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Shadowrun vs. Shadowrun 67

Posted by Zonk
from the i-roll-d6s dept.
eToyChest's regular 'I roll 20s' column today looks at the different faces of Shadowrun in the world of Videogames. Before the most recent, ill-conceived, 360 title there were several other attempts to bring the rich cyberpunk-meets-Tolkien world to gamers with controllers. Some met with more success than others. From the article: "In the Genesis Shadowrun, you played an actual Shadowrunner, the sort of guy a corporation would pay to do their dirty work, and then deny the existence of after the fact should things manage to find a fan and hit it. Moreover, you were given the ability to create a character designed after whichever abilities and archetypes you found to be most savory, and as a result, a huge array of hybrid character styles were available, creating a game with a good deal more replay value than most Sega Genesis action RPGs."
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Shadowrun vs. Shadowrun

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  • Sounds familiar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @04:03PM (#15869137) Homepage
    Microsoft rewrote the timeline and setting for this game, so it is not in continuity with the tabletop RPG. It may be more accurately described as a game loosely based on Shadowrun.

    Hmmm, take a product that somebody else produced. Modify it slightly, slap your name tag on it, and sell. Sounds familiar.
    • Yeah, it sounds alot like most ANYTHING out there. look at shoes, movies, cars, books, TV shows, video games, music, etc etc etc. what isn't recyled in some way? what isn't taking something that someone else has done and modified in some way shape or form? Hell, shadowrun is more or less a knock off cyberpunk... oh wait.. cyberpunk is more or less a knock off D&D (its a variation on a diced bassed rollplaying game)...
    • Hmmm, take a product that somebody else produced. Modify it slightly, slap your name tag on it, and sell. Sounds familiar.

      How is this insightful at all? He obviously doesn't know what he's talking about. They didn't modify it slightly, they pretty much screwed the whole thing up. Butchered it, if you will. It bears even less resemblance to Shadowrun than MechAssault does to Mechwarrior (the last license they butchered). Once again, someone gets voted up for taking a shot at MS by mods who don't know

      • How is this insightful at all? He obviously doesn't know what he's talking about. They didn't modify it slightly, they pretty much screwed the whole thing up. Butchered it, if you will.

        Kind of like what the makers of Shadowrun did to Gibson and Tolkien's work?
        • Tolkien?

          Look, I'm all for giving Gibson props as creator of Cyberpunk or whatever, mainly because I don't care, though I'd probably put in a compelling argument for Philip K. Dick and some other more obscure authors if I did.

          But Tolkien? Tolkien didn't create High Fantasy, he just wrote some good High Fantasy books. Heck, I could say Tolkien butchered Grettir's Saga [omacl.org] if I was feeling particularly churlish. (Yes, I know the summary says Tolkien-Gibson, but I don't excuse the ignorance there, either.)

          • What similar "High Fantasy" existed before Tolkein? OK, there's all the old Norse sagas, but no-one's been writing new ones of those for a while.

            Tolkein very explicitly created a world with races of elves, dwarves, trolls, orcs/goblins, halflings and humans. In one case (halflings as food-loving home-makers, for example) he invented the archetype, and he "standardised" the others from various disparate sources in order to make them distinct species. He even invented the elf/dwarf conflict which doesn't e
          • Since when is PKD an obscure author?

            I guess that makes Asimov an obscure author as well, eh?

            To be honest, I did not originally find Asimov at first, I found others such as PKD and then was led into sci-fi and then got into the "mainstream" authors.

            Just curious how PKD was an obscure author
    • They didn't modify it slightly. They took the name, a few abstract concepts and dropped them into Counter-Strike.
  • SNES Version (Score:4, Interesting)

    by commonchaos (309500) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @04:07PM (#15869174) Homepage Journal
    I recently played the SNES version. While playing it, I kept thinking that they could have renamed a few people, changed a few graphics, and resold the game as a "Matrix" game...

