Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi - Finished the Game

So Wing Commander II differs from the first game by having a cohesive story throughout, rather than just being a series of missions linked by a common theme. It isn't a great story. The hero is branded a traitor, or at least a coward by being framed for the destruction of the Tiger's Claw, his original carrier. The story is then that of his redemption by finally getting to fly pertinent missions again, reestablishing his reputation, clearing his name, and finding the real traitor. It all comes out as a tad cliche, but the plot would work for an action movie and this game is basically all about action. The Wing Commander III story wasn't that memorable either and, of the Wing Commander games I've played, only Wing Commander IV has one that stuck with me at all.

I last complained about how Spirit's voice actor in Super Wing Commander was just absolutely awful and killed the character. Well, Wing Commander II had a speech pack add-on and the version I am playing includes it. You fly with Spirit as your wingman and I am happy to report that her voice actor here is much better. She still has a Japanese accent, but it is believable here and her delivery seems much more natural. There isn't a lot of voice work in Wing Commander II, but it is all competent which is a far cry from that in Super Wing Commander.

Wing Commander II's difficulty is much more forgiving than its predecessor's. It isn't a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination, but each mission feels beatable. The biggest difficulty seems to be in getting through a mission without your wingmate ejecting. Maybe I'm just not protecting them as well as I should.

Anyway, Wing Commander II got the Wing Commander formula right, and the subsequent games just improved on the implementation of this formula with Wing Commander IV being the apex (granted I have not played Wing Commander Prophecy, but I have heard things). I really enjoyed playing through it and am glad I did. At least now I finally know why Jazz was such a bastard.

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