Letande
Letande D'Argon
 
 
Emotions are alien to me. I'm a scientist.

― Mr. Spock
Currently In-Game
I Hate Running Backwards
If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are.
                                                       :deltashield: Dance with me. For science. :deltashield:

Trekkie who loves computer games, books, superheroes and many other things. 35+ years of gaming experience. PEZ collector. Not accepting any invites from strangers with Steam level below 15 (not because I don't care, just trying to protect myself from all those annoying scammers). No trade offers, no racist / homophobic / transphobic bull (will unfriend and block you right away without warning). Often busy, often AFK, therefore may not reply to you right away. Please, use Facebook if you want better communication. Star Trek Online main: T'Vran@letande#5778. Feel free to contact me if you need help, diplomatic immunity or just want some TFO fun.

         :mystbook: Goodreads [www.goodreads.com] :mystpirate: Backloggery [backloggery.com] :fallingman: GOG [www.gog.com]
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Peace and long life, Mr. Spock! 🖖
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Lieutenant, look!
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Items Up For Trade
1,644
Items Owned
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16,240
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Items Up For Trade
1,644
Items Owned
18
Trades Made
16,240
Market Transactions
Favorite Game
23
Hours played
26
Achievements
A library serves no purpose unless someone is using it.
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Favorite Guide
Created by - Navrin
This was one of the first computer games I ever played, and the first Star Trek one. After watching the Original Series – the thrill of commanding the Enterprise in a brand-new mission was astounding. This guide, will help you become the Captain you always
Favorite Guide
Created by - Navrin
This is the sequel to Star Trek: 25th Anniversary; Star Trek Judgment Rites. This guide, will help you become the Captain you always wanted to be – that means earning 100% and earning all available Commendation points. Captain, the chair is yours!
Review Showcase
“Commanding a starship is your first, best destiny.”
~Captain James T. Kirk

Like present times, 90s were a great time to be a Trekkie. The Next Generation, which started in the late 80s, turned out to be a big hit and the new shows began to appear one after another. There was Benjamin Sisko taking a stand against the Dominion, there was Kathryn Janeway leading her crew back home... Man, those were the times! And, of course, there were comics, books and video games. A lot of them. Like... a lot! And it felt awesome. I mean, there were times when we didn't even have the official games. We had people like Mike Mayfield and Don Daglow who used to make unauthorized products. Which, obviously, ended up being on pretty much every computer back then.

90s, on the other hand, marked the whole new era. Simon & Schuster's text-based adventures were now left behind and we were starting to get all sorts of entertainment. From legendary 25th Anniversary game and its sequel for personal computers (NES and Game Boy versions were not nearly as cool, unfortunately) to a pretty tricky mystery game, in which we were free to explore Terok Nor (Harbinger) and even a couple of FMV games. One about Klingons (that one even included dictionary, Qapla'!) and one about the Borg.

For us now, though, it's important to remember another game. I'm talking about Interplay's Star Trek: Starfleet Academy - Starship Bridge Simulator for SNES and SEGA 32X. Long story short, the game turned us into Starfleet cadets and let us go through the series of simulations, in which we were supposed to participate in various space operations. We were supposed to tractor things, performing the senor sweeps, looking for peaceful solutions and even re-creating the legendary historical events like Captain Kirk's confrontation with USS Reliant (NCC-1864), captured by KHAAAAAANNN!!!

Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, the hardware limitations made the game to feel a bit rough and unpleasant here and there. Especially when it's about the SNES version, but even the one for SEGA 32X was far from being smooth. If you ever played SNES version of Chris Roberts' Wing Commander, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It was still a great game, but... yeah. It was one of those cases, in which PC mustard race sure had a superior version. Well, technically, 3DO had that weird Super Wing Commander thingy, but then again, we're not talking 'bout WC here. Or are we? We'll return to that in a bit, but for now it's important for us to understand that, while WC was ported on pretty much everything (like that certain game about dragons), Bridge Simulator never had a PC counterpart. It was either one console, or another. At least until 1997, when Interplay gave us this. Star Trek: Starfleet Academy.

