Damage Inc. Pacific Squadron WWII -- Game Impressions
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 3rd Sep 2012
Now that you have had the mini-lesson on the P-38 you are likely wondering why this digression occurred -- the reason is simply this: you get to fly this plane, and you get to upgrade it to its more advanced versions AND fly this plane -- and it along with all of the other planes in the game (both the American planes and the enemy planes - did I mention you get to fly those as well?) are historically accurate and, at least within the limitations of the game world, fly like the real thing. Very cool indeed, and even cooler when you know a little about the history of the plane and its capability.
Hey There, Ho There, Yay There; it's Game Box Day!
When the box that contained our review copy of Damage Inc., Pacific Squadron World War II arrived in the GU Bullpen three weeks prior to the scheduled release date, it turned out to actually have the CE version of Damage Inc. which is why it arrived in a box rather than in the semi-flat parcel that games usually arrive in -- and of course the fact that there was this relatively large box on my desk that the office oddsman concluded very likely contained gaming goodness, well, the Interns were circling like sharks, there was blood in the water, our life raft has a hole in it, and something had to be done.
I opened the box. Near-riot ensued. The levy broke, there were Interns everywhere! Oh the humanity!
"Come on mate, you have all sorts of work you have to do! You have a deadline! Let me play it for you and I will do a bang-up job on the review. Really I will?!" said one Intern.
"Bugger him, he was the one who gave Naughty Bear a 3 out of 10 overall score remember; he wouldn't know a good game if it bit him on the arse!" said another.
"I'd pay $10 to see that," a member of staff announced, earning the narrow evil eye from all of the Interns present.
"Sorry mates, they sent it to me, there is no help for it, I will have to play it and review it even if it means putting off something else I should do otherwise... You know the rules and traditions of the industry are always followed" I announce, having just made up that particular rule and tradition on the spot. Naturally I was no longer the favorite person of the Bullpen.
If it sounds like there was genuine excitement over the title well, yeah, there was. The reasons for that have a lot to do with the impression that we formed at this year's E3 -- when we came back from LA one of the normal bits we do is gather together in the meeting pit (don't ask but yeah, that really is what the room is called) and give a verbal report on the games we saw and played, what we personally thought of them, and which ones we believe are contenders for the Top 50.
That all gets carefully recorded and put up in or local network, and some time around New Year's Day our predictions get weighed against the holiday sales charts and we learn who got what wrong, but that is another story entirely and not part of this one so...
The other part of the excitement has to do with the fact that it is a combat flight-sim-like arcade flight shooter. Yeah, long made-up name, but you get the idea. Or maybe you don't? Here is the thing, every year there are gobs of action-adventure games released. Stacks of military shooters, heaps of police shooters, a fair pile of racing games, and countless numbers of puzzle games, along with too numerous to even think about it arcade games via LIVE and PSN, an awesome collection of DS/3DS titles and, if it happens to be a Pokemon Year, well, Pokemon. But when it comes to combat flight sims we are lucky to get two in a year -- but it is not really the small number of titles that concerns most gamers who are fans of that particular sub-genre, it is the worry that what games we do get will be badly flawed, which is why when a new flying title is announced you see a lot of fingers being crossed and whispered hopes that it will not completely suck...
That very important desire is something of a curse in the world of console (as opposed to PC mind you, there has been better luck on the PC gaming platform) gaming, because many of the flight sim games that have come out have been flawed in one way or another to the extent that it hurts. Usually the flaw is that they are so dumbed-down, or their controls are so crude, that they tend to disappoint even though most of the fans of that game sub-genre are not really looking for a pure simulation game! The other half of the Cause-for-Disappointment Chain has been bugs, which while most games tend to have at least some bugs, with games that have you flying through the air at relatively great speeds, when you get a bug it tends to be an in-your-face variety.