 

Of course, it is. That's the popular opinion. 

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