Space Combat Sims for fans of X-Wing v Tie Fighter Part 2: Software

In some ways, this is the best of times for space sim aficionados. FreeSpace 2, the last great commercial space combat sim is open-source and there are a lot of games based on that codebase which are freely available, or will be released shortly.

Personally I would recommend starting out with Freespace 2, picking an updated engine for it so it runs well on your system, and going to town. Then, if you’re interested, move on to all the other cool projects around the Freespace community.

Good Old Games also sells both Freespace 1 and Freespace 2 for $5.99 per game. They also sell a number of other fine space combat games. The game itself is excellent, it features the best capital ships in this kind of game that I’ve ever seen.

The biggest Freespace modding community appears to be at Hard Light Productions. They host a number of projects, though one of the most popular project out there is the Battlestar Galactica Total Conversion called Beyond the Red Line which has a demo available.

Hard Light does host a Babylon 5 Total Conversion called The Babylon Project, which seems like a good idea, but I haven’t tried it yet.

Unfortunately, no mod really seems to bring the graphics in the Freespace 2 Engine up to modern standards. Though it is certainly nicer looking than the wireframe graphics from the X-Wing games.

Older games can even be played through emulators if they don’t work natively. Ben Armstrong at Microsoft even made X-Wing run under Virtual PC. Unfortunately that solution won’t allow joysticks to work, so most people recommend using DosBox instead.

There is even a patch for the Win95 version of X-Wing to make it work on modern machines.

Newer games include the X series of space sims which are a bit more like Wing Commander Privateer and have you in a more open-space kind of profiteering game. Trading goods and ships for wealth and power respectively. These games are more like Elite and there are six in the series plus a stand-alone expansion here and there:

COD:MW2 Ships November 10 and this is the first teaser

Do your bolt-action rifles suck?

Are you having trouble respawning in the morning?

Well, fret no longer modern-warfare fan, after the break you can see what is going on in the lives of your heroes from franchises past…

Continue reading “COD:MW2 Ships November 10 and this is the first teaser”

GDC 09: TimeDoctor Wins Resistance Retribution!

muniThanks to Sony for hosting the excellent Playstation Blog meetup at GDC 2009!

The evening started out with a journey via the strange public transportation system known only to denizens of San Francisco’s knowledge underground as “The Muni“!

After many stops and about 45 minutes worth of insane ramblings from the drunken creatures who inhabit this above-ground septic system our “N-Line” “train” moved underground.

Some time later I was able to find an exit from this disturbing cacophony of subterranean lost souls onto Montgomery Street in downtown SF whereupon I journed into the hipster grotto of the W Hotel.

Continue reading “GDC 09: TimeDoctor Wins Resistance Retribution!”

Left 4 Dead Updates

Boom!

Valve updated Left 4 Dead today with some great gameplay changes. One of which corrects my personal pet-peeve with the Boomer; his vomit will sometimes be deflected by normal infected who get in the way. Full list of changes:

Game and client changes

  • Introduced fatigue to the melee attack in versus mode. You will see a HUD display when your melee swing is cooling down
  • Boomer vomit will now pass through common infected
  • Addressed some surround sound detection issues
  • Fixed a rare crash when exiting Left4Dead on Windows Vista
  • Fixed a case where the complete all expert campaigns achievement was not being rewarded

Dedicated server changes

  • Corrected an issue where Windows based dedicated were sending spurious shutdown notifications to the master causing them to delist temporarily
  • Fixed dedicated servers not resetting the versus team swap correctly–you could join a dedicated server that had a previous game that was swapped and arrive on the other team than what was selected in the lobby
  • Renamed the tags for sv_search_key to use “key:” in the server tags instead of “sv_search_key.” This should help with issues of the 63 character limit of server tags
  • Fixed an occasional server crash related to voting

Solid Snake and the Heartbreakers in: iGame Squadron #4 (more iPhone game reviews!)

feature_tdsquadI’ve got five more iPhone games reviewed on AtomicGamer.com:

  • Metal Gear Solid Touch
  • Pocket God
  • Hurdler
  • Beast
  • Cronk

Also included in the newest iGame Squadron is my take on what the latest iPhone update means for gamers. Check it out!