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Player Game Review

Posted at 11:13 on April 27th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Game Tittle: Master of Orion 3 (MOO3)
Game Rating: Bad (for now)
Recommended: Not worth playing until they at least lower the price by half.

Comments:
I'm pretty sad about this one. Me who've put SO much hopes in a game that would finnaly be good in the stack of "newer" games in the shelves yesterday... And yet, after roughly 4 hours of playing I feel really cheated and deceived. I have to shamefully admit that I prefer the MOO3 resource book over the actual game! Indeed, the history of MOO, which cover roughtly 20000 game years from the original thru the second and finnaly this third chapter, is awesome. I took 2 hours before playing to read it, trying to immerse myself in the game before even installing it. It was probably a mistake.

The Cons:
The gameplay is pretty much reduced to 0. C'mon now, you'd expect to do something in such a game, right? Well, the AI, by default, can pretty much play the game at your place, building your colonies [i]and[/i] waging war for you. And even if you do wish to do all the work yourself, something seems to feel terribly wrong on how a planet can be built... Basically, you can change about everything you like on the planet. Taxes, construction allocation in 5-6 area, the way you opress your people, you even decide if so and so planets get immigration or not. [i]But[/i], and here come the strange part; where are the advisors who are supposed to manage that? Logically, if I look at the strange interface, it would be the same advisor that would do the financial budget... But strangely, the computer don't do much about it, at least in the early game. It's just like if the "help" was not at the right place. After [i]trying[/i] to understand the logic of it all, I finnaly decided to turn them all off and try to run all my colonies by myself. Perhaps that way I'll manage to understand somehow how it works...

Let's talk about that strange interface... It seems like the producers tryed to fill the most important screen, i.e. the planet screen, with so much informations that you can't see it in one shot. To counter this problem, they minimized [i]all[/i] the windows into tabs or slabs, call them how you want, around the screen. Even tough most of the windows do have a small resume of the most important things before you maximize it, you're always at least one or two click away of what you really want to do or see. Very annoying, since it mean you either got there by the planetary resumee, or with the old method of double-clicking on the star system, then double-clicking on the planet. Since the planet screen is the most viewed screen of the game, it make it for a lot of clicks. At times I felt like that game core might be consisted only of them. Also other issues with the [i]SitRep[/i] (Situation Report) that shows up at the beginning of every turn and offers you hyperlinks to zoom on the events get in the way. If you have a link showing you one of your planets, it will take you directly there but will also add a [i]back[/i] button at the place of the zoom-out option, effectively and annoyingly preventing you to go look at the other planets of the same solar system, which is very stupid if you consider you can open the [i]SitRep[/i] anytime very easily in the upper menu.

Next is the science research part. Why you can see billions of techs that you can't have access to in your [i]SitRep[/i] is way beyond me. There [i]is[/i] an option to turn this off, but it effectively prevent you to see when you do a tech breakthru! I'm still boggling about this one.
The science research is plainly bad. Instead of selecting the kind of discoveries you want your scientist to work on, you now have 6 fields of research to fill all at once. You can decide to switch your 100% RP (research points) in those 6 fields as you wish, and those fields are made of levels. All the discoveries are flagged at certain levels and when you hit the required level, your scientists automatically start researching that particular project. It's another interface that I still have to devise out, but as far as I'm concerned the only thing you have to do to get tech is to fiddle with the % bars and wait. It takes all the fun out of researching new technologies, if there was any before.

Now, let's face it; you'll eventually end up in battles. Here again, the interface does nothing to try to clear things up for you! I ended up loosing my 2 starting scouts early in the game because I had no way to figure out how not to make them fight in a one way battle! C'mon, do you expect unarmed ships to try to hammer down ennemy ships 3 or 4 against one? -_- And I'm only talking about the preview screen of the battle, the actual battle is also really wierd, borderline extremely bad for a strategy game. First, it's not turn based but time based, with no choices as to take one or the other. Second, it takes you immediatly in the combat phase without even prompting you or waiting for you to be ready. I never actually got the time yet to check if there was a pause option in the single player game battles before getting whoped. And then is the combat itself... You would be expecting something showing you the amount and the kind of damage a craft take in a battle in this kind of strategy game, right? But instead, all what you see is rays and missiles being auto fired out at ennemies, and some numbers of different colors tilting out of hit ships... I felt like I was in a cheap action game.

