Monday, 6 October 2014

HIGH-MACS Simulator (PC)

So, HIGH-MACS Simulator is a freeware game made by a fan of the Gun Griffon series, which unfortuantely, I've never played. But they're a series of military-themed 3D mecha shooters very much in the "real robot" style. I don't know anything about the plot of the games, but HIGH-MACS Simulator's missions take place in real countries and cities, in what looks like the late 20th/early 21st century, but with giant robots.

So obviously, you take on the role of a mecha pilot, usually as part of a small squadron, and you go out on various missions shooting down the enemy's tanks, mecha, and other vehicles. You get four weapons which, as far as I know, are always the same: an anti-tank gun, a machine gun, some kind of mortar-type weapon, and lock-on homing missiles. All except the machine gun come with limited ammunition, and there doesn't seem to be any way of getting more during a stage, though it's unlikely you'll run out of ammo for your anti-tank gun, at least.

The controls are a little awkward to set up, sine the game doesn't seem to acknowledge the right stick of an X-Box 360 controller, mapping "Analog R" controls to the triggers instead, but using a combination of the in-game options and JoytoKey, I managed to put together a comfortable little arrangement. Also, this game should run on pretty much any modern computer: it runs perfectly on my laptop, which can't even manage a decent framerate in Minecraft. Although, it mysteriously wouldn't even open up on my other computer, despite that computer fulfilling all the requirements (actually being more powerful than the laptop too). The only reason I can think of for this is that the other computer is running on Windows XP, though it's listed as compatible on the game's website.

There are two kinds of stages, missions and survival stages. Survival stages are self-explanatory: in them, the player kills enemies and tries to survive as long as possible. Missions have various objectives, like securing a series of points on a map, or killing every enemy on the map. Unfortunately, I've so far been unable to pregress further than the third mission, in which enemy units must be hunted down and wiped out in Kiev under the cover of night, with a pretty strict time limit.

Despite the game's difficulty, I still definitely recommend it: controlling the mech is nice, and even little things, like the satisfying animations for enemies getting hit by your shots make the game a little better. Plus, it's free (from here), so it's not like you have anything to lose. 

Sorry this post's kind of short and unprepared, I had intended to write about PC Disc Station Vol. 18, but I could barely get any of the contents to co-operate with modern computers. Hopefully that won't turn out to be an ongoing problem.

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