Wing Commander Arena Released! (July 25, 2007)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
It's official, Wing Commander Arena is now available on Xbox Live Marketplace! Pay your 800 points, download the game and get out there - the Confederation or the Empire needs you. We will continue to follow the launch with the daily news and information you've come to expect... but you'll forgive us if we take a few hours off right now to knock down a few new enemy fighters for the first time in nine years.

If you're new to the site, please check out our background section for a history of previous Wing Commander games and an article explaining why they're so important. If you'd like to interact with other Wing Commander fans (and Arena pilots), then feel free to join in the discussion at the Crius.Net forums. We're glad to have you aboard and hope you enjoy playing in our universe!

arenalogo.jpg


--
Original update published on July 25, 2007
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Simply amazing. I've never heard people talk so positively about a game minutes after it came out. All I heard was "this is the best XBLA game ever!" rephrased as many ways as you can think. It really is amazing and I have a very good feeling this is going to help bring us the next full WC game.

See you in space.
 

Manboy

Rear Admiral
Done and Done. Already got me a fully upgraded Arrow and the second upgrade for the Rapier. This is great fun!
 

Ironduke

Spaceman
All I can say right now is: OH MY GOD!!! :eek: :D

And Dundradal, you're absolutely right! I've heard people over and over again saying WC:A is easily the best game on Live Arcade ever. (Of course, there were also a lot of wingnuts who were, you know, bound to say such things... :p) Still, I would have liked to spend some more points to get an Arena-themed gamer picture. I'll keep waiting... :cool:
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
This game seriously kicks ass. I really can't wait to get home from work tonight and play for more than 30 minutes!
 

Siege88

Spaceman
I'm not sure what everyone's raving about - I bought this game and played it for about 45 mins before heading to work this morning and I think it's good, but not exactly the best on XBLA.

For one, it seems to carry the Wing Commander flag in name only. Am I the only one who thinks it's ridiculous to take a game with probably 50 playable fighters throughout the series, pick a total of SIX of them, and then advertise as having 18, by using minor variants of those 6. I was hoping to see some oldschool ships again from the original games, like the Hornet and Scimitar. I doubt it's an issue with space, as the closeup view shows you how low-res the ship textures are. The ships can also fly backwards for some reason. And why not allow us to choose those cartoony character portraits or something, or have a barroom- style menu as a nod to the original games?

Don't get me wrong, it was fun from what I played, and the cap ship mode, which I've yet to try out, sounds really hot. And if this paves the way for a new full Wing Commander release, all the better. I just think it's a little strange this game barely seems to want to use the Wing Commander license at all. I got Much more of a WC feel from the 60-page PDF manual they released online.
 

Darkpetzi

Swabbie
Banned
Can you tell me what makes it so good to you (except the WC Universe)?
I've tried the demo this morning (Belgium here) and, to be honnest, I'm not sure I'll buy it. As a big WC fan (as you all are) I was really willing to, my MS points were ready, but now I really don't know anymore...
The gameplay is seems horrible. I really hate the controls (it reminded me of all those Flash browser-based games but even worse) and what they show in the demo is really, really boring.
I need you guys to convince me...
Is the full game that much better than the demo? What is the big thing that makes it really interesting?
 

KrisV

Administrator
For one, it seems to carry the Wing Commander flag in name only.
This was designed as a Wing Commander title from day one. Check out some of the interviews that have been in the news.

Am I the only one who thinks it's ridiculous to take a game with probably 50 playable fighters throughout the series, pick a total of SIX of them, and then advertise as having 18, by using minor variants of those 6.
A good selection of ships that fly differently is a lot better than 50 fighters. Think about all the ships Privateer 2 had. How many of those did you fly? Of those few you actually used, how many did you really get to know? It's not a technical constraint -- the game is under 50 megs, and Arcade titles can be up to 150 now.

And why not allow us to choose those cartoony character portraits or something, or have a barroom- style menu as a nod to the original games?
The start up screen with a Perry style base and the various loading screens are all nods to the original game. I'm not sure where any character portraits would go... Those'd be fun to have as downloadable picture packs though!

Don't get me wrong, it was fun from what I played, and the cap ship mode, which I've yet to try out, sounds really hot. And if this paves the way for a new full Wing Commander release, all the better. I just think it's a little strange this game barely seems to want to use the Wing Commander license at all. I got Much more of a WC feel from the 60-page PDF manual they released online.
There are tons of references to the series in this game, from the visuals to things like fighter background information. Anything on the level of the manual would require a full single player campaign. I hope we'll see that someday.
 

