Home » SANTA'S JA3 WISHLIST » JA clones and likes » What is your favourite JA-like game/official JA game tha isn't made by Sir-Tech? (I'm curious what more experienced fans think of non-sir-tech JA games/likes.)
What is your favourite JA-like game/official JA game tha isn't made by Sir-Tech?[message #364986] Tue, 22 November 2022 01:43 Go to next message
Samz is currently offline Samz

 
Messages:6
Registered:April 2019
As a newbie fan, I am wondering what other people think of JA's non-Sir-Tech games/JA-likes.
So far, I have personally played Brigade E5/7,62mm High Calibre and JA Back in Action. (I own Hired Guns New Jagged Edge via a physical copy but haven't played it yet and I own all the JA games but have only finished 1 but have put alot of hours into 2, sometimes with 1.1.3 as well as a decent few hours in Deadly Games.)

The E5-engine games are pretty fun if super hardcore, though I think they suffer from really bad random encounter maps (Not so bad early on but once Random Encounter guys have high stats and assault rifles it gets absurdly unfair as you start getting shot the instant the map loads.) and some pretty bad bugs.

Back In Action, which I'm playing right now, is fun, I like it as a real-time JA spin-off but I do wonder if they should have just given it a new setting. (I understand why they took alot of liberties with JA2's quests and such but I do wonder why they didn't just make Crossfire in the first place, actually tackling a new setting with the new mechanics I think would have probably went over better than JA2 being remade then Crossfire it sounds like being shoved out half-finished despite being more original.)

In addition, while I don't mind making JA easier as options, the lack of options for more hardcore settings (Such as mercs having contracts instead of permanently hired.) does suck, it's fun for arcade-y playthroughs where you're less worried about finances but it should have been an option like Line of Sight was.

I would say BIA is my favourite of my limited pool, I still love the Brigade Games but past a certain point they do get more frustrating than anything else. (While BIA's more forgiving difficutly so far means I doubt it'll get as bad, at least as far as how mercenaries are never killed outright without a chance to heal them.)

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Re: What is your favourite JA-like game/official JA game tha isn't made by Sir-Tech?[message #364987 is a reply to message #364986] Wed, 23 November 2022 18:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
gmonk

 
Messages:672
Registered:April 2002
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
I'm a long time JA fan, since JA2 was released, and had some trouble accepting the changes in BiA. That said I've played it for more than 500 hours, according to my Steam statistics.

The changes and omissions to the original plot, the changes to the strategic game, and the dumbing-down of the personality system really made it hard to appreciate its better aspects, at first.

BiA is a ton of fun once you get used to it not being JA2. Crossfire was better because it was its own thing, and it was nice to see some favourite MERC characters back.

The good:
+ lush 3d environments with interesting terrain and details
+ great sound design
+ pretty decent character modelling and animation for a squad-based game
+ some great voice acting (and some not so good voice acting)
+ real-time with pause actually works pretty well and plan-and-go can be a lot of fun
+ Ira is less irritating

The bad/meh:
- no boxing
- no underground levels (esp. Tixa and Orta)
- no map/level editor or tools (from the publisher) making modding a very limited endaevour.
- dialogue text often does not match the voice acting
- no vehicle or helicopter. Although this can be simulated by using the "run across each map" cheat.
- merc personality traits and opinions have been reduced to cartoonish tropes.
- some towns omitted, like Omerta and Chitzena.
-
- some of the RPCs have really odd recruitment missions. eg. Vince -- take out all of the SAM sites to get Vince, really!?

Of course, some of the omissions seem to be the result of simplification in order to complete the project for release. Too bad the developers didn't release any tools.

I played Rage! and enjoyed it, very polished and a bit stylized, but entertaining, and the idea of advancing the mercs to middle-age was pretty cool.

The more 'serious' JA-alikes are pretty much devoid of humour, but the tactical gameplay is decent.

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First Sergeant
Re: What is your favourite JA-like game/official JA game tha isn't made by Sir-Tech?[message #364989 is a reply to message #364987] Fri, 25 November 2022 00:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Samz is currently offline Samz

 
Messages:6
Registered:April 2019
gmonk wrote on Wed, 23 November 2022 18:12
I'm a long time JA fan, since JA2 was released, and had some trouble accepting the changes in BiA. That said I've played it for more than 500 hours, according to my Steam statistics.

