Sunday, October 7, 2007

Cleared for takeoff

This is the reason video games were invented, as far as I'm concerned. Look at this picture from Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, due out Oct. 23. I would not have believed it possible for this to be gameplay had I not already played the demo.

I bought my first serious computer to play X-Wing and Falcon 3.0, which came out in 1991 (see image at right). Up to that point, all I had was a floppy-disc churning box that was good for nothing but word processing -- a glorified typewriter. X-Wing was fantastic fun, because it played better than the old booth-style arcade Star Wars game that let you fly a wire-frame X-Wing with a yoke control. But Falcon 3.0 had realistic flight characteristics, with freedom to look around the sky and "padlock" the view of your foe, so you could maneuver onto his "six," the 6 o'clock position on his tail.

As computers and flight sims got better, I advanced to Jane's U.S. Navy Fighters, Jane's WWII Fighters and others. But flight sims seem to have fallen out of favor in recent years. I got tired of the endless rat race of upgrading my PC to play games, and I got tired of sitting in front a PC to play when I'd already been sitting in front of a PC to work all day. I've migrated to consoles for play, but there haven't been any flight games for console that really pulled together the best traits of the genre, such as realistic flight controls, and lots of padlock and view options.

Ace Combat 6 for Xbox 360 might finally be the game I've been waiting for. Judging from the demo on Xbox Live, the flight characteristics are sufficiently realistic, it has good view options, and the graphics ... See the picture at the top. It's absolutely incredible. It just looks real.

I've been telling people, if only they'd come out with a flight controller for a good flight sim on the console. A real joystick, not just a gamepad thumbstick. And here it is, Ace Combat Six: Fires of Liberation with Flightstick Bundle.

We'll be able to dogfight over Xbox Live with this. I really, really hope this game lives up to my high hopes and expectations. I'd hate to have to eject.

Halo 3 highs and lows

I've hit Halo 3 hard lately, playing for an hour or two after work most nights this week. Then Saturday, I played most of the day. Late Saturday afternoon I got into a huge team battle with a bunch of my online friends. It was great fun. The big team battle slayers are super, but I discovered that I don't particular care for one game mode that many of the others seemed to enjoy, Infection. More power to you if you like it. It just seemed pointless to me, because eventually everyone gets infected. It's a depressing little demonstration of how a pandemic could wipe out civilization. Everybody loses.

In other game news, my padawan learner, Fortiscule, just beat a big boss battle in Stranglehold that brought a big triumphant whoop from the den and a earned him 25 gamer points. That game looks dizzying. Congratulations, Fortiscule!

1 comment:

Crownshend said...

Ace Com 6. I can not wait for this game/controller.