KrisV

Administrator
The gameplay is seems horrible. I really hate the controls (it reminded me of all those Flash browser-based games but even worse)
I've heard this once or twice before. Can you show me a Flash game that plays the way Arena does?

Is the full game that much better than the demo? What is the big thing that makes it really interesting?
I haven't played the demo, but I can tell you that the battleship game mode is loads of fun. Earlier I was in this game with 8 terrans and 8 Kilrathi. We had some setbacks early on, but we were able to take down the enemy cruiser with our own just barely in one piece.

The massive multiplayer melees and bearpit games are excellent too. The fastest two hours I've ever spent.

If you're a big fan of Wing Commander as you say you are, you'll love this. And it's only €10.
 

Siege88

Spaceman
This was designed as a Wing Commander title from day one. Check out some of the interviews that have been in the news.

I'm not sure of the relevance of this. It's the end result that matters and what I was referring to.

A good selection of ships that fly differently is a lot better than 50 fighters. Think about all the ships Privateer 2 had. How many of those did you fly? Of those few you actually used, how many did you really get to know? It's not a technical constraint -- the game is under 50 megs, and Arcade titles can be up to 150 now.

I wasn't saying there should be more than 18 ships. I was saying why are there only 6 ships with variations on them, rather than making all 18 ships? Like you said, it isn't a technical constraint. I don't see a reason not to have the other 12 ships be unique designs (other ships from the WC universe - ie, why isn't the heavier Arrow ship just a Hellcat V?) rather than taking the same models and modifying them a bit. Rarely, if ever, has a Wing Commander game had different variants of the same ship in the same game before. Although, I'm hopeful maybe there'll be downloadable ships.

I'm not sure where any character portraits would go... Those'd be fun to have as downloadable picture packs though!

Didn't even the first WC game show a portrait in the corner of the screen when a pilot was 'talking'? It's not inconceivable to have done the same here, and/or added voices when a pilot was killed or gets a kill. Like the OXM article says: There's not a single picture of a Kilrathi in the game.

Again, not saying I don't enjoy the game or complaining that it's 2d or anything: I already bought it after playing for only about 30-45 mins. I just wish it was a little more Wing Commander than it feels.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
My only regret is that I could only give 3 hours to the game this morning.

I planned to call out of work (I did, in fact) and stayed up for the first Academy episode and the WC Movie, enjoying myself immensely - more so than when LOAF and I watch DS9 on #Wingnut. However, I was feeling a little under the weather, so I set my phone to go off at ten minutes to 5 and rolled into bed.

At 4:12, LOAF called me to tell me that the game was out early! I think my response to him was something along the lines of "Mh Mmhmm mmnmfmf... HOLY $#!+". I rolled out of bed, turned the Ybox on and downloaded the game that made me buy the system in the first place.

Its one thing to talk about the game and another to play it. I was amazed that a game with so many options could have been downloaded as a XBLA title! After getting my feet wet with some single player, I joined a multiplayer game. The guns going off, the fighters exchanging missiles, people swooping down on bombers before they could get to health pick-ups - it was like an amalgam of the movie action sequences and everything that made the original WC a classic.

The really impressive thing wasn't the effects or the gameplay - but how much people loved it! The very first capital ship mission I played, everyone was cheering and talking about the Kilrathi again. I was barely around on the internet when WC3 came out but I bet this was pretty damn similar in enthusiasm. The real kicker was that all the people I was playing against were strangers! New WC fans and old hands alike; people that at least knew the series by name or played previous installments. Cheers errupted when we barely took down the Kilrathi carrier (5% difference between the two ships) and I knew we had a classic on our hands.

At the end of my three hours, I checked my 360's "buddy list" - and found I had flown against 40 people I had never met before. Forty people that stayed up late across the US to download the game all at once, to play against each other in eager anticipation? If ever there was a sure sign of how big WC is - this is it!

I was also lucky enough to play against some of the people I'm fortunate enough to call my friends for the last couple of years. Playing against people like LOAF or Kris was a pipedream only two years ago and yet here I am, exchanging fire with them and giving orders/suggestions to my fellow teammates. I even friended Mekt-Hakkikt after flying on his wing, trying to track down KrisV in an epic running dogfight through an asteroid field that put the starship chase in Attack Of The Clones to shame.

Yes, the controls take some getting use to (took me a minute to figure out why I was barrel rolling every time I banked left or right!) but after a couple of minutes, they're like riding a bike. I cannot wait to get home and strap myself back into a Rapier and have at the lot of you once again!

An eternal debt of gratitude from myself to EA for not only putting out a WC game - but one that is also worthy of the name. It would be easy to simply slap the name onto the package, but Arena harkens back to what made the original game so damned memorable.

The price of fandom is eternal vigilance!
 