The actual game is also wierd. As it might be a matter of taste, I dislike the fact that you start out either subjugated by the "Elder Orions" (the remaining Antarians), or free but basically starting from scratch. I won't consider it a con tough, even if it [i]is[/i] wierd for this game.

The graphics. Erm, yeah. Well, that's it. What should I say here? The graphics are nice. The cinematics, tough hardly seen by me since I'm playing it on a borderline machine, seems to be quite well done. However, and this is the bad part; this is a [b][i]strategy[/b][/i] game, goddamnit! Another sheer example of wasted gameplay transposed to graphical interest. The game would have been way better if they took more time to build a better science or combat system instead.

The Pros:
Great history. The game runs well and still seems to be well made. It's original, trying to get out of the serie tradition, even tough it might just be why I don't like it.

Bottom line:
This game is not really that bad, if you like very long game that waste most of your time.
It might even appeal to you (or, more importantly, to the real market; teens). However, my main grudge here is not that it's a poor game in anybody standards, but that I felt robbed when I bought it. I wasted 80$ CAN to buy this game that I feel should be paid at max 50$, and most probably around 35$. Do the math...
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I am on a hot streak... Litterally.
Posted at 12:15 on April 27th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Hmmm... I think I saw a certain someone playing this game not so long ago - last week actually. He made some of the same comments about the game basically playing itself if you let it, and I thought it wasn't very fun to watch at all. I wonder if he shares your opinion though; he seemed to find it quite entertaining, but I have no idea how much he paid for it.
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Posted at 12:57 on April 27th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Hmmmyes :evil: I guess you would be talking about me there, heh Moley :) I agree with you EoF that the game plays itself but I've found that if you choose the Evon or Psilon as a race, disallow forced labor, allow A.I. colonization and devise some good research-oriented developmentplans for your planets in the empire-screen you will soon have a tech-advantage which makes the game rather fun (for me that is). I'm playing a large 3-armed galaxy with the Evon at the moment and I'm around game-turn 800 if I remember correctly and no other race can touch me anymore... My empire is withouth a doubt the biggest, I am the only one with an effective military might and am now enjoying myself with stealing all the other races tech-secrets and slowly assimilating euhm... I mean libirating the rest of the galaxy. But without the development-plans you have to create, the A.I. sucks donkey balls and your planets will amount to nothing (unless you do everything yourself but with an empire like the one I have at the moment that is nolonger doable seeing as I have about 100+ different starsystems with each 5 planets in average). So in all fairness, after extensive play, this game isn't worth a single buck and is only fun in the latter stages. Lucky for me I got it from my brother who didn't want it anymore because of being to suckey a game :)
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"In theory, if people bred as fast as ants, and with an equal indifference for it's surrounding species, earth would have 5 million human inhabitants at the turn of the century. But this, of course, is highly unthinkable"
Posted at 13:44 on April 27th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I was looking forward to this game having loved the first two installments but I dont think I'll bother now.

While i'm sad at the 'play by itself' comments i'm not surprised by them.

This ethos of taking most of the work(fun) out of the hands of the player is shameful. It reminds of the time when the CD was first being used as a medium for games, 'interactive' was a buzz word for the first time and instead of concentrating on making games with good gameplay software houses would churn out crap like Wing Commander 4 just because they had the space for loads of FMV. Wheres the fun in that? lets watch Mark Hamill make a twat of himself. Great, just sit back while the computer does its work and you, the player, get to do nothing! Arrrggggg, wheres my blood pressure tablets, i feel a seizure coming on.
Posted at 15:36 on April 27th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I played another 4 hours here. I beleive MOO3 is one of the most boring game I ever played! :(

It is taking 800 megs on my HD for nothing. I got more fun playing ADOM :tongue:

While I'm at it, did anybody try yet SimCity 4? I guess that would be my next game to buy in a short future...

