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Wing Commander

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Reviewed by Jatterkins The Super NES doesn't boast many true 3-D shout 'em ups but the Wing commander games: Wing Commander and Wing Commander: The Secret Missions are two of the best. The first thing to bear in mind is that Wing Commander is more about strategy than pure arcade action. Mindless blasting fans will be slightly disappointed by the game. The essence of Wing Commander is controlling a series of Space Ships over a number of very varied missions. Each mission will set you certain objectives such as checking out a piece of space, destroying a warship or escorting a transport ship. You have full control over the mission: you can even instruct your wing-men to attack or keep the formation. Throughout the mission you will often be attacked by alien (Kilrathi) fighter ships. This is the best part of the game: hunting down an enemy in an intergalactic dog fight is sheer fun. You must lock your enemy in your sights and blast him to bits. Your opponents have real Artificial Intelligence and it takes strategy and skill to blast 'em down.

Graphics 7 out of 10

Although the graphics look slightly blocky in close-up they are still pretty good. The cinematic sequences are well done and add a lot of polish to the game. The only problem is that the writing on the VDU which controls your ship looks slightly blurry and takes a while to get used to.

Music and Sound 7 out of 10

Wing Commander features an action sensitive soundtrack which changes according to the on screen action. The first sign that you're being attacked maybe when you hear the beat getting faster and faster. The soundtrack works particularly well when your navigating through a mine field or asteroid belt: the music is a good clue to the approaching danger. Sound FX aren't ground breakingly good but they do a good job in complementing the on screen action.

Game Challenge 8 out of 10

The variety of missions and co-pilots ensure that Wing Commander will last quite a while. The later missions are very difficult and take a lot of strategy to beat. You only get a password after a few missions so you have to work hard to make any real progress. That said, the learning curve is quite gentle and you are eased into the later challenges. There's also a training simulator which is always good to play for a quick practice.

Game Play-Fun 7 out of 10

This all depends on whether or not your an arcade freak. Blasting funs won't really enjoy Wing Commander that much. People who love strategy should get a lot out of the game. The blurb on the box stresses that the game is a 3D combat SIMULATOR and this should serve as a suitable warning as to the type of game Wing Commander is.

Frustration

Wing Commander can get frustrating when you're trying to get through an asteroid field after completing a lengthy mission. The control system is also quite confusing at first and you may spend quite a while trying to fully master the control. Its worth it though.

Game Value 7 out of 10

You should be able to pick up Wing Commander pretty cheaply these days. If your a fan of this type of game its definitely worth the asking price.

Overall 80 out of 100

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