Saturday, October 6, 2012

The X-Com Classic Ironman Challenge (Gank's Edition)

As Thade has outlined there are a few of us partaking in an X-Com challenge this coming week. The much-anticipated (by me at least) X-Com release offers players a 'hardcore' mode which has both an increased difficulty, and no opportunity to reload. Only one auto-save is provided so if you mess up and your team is annihilated...... too bad! I think it will be a lot of fun even though I don't anticipate getting very far on this difficulty setting.

It's been ages since I played the original X-Com series. I cut my teeth on Terror From The Deep which took me ages to finish and was quite hard. Each single mission could take up to an hour or more as you hunted for that one last bloody alien hiding somewhere in a cabin on a cruise ship. If you lost your favorite guy after 50 missions you could re-load (and I did) but then you'd have to start the mission all over as there was no in-mission saving allowed.

The new game is a different breed with only four (so far that I've seen) squaddies allowed per mission (up to 8 in the original I believe) and they all have pre-determined specialties (sniper, assault, support, etc). "Back in the day" you just gave someone a sniper rifle and that was it- insta-sniper. Oh, ya, and we had to get to the game by walking uphill, through snow, with no shoes. I never went back to the original series- I rarely do- because as graphics and such move on, so do I. There are just too many games to play and, if you've read my Spring Cleaning series (which isn't done yet I'm afraid), you know I have trouble not trying them all!

I've pre-ordered X-Com from Amazon using an old address of mine from when I lived in Arkansas (at the Super 8 motel in a room next to a meth lab and note I said next to, not in) as Amazon downloads require a US address for whatever reason. This is my first time with Amazon (awww, you always remember your first time and the pick-up truck or youth facility you were in at the time) so we'll see how it goes. I know with Steam you can pre-load, and Amazon indicates you can download at 9pm on Tuesday. I'm hoping to try it at midnight but these days that's pretty close to my bed-time so we'll see how it goes. Unfortunately She Who Will Be Named Later tends to frown on my staying up all night and sleeping all day due to the fact I have to "do my share with the baby". Sigh, is it my fault I have no milk-making ability in my boobs and she is up all night? Oh well, her bedtime is around 7pm (the baby that is) so there'll be plenty of gaming on Wednesday night.

I want to put a call out for names- reply here and I'll name a squaddie after you and you can see how long he lives for! If no one bothers then I'll just make up some cool names and/or steal ones from Bloggers that I read. So if you're playing then join the X-Com challenge! Even if it's only for your first game- you can always start again on a easier setting (sissy) later so go for it and let us know how you did.


  1. The original holds up surprisingly well I found, after picking up the complete pack on Steam. The interface took a bit of getting used to again, but a lot of it came flooding back. Never got terribly far through it again, though, like you say, too many other games to play... Looking forward to the new one, but I don't think I'll be joining the ironman challenge; I seem to recall I did very little saving and loading the first time around, but that was more because it took bloody ages than a point of principle. Be fun to see how it goes, though!

  2. Graham "gramity".

    I'm taking your challenge and I am on a Classic Ironman run right now. Few missions in and all is going well. We'll see what happens.

  3. Ironman brings a lot of excitement and tension to the game which is good. I would not, however, reccomend it at the moment due to the number of bugs which are ruining the game-play. I don't mind losing to the AI, or because of my mistakes but losing because of a bug is maddening.

    I had to abandon my second (Ironman) match due to a bug which trapped my entire squad in a base. I couldn't complete the mission and to abandon it would mean they would all die. I guess I could have run out and done it all over again, but I re-started in normal mode where saves can, well... save you :)