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