Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Megafortress

I had a spare 5 minutes this evening, so I thought I'd try something random. Came up with Megafortress, a flight sim based on a fictional super-bomber. It was released back in '91, so has some funky polygonal graphics - reminded me a lot of A-10 Tank Killer. The difference between those two games is that A-10 is arcade-oriented, while Megafortress is pure sim. The fan-typed text-only manual is 51 pages, and there's a 20-step checklist of things you need to do in order to just take off. It's not just press up to go faster, nosiree, you have to turn the batteries on before you can even think of starting your engines (let alone setting the cabin pressure or lowering your flaps...). You see all those controls in the screengrab? They all work, and all are essential for flying the plane. But that's not all of them, oh no, that panel of switches in the bottom-left shows all of the different positions in the aeroplane, and each of those positions has an equal number of switches and dials to memorise. I'm not a big sim fan, I prefer my games with a slightly more arcade bent, but I actually quite enjoyed the slow and steady checklist of tasks to take off and get the crate into the sky. Once I was up there navigating to waypoints was fine and dandy, the problems came (as they always do) when I had to try and land the thing. The manual recommends a full military landing, which means gradually circling around the strip getting lower and lower and slower and slower until you are ready to make your approach. I tried just flying straight down the tarmac and the results were predictable! If I had more time to fly all the training missions and learn all the controls and maneuvers properly then I think this would actually be really fun. As things are, though, I just don't have time for it. Goodbye, Megafortress, may your flight be slow and stealthy, and may those russkies be bombed to heck.

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