What do you HATE (or at least dislike) in each Wing Commander game?

dizzibits

Ensign
Wing Commander 1

Kurasawa 2 :)

Seriously though, my main issue is that I couldn't play them as they are meant to be played. I've only played 1 and 2 on dosbox (& SegaCD emulator). I think the dosbox versions are not how they are supposed to work and are a bit glitchy.

The WC3 version on GOG was unplayable as I couldn't use afterburner properly with keyboard and mouse making missions very hard.

Not played WC4 as not finished WC3!
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Playing WC4 again, and not really enjoying the gameplay all that much. Which was my experience the last time I played it a couple of years ago. 😞

Some of the missions are so damn short! Just one of the issues created with how overpowered missiles are in the game.

I miss some of the little touches from the prior games too, such as the take-off and landing sequences, and greetings from your tech upon landing, selecting your wingman in a FMV scene etc. These all added to the immersion factor of the earlier games.

Back in the 90s I was mesmerized by the production values, but now...I think this is my least favourite game of the series. I might even say I feel it is a mediocre game (6/10).

@ODVS remastered movie footage is certainly awesome though!
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Well the Vindicator had Tachyon Cannons - state of the art tech at the time.
I think you misread my intention there, when I heard of the novell featuring them flying older WC1/2 era fighters, I wanted to have flown a WC1 rapier, raptor or even a scimitar with some makeshift upgrades.

And I can get behind the Vindicator design and even the Avenger.. Just the banshee looks too unconventional a design, more like something from another fictional universe.
 

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
WC1: after first couple playthroughs you'll 90% go same route unless you purposely lose (the 10% is winning Kurasawa)
SM1/2: linear, so you can't fail anywhere (IMO that's one of WC's best ideas, that you can fail missions and the game/story continues)
WC2: depressing story, punches just keep coming and the end doesn't make up for it; also I'm not fan of torpedo runs (have wait ages for Broadsword shields to regenerate) - and 100% winning route unless lose on purpose
SO1: I always have hard time deciding if I want to lose the last/second last mission to play the absolute last one
SO2: pretty linear, like SO1
Privateer: any fail and you're stuck, long grinding to get started/out of first system, 4 horsemen
RF: umm... we never get the gun back?
WC3: Excalibur is so much better than all other fighters (I wish others had more similar flight model), pointless final mission (the latter part), IMO bad casting for Paladin and not that great acting in general (except McDowell)
WC4: that I still haven't got/played it!
Prophecy: the last mission and cliffhanger ending
SO: last mission isn't good
 
WC 1: As much as you would dodge, the rocks would still find you from time to time.

SM 1 & 2: Little replay value (Without the losing tracks, you just played through a linear progression until you won)

WC 1, WCS version: I simply hated the Laser cannon/ Neutron gun sound.

WC 2: Losing Target Track sucked when you needed to torp something.

SO 1 & 2: See “SM 1 & 2”, supra

SO 1: I would have preferred a few missions with Thrakhath in our custody so we could get more dialogue with he and Hobbes.

SO 2: Not enough Society of Mandarins members to fight.

WC Academy: All we have is a gauntlet and mission editor.

WC Armada: I played around a little bit, but will need to invest more time for an opinion.

Privateer & RF:
Even if you needed to explore the systems yourself, having the map update with asteroid fields and hidden Nav points would have been nice.

You couldn't keep ships when buying knew ones (Ties into the next two points)

You were limited to four ships (Tarsus, Orion, Galaxy, Centurion). I would have liked to have seen at least the Talon and Demon, and possibly own a Drayman if you wanted to start your own merchant empire in the Gemini Sector.

Hiring pilots (in a system like) Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries could have allowed for larger battles (game engine permitting).

WC 3: I didn't realize how OP the Shelton slide was until the showdown with Thrakhath and Hobbes. I needed a few tries to get the hang of it, but once that happened, the dogfight on the stream was an utter joke!

WC 4: I'm a gunner with dogfights. This game is a little too dependent on missiles. (Why does this sound like Jester and Viper are talking about the need for “Top Gun” in the movie Top Gun?)

