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Project Sylpheed Review 155

Space shooters are beyond a dying breed. They're dead. When a member of this now-rarefied genre comes lurching at you from the darkness, it's always a good idea to be wary. And a shooter with an anime flavour, evoking the memory of the Macross and Robotech series? It has to be bad, right? Yet, somehow, Square/Enix has delivered a thrill-ride of a space plane game; Ace Combat with blue hair. The frighteningly titled Project Sylpheed has a clunky menu system, an overly complicated HUD, mediocre voice acting, and an easily-skippable story. Thankfully, none of that matters. When you're in your fighter, it's so ... so good. Read on for my impressions of this quirkily appealing arcade-style shooter.
  • Title: Project Sylpheed
  • Developer/Publisher: Game Arts, Microsoft Game Studios
  • System: 360
  • Genre: Arcade-Style Space Shooter
  • Score: 3/5 - This game is flawed, but will appeal to genre fans. Any gamer might enjoy renting it, but this won't ever be a classic.
Let's run down the anime cliches: Vaguely feminine main character with cute-but-not-too-cute female sidekick? Check. Laser weapons on capital ships that can bend in space? Check. Overly engineered space fighters? Check. Story of personal loss and redemption? Triple check. The outward trappings of this game will make you perfectly at home if you have ever had the fortune to hear Minmei sing. The only thing missing is the transforming robot jets.

Thankfully, you won't miss them. The story is a semi-decent distraction. The forces of ADAN, allied former Terran colonies who broke away from the motherland, are striking hard against the Terran alliance. They're fighting to re-affirm their freedom after what appears to be the senseless slaughter of an entire planet by military forces. Your protagonist is an uber-talented rookie, friends with a cute fellow pilot and arch-foe of a former pilot who has now joined the ADAN military. The cutscenes are full of breathless exclamations of surprise and tight-fitting space suits. Just the same, the cutscenes have two things going for them: vague hints of something deeper to ADAN's story of planetary cleansing, and the ability to skip past anything you don't want to see.

While I enjoyed watching them, it's easy to understand wanting to get back to the game proper. Project Sylpheed is an all-out assault almost from the get-go. Enemy fighters come at you in waves, punctuated by larger frigates and carriers, with special named fighter units acting as boss battles in later stages. Before you start your bloody work there are usually dozens of enemies onscreen, providing you with a 'target-rich environment.' You're not alone, of course, fighting with support from your capital ship and three (mostly brain-dead) squadron-mates. Fights take place in a varied array of 'space locations', giving you a variety of pretty places to look at while you blow stuff up. Anyone not playing the game directly will be impressed by what's on the screen; if you know what you're doing the action is fast, frenetic, and beautiful.

Knowing what you're doing is the trick, of course. Your Delta Saber fighter has a dizzying array of weaponry and instruments. As such, the Xbox controller gets a stiff workout by your overwrought hands. I actually found the default setup cumbersome, and ended up remapping some things; every single control is customizable, thankfully. By default the shoulder buttons fire your weapons, while the triggers boost and brake your ship. I reversed these, as I found it awkward to hold down the RB for an extended period of time. Your mileage may vary.

The Delta Saber has three different weapon systems plus a nose cone popgun. This means that you have several choices of ordinance to bring to bear on every situation. Surprisingly, none are superfluous. There's an anti-aircraft missile system, which locks onto targets as they come within your field of fire. Dozens of missiles can be aimed at multiple targets just by sticking closeby. Upon releasing the fire button they soar away from your ship like deadly homing birds, creating a beautiful and ultimately fiery ballet. A larger set of missles is available for frigates, destroyers and the like, while a railgun acts as a catch-all choice that can be directed at either sized-target with deadly effect. It's simple to switch between weapon systems with the twitch of a thumb; the downside to this is that often pits you against a wave of fighters and their destroyer escort at the same time.

Those scenarios are always quite challenging, as you're forced to make some tough choices. Toughness is a watchword of this game, but not frustratingly so. Sylpheed is very much an arcade shooter, right down to the arbitrary clock on each mission. You're given a warning when there are only three minutes left on the clock; when it runs out the captain of your capital ship says that you are 'unable to fight any longer.' I'm not really sure I understand this, but it does make for tense level design. Even If you screw up, there's no real problem. You're encouraged to go back and re-try levels on which you do poorly.