    • Re:SNES Version (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Rethcir (680121)
      That game seemed to have a the framework in place for many more adventures than it actually did.. I'm betting they either ran into memory or time constraints, or had planned for a sequel. As I recall it came out fairly late in the SNES' lifecycle so it probably didn't get much consideration for a sequel. Amazing game tho. Wish my save battery hadn't died in my copy.
    • Re:SNES Version (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Pantero Blanco (792776) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @04:39PM (#15869456)
      It WAS a Matrix game. Gibson used the term to refer to the "Internet" in his novels, which Shadowrun is based on. If I recall correctly, both the SNES and the Genesis games used the term as well and included "hacking" missions. The movie was named after it, and many characters in the movie were based on popular cyberpunk characters. It couldn't be much more obvious unless they'd called Trinity "Molly". ;)
      • Re:SNES Version (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bunions (970377)
        with the exception that Gibson didn't indulge himself in the insipid stoned-high-school-student philosphizing that the Matrix series was so slathered in. "Omg, what if we're just simulations inside a totally big computer!!" "whooooaaaa, duuuuude ..."

        Gleh.
      • Re:SNES Version (Score:2, Informative)

        no no no...Shadowrun is based on the return of Magick in 2012, which marks the beginning of the Sixth World on the Mayan calander. The "matrix", megacorps, and such are mere backdrops for the real battle for control of reality by the people and creatures who survived from the Fourth World (our magically devoid world being the Fifth World). Each World lasts for about 7,000-8,000 years. The megacorps are nothing compared to The Horror That Awaits Beyond the Veil (or, for SR players who don't know...the ins
        • Re:SNES Version (Score:3, Informative)

          by Hentai (165906)
          er, actually, Insect Spirits aren't the same as the Horrors - they're just another menace that tends to show up before the Horrors do. The Horrors have, thankfully, been kept mostly at bay by the efforts of -#@&*@!)

          Trust me, you don't want to read any more. - The Laughing Man
          • Yup, as detailed in, as I recall, two published adventures and a novel. And Universal Brotherhood was a sweet suppliment.

            I actually have a ton of first and second ed Shadowrun splatbooks, adventures and novels (as well as about thirty or so other RPG series) that I'm slowly selling off; if anybody wants something, email me and we'll see if I have it.

          • Ahh the immortal elves. It's kinda sad that the best use for Earthdawn was as background material for Shadowrun.
        • +5 geek bonus for you. i'd be careful stepping outside, you will have to work up to that much UV exposure. remember, little steps.
      • I read Neuromancer one night instead of sleeping... I guess I should read it again. Wikipedia tells me that there are two other books that make up "The Sprawl" trilogy. Are they worth reading?
        • Yes, they are. Then, go read Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and The Diamond Age, in that order. Then you can think about reading Gibson's Virtual Light/Idoru/All Tomorrow's Parties/I think there's one in there I'm forgetting.

    • My memory on this is a little fuzzy on this and I can't find the old web pages, but before the original Matrix came out I seem to remember the Corona Coming Attractions website lising it as being based on a Shadowrun novel. Anyone else remember this or am I just delusional?
      • Way back in the day, there were talks of making a Shadowrun movie, but they fell through when the producers didn't want to include metahumans and other core elements of the Shadowrun setting. To the best of my knowledge (though I can find nothing to corroborate this), they went their own way and that seed went on to become the Matrix.
  • very excellent game (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eamonman (567383) <eamonman2@hotma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @04:08PM (#15869179) Journal
    My favorite games for the Genesis were SFII, Phantasy Star 3&4, all of the Shining series, and Shadowrun. I still remember when you interfaced with what was like their version of an internet; you'd try and break their security to disable cameras, open doors, get data, etc. That was pretty novel at the time.

    • by MrSquirrel (976630) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @04:31PM (#15869390)
      Shadowrun was amazing. You could play the game however you wanted with so many aspects -- street tough fist-fighter, gunman, magic user, sneaky spy, charismatic talker... combine the endless customizability with the party system (3 characters in your party at a time), the story, and the great gameplay and you end up with an amazing game.

      Take the piece of crap Microsoft is making and you have... a big, smelly, piece of crap.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @04:11PM (#15869215)
    The Xbox is looking more and more like the video game equivalent of an elephant graveyard.

    It has become the platform where old video game companies and titles get lame and go to die on.

  • I played that game (Genesis version) until I was around the final boss. Somehow I left the room after the boss fight started; now the door is permanently locked... Anyone have any ideas
  • Genesis Shadowrun (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pantero Blanco (792776) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @04:30PM (#15869382)
    I've been trying to find the Genesis version at flea markets and used game stores around here for a while, without much success. The only person that had it wanted as much as the game probably cost when it was new.

