25 November 2009

Wing Commanding

Update: Review of Wing Commander: Prophecy.

Back in the mid-90's there were two main game genres me and my friends were playing: fantasy strategy (namely Master of Mana and Heroes of Might and Magic II) and space combat simulations.

The game that introduced me to the latter genre, and probably the game of the genre I played most at the time, was Star Wars: TIE Fighter. (This was also around the peak period of my Star Wars fandom.) The other main proponent of the genre is, of course, the Wing Commander series. I bought Wing Commander III, IV and Prophecy back in the day.

Another defining feature of that era, however, was my lack of patience with games. I rarely beat anything, really. I played Wing Commander III some, but never got very far. IV I never really got around to playing at all. Prophecy I played most of the three, I think. I remember running into trouble in a mission somewhere close to halfway into the game and getting sidetracked with something else, never returning to it. (Which happens to me far too often, even now, although I have beaten plenty of games since.)

The games sat in a cupboard for years, until recently I got a sudden urge to revisit those golden years. Of course running them on my modern GNU/Linux system would likely be difficult. This proved to be the case for Wing Commander III. (It did start with DOSBox but suffered frequent crashes.) I didn't even try IV. However, I was surprised to find that Prophecy ran perfectly with Wine.

It's a week later and I've finally beaten a Wing Commander game for the first time. And it still was lots of fun.

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