Fallout Tactics vs. Jagged Alliance 2 (JA2 AARs)

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Fallout Tactics vs. Jagged Alliance 2 (JA2 AARs)

Post by Jan » Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:42 pm

Downloaded the demo for JA2.

And it was biased from the beginning reading the readme file. How I first read it (not kidding):
Howdy, Gamer!

Welcome to the JAGGED ALLIANCE 2 Demo.

The demo does NOT represent the beginning of the dull game...
Then I had to stop and re-read. "The demo does NOT represent the beginning of the full game." Ooh, right, of course. :lol:

Anyway, I got some gaming to do.

[edit] by d.sauzi because the comparison hsa somewhere degraded to experiences and after-action reports of jagged alliance 2[/edit]

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Post by Marcus » Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:34 am

Jagged Alliance isnt as Linear I think.

Also Fallout is better with that "one man army, Heck Im A Mad Max and gonna go out whope as with my shot gun and hell hound"

While jagged Alliance is a "modern age mercenary wars with loots of kick ass,lvl and charachters."

Ehm well Jagged alliance since I have beaten the game and only played the FO Tactics demo.

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Post by Gorth » Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:28 am

I've played a less than legal version of FoT to see if it was something for me. After 3 hours, I gave up, bored to death by endless random (or perhaps not) boring wilderness encounters. Off my computer it went, never to return.

Jagged Alliance 2 on the other hand... made me buy the expansion (Unfinished Business) too.

Only thing is, you need to get over the start in Omerta and what is more or less the tutorial place in Drassen. Once you've cleared that and get regular income and supplies, the game starts to grow on you.
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Post by Jan » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:49 pm

We share the same misconceptions from a short biased venture into enemy camp, I can see. We'll I'm gonna set it straight for my part.

Usually when I write my thoughts I go with first impressions first and all the bitching about adjusting to controls and game mechanics ensues. Last night I was gonna write something bad, but it just felt like too much bashing, reading it thru. Not undeserving, but since I sense (and abuse) the emnity I have to be more thorough to really strike where it hurts.

The demo is really bad in several ways, but I think I saw a very cheap copy of JA2 somewhere. I'll go look for that.

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Post by Jan » Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:24 pm

Haven't been able to find a retail version of JA2, so I'm completed the demo a couple of times. I hope the demo isn't a fair representative of the retail game, because it's really not good.

Did the last completion mostly solo with Shadow. Pretty easy, despite the cheating game. Boiling this down is just too much work for such a petty game.
Use protective eye-wear, years of playing the BiS games can make the eyes sensitive to poor imitations.
The graphics are clearly inspired by Fallout, but the developer certainly didn't have the same artistic talent and it hurts the game.

There are quite of lot bad design choices in the game and some huge flaws in tactics and combat, imo.

On LOS. Line of sight is really bad. You never quite know what you are gonna shoot at, except that you will be hitting a lot of wall and cover. When you use aim in FO/T you get a nice pop-up window that will let you chose. In JA2 you move the cursor over a few pixels of low-res rubbish to target head, torso or legs. And the aim doesn't show the chance to hit, but the action points required to make the shot. Only thing that really works is close range...a few tiles apart. Being on the same row or column as your enemy in this tiled squared world is a must. You can shoot at an enemy in the house, but you can't shoot directly at explosive material in the house, but if you get a lucky miss you can. Very inconsistent. There was an enemy crouching behind a box that nearly killed half of my mercs in the first game. No matter my own stance, aim or how close I got, I only hit the box. Had to move out. An enemy was sniping me from the roof top into the building thru the windows. He hit very often and very hard. I never managed to hit him. Next time, I killed him first by climbing the roof top and tried to shoot the enemy in the house. Didn't work out. They hit me often and hard and I missed a lot. Feh...

On Ranged. You just keep missing with your long-range guns, and any other range weapons for that matter, while the enemy just keep hitting with close-range handguns at long range and unlike you they actually seem to have unlimited ammo, except when you loot them. Shooting from one room, across a room into an adjoining room seems to be impossible, even with a clear straight aim, but not for the enemy.

On grenades. Using grenades and the grenade launcher is actually a bit weird. When you target a spot (black crosshair) you also see the expected drop point (red crosshair), which will make you aim at some rather strange things to hit the enemy.

On Turnbased. Trying to get into a position to kill isn't that easy with or without stealth. As soon as you spot an enemy or the enemy spots you, turn-based combat is turned on instantly. If you wanna sneak around and get into positon you have to know where the enemy is and avoid seeing it and avoid being seen. Wha...t? Even if you ignore the enemy, without taking a shot and try to move out of sight, the enemy who wasn't even facing your direction will just turn around and shoot you. Hhhng.