And before you'll ask, yes, this game is pretty much a new take on good ol' Bridge Simulator and it follows the same exact formula. Again, you're supposed to become a cadet and participate in those juicy simulations, while you performance there would be rated and make an impact on progression. This time, though, it's more than that. See, Starfleet Academy is more than just a PC version of Bridge Simulator. Interplay took the next step here and the direction was... pretty obvious, really. Remember when, after Star Wars proved that space adventures can be really successful on the big screen, Paramount decided to bring Star Trek there? Something like that happened here too. Only instead of Star Wars we've got... Yep, you've guessed it. We've got Wing Commander.

See, WC was on its top at that time. FMV-oriented WC III and IV changed the entire game with their huge budgets and famous cast (ironically, the role of Maverick was played by Star Wars' Mark Hamill). Naturally, Interplay decided that they want that too. Especially since they had access to Star Trek franchise, which already had seven TOS movies. It was only logical (yes, I'm Vulcan, live long and prosper!) for Interplay to take their original concept and combine it with WC. And that's exactly what they did. Did it work? Oh, yes!

Like in WC, our team is our everything now. We won't be able to explore the academy freely (in this case, WC is a winner), but still, between the missions we'll chill with our guys. Which will be more important than you may think. Just because this game is way more non-linear than WC and therefore, your decisions may cost you greatly at the end of the game. As a leader of the group, you'll need to be wise. You'll need to understand exactly how to treat people. Otherwise, there'll be... consequences. WC had that too, but honestly, this game did it better. And, of course, we'll meet our old friends – Kirk, Sulu and even Chekov. Unfortunately, Mr. Spock wasn't included, but hey! Can't have everybody.

Space parts benefited from WC-like approach too. They became way more dynamic and fast-paced, while also simulating Trek stuff surprisingly well. See, while the core mechanics here are very WC, the details? The details are all Trek. You'll need to do everything manually and it feels fantastic! Going on yellow / red alert, controlling the repairs in real time (pretty similar to what we had in MicroProse's Star Trek: Generations), hailing the other vessels and trying to negotiate with them (yes, those negotiations are non-linear too), using the tractor beam, transporter and other juicy things... It feels absolutely amazing. Especially since goals can be pretty complicated too.

This game can be an ass, though. I mean, fighting against cloaked ships is fun (Klingon Birds of Prey? It's hard not to love 'em), but sometimes, the game will actually punish you for following your orders. I can see why they did it. It's Star Trek we're talking about. And Star Trek was always about those moral dilemmas. Like, Kobayashi Maru anyone? But still, in a computer game format it... can feel unfair here and there. Think 'bout it. You completed your mission. It was hard (the fact that you can't save during the missions doesn't help either), but you made it. You returned to your base and... you learned about how following a certain order was wrong and therefore you've failed. Ouch! Still, this game? It's absolutely beautiful and if you love both Trek and WC, you should not miss it.

Now, a couple of words about this exact version. It kinda... sucks. For many reasons. First – we've got a regular CD version. Obviously, we won't need to switch CDs, but still, those HQ videos from DVD re-release are not included. Also, don't expect Chekov's Lost Missions. And while I can see why they didn't bother with HQ videos (those used some weird codec), lack of the addon is just stupid and disappointing. Sure, it's possible to manually add HQ videos from DVD (if you have one that is) and even install the expansion, but honestly, it's all about trial and error and would probably take you some time. And it's just sad, you know? I mean, this version works perfectly fine on Windows 10 / 11 and it even has the 3dfx support. Unfortunately, there's no access to it from your Steam library and the only way to access it is to launch sfad3d.exe from the game folder (hence lack of play time on my account), but still, it's there. Why didn't they even try to give us all the content? Very illogical and disappointing. Dixi.
Review Showcase
“Conquest is easy. Control is not.”
~Captain James T. Kirk

Back in 1998, Simon & Schuster Interactive released Star Trek: Starship Creator (developed by Imergy). It was rather niche and peculiar product, but still, quite a lot of Trekkies ended up enjoying it. Heck, even though most of the people who never cared about Trek didn't even hear about that title, it actually sold enough copies to spawn the official add-on pack and even a sequel. Which... was more like another add-on pack, but that's not the point. The point is - Starship Creator introduced us to a new kind of Star Trek entertainment.

