The amazing Pix of Pix's Origin Adventures is back with a second look at Wing Commander for the Japanese FM Towns system. If you missed his first look, it's worth a read so you can get a better understanding of the hardware and software package that goes into this. Now that he's played the game a bit, he's summarized some of the pros and cons inherent in this fairly advanced port. There are some minor but surprising glitches, although the sound is improved and Japanese pilot voices are pretty cool.
Let’s start with the sound which is where the biggest differences lie. The entire soundtrack is played directly from the CD rather than the MT-32 original. The music hasn’t been rearranged as far as I can tell but simply mapped to another fairly similar synthesizer with some more realistic samples for some instruments than were available on the MT-32. Usually I would always prefer the MT-32 in these circumstances but here the new versions are an improvement. Where they do suffer is by taking about 2 seconds to start each track due to that single speed CD-ROM. This is particularly jarring when the music switches up in combat.
I also prefer the digital sound effects for shooting, space debris etc. It would have been nice if they didn’t always play at the same volume but it’s not a big deal. I even like the Japanese voices for the pilots. The language being unintelligible to myself doesn’t really matter given that there are English subtitles. I do wish they had done a Scottish accent for Paladin just to hear what Scottish Japanese sounded like – probably more convincing than the Scottish American in WC2 I expect. On the whole, the FM Towns wins on the sound front.
Academy Script: Walking Wounded
As promised, a second Wing Commander Academy episode is now available! Today's script covers episode nine, "Walking Wounded." The episode starts with a cut scene that was intended to better establish Maniac's character for the episode, a scene taken from Wing Commander IV where he uncomfortably hits on a new Tiger's Claw bridge officer. (2019-01-15)
Hands-On Hot Hardware
LOAF has recently been accumulating some neat '90s hardware with a connection to Wing Commander. The first is a customizable keyboard device with different profiles for various sims. The Katt "Games Master Keyboard" also supported Strike Commander, X-Wing and a couple of Ultimas. (2019-01-14)
Wing Commander Meme of the Day: Ten Year Challenge
2663 vs 2673. Yes I know that 2663 Blair should be wearing captain’s bars instead of silver eagles. (2019-01-13)
WC3 Review Covers PSX Highs and Lows
OurStorySoFar has posted a video review of Wing Commander 3. This one focuses on the Playstation port. While this is decidedly not the best version of the game, there's some neat things such as color VDUs and other interface changes that are interesting to see if you're most familiar with the PC version. (2019-01-12)
Sticker Shock: Super Wing Commander Edition
Super cool eBay find courtesy of Music Guru: Japanese 3DO stickers... with Paladin from Super Wing Commander! (2019-01-11)