Author Topic: The worst space game ever?  (Read 10907 times)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2015, 09:11:55 PM »
I might be about to step into that same old beehive again, so tell my family I love them if I don't make it out alive this time.

I really really don't like Distant Worlds. I tried hard to like it since there are some good ideas behind it (free market economy, non-involvement by the government, and above all the very important outsource-whatever-you-like-to-the-AI, which every game should have), but almost all other aspects and the execution are thoroughly off-putting to me.
It's been a year since I last touched it, so I won't be going into all the details.

Combat: All around horrible. Could just as well not exist or be entirely abstracted.
Writing: Clichés. Nothing but. I don't know whether it's laziness or aggressive, laborious intent to bore. Includes the races - sh!te.
Economy: Good idea, but the execution makes no economic or even logical sense.
Visuals: Ugly. And a suprisingly resource-intensive kind of ugly that won't even run on my notebook. Impressive for a 2D game.
Treatment of space: It could just as well not be set in space. Space is meaningless to the game.
AI: Unusually for games this large, it can actually handle all areas of the game. Sadly, it's not at all good at it.
Gameyness: Again, clichés lifted straight from any other game. Calling it GalCiv - Free Market Edition would not be far off.

Argh. I can't think straight about it.

All your complaints are very valid! No need to worry about being vaped.

Yes, indeed I can see you points. The game is unique is just how "hands-off" the galactic state  is. But the hands off portion is not fine tuned, to be sure. A very valid negative. The game tries to simulate (one way or another) just how difficult one person can manage a galactic empire. A fan of the macro might think: Finally! Something to show how inefficient this is! A micro fan will think: Darn it! Just how inefficient this is!
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2015, 03:46:41 AM »
*slowly backs off and wipes Distant Worlds from his wishlist*


I might've...just hoped for a good game :/
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Offline Shrugging Khan

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2015, 04:56:17 AM »
Next entries in the bad games list:

Star Ruler
Star Ruler was promising to the point where I made the mistake of buying it without testing it first. I was extremely p!ssed with the game at first, because many vital systems seemed to be simply missing. It got a little better later on, but most of the post-release work was actually done by modders - who couldn't, sadly, put in the still missing core systems.
Star Ruler 2 is currently in the works, and it appears to become a glossier, very much dumbed-down affair with a lot of magical technobabble cop-outs thrown in for dat cardboard flavour.

Stellar Impact
The first MOBA I played, back when I didn't know there was such a genre. Quite tactically interesting due to the wetwater-navy-like movement and the limited arcs of fire on the ships, but sadly lacking in every other department - very ugly visual style, tons of overused gaming staples (many of the same that make me want to vomit at the sight of any and all MOBA specimen nowadays), crappy communication between devs and community, no spaciness whatsoever. It died out quickly.
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Offline Misery

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2015, 10:01:45 AM »
I might be about to step into that same old beehive again, so tell my family I love them if I don't make it out alive this time.

I really really don't like Distant Worlds. I tried hard to like it since there are some good ideas behind it (free market economy, non-involvement by the government, and above all the very important outsource-whatever-you-like-to-the-AI, which every game should have), but almost all other aspects and the execution are thoroughly off-putting to me.
It's been a year since I last touched it, so I won't be going into all the details.

Combat: All around horrible. Could just as well not exist or be entirely abstracted.
Writing: Clichés. Nothing but. I don't know whether it's laziness or aggressive, laborious intent to bore. Includes the races - sh!te.
Economy: Good idea, but the execution makes no economic or even logical sense.
Visuals: Ugly. And a suprisingly resource-intensive kind of ugly that won't even run on my notebook. Impressive for a 2D game.
Treatment of space: It could just as well not be set in space. Space is meaningless to the game.
AI: Unusually for games this large, it can actually handle all areas of the game. Sadly, it's not at all good at it.
Gameyness: Again, clichés lifted straight from any other game. Calling it GalCiv - Free Market Edition would not be far off.

Argh. I can't think straight about it.

...wow.  That's one of the most scathing opinions of a game I've seen on this forum from anyone that isnt me.

So.... a fair amount of.... dislike for this one then, is the impression I'm getting.


