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    jp's Star Trek: Tactical Assault (PSP)

    [May 27, 2010 09:08:33 PM]
    I've decided to move on to something else because I've realized that while I've gotten much better, there is a certain amount of luck that seems to come in to play and I'm also getting a bit tired of having to replay long missions only to barely not make it. Finally, I realized that the rewards for accomplishments in each mission don't seem to make that much sense.

    For example, there's a mission (forget the number) where I had to rescue a ship. When I reach it it's damaged and I fight some enemies that show up. Eventually it is repaired, I fight some more enemies, and eventually it's ready to go. At that moment a third group of enemies appear. I have the option of running away, but then when I make it back to base some enemy ships have trailed me and I need to fight them! Ok, so next time I won't flee. I stick around, fight them, and then head back to base only to have a bunch of new enemies appear anyways! Hey! And, upon succeeding, the rating is the same. I thought I would get a better rating for having taken out more enemies. No such luck...
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    [May 25, 2010 05:28:46 PM]
    Whenever I think "tactical" what comes to mind is precision and in-the-moment type decisions. I also think "turn-based", or, to put it another way, a game where you have time to decide what you want to do. This game was a huge surprise since it isn't really tactical in THAT sense of the word. You're essentially engaged in ship-to-ship combat that is real-time. HOWEVER, there is a certain pacing to the fights that makes it interesting. It's not about moving quickly, dodging, and aiming with great precision. Rather, as I suppose real ship-to-ship combat may have been back in the day, it's about carefully timing your attacks to do the most damage while hopefully minimizing that received. Out in the open seas (as in open space) you have no where to hide so terrain and cover are meaningless. You WILL get hit, you can't avoid it.

    In this sense, combat in this game is like a "dance". You maneuver your way around an enemy ship (shields are represented as arcs on circle, they take damage independently) and wait for it to show it's weak side in order to fire, knowing that your opponent is doing the same. Additionally, you have to wait a significant amount of time for your weapons to reload AND different weapons have different facings. This means that not only do you weave in and out, but you also rotate so that your weapons are facing the enemy at the right time. This is very different from air combat which is all about speed and "locking" on to a target. In air combat, single hits are usually devastating. In this game it often makes no sense to trail an enemy because they can shoot behind them!

    So, does the pacing of the battles make it more tactical? I guess so.
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    [May 18, 2010 11:51:05 PM]
    It's been rather painful to get this far in the game (Mission 11, Federation). Many of the missions are hard, seem arbitrary, yet at the same time compelling. Success seems just out of reach. After a few frustrating missions I began to refer to the manual. Sure enough, there were a few commands/options that I wasn't aware of that would make my life easier (fire photon torpedoes with circle and activate shield regeneration with R+triangle!). Strangely, it didn't make that much difference. So, I took a different approach: play the game differently. Perhaps my tactics were inadequate. This allowed me to pass a few more missions, but I've never felt incredibly successful. It's always a feeling of phew, I barely made it!
    The next step for me was seek out "professional help" (Gamefaqs). Surprisingly, all the tactical advice I found referred to things I had already figured out or learned on my own. I guess this game is just hard...

    I was intrigued, however, by the apparent non-combat focus the game seemed to have. You hail other ships, talk to them, and engage in diplomacy. At least that's what I thought. It's mostly window dressing since, in the end, you end up fighting someone sooner or later. I was disappointed that it wasn't possible to peacefully resolve some situations...
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    jp's Star Trek: Tactical Assault (PSP)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Monday 10 May, 2010

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 27 May, 2010

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Interesting, and worth looking at, but the difficulty curve got the best of me.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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