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Introduction to Wings over Europe
Wings over Europe: Cold War Gone Hot has a wonderful title that shows a writers flare for the funny line that makes you smile the first time you read it and small things like this can be important; take care of the small things and the big things will follow. Designed and created by the legendary Tsuyoshi Kawahito, creator of European Air War, Wings over Europe does show signs of his brilliant finishes and little touches that made European Air War one of the best air-combat games a few years ago.
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The Best Parts of Wings over Europe
Wings over Europe had a low learning curve, so I was knocking them out of the sky pretty quickly upon getting in the cockpit, and had five kills and my ace ranking after just a few flights.
Wings over Europe has pretty meagre system requirements, so if you have a powerful system it will play a lot better, and this comes into play to make the over all presentation much better.
I loved the three epic and challenging campaigns set in 1962, 1968, and 1979, an era of flight history when pilots still flied by the seat of their pants and visual sighting and dog fights still determined the outcome of gut-wenching aerial conflicts between knights of the sky.
The variety of available planes to play is amazing; you can download the planes for just about any countries air force and give them a try. All the planes are available, so you might want to get your Jane's Guide to the World's Planes out and see what catches your eye, you can probably try it with this game.
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Parts Needing Improvement in Wings over Europe
Wings over Europe still had parts that felt hurried and maybe rushed to production, which I didn't expect from a master like Tsuyoshi, but then today's games are all complicated and long term affairs requiring a host of participants to complete on time and there may have been factors involved I don't know about.
The keyboard mapping could have been better, once I figured it out I could play pretty well, but it was still a pain to figure out and implement.
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Graphics of Wings over Europe
Unfortunately the graphical presentation wasn't everything I had hoped, with below standard planes, buildings and characters that look kind of blocky and textures that looked like they were from a game from 1999 or sooner.
The game did contain some okay visual effects, like lightning, clouds, smoke and explosions that showed poor detail and didn't impress me at all.
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Sounds of Wings over Europe
The sound track was only noticeable when the action slows down, so it does its job, and the music changes to greet the action or a slow moment well, and is a non-descript collection of various up tempo songs.
The sound effects were good on my high-end computer, but occasionally showed signs of age with explosive effects that seemed a bit under-powered and ineffective, especially the rockets, which should have been the finishing touch.
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Replay Value of Wings over Europe
I was only able to finish the missions on the easiest difficulty level and I am still trying to make it through the other levels of difficulty with a lot of frustration and sweat, but it's still a pleasure.
The campaign mode is the meat of the experience, but the game does ship with an instant action mode, single mission mode, on line multiple player options with LAN co-op missions and even one-on-one dogfights with up to 16 gamers.
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Storyline of Wings over Europe
Wings over Europe puts you in the flight suit of an elite fighter pilot flying against Soviet aggressors flying the best the Russians have to offer in scenarios dealing with the Soviet invasion of Germany.
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Wings over Europe certainly isn't the best flight combat simulation title on the market, but it has the best line up of available planes I have seen, so far. Yes the overall presentation looks a bit dated compared to many of the flight combat titles available, and if you're looking for a realistic flight simulation you should look elsewhere, but if you want fun and entertaining flight combat that is pick up and play easy, yet extremely challenging, then Wings over Europe is a game that will satisfy you.