|Reviews for XvT-TC 146|
|| ||Played on hard difficulty. To state my biases, I enjoy challenging missions, not excessively frustrating, while requiring some basic strategy.
There weren't any game-breaking bugs. Briefings and text were adequate. Four missions is short, to the point, no filler material. Score attacks were lengthy in time (to be expected) but not overly so. All good qualities.
Missions #1 and #2 were straightforward, a good mix of dogfighting. Elective weapon load-outs were a nice touch for strategy, making for enjoyable missions. Things got confusing in #3 and #4, both indicated goals to destroy some transports, however no such goal existed.
#3 featured an overwhelming number of fighters, which was triggered by inspecting the transports. Without inspection it was simple enough, yet challenging to rack up points. The difficulty difference between inspecting or not was huge. With no warning, it didn't make sense to punish the player so severely for doing what they're told, inspect and destroy. In #4, the amount of enemy fighters was immediately overwhelming. It was manageable with the right gameplay tricks (warhead spam, mostly), but not as interesting or fun as the others.
At some point, excessive waves of fighters become spammy, tiresome, and detracts from enjoyment. The non-existing transport goals were a relief. The fighters alone provided enough challenge. If the transports were required targets, #4 could have become too frustrating.
The mismatch between the goals and overwhelming fighters gave an impression that these two missions were perhaps unfinished or not properly balanced.
Overall, a fun battle but mixed feelings about the gameplay and uneven difficulty in the second half.|
|| ||Note: I made one or two passes on each mission, all on Medium.
Story: There's a cohesive story going on from mission to mission, which gives the battle a good base. But when this battle was accompanied by a 10 page fiction, the generic briefings and radio messages were noticeable. The messages that are there are bascially just responding to what's happening in the mission, so there's nothing being added to the story or anything that helps break up some of the downtime like during the docking time during the first mission. For example, the fiction explains why Sigma goes from T/As and GUNs to T/As and Scimitar Bombers, but the battle makes no mention of it. The battle had a great piece of fiction to incorporate elements of, but the battle went its own way and missed a lot of opportunities that would've made it memorable. (2/5)
Design: To balance the large number of EH ships in each mission, there were a lot of NR ships and real danger presented to the player in each mission. Part of me appreciated the references to other franchises, like DREAD Klendathu in mission two and CRS Whitewalker in missions three and four. On the other hand, these names aren't relevant to the story and ultimately felt out of place. Mission four has a goal for disabling E/S Harasser, but the player isn't in a ship with ion cannons and the fighters that do have ion cannons wouldn't target E/S Harasser. Mission four has another issue with stakes; CRS Whitewalker should be attempting to flee, but there's no point where it actually moves to do that. It's the details the hold this battle back from being truly great. (3/5)
Overall Score: 2.5 out of 5, rounded up to 3 because I enjoyed flying the battle and that's not something that normally happens for me in XvT. Nice job!|