Wing Commander Arena Released! (July 25, 2007)

Siege88

Spaceman
Is there any online play?

XBLA games are not allowed to have multiplayer in their demos.

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.

That's pretty insulting to new players. I'm sure if the words "Medium Fighter" were written under each medium fighter on the ship select screen, they might be able to get enough brain cells working together to figure it out. You don't hear people who jump into a new fighting game for the first time with 30 characters complaining that they can't tell them apart.

Every comparable game would have left it like that at just six fighters

Can you name some?

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.

This is not exactly a new complaint. People have complained about similar things in games for a long time. Think back to sprite palette changes in 2d games or fighting games. If a game advertises 18 ships, it should have 18 ships in it, not 6 + 3 versions of each ship. The problem is they obviously didn't have enough artists to model/texture enough ships. You're basically accusing me of being a troll here, or at the least nitpicking, which is not the case. I could easily accuse some of you guys of the opposite, being fanboys and unable to admit that the game is any less than 100% perfect.

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.

Now you're contradicting yourself, saying that the customization in previous games is the same as these ship variants now. Then you say past WC games would have been better if you were forced to select from presets of each ship rather than be able outfit the ship with the exact guns and missiles that you wanted. I thought you just said they were the same thing; how can one be better?
 

Darkpetzi

Swabbie
Banned
Just to let you know, Chris, there are only two modes available in the demo, the free for all one in this kind of big space junkyard (didn't really take time to look at what was surrounding me) and the part were you have to protect a bunch stations against asteroids. Nothing really interesting as you can see...
Anyway, I bought the game now (couldn't resist to WC after all). And yes, it's ok. I just did a few of these capital ships battles with 12 players or more and it's indeed fun. The demo is really bad from that point of view, it won't help selling the game, it doesn't reflect the possibilities of the full game at all.
So yes, it's a pretty good arcade game, but it's not instant fun as I was expecting (2D is quite frustrating to me, at least for space dogfights... You really have to get used to it I guess) and it's certainly not the best XBLA game in my opinion.
For the rest, I don't mind, only 6 real ships, ugly graphics, etc... Doesn't bother me, that's not the kind of things you expect from an arcade game anyway.
What I'm curious about now is possible future new content or, even better, a new "real" Wing Commander game.
And I hope I'll have the "privilege" to fight (oe rather get killed by) one of you guys soon.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
That's pretty insulting to new players. I'm sure if the words "Medium Fighter" were written under each medium fighter on the ship select screen, they might be able to get enough brain cells working together to figure it out. You don't hear people who jump into a new fighting game for the first time with 30 characters complaining that they can't tell them apart.

That's not a comparable situation, and this isn't an abstract scenario. Privateer 2 had 18 ships, and the diversity didn't add to the game. The original Privateer had just four craft, and each is endearing and all players are very familiar with their characteristics. You don't have "MEDIUM FIGHTER" written above each craft when there's a dozen of them blasting lasers and exploding right in front of you.

Can you name some?

Battlestar Galactica/WC Zone/Subspace has eight fighters, Aegis Wing has one, DooM has seven weapons, Contra has five guns, Galaga has one ship, Feeding Frenzy has four fish. And the reason isn't because they couldn't generate some little graphics or models.

This is not exactly a new complaint. People have complained about similar things in games for a long time. Think back to sprite palette changes in 2d games or fighting games. If a game advertises 18 ships, it should have 18 ships in it, not 6 + 3 versions of each ship. The problem is they obviously didn't have enough artists to model/texture enough ships.

You don't know what the problem is. Generating ships is the easy part. Getting the game balance right is hard. And they've struck an excellent balance by finding a way to add more ships that are characteristic yet easily identifiable.

You're basically accusing me of being a troll here, or at the least nitpicking, which is not the case. I could easily accuse some of you guys of the opposite, being fanboys and unable to admit that the game is any less than 100% perfect.

This is a fan site. It's where people who enjoy Wing Commander things come to talk. Your criticism isn't constructive, and instead of playing the game, you're inventing silly things to whine about. It's pretty obvious what you are.

Now you're contradicting yourself, saying that the customization in previous games is the same as these ship variants now. Then you say past WC games would have been better if you were forced to select from presets of each ship rather than be able outfit the ship with the exact guns and missiles that you wanted. I thought you just said they were the same thing; how can one be better?

See above.
 

Avenger

Spaceman
personally, i think the game is pretty good, but the feedback of the game in general has largely been negative. Also, if a new wing commander fails to be released based on this game's feedback etc, it is ultimately only EA who have themselves to blame.

