Tag Archives: Migsy

Classic Simulations: Jane’s AH-64D Longbow

Andy takes a look at one of the most influential attack helicopter simulations in PC gaming history

Andy Mills, 17 June 2015

Those were the days

A boxshot of the original Jane’s AH-64D Longbow

A boxshot of the original Jane’s AH-64D Longbow

Back in 1996 the competition for air supremacy in the attack helicopter sim market was intense. Publishers like Domark, Digital Integration and EA/Jane’s Information Group were all homing in on gunship simulations for the PC. Digital Integration had already released AH-64 Apache and was in the process of finishing up HIND for release in 1997. Unfortunately, Domark’s title, Flying Nightmare’s 2, never saw the light of day, leaving EA/Jane’s AH-64D Longbow as the most significant rotary-wing sim release of 1996. Longbow did not disappoint. Built on the solid heritage of the Gunship franchise, Longbow became the benchmark by which all other helo sims would be judged for many years to come.

GrogHeads Reviews Falling Skies

Andy Mills, 14 November 2014

How does the TV show translate to a game?


The TV show Falling Skies tells the story of the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment, a group of rag tag warriors that are fighting an alien race (the Espheni) intent on dominating the Earth. This sci-fi drama is set on the East Coast of the United States after a near-catastrophic alien attack and features a myriad of characters from all walks of life. The majority of the action tends to be focused around the exploits of Tom Mason, a former university history professor, who is now the second in command of the 2nd Mass. Tom and his comrades are having limited success in fighting the Espheni, when a second alien race (the Vohm) lands on the Earth to help the humans with their struggle.

As one can imagine, Falling Skies provides fertile ground for a squad-based, tactical strategy game that would allow players to share in the adventures of the 2nd Mass and their struggle for survival. Creating a successful PC game based on a TV show is no easy task. The gaming landscape is littered with examples of TV shows or movie adaptations that turned into complete train wrecks (insert the name of any Star Trek game ever released here). The key to making a good PC game adaption of a TV show is striking the perfect mix of established content with a solid gaming system – so before starting my review, I found myself asking two things:

  • How will Falling Skies fare in relation to some of the other excellent titles in this genre, such as the most recent XCOM and Xenonauts?
  • Does the game provide the player with an experience similar to that depicted on the Falling Skies TV show?

With these questions in mind, I fired up my Steam account and pulled the trigger on Falling Skies.

Sensei [RAW] Mouse – Hardware Review

A review by Andy Mills, 22 July 2012

The Sensei [RAW] Gaming Mouse

Killer Performance at a Modest Price

When I started shopping for a new gaming mouse, the Sensei [RAW] wasn’t a name that immediately came to mind.  I expected to buy an aggressively named, over-engineered input device from a company like Corsair, Logitech, Razer, or ROCCAT.  Being a traditionalist when it comes to mouse design, the Steelseries Sensei [RAW] (which I will abbreviate as the SSR) caught my attention.  The conventional design and very attractive price ($59.99 CDN/USD) convinced me that this was the mouse I was looking for (no Obi-Wan jokes please).  The Sensei [RAW] is the AK-47 of the gaming mouse world.  With understated looks, a minimal number of extra buttons, and durable construction, this mouse will appeal to the frugal fragger and wargamer alike.


The unboxed Sensei [RAW]

Who is Steelseries?

Steelseries is a Danish manufacturer that was founded in 2001, and specializes in gaming hardware. Their very first product was a glass mouse pad aimed at the power gaming crowd. According to their web site, the company started out as a two person operation and has since evolved into a multinational presence with offices in Asia, Europe, and North America.  Steelseries places a great deal of emphasis on competitive gaming and is a sponsor of professional e-sporting events. The company also uses input from professional gamers to design and market their products. The Steelseries corporate philosophy is to take a substantial portion of their revenue and put it back into the gaming community to help spur industry growth.

Retro Tactical! A look back at Crusader: No Regret

by Andy Mills, 20 July 2012

Back in 1996, I spent weeks playing one of the last great PC games of the DOS era – Crusader: No Regret. This game remains a true classic in the world of isometric tactical combat and even now, more than a decade later, many players are still discovering the fun of this venerable title.

History of the Crusaderscrusader

The two games in the Crusader series (No Remorse and No Regret) pit a renegade soldier against a corrupt and brutal empire…err… I mean government, known as the World Economic Consortium (WEC). The soldiers in the game are known as “silencers” because they systematically eliminate rebels and those who dare speak out against the corrupt WEC regime. The “silencer” at the centre of the Crusader series turns against the regime when he refuses an order to kill innocent civilians. This sudden change of heart greatly disappoints the leaders of the WEC and he is slated for termination. Unfortunately, for the evil leaders of the WEC, our hero decides to work with the resistance to exact his own form of run-and-gun justice against his former employer.

While No Remorse established the backdrop for the action, No Regret allowed the game designers to develop various aspects of the Crusader universe in greater detail. While some of the designers denied that the Crusader universe shared a common lineage with other Origin Systems titles, such as Wing Commander and System Shock, there does appear to be some loose connections.  For instance, the game uses the same calendar system as in Wing Commander and a newspaper article in the game mentions SHODAN and the disaster that took place at Citadel Station which was the setting for System Shock 1. These tie-ins and even some cleverly recycled dialogue from Star Wars worked to hold the interest of the player and make the experience more enjoyable.

Going Tactical

Like No Remorse, No Regret was a third person shooter that required the player to use a mix of strategy, cunning and good ‘ole brute force to achieve his goals. Sticking with the same basic engine as the original Crusader, this game followed the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy and worked to provide the player with a familiar interface to explore 10 sprawling, multi-level environments. This second installment in the series featured enhanced combat maneuvers, such as the forward roll, which added to an already impressive repertoire of tactical possibilities. No Regret also added to the number of weapons in the already jam-packed Crusader arsenal, which included sub-machine guns, rocket launchers, micro-wave broilers, Bouncing Betties, det packs and autonomous robot spider mines. Setting enemies on fire, freezing them, or turning hapless troopers into puddles of goo just never seemed to get old. Added touches, such as allowing the player to access scout droids or gun turrets, kept the action fresh and allowed for many missions to be accomplished in a variety of different ways.