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SUSD reviews you don't agree with


#141

My two pennies worth but I love Eldritch and Arkham. Sure there are plot holes all over the place but the games are just great fun with a group of friends who are into the whole Cthulhu Mythos vibe. Thoroughly enjoyed being Cthulhu’s gimp on Friday night.


#142

I find myself in the position of enjoying Arkham Horror immensely and agreeing with their review completely. :stuck_out_tongue:

Elder Sign I found to be rather a slog. It was pared down so much I couldn’t get into the pure arcane object-ness of it and I felt like I had less agency in the game on top of that. But it retained all of the arbitrariness and floatiness of mechanic and if anything made obstacles even less plausible to overcome at the same time. It was shorter, but I wasn’t enjoying myself as much at all.

Arkham Horror Lite it is, but that’s not a great thing. I don’t like Arkham Horror for reasons that are very compatible with “Lite.”

Haven’t tried Eldrich Horror.


#143

@Tika, Paul mentioned The Witcher Adventure Game on the latest podcast. They talk about it and unsurprisingly, they thought it was pretty meh :slight_smile:


#144

@rmaia I just listened to it on the way back from the mountains! Yeah, that’s kind of the impression I’d gotten from other reviewers. Oh well!


#145

Last time we played Space Cadets, instead of thinking that we’re like the crew of Red Dwarf (an incompetent bunch of nitwits barely qualified to clean the chicken soup vending machine), we decided we were to be more like the crew of the Enterprise… cool, calm & collected.
We aced it.

It’s surprising the difference a positive mental attitude can make.


#146

The guys seemed fairly dismissive of Samurai Sword, saying it was ‘too elegant for it’s own good’.

I’d have to strongly disagree, i think samurai sword is marvelous, and definitely my favorite of the Bang!-style games.

I utterly love the fact that every action in the game can be believably explained no matter what team you claim to be on. Killing the shogun to take his honor point can either be ninjas or the ronin taking it to press forward for a win, or a samurai moving in for the kill to protect that honor point from falling into enemy hands. (and you can claim any of these motivations regardless of your actual team.

You can steal people cards while claiming to be helping them by making them harmless, or legitimately help them in that way. You can make someone draw a card either to help them get what they need, put them back in the range calculations to protect someone else, or force them out of their harmless state to then attack them.

The game is beautifully elegant in a way that is so much more intriguing than normal Bang! and the aesthetic and theme is great as well.


#147
Last time we played Space Cadets, instead of thinking that we're like the crew of Red Dwarf (an incompetent bunch of nitwits barely qualified to clean the chicken soup vending machine), we decided we were to be more like the crew of the Enterprise... cool, calm & collected. We aced it.

It’s surprising the difference a positive mental attitude can make.

I don’t know that my team was the Enterprise, but we’ve pulled off a few missions by the barest margins (often yelling at me to jump us right before we die). I’d say we were more of the crew of the Firefly; a ragtag bunch not totally qualified to do what we’re doing, but pulling through anyways and with no small amount of slapping each other on the back of head for missing that last torpedo shot. I think we prefer humorously negative.
I will say, looking back on that overly lengthy discussion of Space Cadets earlier in this thread, that it seems like a lot of the negative opinion about it came from being bad at it, or doing poorly, which I don’t think is a reflection of the game mechanics as much as it is the play group. Maybe it just wasn’t a good fit, but I saw at least one guy comment that he was convinced by the negative comments not to buy the game and I’d say that’s a shame because I’d highly recommend it, especially if you.

Getting back to the topic at hand, I didn’t fully agree with SUSD X-Com verdict. I went in very skeptical and came out thinking FF had done a good job and broken some new ground. The individual parts of the game may not seem like much, but then again, most co-op games give players a small handful of actions they can do several of each turn, the majority of which seem to be “move” and “pick up or remove bad disease/ghost/water/sand/fire/etc”. Its only when you look at the greater whole of most co-op games that those rather bland actions get any depth or meaning. So when they say that the mini games being played aren’t interesting I have to disagree.


#148
Getting back to the topic at hand, I didn’t fully agree with SUSD X-Com verdict. I went in very skeptical and came out thinking FF had done a good job and broken some new ground. The individual parts of the game may not seem like much, but then again, most co-op games give players a small handful of actions they can do several of each turn, the majority of which seem to be “move” and “pick up or remove bad disease/ghost/water/sand/fire/etc”. Its only when you look at the greater whole of most co-op games that those rather bland actions get any depth or meaning. So when they say that the mini games being played aren’t interesting I have to disagree.

so X-Com shouldnt be criticised for this, because other coop games are equally bad for it?

what about space cadets?


#149
The guys seemed fairly dismissive of Samurai Sword, saying it was 'too elegant for it's own good'.

I’d have to strongly disagree, i think samurai sword is marvelous, and definitely my favorite of the Bang!-style games.

I utterly love the fact that every action in the game can be believably explained no matter what team you claim to be on. Killing the shogun to take his honor point can either be ninjas or the ronin taking it to press forward for a win, or a samurai moving in for the kill to protect that honor point from falling into enemy hands. (and you can claim any of these motivations regardless of your actual team.

