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Jagged Alliance 2

(Boss Fight Books #5)

by
4.04  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The turn-based tactical role playing series Jagged Alliance has been sequeled, expanded, modded, optioned, multiplayered, and kickstarted, but the series’ many fans usually point to Jagged Alliance 2 as the high water mark, and one of the finest turn-based video games of all time.

Jagged Alliance 2 brings to the table a wicked sense of humor, simulation-driven character des
...more
Paperback, 138 pages
Published August 25th 2014 by Boss Fight Books
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Peter Derk
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This edition of Boss Fight Books is heavily interview-based, and I think it really works. As much as this book is about a game, it's also about the making of a game, the way a studio and real human team puts something together. The book really does a nice job balancing the game with the real world considerations. Studios closing, money, and business. It's really quite an interesting treatment.

Something I found really fascinating was a discussion about the issue of programming a game in the curre
...more
Kevin Fanning
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I've never played Jagged Alliance 2 (I had never even heard of it until I heard Darius was writing a book about it.) but this book is a really fascinating look at why it's an interesting/important game, what was happening in the world, both culturally and politically, that led to the creation of a game like this, as well as a good overview of game development in general, both then and now. Ultimately, it's a book about the creative process and necessity of compromise, so even if you don't care a ...more
Ben Chandler
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thorough research is an excellent basis for creating a compelling text, and this book is a clear example of that.

Darius Kazemi does share personal thoughts on why Jagged Alliance 2 is not only an excellent title when compared with its contemporaries, but also remains a quality experience today, and it's interesting to read his opinions on this. The real treasure here, though, is the fact that he's taken the time to talk with the developers involved, and even lays out some of the history surround
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Caleb Ross
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
(click the image below to watch the video review)

Jagged Alliance 2 book review


This is the seventh Boss Fights Books release I’ve reviewed, and it just dawned on me today that I’ve never given a proper description of the subject game. I dive right into the book and that’s doing a disservice to you, readers like me who may not be familiar with the game. So let me correct that.

Jagged Alliance 2 is a tactical role-playing game (trpg) released for the personal computer (pc) that puts players in the control of a group
...more
Frank Kool
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The turn-based strategy RPG Jagged Alliance 2 is a true cult classic, adored by a small but fanatically devoted fan-base since its release in 1999. Here is its biography.

Kazemi wastes no time explaining seasoned JA2 veterans what they already know and delves right into the matter. The book shines in its dealing with the history and technical aspects of the game. Based on interviews with the founders of Sir-tech, we also get an answer to the burning question that many JA2 devotees carry in their
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Spiral
Jul 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
an interesting look at a strategy game that I've never heard of otherwise! the topics I find particularly interesting are getting a look at what small scale publishing was like during the late 90's, racism and sexism in gamedev culture, and most especially the strong relation between american war propaganda and military based video games. the lattermost point has become increasingly obvious in the past decade, but it is valuable to see how far back it goes, and to be aware of efforts like Soldie ...more
Agustín Fest
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Un excelente ensayo sobre cómo nació un videojuego de culto. Habla desde las motivaciones de la gente que participó en la creación del videojuego, hasta de las ramificaciones y cómo afectó a la industria, aún siendo una gema oculta en el mar de pixeles. Da detalles no sólo de su diseño, pero de su inteligencia artificial y de cómo se manejaba un equipo en los 90.

Precioso. Uno de mis preferidos de la editorial.
Yannick
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don't know if this book could have been published elsewhere. It is so interesting, fascinating, instructive. Meanwhile, it looks like nothing else. It showed me new ways to look at games, to study them. The author even comments the game's code, and simply for that this book might bear a historical importance in the way we write and talk about books. ...more
Brad Furminger
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the best of the Boss Fight Books through the first five, providing more of what I was hoping for from the series. There is a bit of personal anecdotal content, but an abundance of insight into the mechanical depth of the game and the process through which it passed from concept to finished product. The direct developer interview content alone is worth the read.
ignus
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked it. This is what I was expecting from a book series like this one.
Amazing insight on how one of the most underrated amazing cult classics was made. Full of interesting interviews and design docs, recommended read for any JA2 fan.
Gutlese
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A phantastic account of how JA2 came to be. My only beef with this book is that I'd love for it to be much longer. Perhaps Kazemi can compile an Unfinished Business edition with more interview excerpts. :-) ...more
Nicholas Zacharewicz
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the insight that Kazemi brought to this truly obscure (to a console gamer like me) title. Check it out if you want to get some insight into how a video game grew out of other concerns before there was a video game industry.
Bernard Dy
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very nice background on one of PC gaming's greatest games. It is on the short side but if you liked JA2, it's worth reading. ...more
Vsevolod Zubarev
Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Nice book about how JA2 came to be, and “why don't make them like this any more”. Having any JA2 experience isn't required. ...more
Eric
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This has been my favorite of the Boss series books so far. Spotlights the game, interviews the developers and producers, even offers insights into the source code. Darius makes it all about the game.
Tim
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic. JA2 is a weird game for me, something of a white whale. It came out on PC in 1999. This is the era of games I remember most fondly, CDs had been fully embraced and games had gotten Big. Sprawling titles like Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment came out around this time.

And I was aware of JA2. But I never played it. It's funny, as a kid I was an avid consumer of PC Gamer and I now wonder, is the reason I skipped this game their review? The game, now regarded as a master
...more
Ondrej Sykora
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is by far my favorite Boss Fight Book. Unlike the first two which draw parallels between the contents of the game and the life of the writer (of the book, not the game!), this one focuses a lot more on the development of the game, its developers, and puts everything into historical context.

The overall result is a completely new look at the game - not just what it is, and how the writer sees it, but also why it was created the way it is. There are still places for improvement in the writing,
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Florian
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
An interesting trek through the history of a much-loved game and the company behind it as well as the circumstances that allowed it to happen (which have become increasingly rare especially in corporate game development environments). Having played the original game but never the sequel, this has me wanting to actually dive into it.
Sam
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book - but it's probably not for everyone. The last Boss Fight Book I read was Spelunky, which I also loved, but would probably appeal to a somewhat broader audience. This one's fun for anyone who might enjoy learning about telling comments in source code. Matt, other Matt, Ethan, Jake, I'm looking at you. ...more
Joe
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wasn't familiar with the game. Thought it was an interesting read despite being confused at times. I'm running late. ...more
Steve
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
A game worth re-visiting. I had never considered the multi-cultural aspects of this weirdo soldier-of-fortune game.
Paul Harris
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
fascinating look into game development, and what happens when you truly give people creative freedom that isn't tied to pleasing a fanbase. ...more
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Matt Kimberlin
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Kurt
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