I even heard somebody say "do you think wing commander would exist if Top Gun hadn't been made?" hahahahhaa. I confess I love Top gun (ashamed), but that comment is way out of line!
 

Spoon

Spaceman
ChrisReid said:
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.
Aye, first thing in the morning. The moment I read about Arena being available (which was some hours ago on one of my irregular visits to CIC) I immediatly hooked up the dusty 360 and started playing. One hour later it was passed shop closing time already so unfortunatly I couldn't get online yet.

LeHah said:
You're missing out on the best part of the game, Spoon!
Hell yeah. The bots are missing the I in the A.I part not to mention there is no capital ship battle in single.

A little thing that kinda ircked me though, The Arrow shoots Green lasers. Green! Lasers have always been Red! Expect some very angry mail(bomb) in your box soon EA!

:p
 

Siege88

Spaceman
That's not a comparable situation, and this isn't an abstract scenario. Privateer 2 had 18 ships, and the diversity didn't add to the game. The original Privateer had just four craft, and each is endearing and all players are very familiar with their characteristics. You don't have "MEDIUM FIGHTER" written above each craft when there's a dozen of them blasting lasers and exploding right in front of you.

And your situation is closer? Privateer allowed a Lot of customization, so it could be argued that even the original had a lot more ship varieties than this game. Neither game was all that similar to Arena.

Battlestar Galactica/WC Zone/Subspace has eight fighters, Aegis Wing has one, DooM has seven weapons, Contra has five guns, Galaga has one ship, Feeding Frenzy has four fish. And the reason isn't because they couldn't generate some little graphics or models.

That's pretty ridiculous. I might as well just say Marvel vs Capcom 2 had 56 selectable characters as a response. It's just as similar to Arena as something like Contra is.

You don't know what the problem is. Generating ships is the easy part. Getting the game balance right is hard. And they've struck an excellent balance by finding a way to add more ships that are characteristic yet easily identifiable.

Your first part here isn't even addressing what I said- That they should have used different ship names/models for the other ships and kept the same stats for them. Characteristic yet easily identifiable? It's an ARCADE game. You're not supposed to sit there analyzing the other ships. And in general, the larger the ship is, the heavier it is. Easy. Compare the size of the Longbow in-game to an Arrow.

This is a fan site. It's where people who enjoy Wing Commander things come to talk. Your criticism isn't constructive, and instead of playing the game, you're inventing silly things to whine about. It's pretty obvious what you are.

Thanks, I know what a fan site is. How is that not constructive criticism? Pointing out flaws you'd like to see improved in a game or in a future iteration of a game? Sorry for thinking people at a WC 'fan site' could have an intelligent discussion about a game. But yea, because I don't agree with your opinion that the game is absolutely perfect, I must be just whining and inventing problems with it. That's why all the reviews so far have given it 5 stars and 100%. But you must know better. Oh, and I've been playing it since I got home (some of us work).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Thanks, I know what a fan site is. How is that not constructive criticism? Pointing out flaws you'd like to see improved in a game or in a future iteration of a game? Sorry for thinking people at a WC 'fan site' could have an intelligent discussion about a game. But yea, because I don't agree with your opinion that the game is absolutely perfect, I must be just whining and inventing problems with it. That's why all the reviews so far have given it 5 stars and 100%. But you must know better. Oh, and I've been playing it since I got home (some of us work).

Hehe, see, this is exactly what your problem is - you're not criticizing the game, you're launching into all these weird little juvenile attacks and petty insignificant arguments. Look at your posts... you demanded to know which XBLA games Chris had played that had less ships than Arena and then you bitched that he hadn't listed... what, exactly? The *other* multiplayer spacecombat games? That's not an intelligent debate, that's marking your territory.

And 'Some of us work'? What a weird, weird insult. How did you dream about that going? Heh, Chris played a video game, he must be unemployed! I'll show him! Does he win an internet medal for being a highly paid aerospace engineer now?
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
Oh, and I've been playing it since I got home (some of us work).

I got up at 4:12 in the morning, played the game for 3 hours, went to work busting my ass delivering equiptment, came home, played some more - and I'm still awake, thank you very much.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Yay! This is great!

...Now all I need is to get to the shop and buy myself a X-box as soon as posible.
 

Bearxor

Spaceman
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.

Sigh... and this is why I bought it...