WC P: Dallas' death should have come a little late in the game, and I wanted more conversations with Rachel for exposition about the pilots, as she certainly knew Maverick and Maniac, and possibly knew about Hawk and Princess (The CAG's old callsign for those who never played the game). It would somewhat combine her character from WC 3 and Shotglass from WC 1.

WC P SO: We will return to this as an addendum when I stream it, as I have never played it.

Privateer 2: Even with the damage done to Ricaud Interplanetary in the plot (and Saar's madness), I would have liked to have seen Vell Ricaud II (Lev Arris) with control so we could make some decisions regarding the Kindred (such as unlocking access to the Vendetta and Blade, along with the presumed access to the Tembler, Ecantona, and Ashearer).
 

schlang

Rear Admiral
WC1: mission failures when escorting ships like draymans even though they completed their mission (and not destroyed) so had to repeat them 10x
WC2: nothing. at the time it came out, it was perfect in every way possible. space opera 10/10
WC3: never like the muppet kilrathi
WC4: tolwyn being the villain. I love the books, and the books put him on a godlike podest (no more spoilers though)
WCP: casey and its moron friend
Privateer: I love it and still play it today. this game has unlimited potential, and the only thing missing are more mission packs / mods.
Privateer 2: rip
 

Captain Obvious

Rear Admiral
WC1: The slowdown whenever there's several ships on the screen. The controls and gameplay gets harder to go back to with each passing year, especially escort missions. The Secret Missions packs are more frustrating than fun.

WC2: Torpedo runs were a neat idea but aren't that interesting of fun. The writing was amazing to me as a kid but hasn't really held up. Still my favorite game but with rose-tinted nostalgia goggles.

WC3: Reusing the traitor subplot and doing Hobbes dirty in the process. Skipper missiles. Planetary missions.

WC4: Planetary missions again. Did Tolwyn dirty this time but at least the plot was better written. Balance issues, particularly OP missiles.

Prophecy: Disappointing story and boring adversaries. The gameplay is fun but something about it that I can't articulate at the moment feels off.
 
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Jdawg

Commodore
WC1: The slowdown whenever there's several ships on the screen. The controls and gameplay gets harder to go back to with each passing year, especially escort missions. The Secret Missions packs are more frustrating than fun.

WC2: Torpedo runs were a neat idea but aren't that interesting of fun. The writing was amazing to me as a kid but hasn't really held up. Still my favorite game but with rose-tinted nostalgia goggles.

WC3: Reusing the traitor subplot and doing Hobbes dirty in the process. Skipper missiles. Planetary missions.

WC4: Planetary missions again. Did Tolwyn dirty this time but at least the plot was better written. Balance issues, particularly OP missiles.

Prophecy: Disappointing story and boring adversaries. The gameplay is fun but something about it that I can't articulate at the moment feels off.
I think the plot for Wing Commander 2 and its expansions actually hold up nicely for the time, that they were written in. My only real complaint is once again I think there is one too many unlikable characters. That trope was taken to the extreme in Wing Commander 3.
 

Captain Obvious

Rear Admiral
I think the writing in the expansions is a step up from the main game. I actually tried to talk a friend who played the game for the first time recently into giving them a shot for that reason.

The base game plot rubs me the wrong way these days. Blair nailing his superior officer is cringey (though not as much as the "choose your girlfriend" scene in WC3 and now you can nail someone serving under you instead, great). Everyone being a dick to you, and the handful of Tiger's Claw pilots who still like you won't even stand up for you except for Paladin, really starts to get tiresome to the point where it's hard to believe Tolwyn would keep Blair around no matter how talented he is since he just seems to be a boat anchor weighing down the squadron's morale. It's also full of extreme cliches like Shadow's death right before retirement, though they were also self-aware of their cheese (Specialist McGuffin).

It's not awful, I'm still a huge fan and as I said it's my favorite of the series and one of my favorite games of all time. It's just amusing to look back at what was a formative, mind-blowing experience for me and seeing how silly it really was. I actually do prefer it to Wing Commander III which has the same story beats but tells them worse and adds ridiculous super weapons to make it more Star Wars.

I just realized I forgot Privateer so...

Privateer: Inverted difficulty curve. It's a slog at the beginning and too easy after that.
 
