Matt Chat on Star Control II

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Hi, folks. This week I look at one of those great DOS games from the early 90s--Star Control II.

I also cover some of the precursors (ahem) such as Spacewar, the Traveller RPG, and of course Starflight.

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Rowdy Rob
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Spent pretty much the whole day playing UrQuan Masters.

Great video as usual, Matt. It was so effective a testimony to Star Control II that I went ahead and downloaded the freeware PC version (known as just "Ur-Quan Masters"). After a rather lengthy download, I installed it this morning, and next thing I know, it's nightfall.

This is one of the best games I've played in a long while! I found it rather easy to get into (be sure to read the doc file before playing, though). The opening cinema you showcased in your video appeared to be missing from the "freeware" version, replaced by a "slide show" intro, but otherwise it appears to be the same game, with the added bonus of voice acting.

Expecting a rather dry trading/combat game (which is typical of this genre), I was surprised that the game started out quite excitingly, and hasn't let up since! The major problem I'm having is the space battle sequences; they are very disorienting and hard to control. I keep getting blown away unless I get off a few lucky shots.

Anyhow, enough raves about the game. This Star Control episode of Matt Chat was the usual quality fun. I had to come up for air to tell you; now let me get back to the game (after I post a couple more messages)...

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Mark Vergeer
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A very nice game - didn't play it before but I think I should

As always a very nice video this is. The intro sequence of this game is amazing - very nice story that is being told.
Love the different aspects of the game you show - ranging from trading sequences to arcade-like space battles.

I need to try this out myself. So is this a MS-DOS based game?

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Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Matt Barton
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Matt Chat #25

Well, it's hard to believe, my we're approaching episode #25, another "landmark" in my quest for your ultimate viewing pleasure. ;) Please let me know which you'd prefer:

I really want this one to be special. I'm planning to update my intro, splicing in more game footage and the like, but I'm also wondering what game would really deserve that big splash. I've been thinking it over and have narrowed it down a bit.

1. Baldur's Gate -- One of the best games ever made, at least in my opinion. Just a fantastic game, and might be likely to get attention from the same folks who loved my Planescape Torment review.

2. Knights of the Old Republic -- this would be a nice departure because it's a more recent game and its "classic" status is more controversial. Still, I think it's just a fantastic game, and looks amazing.

3. Starcraft -- another of this big, big cult-classic games that everybody seems to love. I'm sure I'd enjoy learning more about this game and making it into a video.

4. Beneath a Steel Sky -- a monster of an adventure game that not nearly enough people have heard of.

5. Ultima Underworld -- yet another classic and historically important CRPG that deserves more attention.

Other candidates include Shenmue, Metal Gear Solid, and Chrono Trigger.

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Rowdy Rob
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Episode suggestions.
Matt Barton wrote:

Well, it's hard to believe, my we're approaching episode #25, another "landmark" in my quest for your ultimate viewing pleasure. ;)

It's been a great run so far! I noticed on your Youtube page that your channel has cracked the 200 subscribers milestone! It seems only a couple of weeks ago you were celebrating your 100 subscribers milestone. I've been wanting to do a video response to your Matt Chats, but I have to get my video production equipment and skills up and running.

Matt Barton wrote:

I really want this one to be special. I'm planning to update my intro, splicing in more game footage and the like, but I'm also wondering what game would really deserve that big splash. I've been thinking it over and have narrowed it down a bit.

1. Baldur's Gate -- One of the best games ever made, at least in my opinion. Just a fantastic game, and might be likely to get attention from the same folks who loved my Planescape Torment review.

2. Knights of the Old Republic -- this would be a nice departure because it's a more recent game and its "classic" status is more controversial. Still, I think it's just a fantastic game, and looks amazing.

My vote is for MC #25 to be one of these two games.

Baldur's Gate, because you have a great passion for this game, which would translate well onscreen (and possibly make some converts, like your book did for me).

Knights of the Old Republic, because it is (allegedly) a great RPG, and was arguably the best Star Wars game ever. On top of that, it has great "ratings" potential for these reasons:

1) It's a "Star Wars" game, and everyone knows how popular "Star Wars" is in general

2) It was a rare early RPG that was available for both PC's and consoles, meaning a potential crossover viewership from both PC and console game-playing enthusiasts.

...and 3) This game foreshadows Bioware's upcoming "Star Wars: The Old Republic" MMORPG, which I'm sure will be a big hit.

While I focused my comments more on KotOR, in my mind it's actually a toss-up which one I prefer to see you do. The other games you mentioned will make fine episodes also, but if I "read" you right, these two games probably seem more "special" to you, a perfect fit for a "special" episode.

By the way, I blame you for killing my weekend. I must have spent the majority of my weekend zoning out to "Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters" due to your Episode. It's been a LOOONG time since I spend such amount of time in front of the computer playing one game. I was up till past 3 AM on Saturday night playing it, neglecting other frivolous things like eating and socializing, then spent most of Sunday playing that. I don't think I've played a game that compusively in at least 10 years, perhaps longer! And I'm still apparently just beginning in the game, having explored only a small fraction of the galaxy, and my ship is still too weak to do much fighting....

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

Matt Barton
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Heheh...Thanks for the great

Heheh...Thanks for the great comments.

If I'm going to do KOTOR, it'd sure be nice to have some Xbox footage as well. I might shy towards BG just because that wouldn't be an issue. Or, maybe I could get Mark or Bill to throw some Xbox KOTOR footage up on mobileme or somewhere so that I could splice it in.

Or I wonder if it'd be possible to emulate it?

BTW, if you like Star Control II, you might also like Sins of a Solar Empire. It doesn't have the action/arcade combat sequences, but the gameplay is in otherways quite comparable--albeit there's no fun adventure/story mode. Still, the strategic aspects are quite fun and addictive.

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Bill Loguidice
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KOTOR
Matt Barton wrote:

If I'm going to do KOTOR, it'd sure be nice to have some Xbox footage as well. I might shy towards BG just because that wouldn't be an issue. Or, maybe I could get Mark or Bill to throw some Xbox KOTOR footage up on mobileme or somewhere so that I could splice it in.

Or I wonder if it'd be possible to emulate it?

I don't believe I have it, but if I did, I would have been glad to capture footage. There are PC and Mac versions as well, but I really don't think there are any major differences between the versions. I'm pretty sure the original design target was the Xbox, so there should be minimal differences. As far as I know, there is still no good Xbox emulation, but that may have changed.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Catatonic
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I've never played Baldur's

I've never played Baldur's Gate so that would get my vote. It's not as interesting to see videos about familiar games.

Mark Vergeer
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Baldur's gate and Kotor

I believe I own both games for the Xbox - want some footage?

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Bill Loguidice
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Action RPGs
Mark Vergeer wrote:

I believe I own both games for the Xbox - want some footage?

I believe he was referring to Baldur's Gate on the PC, rather than Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance for consoles, which is a superb action RPG. It's one of my favorite games, and a favorite that I played co-op with my wife. I have the first one on Xbox and the sequel on PS2 (which we played on PS3). That's a favorite game format for me. Too bad there's no good current gen interpretation of that type of game. Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom is the only co-op enabled one I can think of, and it's really not very good.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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I was talking about KOTOR on

I was talking about KOTOR on the Xbox. I doubt I'd have time to show the BG game for consoles; I'm imagining that it's going to be pretty tough to squeeze a good description into 10 minutes.

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