Wing Commander 4 (PS1) – Part 3

This post has been a while coming as it must be a week since I finished off WC4 but better late than never. From where I left off last time the latter stages had far fewer cuts than the PC with the main point of interest being the choice of missions offered about two-thirds of the way through. I would normally get to pick from commandeering fighters and equipment or rescuing civilians. Here the choice is made for me and I get to chase after the new fighters.

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I do still have the choice of which 2 of the 3 missions we carry out in the system. Unlike the alternative route, there are no planet missions here of course so that issue is neatly avoided.

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As the game draws on after that, it gets more and more in line with the PC version with all the ending missions playing out exactly as I remember including the final showdown with Tolwyn. With so little changed, there isn’t much for me to say so it’s straight to the final verdict.

With the right controller this is a good port with better looking movies and playing just about exactly how it should. The CD access times on the real hardware are a little tiresome, especially when saving. The PS2 also struggles when streaming music detracting strongly from the soundtrack which can’t keep up when you start to get kills. None of this detracts majorly and the real drawback is all of the cuts which seem like a bizarre decision. Why not add $2-3 to cover manufacturing costs and put the whole game out? Without these cuts it could have been competing with the PC version, with them it’s lacking a lot of spark especially in the early stages of the story. What is left is still true to the original not leaving much new here to justify playing it in addition either. Unless you have to play every one, stick with the DVD edition on the PC as it has this beat in every aspect. Where this port would possibly shine is playing it on a mobile device like the Vita provided you can get used to driving a starship with your thumbs.

I should be continuing the space sim theme next with a game I’ve wanted to try out for some time, Deep Space – Operation Copernicus.

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