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Old 23-09-2016, 02:01 AM   #11
felipepepe
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Originally Posted by Vanshilar View Post
Looking at the list, I see that Space Rogue isn't assigned. I wrote the review for it on Abandonia, as well as a walkthrough for it on Abandonia and GameFAQs, and have dug into the game files a bit. I should be able to write something about it.
Then first I have a question for you: is Space Rogue really an RPG?

We added it to the book ages ago, but looking at it now there's no character creation, no stats, no level up, no party, no skills...

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Is the book intended to be a comprehensive compendium of cRPG games? There are plenty of games that don't seem to be included in the list, like Curse of the Azure Bonds. I don't know if you had particular criteria in mind in determining the list of games to be reviewed.
Some games are bundled together - Curse of Azure Bonds is mentioned in the Pool of Radiance review for example, since they are part of the same saga.1
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Old 24-09-2016, 05:19 AM   #12
Vanshilar
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Then first I have a question for you: is Space Rogue really an RPG?

We added it to the book ages ago, but looking at it now there's no character creation, no stats, no level up, no party, no skills...
I think of it sort of like a more primitive Star Control 2, though not as expansive. There's no levels per se, but you can buy better armor (i.e. HP), engines, shields, weapons, etc. for your ship. You have to make money for these and other upgrades (in addition to getting some from plots), which you can do by trading or bounty hunting or pirating. There are relations between the different groups (the Imperium, merchants, pirates, and the alien Manchi) to maintain, as well as your own reputation. You have an overarching plot which is gradually revealed as you talk to different NPC's on the different bases and outposts scattered throughout the map. If you didn't spend *some* time upgrading your ship, you're going to have a lot of trouble near the end, just like leveling up before the end boss for a D&D style RPG.

So in some ways it's sort of like Star Control 2, or possibly like Elite, or Star Trek 25th anniversary (two other games which I've dabbled in, but not as much). But although you can also upgrade your ship in Elite, that game is more about exploring an expansive universe, rather than Space Rogue where the universe is limited (there are just 9 star systems) and there's a definite central plot. Although Star Trek 25 anniversary had a plot, there wasn't really much about leveling up your ship or improving on it (that I could remember, anyway).

So it really depends on where you draw the line at how many elements are needed before a game is considered an RPG. It doesn't have a party system (there is only one character), so it lacks Star Control 2's ability to switch out your "character" (i.e. ship) for a particular fight, for example. It doesn't have a character creation system, i.e. all new games start off the same. But it does have significant upgrades to your "character" (i.e. ship) as you progress throughout the game, and there is very much a central plot with puzzles and rewards for solving them as you talk to the different people you'll encounter throughout the game.
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Old 24-09-2016, 08:56 AM   #13
felipepepe
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Yeah, having now spent more time with the game, I'll remove it from the book.

Star Control 2 is a very special game, with more RPG elements, and the review was written by Tim Cain - creator of Fallout and founder of Troika -, talking about why SC2 is an amazing open-world RPG.

I stand 100% behind that review. But I cannot in good faith include a Space Rogue review and then not include games like Elite, X, Freelancer, Wing Commander, etc... Your points are valid, but it's too much of a slippery slope.

Thanks for the kind offer and debate anyway.
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Old 25-09-2016, 04:57 PM   #14
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Yeah no problem.

I think part of the difficulty is it was made before we really had more clearly defined genres and requisite characteristics for them, so it doesn't fit as cleanly in or out of a given category. Star Control 2 simply had so many unique plot elements and ways you could go about your character and party (building up your ship, getting allied ships to join you for different "characters" to use in combat, etc.) that it's fine to call it an RPG. It really transcends a variety of defined genres -- I think people who like different genres would all enjoy Star Control 2.

Whereas for Space Rogue, it's a relatively simpler game, not as all-encompassing as what we typically think of for RPGs. I typically classify Space Rogue as an Adventure game, sort of like Avalon, where yes even though it has some RPG elements, the variety of plots and subplots, the different directions in which you can approach your character, and the expansiveness of the universe really isn't as great as what you'd think of for an RPG. Yeah in some ways Space Rogue belongs in the same category as Elite and Wing Commander and those games; games like Elite can arguably be considered more RPG-like than Space Rogue in that you have more ways to customize your "character" (i.e. you can pilot different types of ships). Elite has always seemed to me more like an open-world type of game though rather than one that focuses (gradually) on a central plot.
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Old 26-09-2016, 05:38 PM   #15
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But I cannot in good faith include a Space Rogue review and then not include games like Elite, X, Freelancer, Wing Commander, etc...
I always considered Elite the RPG (at least starting from the Frontier), so yes, it's better to exclude Space Rogue right from the start.

What about Space Rangers, BTW? Are they in the list? (I cannot remember it there).
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