+Recreated missing Hallowbrook atrium level, thanks to EntenSchreck.
+Moved Sabbat choice into Hallowbrook atrium and added missing XPs.
+Restored male blood doll at Red Dragon by using former Tong mugger.
+Recreated “maze” room at Grout’s Mansion and restored three icons.
+Fixed some minor discipline issues and restored the basic versions.
+Restored ten decals, moved others and removed restored from basic.
+Fixed warform using occult items issue and improved Bloodheal rate.
+Added two inspections, warehouse boss talk trigger and moved Yugo.
+Increased flamethrower ammo and provided Desert Eagle ammo earlier.
+Disarmed Dominated guard bomb on taking and fixed one sound there.
+Avoided crashing when testing out too many histories, thanks to AJ.
+Added Intimidating Milligan for Nosferatu and fixed armor effects.
+Made it possible to give redundant items to LaCroix and other NPCs.
+Unleaked and improved library and atrium maps, thanks to Psycho-A.
+Restored discipline or weapon selection toggle and Flynn as vendor.
+Moved crying girl near cops at pier and changed her to unique NPC.
+Restored Ocean House boiler model and animated warehouse generator.
+Fixed details of thug, Andrei, Ox, LaCroix, VV and Lily dialogues.
+Made spooky cover sound once and plus only and added steam to Yugo.
+Removed thugs from diner after quest if you avoided fighting them.
+Fixed warrens mist issue and made fatguys use the claws more often.
+Restored or fixed fourty NPC gestures and fixed Confession blocks.
+Made Braid Talisman raise Wits and restored SM Chunk avoiding rain.
+Added Empire Hotel and ending dance spots and made Glaze one plus.
Fixed two particles, a door and added loading tips texts to Extras.
Restored three skyboxes to warehouse, Dane and Hallowbrook atrium.
Corrected Grout’s mansion decals, tutorial bucket and tattoo boxes.
Fixed croucher laughs and no floats for females bug, thanks to AJ.
Updated SweetFX to 1.5 and included a preset, thanks to eeekitties.
Fixed pause messages in engine.dll, random sounds and many floats.
Added widescreen resolution support to engine.dll, thanks to Behar.
Repaired many sound files with broken looping, thanks to Psycho-A.
Improved installer by providing additional choices on installation.
Added Bloodlines SDK to Extras folder, thanks Psycho-A and Fire64.
Corrected three interesting places with wrong bum animations in SM.
Even if you already liked Jagged Alliance 2 A LOT, you’ll still get a whole lot more appreciation for the masterpiece it was, after playing Back in Action. In JABiA countless great features from the original were removed and a few more were changed (not always to the better) and yet: it still can be quite the fun game. That’s how good JA2 was! Only a few pieces of it suffice to make a decent enough game… Although it IS a little bit sad, that JABiA is the best Jagged Alliance game since JA2 itself. ;)
I tried to play JABiA last year when it came out, but initially it was riddled with bugs and I lost the motivation to finish it. I decided to wait until they had finished their patch cycle (nice touch: they stopped at 1.13). The final version is so much better now, I only encountered a few minor bugs and it didn’t crash once during my lengthy campaign (first version never managed to achieve a high uptime – same PC).
A few of the points that BiA lacks in comparison to the original:
- all cut scenes with Deidranna and Elliott were “removed”/forgotten (how could they?!?) – that costs the game so much atmosphere, fun, story, depth…
- the beautifully animated character portraits were replaced with ugly 3D portraits
- Ira still exists, but doesn’t tell stories anymore, about all the locations she knows inside out, again – huge atmo-killer
- only guns can be repaired now, thus all the equipment must be replaced frequently
- it’s no longer possible to build stuff/mod weapons with found items
- even if the Meduna airport is conquered, all of Bobby Ray’s deliveries are automatically send to Drassen, it’s not possible to select another destination
- “the Internet” now only has Bobby Ray’s and AIM – no flowers etc…
- Skyrider’s helicopter (just isn’t the same without his confirmations :P) and all cars were removed
- several characters are missing
- quests were removed, but there are some new ones as well
- rocket rifles (which now use the same ammo as laws) can be used right away, no need to have them hacked in Grumm – the dude who did it is no longer in the game
- weapons have fantasy names (a little bit of a mood killer), I remember the original had all the correct names (or was that only with 1.13 mod? not sure!)
- mercs are now paid once and then stick around for the rest of the game, removing any need to conquer mines as fast as possible (maybe being unable to repair anything besides weapons balances this a bit)
- real-time with pause replaced the action point system (that one hardly bothered me, it could still be configured to pause the game whenever an enemy was spotted)
- worst removal of them all: there’s no “alter ego”/custom merc for the player anymore, all gone along with the awesome test from Psych Pro Inc. (IMP) – so much for xep624 ;)
So all in all it seems like no one will ever make a game like JA2 again. Features that seemed normal then, are now simply out of the question (just like no one will ever make another Star Trek movie again). When I defeated Deidranna at the end of BiA, I only learned that it was her, because the game immediately ended. No final words, no nothing. She acted like all the other hostiles. Only final remarks of the mercs before the ending credits were kept. And of course the game had achievements…
I don’t want to speculate all too much if they were out of time/money during development, so… But it sure looks as if something like that was the case. :P Sometimes it feels like a prototype, that is created by a studio before voices/characters/story are put in. Just a basic proof that the game system works. It at least should have been possible to put a few lines of text in here and there. It wouldn’t have been necessary to voice everything.
Right now I’m wondering if I should try Jagged Alliance: Crossfire, the direct sequel to this game from the same studio. I read it has more “stuff” (like weapons…) in it, which is exactly what BiA could have used more of and it returns M.E.R.C. the worse competitor of A.I.M. from JA2.
+Added animations for all active disciplines, thanks to EntenSchreck.
+Made new elevator arrows light up and stealth work on clinic guard.
+Fixed LaSombra teleport death and made new occult items undroppable.
+Added Humanity for keeping Zhao alive and restored two feed sounds.
+Fixed getting new discipline, grenade, divine light and Vandal line.
+Restored jenny_cries sequence on SM hub for Jeanette near Mercurio.
+Removed buggy Command schedules and fixed Vision of Death and Sleep.
+Restored animal movement for new warform and swapped some MP items.
Made King’s Way door consistent and fixed a Society of Leopold lock.
Restored Muddy fighting killer animation and so fixed the cutscene.
Fixed warehouse thug with long range eyesight and minor text issues.
Restored sounds at Society of Leopold and made others more audible.
Fixed SM and Hollywood hub club music and restored a Vesuvius sound.
Added or removed doorknobs to make it obvious which doors are real.
Restored unused floats of Larry and five civilians, cops and guards.
Removed histories, skip intro and Nosferatu/NPC changes from basic.
How come that almost all of the Star Trek movie actors are frequently in solid films, just when you put them all together, to make another Star Trek movie, it sucks? :P Anyways, Simon Pegg (and of course the countless other people who worked on this thing) continues to amaze and entertain with this movie. I usually don’t read up on movies before I see them, so I knew nothing (except that Pegg and Frost were in it) and I think this helped to enjoy it more. It’s often lighthearted fun/general silliness and yet it still has some serious undertones, that make it into something more than just some forgettable flick. The way the ending was handled, reminded me a little bit of Cabin in the Woods and that too, was great. Always nice to see some courage to deviate from common formulas.