You can steal people cards while claiming to be helping them by making them harmless, or legitimately help them in that way. You can make someone draw a card either to help them get what they need, put them back in the range calculations to protect someone else, or force them out of their harmless state to then attack them.

The game is beautifully elegant in a way that is so much more intriguing than normal Bang! and the aesthetic and theme is great as well.

So glad to hear this–I’ve got Samurai Sword and the expansion sitting on my shelf as yet unplayed (haven’t been able to sneak it into a game group meeting yet).

I gathered the main gist of their complaint from the lightning review (…whatever happened to those by the way?) was that SS just wasn’t as much goofy fun as Bang!–which may be true–but I think there’s a good place for something a bit more engaging in the Bang! system.


#150
Getting back to the topic at hand, I didn’t fully agree with SUSD X-Com verdict. I went in very skeptical and came out thinking FF had done a good job and broken some new ground. The individual parts of the game may not seem like much, but then again, most co-op games give players a small handful of actions they can do several of each turn, the majority of which seem to be “move” and “pick up or remove bad disease/ghost/water/sand/fire/etc”. Its only when you look at the greater whole of most co-op games that those rather bland actions get any depth or meaning. So when they say that the mini games being played aren’t interesting I have to disagree.

so X-Com shouldnt be criticised for this, because other coop games are equally bad for it?

what about space cadets?

Space Cadets does sort of stand by itself. I think its a fair criticism of X-com, but im not sure it moves it to the buy if this thing normally applies to you, from the buy because this is an exceptional game category. I felt that despite using the Yatzee mechanic X-com is still a tier above most other coops.


#151
Getting back to the topic at hand, I didn’t fully agree with SUSD X-Com verdict. I went in very skeptical and came out thinking FF had done a good job and broken some new ground. The individual parts of the game may not seem like much, but then again, most co-op games give players a small handful of actions they can do several of each turn, the majority of which seem to be “move” and “pick up or remove bad disease/ghost/water/sand/fire/etc”. Its only when you look at the greater whole of most co-op games that those rather bland actions get any depth or meaning. So when they say that the mini games being played aren’t interesting I have to disagree.

so X-Com shouldnt be criticised for this, because other coop games are equally bad for it?

what about space cadets?

Space Cadets does sort of stand by itself. I think its a fair criticism of X-com, but im not sure it moves it to the buy if this thing normally applies to you, from the buy because this is an exceptional game category. I felt that despite using the Yatzee mechanic X-com is still a tier above most other coops.

I’m not so sure this criticism makes a lot of sense. Saying the mechanics aren’t interesting on their own. I’m trying to think of a game where the individual mechanical performances are interesting devoid of a broader mechanical context.

It’s very, very difficult. Space Cadets doesn’t even do it for me. Space Cadets without the interlocking parts would get old fast. I mean … how fun is fun is fondling tetrominos? What about Helm as a mere obstacles course with no real reason to go to any particular place? Jump Drive is just surrealist Yahtzee. The exception is Weapons–playing weapons is like playing Ubongo or Tangrams mixed with shuffleboard and I guess I can see that standing on it’s own.

But this is not just a feature of cooperative games. Imagine Chess with just it’s “mini game.” Take away the goal and just move some pieces, capture your opponent’s pieces and … that’s it. Imagine Monopoly with just the roll-and-moving and the buying–no auction, no property development, no rent. Now you’re playing Candyland but without the endearing fantastical theme.

Imagine Cosmic Encounter with just the card game. No alien powers, no space ships, no destiny deck. Just the card mechanics. Or just the space-ship conquest mechanics.

Games don’t function like that. That’s a really weird criticism of a game.

SU&SD knows better than that, so I’m sure what they mean is that they think, all of what I’ve said acknowledged, XCOM goes too far. That it’s mechanics are not engaging even in their broader context. That even slotted into the full picture you feel like you’re doing busy work and not unlocking the full potential of that broader game. But they seem to still place this blame on the design of the mini-games rather than the design of the broader game structure. I’m not sure to what extent I agree with that as I haven’t played the game but I’ll wager that I would balance the blame differently than they did. Then again, their main criticism seems less that the mini-games needed to be more stand-alone games-within-games and more that the mini-games and the mechanics they lot into are too fiddly for the game to hum along and engage properly and that they game needed to either be more intricate in the broader game or more broad and approachable in the mini-games. And that seems like a fair analysis to me.


#152
Getting back to the topic at hand, I didn’t fully agree with SUSD X-Com verdict. I went in very skeptical and came out thinking FF had done a good job and broken some new ground. The individual parts of the game may not seem like much, but then again, most co-op games give players a small handful of actions they can do several of each turn, the majority of which seem to be “move” and “pick up or remove bad disease/ghost/water/sand/fire/etc”. Its only when you look at the greater whole of most co-op games that those rather bland actions get any depth or meaning. So when they say that the mini games being played aren’t interesting I have to disagree.

so X-Com shouldnt be criticised for this, because other coop games are equally bad for it?

what about space cadets?

