The Loop (TV)
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- And the Fandom Rejoiced: After the epic flamefest that was the announcement of the XCOM FPS, hearing the announcement that Firaxis (Of Civilization fame and the alumni of Microprose) are going to work on the strategy game everyone wanted for such a long time was like music in the ears of the series' fandom. The updates being released only make things better, showing Firaxis's faithfulness to the original. Sectoids! Mutons! Floaters! Developers that love the soldiers being killable and are considering an Ironman mode! Procedurally generated missions!
- Author's Saving Throw: After the not-so positive reaction to the FPS reboot, making a strategy game that's faithful to the original style by Fireaxis Games(with many of the staff that worked on the originals at Microprose in the dev team) seems to be this. It worked.
- Broken Base: 2K Marin's XCOM, either you think it has a shot at being worthy of the name X-COM, or you don't. There's no middle ground.
- Notably slanted in the direction of the "don'ts".
- Contested Sequel: While the first game regularly tops (or is at least present in) various "best game" lists, opinions on the sequels are another matter entirely:
- Terror From the Deep: Challenging upgrade to the original game with an awesome Lovecraft-esque atmosphere and a few forgivable bugs, or samey, buggy Mission Pack Sequel?
- Apocalypse: A superior update to the formula with an excellent real-time combat mechanic, or an unfinished wreck with terrible graphics?
- Interceptor: Fun space-sim-lite that kept most of the series' intrinsic mechanics, or a rather terrible attempt to cross genres?
- Enforcer: ... Actually, most people agree this one was terrible, though you will occasionally see people mentioning that it's not so bad if you A) Can forget it's supposed to be part of the X-Com series and B) Are in the mood for an arcade-ish shooter.
- XCOM: While most of the longtime fans are either shaking their heads at the decision to make it an FPS or are at the very least mildly baffled by the direction the developers are taking the game, fans and non-fans alike seem to be split on the enemies shown so far: Either you find looming, faceless geometry and mobile darkness frightening, or you just aren't that freaked by flying Rubik's Cubes and garage floor scrapings.
- As for the commercial and freeware X-Com clones... bring an asbestos suit.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: dogfight, the intro music, the geoscape theme, the briefing theme...
- Like many fan remakes, Cydonia's Fall may or may not see a day of release, but at least they made a nice Remix OST. Here's a sample.
- While less awesome, the Terror from the Deep music is just as atmospheric with the Geoscape themes (here's some arrangements), Interception themes, Briefing themes, Battlescape themes and De-Briefing themes.
- Apocalypse has an awesome combat theme, aptly named Kill them ALL. (slightly longer version).
- Civilization II had a track named X-COM (later renamed to They're Here), which is basically a remix of menu theme.
- Demonic Spiders: In the early game, candidates abound:
- Chryssalids (able to go from off-screen to melee attacking in one turn). They have as many as 80 or more Action Points/Time Units on the hardest difficulty, and as little as 60 on the lowest. To move one tile takes 4, or 6 if diagonal. Thus, they can blitz your troops from alleyways and corners. On top of that, if your suprised agents kill the Zombies created by a Chryssalid with reaction fire, out pops a new Chryssalid.... with FULL TIME UNITS and ready to make more Zombies out of your men. Chain reactions of frightened soldiers killing zombies with Reaction Fire before getting zombified by the freshly hatched Chyrssalids are the number one cause of Total Party Kills when battling against Snakemen.
- Ethereals (champions of psi-spamming) deserve special mention as frustrating and unfair enemies.
- Later in the game, this is reversed and a strong squad is virtually invincible, not in the least because you are the one making with the psi-spamming at that point. Terror From the Deep, however, brings them back in force:
- Tentaculats take it to a whole new level with their ability to fly when underwater. Combine this with the fact they love to hide in little nooks and crannies (which exist in alien bases for this sole purpose, it seems), one Tentaculat can decimate an ill-prepared attack force single-handedly.
- Bio-Drones: Don't you just love enemies that upon being shot, immediately spin around and return fire with 100% accuracy?
- The Lobstermen, who are basically supercharged Mutons with ridiculous resistance to almost all forms of weapons. Only the Drill are guaranteed to kill them fast.