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Jdawg

Commodore
I think the writing in the expansions is a step up from the main game. I actually tried to talk a friend who played the game for the first time recently into giving them a shot for that reason.

The base game plot rubs me the wrong way these days. Blair nailing his superior officer is cringey (though not as much as the "choose your girlfriend" scene in WC3 and now you can nail someone serving under you instead, great). Everyone being a dick to you, and the handful of Tiger's Claw pilots who still like you won't even stand up for you except for Paladin, really starts to get tiresome to the point where it's hard to believe Tolwyn would keep Blair around no matter how talented he is since he just seems to be a boat anchor weighing down the squadron's morale. It's also full of extreme cliches like Shadow's death right before retirement, though they were also self-aware of their cheese (Specialist McGuffin).

It's not awful, I'm still a huge fan and as I said it's my favorite of the series and one of my favorite games of all time. It's just amusing to look back at what was a formative, mind-blowing experience for me and seeing how silly it really was. I actually do prefer it to Wing Commander III which has the same story beats but tells them worse and adds ridiculous super weapons to make it more Star Wars.

I just realized I forgot Privateer so...

Privateer: Inverted difficulty curve. It's a slog at the beginning and too easy after that.
Well i did like shadow, hobbes, and angel in wc2. I hated most of the cast in wc3, maniac was one note, cobra was unlikeable, hobbes being a trope, flint constantly disobeying orders, flash being a douche.

I could buy the romance with angel, but flint and rachel were cringey
 

YCDTD

Commodore
I think a story is only as good as the antagonists, and that is where WC4 and WCP fail for me. I also liked the very war and somewhat unkempt version of Blair from WC3. He really looked worn out by the war.

Oddly enough I now find the switch to real sets actually makes WC4 seem more dated then WC3. 🤷‍♂️
 

Captain Obvious

Rear Admiral
It's been a while so my opinions might change if I fire it up again but I really liked the Confed as the bad guys angle of WC4. I like most of the WC4 sets though quality certainly varies. I remember the action scenes on the flight deck being pretty well done though I'm sure it feels a lot more hammy today.

Prophecy though I completely agree. I could never muster an ounce of interest for the Nephilim.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
It's been a while so my opinions might change if I fire it up again but I really liked the Confed as the bad guys angle of WC4. I like most of the WC4 sets though quality certainly varies. I remember the action scenes on the flight deck being pretty well done though I'm sure it feels a lot more hammy today.

Prophecy though I completely agree. I could never muster an ounce of interest for the Nephilim.
After that great intro too...big letdown.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
I think a story is only as good as the antagonists, and that is where WC4 and WCP fail for me. I also liked the very war and somewhat unkempt version of Blair from WC3. He really looked worn out by the war.

Oddly enough I now find the switch to real sets actually makes WC4 seem more dated then WC3. 🤷‍♂️
Yeah I would say I have to totally disagree with you on the quality of wing Commander 4. it still holds up remarkably well today.the sets looks about as good as the sets for Battlestar Galactica that came out in the early 2000s and that's one of my favorite sci-fi shows ever. The kilrathi Muppets do look bad however. I also really love the angle they took with wing Commander 4 and I thought everybody's motivations made sense even tolwyn. Obviously I don't agree with his observations on how to keep human kind prepared remotely; but he was not wrong considering an even more powerful species attacked within what 5-10 years later??. I also think everybody's acting vastly improved over wc3, probably because they could see what the sets actually looked like and because everybody knew their characters better
 

Captain Obvious

Rear Admiral
From a strictly character point of view I don't find WC4 Tolwyn too unbelievable either. After decades of fighting a war where humanity was constantly hanging on by a thread and dealing with a government that had lost its will to fight it's not surprising that he went off the deep end in wanting to harden the species for the future to prevent something like the Kilrathi war from ever happening again. I didn't love the direction personally but that doesn't mean I don't think it was well done.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
From a strictly character point of view I don't find WC4 Tolwyn too unbelievable either. After decades of fighting a war where humanity was constantly hanging on by a thread and dealing with a government that had lost its will to fight it's not surprising that he went off the deep end in wanting to harden the species for the future to prevent something like the Kilrathi war from ever happening again. I didn't love the direction personally but that doesn't mean I don't think it was well done.
Exactly and I have the exact opposite reaction to Hobbes in wc3. they took all the character agency and development away from a him that was built in Wing Commander 2 and the expansions (I think he was the most fleshed-out character in Wing commander 2 as matter of fact). They made him nothing more than a puppet/trope for the bad guys in wing 3 and I think it was a lame. I'm not even totally against him being the traitor but it's the Manchurian candidate subplot that just makes me roll my eyes so badly.