    I felt it was a lot better than the SNES version, which was incredibly linear. The Genesis version let you free-roam for the most part, in both "the Matrix" and the streets of Seattle, and complete the missions when you wanted. I figure that I looked at it the same way kids look at San Andreas today.

    It also made the first Gibson novel I read (when I was thirteen or so) all the more entertaining. "Wait a second, Black ICE, Chiba City, Runs...I know this!"
    • Tried eBay? (Score:2, Informative)

      by tepples (727027)
      I've been trying to find the Genesis version at flea markets and used game stores around here for a while, without much success. The only person that had it wanted as much as the game probably cost when it was new.

      On eBay I see genesis shadowrun for about 20 USD incl. shipping.

    • I've been trying to find the Genesis version at flea markets and used game stores around here for a while, without much success. The only person that had it wanted as much as the game probably cost when it was new.

      Get a Genesis emulator and download the ROM.
  • You all know when you first saw the Matrix movie trailer, and saw people in trench coats, with lots of guns, and hackers that seemed to be also experiencing almost magical phenomena, was set in the very close future, etc... that you thought a Shadowrun movie was coming out. And you went to www.whatisthematrix.com and were incredibly let down when it was an original IP, but you couldn't help thinking they still ripped a whole bunch off of Shadowrun.

    Now why would I want a Shadowrun game that will, in essence
    • That's funny. I also felt like this. But then I was like "wait, this shadowrun stuff, didn't I read this all in Neuromancer and Johnny Mnemonic?"

      An interesting side note - Gibson can't STAND shadowrun. Detests it. Mostly, from what I've heard, because of their "fantasy" concessions - the dragons, the magic, etc. True Gibsonian cyberpunk is straight up technology and its use as a metaphor for the direction of humanity.

      • "Concessions"?! The fantasy aspects are what make Shadowrun Shadowrun, and are in my opinion the best part of the game system. No, it's not "true
        Gibson cyberpunk" and it's not supposed to be! If that's what you want there are a ton of games with a setting like that (for instance, Cybepunk).
        Gibson can whine about Shadowrun all he wants, but that just says to me that he's too busy dwelling on how they changed things from 'his' setting
        and missing out on one of the most interesting (not necessarily original,
      • An interesting side note - Gibson can't STAND shadowrun.
        Yes, but how does Robert A. Heinlein [vintagelibrary.com] feel about it?
    • Forget Teh Matrix, if you want Shadowrun in a movie, rent "Johnny Mnemonic." It is everything I would expect a great SR campaign to be (with out the magic).

      -Rick
  • The good ol' days (Score:2, Insightful)

    by IAstudent (919232)
    Having played both the SNES and Genesis versions, they were at least far more passible approaches at translating the pen-and-paper game to video gaming than the crap that's showing up on 360.

    The SNES version was okay, but the Genesis version was always my favorite in that it allowed more customization. Both games allowed you to hire other runners, and I'm not quite sure which one had more to select from, but Genesis gave you the options of either hiring them for a single run or hiring them as permanent com
  • Rip (Score:4, Informative)

    by Belgand (14099) <belgand@planQUOT ... .com minus punct> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @04:45PM (#15869500) Homepage
    While it wasn't the first time this has been covered The Gamer's Quarter [gamersquarter.com] had a longer, more in-depth article about the previously released Shadowrun games back in issue #5. Sure it didn't include anything about the crappy-sounding Microsoft title, but then again... who really cares about it?
  • Dystopia (Score:5, Informative)

    by wuie (884711) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @04:53PM (#15869568)
    At this point in time, I'd trust the Dystopia [dystopia-game.com] mod for HL2 to give me a better interpretation of Shadowrun than Microsoft will.
  • pompus ass (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "Before the most recent, ill-conceived, 360 title there were several other attempts to bring the rich cyberpunk-meets-Tolkien world to gamers with controllers."

    Well, it's nice to see you've got an open mind at least... I take it you've actually played the game even though it's nowhere near finished? I mean otherwise a statement like that would just make you a pompus ass, right?
    • But when the original press release includes details that are so obviously at odds with the source material... one has to wonder, why did they even pay for the rights to use the name in the first place?

