A Tale of Two Space-Sims

Originally posted at GameSpot on December 13, 2007

So here I am, back in the saddle again. That saddle is placed squarely in the cockpit of X-Wing: Alliance and Freespace 2. I’ve put many hours into both of these games before, and I’ve got the itch again to try and see them through yet one more time.

In Freespace 2, I’ve started the game completely over for at least the second time. Each time a took a break from the game, it turned out to be a long break – long enough that I didn’t remember anything in the game. When I found the time to get back into it, I felt like I’m wasn’t getting the full experience if I just picked up where I had left off. There is so much going on each mission – Intel from wingmen chatter, mission briefing updates, etc. If I’m going to play the game again I want the best time I can get – which means starting over and getting the whole story from the first mission.

I’m currently on Mission 9: “A Lion at the Door.” Having just left the 53rd Hammerheads, I’m now a proud member of the 107th Ravens. In this mission I have to destroy a lot of pesky Shivans; so far, I’m 0/1 on attempts. I know I’ve previously been much farther in the game, but like I said – I want the most I can get.

All the things I love about the game are coming back to me, from the engaging story to the brooding music. And the game still looks incredible, even being almost nine years old. Did I mention the explosions and huge capital ships with beam weapons? Everything looks great and sounds better.

For X-Wing: Alliance, I’ve been able to pick up right where I left off- for two reasons: 1.) Thanks to my trusty Corellian YT-2000 transport Ortana, all my heirlooms from previous missions are safe and sound. By looking over those, I can remember what the story is about. 2.) Since it’s Star Wars, I was already grounded in the story and characters before I even started the game. It’s a simple formula – Rebels: good, Empire: bad. When I came to Alliance, I already knew half the story -which is not a bad thing in this case.

I’m stuck on Battle 4, Mission 1. For the life of me, I cannot keep my transports alive! I want my X-wing back. The family freighter is great and all, but after literally years of being stuck on this mission I’m ready to move on.

I think Ace Azzameen would agree with me.

Post tenebras lux

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