First ignore what I wrote when I was 13.
The game is mostly cinema, with a few little engines for actual gameplay.
The story is indeed cardboard. You wake up, ask about a supernova, and suddenly are now a teen space airforce pilot who saves the solar system.
There's a lot of little detail in terms of animation at least. Talking heads, elevator doors, turning heads. Lots of fun moments that look really nice visually.
Its story doesn't not leave you looking forward to part 2, but at the same time I definitely wanna play it again.
Cute game, better than you'd expect for such a new ZZTer at the time.
Fantastic work, Quantum P., and a dramatic improvement from your first game, ASCII spy. You have become very good, very fast.
I am most impressed with the game's graphics. Quantum's simplistic, (though not minimalist) artwork makes excellent use of shading, and he has his own style for drawing people that I have never seen before in a ZZT game. And here's me, flogging Tsengism to death ...
The engines are also very, very good. I enjoyed the flight deck ones in particular. The RPG battles are programmed seamlessly (even if they do look a little drab).
I also noticed Quantum took the time to do some research before his game, naming his characters after astral bodies. This, my friend, is in my opinion one of the best warning signs of an upcoming brilliant ZZTer.
However, what OPERATION: Gamma Velorum is devoid of in terms of plot and narrative style and technique can only be partially compensated for by its impressive graphics and programming. The game is also, unfortunately, quite simply boring in places.
The lack of actual gameplay was not, in my opinion, that much of a problem. Had the genre of this game included the words 'Interactive Cinema' however, it would be slightly more accurate.
I think three is rather harsh, but the perfection that would be denoted by a five would be unreasonable. The game is not perfect.
Nothing personal, Quantum. I can only recall having given fives to three games on this archive.
For more info on this game, which won an MTP in June of this year, go to MadTom's Pick.
I'm a big fan of sci-fi, and If theres any genre that ZZT was just made for, it's the interactive movie. Why then, such an average score?
After loading up the game, quitting to set the speed a setting higher (This is normally a must with games that don't use text boxes at all), I watch a movie. Then another movie. After this, I start walking around, this is a pleasant change, not because I hate movies, but because the plot and dialouge where incredibly cardboard and while I don't expect fight club, I wouldn't mind something a little better than spy kids.
As wells said (I think), if you're going to make an I-cinema game, then good for you, but you MUST make sure you concentrate on making the plot interesting. No amount of fancy graphics or engines will change an I-cinema game that has a plot this slow or obvious. The game was maybe to short for a plot twist, but that wouldn't stop Quantum from thinking up something a little more realistic. Two teenagers get up, go to a mall, enlist in an army and at the end go to bed. I dunno, the whole 'Teenagers save the world' thing is a bit saturday morning television for my tastes. You could of course say code red ran along similar lines, but let's not forget I really don't like code red much, either.
Outside of the plot, the game ran pretty smooth with a few exceptions. While the other engines where original, fun and not annoying, the RPG battles where awful. Or should I say the first one was. I seemed to miss everything, and I was very close to zapping through, which I very rarely do on a game I intend to review. This engine to suffers from a lack of realisim. Taking longer to destroy a bully than it does a group of three terrorists - even if you use a revolver on the bully and a knife on the terrorists - seems a bit crazy to me.
The worst thing about the game? Much like my last reviewed game by Commodore, this game uses USELESS 'Object follows you around' coding, which does NOTHING but look bad, annoy the hell out of most people, and slow everything down. It wasn't majorly buggy, but pushing an object out of my way all the time is not my idea of fun. Worse still, the object had some critical programming, meaning I couldn't just zap it and get on with my day. I hope this isn't going to be a trend.
Again, to semi-repeat Wells, this IS NOT a bad game, it's certainly playable to people who like I- cinema games, but it's nothing like the 'WARTORN-ish' game that Dr. Dos describes. Quantum needs to focus either on PLOT if OGV wishes to be an I-cinema game in the future, or non-engine gameplay if it does not. Either way, there's a lot of promise here, but don't expect the world. Not yet, anyway.
Operation: Gamma Velorum, Part 1, is essentially an interactive movie with a few gameplay sequences thrown in for good measure. Two RPG battles, a Wak-a-Mole style arcade sequence, a very good rendition of Pong, and a well-done endgame action sequence serve to prevent boredom from setting in. These sequences are all well-executed, but the experience of playing OGVP1 is mainly one of watching cutscenes, following characters around, and bumping into people. This isn't necessarily a problem; an interactive movie game can be a good ZZT game, provided that it works as an interactive movie.
In a ZZT game, having any coherent storyline at all is a considerable merit. In an interactive movie, the plotline is obviously crucial. Even when, as in the case of OGV1, the storyline is overused, predictable, and unlikely, it still lends some enjoyment to a game by providing a general goal for the player and a driving force for the action. The plotiline of OGV1 serves its purpose of keeping the show going, and is moderately entertaining in a "watch the Death Star explode" way.
What does OGV1 do wrong? Well, not much, as ZZT games go. There are annoying spelling errors, and the storyline requires a very heavy dose of suspension of disbelief due to its internal inconsistency, but this sort of thing is expected. The real problem is not what OGV1 does wrong, but what it could have done right. It could have done something unpredictable with the story. It could have added some interesting twist to the mechanics of the RPG battles. It could have given us truly interesting characters, or some clever humor, or a bit of real drama, horror, or excitement.
In short, OGV1 could have been a really good game, as opposed to being "very good as ZZT games go." It has its moments, certainly, but it could have been better.
This review might seem extremely negative, but I'm only concentrating on the negative aspects of OGV1 because it could have been much better. OGV1 does get a lot of things right, like its well- animated cutscenes, its attempts to make the environment seem extensive (it really looks, at times, as if the stark environments are being used as more than set pieces), and its avoidance of pointless "filler" material. It's better than 90% of the ZZT games out there, if not more. It's cleanly executed, and it's very workmanlike.
Again, though, it could have been much better with a little more polish and a bit of originality.
In this game you play Cor Caroli, a young half Martian who becomes a pilot to save the Allied home planet, Gamma Velorum. (taken from the text file)
War-Torn, the greatest ZZT game ever. What? Wrong game? Gamma V, huh. Let me tell you something Quantum P: IF YOU MAKE A WARTORN BASED GAME MAKE IT GOOD! Of, course you already knew that!
OGV is the most incredible War-Torn style game I have ever seen! What makes it War-Torn style?
1)In the intro it uses that screen fade thing in war-torn. 2)It says it was based on it 3)He ripped the RPG engine off(, but I can't even understand it so I'm not angry at him.) 4)The relationship with Meagen compared to Anne
Clearly ANY War-Torn fan would love this, I don't know who you are Quantum P, but damn you are good at this! Although no real War-Torn clones other than this exist (except my Virus302 games...) I have to say it's a good job done, the only problem would be that it plays like a demo, which in all technicallities it is. DOWNLOAD THIS