      When the holder of the license goes "Well, we sold them rights to use the name & backstory, and we didn't demand creative control, or even a veto right... So when they showed us some of the working code, and we were like "That's not our game", they said, "Tough shit." " a fan of the original story

    • FTFA

      Microsoft's new Shadowrun diverges so far from the classic that the company producing the pen and paper version, FanPro LLC, has all but disowned the title, distancing themselves from the project by explaining that "Microsoft has finally unveiled their Shadowrun FPS computer game for X-box 360 and Windows Vista. Fair warning, however: Microsoft rewrote the timeline and setting for this game, so it is not in continuity with the tabletop RPG. It may be more accurately described as a game loosely based o
  • by oddman (204968) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @05:09PM (#15869672)
    I've played the pen and paper RPG through all four editions. I love the old Genesis game. When I first heard about this new game, I was so excited that I couldn't wait to get more info.

    Now, I will bad mouth this game every single chance that I get. I hope that they choke on the costs and release the brand to someone who can give us a good game that actually hase something to do with Shadowrun.
    • by BDZ (632292) <rich@fourdPERIODucks.com minus punct> on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @05:27PM (#15869782)

      Same here. Been GMing the game since the first edition came out.

      Initially when I heard that there was going to be a 360 Shadowrun game coming out I had figured it was an RPG and fully intended to purchase one of the consoles solely to play this game.

      Then I find out it's to be a first person shooter...and then I hear that they are ripping out the entire history and starting from scratch in a rather warped way...then I see the movie promo for the game and see that it's a deathmatch game with pointy eared avatars, some magic (rocket launchers by any other name...), and what looks to be a rez spell...What the heck? I also seem to recall reading something about magic being a finite resource controlled by possession of a handful of artifacts which seem to be the "prizes/flags" you fight for in the game?!?

      Honestly, Microsoft, why did you bother getting the license if you are going to completely gut the entire game world? All you do is annoy those of us who love it...and for people who don't know it, well why would they care about the Shadowrun name being on the game in the first place?

      • I feel the same way. It's so brain dead what they're doing. What could have sold me on 360 has now made me even more anti-MS than usual. I prefer they sit on the license than use it for another generic FPS that will just get raped by the likes of UT seris and Halo series. What a waste of good development money and a great license.
      • Honestly, Microsoft, why did you bother getting the license if you are going to completely gut the entire game world? All you do is annoy those of us who love it...and for people who don't know it, well why would they care about the Shadowrun name being on the game in the first place?

        AFAIK When FASA went bust MS picked up the computer game licenses for all their games. It was more a case of "well since we own the license, why not do something with it?".

        Earthdawn would make such a good 3d RPG or MMO, t
    • Yeah, I loved first ed. Shadowrun. Random scatter grenade tables, (when grenades still existed) and glorious oddities like a troll physical adept with a polearm that was lethal in melle. (average strike of around 12d6 at 2's to hit, against impact armour :) S2 may have made the game easier by making all the damage codes into a 2, but it wasn't nearly as much fun, or anywhere near as deadly :)
      This from the game with the slogan "it's only a fleshwound" :D
  • by Wingfat (911988) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @06:49PM (#15870365)
    I think that if they really wanted a true to RPG table top game for the PS3 or what ever they should have made a shadowrun game like how the newer GTA's are set up. That way people can pick what type of char. they want to be. be it Rigger / Decker / Mage / Body Mods / or combo, but you would be able to grow your char. like if on one mission your arm gets blown of you can go to a hosiptal and get a new one put on be it cyber or cloned. i think making Shadowrun a FPS is the worst idea i have ever heard! (well i hate ALL FPS so it is hard for me to say anything else.)
    • Cyber-punk can work well in a FPS setting. When I had first heard of it, I had assumed that the game was going to be much like Deus-Ex and System Shock 2. Those games did a fantastic job of mixing cyberware, hacking, puzzles, magic (called psionics in SS2), and gun play. Not to mention that they did a great job of building atmosphere, mood and a plot that you had a percieved impact on.

      Hell, with the success that Fable and the GTA series had, I would be loved to see a third person shooter/action game base

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