Day 189

I discovered a time compression feature in Longbow yesterday which helped no end with playing through the remaining missions quickly. I have to point out that I didn’t play these properly but just using the cheat options to get this out of the way as quickly as possible.  This pretty much consisted of putting time compression onto 8x and firing my endless missiles at every target I came across until my CPG told me the mission was complete. I’m pretty much going to make this post screenshots only as I don’t have a lot to say about the missions having played them like this.

The Koreans are attempting to cross the Chunchon river and carry out a pincer movement. The early missions here all deal with stopping that advance.

In this mission I have to find a target and lock onto it so that a fighter can destroy it. The target is actually invulnerable in the mission to my weapons which is a bit contrived but at least its something a bit different.

In this mission I have to escort some helicopters and even cheating I just can’t seem to manage it. They always end up disapearing on me but I don’t have to win every mission so after 5 or 6 attempts I give in on this one and just keep going.

After completing the final mission North Korea withdraws and we win.

On the whole, this didn’t look like a bad mission pack. It improved on the original game, added a bit more variety and even had more cutscenes. I’d like to have seen more story with these rather than just discussing a particular raid in the war. Every other Origin flight sim had some sort of story element and it’s odd that its missing here. I know that we are going for realism which might limit this, but just having chats with your fellow pilots after a mission or something would have really added something to make the missions worth playing through. However, if I’d liked the first game, I’m sure this expansion would have been worth the money and then some. Playing through the whole thing on cheat mode was a bit of a pointless exercise but it was either that or skip it altogether. If I regarded this as a real Origin game I’d probably have put more effort into it but games like this aren’t why I started this blog. 

I notice now that Longbow 2 has been put down on Mobygames as being developed by Origin so in theory I should give that a go also – I would probably do so but as it happens I can’t get it to run on my PC. I just get a blank screen after the intro videos. There is even a website dedicated to showing you how to set this game up on modern PC’s and that didn’t help me out so it looks like I’m fated not to play it for now.  I won’t be losing any sleep over this. Strangely, I gather it runs fine on Vista so I may come back to it at some point just to complete the set. I do own Vista but it didn’t survive on my hard disk for very long – I’m definitely not reinstalling it just to play another flight sim.

So I’m glad to say that its back onto games I have some desire to play and write about for the rest of this blog. I wasn’t actually looking forward to the sequel to Crusader so much after I played the first one as the gameplay was wearing a little thin but right now even playing Crusader 1 again would be great by comparison so I’m raring to get started.

Next: Crusader – No Regret

Day 188 – AH-64D Longbow : Flashpoint Korea

So I finally get through a game I really haven’t enjoyed and I’m now faced with its sequel. I must be a glutton for punishment not to be skipping this but I’m playing it so you don’t have to. I figure if I play another game before it, I won’t enjoy that either since I know that as soon as I finish it I’m going to have to start this so I’m opting to get it out of the way as quickly as I possibly can.

We get a nice new intro to start the game with another Longbow attack. These ones seem to have some sort of camera on top of the turret instead of the usual radar. There are a stack of new features in this add-on pack including 140 missions (god help me), the option to fly as CPG (co-pilot gunner), new landscape a new campaign, better flight model, etc… Clearly a lot more effort has gone into this add-on than your usual slap a few missions together sort of add-on which I’d expect. It’s a pity all this effort is probably going to be so completely unappreciated by me.

I go straight to the campaign which is “just” 40 missions long. This time North Korea is attacking South so the US charge in to save the day.

I get a new tent with all the usual options.

Mission briefings are much the same as ever, if a little unclear compared to before. I end up attempting this mission a few times before I figure out what I’m supposed to do.

The new scenery isn’t too exciting to start off with, although I do get some new features on my MFD.

The towns look a bit nicer though.

And we get bridges…

And lakes/oceans which I never saw before.

The scenery could also be described as mountainous later in the mission as opposed to the rolling hills from the Polish border.

I fly through my points as I thought I was supposed to but get a mission failure when I get back. This is the exact same scene as before but with a new CGI backdrop.

I figure out what I’m supposed to do is escort this tank column between some nav points. I get to watch them drive along and over the bridge which is kind of neat. They get bombarded by artillery at one point and I get loads of squealing shells passing by.

The only snag here is the tanks don’t go very fast. In fact they are so slow, that once I figured out what I was supposed to do, this mission took over an hour to fly. I spent 98% of this time just trailing along behind these tanks struggling to keep my speed that low with nothing happening at all.

I’m more than a little relieved to get back from this mission and get congratulated for staying awake so long.

The news briefing mentions that China are rumored to be supplying North Korea but they deny it of course.

The next mission is a sort of seek and destroy but I have to wander off course to find what I’m supposed to be destroying. It doesn’t take anywhere near as long as the first mission at least.

There is a whole new set of sound effects for this expansion and I have a new CPG who varies what he says a bit more. The one from the first game used the same expression every time I took out a target which gets monotous after 30 odd missions. It looks like being a decent expansion if you like that sort of thing – I just wish I did. 38 missions to go…..