Kenny vs. Spenny was a pretty funny and really silly (ie: dumb?) tv show. The basic premise was two best friends that would do entire shows against each other, in competition, for anything you could really think of. Some non-Emmy nominated content:
- Who can stay in a haunted house the longest?
- Who would make the best soldier?
- Who can catch the biggest fish?
- Who can stay homeless the longest?
- Who can sell more bibles?
- Who can eat more meat?
.. get the idea? Cameras followed them around, they had very different personalities and the shows were amusing to see what lengths they would go to to win – they would put themselves in some really uncomfortable situations. The two different people with different personalities trying to accomplish the same thing is basically how I see X-Com (the original) vs X-Com (the redux).
In 2009 I wrote about the remake of Mike Tyson’s Punchout and in that short article I listed my three favorite games I would love to see remade. In order from 3rd to 1st I chose Privateer (Star Citizen: coming in 2240 once it reaches it’s stretch goal of 1 billion), Star Control 2 (fan remade in 2012) and X-Com (remade in 2012). X-Com was number 1! And they finally remade it, 3 years after reading about the idea here on my blog (*cough cough*)
I just picked it up, and the expansion pack, last week. Entire thing for $16 on Steam.
You would think with X-Com being one of my all time favorite games that I would have bough it at launch but I was firmly in MMO sub land at the time and didn’t have the time to dedicate to it. Besides, I *still* have the original X-Com on my computer anyway – so I didn’t really need the reboot!
I’ve spent around 15 hours in it so far. I don’t “do” game reviews, but I do share impressions.
It’s a great game. It takes away a lot of micromanaging aspects that did make the first game really great but this is a different time, a time of conveniences for gamers. 15 years ago we didn’t mind having to game with a spreadsheet open, pen and paper handy to write things down. Now, if we have to prep for a game it’s not the same. The management tools for each of the areas of the game (base building, research, squads, etc. etc.) are really up to date and it makes the entire game smoother and better in a modern world.
I suppose a good analogy is that you can still go walk over to the TV to change the channel – but now that there are remotes – why would you?
While the experience has been overwhelming positive I do miss a few things that made the game special, and extra tactical.
Squad facing – I loved this in the original game as placement and cover for your squaddies was paramount. Avoiding flanks, coverage, safety, etc.
- Challenge – yes, I am on Normal, but it is pretty easy (so far). I’m glad it is not as punishing as the original and I can always up the difficulty on a new campaign but not really interested in restarting. This isn’t surprising of course.
- Base placement – you pick a continent but not an exact place. I was always a fan of Northern continental bases. What other game let’s you make Canada a focus, where you can save the world and eat a lot of Maple Syrup?
- Squad armor graphics – little too much I think. I wish they started off more like soliders and less like Mechs.
- Squad size limit – give me 8!
- Map sizes – Maybe it is just because it is early for me (15 hours in) but all the maps seem really thin. Not much to explore. Go forward in the way you are facing and you will find the bad guys. In the original I loved having to cover all sides of the ship.
I didn’t win the original X-Com and I tried a LOT of different ways to. Maybe I was just bad, or maybe I didn’t have the analytical skills required to be successful in it. I still loved playing it. I know I will win this X-Com (at this difficulty) and after I get through it once, I am going to download the Long War Mod and get a bit more of the tactical aspects while retaining the modern conveniences.
My final take? Great to revisit but still extremely happy to have my remote.