KrisV

Administrator
I'm not sure of the relevance of this. It's the end result that matters and what I was referring to.
It's very relevant. Also, the end result is very much a Wing Commander game.


I was saying why are there only 6 ships with variations on them, rather than making all 18 ships?
That's still a huge number of ships. More isn't always better when you're designing a game. If a couple more were added later as DLC when we know these through and through, that'd be great. But I've been playing all day and I still haven't had a chance to really try the Darket or Broadsword. And I still haven't unlocked all their variants or any Paktahn.

Didn't even the first WC game show a portrait in the corner of the screen when a pilot was 'talking'? It's not inconceivable to have done the same here, and/or added voices when a pilot was killed or gets a kill.

It's not inconceivable. But I'm usually too busy to even notice when someone else has died. It could also be distracting. Consider that there are up to 16 players. Just before I scored ten kills in the space of a few minutes. I wouldn't want pictures popping up constantly or loud announcements when the next guy is already on my tail.
 

Ironduke

Spaceman
Didn't even the first WC game show a portrait in the corner of the screen when a pilot was 'talking'? It's not inconceivable to have done the same here, and/or added voices when a pilot was killed or gets a kill. Like the OXM article says: There's not a single picture of a Kilrathi in the game.
Why should they include taunts when you can just use a headset? Imagine hearing "You cannot defeat the Drakhai!" every 10th time you kill a Kilrathi. With the kill ratio KrisV mentioned, don't you think it would get boring pretty soon? (Not to speak of annoying... :p)
And BTW, there's also not a single picture of a Terran in the game. Well, I couldn't care less... ;) Granted, this doesn't make life easier for those not acquainted with the WC universe. But honestly, I think most of the people playing Arena have at least heard about the Kilrathi before... ;)

I have to admit, though, that the controls are a bit confusing. Maybe it's just me - after all, I'm still not that used to the XBox (or any console gaming, for that matter). At times I found myself neglecting secondary fire, or forgetting to let go of the trigger after I shot a volley of missiles. :rolleyes: :p
Probably needs more practice than your usual Bejeweled or Pac Man. :)

Now I don't know if any of the multi-player modes are included in the demo version of Arena (I purchased it right away - like with Lehah, WC:A was the single reason why I got myself a Box), but the capship missions are definitely great fun! Especially when you have Bandit LOAF, Lehah, KrisV, Dundradal, Mekt Hakkikt, or any other person you "know" from the forums flying around. (Sorry if I forgot someone, those are just the ones I remember to have met online.)

Arena may take a little time to get used to, but I certainly don't regret having spent 800 points on it! What more could you expect for less than 10 bucks and 50 megs?
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
I do enjoy Arena very much, it's a great game, even if I do suck at it at the moment and won't have the time to better myself much.

But the reactions I heard weren't all so positive, I am afraid. In the first couple of games I heard good things about it but then it got worse. Not all were that excited and some were really annoyed it seemed to me.
Now I went to the Xbox forums and the people there, oh my god. Probably I am spoiled by this forum but the tone there was appaling and many posts were negative. I answered some of them because I thought it unfair and I tried to remain polite but still...
Well, I guess the people liking Arena are too busy playing it. :)

For one, it seems to carry the Wing Commander flag in name only.

Why? It has lots of references - you see Longbow bombers in the background, the ships are taken from different WC games, the manual gives us lots of new information (shipclass names and so), classic guns and it incorporates details from every WC product: games, movie, novels and the CCG.

It's full of Wing Commander.


Am I the only one who thinks it's ridiculous to take a game with probably 50 playable fighters throughout the series, pick a total of SIX of them, and then advertise as having 18, by using minor variants of those 6.

I think they chose that way because it worked well with the Arena background.

And the different variants of the ship are so different (statswise), they are almost completely new ships. And while the Pakthan, Rapier and Arrow variants look somewhat the same, the Darket, Dralthi and Broadsword variants look quite distinct.
[/QUOTE]

EDIT:
Why should they include taunts when you can just use a headset? Imagine hearing "You cannot defeat the Drakhai!" every 10th time you kill a Kilrathi. With the kill ratio KrisV mentioned, don't you think it would get boring pretty soon? (Not to speak of annoying... :p)
And BTW, there's also not a single picture of a Terran in the game. Well, I couldn't care less... ;) Granted, this doesn't make life easier for those not acquainted with the WC universe. But honestly, I think most of the people playing Arena have at least heard about the Kilrathi before... ;)

I have to admit, though, that the controls are a bit confusing. Maybe it's just me - after all, I'm still not that used to the XBox (or any console gaming, for that matter). At times I found myself neglecting secondary fire, or forgetting to let go of the trigger after I shot a volley of missiles. :rolleyes: :p
Probably needs more practice than your usual Bejeweled or Pac Man. :)

Now I don't know if any of the multi-player modes are included in the demo version of Arena (I purchased it right away - like with Lehah, WC:A was the single reason why I got myself a Box), but the capship missions are definitely great fun! Especially when you have Bandit LOAF, Lehah, KrisV, Dundradal, Mekt Hakkikt, or any other person you "know" from the forums flying around. (Sorry if I forgot someone, those are just the ones I remember to have met online.)