The changes and omissions to the original plot, the changes to the strategic game, and the dumbing-down of the personality system really made it hard to appreciate its better aspects, at first.

BiA is a ton of fun once you get used to it not being JA2. Crossfire was better because it was its own thing, and it was nice to see some favourite MERC characters back.

The good:
+ lush 3d environments with interesting terrain and details
+ great sound design
+ pretty decent character modelling and animation for a squad-based game
+ some great voice acting (and some not so good voice acting)
+ real-time with pause actually works pretty well and plan-and-go can be a lot of fun
+ Ira is less irritating

The bad/meh:

- no map/level editor or tools (from the publisher) making modding a very limited endaevour.
- dialogue text often does not match the voice acting
- no vehicle or helicopter. Although this can be simulated by using the "run across each map" cheat.
- merc personality traits and opinions have been reduced to cartoonish tropes.
- some towns omitted, like Omerta and Chitzena.
-
- some of the RPCs have really odd recruitment missions. eg. Vince -- take out all of the SAM sites to get Vince, really!?

.
Funny enough I actually prefer old Ira's VA.
I do like how the enemy actually has dialogue that's voiced now, it's nice when they're not just occasional text-boxes in combat, I also really like being able to actually run from grenades. (I've always felt the instant-detonation grenades in most turn-based games were pretty annoying while the enemy had them and kinda OP when the player had them.)

It is a shame that Flasback is the only JA with official mod tools aside from 2, official steam workshop support on a JA game would lead to alot of hours of fun. (in addition Flashback seems pretty limited in what you can have on the workshop? That or there simply wasn't alot of people willing to make gun mods and such for it seems, I've heard how Flashback is really unfinished but I managed to snag it on discount awhile back at least)

I am looking forwards to playing more JA/JA-likes. (Since so far even the flawed JA/JA-like games clearly had love put it into them.)


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Re: What is your favourite JA-like game/official JA game tha isn't made by Sir-Tech?[message #364991 is a reply to message #364989] Fri, 25 November 2022 12:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga is currently offline Shanga

 
Messages:3485
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
My biggest gripe with BIA was how dumb and predictable the AI was. Basically if you have a LMG+Sniper team you could cheese win the entire game because they would always rush into your line of fire. Also the un-necessarily tedious clothing system with stupid low durability was a dumb idea.

As for Flashback, as one who made a good portion of the mods for it, I lost all sympathy for them when they went back on most of the promises they made, including closing off modding support. They blamed it on some engine (Unity) mem leaks but fact is they managed it improperly from day one. The community put forward 300k for them to make a JA game and instead of focusing on it, they started working on two licenses at once (JA and Space Hulk) when they barely had the know-how to make one. They had a really good chance to pull a great game, migrating JA2 to a modern engine, but in the end they had no clue how to do it and made a mess of it.

[Updated on: Fri, 25 November 2022 12:17]

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Captain
Re: What is your favourite JA-like game/official JA game tha isn't made by Sir-Tech?[message #364994 is a reply to message #364991] Fri, 25 November 2022 15:29 Go to previous message
Samz is currently offline Samz

 
Messages:6
Registered:April 2019
Shanga wrote on Fri, 25 November 2022 12:17
My biggest gripe with BIA was how dumb and predictable the AI was. Basically if you have a LMG+Sniper team you could cheese win the entire game because they would always rush into your line of fire. Also the un-necessarily tedious clothing system with stupid low durability was a dumb idea.

As for Flashback, as one who made a good portion of the mods for it, I lost all sympathy for them when they went back on most of the promises they made, including closing off modding support. They blamed it on some engine (Unity) mem leaks but fact is they managed it improperly from day one. The community put forward 300k for them to make a JA game and instead of focusing on it, they started working on two licenses at once (JA and Space Hulk) when they barely had the know-how to make one. They had a really good chance to pull a great game, migrating JA2 to a modern engine, but in the end they had no clue how to do it and made a mess of it.
It does seem that if you wander in/out of enemy vision in BIA, that they will eventually just rush you so yeah they are a bit too predictable like that. (ironically it seems the Melee Enemies often are the ones that are accidently smart, flanking you from behind alot of the time if they can.)

While I've not played Flashback yet, the fact there's no custom weapon or merc mods on the workshop, (Beyond Potrait replacements) it does seem like they're either not possible or too much of a pain to be worth it. (Or how all the custom maps can only replace Sectors in the game it seems, no chance to make small one-off missions like Deadly Games.)

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