As far as tolwyn, I understand your point about the direction they went in. I feel like the game should have been split over two games with that plot point being the through line. As someone who has read both false colors and fleet action, i can see tolwyn going down the road he did in wc4. It makes me really sad that the author died and we never get to see the end of his arc in the books.
 
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Captain Obvious

Rear Admiral
The frustrating thing about Hobbes is it didn't have to be complicated. They were planning on blowing up Kilrah after all. That easily could have been one step too far for Hobbes, not wanting to see his homeworld destroyed and so many civilians murdered. It would have been in keeping with his character considering he defected because of the killing of innocents in the first place and it would have added an emotional gut punch to your actions. I never really felt like they managed to get across the gravity of what you're actually doing when you destroy an entire inhabited planet.

They were basically bringing Wing Commander's big WWII Pacific Theatre-in-space analogy to its logical conclusion with the dropping of the T-Bomb and I think Hobbes would have been the perfect lens to view it through. I get that they wanted to end the game on a triumphant note rather than a somber, serious one but I still feel like it was a missed opportunity to bring Hobbes full circle and give his character a satisfying arc.

The "personality overlay" thing just completely destroys Hobbes and even removes depth from the Kilrathi as a species since it makes it seem like they're all simply "the bad guys" no matter what. Since it's not even in the PC version I just pretend it doesn't exist and insert my own head-canon.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
The frustrating thing about Hobbes is it didn't have to be complicated. They were planning on blowing up Kilrah after all. That easily could have been one step too far for Hobbes, not wanting to see his homeworld destroyed and so many civilians murdered. It would have been in keeping with his character considering he defected because of the killing of innocents in the first place and it would have added an emotional gut punch to your actions. I never really felt like they managed to get across the gravity of what you're actually doing when you destroy an entire inhabited planet.

They were basically bringing Wing Commander's big WWII Pacific Theatre-in-space analogy to its logical conclusion with the dropping of the T-Bomb and I think Hobbes would have been the perfect lens to view it through. I get that they wanted to end the game on a triumphant note rather than a somber, serious one but I still feel like it was a missed opportunity to bring Hobbes full circle and give his character a satisfying arc.

The "personality overlay" thing just completely destroys Hobbes and even removes depth from the Kilrathi as a species since it makes it seem like they're all simply "the bad guys" no matter what. Since it's not even in the PC version I just pretend it doesn't exist and insert my own head-canon.
Correct there's so many different ways to handle that with hobbes and they chose the most dumbed down way, just so they could use the tagline Heart Of The Tiger. I hate the line he says to blair on the ps1 version of the game, something akin to the hobbes you knew never exsisted. So basically his whole character arc from wc2 means nothing. Its like in movies or a tv where a character wakes up after a scene, basically its the writers of that show going nevermind about that whole plot point, that whole scene or episode was just a dream sequence. Such lazy writing.
 
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Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Oddly enough I now find the switch to real sets actually makes WC4 seem more dated then [sic] WC3. 🤷‍♂️

Yeah I would say I have to totally disagree with you on the quality of wing Commander 4.
The main thing that kills it for me in WC4 is the rounded CRT-based monitors. But overall, the production values were great - remember this was a game, games didn't spend big budgets on film sets and haven't since. The main issue with WC3's rendered sets was the lack of camera movement, they were severely limited as a result of that even though that approach saved a lot of money.

I'm also uncomfortable with how Hobbes/Ralgha was handled, but it's too long ago to do anything about it now so I kinda accept it. Although, I'm sure if you look up my old posts I think I took the approach of calling the Terran-friendly character 'Hobbes', and the Kilrathi noble 'Ralgha'. I suppose many feel the same conflict about war-time vs peace-time Tolwyn.
 
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