Three years ago, my desk consisted of the usual boyish clutter...
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... and a Mac.
Yes, that's right. A Mac. I loved my Mac.
But I had tried to go for the bargain and bought a Mac on the verge of obsolescence. And sure enough, two years later, my Mac was behind. Very, very behind.
Game companies practically stopped developing for my sorrowful system and those that were created ran too slowly on my 7100/80. Woe is me.
I was desperate. And cheap.
My friend bought a Playstation. I decided I didn't deserve one, and they cost too much, so my only outlet for games turned out to be my struggling computer. I turned to cruising the web for salvation.
I found a little company that created games exclusively for the Mac. They called themselves Ambrosia, and they offered a taste of the food of the Gods. Oh, yes.
The food of the Gods (at the time. For me, anyway).
It was all right, I suppose. The food was a little bland and overdone with remakes of games like Centipede and Raiden, which were nicely done, but boring in the long run. Then, they released a game called Escape Velocity.
Genius! It offered unrivaled game play in the Macintosh arena, with many, many hours of many, many missions. The music was digitized, the graphics were nice and smooth, the ships were upgradeable, and I thought I'd hit the jackpot. It was a space-opera game with a top-down look (not 3-d) to it. You had full control of your ship, flew from planet to planet running shipments for money. With the money, you could save up to buy newer and more powerful ships, which you'd need later to defend yourself as the story-line began to build.
I spent HOURS on that.
Then they came out with the follow-up. Escape Velocity Override, with more of the same, new ships, new weapons, new aliens and a huge new galaxy. Oh, yes.
Food of the Gods.
Again, they turned to digitized music which didn't last long. It only shows up at the beginning of the game. They could've added more, but then the game's size would have been too large to buy off the internet (which is how Ambrosia sells the majority of their games and software). The sound effects, though, were quite nice. They were in stereo with quite a bit of variety in the different lasers and missiles.
The weapons array increased as well. With the added weapons came added game play. Now you had higher customizability of your ship, allowing you the chance to take on more jobs to earn more money to buy more different kinds of weapons.
What made this game REALLY interesting above the first game, however, was the inclusion of a giant new swath of planetary systems. There was now about four times the number of systems to find and visit. And they weren't all friendly. Or recognizably human. This also added to the depth of the plot and to the level of challenge the game had to offer. Finding the planets was no longer an easy feat. Some of the routes were frustratingly obscure, further extending the game play as you hopped back and forth from system to system in hopes of finding that missing hyperjump to take you to the phantom system.
Both Escape Velocity and Override provided gamers with the opportunity to download plug-ins that would completely alter the game. The best of these plug-ins were sometimes better than the original game itself. They would do as little as offer a couple of new ships or completely alter the galaxy map and create a whole new story from scratch. Some would adopt a Star Trek theme with ships from the shows and movies, others would be completely original. It was a fascinating technique to keeping the game alive. Basically, Override and Velocity both have potentially unlimited playability as long as people are out there programming for it.
It's been a while since I've checked on the Override site for new plug-in updates, but maybe I should...
And here I was starting to think my Mac wasn't good for anything, anymore.
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Version Played: Retail
Operating System: Macintosh
CPU Speed (MHz): Under 200
RAM (MB): 64
Best Played With/Intended For: Single Player
Graphics Card Family: Other