Well, Star Trek games were always known to be different. Since the very first games (which were unauthorized), those actually tried to achieve more than mainstream stuff. I mean, what if I'll tell you that we had open world Star Trek games back in 70s? Pretty awesome, right? And things didn't even end there. MicroMosaics and Trans Fiction turned our usual interactive fiction into pretty deep ST simulation, where we were able to give the direct commands to our crew and even investigate crime, MicroProse brought a new depth and even space battles to System Shock formula in their Star Trek: Generations while, like I said, Imergy followed that path too.

What did they do? Well, first of all, they've allowed us to construct our own ships. Obviously. What was really cool, though, is that we were able to hire crew by selecting from popular ST characters and then make them participate in various missions. The more missions you completed – the more credits you had. And the more credits you had... Well, OK, it was a grindfest. Pretty weird one too, since the actual process was akin to what we had in those Football Simulator games. In other words, you didn't really control your guys. Their performance was all about you and your management. Sure, it wasn't for everybody, but it was a thing and there was sure something special about it. Heck, we were even able to write our own missions! How cool is that?!

Anyway, why am I telling you all that? Well, the thing is, the guys at 14° East (Fallout Tactics) with the help from Quicksilver Software (Castles and a bit later – Master of Orion 3) pretty much took our good ol' Starship Creator and... turned it into something more mainstream. In a good way. Sure, you can say that we won't be able to build our ships from scratch here. Which was, like, the core feature in Imergy's game. And you'll be correct. All we'll be able to do in Starfleet Command is purchase ourselves the new ships by selecting certain vessels from pre-decided classes (you may argue that it doesn't really fit the official ST lore, but since we'll use so-called “prestige points” this time, it kinda... Does?) and build ourselves a tiny little fleet made of three vessels.

And yet, it's close to impossible not to notice just how similar this game to Starship Creator. Right after you'll get yourself at least one ship (the game covers three different technology eras), you'll need to hire yourself a crew. And even though you won't be able to use famous characters like Mr. Spock and Captain Sisko (what we have here is our usual Theme Hospital-like stuff), it still counts as a proper management and your entire performance will depend on your crew's experience. Losing the ship in this game? It isn't just about losing an “expensive” vessel. It's also about losing the crew with all its experience. Which means the impact will feel very real.

Now, we're getting to the most interesting part – the actual missions. Because yes, unlike Starship Creator, we'll actually be able to participate in those. What's even more interesting is that those operations are based on real tabletop game. Which is fun, since so-called Star Fleet Battles (made by Task Force Games, creators of Starfire) was never an officially authorized product. It was one of those “we have Avengers at home” things, in which some third party guys tried to make some money from popular franchises without paying for actual licenses. In other words, yes, it was Sense of Right Alliance (google it if you don't know what it is – you'll be surprised). Except those Task Force Games products weren't really that bad. Heck, they were pretty good actually. Thanks to that, Star Fleet Battles became very popular and even got a couple of expansions. And like I said, that's exactly what we have here – an adaptation of unauthorized Star Trek tabletop wargame.

And even though it sounds crazy as heck (there are many crazy things in this world, huh?), it's actually... good. Very good. Heck, it's so good that this game actually outsold Baldur's Gate at some point and almost won Computer Games' “RTS of the year” award. Sure, it lost, but (let me quote Mr. Worf here) – there's no dishonor in losing to a game like Age of Empires II. Talking 'bout Klingons, by the way. Not only we've got quite a lot of different factions to choose from (we've got Federation, Klingons, Romulans, Gorns, Lyrans and Hydrans, while Orions are presented as non-playable faction), they all come with some very interesting nods to The Original Series. For example, Federation will need to fight against Mirror Universe, while Klingons will face their ultimate enemy. No spoilers, but those guys breed fast as f!