A letter grade measures your success in each mission, based on the number of ships destroyed and the completion of some 'sub-objectives'; these sub-objectives are never really spelled out, but the game's Achievements often revolve around them. As such, when you do end up with a new medal (their in-game representation) you can rest assured that you did good. Points are awarded for your successes, which can in turn be spent on weapon upgrades for your ship. There are a wide variety of systems available for purchase on the Delta Saber, and collecting them all seems to be another happy aspect of the game's arcade element.

Not all is perfect in space, of course; aside from the aforementioned throwaway plot and some ... interesting choices in voice acting, some design and system issues tear at the edges of this otherwise pretty picture. As in many games, the other pilots are of almost no help whatsoever. That's to be expected, but they also have a nasty habit of flying directly between you and your target. This results in annoying cries of "watch where you're shooting". The D-pad acts as command center for your squadron, and they'll follow your orders to the best of their ability. The problem is that friendly fire significantly takes away from your points earned for a given mission. This gets really old, really fast.

The other major problem is an occasional noticeable graphical slowdown. I have my 360 fairly well ventilated, but despite that there were several battles where a wall of oncoming enemies caused some sluggish turning. In a game where being able to execute snap turns and dodge oncoming laser fire are essential skills, that can lead to some frustrating trips back to the briefing room. All the other issues I had with the game were fairly minor. The title did little to explain what exactly you were buying, for example, despite some basic letter grades attached to weaponry range and damage. Likewise, the tutorial at the game's start seemed woefully unhelpful once I was actually in the thick of things.

Thankfully, everything about this game is easy to pick up. Project Sylpheed is a brainlessly fun, easy-to-like title for your next-gen console. A complete lack of multiplayer condemns this to a few months of enjoyment , or even a rental, but don't let that stop you from trying it out. If you miss this under-appreciated genre, Sylpheed is going to hit every synapse just right. Barrel-rolling through a flight of dozens of enemy starships, all while locking-on and firing-off volleys of missiles, is a blast any space shooter fan shouldn't pass up. My biggest complaint about the whole game is that, once again, I find myself really wanting a next generation version of Tie Fighter.
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Project Sylpheed Review

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    This game was absolutely horrible. I tried the demo on XBL and I could honestly not play it for more than a minute. The controls are shitty, the graphics are shitty, and the gameplay is shitty. To compare it to something like Ace Combat is a fucking travesty. Don't just take my word for it though, download the demo on XBL and try it for yourself, I guarantee you'll delete it within minutes.
    • I agree I couldn't get into the demo at all and neither could my 11 year old. Didn't stay long on my hard drive. Zonk go play something good on Live like the new Bomberman.
    • The actual game is a lot better quality than the demo, actually. The weapons available in the demo are a broad smattering of weapons from different points in the game, playing the actual game through and getting them in progression makes it a lot easier to use them effectively.

      As for the controls, as the poster said everything is customizable, even in the demo. If you think you can do a better job mapping, then why not give it a try rather than just bitching about it.

      Lastly, I just wanted to add that th

    • Actually, I was enthralled with this game. It has more eye-candy than any other shooter, but the gameplay of a sim it seemed. I was constantly rolling around, dodging and targetting in dogfights, while dipping between giant battleships around me and avoiding their huge lasers as they exchanged fire with other large battleships far away.
      The controls were very well done, the only exception being the tutorial that the demo has doesn't allow you to inverse your Y axis (the only travesty I can really think of,
  • who thought this post was going to be about the Sylpheed [sraoss.jp] email client? --jrd
    • by fbilsen ( 549231 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:33PM (#19929447)
      The original silpheed was the best shooter ever: http://www.the-underdogs.info/game.php?gameid=982 [the-underdogs.info] I don't know how many times I read about that stupid mail program by mistake :-/. Frans
      • Sylpheed-Claws(Sylpheed fork, now Claws Mail) is my favourite mail client so I gave the Silpheed a try and I must agree it's really fantastic. Incredible gameplay, great graphics and [good] old PC speaker sound... all that in 667kB! Masterpiece.
        • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

          Incredible gameplay, great graphics and [good] old PC speaker sound... all that in 667kB! Masterpiece.
          You haven't played Silpheed until you've played on a system with a roland MT-32 or compatible (and I don't mean the GS bullcrap emulation mode).

