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The Better X-Com

I had work to do this Sunday, I really did, but I found my procrastination supercharged by UFO: Afterlight. Yes, I'm aware that Cenega also made UFO: Aftermath and UFO: Aftershock, and both games could use improvement. However, Afterlight has got me hooked.

Gamespot gives it a 6.5. Well, Bret Todd's Afterlight Review might be a bit biased because the poor sap also had to slog through and review Aftermath and Aftershock. Having to face the same game through three refinements is bound to be tough on one's objectivity. The average review score is closer to 7.5, and that's thanks mostly to the game's tendancy to crash occasionally.

Compared to X-Com, there's only one base to build and there's no mini-game involving shooting down UFOs. However, these are forgivable because Afterlight just builds on it from there. What we have here is a better X-Com - even the pausing-enabled real time combat plays out better than the turn-based mechanism. Only nostalgia (or a pent up desire to do the few things X-Com does but Afterlight doesn't) will tell you otherwise.

Now, if only they could release a fourth game that doesn't crash and is a bit more open-ended, I'd be a happy camper. Maybe I won't have to wait that long, considering the game has extensive mod support.

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