From: Secret Underground Lair
I played the heck out of this one a year or so ago. Still never did finish the whole map though!
Despite some glitches, this is IMO, one of the best games I've ever played. It combines the meditative focus of strategy gaming, with the immersive feeling of a FPS, and just enough roleplaying/storyline to give the player a sense of being in a meaningful story. Certainly it is not a perfect game, but a damn good, and very innovative one.
Finally bought JA2 here recently off of GoG and when I finally burn out on HGJA again I'll give that a whirl. Might be hard to go back to those old style graphics, though I can see that it appears JA2 has more detail (at least more mercs) than HGJA does.
Five points about this which show it is a well made game, when used by a fairly competent gamer (such as myself) (1) does not find it so easy to learn that it becomes boring quickly, but simultaneously sufficiently easy to learn that you can get into it in depth within a few days/ten or 15 hours of play; (2) yet, once you learn it on easy, you still have to learn it on 'medium,' let alone 'hard;' (3) it becomes so engrossing that you play it exclusively for a significant stretch of time (in my case I believe it was months); (4) despite #3 you still do not 'finish' it, though you may eventually just sort of burn out and stop playing; (5) after a hiatus in play, you return and find it no less engrossing than you ever did, indeed, having been refreshed by a break, and starting anew, you find it even more engrossing to return to with the art of gameplay mechanics and basic strategy/tactics more-or-less mastered. In short, easy but challenging, totally engrossing, highly replayable.
So in sum, I love this game, however, there are some sad points too.
First is the fact that the community seems to be dead. Prior to my most recent posts, the last ones here in this forum seem to have been about a year ago :(
Second, the core game mechanics are so well-suited to modding & scenario-making, yet it seems there is nothing like a map editor or other facile means for casual modders to get in there and create new content.
Related to number 3, there are so many ways the game could be enriched with subtle or mundane additions (e.g., more NPCs, a more elaborate economic system, additional training/RPG elements, etc.) yet, without a basic framework for modding none of that will ever come to pass.
Is there some super-active Jagged Edge forum out there that I have just missed out on? Is this jewel of a game really just a lost treasure?