WCP- a retrospective

Max Gene

Spaceman
Man, this post was coming for a long time. My first "actual exposure" to Wing Commander was watching the movie on sci-fi, but that doesn't count as what got me in because I was having difficulty staying awake that night, and then I lost the tape. My real gateway into this community was Prophecy Advance- and I can remember thinking, "This is pretty fun, I mean the targeting system is an absolute piece of crap but for the Advance this is amazing... I wonder what the actual games are like?"

My love of space sims had been initiated by Starlancer, so it was good to know that one of the same guys would be behind the series. I started on my journey with WC1, but took quite a while of on again/off again play to get used to it. The 2D graphics and- this post is getting off topic.

So the ORIGINAL point of this ramble was that I finished WCP on the PC last night, and now that I've come full circle I wanted to compare it with the Advance version, from the perspective of someone whose first taste WAS indeed the Advance version.

The game started off with a cutscene, or story text in the advance version. Most of you at the CIC knew there was something missing with these cutscenes, but holy crap does the story ever get butchered. From the little, humorous things, like Dallas passing out and falling out of his chair, to entire scenes missing entirely, to even facial expressions getting cut out, I think it's safe to say all a new fan to the series could POSSIBLY get from Prophecy is "we are on teh ship and there are EVAL THINGS IN SPACE!!!"

I suppose that could sound like I'm bashing the port; it was an excellent job for the Advance, but we all know it didn't do things any justice. For that matter, the amount of story that we lose thanks to the in-flight dialogue being cut out. I was shocked as anything to land and discover Dallas dead that first time- mainly because there was nothing more than a generic "goodbye my friends!" to signify it during the mission! Don't even get me started on anything involving Blair- you might as well forget anything with him beyond "Well he flew out with me and I came back and he isn't here anymore." For the longest time, I thought that Blair had died, got shot down and that was it.

Of course, this is to say nothing of the wondrous game mechanics. At least in the PC version I would hear about the Midway taking damage, about how we needed to hurry up before the bugs did X thing that would hurt us- but in Advance everything was set to the accursed timer of arbitrary. This was intolerable on those missions where I didn't realize it was in effect- one second I'm flying, the next I see the midway getting toasted. Never had I been given such a "WTF?!" moment in a WC game...


I guess that's all I had to say- just a rant about how much nicer it was to experience WCP the right way... I think part of this was an old post ChrisReid made in reply to me saying my first experience was Prophecy Advance- not being sure about how much of the story a newbie would have gotten, etc. It was a fun ride- but I don't think I'll ever be able to put PA into my DS's cartridge slot ever again! ;)
 

Madman

Vice Admiral
heh, i only recently got prophecy advance but am approaching it from the other side - i agree that it has terrible butchery of the story
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
I do have to say, though, that even though they simplified the story quite a bit for the GBA release, it *did* introduce the series to a broader audience. Max Gene's very presence here is proof of that.
 

Madman

Vice Admiral
oh i agree totally, I think it was a wonderful thing! but i can't help watching the video clips using the dvd files instead of struggling through the gameboys appalling attempt to recreate them in avatar and block text mode (plus the music grates)
 

Max Gene

Spaceman
I do have to say, though, that even though they simplified the story quite a bit for the GBA release, it *did* introduce the series to a broader audience. Max Gene's very presence here is proof of that.

It was definitely good for a few good hours of entertaining myself, but the story simplification really drives me nuts. The CIC staff did go through a lot of the script and show things that could be cut out if _absolutely_ necessary, I know, but I wonder if what was already in here meant that every last byte got used up? They must have been REALLY hurting for space...

Ah, well. It was indeed a good thing- you can't go wrong with seeing it for $10 in a Meijer that was keen to get rid of it.

And yet if I go to my local Wal-Mart they're selling Little Mermaid pinball for the game boy _color_ at full price. Someone fell asleep with the price tagger :D
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Have you played Prophecy Advance's multiplayer? It's really cool that they went through the extra time and effort to add that entire mode in to a game that was originally single player only.
 

Max Gene

Spaceman
No, I have plenty of friends with Advances but I'm the only space sim junkie, not to mention that I'm pretty certain that WCP is multi-pak multiplayer only. I could always grab some extra copies on the cheap, but I doubt Prophecy Advance would be a fun experience for my friends in even single player, unless they were really that bored. Multiplayer would be a repeat of what happens whenever they plan me in Star Fox... in teams... with me being alone ;).
 
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