At the end of the last post, I had the idea that I’d play through the rest of this game in one long session. It didn’t quite work out like that but I’ve finished it now a couple of days later. I’ve blogged my way through Wing Commander several times already and already mentioned most of the changes in this version so this post is going to be something of a random collection of observations.
I’ll start with something I forgot last time which is that I don’t get to name my pilot thanks to the speech and am known throughout the game as Hotshot. WC3 much have been well under way by now, so it should really have been Blair but it’s a minor point.
All the cutscenes from the PC were included and this is big improvement on Super Wing Commander’s fly bys or the planet zooming of the SNES. They haven’t been enhanced outside of the speech.
The novelty of the voice acting wore off slightly while playing this, with some characters being done a lot better than others. The Clint Eastwood impression for Iceman was pretty good and I never noticed it before but the character even looks like him. A conversation between Maniac and Hunter on the other hand could quickly become mind-numbing. I thought about putting an audio clip of this up but I’d like to hang onto the few readers I have.
I noticed that some of the commands in the VDU’s have been abbreviated in the console due to the lower resolution. Surely there must have been a better option than “Aim This”. They all still get the job done though. The full range of wingman commands and taunts are all present in this, if tricky to get to in the middle of combat.
I was right to be worried about slowdown in the later missions. It’s not so much a case of dropping frames as the game going into slow motion. This actually makes the big dogfights a lot easier and takes reaction time completely out of the equation. As such I didn’t have any difficulty with the later missions. It did mean they could take a while to play through but even without joystick control it was easier than on the PC if anything.
At the end of the game, the final cutscene (with a few extra ships in the flyby) is all there with the flag being hoisted at the end. If there were any changes in the dialogue or missions themselves on the way through, I didn’t notice them.
All around, this was a great port although the slowdown was a bit much at times. A 32X version would have easily run at full speed but I don’t think there were more than a handful of games that needed 32X and CD and I had a great time playing this as it was.
One of the things to do on the ever-growing list for this blog would be to play all the losing path Wing Commander missions. I like this enough that I’d actually think about playing this version ahead of the PC for those. After I’d thought about it, I expect I’d choose the PC but of the two so far this is easily the best port I’ve played. I would hope the CD32 can offer some competition and maybe the FM-Towns if I ever actually get hold of it.
I’ll probably have a quick look at the WC3 demo on the 3DO tomorrow. I’ve paid the customs bill and my VFX-1 is finally being delivered on Thursday so assuming I can get it working, that will be getting my full attention after that.