It's been almost a month since my last post, and I've barely had time to play anything. It's not all Hard Nova's fault - work's been super busy and we've got builders in at the moment, so my lunch free time has been rather compromised. There was also the Steam and GoG sales, which I succumbed to a little, even though there wasn't really much there that I wanted (I was going to say 'needed' then, but since when have I ever needed more games!). With all that in mind, I'm going to move on from Hard Nova and hope for something quicker and simpler up next. First, though, a little about Hard Nova. Hard Nova is a good game; it's a fun game; it's a game that's so much better than Ishar...but it's a slow game. In it, you play a space mercenary trying to discover and neutralise the threat that's facing the four star systems that you call home. You get to command a squad of mercs (and you can hire more members), fly a space ship, and navigate around planets in your landing shuttle. It's of a similar age to the Ishar games, but what makes it so much more enjoyable than them is the writing. Ishar is a French game without a great deal of text in it. This was probably done for reasons of internationalisation, but it makes it a much more empty experience. When you play an RPG, you want to get involved with the story and characters, but in Ishar all of that is very thin on the ground, and what little there is is rendered in a strange tongue (e.g. the greeting, "Warm tear"), which I guess is supposed to add flavour, but it just makes it even less approachable. Hard Nova, by comparison, has great writing. There's not masses of it, but the conversations with NPCs feel fresh and realistic. Your character has conversation choices, and the NPCs give appropriate responses. They're not really branching systems like those of modern RPGs, but they create a good illusion of it. The limited inventory system drove me a bit mad, but other than that, I was really enjoying my time with it...but it's weeks since I last played it and I just haven't got the heart to return to it now. I'm also starting to realise that much as I want to, I'm never going to complete all of the games on my list, it would take too many lifetimes, so I should start cutting off those I've had a decent run with. I've been doing it more recently anyway, but now I'm going to make it an official rule (in my head) so I won't feel so guilty for quitting them...I'm a bit crazy like that! I feel like I've seen everything Hard Nova has to offer in terms of systems and gameplay - it would have been nice to finish the story, but to be honest I've forgotten where I was in it anyway. Onwards!
The next game up on the randometer is...Chronomaster! It's an adventure game that game out in the dodgy rendered graphics/bad FMV era...that sounds like a bad thing, but I love that era, so I'm looking forward to this one. I remember it in mags, and think I may even have played a demo, so I'll hit this before returning to the lists for Ishar 3. You may even find that things move at Walkthrough speed - don't hate me.
In other news, I did just have a quick blast of 10,000,000 at lunchtime today...and won it! It's another one of those games I've been playing in odd 2-minute snatches here and there (it's a conversion of an iPhone game, so made for that type of play). I'd previously unlocked all of the equipment upgrades possible, but hadn't hit the magical score. Well, phew. It feels good to actually finish something!