Matt Chat 27: Chuck Bueche's Autoduel

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Hi, guys. I'm back this week with Origin's 1985 smash hit Autoduel!

Autoduel is understandably a cult classic, with fun gameplay and creative arsenal of powerups for your vehicle. I'd be interested to hear from folks who've played Roadwar 2000 and Roadwar Europa as well, which at first glance seem to take the turn-based approach to the game preferred by Steve Jackson Games. Enjoy!

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Matt Barton
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Strategy
Calibrator wrote:

Though these games have a plot to follow I also don't really see an adventure element in the sense of "interactive fiction" (being graphical or text) here. It's more of a connected campaign with several missions, IMHO.

That seems correct to me.

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Bill Loguidice
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Bill Loguidice's Video Response to Matt Chat 27 on Autoduel

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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There are many action-RPGs

There are many action-RPGs out there that could be called hybrids. Whatever the popular format of the day (shmups, platform, fighting), there have been efforts to cross-fertilize. Just a few off the top of my head include Moebius, Gemstone Warrior, Gauntlet, System Shock 2, Zork RPGs, and Heroes of the Lance. There are more modern ones, such as Warcraft III (arguably RPG/RTS) and of course Deus Ex. The only thing I really don't recall seeing (and there very well could be) are RPG/flight sims (not space sims--not sure if Star Fox counts), RPG/rhythm, and RPG/puzzle games (I'm pretty sure the Japanese have attempted these, but I'm not familiar with them).

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Bill Loguidice
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Puzzle Quest and others
Matt Barton wrote:

RPG/puzzle games (I'm pretty sure the Japanese have attempted these, but I'm not familiar with them).

Probably the most famous - and available for nearly every modern platform - is the Puzzle Quest series. I also have a game on the iPhone for instance called "Dungeon Scroll" that has you battling enemies by creating words, a la Boggle. I enjoy RPGs and RPGs-lite with alternative combat like that.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Rowdy Rob
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Interesting, Bill.

Why would there be TOOLS in a videogame box?!?! That's funny! (Probably pretty costly, too, on the publisher's part). "The TV is broken! Where's my Roadwar 2000 box?"

Upon watching this video, another forgotten game came to mind: Interstate '76 by Activision, circa 1997. Apparently skewing towards action more than RPG, it still sounds like a surprisingly sophisticated take on the "Car Wars" genre. Plus, it apparently has a groovy 1970's-style soundtrack, which can be downloaded at this site, in the "downloads" section.

I have the "Interstate '76" game in my collection, but have never gotten around to playing it. But after the game popped up in my mind, I did a quick Wikipedia search for it, and found that it apparently takes some inspiration from Car Wars, particularly in the damage rules and modelling. I may have to dig that game out.

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

Bill Loguidice
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Interstate series
Rowdy Rob wrote:

Why would there be TOOLS in a videogame box?!?! That's funny! (Probably pretty costly, too, on the publisher's part).

It's a cheap little set and makes sense if you consider in the Ultima games there were metal coins and ankh's, so what do you put in an RPG about cars? I actually broke mine in the C-64 version I have because I used it so much. The little hammer is useless, but the screwdriver set is very practical.

Rowdy Rob wrote:

Upon watching this video, another forgotten game came to mind: Interstate '76 by Activision, circa 1997. Apparently skewing towards action more than RPG, it still sounds like a surprisingly sophisticated take on the "Car Wars" genre. Plus, it apparently has a groovy 1970's-style soundtrack, which can be downloaded at this site, in the "downloads" section.

I have that one too, though like you haven't really played it. It was really superseded by Sony's popular "Twisted Metal" series, though that skews even more towards pure action.

There are certainly no shortage of vehicle combat games, there's really a shortage of such games that do something "deep" with the license like Autoduel.

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V[/quote]
Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Mark Vergeer
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Video response to Bill's response to Matt Chat Autoduel

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

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Calibrator
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The Interstates

I have both Interstate '76 and '82 but not the Nitro Pack expansion for the first one.
While I haven't put a noteworthy amount of time into '82 (mainly because of the perspective change - this one if third person which is a definite step backwards) I absolute love '76! All you "collectin'-but-not-playin'-guys" have missed something - that's for sure ;-)
Many things make this one outstanding: First of all it is based on the Mechwarrior engine and not some simple racer with some guns bolted onto it! It's vehicular combat not only on roads but on all kinds of terrain fitting the scenario and you'll have to make good use of the terrain to survive. You can also shoot out of the driver window with your trusty handgun (an automatic, I think) and insta-kill your opponent with a bit of luck - very useful if your car is too damaged or out of ammo. Gameplay can be frantic in times - especially when you are ambushed by a horde of police cards (think: "Vanishing Point"). If you think that "Twisted Metal" is some console action game then this is the real deal for adults - but always tongue in cheek. Every cliche in driving action movies is thrown into it like cars making incredible jump stunts and helicopters attacking the hero.
While the story is the usual revenge crap it's mission design is very varied and boredom is a foreign word when you play it.
The graphics were attractive even though textures were used sparsely. This one not only has well made animations and cutscenes but also great art direction and attention to detail: The color palette is perfect and just watch the menus or specs sheets in the garage! The sounds and soundtrack are terrific and the voice overs are top-notch.
The game features a title sequence like some US 70ies TV-series and it all fits together really well - down to the packaging. To sum it up: It's one of the best Activision titles I've ever played.

Play that darn thing if you have the slightest bit of action love in you! ;-)

http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/interstate-76

take care,
Calibrator

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Matt Barton
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I agree with Mark -- it was

I agree with Mark -- it was really cool to see the box and the feelies. Perhaps we should try to get more organized so that we can hit a certain game from three different perspectives and styles. That'd be pretty cool. I've been casting about for another fun game to review. I think I've narrowed it down to the original Wizardry, King of Chicago, or Wasteland. I'm pretty sure Wasteland would be the most popular choice for my current audience, though I'm personally very fond of King.

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Bill Loguidice
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Maybe
Matt Barton wrote:

I agree with Mark -- it was really cool to see the box and the feelies. Perhaps we should try to get more organized so that we can hit a certain game from three different perspectives and styles. That'd be pretty cool. I've been casting about for another fun game to review. I think I've narrowed it down to the original Wizardry, King of Chicago, or Wasteland. I'm pretty sure Wasteland would be the most popular choice for my current audience, though I'm personally very fond of King.

I believe the only one I don't have packaging for is King of Chicago. I don't know how much I can organize myself outside of a casual video response at this point, but I'm always open to new ideas. I have many different versions of the original Wizardry, and at least one version of Wasteland.

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

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