Edited by Eagle of Fire at 23:40 on April, 27th 2003
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I am on a hot streak... Litterally.
Posted at 15:51 on April 27th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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If you've already played it for 8 hours, I doubt it's one of the most boring games you ever played :P
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 22:04 on April 27th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I wish. :(

I kept playing because I felt like a follow up of MOO could not be that bad. Again, I been sad to realize that this game is not even worth playing.

Pada1 mentioned 800 turns. Man, he sure have nothing else to do or is extremely patient. 8 hours of play for me would roughtly translate to 100 turns, and nothing exiting happened in those 100 turns...
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I am on a hot streak... Litterally.
Posted at 04:45 on April 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I got bored during the nights when I was at home last holiday :)
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"In theory, if people bred as fast as ants, and with an equal indifference for it's surrounding species, earth would have 5 million human inhabitants at the turn of the century. But this, of course, is highly unthinkable"
Posted at 07:24 on April 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I haven't played, nor have I the desire to play MoO 3. I've read too many reviews just like this one to go and spend $50 for this game; I'd rather stick with Moo: Baa.
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NetDanzr<br />
-The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog-
Posted at 09:09 on April 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
Moo: Baa
3|33+3!
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 10:48 on April 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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For the record: I was talking about a PC game, not about sheep sex.
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NetDanzr<br />
-The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog-
Posted at 10:50 on April 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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For once...
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 11:06 on April 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Am I the only one here who's starting to get concerned? :doubt:
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"In theory, if people bred as fast as ants, and with an equal indifference for it's surrounding species, earth would have 5 million human inhabitants at the turn of the century. But this, of course, is highly unthinkable"
Posted at 11:16 on April 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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How long have you been around?
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NetDanzr<br />
-The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog-
Posted at 17:11 on April 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Concerned about what Pada1? The game, or a comment posted by someone else?
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I am on a hot streak... Litterally.
Posted at 10:15 on May 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Update; while my borderline computer went away on maintnance, I tryied to play MOO3 on a 2.something gigaheartz computer. I am slowly beginning to understand what kind of fun this game can achieve, tough I can't remove any of the cons I made to this game thus far.

In comparison to the 100 turns in 8 hours, I did roughly 200 turn on 4 hours on the 2.something gig machine. But then, perhaps it's because I begin to know what to do...
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I am on a hot streak... Litterally.
Posted at 11:05 on May 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
Posted by NetDanzr:
How long have you been around?
Apparently it might start to become a bit too long :bemused:
Quote:
Posted by Eagle of Fire: Concerned about what Pada1? The game, or a comment posted by someone else?
Although the game is rather concerning at times I was referring to some entities on this board :)
Quote:
But then, perhaps it's because I begin to know what to do...
Jup, just sit back, relax and let the A.I. do all the real work :) And off course, manage your development plans...
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"In theory, if people bred as fast as ants, and with an equal indifference for it's surrounding species, earth would have 5 million human inhabitants at the turn of the century. But this, of course, is highly unthinkable"
Posted at 11:52 on May 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
Apparently it might start to become a bit too long
Apparantely, it has been too short. Dancy's sexual obsession with sheep is one of the oldest topics of this forum :P
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 12:24 on May 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Awwww, come on, Mr Creosote. You are just jealous ;)
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NetDanzr<br />
-The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog-
Posted at 12:28 on May 1st, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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You people really should decide - you're jumping between calling me gay, pedophile, an asexual machine and now an animal lover. It's not very convincing this way :P
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
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