Not my intent. I just mean to point out that the overarching puzzle is what gives co-op games their context and to criticize X-Com for mundane mini games is ignoring that fact. Placed in the context of X-Com’s time constraint and overarching puzzle of dealing with threats over the long term with resource limitations, I think the “mini games” are all fairly solid and, if nothing else, on par with other good co-op games.


#153

Any opinion is inherently subjective.
I actually think the way all stations in Xcom operate using exactly the same mechanic is quite neat.
Especially as the consequences for success/failure of each station are quite different.

And the whole threat dice/press your luck mechanic is quite clever in and of itself. It’s always your choice whether you keep pressing your luck and thereby risk the failure penalty.

I think the slightly negative review was just to counter balance the overwhelmingly positive hype surrounding the game and be edgy. They’re critics, we pay them to criticise.


#154
I think the slightly negative review was just to counter balance the overwhelmingly positive hype surrounding the game and be edgy. They're critics, we pay them to criticise.

Actually Mac, I don’t pay these pear huggers to criticize, I pay them to play games in ridiculous costumes and make me wish I had British friends. The criticizing is a bonus.


#155

Obviously i agree with almost everything that comes from the susd team however i do have one axe to grind. Back in the olden days when quinns was saner and Paul more jolly they reviewed a game called the isle of dr necreaux. Having heard their positive words i bought said game only to find it was staggeringly awful. Roll two dice and try and beat a score, now take a new card and repeat. Just talking about this is good for my rehab therapy.


#156

i feel very fortunate to have got a strong idea of what games i do/dont like before SUSD came along, otherwise i think id be in the same boat :smiley:


#157

Gonna go on record as saying the Specter Ops review was incomplete. Paul had a good point here or there on things like the rulebook being incomplete (Plaid Hat does regrettably focus on theme over polished rules sometimes). I felt like his addressing the theme was ok, but I really came away thinking the theme just wasn’t appealing to him and thus didn’t connect. So far all of my friends have been perfectly happy to accept the futuristic-weird theme and get into the game itself.

he thing that really missed home for me is his rating it above any other hidden movement game. I have copies of Ninja, Letter from Whitechapel, Fury of Dracula, Scottland Yard, and Specter Ops, so I have a fairly good base of information to work with. I just have to say that Specter Ops is by and large the shortest of the group. Yes it lacks the bells and whistles the others do, but it also cuts play time down to about 90 mins from the 2-3 hour mark most of the others routinely hit. Yes its less meaty, its also streamlined down to just a few elements of the genre in an attempt to be more action-y than the more plodding, deductive pace of its contemporaries. Two of my friends whose eyes glazed over when I got them to play Letters from Whitechapel and FoD have both played and enjoy Specter Ops for the very reason that it isn’t as bogged down as those others. Not that Specter Ops is better or worse than the others, I just think it serves a different purpose and does so very well.

Sorry Paul, I gotta vote the other way on this one.


#158

I’ve, personally, immensely enjoyed Specter Ops so far.
It may be that it’s the only hidden movement game I’ve played so unfavourable comparison means nothing to me. Ignorance is bliss sometimes.
The theme is suitably grounded in it’s own universe; the mechanics are simple to explain and there’s not a lot to get wrong (I don’t know what rules clarifications were being referred to in the review).

All in all, it’s another win from Plaid Hat for me.


#159
I've, personally, immensely enjoyed Specter Ops so far. It may be that it's the only hidden movement game I've played so unfavourable comparison means nothing to me. Ignorance is bliss sometimes. The theme is suitably grounded in it's own universe; the mechanics are simple to explain and there's not a lot to get wrong (I don't know what rules clarifications were being referred to in the review).

All in all, it’s another win from Plaid Hat for me.

There are a couple of instances in particular that I run into from time to time that cause trouble and should really have been explained (and still aren’t in the official FAQ). Its not game breaking, you just have to work around them and decide the intent, and with a Plaid Hat game I assume the intent to be thematic more than rigidly mechanical. A good example is the line of sight rule for roads when combined with partial obstruction from smoke grenades. If a lobbed grenade lands adjacent to a road it only extends its cloud 1 square onto the 2 square road. The problem is, players are said to have line of sight down the entire road when standing in it, so does the player standing in row A of the road see anything on the other side of a cloud that blocks a square in row B? My group says no, if smoke obscures part of the road but not all, then no one can see past the smoke on that side of the road, regardless of where you stand.

The other one we had concerns about is how adjacency works in the smoke cloud. The card says the squares block line of sight, but it isn’t immediately clear that if I stand in a cloud square I can or can’t be seen by someone in a square adjacent to me. Having played more games than I can count, it seems clear to me that the edges of each cloud square independently block line of sight, so any player in a cloud square can’t see into the adjacent square, or out of the cloud for that matter. Its a small thing, but it would be nice to have an example of that spelled out in the rules because it did confuse my friends quite a bit at first.


#160

I’ve enjoyed the couple of games I’ve had so far of Specter Ops - its a frantic, close quarters chase

Another review I disagreed with was Deus, which I think is an excellent lightish civ type game.