Video Games Reviews Wing Commander

Let’s close out the week with two more vintage reviews. These are from the difficult-to-Google VideoGames magazine, which covered console gaming in the 1990s. The November 1993 issue (pictured with cover) gave a positive review to Wing Commander: The Secret Missions for the SNES, while the July 1995 issue praised Wing Commander III for the 3DO.

Lazy Game Reviews Covers Wing Commander

Noted YouTube retrogamer Lazy Game Reviews (LGR) has just tackled our favorite: the original Wing Commander! Lazy Game Reviews produces excellent reviews of classic gaming and tech subjects… and this one is no exception. If you need to explain Wing Commander to someone unfamiliar with the series, this is a great way to start.

Kilrathi Warrior Busts Some Skulls

The April 1994 issue of Electronic Entertainment has a short-but-interesting preview of Wing Commander III! It's fascinating to see an article that isn't especially focused on the addition of live action cutscenes... but this scan is most exciting because it includes two early concept sketches for the game: an Excalibur fighter and an initial, somewhat terrifying sketch of a Kilrathi!

End Run Still Coming

Good news for patient Wing Commander eBook readers: the ebook re-release of Wing Commander: End Run (Book #2) is still in the works. In response to an inquiry, Baen replied via Twitter:

It's in process, but I don't have a date as yet. We have to work it into the schedule, but keep checking the bundles!

Baen has re-released the rest of the series as ebooks over the past year, with End Run conspiciously absent. It turns out the problem was not legal wrangling or anything else of the sort... Baen's current staff simply did not know the book existed! During the End Run shortage of the late 1990s, they gave away every physical copy they had on hand and so when they returned to the archive to begin producing ebook versions it was skipped (the fact that the fourth and fifth books are adaptations, respectively, of Wing Commander 3 and 4 surely confused matters further.)

It's not clear when End Run will be available, as it will be used to fill a future hole in Baen's schedule (the same process that lead to the release of the other books.) Baen announces their schedules several months in advance, which means that the earliest window for finally making End Run available again is September. Once the release date is locked down, we'll let you know!

    End Run
  • Baen Ebook
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Apple iBooks
  • B&N Nook
  • Kobo

Hakaga to Scale

NinjaLA is BACK... with a herd of cats! Ninja recently tried his hand at drawing a Kilrathi Hakaga-class carrier in the same style as Claw Marks. The results speak for themselves! The Hakaga is the Kilrathi carrier Ninja's Hakaga is just the first part of an ongoing project (also pictured) which aims to have line drawings of the entire Kilrathi fleet, to scale. This is going to be good! For those unfamiliar with the Hakaga-class, they are the Kilrathi heavy carriers introduced in the novel Wing Commander: Fleet Action.

Acronym Party: VG&CE on WC2

Video Games & Computer Entertainment was the first outlet to cover the 'making of' a Wing Commander game, with a cover story on the making of the original game (available here.) Today, we're looking at their articles for the second game in the series, Vengeance of the Kilrathi. The first two pages are from the January 1991 issue which reviewed Wing Commander II. VG&CE's connection to Origin is clear, with the reviewer going into more detail than you would expect about the team building the game. Most interesting, it refers to the upcoming Strike Commander as a Wing Commander prequel. The second article, from March 1991, is focused on strategies for winning the game. One special point of interest: the screenshots in both articles are all pre-release images created by Origin and not actual gameplay captures. The turret layout is different, the young Blair portrait and an unused 'reporters' background are used and even the screenshot of Thrakhath does not match the finished game's script.

Armada II Mod Returns

It's not uncommon for mods to disappear... so it's also a nice surprise when they come back! Back in 2012, Janos Miklos worked to convert the Star Trek Armada Wing Commander TC to the newer Star Trek Armada II platform. He released an initial version and promised he'd be working on new ships... and now he's back to keep his promise! Check out these screenshots.

PC Format on Wing Commander II

PC Format, a UK-based gaming magazine that would go on to have a close relationship with Origin Systems, published their first issue in 1991. Of interest to us, however, is issue 2: the November, 1991 edition of the magazine was absolutely chock full of Wing Commander II. As you can see, Wing Commander II gets a four page review, a picture on the cover and even a letter in their 'Q&A' section. The highlight, however, is the 'cartoon' version of the WC2 intro where the story is punched up with word balloons and new graphics. That 'BOOM' really makes losing the Tiger's Claw sting all the more. Rounding out the collection are two ads, one for a regional retailer stocking the game and the other published by Wing Commander II's European retailer Mindscape.

extremetracker

Follow or Contact Us

Forums: Recent Posts

Current Poll

Where to Buy

WCPedia: Recent Contributions

Site Staff