      • I bet the Treasure fans would have something to say about the best SHUMP ever claim, but I remember waiting eagerly for the Silpheed to be released on SegaCD . I kept calling the gamestore to see if the shipment had come in and then took a long lunch from work to go and pick it up. At the time the intro cinema [youtube.com] was amazing and the streaming set pieces [youtube.com] in the actual game are still cool for SegaCD.

        I might need to dig it out and play...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by raddan ( 519638 )
      Yeah, I was thinking-- hmm, maybe that's why Sylpheed is so hard to configure sometimes. It's actually a video game!
      • Actually, a game interface in the email client might be kinda fun... "deleting" SPAMs by shooting them with missiles and lasers, and watching them explode in balls of flame might relieve some workplace tension.

        It would certainly give new meaning to the name "Thunderbird"... ;-)

        --jrd

        • by enjerth ( 892959 )

          Actually, a game interface in the email client might be kinda fun... "deleting" SPAMs by shooting them with missiles and lasers, and watching them explode in balls of flame might relieve some workplace tension.

          People who aren't interested in that kind of thing would soon find it a task. Damnit, I have to go blast SPAM out of my email box again.

          But then maybe that would create an opportunity for gamers ply their trade. I'd like to give you my resume, I was in the top 5% in my class on Microsoft Flight Simulator.

          Then if you want to clean your mailbox yourself, you'd have turn off spam filtering. I'm saving that one for later.

    • No. But after reading the introduction, I did think it was a review of an old game I used to play on my tandy 1000.
  • So....any funny "engris?" It's what makes some of these games so enjoyable.
  • Meh... 3D (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ivan256 ( 17499 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:30PM (#19929403)
    Call me when they make "Einhander 2".

    And to think the summary got me all excited.
    • Man, I'm going to have to dust that one off when I get home now. Were it not for Einhander, I wouldn't think Square could do anything but FF, but now I do have some hope for this game.

      Einhander 2 would rock my face off though- I'd rather have that than a FFVII remake.
    • by Rethcir ( 680121 )
      I won't buy Einhander 2 until they let me transfer the lifetime subscription from my Einhander 1!!!!!
  • I guess this is a remake of the Sega CD game Silpheed. Man was that a bad game. Utterly repetetive, the only way to play it is to memorize all the levels and twitch. I love my Sega CD and all but, damn. I'd rather use Sylpheed [sraoss.jp] than play Silpheed [wikipedia.org].
    • by Hydian ( 904114 )
      Remake of the Sega CD game? That's like calling Social Distortion's cover of Ring of Fire a remake of the Wall of Voodoo song.
  • woot (Score:5, Informative)

    by oni ( 41625 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:32PM (#19929425) Homepage
    Oh man, I played the heck out of Silpheed on the Apple IIgs back in the late '80s.

    Since this new version of the game is a 3d space fighter, I feel obligated to point out that Freespace was released as open source some years ago, and people have been working on it ever since. The homepage for the source code project is here:

    http://scp.indiegames.us/news.php [indiegames.us]

    Here's a youtube video that shows some gameplay on the OSS version [youtube.com]
    • Holy crap. How is it possible I've never seen this before?

      I know that probably no one else in the world shares this view, but IMO, Freespace 2 was the best damn PC game ever made. Ever. Any genre. Even the voice acting was great. And it managed to create the feelings of fear and foreboding in a video game without even letting the protagonist leave the cockpit.

      Many thanks for posting this link.
      • by 0racle ( 667029 )
        I don't know about best game ever, but damn the Freespace games were absolutely fantastic.
      • by oni ( 41625 )
        I think that the best thing about the game was the the storyline was in the best traditions of sci-fi. Specifically, you got to the end of freespace 2 and were left with the feeling that the Shivans really didn't even notice you much at all. They were going about their business and you were little more than a mosquito. That's what I love in scifi, being reminded of how small humans are in this great big universe.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I'm right with you...almost. I thought Freespace did a much better job of cranking on the tension. The story mechanic of trying to catch your technology up in a war you were steadily losing did a great job, IMHO, of putting you in the universe.

        The second one did some great things, and I enjoyed it, but the "you're not authorized to use the cool weapons" mechanic to explain tech progression let me down. And, while the use of giant cap ship beam weapons was awesome, it would have been more awesome if they had
        • Agreed. The second game had better combat, but the first game had a better story. I still feel nostalgic when I see the flight deck of the Galatea. The game did a fantastic job of making it feel like home; I almost cried when it went down.