I'm severely underwhelmed. I'll keep playing it, because I did spend ten bucks on it, but I believe this is a WC game in name only (much the way Armada is). The goal to winning seems to be:

1) Point ship towards target
2) Fire every gun you have
3) Respawn

I've only played one online match and a couple of levels of the demo but so far its my least favorite XBLA game.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I've only played one online match and a couple of levels of the demo but so far its my least favorite XBLA game.


It seems tricky at first, but it didn't take me long to get past that. My first MP match consisted of me dying a lot too. But the more I play and the more ships I unlock, it gets better and less of just a button mash. In fact now I've been figuring out the sheilds and stuff and the differences between different fighters and different guns. THere's deffinitely more there than initially meets the eye. And the demo levels are probably the least good parts of the game for showing off to people how much fun it *can* be.
 

Quicksilver6

Rear Admiral
I love this game!

... but I"m having a devil of a time unlocking more Kilrathi ships. I had a pretty good confed run in Melee and the various single-player modes. Is there a specific trick to unlocking more ships, or is it just a matter of getting enough kills to unlock more?
 

Falcon988

Commodore
It seems tricky at first, but it didn't take me long to get past that. My first MP match consisted of me dying a lot too. But the more I play and the more ships I unlock, it gets better and less of just a button mash. In fact now I've been figuring out the sheilds and stuff and the differences between different fighters and different guns. THere's deffinitely more there than initially meets the eye. And the demo levels are probably the least good parts of the game for showing off to people how much fun it *can* be.



Yep, I'm having the same experience. Once you start familiarizing yourself with your ship the game becomes extremely tactical.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
The goal to winning seems to be:

1) Point ship towards target
2) Fire every gun you have
3) Respawn

I know it's kind of cliche, but like many others have basically said, it works out to being a "minute to learn, lifetime to master" type of thing. At first, every battle very much will seem just like you have described. With a little more time, it gets to be more complicated than that though:

1) Do you just head straight for a target? Or do you do something tricky? If you're in a more agile fighter, you might want to afterburn in towards your opponent at a bit of an angle and then pull a quick 180 or Immelman turn. You'll be on their tail now, and it can be hard to shake a persistent pursuer.

2) With more experience, you'll get to know the ins and outs of each gun, weapon and device. If all you're doing is big head-on mash-ups, then smashing every trigger might work. But you'll probably eventually move on to more dogged dogfighting, and gun energy becomes an issue. I love the meson blasters and tachyon cannons on the Rapier Blade, but I just squeeze the meson trigger unless I have a real sure shot. If things aren't lining up right, I can't afford to be caught with an empty gun capacitor 20 seconds down the line.

Additionally, your weapons have fairly specific uses. You can spray missiles, but you have far more dumbfires than you do tracking warheads. You might want to conserve your heat seekers and image recognition missiles for the more dangerous pilots. If you have vampires, you only have a couple, so you definitely want to ration those if you can. Mines (maybe offensive if you're moving backwards) and torpedoes (feels really good to line up just right and smack a Broadsword with one) are additional considerations. Althought not part of your trigger system, your cloaks, deployable turrets and so on will also play a factor.

3) Yeah, Respawns seem nice. You get a fresh ship and full ammo restocked. But if you're in any kind of deathmatch, each death is costing you. There are alternatives though. The plus-shaped power-ups can do a significant repair job. You can be good as new without sacrificing a death to the enemy team if you keep in mind where the good items are likely spawn. If you hear the eject siren, barrel roll (quick left/right on the right stick), afterburner, hop, dip and whatever it takes to get away and get to one of these.

So if it's easy and fun for someone to just play by mashing all the triggers, the game's fine for that, but if you want to get into it and do some of the more competitive matches, there are all kinds of strategies and tactics you can use to improve your chances.

I love this game!

... but I"m having a devil of a time unlocking more Kilrathi ships. I had a pretty good confed run in Melee and the various single-player modes. Is there a specific trick to unlocking more ships, or is it just a matter of getting enough kills to unlock more?

Yeah, I've been thinking so hard about unlockables all day. LOAF managed to get all the Confed ships in the first few hours, and I've been stringing them along much more slowly. After 15 hours, I still need the Cavalier, and there's some people who got the Cavalier before other ships it seems. So I'm not really sure how it all works yet. It's more complicated than kills. Just playing all the modes well and as they were intended seems to do it. Playing as a Confed pilot gets you Confed ships and flying Kilrathi fighters unlocks more Kilrathi fighters though. Just keep trying I suppose, the game isn't supposed to be "won" in a day.
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
That's pretty insulting to new players. I'm sure if the words "Medium Fighter" were written under each medium fighter on the ship select screen, they might be able to get enough brain cells working together to figure it out. You don't hear people who jump into a new fighting game for the first time with 30 characters complaining that they can't tell them apart.
Characteristic yet easily identifiable? It's an ARCADE game. You're not supposed to sit there analyzing the other ships. And in general, the larger the ship is, the heavier it is. Easy. Compare the size of the Longbow in-game to an Arrow.