Back to Star Fleet Battles, though. The entire grid-based concept here was taken directly from there. In other words, Starfleet Command did to Star Fleet Battles exactly what Baldur's Gate did to The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. This game's approach is stylish, effective (bet you've read this in Seven's voice, huh?) and overall brilliant (intuitive UI included). Not without its own share of the rough parts, though. All the inaccuracies to the official lore (most of which came directly from Star Fleet Battles) aside, some elements in this game just don't work as good as they were supposed to. For example, friendly AI here can be an ass. Especially during the parts, in which you'll need to capture the enemy vessels (the goals during the missions have everything you may ever want from ST – exploring, scanning, using the tractor beam, hailing the other vessels and beaming your people directly to them, etc). Imagine it – you've just disabled your enemy's shields and started to board their vessel. Your guys almost overpowered their crew, their ship is almost yours, then boom! One of your friends fired photon torpedo and destroyed the ship you tried to capture. Even though a minute ago you gave it direct order not to destroy, but to disable the bloody thing. Like I said, this game can be pretty rough now and then.

Which may be a serious problem for those who aren't really interested in Star Trek and just want a solid tactical game. Especially since, unlike games like Klingon Honor Guard and MicroProse's Star Trek: Generations, this one doesn't have spectacular presentation, state-of-the-art visuals, or the expensive cutscenes with the professional actors. But still, this game is amazing and even though the first game in this series is not the one that's often considered to be the best, I still have a very special place in my heart for it and had a blast re-playing it. Especially since, despite what publisher claims, the game works pretty fine on Windows 10 / 11. May require a compatibility mode an a basic .ini file editing, but still, what we have here is a fine release. The one that comes with all the official patches and downloadable missions too.
Favorite Group
330
Members
21
In-Game
105
Online
4
In Chat
Rarest Achievement Showcase
Awards Showcase
x95
x58
x27
x214
x76
x140
x107
x48
x21
x18
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x43
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1,037
Awards Received
3
Awards Given
Video Showcase
I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream (Longplay): Part 1of7 - The Introduction
Video Showcase
Ninpū Sentai Hurricaneger (忍風戦隊ハリケンジャー): Complete Story Mode Playthrough (PlayStation)
Favorite Group
Duke Nukem group for all duke fans megaton, duke world tour, and eduke32
21
Members
2
In-Game
4
Online
1
In Chat
Salien Stats
Level Reached
6
Bosses Fought
0

Experience Earned
37,165
Recent Activity
29 hrs on record
last played on Apr 21
6.5 hrs on record
last played on Apr 21
8 hrs on record
Currently In-Game
☯ dreamer ☮ Mar 22 @ 10:57am 
𝐻𝒜𝒱𝐸 𝒜 𝒩𝐼𝒞𝐸 𝒲𝐸𝐸𝒦𝐸𝒩𝒟 ❤
pattaya addict May 24, 2023 @ 12:21pm 
Where have you gone? I haven't seen you online in so long!
Nazukao Feb 22, 2023 @ 12:47pm 
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Petalwing Feb 14, 2023 @ 5:56pm 
Happy St. Valentine's Day!
poluza Dec 23, 2022 @ 1:38am 
Hello good sir. I'd just like to say your reviews are amazing. I read them for hours. Very thoughtful with history bids, you should write a book :)
☯ dreamer ☮ Dec 9, 2022 @ 10:20am 
:kb2_heart::shinealight::r_heart::shinealight::shinealight::shinealight::r_heart::shinealight::kb2_heart:
:shinealight::r_heart::em_heart::r_heart::shinealight::r_heart::em_heart::r_heart::shinealight:
:r_heart::em_heart::shinealight::em_heart::r_heart::em_heart::shinealight::em_heart::r_heart:
:r_heart::em_heart::shinealight::shinealight::em_heart::shinealight::shinealight::em_heart::r_heart:
:shinealight::r_heart::em_heart::shinealight::shinealight::shinealight::em_heart::r_heart::shinealight:
:shinealight::shinealight::r_heart::em_heart::shinealight::em_heart::r_heart::shinealight::shinealight:
:shinealight::shinealight::shinealight::r_heart::em_heart::r_heart::shinealight::shinealight::shinealight:
:kb2_heart::shinealight::shinealight::shinealight::r_heart::shinealight::shinealight::shinealight::kb2_heart: