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|Net Party from September 4, 1999|
Games this Month
Star Trek: Starfleet Command
Our hopes were set pretty high for this game and for the most part they were met. What I didn't like was the limited co-operative multiplay. It wouldn't have been difficult to add a skirmish between co-op players and the computer ships, they already had it with a star base.
So many ships, so little time. I played with the Klingon's Bird of Prey and some of the Federation ships. The different camera angles really shows off the attention to detail, but can be difficult to follow or watch where you're flying. I've bumped an asteroid of two while trying to shoot at a ship behind me.
Single player didn't hook me in. I played it a few times, but with all the problems Pezboy has told me about, I'll put it on the back burner. Which means I'll probably not get back to it, and it'll collect dust. Maybe when I'm a Star Trek mood, I'll patch it up and start again. It isn't an easy game, so expect it to be very challenging.
Overall the game played very well on the network. We had eighteen Heavy Federation Cruisers attack a star base with only a little lag on two 233Mhz based systems. By the way, the star base didn't have much of a chance. I know a lot of people complained about it not working right and Pezboy has had his share of problems with the single player campaign, but overall it was pretty stable, and a patch has been released since our review.
Descent Free Space: The Great War
Setting up a Descent Free Space game over the network was a very tedious process of changing IP addresses and gateways. Once we suffered reading the readme file off the CD we were in business and it played very well. I didn't get many screen shots as a real player because I was so engrossed in the game, as an observer I witnessed ships, lasers, and explosions with a quality that may as well come out of the movies.
Using the microphone to send messages to Pezboy was a lot of fun too. Nothing like sending a death cry as your ship explodes next to someone. Free Space also keeps track of your stats and rank, so you filter out the newbies and fly with some of the high brass on the net.
It was hard to pair up since we were flying at different speeds and being chased by Shivan fighters. The respawn made us a little reckless with our lives, but we had a great deal of fun. Single player had me totally immersed and addicted until the final battle.
Descent Free Space blows away the Wing Commander and X-Wing series that I remember and I was never really a fan of space sims until now.
Copyright 1996-2004 by Joseph Delgado. Enchanted Quill Press, All rights reserved.