- Apocalypse is no slouch here, either. Poppers, Psimorphs, Megaspawns count in particular, though, as does anything capable of firing Brainsuckers at you.
- Game Breaker: Arguably, human Psionic capability in UFO Defense. In TFTD it was nerfed. Then Apocalypse rolls around...
- Special mention must be made of the almighty Blaster Bomb, with a monstrously powerful explosion of an 11-tile radius and the abiliy to punch holes into heavily armored Battleship hull plating. If its amazing stopping power isn't enough to impress, the fact that it can be guided via waypoints to weave through the corridors of a ship (and even up or down elevators!) to kill off a specific enemy should be enough to make soldiers clamor for it when you load one in the Skyranger. Suffers from Cool but Inefficient at times though.
- Psi was nerfed in TFTD? This troper has wrapped up entire missions on the first turn simply by using mind controlled aliens to scout for their comrades, then mind controlling them as well and herding the whole gang into a nice XP-generating firing line.
- Toxiguns fit this role in Apocalypse. Toxin-B deals slightly less damage to aliens than the Devastator Cannon, bypasses shields altogether and costs a ridiculously low amount of TU to fire, letting your units take down swarms of aliens in a single turn if lucky. And god help the poor bastards when you get Toxin-C...
- Good Bad Bugs: Most every release and patch of UFO Defense has introduced or fixed a couple of these. Whether they are to be exploited or patched depends on how Nintendo Hard you want your X-COM experience to be.
- Sadly, their evil twins are just as commonplace in Terror From The Deep.
- A fun exploit involves hitting certain sides of the UFO with explosives; due to imperfect wall structure, explosions can "leak" through certain parts of the UFO hull. Roast the aliens in their (UFO) shell...
- You can stand on a bale of hay to see and shoot through the ceiling at the aliens on the floor above. Especially since that they're usually camping at the top of the stairs to ambush you when you come up.
- The way mind-control works, you control 4-tile units one tile at a time. Aliens will automatically attack mind-controlled units within their line of sight when they move. So the best way to deal with a Cyberdisc or Sectopod is to mind-control one tile. When it moves, it will attack itself.
- Internet Backdraft: The reaction to the FPS reboot was vitriolic enough for 2K Marin and Take-Two to add more strategic and tactical elements to the game in order to placate angry longtime fans. When that only made things worse, they either got Firaxis Games to make a strategy game in the original style, or the Firaxis version was already in development well before the FPS version was announced and now it gets more attention from the brass as a more apparent sell-able product.
- Memetic Mutation: Re: The "Reboot"... BETRAYAL!
- Not to mention "Where are the Sectoids?" Depending on where you are in the series, they might be: on Earth and Mars, lurking at the bottom of the ocean in the form of surgically altered genetic throwbacks, working on a doomsday device in outer space while being harangued by Ethereals, trapped in the Alien Dimension awaiting processing into food, on Earth once more and looking very polygonal, sitting in an unemployment centre somewhere in Canberra or Novato, or up to their old tricks once more.
- Misaimed Marketing: The general opinion regarding the new XCOM reboot is that the X-COM name actually hurts what could have been at least a decent game.
- Most Wonderful Sound: Alien death cries. Every one of them means "there's one less thing on the map shooting at me."
- The Scrappy: Dr.Able Standard from Enforther.
- Scrappy Level: Just about any terror mission played at night. Extra points if there're Snakemen/Lobstermen, because you know Chryssalids/Biodrones will be joining the party.
- Sequelitis: After the original, the overall quality of each successive installment of the series was lower than the previous, regardless of their genre.
- Spiritual Licensee: Wanna see a TV series based on X-Com? Gerry Anderson made one in The Seventies.
- Tainted by the Preview: The "reboot" is still in development, and yet most of the commentary on the trailers is negative. (The memories of how bad
Enforcerthat 'other' X-Com FPS was probably aren't helping any, either.)
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Both Enforcer and the upcoming reboot have taken a lot of flack for ripping out the original trilogy's turn based strategy roots.
- While generally much better received than the FPS, The Firaxis version gets flak for "streamlining" elements, the biggest one being replacing the classic Time Unit system with the Move-Action system.
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