Sunday, 17 July 2016
Star Striders playthrough
Oh god no, not another sci-fi one! It's not a secret that I've grown to dislike the sci-fi Fighting Fantasy adventures with the rampant passion of a thousand dying suns. But god damn it, I'm going to get through this.
The book opens with a quote from the hitchhiker's guide of the galaxy explaining that a Star Strider is a skilled bounty hunter... in space! I am then immediately informed that the President has been kidnapped by the romulans - oh wait, no, sorry, that's the Gromulans. Totally different. Another evil space empire entirely. As is standard in these games, instead of sending along a giant army of death-robots, they send one lone nutcase with a gun. Jack Bauer would be proud. And now I have the mental image of Keifer Sutherland beating up Romulans.
It's also occurred to me that this is one of the rarer "rescue mission" type of quests, as opposed to the standard "there is an evil wizard over there, go and kill him" ones.
I start out the adventure onboard a shuttle to earth, where the President is being held hostage 'somewhere'. Aboard the shuttle, the waitress robot offers me some snacks, which I accept. The food cubes (that sounds vile! What is the obsession in bad sci-fi that all food should be done in multicoloured cube form?) restores one stamina point... which is still at maximum because the adventure has just started and I've not had the chance to lose any OH GOD THIS IS GOING TO BE STUPID
If you're confused about what just happened... yeah, makes two of us!
Anyway, the bus stops and I get off in Future Madrid. The book takes the moment to tell me that the place is a mess and is only used as a stop-off for people en route to London, which I think is a bit dubious. Either way, a robot walks up to me and 'pings' me. I've no reason to want to jump at the chance to make friends with a random robot, so instead I follow it down the hallways until I find out that it's actually working for the Grom. I'm wondering if the Grom are actually the Gromulans that were mentioned in the intro to the story. Maybe they shortened the name and didn't bother to adjust the rest of the book (this is stupid).
So, with no real clue what I should spend my effort on, I just follow the robot around the ruins of the old city, until I wander into a Grom ambush. Something akin to a billion drone fighter jets descend on me, and I'm quite happy to choose the 'run like hell away' option.
I trudge along to this and am promptly dumped alone into the hacienda with no backup or significant reason for being there other than that there might possibly maybe be a clue here. By this stage, I am hemorrhaging 'time' points, which is another of the things that this book seems intent on subjecting me to. Having very little fun with this, guys. Anyway, the book tells me to sneak across a courtyard filled with laser beams. "Throw one dice, this is where the beam is" says the book, in possibly one of the worst explained examples of writing I've yet to see. Was this published from a first draft??
I flee the place and get back to the bus, where I'm told to deduct a few more time points for the journey out of Madrid and further along towards my goal. The way that time is applied in this game is utterly abstract, I could lose two time points by undergoing a long bus ride, or lose two time points for leafing through a book in a shop. There's no definite guide as to what a time point is worth, they're just applied haphazardly and urgh forget it. Moving on.
We arrive in Roma, which I'm assuming is Future Rome and not simply a gypsy encampment. But knowing how stupid this book is, it could be either. I find what I assume to be a future bed & breakfast, and during the night I catch sight of someone who looks 'familiar' in another room. The next day I follow her like a crazy stalker, and eventually figure out that she's a fellow bounty hunter. Together we plan to search for info.
This adventure is a mess. The descriptions are sloppy and unstructured, without anything approaching a feeling of atmosphere. The choices you're given are often muddled and unclear, and I had quite a few choices which I was unsure what the difference between both options actually were. The entire thing feels unpolished and lazy.
This is the kind of Fighting Fantasy book you give to your kid if they have been naughty and need some kind of suitable punishment. At very least I am done with the sci-fi adventures in this series, I never need to see or hear from them again. This was just utter dreck.
Next up, I'll be tackling the last of the main series of Fighting Fantasy books, Phantoms of Fear. Until next time!