          These two games were amazing.
    • by Durrok ( 912509 )
      The build optimized for p4s link is broken. Don't suppose anyone has a mirror?
  • Sounds like..... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 )
    An old open source project called Parsec.

    It was Quake in space with fighters. and absolutely rocked at a lanparty. Problem is that the core guys graduated from college and abandoned it and nobody else is willing to wade through tens of thousands of really "stylized" code to figure it out and get in the right frame of mind.

    Granted, a FPS in spaceships is not anything like slypheed, but it reminded me of it and how sad that it lies dormant on sourceforge untouched.
  • by Sciros ( 986030 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:38PM (#19929515) Journal
    "this game will make you perfectly at home if you have ever had the fortune to hear Minmei sing"

    We're not ALL peace-loving pansies who feel funny every time some miniature Asian girl sings, you insensitive clod!

    Sincerely,
    Khyron
    • We're not ALL peace-loving pansies who feel funny every time some miniature Asian girl sings, you insensitive clod!

      Oh, come one ... you know you wanna. Everyone else is doing it. ;-)
    • by Sciros ( 986030 )
      Bah I should've said "female micronian" but oh well, I am a rubbish Zentraedi.
    • Not ALL peace-loving pansies are adversely affected every time some petite Asian girl sings, you insensitive clod!

      Sincerely,
      Maximillian Sterling
  • Yeah, I've gone to great lengths to try to get an old copy of X-Wing and Tie Fighter to work on my current XP setup... to no avail. What's the closest thing to Tie Fighter that's available now for my PC? I've tried to find some kind of decent space shooter, but no luck. Any advice for this poor, helpless Tie Fighter fan???
    • ...have contended for a few years now that if Lucas Arts got off their Ass and re-released these games with updated Graphics for modern computer systems (Hell Make a patch that enables the old versions to work on modern systems and upgrades the Graphics, I'd pay for it) they could make a killing. Bring the look and feel up to day with modern Nvidia and ATI cards they could probably come close to Movie quality visuals. Toss in a few new missions would be nice but not required.

      Heck just come out with some n
      • The only problem is that they'd release X-Wing and TIE Fighter "Special Edition" as Lucas originally intended, but couldn't do at the time. I could continue the crack here about adding wooden acting, crappy effects and generally raping a childhood game, but... I'm sure everyone knows where this is going.

        (Incidentally, I'd go for an updated TIE Fighter and X-Wing, especially TIE Fighter. Why is this genre so dead? Where's a new Privateer or Descent Freespace game?)
      • You mean this [wikipedia.org]? Or perhaps this [wikipedia.org]? Or are they not new enough for you?

        Sadly, neither of the Xbox games is on the Xbox 360 compatibility list. Star Wars: Starfighter Special Edition was on the list when the Xbox 360 launched, but Microsoft must have found a show-stopping issue later as it was pulled from the list and still isn't there.

    • They might be a bit more in-depth, but I loved Freelancer (beat it in 24 hours...without stopping) and X2 The Threat, which just happens to be available for Linux as well. However, X3 was not as good, IMO. Way too complicated. The X universe is more of a space trading/combat game though, so you might not like it nearly as much as Tie Fighter, which was pure fighting. Freelancer might be what you like, but there's still some trading involved as well. Much better combat in Freelancer.

      There was Jumpgate,
    • I would suggest freespace 2. Its in the same vein and it was a rather good, actually a damn fine game that both played well and looked good for its time. Too bad no one ever played it, thank god it got an Open source project keeping it alive.

      Its not always easy to get it running, but it worth the work. I actually think they have a X-wing or Tie Fighter conversion based on the old games.
    • Re:X-Wing Updated??? (Score:4, Informative)

      by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @02:01PM (#19929869)

      Yeah, I've gone to great lengths to try to get an old copy of X-Wing and Tie Fighter to work on my current XP setup... to no avail. What's the closest thing to Tie Fighter that's available now for my PC? I've tried to find some kind of decent space shooter, but no luck. Any advice for this poor, helpless Tie Fighter fan???