I think Chris is right about that: having lots of different names and frames would be confusing. I think there's a tendency to make games more easily grasped and Arena does that in a rather clever way, I think.
As you said, you're not supposed to overanalyze and thus you know "Ah, Broadsword frame means bomber". And the "The bigger, the heavier"-scheme is applied as well, even in the different variants.

I was confused by all the DOA4 characters when I played it for the first time and it doesn't even have that many compared to some recent MK games.

And that "some of us work" really was very immature. A lot of people here work.



(...) I'll keep playing it, because I did spend ten bucks on it, but I believe this is a WC game in name only (much the way Armada is). The goal to winning seems to be:

1) Point ship towards target
2) Fire every gun you have
3) Respawn

I've only played one online match and a couple of levels of the demo but so far its my least favorite XBLA game.

Ok, I can understand if someone just doesn't ride well with the Arena way. It's new to me as well and while I like, I prefer my PC with a joystick.

But WC in name only as Aramda? Come on! Armada had a beautiful manual, you could fly as a Kilrathi and it introduced whole new gameplay elements: mulitplayer and turnbased strategy. The same applies to Arena: it only expands the WC experience. I refuse to acknowledge that WC is "only about" single player mode in which the pilot saves the galaxy once again.

But you're giving Arena a chance, that's good. Maybe it'll grow on you.

A little thing that kinda ircked me though, The Arrow shoots Green lasers. Green! Lasers have always been Red! Expect some very angry mail(bomb) in your box soon EA!
:p

Hehe, I said the same thing!

(Though to be fair: the laser has been orange (WC1+2, Academy), pink (Aramda), light red (WCP) and I don't know what in WCATV.)

Yeah, I've been thinking so hard about unlockables all day. LOAF managed to get all the Confed ships in the first few hours, and I've been stringing them along much more slowly. After 15 hours, I still need the Cavalier, and there's some people who got the Cavalier before other ships it seems. So I'm not really sure how it all works yet. It's more complicated than kills. Just playing all the modes well and as they were intended seems to do it. Playing as a Confed pilot gets you Confed ships and flying Kilrathi fighters unlocks more Kilrathi fighters though. Just keep trying I suppose, the game isn't supposed to be "won" in a day.

I'm still missing the Dralthi Rhino, the Rapier Cavalier and Broadsowrd Behemoth. I got the impression as well, that you have to play all the modes.
 

Shipgate

Rear Admiral
I've been playing it about twenty minutes now. It's a bit of a doosie getting used to all the control. But I'm having a lot of fun with it. I've managed to win in a multiplayer dogfight. But so far have had a bit of trouble finding other people to play with. I guess I gotta get my rank up or something. Anyway, I gotta get back to it so I can get all hella good.
 

Spoon

Spaceman
Mekt-Hakkikt said:
I was confused by all the DOA4 characters when I played it for the first time and it doesn't even have that many compared to some recent MK games
Only when you dig deeper in the game mechanics of DOA you'll learn that every character pretty much plays the same. DOA is shallow when you compare it with say, Virtual Fighter.

Now excuse me as I take a trip to the shop for Gold. Then we'll talk about multiplayer and see if it is as awesome as everybody here says
 

Ironduke

Spaceman
Ok, I can understand if someone just doesn't ride well with the Arena way. It's new to me as well and while I like, I prefer my PC with a joystick.
Hell, yes! I pity any of the "vets" who have to play with me on their team. :p I mean, I'm slowly getting the hang of it, but I still suck hard at the Boneyard and Bear-Pit games. Greetings to ChrisReid, who kicked my butt in I don't know how many ways in today's match. :D

After I gave LOAF some more target practice (felt like a clay pigeon at times), I was finally rewarded with the Rapier Cavalier - and I think I'm finally in love. ;) (With a PC and joystick, I would definitely have preferred the Arrow Eclipse, though! All right, I'll stop whining...)

Am I correct to assume that I can find equally (un-)skilled players in ranked games? ;)
 
Top