On Inventory. Inventory is VERY limited. There are 8 spots for ammo, grenades, small handguns or small medkits and 4 spots for anything bigger. You can't load all the junk onto one char and have that sell it. There is no easy way of transferring items from one to the other like a barter screen. And when you start to move items around you'll see just how short that range really is. Some items have some very limited stack options based on the capacity of the ammo magazine. Limit is 60 bullets capacity in each stack. Even if you have 4 small magazines, 15 bullet capacity, with only 1 bullet in each, you can only have 4 of those magazines in one stack. For grenades and rifle mags (30 bullet capacity) the limit is 2 in each stack. Feh.

On Action Points (AP). If you are using stealth, shots cost more action points. Movement costs depend on stance: stand 2 AP, crouch 3 AP, prone 4 AP for moving in the cardinal directions. Moving into the NE, SE, NW, SW, cost +1 AP. Quite often you'll find yourself with remaining unusable AP's like 3 AP's. It cost AP's to reload guns, but not to switch guns. If your body isn't aiming at the enemy in itself it cost more AP's to shoot and likely less accurate too but, since accuracy apparently isn't really part of the game, that's just speculation.

On moving around. Thanks to a silly animated cursor, that will easily overlap the character-square and thus invoke other options, moving around the vicinity of your current character or past other members of your team or past items on the ground, that can be pretty damn annoying. When you hover the cursor over the ground, planning you path, you will see a series of footsteps and the total movement cost, but when you actually do move over a couple of tiles you'll see, that it cost you a whole lot more. Instead of gaining an advantageous spot, you are suddenly a sitting duck. Tch. Furthermore, if you current character spot an enemy or an item on the ground while moving, he will stop moving in midair.

I find the roleplaying to be very shallow and I'm not in favor of the character development system where skill points are automatically put into the most used skills. You grow in the skills you use.

JA2 reminds me of a C&C styled game with pigs in tanks. Think the demo was called Z or something like that. Funny 'radio' comments on everything from being hit, to hitting and spotting enemies.

It's like JA2 is the equivalent of the Sims Tactical Combat Game. You hire a bunch of sim-mercs, who's gonna drive you mad with pointless repetitive comments about this and that and there is no real communication besides it. The only way to keep them happy (high morale) is to give them some successful experiences "easy kills". Vicki kept losing morale for no other reason than my neglect to use her in combat and the passing of time. Do I really need to cuddle them all the time. Sheesh. Anyone who isn't an enemy can be adressed with 5 attitude-buttons "Friendly" "Neutral" "Threatening" "Buy/Sale" "Recruit", which you keep pressing for more info.

There is one good feature: the ability to Climb/Jump roofs and fences, but it soon becomes a requirement to deal with roof-top snipers more than just an added tactical feature. It doesn't work quite as well for players either as it does for the computer characters and the constant need to shift between ground-levels when moving and shooting is also really annoying.

JA2 isn't that hard, once you get the hang of it, it's really quite easy. It's surprisingly fun the first few times you hear the comments. The voices are pretty good and they do add some distinctiveness to your sims, uh mercs. It's just a damned annoying game, that looks and plays ugly and with some very repetitive comments.

If JA2 had stayed closer to its source of inspiration and the talented people over at BiS it would have been a blockbuster, but then it would have been Fallout Tactics....and with some added dialogue....Fallout 3.

Anyone who thinks, that FOT is a cheap imitation of JA2 is obviously suffering from JA2 fanboy-ism sharing the same delusions of grandeur as JA2 itself. JA2 promotes itself as the "Best of": roleplaying, tactics and strategy. That's a laugh. I guess I'm just not a fan of JA2.

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Post by Gorth » Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:38 pm