      Get thee X-Wing Alliance, my friend.

      http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/X-wing_alliance [wikia.com]

      Star Wars: X-wing Alliance, or XWA is the sequel to Star Wars: TIE Fighter. Due to player disregard for the multiplayer focused Star Wars: X-wing vs. TIE Fighter as a part of the X-wing computer game series, XWA is considered the third installment.

      XWA presents the story of Ace Azzameen, the youngest member of the Azzameen family, a neutral family of traders. The player assumes Ace Azzameen's place in the all missions in the game. These missions gave rise to assumptions that Ace was perhaps one of the crew appearing in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

      Apart from the usual badges and medals for winning missions which are featured in the other games of the X-wing series, progress is also indicated by the number of souvenirs collected in Ace's room. Additionally, an E-mail delivery system helps to evolve Ace's background story and provided deeper looks into his personal relationships and his family's whereabouts.

      XWA is the first game of the series to offer a full voiceover soundtrack and full dialogue in-flight. Flight control is marginally updated from the previous games of the series, allowing the player to link their cannons together, the ability to board and pickup other craft, as well as the addition of rudder support. Graphics are also overhauled in this game; high resolution textures, more complex models, and full three-dimensional cockpits were added. However, the cockpits are not faithful to the other games; all indicators and screens are separated from the cockpit as an in-flight HUD depicted as floating windows.

      It also introduces missions that span multiple star systems, similar to the "autopilot" feature of the Wing Commander games; rather than ending the mission, jumping to hyperspace (when the option is available) will progress the mission to a new location and a new mission objective.

      Ok, so why did this game rock so incredibly hard? First, the original X-Wing was not that great of a game. It was a nice try but it lacked wang. TIE Fighter rectified that lack of wangage and was GOOD. Missions were balanced, varied, and fun. The universe was immersive and gripping. The only niggle I had with it is that it didn't have quite the same storyline angle as the first two Wing Commander games, my alltime favorite space shooters. Oh, well, I thought, you can't have everything, right? Wrong. X-Wing Alliance said you can have everything but a Slave-Girl Leia lap dance.

      How was it good?

      1. The game-invented characters are sympathetic and believable, unlike the typical wank you find in the Star Wars expanded universe.
      2. The flight models are lifted directly from TIE Fighter and the graphics are given a scrubbing and update. It feels just like the previous game, even down to the keyboard hotkeys being the same. The whole game has a mixed feel of comfy, broken-in boots along with shiny new glitter.
      3. The missions are inventive, the combat intense, and the storyline plays into it well so you are reacting emotionally to the story instead of sitting back with a bored comic book guy expression muttering to yourself about how so little effort goes into doing a licensed game properly.
      4. Huge number of flyable ships in the game along with scads and scads of non-flyable models included, makes the universe seem gargantuan as a proper Star Wars experience should.

      Unfortunately, this was the last space sim to be released in the Galactic Civil War era. Lucas wanted all future Star Wars games to be set during the Clone Snores era. That's bullsh

      • Not only that, but there are free XW:A mods out there that vastly improve the graphics. Just don't attempt to play them on a Pentium 3.
        • Not only that, but there are free XW:A mods out there that vastly improve the graphics. Just don't attempt to play them on a Pentium 3.
          Oh, does it make you attempt to become one-point-three-seven-nine-two-two-six-four with the Force? (Yes, I know it was the earlier pentiums with the floating point bug, but that ruins the joke)
      • by DarenN ( 411219 )
        You bastard. Now I've gone and bought the damn game.
        • You bastard. Now I've gone and bought the damn game.
          Hold on, hold on, you're being a bit premature, calling me a bastard. You can only do that if a) you don't like the game or b) it causes you to fail a class or lose a job.
    • First of all I think it was called "X-Wing vs. Tie-Fighter." Secondly, I can't imagine why you couldn't get this one to run. It was a Direct-X v3 game, which even NT4 should run nicely.

      There was also a patch for it called 'XVT_3DFX.exe' which despite the name added improved Direct-3D support.

      If you can't find the file, I might provide it for you if you bug me nicely.

      -CR

    • Get the Collector's Edition versions (which are Win95 rather than DOS).
      Set all the relevant executables for installation on the CD-ROM to Win95 compatibility mode.
      Run the installer.
      Patch. There are patches out there for the executables, IIRC, to let them run in XP.
      When running the game don't use TIESTART.EXE but rather TIE95.EXE (similar advice for XWING95.EXE), and *not* in compatibility mode.