Arena may take a little time to get used to, but I certainly don't regret having spent 800 points on it! What more could you expect for less than 10 bucks and 50 megs?

I agree to all what you wrote. And I am looking forward to get used to the controls with you together because I "suffer" exactly the same problems. :)
 
This game is great! I usually don't like to play games online, but in Arena it's so fun and addictive I can't put the controller down. As many have already said this is the best XBLA game ever.
 

Spoon

Spaceman
A fun arcade game. Don't have gold atm so I can't say anything about the multiplayer part of this game. The singleplayer part is decent, nothing too incredible though.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I'm afraid to stop playing long enough to post, but here I am. Need to type quick, so I can get back on and defend my leaderboard positions! The game has been out almost twelve hours, and I've probably spent half that time playing (had to go to work for a bit this morning), but it's such an incredible blur. It seems like I've only been playing a few minutes, and these hours keep racing by.

Like others, I've heard random people in the game just gushing about how much they enjoy it. I just got out of a capship combat game where some guy just broke off his attack to afterburn up and down the length of the battlecruiser yelling "Yay, this game is awesome!" I've never seen anything close to this reaction in any other Arcade title.

I'm exhausted and full of adrenaline at the same time. And with all the playing I've played, I've still haven't even ever played a Satellite Capture match or Duel. I've only defended the Midway once, and I haven't even played as the Kilrathi. It'll be many many hours before I get to everything.

I've tried the demo this morning (Belgium here) and, to be honnest, I'm not sure I'll buy it. As a big WC fan (as you all are) I was really willing to, my MS points were ready, but now I really don't know anymore...

Well, you can help us out here. Since virtually all of us couldn't wait and just jumped into the full thing, we don't know exactly what's in the demo. What modes do you have available? Is there any online play? To me it's this constant incredible bombardment of crazy cool things. A few minutes ago I launched from a battlecruiser in my Broadsword and gunned the throttle for an enemy Kilrathi ship. I remarked in #WingNut that there was a ton of turret-fire and Dralthi were swarming everywhere. A second later, Starman had joined the game and was on my wing in a Rapier batting them away. Even if you were somehow completely allergic to the game for some reason though, as a Wing Commander fan, I can't imagine not spending $10 to give the first brand new WC game in nine years a thorough try.

I wasn't saying there should be more than 18 ships. I was saying why are there only 6 ships with variations on them, rather than making all 18 ships? Like you said, it isn't a technical constraint. I don't see a reason not to have the other 12 ships be unique designs (other ships from the WC universe - ie, why isn't the heavier Arrow ship just a Hellcat V?)

As people have already said, this wouldn't work. They've already bent over backwards for WC fans by filling the game with classic Wing Commander ships that only a small percentage of their market will recognize. Adding a dozen more designs at this time wouldn't help anything, and it'd make the game more confusing. New players can't pick up a game and know that Hellcats, Scimitars, Rapiers and TigerSharks are all medium fighters. One baseline medium fighter makes sense. Every comparable game would have left it like that at just six fighters, but they came up with a really good way to give seasoned players more options. Once you've been playing Arena for quite a while, you'll be able to tell the difference between a Broadsword Executioner and Broadsword Warpig and benefit from that; meanwhile new players can still easily see any Broadsword variant and quickly understand that it's a bomber.

rather Rarely, if ever, has a Wing Commander game had different variants of the same ship in the same game before.

That's kind of a really odd thing to take issue with. Like the kind of thing someone would come up with just grasping for stuff to complain about. We see different variants of Wing Commander ships *constantly* throughout the series, including in a single game. This is no different than a bomber-loadout Sabre, a souped up SuperFerret or Vampire enhanced with Nephilim gear. And the whole point is just to streamline customization of loadouts and their balancing effects. It would only have made previous games better if this would have been done more.

A fun arcade game. Don't have gold atm so I can't say anything about the multiplayer part of this game. The singleplayer part is decent, nothing too incredible though.

Hey, are you planning to get Gold soon? I've actually probably played the single player more than multi, but most of the game modes are only available online, so I'd strongly recommend it.
 
Top