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What Starcon 1 should have been, and then some more...
When Starcon 2 came out, I remember quickly jumping into melee mode straight away as this was the best mode in Starcon 1. This lasted for a little while until I was brave (or was it bored?) enough to try the full game mode. Man was I surprised! The full game is so large and interesting that I just couldn't stop playing. It starts out in the Sol Galaxy (our galaxy), where the Ur-Quan have taken over Earth. You are then free to do whatever and go wherever you want. You can go and meet with different races, or with people aboard space stations, and help them out with certain things they need like mining minerals and such. The universe is immense and there are many interesting and unique races to discover. You will have to be careful when encountering them, as each species should be approached differently. Also, to make peace with some races you will have to do different tasks for them in order to gain their trust. Of course that only works with potentially friendly races. The unfriendly ones will attack you on first encounter and that is when the game jumps in the to the familiar melee mode. This can get quite dangerous as you only start with one ship and need to get more into your arsenal as you play the game. Such a detailed universe map, combined with adventure, strategy and action makes Star Control 2 one of the most diverse games out there, and also one of the most engaging and entertaining ones.
I think it is definitely one of the best games ever made and should not be missed.
The game can sometimes be a little bit temperamental in dosbox, but if you start it using "sc2 /g:bios" you shouldn't have any problems.