      Haven't looked lately, but there used to be pages on the 'net with advice on getting these running in XP.
      I have Ti
    • It does not seem that you went to very great lengths. At least tell me you've tried DOSBox, right? DOSBox provides virtual hardware that is exactly perfect for games like the original X-Wing, and the operating system should be 100% compatible. I doubt you would even need to set up EMS.
  • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:40PM (#19929543)
    I'm remembering this correctly, right? A Sierra On-Line import, right? I'm getting a bit burnt out on everything being 3D. Yeah, I know when the PSX came out Sony ordered all games to be made 3D so they'd look different and more modern than the last generation. And yes, there are many games and genres that kick tremendous ass in 3D. But there are some that just don't cut it. 3D sonic was a great example of a huge mistake. That little blue blur was hard enough to control in two dimensions, three just ruined the feel of the game. With today's technology, some bloody impressive side-scrollers could be made. Unfortunately, it's a rare project where gamers are given enough money and their own head to do what they want. When something like that pops up, it's the breath of fresh air that gets cloned and copied until those ideas now smell like the final breath of a toothless bum whose last meal was dingleberries and halitosis.

    You know what hasn't been done in a while? A serious bloody side-scroller beat'em-up, the kind that had our jaws dropping at the arcades in the early 90's. Remember the TMNT arcade game? The Simpsons one? Marvel and DC comic-based ones? These modern consoles have four controller ports. I want to see four player side scrolling beat'em-up joy. We're no longer limited by limited sprite animations, these games could go all out. With the gorgeous wide-format TV's out these days, a modern console could stomp the snot out of the classic arcade experience.
    • It scrolled top down, like 1942 or 1943. It was a Sierra-Online import though, yes.
      • It scrolled top down, like 1942 or 1943. It was a Sierra-Online import though, yes.
        Whoops, I was thinking of Thexder.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thexder [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        AAARGH! Shut up! You're both murdering the memory of this incredible game!

        The original Sierra/Game Arts version was neither 2D, nor was it quite a top-scroller. It was 3D, with a steep camera angle. Almost top-down, but with real 3D perspective. The starfield, and the enemies came at you from the top of the screen, getting larger as they approached the bottom. If you flew your ship to the left side of the screen, you could see the right side of the ship, and vice versa. The intro was a full 3D space, with s
        • That sort of game is usually called "2.5D". It was a game with 3D graphics that gave the impression of a 3D playing field but only allowed 2 dimensional movement.It was a pretty fucking good game, though, and it's one of the reasons I keep my Sega CD kicking around.
    • The original version (developed by Game Arts, sweet soundtrack by Mecano Associates, and published by Sierra Online) was probably the first 3D game I ever played. Check it out. It was 3D, [wikipedia.org] with a 3/4 camera angle. That game blew me away as a kid.
    • Odin Sphere [atlus.com]
    • If you want an old school beat 'em up, you should pick up The Warriors for whatever platform (last gen) you have kicking around. It's in 3D, but it's the same sort of "beat the crap out of everyone" gameplay from Final Fight, Streets of Rage, etc. and if you like those games you'll probably enjoy it. It even made me dig out the movie and watch it again.
  • My biggest complaint about the whole game is that, once again, I find myself really wanting a next generation version of Tie Fighter.

    I can't say just _how_ many times I've thought this. Isn't there some game designer out there that could DO this? I wore out two Saitek stick/throttles playing TIE Fighter. It was, to date, my absolute favourite flight/space sim.

    I wish that the Thief series would get picked up and modernized, as well, but that seems to be quite a pipe dream too.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I wish that the Thief series would get picked up and modernized, as well, but that seems to be quite a pipe dream too.
      Ah, you're clearly a fundamentalist fan. The rest of us acknowledge the existence of Thief: Deadly Shadows. :)
      • Hell, man, Deadly Shadows is in many ways closer to the fundamentalist ideals!

        OK... on "easy" mode it is, anyway. I guess most of the fundies don't play any of them on easy, though.

        Try this: Fire up 1 or 2, start a game on Easy. Kill everything with the sword. Win.

        Start a game on Easy in 3. Die a bunch trying to kill things with the knife. Lose.

        I made the mistake of playing through the first one when I was about 3/4 of the way through 3, and got very used to relying on the sword as a crutch. Got my
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I wish that the Thief series would get picked up and modernized, as well, but that seems to be quite a pipe dream too.

