Friday, November 23, 2012

Demo Friday: Going backwards

Alright, it's Demo Friday! It would be a much better Demo Friday if there were new releases for XBLA that did not require Kinect. I will not have that foolishness in my house (because the ceiling in my basement is too low) so instead I am going to work backwards chronologically through games until I reach one that I have not played.

This certainly looks exciting.
I have nostalgically lamented on how Crimson Skies needs a modern update so many times that even I am tired of talking about it. Flight combat games either err on the side of simulation or arcade, trying to appease just one of the two extremes. They never hit the balance that Crimson Skies did and their multiplayer is consequently never as much fun. Dogfight 1942 looked to have potential. There are multiple control schemes to choose from; I chose arcade but it was too arcade. For starters up and down were not automatically reversed, which makes no sense, and turning the plain was just a matter of steering left or right. No elevator was required. Yes, this is easy, but how am I supposed to to cool things like barrel roll around incoming fire? No matter, if the game is interesting, I can forgive the over simplified controls.

Extra Credits did a segment a few weeks back on how demos almost never work out for the developer and they are rarely worth the time and money sunk into them. I don't disagree, but when a service compels you to provide one making sure it shows your game in the best possible light would seem like a good idea. Dogfight 1942 has two sample missions, which is fine, but they are both with the same plane and both are feature nothing but air to air combat. I don't know if there are more planes to unlock or if there are more interesting missions. All the information I have to make a decision is in the demo and the demo is very, very boring.

This could have been easily fixed by giving me a different plane for the second trial mission. Have me torpedoing ships or dive bombing hardened ground targets, anything besides the exact same thing that I was doing in the first mission. 'Wow,' I would think, 'there is enough variety here to keep me interested, here are my 1400 points.' What I actually thought was 'well, that was a chore. And the second level is more of the same. Pass.'

Did anyone involved with the creation of the game even play the demo? I almost feel bad dismissing the game so quickly but their inept sales person did such a poor job selling that I have been forced to take by business elsewhere.

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