Hm, there should almost be a topic for GOOD space games as well.  Finding good ones really is kinda hard, isnt it?  I know of Elite: Dangerous, which I got recently and which is really good so far, and then there's.... uhhhh.... Arcen's stuff.   No, seriously, I cant currently think of anything else...  Well, okay, I could technically list about 10 bazillion shmups that take place in space and are good, but I dont think that'd count for the purposes of this discussion.

I can think of a number of games that SEEMED good and turned out to be kinda crap (Endless Space, Planetary Annihilation), though some are debatable of course.  Mostly though... yeah, I cant think of any. 


Offline WingedKagouti

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2015, 10:36:12 AM »
Hm, there should almost be a topic for GOOD space games as well.  Finding good ones really is kinda hard, isnt it?
Try diving into the ones that are regarded as classics: Master of Orion, Master of Orion 2, Homeworld, Homeworld 2, Elite (the original), Wing Commander (most of the series), Star Control 1-3

Offline Aklyon

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2015, 11:03:28 AM »
I thought people didn't like Star Control 3?

Offline Shrugging Khan

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2015, 01:01:48 PM »
...wow.  That's one of the most scathing opinions of a game I've seen on this forum from anyone that isnt me.
Hey, at least there are SOME positive things to be said about the game. In theory, at least.

There are even worse examples - Endless Space, to me, has no redeeming features whatsoever. I paid money for it, and would ten times as much just for the devs to stop making games. They make some of the most overhyped, unjustly praised games of our times, IMO.
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Offline Toranth

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2015, 04:19:26 PM »
...wow.  That's one of the most scathing opinions of a game I've seen on this forum from anyone that isnt me.
Hey, at least there are SOME positive things to be said about the game. In theory, at least.

There are even worse examples - Endless Space, to me, has no redeeming features whatsoever. I paid money for it, and would ten times as much just for the devs to stop making games. They make some of the most overhyped, unjustly praised games of our times, IMO.
I actually think Distant Worlds is one of the better space 4x games out there today.  If you notice, many of your problems are with the feel of the game - and it is pretty thematically shallow and derivative.
Personally, I had huge problems with the interface and the AI, especially the economy "Anti-micromanagement" AI.  I spent too much time either cheesing the AI for better performance, or fighting it to get it to do something not completely stupid.  Like when a fleet of Freighters steals all the fuel right before my fleet gets there...

If you're willing to spend a lot of time on the Distant World forums to learn all the tips and tricks before playing more than the tutorial, and if you're willing to play a slow game with a fair amount of deep-menu-delving, and the cliché artwork and themes don't bother you - than Distant Worlds is a good choice.


Nothing will make Endless Space a good choice, though.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2015, 05:09:50 PM »
Imo if a space 4x game manages to make space sci-fi feel GENERIC then that is a special kind of messed up.  And so I have to kinda agree with people here, plenty of bad space games. Sure we might fall into nostalgia and mention MOO2 but MOO2 is very limited in gameplay even for a 4X (at least for my tastes nowadays) so it is unique but it is only very little there. The imo only decent "Space" game is freelancer, though more could have been done with that idea, at least someone tried. Best space RTS kinda Homeworld cataclysm/HW2 and Nexus....

Space RPG? Mass Effect.. and oh boy, that's the only one that even exists. How sad is that. not a single RPG that portrays sci-fi in space except Mass Effect. (Or does anyone know any other comparable game?)

Many games are simply lacking flavor, something that puts them apart. Spaceships are just graphics, the question is does a space game offer more or different experiences than any other? And often the answer is "no"

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Offline WingedKagouti

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2015, 05:42:54 PM »
Space RPG? Mass Effect.. and oh boy, that's the only one that even exists. How sad is that. not a single RPG that portrays sci-fi in space except Mass Effect. (Or does anyone know any other comparable game?)

Many games are simply lacking flavor, something that puts them apart. Spaceships are just graphics, the question is does a space game offer more or different experiences than any other? And often the answer is "no"
If you count something like Mass Effect as a space game, then you should also count Anachronox. Horrible combat system that takes all the worst parts of jRPG combat and fuses them into an uninteresting mess (that gets slightly better once you unlock the final bits of the "special powers" system). Fetch quests that have you running around trying to figure out who to speak to. Graphics and an interface that quite clearly speak of min/late 90's fumbling around with what was new technology at the time.

