Retro Gaming: X-Wing part 2

(This is part of my journey going checking out X-Wing. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

x1As promised, I did look up the controls, which resulted in a much more comfortable flight session this time around. It’s still a little awkward with the mouse controls and the reverse Y-axis, but I’ll adjust. I will say that after playing Wing Commander last year, this feels a LOT more fluid and responsive.

x2Anyway, the mission! We head out and I start hunting down the frigates, taking out three of them in short order. I’m informed that the corvette is successfully captured and everyone else bugs out while I’m still shooting away at the fourth frigate. I guess I take too long — lots of fiddling with engine and laser settings — and eventually it jumps into hyperspace, leaving me to fail the mission.

x3Wait, so I blew up three ships AND we got the corvette — but that’s still a bust? This seems unnecessarily unforgiving. OK, whatever, let’s do it again.

x4I do the mission again. Same thing, that last transport gets out of there too fast.

Try three. I’m ecstatic when I blow up all four transports — but then lose anyway because I hyperjumped out before the capture of the corvette could finish. I’m such a putz.

x5So yeah, it takes FOUR (five, counting the other day’s) attempts to get through the first mission. That’s fine. That’s fine. I’m learning. Good thing these transports weren’t firing back or anything, I would have been in trouble then.

Part of the trickiness of playing this on my laptop is that my function keys do double-duty, so to use F9 and F10 (which are vital, since they’re used to move power from engines to shields to weapon recharge) I have to hit a function key with them. And that’s all kinds of awkward, particularly while I’m flying.

x6You know what would make a terrific second mission for an X-Wing game? Where you can’t fire on the enemy at all! Remember that part of Star Wars where Luke just hung out in his fighter, eyeballing TIE fighters and then tucking tail and running? Me too. Best part.

x7For this mission, I get an A-Wing fighter. Yes, the box says “X-Wing,” but actually there are four different craft to fly here (the B- and Y-Wings come in later). I’ve always been fond of the A-Wing for it’s fast speed and cool look. Almost retro-50s Jetsons style.

x8The other reason I like the A-Wing is that you get a large open canopy view. Of course, the trade off is with fewer weapons, but since I can’t use any here anyway, it doesn’t matter.

I take my lasers offline and pump extra power to my engines and shields, hoping that it’ll give me enough oomph to fly close, ID the warships, and get out. I actually do well, flitting between different groups and buzzing all of them.

Do I make it? Am I successful?

x9Oh silly reader, of COURSE not! My ship is blown up, I eject and am captured and tortured by Darth Vader. That’ll put a damper on your day.

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4 thoughts on “Retro Gaming: X-Wing part 2

  1. pkudude99 June 12, 2015 / 3:18 pm

    That 2nd mission in the A-wing is actually a ton of fun. You *can* kill all the fighters that come after you, and there are 120 of them, so you can get a very very high missions score. Additionally, when you fly past the capital ships if you fly between them, their missed shots at you hit each other. so long as you hit them with a shot at some point when they kill each other you also get kill credit, thus further padding out your mission score.

    Linked lasers on the A-Wing when charged into the “overcharge” range make it possible to take out a tie with a single shot if you place perfectly, or a mere 2 shots if you don’t quite get that perfect placement, so killing the waves as they spawn before it becomes overwhelming isn’t too big a deal.

  2. Redbeard June 12, 2015 / 5:43 pm

    For that A-wing mission, I make a point of spinning as I’m heading like a bat outta hell for the hyperspace exit. That’s kept me from being hit.

  3. Rb3 June 13, 2015 / 12:43 am

    To elaborate on Redbeard’s post, select a direction/target, pitch up a bit, then hold up and left… voila, spiral.

    Use a bigger spiral to get away as you don’t want to get blasted by a shot on your previous line, use a tighter spiral to head in to a target, so ypu can adjust aim better.

    Also, the A-Wing is easily the best ship in the game as it’s fast and small, meaning you csn take risks an X-Wing pilot would consider suicide.

  4. baldwinp June 15, 2015 / 8:08 am

    I almost want to just ship you my old joystick that I used to use to play these games because I think it might go a lot better for you. But I have no idea whether it would still work after 20 years.

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