I'm not going to try to convince you to like it, but you either got a few things wrong (or perhaps, you can't do it in the demo?)
Janmanden wrote:The graphics are clearly inspired by Fallout, but the developer certainly didn't have the same artistic talent and it hurts the game..
More likely, it was inspired by JA (the original).
Janmanden wrote: On LOS. Line of sight is really bad. You never quite know what you are gonna shoot at, except that you will be hitting a lot of wall and cover..
You can hold down the... damn, can't remember what key it is. There is a shift/alt something that highlights your LOS.
Janmanden wrote:And the aim doesn't show the chance to hit, but the action points required to make the shot. .
Again, the size of your reticule is an indicator. Forgot the exact thing to do, but you can it to show a % number of your to hit chance.
Janmanden wrote:You can shoot at an enemy in the house, but you can't shoot directly at explosive material in the house, but if you get a lucky miss you can. Very inconsistent..
You can. Right click with you mouse to get the dark reticule and click twice with your left mouse button (once to verify you are aiming at terrain, second time to actually fire).
Janmanden wrote:There was an enemy crouching behind a box that nearly killed half of my mercs in the first game. No matter my own stance, aim or how close I got, I only hit the box. Had to move out. An enemy was sniping me from the roof top into the building thru the windows. He hit very often and very hard. I never managed to hit him..
Thats sort of the point of crouching behind a box. It provides cover and crouching improves your aim (see above notes about %). It's recommended to do the same if flushing out enemies. Lying prone behind cover is even better, especially if your rifles have bipods :)
Janmanden wrote:On Ranged. You just keep missing with your long-range guns, and any other range weapons for that matter, while the enemy just keep hitting with close-range handguns at long range and unlike you they actually seem to have unlimited ammo.
They have limitied ammo. In long firefights, you will actually see enemies run out of it and start using melee weapons (or leg it away, fleeing the combat zone) :roll:
Janmanden wrote:Shooting from one room, across a room into an adjoining room seems to be impossible, even with a clear straight aim, but not for the enemy. .
See notes about LOS. It's a bit skewed because it *is* a hex based combat system.
Janmanden wrote:On grenades. Using grenades and the grenade launcher is actually a bit weird. When you target a spot (black crosshair) you also see the expected drop point (red crosshair), which will make you aim at some rather strange things to hit the enemy. .
See note about targeting terrain. It also considers obstacles when throwing grenades (you can't lob a grenade through a roof f.x.)
Janmanden wrote:On Turnbased. Trying to get into a position to kill isn't that easy with or without stealth. As soon as you spot an enemy or the enemy spots you, turn-based combat is turned on instantly. If you wanna sneak around and get into positon you have to know where the enemy is and avoid seeing it and avoid being seen. Wha...t? Even if you ignore the enemy, without taking a shot and try to move out of sight, the enemy who wasn't even facing your direction will just turn around and shoot you. Hhhng. .
Enemies have ears too. And stats. Some have very good hearing (or hearing aids, which is a piece of electronic hardware, just like the night vision goggles you can get).
Janmanden wrote:On Inventory. Inventory is VERY limited. There are 8 spots for ammo, grenades, small handguns or small medkits and 4 spots for anything bigger. You can't load all the junk onto one char and have that sell it. .
Yes and no. I liked the added "realism" of not having 546 kg of equipment on one character.
Janmanden wrote:Even if you have 4 small magazines, 15 bullet capacity, with only 1 bullet in each, you can only have 4 of those magazines in one stack. For grenades and rifle mags (30 bullet capacity) the limit is 2 in each stack. Feh..
You can merge items. Instead of stacking them, open the inventory of the ammo cartridge and add another cartridge. You can do that with just about everything, ammo, medikits, toolkits, etc.
Janmanden wrote:Quite often you'll find yourself with remaining unusable AP's like 3 AP's. It cost AP's to reload guns, but not to switch guns. If your body isn't aiming at the enemy in itself it cost more AP's to shoot and likely less accurate too but, since accuracy apparently isn't really part of the game, that's just speculation. .
Unused AP's give you bonus AP's in the following turn. If you get forced to move after having spent all of them, you will get a negative bonus (say, you have 0 AP and got caught flat footed in the open and trapped by crossfire. You character might decide to retreat or drop to the ground, depending on his agility. The extra AP is subtracted from the following round).
Janmanden wrote:Furthermore, if you current character spot an enemy or an item on the ground while moving, he will stop moving in midair. .
Use a scout to spot the enemies first, then they don't surprise your grunts.
Janmanden wrote:I find the roleplaying to be very shallow and I'm not in favor of the character development system where skill points are automatically put into the most used skills. You grow in the skills you use. .
I liked the way your guys could get a few specialties, like nightfighter, being stealthy, heavy weapons expert etc. (you can get 2 of these perks).
Janmanden wrote:It's like JA2 is the equivalent of the Sims Tactical Combat Game. You hire a bunch of sim-mercs, who's gonna drive you mad with pointless repetitive comments about this and that and there is no real communication besides it. The only way to keep them happy (high morale) is to give them some successful experiences "easy kills". Vicki kept losing morale for no other reason than my neglect to use her in combat and the passing of time. .
Then you are really missing a lot. The fighting is a large part of the time spent (which game isn't). But the other part is the miniature universe created in Arulco. You have to secure income, manage economy, set up makeshift lazarets, solve a bunch of small and medium sized fedex quests (break people out of prisons, kill the local crime lord, robbing museums, raid the queens secret laboratory, secure food supply lines for the rebels, fight aliens, and too many more to list). Also, you have to gain air superiority, transports, keep your mercs happy (which isn't easy, as all of them have personalities, some old grudges and some old lovers). And there are a *lot* of mercs to choose from. You also have to manage their training, finding time for it, teachers, you name. In short, there is much more to the game than the brain dead fighting in the demo.
Janmanden wrote:If JA2 had stayed closer to its source of inspiration and the talented people over at BiS it would have been a blockbuster, but then it would have been Fallout Tactics....and with some added dialogue....Fallout 3. .
It's source is JA (which is probably more inspired by the xcoms than anything else)
Janmanden wrote:Anyone who thinks, that FOT is a cheap imitation of JA2 is obviously suffering from JA2 fanboy-ism sharing the same delusions of grandeur as JA2 itself. JA2 promotes itself as the "Best of": roleplaying, tactics and strategy. That's a laugh. I guess I'm just not a fan of JA2.
Your loss. I would still recommend, you "borrow" the full version from somewhere and give the game a go (the demo is a pretty dull demonstration of the combat only, with preequipped characters to boot)

