by Leonard "Viking1" Hjalmarson
These pilots are good, but they are outnumbered. I am on the tail of a camel jockey who is jinking like mad to avoid my bullets. The thump of the guns on my wrist is tiring, and as I jink a little too hard I feel the resistance of my stick increase and then my guns jam! Of course, I am in perfect firing position now...
Suddenly tracers whir over my head and I throw my rudder hard left and pull hard on my stick. I jam the throttle forward and feel the revs increase. I call my squadron for help.
RBII 3d Effects.
The climb rate of the Fokker is excellent, and I swing for a quick look at my attacker... he can't maintain the climb and drops off left just as my comrade nails him in the wing.
Something is wrong, however, as my aeroplane is responding sluggishly as I level off. The engine feels rough and begins to cough and sputter. My guns jammed and my aeroplane uncertain, I elect to head for home base while I still have some altitude...
Next I chose an intercept mission in the Bf-109K in European Air War. A few weeks ago I installed Meatwater's Soundpack v.2.0 and I was amazed at the difference. Firing cannon now feels like... firing cannon! Admittedly, the feedback levels in both sound and force are considerably beyond what the real pilot would experience, but since sensory input is limited in other ways I think it's appropriate compensation.
Charles Gunst has enabled us to fly the K6 version with his ECA 1.2 upgrade. The K6 model packs an extra 2xMk 108 30mm cannon in the wings. Although it was less common than the K4 model that Microprose released in European Air War, it's pure pleasure to fly this aircraft. It now packs the fire power of the FW-190A8 but is far more maneuverable. (To download these add-ons see our Missions page.)
Combined with the original Click to continue
Single missions in EAW are great fun, and with a dynamic campaign system the missions remain unpredictable and fairly fluid in the campaign. Add a good sound system and force feedback to the picture and it suddenly becomes even better. The roar of my engines under the combination of the Microsoft Sound System 80 and the Interactor cushion is fantastic.
Recently Creative Labs released their FPS2000, a completely digital four point surround system that I have seen for as low as $130 US. If you happen to use the SB Live with digital out, you can make a direct connection to this system from your sound board and experience pure digital sound. Tim "Flyboy" Henderson is now using this system and tells me it is fantastic. Watch for a review soon.
Feel the Force
I am running two force feedback devices with these games: the Logitech Wingman Force, and the Aura Interactor cushion. Both these devices have made my gaming life a real pleasure. Personally I still feel that the Logitech stick is the best feedback device on the market, and if you are a prop sim nut you MUST have this stick or the Microsoft Sidewinder Pro since they can be set up WITH rudder pedals. The latest drivers are powerful now support spring tension as well. (For the latest drivers go to Wingman.)
Logitech Controller Setup
Game Commander (GC) is possibly the most revolutionary thing to come to my gaming experience in the past few years. The most amazing thing about GC is its ease of use and its accuracy. I expected it to be challenging to program, and only somewhat reliable. To my surprise and delight, it is neither of those things.
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Last Updated June 25th, 1999