B.A.T. II: THE KOSHAN CONSPIRACY

The Confederation of the Galaxies, concerned by the increasing threat of the Koshan, has contacted the Bureau of Astral Troubleshooters (BAT): the Koshan is gaining control of vital deposits of Echiatone 21 - far too precious a resource to be in unscrupulous hands.

You are Jehan Menasis, trained BAT agent. You've been sent to Shedishan, an alien world in the Miranda system, and the base of the Koshan operation.

Your mission: to stop te Koshan, whatever the cost. And the cost may be high...

Lose yourself in the endless, intricate worlds of this science-fiction role-playing adventure!

FEATURING:
  • BOB, the Biodirectional Organic Bioputer implanted in your arm.
  • A huge game with more than 400 animations.
  • Over 250 independent characters.
  • An original, realistic new sound system.
  • Four flight simulators.
  • Awesome driving simulator.
  • Two combat options.
  • Confrontations with gladiators.
  • Three playable coin-op videogames. 
~from the back of the box

I wasn't too fond of the original BAT. At it's heart it was a traditional adventure wrapped up in the trappings of a Role Playing Game and the two didn't merge well in my opinion. The mechanics necessary for the RPG elements came off as stiff and off-putting for those who simply wanted a good story to sink their teeth into. And there still isn't enough of it for me to confidently call it an RPG over an adventure. Being released in 1992 (or 1993 for the advanced CD version), the three years that passed since the 1989 original wasn't spent improving the core mechanics. As such, my main gripes about the series still remain.

That's not to say there weren't any improvements. Extra time was spent making a deluxe CD version for DOS that added full voice acting, some CGI cutscenes, improved graphics and new mechanics in a number of areas. It makes for a visually impressive game with a scope that far exceeds many other titles at the time.

The problem is everything feels so cold and distancing. You are again plonked into a cyberpunk metropolis with little direction or understanding of what to do next. It's such a problem that the solution for the entire game (albeit a somewhat brief one) is detailed in the manual! If you have to do that, it's a sign that intuitive game design is not on display.

Talking about unintuitive, a major skill needed is not reflexes for gladitorial arenas or spacial awareness for the 3D flight-sim sections but programming knowlwdge. Implanted in your arm is the B.O.B. (Biodirectional Organic Bioputer) which will offer up valuable information as you play, including your hunger, thirst and tiredness. In order to take advantage of the more complex features such as language translation, you need to program it in the most convoluted way possible.

It's a game that's at once too complicated and too simple depending what you want it to be; too obtuse for adventure junkies and lacking depth for RPG hounds - casual gamers should just forget about it. It's possible that I just didn't have the time to get into the game due to a very steep learning curve but there's still something in there that may interest a specific type of gamer. Unfortunately, that gamer is not me at this moment in time.



To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox to bring the PC version to modern systems and FS-UAE to emulate the Amiga version. Manuals, Inlay and Reference Card included. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 345 Mb.  Install Size: 612 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ

Download

CD-DOS
CD-DOS

AMIGA

AMIGA


B.A.T. II: The Koshan Conspiracy is © Ubi Soft
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me


Like this? Try These...

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/bat.html  https://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/innocent-until-caught.html  http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/zombi.html

4 comments:

  1. I made a weird unsplittable mix of this game and B12's "Electro Soma" in my mind, where the Amiga kind of music of the latter fits the euro scifi tropes of the former. For several years I planned to make a video with "Hall of mirrors" that takes different scenes from the game and I still have it as a life goal to complete.

    Yeah, I have nothing else to add here. Just that my love for videogames, for electronic music and some other stuff makes me do strange connections.

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    1. Electronic music is not really my thing so I'm not familiar with B12. I did google them and they sound pretty good. Their album art does look uncannily like lost concept art from BAT though.

      https://img.discogs.com/RhMaloJFnJkg-5C5cjnO4YOWWz0=/fit-in/598x293/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-29889-1496412053-8003.jpeg.jpg

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  2. RPGs and adventures, two genres that go together like milk and oil. Being more cerebral types of games you can see why developers have tried to combine them over the years. But adventures games use puzzles as simple progression gates, and RPGs are complex systems involving an ever shifting-matrix of numbers and parameters best really suited for resolving combat more than anything else.

    Developers always seemed to fall into the trap of designing obstacles that required a specific combination of skills/stats (RPG side) and inventory/knowledge (adventure side) to advance, without considering how unlikely it was for a player to anticipated the need to check off every criteria, unless they were using a walkthrough. Smarter games, like Wasteland, had the solution - give the player many ways to progress using what they had at their disposal. Let them pick a lock, persuade someone to give them a key, pry the door with a crowbar or just blow it to kingdom come!

    When you throw even more elements into the mix like action sequences and time/date progression that your game is almost inevitably going to collapse under the weight of its ambition. I love that so many games in the early days were willing to try with this stuff, but I'm not surprised almost all of them failed.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. You cannot fault the BAT games for their ambition - you can see that in the great art design and what they were trying to do with the mechanics - but it lacks a cohesion to the overall package. I would put that down to the two types of gameplay pulling at each other instead of working with each other. It can be done - look at Quest for Glory - but other than Quest for Infamy which is a love letter to that series, I cannot think of many others that try it and do it well. Thay I've played anyway.

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