And yes, I'm a shameless fanboy ;)
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Post by Marcus » Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:23 am

Complaining Asshat Janmenden....You can find as many wrongs in anyother game to.

Baldurs Gate, The AI sucks! If a ally uses a cursed blade and gets hit by the curse he blame you.

Fallout 2: Bugs all over it!

Well, Not to be a wiseass but What can you expect from a come made in late 90, the games today arent really better, when they only aim for nice grahpics's and "Kill,steal,kill kill kill"

EDIT: Buts it's true that the enemy in JA got its privligias. They are impossiable to meet man on man in the later parts of the game. Also Meele combat is useless doin 5-9 in damage and then you get bursted, losing limbs by a caws.

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Post by Ewen Brown » Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:15 pm

well, i just bought ja2 today for pennies, i suppose i'll get to it when i finish my current iwd re-run

playing both demos only so far i found ja2 to be better in what it is supposed to do (tactical combat), though fo:t is better in many other points, ja2 appears to do this better
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Post by Jan » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:31 pm

Most of those people that complain about FOT never actually completed it and they never learned to play it, but some of them still think that JA2 is better? I can apply the same lack of logic and say It's not. And it's true.

Demos are not much to go on and I would really like to be wrong in this case, but I really doubt that I am. The JA2 demo was quite horrible and a complete failure in the tactical area compared to the greatest tactics game ever in the Fallout universe.

I won't be surprised if Ewen is gonna like JA2, since he is apparently also a great fan of IWD. I suspect a pattern. He'll probably enjoy it. So if YOU (the casual reader lurking around atm.) likes being bored and playing IWD too at the same time, maybe you should try out JA2 as well. :wink:
Lord sadness wrote:Complaining Asshat Janmenden....You can find as many wrongs in anyother game to.
No Lord Suckness, just JA2.
Baldurs Gate, The AI sucks! If a ally uses a cursed blade and gets hit by the curse he blame you.
Bad example as it's not a wrong, it's just really stupid equipping a cursed item carelessly in the first place, like that berserker blade, but sometimes as in the case of Edwin's it's actually quite fun...but how is this related, lord suckness?

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Post by Ewen Brown » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:40 pm

one word: interrupts
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Post by Joseph » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:42 pm

"The greatest tactics game ever in the Fallout universe"???

How about the ONLY tactics game ever in the Fallout universe.

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Post by Jan » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:54 pm

Josan wrote:"The greatest tactics game ever in the Fallout universe"???

How about the ONLY tactics game ever in the Fallout universe.
Nah, The greatest tactics game ever in the Fallout universe sounds better.

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Post by Joseph » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:56 pm

Ok. I get it. you used to work in advertising.

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Post by Ewen Brown » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:59 pm

Janmanden wrote:Nah, The greatest tactics game ever in the Fallout universe sounds better.
lots of competition

the question is on what ground do you compare the two, the answer has to be what you are looking for in the particular game

seeing as i'm not looking for an rpg in either of them, as neither of them is really one, and i do not seek to play them as such, then there is no reason for me to compare them on that basis
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Post by Joseph » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:04 pm

How about the basis of which one smells better?

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