Review by Demonic Gerbil

"Great Game! Go frag some Kilrathi!"

Wing Commander on the Super NES is one of those classic sorts of games that those who've played it love, and those who haven't played it, probably haven't even heard of it.

I remember back when I first played Wing Commander on Super NES. I had just beaten Wing Commander 2 on my PC and went looking for Wing Commander on the PC, but I couldn't find a copy anywhere. Old software, meaning games from a year or two before, was generally a lot tougher to find back then than it is now. There weren't online stores to go order from a company's back catalog, and even trying to get a store to special order something for you was often hard - simply because no one had things in stock. Imagine my surprise when I saw in Nintendo Power that they were making Wing Commander for the Super NES. So, of course I had to get it. Unfortunately I only ever managed to rent it, I never found a copy for sale anywhere.

Wing Commander is tons of fun. You play a rookie fighter pilot assigned to the TCS Tiger's Claw during the Terran Confederation's war against the Kilrathi Empire. The Kilrathi are malevolent cat-aliens, based around lions, which enjoy the hunt perhaps more than is healthy. Can you save humanity from the menace of Kilrah? It's time to play the game and find out.

There are numerous types of fighters available in the game, armed with a variety of guns and missiles, each with its own flight characteristics. You'll fly in everything from heavy fighters armed for bear down to light fighters that nimbly dance around their opponents.

There are several kinds of missions: patrols, escorts, strikes. Patrols are just what it sounds like, fly around from waypoint to waypoint and engage any enemy units encountered. Escorts involve guarding a friendly craft as it goes from point A to point B. Strikes are attacks on Kilrathi capital ships. The missions can take place in empty space, the most typical environ, but they can also involve asteroid or even mine fields, which add a natural hazard to the gameplay.

Now for a quick scoring summary for those of you keeping track of the numbers:

Gameplay: 9

Some of the missions are perhaps a little too demanding and too long without the ability to save during a mission. Targeting enemy space craft can also be a little difficult with the Super NES controller, but generally that's only a very minor blemish on the game.

Story: 7

It's a pretty typical story. Take your average alien war plot and meld it to Top Gun, and you've got Wing Commander. That said, it's still pretty interesting watching the progress of the war from mission briefings.

Graphics: 7

By modern standards, the graphics aren't all that great, but for the time they were almost stunning. They're not hard on the eyes by any means.

Sound: 7

There are no complaints here.

Replay: 7

Multiple endings, multiple ways to get to them, and lots of fun to be had doing it. You'll probably play through this a couple times at least.

Other: N/A

If you want a space sim that has accurate physics, this is not the game to play.

Overall: 8

Wing Commander on the Super NES is perhaps the greatest flight sim type game on the Super NES. The fact that I can't recall the name of any others on the system despite my enjoyment of the genre tells me either the competition wasn't worth remembering, or perhaps rather bleakly that there wasn't much competition around.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/13/06

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