What sets it apart, and the only reasons I have ever completed it, are the story, setting and characters. Characters with motivations and personalities that don't feel like someone just went through a checklist of "Protagonist", "Love interest", "Sidekick", etc. The basic plot is fairly standard "unlikely heroes band together to save the day", but the way the player (and characters) learn about things and general progression of the story makes it worth at least experiencing once. The setting has many fairly unique elements and there are plenty of interesting bits hidden everywhere. The game does have a good amount of humor in it, whether you like that is quite subjective, but for me most of it was good.

Also, one of the party members is an actual planet.

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2015, 07:47:46 PM »
Space RPG? Mass Effect.. and oh boy, that's the only one that even exists

Haha oh wow. Excuse me, I feel the need to carpet photobomb this thread.  I see Anachronox was already mentioned, I won't repeat the recommendation. Yes I will: It's great.

As a reminder, these are GOOD space RPGs:


With mods. First one's finished, this one is smarter.


Yes Star Control 2 is an RPG even without a level up system.


And before anyone gets clever, JRPGs are fine.


See previous.


I only exaggerate slightly when I call this the single greatest space RPG ever made. It's clever, is science fiction instead of science fantasy, lets you customize spaceships, has branching paths that affect the plot, is dramatic without being melodramatic and is great. And yeah it was by Platinum and on the DS. Here, read the review, buy it on Amazon.

And I suppose if you actually want something in the vein of Mass Effect there Xenoblade Chronicles X, with the caveat that it has a 95% chance of involving actual deicide because it's a Takahashi game.

Bonus round:


It's not set in space, but SMT Strange Journey has an aesthetic right out of the Rocketeer and might as well be on a different planet.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 07:55:10 PM by Watashiwa »

Offline Aklyon

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2015, 08:06:58 PM »
Wasn't Infinite Space that one DS game with REALLY LOUD SOUND EFFECTS and no music options to speak of? Didn't finish it because of that if it was.

As for SMT Strange Journey, its more of an Etrian odyssey-like game with SMT style/difficulty later. Certainly is more sci-fi than usual as far as I know of the series though.

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2015, 08:18:18 PM »
Wasn't Infinite Space that one DS game with REALLY LOUD SOUND EFFECTS and no music options to speak of? Didn't finish it because of that if it was.
That's the one. I used headphones.

As for SMT Strange Journey, its more of an Etrian odyssey-like game with SMT style/difficulty later. Certainly is more sci-fi than usual as far as I know of the series though.
Most SMT is science fiction via cyberpunk. Persona is a spin-off that ditched that, other spinoffs have more or less. Devil Survivor has less, Soul Hackers has more, and Digital Devil Saga mixes science fiction with transcendent Hinduism.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2015, 11:48:21 PM »
Space RPG? Mass Effect.. and oh boy, that's the only one that even exists

Haha oh wow. Excuse me, I feel the need to carpet photobomb this thread.  I see Anachronox was already mentioned, I won't repeat the recommendation. Yes I will: It's great.

As a reminder, these are GOOD space RPGs:

Kotor1/2 is definitely a space RPG, and I admit my folly! Whoops ;) And to think I just played that 3 days ago.

As for the others, I sadly don't own a Wii.. WiiU nor a DS so never played any of them. But I did play Star Ocean 2.. and forgot all about that ;)

But Anachronox ends on a cliffhanger that literally never resolved ^^ I did enjoy Kotor 1 and 2
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: The worst space game ever?
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2015, 04:26:12 AM »
...wow.  That's one of the most scathing opinions of a game I've seen on this forum from anyone that isnt me.
Hey, at least there are SOME positive things to be said about the game. In theory, at least.

There are even worse examples - Endless Space, to me, has no redeeming features whatsoever. I paid money for it, and would ten times as much just for the devs to stop making games. They make some of the most overhyped, unjustly praised games of our times, IMO.
It's...pretty?
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