      Then you'll be happy to hear that some people are working on it. http://sourceforge.net/projects/opde [sourceforge.net] -- OpenDarkEngine. The ultimate goal is a drop-in replacement for the Dark Engine, able to run Thief 1, Thief 2, and System Shock 2 levels and fan missions, while removing limits on polys and texture sizes, and adding graphical flair like real-time lighting, bloom, and various shader
  • by wernst ( 536414 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:52PM (#19929737) Homepage
    Proving you can't go a month without Apple II related news on Slashdot, you can still view screenshots and download the disk images of the original Silpheed game for the Apple IIGS at http://www.whatisthe2gs.apple2.org.za/the_fairway/ game_pages/silpheed.html [apple2.org.za], which is "The Apple IIGS Gaming Memory Fairway."

    Who cares if these young whippersnappers spelled the name of the game wrong?

  • Sylpheed's user interface has really changed in the last year. I thought with so many people switching to webmail, traditional mail clients wouldn't get much attention anymore. Glad to see I was wrong.
  • I keep it for the exclusive use of playing old space simulator games like tie fighter and X-wing. I gave up trying to make it all work in XP/vista.

    Gawd those were great games.
  • space shooters ain't dead...
  • The Slipheed that *I* remember was the Sega CD version, from the 1990s.
    Great intro [youtube.com] and a total blast.

    Time to break out the CD and emulator. :D
    • I remember when that came out. A friend and I were having lunch at a MosBurger in Akihabara across from one of the myriad little electronics shops. The shop had various game demos running on this ridiculously large (for the time - it was a tube TV) TV out front.

      And then Silpheed came on. My friend and I left our burgers at the table and wandered over as if in a stupor to drool over the then-amazing graphics. My folks (who went with us) had to drag us away. We had played the original to death on my PC J
  • This seems like a game belonging in the era of the System 360 [wikipedia.org] as stated in the review.
  • It reads like a Penny-arcade Tycho wanna-be. Sheesh.

    Shooters have faded, but they will come back. Like always.

  • read it as "Project Syphilis Review"
  • On the other side of the aisle, if you have a PS3, you might enjoy Super Stardust HD. Features great old-school shooter action. You have 4 basic weapons: Rock Crusher, Gold Melter, Ice Breaker, and Bombs. Each of these start off really weak, and you build them up to 100% (or 200% for a short time) by collecting powerups. Your playing field is the orbit around a planet; you face everything from asteroids (which break up when you shoot them, of course) to things like green space centipedes, floating mines

    • Not comparable.

      I'm not saying that one is better than the other, just that they're apples and oranges. You might as well compare Gears of War to Robotron 2084. You could call both "3rd person action shooters", but they couldn't be more different.

      As far as I know, there's no space sim for the PS3. That's one of the short list of things that would make me think of buying one.

    • ... or if you want the Xbox Live Arcade version, you can get Aegis Wing which is a pretty good 2-D shooter which supports 4 co-op players and currently costs precisely $0. Just have to do the obligatory Microsoft one-upping of Sony there.

      Neither it nor Super Stardust are space shooter games like Sylpheed.
  • What's wrong with R-Type, Gradius, Xevious, Darius, Exed Exes, Life Force, Last Hope, Parsec(haha), Raiden(my favorite) or Ibara (although not really a "space" shooter).

    Why bother playing this new shooter when there are so many old shooters with tight controls and frantic gameplay?
    • Because it isn't a space shooter. It's really a space fighter sim like Star Wars: Starfighter or Colony Wars or Star Wars: X-Wing.
      • I see. I had trouble figuring that out from the article and itty-bitty screen shots. All I had to go by as "Genre: Arcade-Style Space Shooter".

        So far I haven't found a space sim I like as well as Terminus, even though the online play was pretty uninspired. Vega Strike and OpenParsec are good too (and free).
  • The other major problem is an occasional noticeable graphical slowdown. I have my 360 fairly well ventilated, but despite that there were several battles where a wall of oncoming enemies caused some sluggish turning. In a game where being able to execute snap turns and dodge oncoming laser fire are essential skills, that can lead to some frustrating trips back to the briefing room.

    Oh come-fucking-on. An entire XBox360 and you still can't keep your game's framerate constant?

    I don't even know what to say. How

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